When Hoodoo Was Illegal: The Old Chief Medicine Co.
Tier 2 NOVEMBER 14th, 2021
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This week in "Where the Southern Cross the Yellow Dog," i take a look at the United States Food and Drug Administration's successful legal action to destroy traditional American herbal knowledge that had its roots in ancient Native American medicine.
1) "When Hoodoo Was Illegal: FDA versus Indiana Botanic Garden and Old Chief Medicine Co. 1950"
[PATRONS GET THE SECRET URL IN EMAIL ONE YEAR BEFORE IT OPENS TO THE PUBLIC]
This illustrated page brings us the story of A. L. Machris and the Old Chief Medicine Co. of Detroit, Michigan, a mail-order house that purchased bulk herbal teas from Joseph E. Meyer's Indiana Botanic Gardens in Hammond, Indiana. Lucky for us, while ordering several shipments of these folkloric medicines to be destroyed, the FDA also carefully noted down all of the ingredients in six different remedies -- so now you can make your own!
Thanks to my wonderfully supportive Patrons -- you have made this web page possible.
2) "Southern Spirits" Web Site
"When Hoodoo Was Illegal" is a category of web pages at the Southern Spirits web site, which is a site that collects primary documentary accounts of the practice of hoodoo, the folk magic of African-American practitioners. If you are not yet familiar with the public portion of the site, check it out!
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3) The Public Southern Spirits web site:
Southern Spirits one of my nicest, but least-known web sites. Online since 1994, Southern Spirits brings the ghost-voices of our magical past into the modern age. These are our spiritual ancestors speaking -- both as others heard them and as they told the world about themselves. Listen!
The material at Southern Spirits was gathered from a variety of sources, including old books, magazine articles, newspapers, and even fragments extracted from novels and short stories. It is heavily annotated with interpretive and comparative notes, especially distinguishing between narratives told *by* practitioners and narratives *about* them, particularly when the latter are recounted by derogatory or "amused" white observers.
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Patrons at Tiers 4, 5, and 6 can expect their packages of books and ephemera to go out on November15th, 2021.