Picture Is From A Vintage 1940's King Novelty Co. Hoodoo Catalog In My Collection. John The Conqueror Root is advertized for 50 cents (1940's price).
John The Conqueror (pronounced "John The Conker") is a trickster-spirit and folk hero among African-Americans in the folklore of the Southern United States and especially among Hoodoo practioners.
It is said that in life John was a prince, the son of an African King and that he dedicated his life to helping his fellow slaves, mainly by tricking their white masters. It should be emphasized that John The Conqueror's tricks were never said to be mean-spirited and that he most often gained the respect of white masters by his displays of intelligence, cleverness and wit.
Appearance: An African-American man
Lore: John The Conqueror gave his name to three roots used in Hoodoo practice, High John, Low John, and Little John. High John, otherwise known as John The Conqueror Root is the special root said to have been imbued with the trickster's spirit. As in many folk heroes and spirits, it is said that John The Conqueror did not die but is ready at any time to appear to his fellow man in need of his aid.
Powers: In legend, John The Conqueror had the power to appear and disappear at will. In his tales, John The Conqueror would magically appear and trick the white master who did not seem to notice that he was not one of his slaves. He also had the power to achieve practically anything he set his mind to, usually to the benefit of his fellow slaves. His power has been transferred to the root named after him and anyone who owns a root can likewise benefit from his assistance.
John The Conqueror Root: Ipomoea jalapa, Ipomoea purga, Ipomoea pandurata, etc., is the Latin name for the root. There couldn't be a better choice of plants for the spirit of John The Conqueror to live in. Being a member of the Morning Glory family, Ipomoea Jalapa 'conquers' all obstacles in it's path and out-competes all other plants for sunlight and nourishment. African-American slaves were taught the use of the root by the Iroquois people, who referred to the plant as 'man root', possibly due to it's resemblance to a testicle. The Iroquois believed the plant had the power to grant it's owner super-human strength. Children, and possibly women, were strictly prohibited from touching the root. John The Conqueror root has become the most powerful root used in the practice of Hoodoo. Whole dried roots are fixed and carried as lucky pocket pieces primarily by men, who rub them to draw luck, money, and love. Smaller roots are used in mojo bags. Chopped or broken roots are processed into oils, incense, powders, and colognes, all sharing in the reported mystical powers of the trickster-spirit, John The Conqueror.
More Images From My Vintage 1940's King Novelty Co. Hoodoo Catalog
High John The Conqueror Root Perfume
Hand Holding Lodestone And John The Conqueror Root
Mojo Bag With Lucky Hand Root (lower left), Lodestone (upper left), John The Conqueror Root (top), Van Van Oil and Devil's Shoestring Roots (lower right)
John The Conqueror Root
Hoodoo Herb And Root Magic