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Hoodoo vs. Voodoo: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Hoodoo is a folk magic practice in African American culture, while Voodoo is a religion originating in West Africa with elements in Haiti and Louisiana.
Hoodoo vs. Voodoo

Key Differences

Hoodoo is a set of folkloric practices and beliefs with roots in African American culture. Voodoo, or Vodou, originates from West African Vodun and is a religion practiced mainly in Haiti and parts of Louisiana.
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Nov 21, 2023
Hoodoo involves folk magic, rituals, and practices focused on personal empowerment and healing. Voodoo is a religion with structured rituals, deities (Loas), and a priesthood, encompassing spiritual aspects of life.
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Hoodoo developed in the United States among African American communities, mixing African, Native American, and European elements. Voodoo evolved in West Africa and transformed in Haiti and Louisiana, influenced by Catholicism and indigenous traditions.
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Hoodoo doesn’t have a specific theological system or deities but focuses on practical spells and rituals. Voodoo has a complex cosmology, including belief in spirits, ancestors, and a supreme deity.
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Hoodoo is often used for personal gain, protection, and healing, operating at an individual level. Voodoo’s rituals and practices are communal and spiritual, focusing on connection with the divine and ancestral spirits.
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Nov 21, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Origin

African American cultural practices
West African Vodun, evolved in Haiti and Louisiana
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Nature

Folk magic and personal empowerment
Structured religion with rituals and deities
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Historical Development

Mixture of African, Native American, and European influences
Influenced by African, Catholic, and indigenous beliefs
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Beliefs

Practical spells, no formal theology
Complex cosmology with spirits and a supreme deity
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Purpose

Personal gain, protection, healing
Communal, spiritual practices, connection with spirits
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Hoodoo and Voodoo Definitions

Hoodoo

A set of magical practices in African American culture.
She used hoodoo to bring good luck to her family.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Voodoo

A religion originating from West Africa.
Voodoo ceremonies are an important part of their spiritual life.
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Nov 17, 2023

Hoodoo

Rituals and spells for personal empowerment.
Hoodoo rituals were part of his cultural heritage.
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Nov 17, 2023

Voodoo

Involves worship of deities and spirits.
In Voodoo, practitioners commune with the Loas.
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Nov 17, 2023

Hoodoo

Used for healing and protective purposes.
She turned to hoodoo for protection against negativity.
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Nov 17, 2023
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Voodoo

Includes reverence for ancestors and spirits.
Ancestral spirits hold a significant place in Voodoo practice.
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Hoodoo

Often involves the use of natural elements like roots and herbs.
His knowledge of hoodoo included extensive rootwork.
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Nov 17, 2023

Voodoo

A blend of African, Catholic, and indigenous beliefs.
Voodoo reflects a unique blend of various cultural beliefs.
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Nov 17, 2023

Hoodoo

Magic healing and control, especially in African-based folk medicine in the United States and the Caribbean.Also called conjure.
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Oct 19, 2023

Voodoo

Characterized by communal rituals and ceremonies.
The community gathered for the Voodoo ritual.
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Nov 17, 2023

Hoodoo

A practitioner of hoodoo.
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Oct 19, 2023

Voodoo

A religion of West African origin practiced chiefly in Haiti and other Caribbean countries, based on animism, magic, and elements of Roman Catholic ritual, and characterized by belief in a supreme God and a large pantheon of local and tutelary deities, deified ancestors, and saints, who communicate with believers in dreams, trances, and ritual possessions. Also called vodoun.
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Hoodoo

Voodoo.
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Oct 19, 2023

Voodoo

A practitioner, priest, or priestess of voodoo.
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Oct 19, 2023

Hoodoo

Bad luck.
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Oct 19, 2023

Voodoo

Deceptive or delusive nonsense.
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Hoodoo

One that brings bad luck.
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Voodoo

To place under the influence of a spell or curse; bewitch.
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Hoodoo

(Geology)A column of eccentrically shaped rock, produced by differential weathering.
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Oct 19, 2023

Voodoo

Of or relating to the beliefs or practices of voodoo.
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Oct 19, 2023

Hoodoo

To practice hoodoo on; affect with a charm or curse.
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Voodoo

Based on unrealistic or delusive assumptions
Voodoo economics.
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Oct 19, 2023

Hoodoo

To bring bad luck to.
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Voodoo

Any of a group of related religious practices found chiefly in and around the Caribbean, particularly in Haiti and Louisiana.
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Oct 19, 2023

Hoodoo

(uncountable) A set of spiritual practices and traditions created and concealed from slave-owners by enslaved Africans in North America, based on traditional African beliefs.
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Oct 19, 2023

Voodoo

The spiritual beliefs of the Ewe/Fon of West Africa, practiced chiefly in Benin and in the south of Togo.
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Oct 19, 2023

