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(It is "spiky" because Uath -- hooh -- is, additionally, the Gaelic name for the spiky Hawthorn or May tree.) A Gaelic origin for the word hoodoo would also explain why a certain type of eerie geological rock formation across the Americas is similarly called a hoodoo -- Irish trappers and traders saw these weird objects as personified demons.
A long discussion of the regional distribution of these terms can be found in Harry Middleton Hyatt's "Hoodoo - Conjuration - Witchcraft - Rootwork," a 5-volume, 4,766-page collection of material (consisting of 13,458 separate magic spells and folkloric beliefs) gathered by Hyatt from 1,600 informants in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia between 19.
The "doctor" he describes was both an herbalist and folk-magician.
A remarkable blues song in which the word hoodoo is used as a noun, as an adjective, AND as a verb is "Hoodoo Lady Blues" by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, recorded in October 1947 for Victor Records.
Here is how i define the word "hoodoo": Hoodoo consists of a large body of African folkloric practices and beliefs with a considerable admixture of American Indian botanical knowledge and European folklore.
Although most of its adherents are black, contrary to popular opinion, it has always been practiced by both whites and blacks in America.