Performing artist Anna Konkle, who participated as one of the therapists at the Stillspotting Sanatorium in Brookyln, recently partook in the Ashraya Inititative for Children, India, and with her she took Goodoo therapy. She transformed the therapy into a magic exercise for children who are part of the outreach program that helps over 200 children living in the slums of India.
The Ashraya Inititative has modest beginnings on the streets of India but has expanded in a a number of communities and developed several outreach programs. The education outreach program is designed to help children enrol in school, provide them with materials they need and help maintain social and emotional well-being. Two such children are Poonam and Rahul. Anna reported back and this is her account of what happened….
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Voodoo doll, or what in Haiti is called pwen, are magical surrogate for an intended target of sorcery whether for boon or for bane. This therapy is a positive iteration of the Voodoo doll, thus called “Goodoo”. Here we take a generic cloth doll and personalize it for it to resemble someone to whom you want to go some good. Then we use diverse materials, charms or tokens on different parts of the body to cause the specific good to that person. If you want someone to be kind at heart we may introduce a small bottle of honey in the chest of the Goodoo doll. If you want someone to finish a marathon we may add wings to his Goodoo doll shoes, etc.