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 Goofer Dust

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Silver Wind
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PostSubject: Goofer Dust   Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:18 pm

Goofer Dust is a very old African-American hoodoo curio used to trouble, harm, or kill an enemy. In particular, it can cause the victim's legs to swell up and medical doctors will not be able to effect a cure. Recipes for making it vary, but it is almost always a mixture of simple natural ingredients, usually including Graveyard Dirt, powdered sulphur (which can give it a yellowish colour) and salt. Subsidiary ingredients may include powdered snake heads or snake skin "sheds," red pepper, black pepper, powdered bones, powdered insects or snails, and greyish, powdery-surfaced herbs such as mullein and sage. In the past, some formulas for Goofer Dust included anvil dust, the fine black iron detritus found around a blacksmith's anvil. A modern substitute for this now-uncommon ingredient would be magnetic sand, which is also black in colour.

A continuum of shared and overlapping ingredients links Graveyard Dirt to Goofer Dust, and thence to Hot Foot Powder and Crossing Powder -- but of all of them, only Goofer Dust is said to contain both Graveyard Dirt and snake skin.

As Robert Farris Thomson indicates in his works on Congo folk-magic, the word goofer comes from the Kikongo word "kufwa," which means "to die." Among older hoodoo practitioners, this derivation is very clear, because there "goofer" is not only an adjective modifying "dust" but also a verb ("He goofered that man") and a noun ("She put a goofer on him"). As late as the 1930s, goofering was a regional synonym for hoodooing, and in North Carolina at least, the meaning of the term was broadened beyond spells of damage, illness, and death to include love spells cast with dominating intent. Meanwhile, in New Orleans, the specificity of Goofer Dust's connection to graveyard dirt was lost and the term became a general name for any sachet powder used to cast a harmful spell.

http://www.luckymojo.com/gooferdust.html

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