Volume 5 of the
Hoodoo – Conjuration – Witchcraft – Rootwork” (HCWR) is a 5-volume, 4766-page collection of folkloric material gathered by Hyatt in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia between 1936 and 1940. Supplementary interviews were conducted in Florida in 1970.
The “Hoodoo” collection consists of 13,458 separate magic spells and folkloric beliefs, plus lengthy interviews with professional root doctors, conjures, and hoodoos. All but one of Hyatt’s 1600 informants were African-Americans, but several narrations by European-Americans (collected for his earlier book, “Folklore From Adams County, Illinois”) were also included. Hyatt recorded the material on Edison cylinders and a device called a Telediphone, often without the full knowledge of the participants. He then transcribed and annotated it for publication. Occasionally his equipment failed or was not available and he took hand-written notes instead