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

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    1. Welcome to Class!

    2. Why This Course?

    3. How to Access Course Content

    4. How to use this course

    5. Questions?

    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

    1. Applied Practice

    2. Covering the Blood

    3. Ritual Offerings

    4. Black Hawk Water Quote

    5. On the Issue of Alcohol

    6. Black Hawk's Bucket

    7. Items in Black Hawk's Bucket

    8. Seven Dirts

    9. Making Black Hawk's Bucket

    10. Railroad Spike Talisman

    11. Calling Down Black Hawk

    12. Prayer to Stop an Enemy

    1. Redbone Formulary

    2. The Medicine Bag

    3. The Conjures

    4. Indian Head Pennies

    5. Buffalo Nickels

    6. Thunder Medicine

About this course

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

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