How to Look Like a Voodoo Priestess

Voodoo came to the United States through the captive slaves from Africa.
Voodoo came to the United States through the captive slaves from Africa. (Image: Images)

Voodoo is a religion and spiritual practice that originated in West Africa and then spread to places like Haiti and New Orleans through slavery. Voodoo conjures up images of dolls with pins stuck in them, shrunken heads and slaughtered chickens for many people, but these are sensationalized aspects that do not truly represent it. A voodoo priestess may have extensive knowledge of herbs, the creation of protective amulets and adorns herself in bold fabrics and an enviable collection of jewelry.

Things You'll Need

  • Scarf or head wrap
  • Large piece of fabric
  • Shawl
  • Long skirt or wrap
  • Hoop earrings
  • Beaded bracelets
  • Sandals

Choose a large piece of fabric that is at least 2 feet by 6 feet to use as your top. The larger and taller you are, the more fabric you will need. Choose fabric that is rich in colors, bold, printed or white. Stretch the fabric out horizontally behind you so that at least 1 1/2 feet remain to your left and at least a few feet stretch out to the right. Take the top left corner under your arm and to the front of your right shoulder. Wrap the right side across the front of your body, over the left side of the fabric, around your back and to the right shoulder from behind. Tie the two pieces of fabric at the right shoulder.

Wrap another long piece of fabric around your hips and tie it into place, or wear a long, simple skirt. There is no right way to tie the skirt, but avoid using it like a sarong and showing one thigh, which would create a different and incompatible look.

Choose a head wrap or scarf and place the middle of it at the top of your head, allowing either side to hang down to your right and left. Place it so that the front edge is at the top of your forehead so it covers most or all of your hair. Crisscross the two sides of the scarf behind your head, pulling it tightly. Take one end and continue wrapping it around the top of your head, tucking it into one of the edges when you reach the end. Scoop your hair into the back side of the scarf and continue wrapping the other end in the opposite direction, this time wrapping more toward the back of the head.

Wear a wide array of accessories, such as bracelets, hoop earrings, rings, armbands and anklets. Choose jewelry made from materials such as beads, bone, gold, silver and rope. Select styles that look natural and do not have a manufactured appearance. Feel free to layer several bracelets on one arm and wear several strands of necklaces.

Finish off the look with a pair of simple sandals, a shawl for cold weather, and makeup, if you want to have a ceremonial appearance. For a West African voodoo look, use white or red paint to draw two lines between the eyebrows or create a series of dots to line the eye region.

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