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American English spelling[edit]

Isn't the correct American English spelling Voodoo? "Vodun" sounds like some kind of political correctness thing. Liberal deceit at its worst!! Do you also pronounce a certain Central American country "Nick-a-hah-gwah" instead of the correct English pronunciation of Nicaragua? I bet you even say "Mt. Denali" instead of Mt. McKinley and "BCE" instead of B.C., and you probably use the metric system too! Secret Squirrel 17:19, 14 December 2007 (EST)

Technically, in some works, there's a distinction made between Vodun and Voodoo. Vodun is the religion founded in Haiti and practiced in parts of the Carribbean and New Orleans. Voodoo is the crap that Hollywood and shucksters peddle. Researcher 17:21, 14 December 2007 (EST)
*wink* just being a silly squirrel today Secret Squirrel 17:22, 14 December 2007 (EST)
S'alright. It just happens to be one of my favorite topics. Researcher 17:24, 14 December 2007 (EST)

Looking through my blues collection, I can find no songs which mention voodoo - it's always hoodoo. E.g.

  • Hoodoo lady - Memphis Minnie
  • Hoodoo hoodoo - Sonny Boy Williamson
  • Somebody done hoodooed the hoodoo man - Louis Jordan
  • Hoodoo women - Johnnie Temple
  • Louisiana hoo doo blues - Ma Rainey
  • Hoodoo lady blues - Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup

I conclude that (1) the North American version is 'hoodoo' and that (2) 'voodoo' is an invention of Hollywood and horror story writers. If you're an American with a mojo and a black cat bone, you're practicing hoodoo. ProblemChimp (talk) 15:37, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Name and focus of this article[edit]

I think we should use the term Vodou, which is the most commonly accepted term in academics and in the Hatian community for their traditional religion. Vodun is largely associated with West Africa, and or "trying to be oh so cool". "voodoo" is NOT associated with hollywood, but with Louisanna. My second questions is what scope should this article take? are we focusing on Hatian vodou, or on all forms of "voodoo"? --Green mowse.pngGodottout sont finissent- dormir encore 00:19, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm worried about the vast amount of unsourced material that gets onto RationalWiki on one person's authority. I don't know enough to research it so I just remain uneasy. I assume most of the unsourced material is correct, I also assume most of what Austin Cline writes is correct. if we don't accept about,com as a reference here we shouldn't accept so much unsourced material either. Proxima Centauri (talk) 09:48, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Bad description[edit]

I don't really like this line : "Vodou (also Vodun, voodoo, and hoodoo) is a term for several syncretic religions developed by enslaved Africans as they were forced to suppress their own African religions in favor of Christianity, specifically Roman Catholicism."

Haitian Vodou is the most know Vodun, but this isn't where the religion has been developed, Vodun comes from Africa. Vodun existed before the triangular trade.

I mean, this is like saying: "Christianity is born in the Vatican".

Plus Vodun isn't syncretic, Haitian Vodou is syncretic, not Vodun.

So "Vodou(also Vodun) is a West African religion, Africans who were enslaved created syncretic religions inspired by Vodun as they were forced to suppress their own African religions" would be better? — Unsigned, by: NathVVV / talk / contribs

Terminology difficulties in article[edit]

As I see it, there are a couple major problems with the article as it stands, the first of which is a definite lack of sources (which is contributing to the other issues, to be sure). I don't claim to be a personal expert on Vodou, having never studied it formally, but I do have JSTOR access, so I think I can fix that fairly handily. However, the terminology in use makes it unclear to me if this article is meant to be about Vodou as it's officially defined, or about a different set of religious practices, or about the broad category of traditions that includes Vodou. The serious issue is that there are three major religious traditions with similar (and occasionally interchanged) spellings:

1. West African Vodun, which is a traditional religion practiced chiefly in Benin and Togo.
2. Haitian Vodou (yes, that's the official academic spelling, as well as the one that's been used by the Library of Congress since 2012), which is the term for a set of Haitian religious practices derived to some extent from Vodun, but also exhibiting a number of other influences. The country of Haiti has recognized Vodou as an official religion since 2003, although there are many Haitians who identify as, e.g., Christians but also incorporate Vodou practices into their spirituality.
3. Louisiana Voodoo (occasionally spelled "Voudoo"), which also is mostly derived from Vodun but developed seperately from Vodou—that is to say, West Africans enslaved by the French in Haiti and Louisiana independently adapted their original religion to life in the New World, ultimately resulting in two similar but distinct modern religions.

There are also a number of other areas in the Americas where syncretic African religions with similar names are practiced—basically, anywhere people from that specific region of West Africa were enslaved, they brought their religion with them and developed a new form of it.

Bearing in mind the purposes of this wiki, I think that of those three traditions, a discussion of Haitian Vodou is most relevant because of its widespread demonization as "voodoo" in American culture as a result of the Haitian Revolution. On the other hand, we could also make a comprehensive "African syncretic religions" page (or some similar title—Wikipedia calls them "Afro-American religions," which I think fails to emphasize that these are African religions imported to and adapted in the Americas, rather than religions practiced by African Americans, which I imagine would be most people's first parse of that) that combines information from this page, the existing one on Santería, and other major religions/practices like Candomblé, Obeah, Palo, etc. Although these religions are of course distinct not only in their current forms but in terms of their African origins, their practitioners have suffered similar hardships and face ongoing hostility from (mostly) Christian establishments. That being said, I don't know how to combine pages, and I'm also hella fuckin' new, so...

Thoughts? (My limited understanding of wiki etiquette informs me that it's best to chat about stuff like this before making major changes?) Esoteric24 (talk) 19:50, 29 July 2019 (UTC)