Mules and Men Part II, Chapter Seven: Questions and Answers

Zora Neale Hurston

Part II, Chapter Seven: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. When is a hoodoo dance performed?

2. Why does Rachael Roe want John Doe dead?

3. How much does the hoodoo dance cost?

4. How many participants are in the hoodoo dance, and how long must each dance?

5. How long after a hoodoo dance can the victim live?

6. How is the hoodoo dance undone?

7. Why does Zora believe that John Doe will leave Rachael?

8. Describe the different rituals that Minnie Foster wants performed.

9. How must Minnie extinguish a candle in these rituals?

10. What must Minnie chant during each of her rituals?

Answers
1. The hoodoo dance is performed only in cases when the death of an enemy is called for.

2. If John Doe had returned to her, she would not be able to forget that he took her possessions and deceived her, but if he were dead, she might regain her faith in men.

3. Rachael pays one hundred dollars for the dance to be performed.

4. There are six participants in the dance who must each dance their share of three hours. Since Kitty is not well enough to dance, however, the five remaining participants must dance for forty minutes each.

5. The victim will live no longer than nine days after the dance is performed.

6. The beef heart that was placed in the cemetery during the death ceremony must be removed.

7. Zora believed that John was afraid Rachael might have him fixed and that he would leave as soon as he was sure that the death curse was removed.

8. The first time Minnie wants a spell that will make her boyfriend, Gabriel, stay with her. The second time she wants a spell that will ensure that Gabriel returns from a trip in Mobile. The third time Minnie wants a spell that will make her rule over him.

9. Minnie must extinguish a candle by pinching it rather than blowing it out.

10. In the first two rituals, the chant is “Tumba Walla, Bumba Walla, bring Gabriel Staggers back (home) to me.” In the third ritual, the chant is “feed the he, feed the she.”