The term Voodoo doll is commonly employed to describe an effigy into which pins are inserted. Although it comes in various different forms, such practices are found in the magical traditions of many cultures across the world. Although the use of the term Voodoo implies that the practice has links to either the religion of Haitian Voodoo or Louisiana Voodoo, in reality it does not have a prominent place in either.
The form of the voodoo doll as it is most commonly understood is based on a magical practice that historically derived from Europe rather than Africa or the Americas. Textual records attest to the fact that certain evil members of the community in Britain made dolls of a witch out of rags and other materials and then pierced them with pins with the intention of inflicting physical harm on the witch and breaking their bewitchment. When in fact, it is mainly derived from African magical spiritualism. Indian Culture and Voodoo has a lot of similarity. Both of them almost have the same gods with the same functions. For Example, the loa Ghede corresponds to Yama and the loa Papa Legba corresponds to Ganesh. In Voodoo, they realize that the demigods are below God. Both the cultures also believe in a supreme universal power.
The magic is performed in Voodoo culture mainly through the use of Magic Dolls. It is believed that through these dolls, a practitioner can give the other person pain and can even kill the victim. The one who performs magic needs a doll to be made out of fabric and then performs spells in order to take control of the victim. Though it is glorified by the Hollywood cinema, it still should not be performed by anyone.
There are a number of requirements to perform a Voodoo doll magic. The doll should be made of fabric and it should resemble a proper human. There is also a need to attach a part of the victim to the doll. For example, a lock of hair or skin will help. The spells need to be performed in an exact manner otherwise it is believed that they could backfire.
In many extreme cases, Voodoo dolls can be used to hurt one person. It is believed that when certain spells are performed on the doll then it can resemble the victim. The doll is then pierced with needles. The actual victim feels the same needles and the effects can be devastating. The part of the person which is pierced with needles can be paralyzed. Worst is the twisting of the doll which is said that it could result in the death of the victim.
Though Voodoo is not a very popular art in India it is performed by certain tribes. It is popular mostly in the eastern part of the country. In West Bengal, Voodoo magic is performed. In Odisha, it is also performed. The tribes of Chhattisgarh also believe in such type of magic.