HooDat

In Moses: Man of the Mountain, Zora Neale Hurston calls Moses, “the finest hoodoo man in the world.” During the burning bush incident, the staff of Moses turns into a serpent and Aaron’s rod) does the same. God also has Moses shape a snake out of bronze. Hoodoo is considered God’s magic.

Zora Neale Huston grew up Baptist but studied other religions as an anthropologist. Hurston wrote about Pentecostals which is the subject of Black Fire: One Hundred Years of African-American Pentecostalism by Estrelda Y. Alexander. The Pentecostal faith is truer to native Africa than Islam or Catholicism. Pentecostals use nature based symbols; whether it be snakes or fire; hoodoo does the same. The priest of the Inquisition burned people who practice voodoo and other magics. They only stopped persecuting because of their loss in power.

Cultures around the world base their religions on nature, so it isn’t a Black thing. Hurston comes from Florida and I created a fictional festival that I call HooDat. I believe it is a perfectly acceptable ode to Hurston due to her writing style and her study of Hoodoo. I added two Harry Crews books to my montage because his novel, Celebration, is about May Day and his novel, A Feast of Snakes, deals with snake handling and religion. Hurston is much more respectful of religion than Crews, but I’m more concerned with symbols.

Obviously, my fictional festival will have snakes and fire. A snake’s tongue is like the flicker of the flame. The flicker also represents life. Anansi the spider trickster of African lore will probably get alluded to. Masks will also feature at the festival. Zora will probably share her festival with Harry. Chucky dolls will also show up because the Child’s Play film franchise derives from a Florida voodoo doll. I may have a Pentecostal booth, too.

Mayday (Grace Jones) would make a good musical guest, considering the festival will be held on May Day. Bo Diddley would still be alive for my fictional festival, so he would play his hoodoo love song–Who Do You Love? Jim Stafford’s Swamp Witch and Witchy Woman by the Eagles fit the mood.

Disney would have a The Princess and the Frog performance of some type. William Shakespeare‘s play The Tempest. has hoodoo aspects. Tia Dalma from  Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is a Hoodoo practitioner. My timeframe will not allow direct reference for the two Disney films, but indirect allusions are still possible.

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