R.I.P. ALI – Root Doctor of The Ring!

Strange as it is, but several years ago I found the home of a witch doctor family in South Carolina. Straight up vodun and creepy ritual rooms. Multi-generational group of them too. I salvaged hundreds of photographs that 140 degree heat beating through the ceiling was about to destroy. Among them? Candid 1974 Polaroids of Ali and his mistress Veronica Porsche in Zaire for “Rumble In The Jungle.” How uncanny to end up nearly destroyed on the floor of a witch doctor’s house in South Carolina who’d seen him rumbling in Africa…life is amazing. He was everyman’s hero really and his mojo had no rival. The photo below is just one of a few and has never been published. And yes, snapped by a root doctor.

“He was a sorcerer of the ring, witch doctor of the mat, and when he conjuh’d demons with his fists, his opponents went flat!” — S. Scott

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“We Live Here In Fear”

Boy, I was really working that Fabio look wasn’t I? This was 2004 I believe. Most of all I was rocking it for Savannah and always happy to do that!

Rare Savannah Voodoo Rite Discovery

(Click Play To Listen To Shannon Recite This Article)

There is a long history of ritualism in cemeteries, both for purposes Good & Evil. In the Low Country South, we find the Gullah & Geechee people most prolific in the practices of Post-Africanism with what they call “Root.” The shamans if you will, known as Root Doctors. There is also a tradition of Vodun or Vodou here but how widespread it is or has been, is debatable. Brazilian Macumba also. In fact, the rituals of 200 years ago may have been more distinguishable, whereas today with all of those cultures, including Santeria, having mingled, rituals of today may actually be blends of more than one. Let’s face it, chefs borrow recipes. Unlike New Orleans, a city that has these practices more in the open, if just for tourism’s sake now, Savannah historically was much more Puritanical and to be known or associated with such things, could and did literally mean your death with Savannah having publicly executed some who were convicted of heresy and the like. Even if some of it may have been misunderstood by the punishers. The Root Doctors and Sangomas in response, took nearly all of it underground as a culture and it misses the eyes of most visitors to Savannah and those that even live here. But make no mistake, if you were to turn Savannah inside out? You’d find something not unakin to New Orleans in terms of an active culture. Hence, why we’re sharing this photo below. It is a rare peek at a ritual appearing in a cemetery, that place between worlds, and someone conducting it probably for a benevolent cause versus an evil one. Everything about it from the inscriptions (Faithful Unto Death) mirror (reflecting light) mother hens (food/eggs/life) to the shells (protection) peacock feathers (Oshun Goddess) and fresh tufts of field cotton (absorption/purification/cleaning), bespeak a spell being done on the behalf of Love. We just hope it worked. Want to learn more? Well, tour with us and you shall! #BonaventureCemeteryJourneys  #BonaventureCemetery #BonaventureTours #TourBonaventure #VisitSavannah #SavannahCemeteryTours #Savannah #RootDoctors #Voodoo #Vodou #Vodun #Sangomas #DrumsAndShadows #LadyMinerva #DoctorBuzzard #DoctorFrog #DoctorHawk #DoctorGregory #DoctorLavender #LoveSpells #WhiteMagic 
Photo By Shannon Scott (C) 2015

Photo By Shannon Scott (C) 2015

Photo By Shannon Scott (C) 2015

Photo By Shannon Scott (C) 2015

Lady Minerva, 1996. She passed way in 2009.

Lady Minerva, 1996. She passed way in 2009.