rootwork


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

rootwork

Pseudomedicine
Cultural interpretations that ascribe illness to hexing, witchcraft or the evil influences of others. Symptoms include generalised anxiety, GI complaints (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea), weakness, dizziness and the fear of being poisoned and/or killed. In rootwork, the “root” (“spell”/“hex”) must be removed by a specialist or “root doctor”, who can, in turn, place a hex on an enemy. Rootwork is used in the US South and the Caribbean; among Latinos, it is known as mal puesto or brujeria.

rootwork

(root'work?)
A traditional form of healing and hexing in the coastal regions of the southeastern U.S., esp. among those of Caribbean or African descent.
See: root (5)
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Placidly workman-like in its organization and outlook, Rootwork is untroubled by academic rigor or heebee-jeebies at the notion that there may be things in the world that are best not taken lightly.
He has also proclaimed Hurston's writing and Melvira's hoodoo as equally effective and important "Spiritwork" or "Rootwork," suggesting that a printed text--such as a novel--can also provide necessary guidance for the tribal soul.
Hootowl's comment that the methods of "Rootwork" change with time and place is significant in understanding Flowers' Signifyin(g) on Hurston.
Between the scythe and the cane, between the rootwork and perdition,
While conjure appears synonymous with witchcraft, rootwork, and voodoo, it may be useful to begin by noting that these terms are linked to the locales where they are practiced, so that Haitian voodoo and Cuban santeria differ from the obeah practiced in the Caribbean.