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Hinduism -- or at least its iconography -- forms a minor current in the hoodoo folk-magic tradition.
If you are unfamiliar with hoodoo and found this page because you were searching on Hinduism in popular American culture, you should perhaps read the short section of the Hoodoo in Theory and Practice page titled Hoodoo History: Admixtures: Asian Influences on Hoodoo
Hinduism's inclusion in conjure came about not through social and cultural mingling of populations, as was the case with Buddhism and hoodoo or Taoism and hoodoo. Rather, Hindu ideas entered into hoodoo due to the introduction of Hindu images and portions of Hindu religious practice -- particularly yoga -- into American metaphysical traditions during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially among adherents of then-new religions such as Theosophy and New Thought. These ideas from the Indian sub-continent, which included divination by crystaL ball, concepts of reincarnation and karma (cause and effect), and Western approaches to sacred sexuality derived from or identified with tantra yoga, were widespread in the occult circles of America at that time, and were not confined to the African American communities in which conjure was the prevalent form of folk magic.
The Hindu current spread into the African American spiritual community in the early 20th century when authors and publishers such as L. W. DeLaurence and William Walker Atkinson, working off the energies generated by the 1892 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, introduced "Hindoo" and "Yoga" concepts to the wider American metaphysical community and marketed these concepts in the form of books and products nationwide during the early part of the 20th century.
DeLaurence, in particular, extended his business from publishing to the distribution of talismans, crystal balls, and incense, and he included a variety of conflated Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, and other Asian images on his product labels. By the early 1920s, Dr. E. P. Read, an African American root worker in Philadelphia, was manufacturing and distributing his own brand of "Hindoo" incense, and from that time onward, the iconography of Hindu deities] such as [[Ganesha]] and [[Kali]] (not always correctly identified, but always recognizable) has been found on hoodoo product lines distributed nationwide.
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