African people have used many items as charms, such as teeth, horns, skin, fingers, feet and blood.
Each charm has a different sentiment and magical powers. In some circumstances they are a symbol of power. Charms have been used for centuries to wading off evil, help in protection work, aid fertility and cure many diseases.
One of the most common charms in hoodoo is the rabbit foot. There is a view that the rabbit is among the most clever and swift animals; when one chooses this charm it is suppose to speed up the hoodoo work. Rabbit feet were worn by warriors who believed the speed of the rabbit would be granted to them in war.
Especially when fighting off their enemies. The warriors also believed the intelligence of the rabbit would help them make important strategic decisions of combating enemies.
The rabbit foot was a charm to protect from evil spirits, it was understood that the evil spirit was scared of anyone fast or wise. The male of the home would often wear a rabbit foot attached to himself as a symbol to ward off any evil spirits that may enter their homes. In the instance that the male was absent from the home he would hang the rabbit feet at the front door to protect the house from evil.
So feared was the power of the charm that women and children were not allowed to touch the charm at all. It was even a sacred ceremony to have the charm of the rabbit feet bestowed to the male of the home. It entailed the presence of the elders, a feast of cleansing the home, food and wine were consumed and relatives and friends invited.
At this ceremony a pure white rabbit was given to the elders. Rabbit feet were also used by the elders to bless their young grandchildren, during major milestones in their lives. It was a charm used during marriage. The male of the home would bless the new couple by touching their foreheads with the rabbit foot.
The rabbit charm was also atoned on people who were sick. It was common that the patient’s forehead would be blessed with the foot as it was believed to add strength to the patient.
Even today the beliefs held by people remain. The most sophisticated man walking around in his designer suit and wearing the best shoes may still wear the rabbit foot around his neck. In career progression the rabbit foot is suppose to propel one to greater heights of achievement.
It has been connected to bringing great wealth and good health. The power of charms is something yet to be broken people still cling on to the belief of the rabbit foot luck - that their ancestors held dear.