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Johann Georg Hohman's Long Lost Friend compiled practical uses of mysterious folk magic and rural home remedies rooted in medieval Europe. First published in America in 1820, these methods derive from Christian theology and shamanistic practices often credited to German immigrants. The chapbook exposes the spells, charms, benedictions, incantations, amulets, talismans, pal Johann Georg Hohman's Long Lost Friend compiled practical uses of mysterious folk magic and rural home remedies rooted in medieval Europe. First published in America in 1820, these methods derive from Christian theology and shamanistic practices often credited to German immigrants. The chapbook exposes the spells, charms, benedictions, incantations, amulets, talismans, palindromes, herbs, elixirs, potions of animal parts, and herbal remedies that might cure all manner of human afflictions, guard against witches and robbers, and protect cattle and crops. Legend has it that simply carrying this book of Christian magic helped to ward off supernatural forces. The treatments featured in the book reflect the transfer of European culture and concerns to pastoral life in early Pennsylvania. What has become known as the art of powwow among Pennsylvania Dutch citizens and scholars is still practiced in some rural areas of the state. The collection is cited widely, from enthusiasts of African-American Hoodoo to theology scholars, and it preserves a fine example of ethnic heritage.


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Johann Georg Hohman's Long Lost Friend compiled practical uses of mysterious folk magic and rural home remedies rooted in medieval Europe. First published in America in 1820, these methods derive from Christian theology and shamanistic practices often credited to German immigrants. The chapbook exposes the spells, charms, benedictions, incantations, amulets, talismans, pal Johann Georg Hohman's Long Lost Friend compiled practical uses of mysterious folk magic and rural home remedies rooted in medieval Europe. First published in America in 1820, these methods derive from Christian theology and shamanistic practices often credited to German immigrants. The chapbook exposes the spells, charms, benedictions, incantations, amulets, talismans, palindromes, herbs, elixirs, potions of animal parts, and herbal remedies that might cure all manner of human afflictions, guard against witches and robbers, and protect cattle and crops. Legend has it that simply carrying this book of Christian magic helped to ward off supernatural forces. The treatments featured in the book reflect the transfer of European culture and concerns to pastoral life in early Pennsylvania. What has become known as the art of powwow among Pennsylvania Dutch citizens and scholars is still practiced in some rural areas of the state. The collection is cited widely, from enthusiasts of African-American Hoodoo to theology scholars, and it preserves a fine example of ethnic heritage.

30 review for The Long Lost Friend: A Collection of Mysterious and Invaluable Arts and Remedies, for Man as Well as Animals: Of Their Virtue and Efficacy in Healing Diseases, Etc., the Greater Part of Which Was Never Published Until They Appeared in Print for the Fi...

  1. 5 out of 5

    David

    This is a book of magical remedies actually used in 19th/early-20th century America. It's a hybrid of Christian beliefs and shamanism, akin to hoodoo. It's actually a translation from a German work, first used by Pennsylvania Dutch hexmeisters. It has some interest for its historical value, and might also serve as a writer's or gamer's resource if you want to color your setting with authentic magical practices of the period. This is a book of magical remedies actually used in 19th/early-20th century America. It's a hybrid of Christian beliefs and shamanism, akin to hoodoo. It's actually a translation from a German work, first used by Pennsylvania Dutch hexmeisters. It has some interest for its historical value, and might also serve as a writer's or gamer's resource if you want to color your setting with authentic magical practices of the period.

  2. 5 out of 5

    K2nsf

    After reading Vance Randolph's seminal Ozark Magic and Folklore, I wanted to learn more about American Folk medicine. My studies in Hoodoo led me to the Pow Wows of the Pennsylvania Dutch. The Long Lost Friend was written in 1820 and is a collection of Pow Wow remedies: from curing a tooth-ache and consumption, but also how to make good beer, find lost objects, and protect yourself from bewitchment. A mix of Ancient Egyptian, Native American, and Christian mysticism, just carrying the book itsel After reading Vance Randolph's seminal Ozark Magic and Folklore, I wanted to learn more about American Folk medicine. My studies in Hoodoo led me to the Pow Wows of the Pennsylvania Dutch. The Long Lost Friend was written in 1820 and is a collection of Pow Wow remedies: from curing a tooth-ache and consumption, but also how to make good beer, find lost objects, and protect yourself from bewitchment. A mix of Ancient Egyptian, Native American, and Christian mysticism, just carrying the book itself is supposed to be a talisman against evil and injury. I enjoy being introduced to old unusual words like "calumniation" and "unbeshrewedly" and how could you not love a book with the following advice: "Another Remedy for Hysterics and for Colds.--This must be attended to every evening, that is, whenever you pull off your shoes and stockings, run your finger in between all the toes and smell it. This will certainly effect a cure."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Darrell Kinney

