Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Myth Or Truth

My whole life I heard my mama say “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”; at this age in my life I believe this to be true. We all know Hyatt traveled the South looking for information for his books. We also know that he had a guide who took him around and introduced him to folks. There’s no argument there. Folks talked to him because someone they knew had brought him there. Folks are under the misconception that you can go into the Deep South and old folks are going to just start spewing all this information out because you asked. First off country folks and city folks are two very different breeds. Here’s an example of how someone knowing your family can change their whole attitude in what they will tell you and what they want tell you.

About three months ago my uncle who lives in Rock Castle County {Kentucky} was on my mind. I couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong. In the past I could call the post office and the old post master who knew my family would give me information on my uncle. You can still get “general delivery mail” there. I call the post office and I get the new post master; she didn’t know my uncle and wouldn’t tell me a damn thing. She gave me the number to the sheriff’s office, I know she called ahead of me because the deputy didn’t ask me one question he just took my number for the sheriff and said he would call me back. Within 20 minutes the phone rang and it was the sheriff himself on the other end. I told him my uncle’s name and ask him if he knew where he was. Well that went over like the wind blowing. Within 60 seconds I knew he wasn’t gonna tell me nothing I was a stranger. Then I threw out the fact that I was born there but know live in Texas. Things got a little warmer.

When I told him who my Grandma was, my Daddy and my aunts I was in. He told me how sorry he was to hear about my Grandma and my Daddy’s passing. It was like he knew me my whole life and I promise you the man has never laid eyes on me. I gave him the last address I had for my uncle and he promised to check it out and get back to me. He said it was out in the county but he would drive out there. I thank him but I thought “yea right”. Within 2 hours the phone was ringing it was him. My uncle wasn’t there and the way it looked hadn’t been for a good while. He promised to keep an eye out for him and if he found him he would call me. I believe he will. This is no different than trying to find information about conjure work, unless they know you they are not gonna tell you anything. It’s not a “conspiracy theory” it’s a fact! Country folk don’t like strangers nor will they sit down and tell you their family business just because you ask; and conjure is their family business because it is part of their daily lives. Now if you can find someone in the city who was raised in it but thinks its backwards and a bunch of hocus pocus they may talk to you it depends on how deep their roots run. Folks who come from these families know what I am talking about even if they want speak up about it. Momma Starr


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you. I think that folks really need to understand how conjure is passed on. You can't just walk up to old folks and start asking them questions that is a Myth. Momma Starr

    2. Not only that but they will usually deny knowing anything about it. You got to warm up to them and then you have to be aware of what language you are using. For most people, the term "hoodoo" is interpreted as witchcraft or putting curses on people so of course they will deny doing that.

      The easiest way is to got to them for help in a particular situation. Most old folk will freely tell you what you need to know for that situation, compared to like a teaching type arrangement.

    3. Asking them about remidies is a good way to get them talking, this will lead to more information if they like you. The term Hoodoo is a internet term not one used when speaking of the work with an elder. Momma Starr