MUSEUM GUIDE ...

Voodoo Dolls Print E-mail
Few things are as closely associated with Voodoo as the Voodoo doll. The tiny straight pin is mightier than the sword, or the pen. The Voodoo doll is a form of gris-gris, a ritualized form of invoking the spirits, or fate, to act in a defined way towards a targeted person. The doll can be used for love, for power and domination, for luck, for uncrossing and, yes, in some evil ways, for harm.

How to Use the Voodoo Doll:

The doll is not so much a remote control for manipulating another person as much as it is a representation of the person used to appeal to the Voodoo spirits. The Voodoo straight pin, or thorn, is actually used attach something to the doll to make he doll represent, or even become, the person to whom it is targeted. To cause the doll and the intended person to become one and the same, one, or both, of two techniques may be used. First, label the doll as the targeted person by pinning a picture of them, or at least, their name, to the doll. Some dolls are intentionally with blank faces to the user can draw in the targeted person’s image. Second, made the doll become the person by attaching or inserting a thing that was previously from, or in intimate contact with the person. Some examples of this would be a lock of hair, a nail clipping or piece of their clothing that had been in intimate contact with them.

To make the doll work one should be familiar with the Voodoo spirits, which ones are useful for various given purposes and what things will appeal to that spirit.  Adding things to the doll, like love like perfume or rose petals for love, clover or garlic for luck and money or sitting it between a blue, and a white candle for healing increases it’s powers. Best results are obtained by consulting a practitioner for individual advice.

Red Magic:

In Voodoo, the priestess (Queen) or priest (Doctor), serves the spirits. The practice of gris-gris magic is a petition to the spirits. There are however certain spirits that can be coerced, controlled or bribed and certain persons who manipulate them in such a way. While the interpretations vary, such spirits are generally the Congolese Ghédé spirits and the person who manipulate them are Witchdoctors. On some occasions, an otherwise benign spirit may be transformed into a malicious nature. When this occurs the spirit's eyes turn to red and the suffix “oje rouge” (“red eyed”) is added to its name. In Voodoo the concepts of white magic, or black magic have no meaning. When evil is manifest, its color is red. When a Voodoo doll is used for evil or harm, the practitioner is engaging in evil witchcraft, which is counter to, and proscribed by, actual Voodoo.  Such intentions, if known, are normally censured and interdicted by a Queen or Doctor.

Cynics:

The Voodoo has become something of a movie star. As such, its use in this visual medium is always prominent and observed. This leads many cynics, taking movies as fact, to conclude the power of the doll, or the gris-gris is the result of autosuggestion against a vulnerable, or perhaps just gullible, victim. In fact, this thesis is wrong both on its premise and its conclusion. The premise errs in the belief that the doll, or gris-gris, is show, or made known to the target. In real Voodoo, the doll is always kept hidden. True, it is best to put it as close to the target as possible, but always keep its presence covert. The reason for this is that if the target knows of the gris-gris and/or the doll, they can and will take protective and uncrossing actions to mitigate or eliminate its power. The conclusion follows therefore also follows in error since the intended person the Voodoo is directed to does know of the doll, and therefore, can not act under the psychosis of autosuggestion. In fact, the more cynical and disbelieving a person is, the more vulnerable they are to Voodoo. 


Want to know about Voodoo dolls?
Visit the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum, read our blog and subscribe to our Newsletter.
Share Link: Share Link: Bookmark Google Yahoo MyWeb Del.icio.us Digg Facebook Myspace Reddit Technorati