Difference Between Hoodoo and Voodoo

Hoodoo vs Voodoo

Hoodoo and Voodoo are words that remind one of Black African magic. Most people think of these words as being related and even interchangeable. There are many similarities between voodoo and hoodoo as these beliefs and ancient systems of worship and magic have the same African roots. However, there are also many differences between hoodoo and voodoo that will be highlighted in this article.


Voodoo is a word that comes from French Vodu. It is an ancient pagan religion that is a mixture of beliefs and traditions. Voodoo is a religion that was practiced in Haiti. One can still find many practitioners of this religion in Haiti. This religion that involves syncretism believes in a distant creator who happens to be God. He is referred to as Bondye and Voodouists believe that he does not interfere in day to day affairs of humans. However, there are spirits subservient to Bondye. Voodouists try to please these spirits called loa as there are loas for every aspect of life. Voodouists indulge in many practices and dance and play music, to please these spirits to make life easier for people. Voodoo practitioners who were called on to perform their rituals to propitiate the loas and hence Bondye were labeled Bokor.

Europeans first learnt about these traditions and practices in French slave colonies in the 18th century and tried to suppress these activities by forcibly converting African slaves into Christianity.


Hoodoo is a kind of folk magic that incorporates many practices and traditions from different African and American cultures. In English, Hoodoo is often described as a magical spell though it is also used to refer to the practitioner of the magic. Hoodoo is more of a system of magical practices that have been handed down generations. Practitioners of Hoodoo do not invoke loas as is the case with voodoo.

What is the difference between Hoodoo and Voodoo?

• Voodoo is a religion, whereas Hoodoo is folk magic.

• There is a creator or God called Bondye in Voodoo religion, whereas there is nothing of this sort in Hoodoo.

• Voodoo is a religion practiced in Haiti. It came to the light of the Europeans through African slaves in the 18th century.

• Voodoo is a well-developed religion that is used for fortune telling and also for making lives easier by pleasing spirits called loas.

• Hoodoo practitioners are called root doctors who are called upon to win over enemies, bring good luck, and defeat evil, and so on.