    Long Lost Friend is a collection of remedies, charms, and prayers published by John George Hohman in the 19th century. While some of the remedies seem far fetched, there is a charming earnestness to this book that surrounds it numinously. Perhaps it's because Hohman was such an ardent defender of this form of magic and advocate for it's preservation during a time that more and more led itself to scientism. While from a rationalist I wouldn't recommend one try most of the remedies in this book I Long Lost Friend is a collection of remedies, charms, and prayers published by John George Hohman in the 19th century. While some of the remedies seem far fetched, there is a charming earnestness to this book that surrounds it numinously. Perhaps it's because Hohman was such an ardent defender of this form of magic and advocate for it's preservation during a time that more and more led itself to scientism. While from a rationalist I wouldn't recommend one try most of the remedies in this book I would enjoin one to appreciate this work as being a corpus which preserves the knowledge of a time when people were more self-sufficient and looked to the home and hearth first for implements of healing, albeit helped by a hearty helping of faith. Daniel Harms, the editor, contextualizes the work in the the milieu of Pennsylvania Dutch culture during the early 19th century. He presents copious source material to dig into. He presents some biography of Hohman and what we mind is a delightful syncretic thinker, existing on the margins of Catholicism, Protestantism, Germanic folkways, and Medieval high magic. All admit I would have liked some more background on Pow-Wow and Braucheri traditions as this book has had presence in those traditions, but the editor skirts that responsibility to another scholar. In the end the book itself exist as a sort of charm, which is a claim Hohman made, it's like the kitchen witch or the four leafed clover in American, something which while quaint and seemingly irrational evokes a sense of security and talismanic protection. This sort of remedy is very attractive in the less comfortable climes of the 1800's a time when medical care wasn't systemic, and pharmacies were rare.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Edward Taylor

    This is an extremely interesting read and I have looked forward to it for a long time but I think I set my expectations too high. I blame Brian Keene with his Levi Stoltzfus (https://www.goodreads.com/series/6233...) books for this one (J/K, love his works) - The items within are not all attributed to Holman and were other items thrown into the book to either pad out its a very short span of pages or to just add in data from another set of folks that were along the same bent. It's not that I exp This is an extremely interesting read and I have looked forward to it for a long time but I think I set my expectations too high. I blame Brian Keene with his Levi Stoltzfus (https://www.goodreads.com/series/6233...) books for this one (J/K, love his works) - The items within are not all attributed to Holman and were other items thrown into the book to either pad out its a very short span of pages or to just add in data from another set of folks that were along the same bent. It's not that I expect to ever have to use these remedies or such, but finding some of these ingredients (like the brain of a thief to protect against lost or stolen property) or creating these charms with the items requested (to save a woman from "fits") are just a little... "off"

  5. 5 out of 5

    David Gamble

    This is such a wonderful little book of spells and recipes from the past. It's a great little glimpse into what people in the past were thinking and their lives, as well as a good reference for today to play with. This is such a wonderful little book of spells and recipes from the past. It's a great little glimpse into what people in the past were thinking and their lives, as well as a good reference for today to play with.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rich Meyer