Hoodoo

A practitioner of voodoo.
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Oct 19, 2023

Voodoo

(pejorative) Any sort of magical or irrational approach to a problem.
I want a real explanation, not this statistical voodoo.
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Oct 19, 2023

Hoodoo

Supernatural bad luck, or something or someone believed to bring bad luck.
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Oct 19, 2023

Voodoo

(dated) One who practices voodoo; a native sorcerer.
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Hoodoo

(geology) A tall thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of arid basins and badlands.
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Oct 19, 2023

Voodoo

To bewitch someone or something using voodoo
He claimed his neighbor had voodooed him.
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Hoodoo

(transitive) To jinx; to bring bad luck or misfortune to.
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Voodoo

See Voodooism.
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Oct 19, 2023

Hoodoo

One who causes bad luck.
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Voodoo

One who practices voodooism; a negro sorcerer.
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Oct 19, 2023

Hoodoo

Same as voodoo.
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Oct 19, 2023

Voodoo

Of or pertaining to voodooism, or a voodoo; as, voodoo incantations.
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Oct 19, 2023

Hoodoo

Bad luck.
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Voodoo

A charm superstitiously believed to embody magical powers
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Oct 19, 2023

Hoodoo

A natural rock pile or pinnacle of fantastic shape.
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Oct 19, 2023

Voodoo

A religious cult practiced chiefly in Caribbean countries (especially Haiti); involves witchcraft and animistic deities
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Oct 19, 2023

Hoodoo

To be a hoodoo to; to bring bad luck to by occult influence; to bewitch.
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Voodoo

Bewitch by or as if by a voodoo
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Hoodoo

A column of weathered and eccentrically shaped rock;
A tall sandstone hoodoo
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Hoodoo

A practitioner of voodoo
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Hoodoo

A charm superstitiously believed to embody magical powers
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Hoodoo

Something believed to bring bad luck
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Hoodoo

Bring back luck; be a source of misfortune
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Hoodoo

A tradition blending various cultural elements.
Hoodoo's rich tradition reflects a fusion of different cultural influences.
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Nov 17, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can Hoodoo be practiced by anyone?

While anyone can learn Hoodoo practices, they are deeply rooted in African American culture.
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Nov 21, 2023

Does Hoodoo involve animal sacrifice?

No, Hoodoo typically does not involve animal sacrifices.
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Nov 21, 2023

Is Voodoo recognized as a religion?

Yes, Voodoo is a recognized religion with structured beliefs and practices.
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Nov 21, 2023

How is Voodoo practiced in Louisiana?

Louisiana Voodoo has its own unique practices, often influenced by Catholicism.
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Nov 21, 2023

Are there gods in Voodoo?

Voodoo includes worship of spirits known as Loas, and a supreme deity.
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Is Voodoo only practiced in Haiti?

Voodoo is mainly practiced in Haiti, but it’s also found in Louisiana and other parts of the world.
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What role do ancestors play in Hoodoo?

Ancestors can be respected in Hoodoo, but they are not central like in Voodoo.
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Nov 21, 2023

What is Hoodoo primarily used for?

Hoodoo is used for personal empowerment, protection, and healing.
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Nov 21, 2023

Is Hoodoo a religion?

No, Hoodoo is not a religion but a set of folkloric practices.
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Nov 21, 2023

Are there different branches of Voodoo?

Yes, there are different branches, such as Haitian Vodou and Louisiana Voodoo.
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Nov 21, 2023

What are Voodoo dolls?

Voodoo dolls are a misunderstood concept; they are used for healing or blessings in the religion.
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Nov 21, 2023

Can Hoodoo spells bring good luck?

Practitioners often use Hoodoo spells to attract good luck or fortune.
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Nov 21, 2023

What is the significance of drums in Voodoo?

Drums are important in Voodoo rituals, used to communicate with spirits.
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Nov 21, 2023

Is Hoodoo always practiced for positive outcomes?

Hoodoo is generally aimed at positive outcomes, but like any practice, it can be misused.
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Nov 21, 2023

Can Hoodoo be learned from books?

Basic Hoodoo practices can be learned from books, but deeper understanding often comes from community and tradition.
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Nov 21, 2023

Is Voodoo a closed religion?

While Voodoo is not completely closed, entering its practice typically involves guidance from established practitioners.
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What is a Voodoo priest called?

A Voodoo priest is often referred to as a Houngan or Mambo.
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Nov 21, 2023

Are herbs important in Hoodoo?

Yes, herbs, roots, and natural elements are integral to Hoodoo practices.
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Nov 21, 2023

Do Hoodoo and Voodoo have a shared history?

While both have African roots, they developed differently in the Americas.
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How do initiations work in Voodoo?

Initiations in Voodoo involve complex rituals and are significant spiritual milestones.
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Nov 21, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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