Course Description

Since Mother Leafy Anderson brought him to New Orleans with her Spiritualist Church in the early twentieth century, Black Hawk has played a central and symbolic role in the fight against oppression and discrimination among devotees. He is venerated as an ancestral spirit among the Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleans Voudouists, as well as rootworkers and conjure doctors. Native Americans consider him a hero, African Americans view him as defender and liberator, and European Americans admire him as the noble savage who despite defeat, fought the good fight. While most of what is written about Black Hawk has either been from a historical perspective or from the perspective of the Spiritualist Church, Black Hawk cannot be confined to a single context. It has become more than evident that he has been adopted by people from many different spiritual traditions as a powerful Indian Spirit to whom devotees believe they can turn to for help and guidance when needed. 

What makes the Black Hawk conjure tradition so unique in Louisiana is its blend of Native American and African American influences. The Indian influences in African American folk magic and medicine is the direct result of the close bonds forged between the populations in the throes of slavery. There are many historical and cultural parallels between African Americans and Native Americans. The most obvious parallel is that both groups experienced forced removal from their homelands and enslavement. When enslaved Africans were ripped from their Motherland Africa, they joined enslaved Indians upon their arrival in Louisiana, who had already suffered 300 years of colonization and genocide. Many times, Africans and Indians wound up with the same slave masters. It comes as no surprise that Africans and Native Americans banded together to escape, steal food, supplies, and weapons, and to exchange information related to healing and indigenous medicine. Both populations had medicine people responsible for the treatment of physical and spiritual conditions of their people. African slaves transferred their medical skills to home remedies based on their newfound knowledge of North American plants, roots, and herbs. As cultural exchange is seldom one-sided, Native Americans undoubtedly learned a few tricks from their African neighbors, as well.

Course curriculum

All lessons are not visible

    1. Welcome to Class!

    2. Copyright Agreement

    3. Why This Course?

    4. How to Access Course Content

    5. How to use this course

    6. Questions?

    7. Before we begin...

    1. How I Came to Know Black Hawk

    2. About Father Black Hawk

    3. Black Hawk: The Watchman on the Wall

    4. Black Hawk Fact Chart

    5. We can all be as brothers...

    6. Who are the Meskwaki Indians?

    7. Blackhawkiana

    8. From Savage to Darling of the Press

    9. Fanny Kembel Meets the Savages

    10. In his own words, Black Hawk describes his “Prisoner of War Tour”

    11. Black Hawk-ism

    12. How Did Black Hawk Get to New Orleans?

    13. The Cult of Black Hawk

    14. Video: Archival Footage New Orleans Spiritual Church: A Move of the Spirit

    15. Leafy Anderson: Seed Carrier of Black Hawk's Memory

    16. Test your learning

    1. How Did Black Hawk View the World? A Look at Sauk Cosmology and Medicine

    2. The Origin of Corn by Black Hawk

    3. Medicine and Mystery

    4. The Hair of the Dog Will Cure the Bite

    5. Black Hawk's Narrative of the Yearly Cycle of the Sac and Fox Tribes

    6. Create a Medicine Journal

    7. Test your learning

    1. Indigenous Materia Sacra

    2. Sac and Fox Medicine

    3. Special Classifications of Indian Medicine

    4. Medicine Man John McIntosh (Kepeosatok)

    5. Plants and Roots

    6. Basswood

    7. Bear Root (Ligusticum porteri)

    8. Bearberry (Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi)

    9. Black Snakeroot (Aristolochia serpentaria)

    10. Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis)

    11. Blue Cohosh (Caulophylum thalictroides)

    12. Blue Cohosh Info Sheet

    13. Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.)

    14. Root Digger

    15. Ginseng (Aralia quinquefolia)

    16. Lightning Struck Wood

    17. Tobacco

    18. Tobacco is a Gift

    19. Other than Plants

    20. Birds

    21. Insects

    22. Fish and Crustaceans

    23. Mammals

    24. Mica

    25. Minerals

    26. Reptiles

    27. Test your learning

    1. Applied Practice

    2. Covering the Blood

    3. Ritual Offerings

    4. Black Hawk Water Quote

    5. On the Issue of Alcohol

    6. The Bucket as Ritual Object

    7. Indian Altars of the Spiritual Church

    8. Black Hawk's Bucket

    9. Items in Black Hawk's Bucket

    10. Understanding the Use of Dirts & Minerals in Conjure Work

    11. Assignment: Gather Seven Dirts for Black Hawk's Bucket

    12. Making Black Hawk's Bucket

    13. Presentation: Making Black Hawk's Bucket

    14. Calling Down Black Hawk

    15. Prayers to Black Hawk

    16. Prayer to Stop an Enemy

    17. Test Your Learning

    1. Medicine and Magick

    2. Railroad Spike Talisman

    3. How to Make Railroad Spike Talisman

    4. Redbone Formulary

    5. The Medicine Bag

    6. What Goes in a Medicine Bag?

    7. Misinformation

    8. How to Make a Medicine Bag

    9. Medicine Bag Inspiration Gallery

    10. Assignment: Make a Medicine Bag

    11. The Conjures

    12. Big Bear Medicine

    13. Indian Prayer Cloth for Blessings

    14. Chopping off Sweet Tongues

    15. Sprinkles To Win a Court Case (Liquid and Powder)

    16. Enemy Be Gone

    17. Good Luck and Abundance Works

    18. Mica Love Mojo

    19. Wikipinukun (Tied up in it)

    20. For Protection

    21. Working with Indian Head Pennies

    22. For Business Success, Gambling Luck, Law Keep Away, and Protection

    23. Working with Buffalo Nickels

    24. Thunder Medicine

    25. Thunderbolt Powder

    26. Thunderbolt Hands and Tobies

    27. Final Exam

About this course

  • $225.00
  • Community Forum
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Payment Plans Available

Pricing options

Pay in full or enroll with a payment plan, whatever is most convenient for you.