My Mention In Article “Low Country Root Doctors”

drbuzzardjars

Some people who have my personal email know that I go by the handle, Dr. Buzzard. Although I ease people minds when I tell them I’m merely a conjurer of story magic and not dark magic. Dr. Buzzard was the most historically famous Root Doctor in The Low Country South until the novel, Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil came along and made Lady Minerva, an aquaintance of Dr. Buzzard, more internationally known. Even if they were really operating on two opposite ends of the 20th Century more or less so they each have their own distinctions. And strangely were described as being married in the novel itself even if that was just fiction. Minerva was married to Buzzard’s rival is my understanding, either called Dr. Eagle or Dr Hawk. They always have great names like that. In my lifetime I’ve met Dr. Gregory, Dr. Frog and Mama Tilda who was 102 when we met and was the dream interpreter of the people on St Helena’s Island, SC. I also have in my personal collection some very important root doctor artifacts from very important famlies of that trade, and my prized possession is one cobalt blue pair of Dr. Buzzard’s spectacles given to me by a man who knew his family and purchased some of his belongings. As I tell people, if my house was on fire and I could run out with one thing, it would be Dr. Buzzard’s pimp’n looking specs! The article by my friend Beverly Willett was originally slated to have photos of a ritual I discovered in Bonaventure and dismantled after a year right before the city workers trashed it. I knew I had to preserve it to teach others about their culture. In the end, the photoshoot where mosquitoes ate at me for awhile was a bust, but was glad the article turned out so colorful and yeah, I got a little nod . One day I’ll share more of my own adventures with root doctors and consider the inclusion good juju for my directional mojo!

CLICK LINK TO READ!

Low Country Root Doctors by Beverly Willett

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.