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Religions 2017, 8(10), 213; doi:10.3390/rel8100213

Adorned by Power: The Individualized Experience of the Mojo Bag

Department of Religion, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Received: 15 August 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Race and Religion: New Approaches to African American Religions)
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Abstract

In America, no religion better exemplifies the power of the individual than Hoodoo. Within these peripheral communities in the South, enslaved persons created spaces in which individual practitioners could choose which rituals, objects, and beliefs they prioritized for their own salvation. Out of this tradition of “selection” came the development of adornments like Mojo Bags, an amalgamation of objects, both natural and manufactured, that connect the individual directly with the sacred. When adorned with these Mojo Bags, primarily under clothes to assure contact with the skin, practitioners are provided with the power they have previously been denied. I will argue in my paper, therefore, that this method of adornment provides the locus of power needed to address the psychological and physical bondage practitioners faced during the period of enslavement, highlighted by the case of Frederick Douglass’ use of a root that led to his success in fighting with Mr. Covey. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hoodoo; literature; American South; Frederick Douglass; Mojo Bags Hoodoo; literature; American South; Frederick Douglass; Mojo Bags
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Clausnitzer, D. Adorned by Power: The Individualized Experience of the Mojo Bag. Religions 2017, 8, 213.

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