New Orleans is the city like no other. Renowned for its architecture, jazz, cuisine, ghost, vampires, and voodoo. This Louisiana city beckons you to come and enjoy the fun, but not like Disney Land fun. New Orleans offers delicious fun, fascinating fun, and as the saying goes, “New Orleans, we put the fun in funeral.” Ghost tours and haunted tours are popular in New Orleans, and a fun thing to do on these tours is exploring voodoo in New Orleans and its captivating history.
Voodoo originated in Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean. Some consider it to be a combination of various African, Catholic and even Native American traditions. In the colonial period around 1719 African slaves brought Voodoo to the French Colony and they were creating mixtures of herbs and charms intended to protect some and harm others.
In Catholic New Orleans, Africans were able to continue their native faith by incorporating their gods with Catholic saints. Slaves received freedom to assemble more than other colonies. African religious practices became a part of New Orleans early history, forming an open environment for spiritualism.
On the island of St. Domingue, presently known as Haiti, slaves started a massive revolt in 1791.
White and black residents of St. Domingue fled to New Orleans because it had a similar French heritage. St. Domingue had well-developed Voodoo practices and planted their Voodoo seed in New Orleans. Later, the New Orleans Voodoo culture was enriched by the notorious Marie Laveau, who organized local practice and gave the religion its high profile. Her home and tomb is one of many destinations during a haunted tours in New Orleans.
Laveau brought Voodoo to clients and devotees of all races and classes. She was reputed to heal ailments, to contract desired lovers, and to get revenge on enemies. She had a famous contemporary, the freeman, Dr. John Montanee, known as Dr. John. He was a dark-skinned, man with a tattooed face. They held public rites in 1857 in Congo Square which is now Armstrong Park. Scandals flourished in those times around the Voodoo Culture in New Orleans. People, frightened and fascinated, spread rumors of snake worship, possession, and zombies.
Modern New Orleans, heavily influenced by voodoo in New Orleans, using the word “Voodoo” as a marketing concept for restaurants, sports teams, and concerts. There are many Voodoo shops in the French Quarters, and Voodoo practitioners sell Voodoo products in stores and online, but it’s not just for amusement. They also supply sincere Voodooists with the oils, icons, and gris-gris that they need for ceremonies and worship.
You might be asking what gris-gris is. Gris-gris is a talisman or a Voodoo amulet.
Many believe that these amulets give protection from evil and good luck. In some West African countries, it is used as a method of birth control. Gris-gris, a small bag worn by a person, have verses from the Qur’an inscribed within, containing a ritual number of small objects.
A well-known Voodoo object is the Voodoo doll into which pins are inserted. Voodoo dolls have been around for centuries and are believed to be filled with magic energy to bring personal desires such as luck, money, love, and protection. Voodoo practitioners construct them with things like swamp moss, herbs, and oils and they give you a spell and directions on how to use them. You can learn more about Voodoo practices and New Orleans Voodoo hot spots with a Witches Brew Ghost and Haunted Tours.