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What are Voodoo dolls actually for?

Surely they can’t have been created just to curse people you dont like, there must be a traditional reason.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Well Poppets or whatever they are called can be used for either good or evil.
    The energy is passed on from the shaman to the doll while creating it.
    For Example if someone wanted to hurt another person they would take some personal belongings from the person such as fingernails, clothing, and other belongings such as Jewelry and they basically dress up the doll to look similar to the person. If they wanted to they could prick the doll with needles causing pain for their enemies, or they could offer the doll food and treat it nicely for blessings of a person.

  2. Vodou has come to be associated in popular culture with the lore of Satanism, zombies and “voodoo dolls.” While there is evidence of zombie creation,[10] it is a minor phenomenon within rural Haitian culture and not a part of the Vodou religion proper. Such manifestations fall under the auspices of the bokor or sorcerer rather than the priest of the Loa.
    The practice of sticking pins in dolls has history in folk magic, but its exact origins are unclear. How it became known as a method of cursing an individual by some followers of what has come to be called New Orleans Voodoo, but more appropriately Hoodoo (folk magic), is unknown. This practice is not unique to vodou or hoodoo, however, and has as much basis in magical devices such as the poppet and the nkisi or bocio of West and Central Africa. These are in fact power objects, what in Haiti would be referred to as pwen, rather than magical surrogates for an intended target of sorcery whether for boon or for bane. Such vodou dolls are not a feature of Haitian religion, although dolls intended for tourists may be found in the Iron Market in Port au Prince. The practice became closely associated with the Vodou religions in the public mind through the vehicle of horror movies and popular novels.
    There is a practice in Haiti of nailing crude poppets with a discarded shoe on trees near the cemetery to act as messengers to the otherworld, which is very different in function from how poppets are portrayed as being used by vodou worshippers in popular media and imagination, ie. for purposes of sympathetic magic towards another person. Another use of dolls in authentic Vodou practice is the incorporation of plastic doll babies in altars and objects used to represent or honor the spirits, or in pwen, which recalls the aforementioned use of bocio and nkisi figures in Africa. This is not unlike the Christian practice of displaying doll babies in the image of the Christ child in nativity scenes during Christmas.
    Although Vodou is often associated with Satanism, Satan is rarely incorporated in Vodou tradition. When Mississippi Delta folksongs mix references to Vodou and to Satan, it may represent social pain such as from racism, although some crossover due to syncretism would certainly have occurred.
    Further adding to the dark reputation of Vodou was the 1973 film adaptation of the thriller Live and Let Die, part of Ian Fleming’s widely successful James Bond series, which had been continually in print in both the English original and translations to numerous languages. Fleming’s depiction of the schemings of a fiendish Soviet agent (see Mr. Big, Baron Samedi) using Vodou to intimidate and control a vast network of submissive black followers reached an incomparably greater audience than any careful scholarly work on the subject of Vodou.

  3. voodoo dolls were used for spiritual healing, rather like how accupuncture is believed to work only the pins were stuck into something symbolic for the body, not the ACTUAL person.
    the pins were placed in the doll at pressure points to release bad energy/spirits.

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