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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.
Although most of its adherents are black, contrary to popular opinion, it has always been practiced by both whites and blacks in America.
In some accounts the problems onboard these vessels were attributed to an evil spirit or presence.
Those who attribute the word hoodoo to Irish or Scottish seamen say that is is a phonetic transliteration of the Gaelic words Uath Dubh (pronounced hooh dooh), which means dark phantom, evil entity, or spiky ghost.
However, its earliest usage in America is connected with Irish and Scottish sailors, not African slaves.
in the mid 19th century, ships that had suffered a series of ill-fated voyages and mishaps were called hoodoo ships or were said to have been hoodoo'd.
In earlier times a "hoodoo ship" was a term applied to a "ghost ship," that is, one found drifting with no crew.