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HomeLifestyleCulture & ReligionAll about Gris Gris Bags, Dolls, & Girls

All about Gris Gris Bags, Dolls, & Girls

Do you feel like you’re cursed and everything is going against you? Well, you’re not alone; we all go through tough times in our lives.

During these times, you may even feel like giving up, especially if your health is deteriorating and the doctors have done everything possible but you’re still unwell.

If you’re going through a tough time, then you should try a gris gris bag.

A gris gris bag or doll may sound like voodoo, but it has helped people ward off evil while improving their luck in the past. Even gamblers used it to improve their winning rates.

What is a Gris Gris Bag?

Gris gris bags are fabric-wrapped charms containing personal charms designed to improve our luck or ward off evil spirits.

The bag contains a wide range of magically powerful ingredients like stones, bones, roots, and herbs.

Folks have been using these bags for protection, good luck, better health, and even drawing love into their lives.  

Gris gris isn’t something new; in fact, its history can be traced back to west Africa where it was associated with Islam. Scholars have traced its origin to Juju.

The term juju translates to “joujou” in French which means a plaything or doll. And that’s because a huge percentage of the African gris gris were in the form of gris gris dolls.

Originally, these bags featured Islamic scriptures that helped ward off bad luck and evil. The idea of gris gris bag was brought to the United States by the slaves from Mali and Senegal during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

In other parts of Africa, like Senegal, the locals used this amulet as a type of contraception.

The Origin of the Name “Gris Gris”

The name gris gris was derived from the Mande people and it means sacred.

And the most popular practitioner was Laveau Marie from New Orleans who helped folks during the 19th century.

Marie’s gris gris bags and dolls featured red pepper, salt, graveyard dust, colored stones and bones.

Initially, it was used for positive things including reversing a hex and attracting luck, but after it was introduced to the U.S. its usage became negative.

The slaves used gris gris to attack their owners by introducing evil spirits to their lives.

You could find some bags on the tombstone of a deceased slave owner as a form of protection.

How Are Gris Gris Bags Made?

While the origin of this practice can be traced to West Africa, it has become quite common in the American continents.

However, the ingredients, prayers and ritual for making the gris gris bag or doll varies with region.

In fact, most of the current professionals hand mix semi-precious stones, brick dust, oils, and herbs that spiritually corresponds to the purpose of the bag.

They then pray for the ingredients before tying them into a colored bag. The bag’s color corresponds to its purpose.

These bags have symbols and protective seals printed on them and are anointed using portion oil for them to work.

But most importantly, you should never open the bag and it should only be carried by its recipient.

And for it to work, you’ll have to re-anoint it while meditating on what you want it to do for you.

Gris Gris Bag for Gamblers

Gamblers carried a gris gris bag composed of magnet or lodestone that guaranteed good luck.

Some gamblers carried a bag composed of dove’s blood, pine tree sap, red funnel, piece of chamois, and shark’s teeth.

They always had to write the amount they plan on winning on the chamois.  

The chamois covered the red flannel with the shark’s teeth between them before being sewn together using the cat’s hair.

For better results, gamblers had to wear it in their left shoe.

Putting a Gris Gris on an Enemy

This means causing bad luck to someone else. You can make someone fight by throwing red pepper and gunpowder on their doorstep or path.

 If you want to get rid of your enemies, you can write their name on your balloon and attach it to the St. Expedite statue, and release it. Your enemy will depart using the same route as the balloon.

If you want them to die, you can use a bag composed of shroud of an individual who has been dead for about nine days.

If you want someone to commit suicide you can prepare your gris gris bag by mixing roster’s heart, 1-eyed toad, bat wings, and dried lizard. In the past, Europeans found these bags in their bed after mistreating the slaves.

Gris Gris Dolls

A gri gris doll is basically a voodoo doll that folks use as a superstitious object to threaten someone or a religious object.

These dolls are quite small and represent a person, but the extent of their similarities can vary.

Generally, a voodoo doll is just a normal doll on the table, but when accompanied by pins, then it becomes a powerful object.

When holding the voodoo doll you have complete control over it and you can push the pins into its soft body and attach the name or hair strands of the person you are trying to mess with.

The exact origin of the voodoo dolls may be unknown, but the voodoo religion started at the Louisiana and Haiti slave quarters after their faith started mixing.

The use of voodoo dolls was quite popular in Louisiana especially while Marie Lavaux was alive.

In fact, she was known as the voodoo queen. The term voodoo refers to spirits; basically, it’s a religious practice that connects mortals and spirits.

Marie Lavaux Preferred Calling Herself a Gris Gris Girl

Even though she was known as the voodoo queen, she preferred referring to herself as the gris gris girl.

She was one of the many girls who practiced both Catholicism and voodoo magic from West Africa.

During that era, the slave hid voodoo practices using Catholicism to avoid being caught.

In modern times, these women are free, but they still refer to themselves as gris gris girls.

These women are quite skilled in voodoo practices and help you protect yourself using a gris gris.

Don’t get me wrong, there are several gris gris men who practice voodoo magic too.

Faith Zion

Faith Zion is a passionate expert in African culture, history, and mythology, with a focus on ancient African history. As a PhD candidate in History, she has dedicated her academic journey to unraveling the mysteries of African art, religion, and mythology, particularly during the Predynastic period. With years of experience in the field, Faith's extensive research has enriched her knowledge in various mythological traditions, including African, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, Mesoamerican, Japanese, and more.

Faith Zion
Faith Zion is a passionate expert in African culture, history, and mythology, with a focus on ancient African history. As a PhD candidate in History, she has dedicated her academic journey to unraveling the mysteries of African art, religion, and mythology, particularly during the Predynastic period. With years of experience in the field, Faith's extensive research has enriched her knowledge in various mythological traditions, including African, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, Mesoamerican, Japanese, and more.
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