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When Europeans brought African slaves into the Americas, those slaves also brought their religion.
Voodoo dolls come from the Louisiana form of voodoo, which was heavily influenced by the any of the cultures who used the Mississippi river—so, mainly the French. When getting a voodoo tattoo, you might want to opt to get some of the more magical components. The presence of both beneficial spirits made up of all of your predecessors as well as negative spirits which lead their own lives is a common voodoo belief. People from the Kingdom of Dahomey practiced something called Vodun, which evolved into many different associated religions in the New World which we collectively call voodoo. However, the practice of making dolls to ward off evil spirits or place a curse goes back before the religion crossed the seas. First, you imbue it with a hair of your enemy, or maybe something physical that has great significance to them.
Tattoos are often thought to be imbued with a magical power, so there are even some symbols meant to protect the user from the possession of evil spirits or call on help from those Ancestors.

There were hundreds of tribes in northern Africa when the American slave trade began, and each one of those tribes had very distinct traditions. If you are the Copyright owner and you would like your picture to be removed, please proceed as described within the Terms of use section 8.0. In the Congo Basin area of Africa, it’s not uncommon for a family to make something called a nkisi—a statue that was made to house a spiritual enemy. Once that is done, you can stab the doll with needles to inflict pain or illness in the associated place. Even the conglomeration of different traditions that we call Voodoo has several distinct types. Along with that, there are some magic symbols associated with it that work well for voodoo tattoos. When getting a voodoo tattoo, you are ultimately the one who decides its significance and meaning. Let’s go into a little more detail about this expansive religion that has found its home in the American south and the islands of the Gulf of Mexico.

Neighboring tribes likely had a similar tradition before the slave trade and colonization of Africa butchered their customs. Although the purpose of the voodoo doll has greatly expanded from its original duty, they have found a special place in the hearts of tattooers. These Legba represent a connection between our world and the spirit world, and communication between the two often starts there. It is a representation of yourself and your spirituality, and whatever meaning you give to it is the meaning that will stick. Tattooers are constantly getting stuck with needles, just like voodoo dolls, so getting a voodoo tattoo only makes sense.

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