    Seriously one of the biggest pieces of crap I've had the misfortune to read. The eschatologist in me enjoys reading some religious texts, but this Pow-wows junk makes even less sense than normal religion. Referencing "Christian Gypsy Kings of Egypt" and providing spells and charms for stopping bleeding (none of which include things like applying pressure or anything remotely logical) and preventing "mortification" (gangrene) and "calumnification" (slander) ... well, I realize this was written in Seriously one of the biggest pieces of crap I've had the misfortune to read. The eschatologist in me enjoys reading some religious texts, but this Pow-wows junk makes even less sense than normal religion. Referencing "Christian Gypsy Kings of Egypt" and providing spells and charms for stopping bleeding (none of which include things like applying pressure or anything remotely logical) and preventing "mortification" (gangrene) and "calumnification" (slander) ... well, I realize this was written in a different, harsher era, but who would believe this? Supposedly these morons still roam the "wilds" of Pennsylvania, preying on the believing and the short-of-common-sense crowd. I'm thinking anyone who gets taken by them probably deserves it, since if you want to believe such a assinine mishmash of Catholic, Protestant, and Roma "beliefs", it's on your head what happens to you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jdub

    The edition by Daniel Harms is extremely-well researched and clearly written. However, the Long Lost Friend itself is pretty useless. It's just a recipe book, with no explanation of the underlying world view or philosophy from which the recipes come. It's just a book of tricks. The edition by Daniel Harms is extremely-well researched and clearly written. However, the Long Lost Friend itself is pretty useless. It's just a recipe book, with no explanation of the underlying world view or philosophy from which the recipes come. It's just a book of tricks.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    I love it. What a fabulous glimpse into rural American folk magic practices! So grateful for the extensive notes and really really happy to the have the German for reference as well.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bill Tress

    I did not acquire this book, it appeared on my desk, so I ventured a look. The forward and opening chapter held some interest. It provided a biographical sketch of the author John Hohman who immigrated from Germany and resided in the Reading, Pa. area; this area has always had a rich heritage. The first movements west from the Atlantic coast passed through the Reading area and followed Indian trails into Central Pa. Reading also was a magnet for the Germans escaping religious persecution in Euro I did not acquire this book, it appeared on my desk, so I ventured a look. The forward and opening chapter held some interest. It provided a biographical sketch of the author John Hohman who immigrated from Germany and resided in the Reading, Pa. area; this area has always had a rich heritage. The first movements west from the Atlantic coast passed through the Reading area and followed Indian trails into Central Pa. Reading also was a magnet for the Germans escaping religious persecution in Europe and I have read with interest the issues surrounding the emotional conflicts and patriotism of these first generation Germans during the buildup and start of the first World War. Also, the book contains a synopsis of the famous murder committed in York County, Pa. in Rehmeyer’s Hallow in 1928. This murder was committed by three boys who thought that Nelson Rehmeyer had put a hex on them, so they went to his home and killed him. It made National news and made the believers in the Pennsylvania Dutch population look absurd and quite primitive. Hohman’s biography is very general and does not explore his qualifications to write such a book. So, you accepted it on its face and kept moving. Before a reader gets into the body of the book that provides the cure for ailments we read a disclaimer from Hohman and his ascertain and assurances that his cures come from God and are attested to by all of the established religious organizations. After this introduction, the book continues down hill as the charms and cures are discussed. A quick review verifies the absurdity of these cures and become humorous until you must acknowledge that people believed in these things and even murders were committed in adherence to these superstitions. I do not recommend this book, while it is historically accurate, what it advocates is ridiculous.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Excellent collection of old time remedies from Mr Hohman, who was a Pennsylvania Dutch healer. It’s interesting to see what remedies include herbs/plants, which ones are based on Christian prayers, other based on older sigils and Magic squares, et cetera. Of this book, but not in many others, is that there is a table of contents at the back—the drawback of this book is that items feel like they are in random order, as if they were in the order Mr Hohman collected them. At least the table of conte Excellent collection of old time remedies from Mr Hohman, who was a Pennsylvania Dutch healer. It’s interesting to see what remedies include herbs/plants, which ones are based on Christian prayers, other based on older sigils and Magic squares, et cetera. Of this book, but not in many others, is that there is a table of contents at the back—the drawback of this book is that items feel like they are in random order, as if they were in the order Mr Hohman collected them. At least the table of contents lets you find items again once you’re finished reading, but you need to know it’s there! There are also a few old recipes for dyeing things based on plant matter,and recipes for horses. A short book, but interesting. Don’t know how useful it actually is but saying a prayer is pretty immediate! This is another one that I’m trying to decide about: sell or keep?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mike maslana

    LOVE THESE OLD POW-WOWS!!!! Great book ,full of great old time pow-wows and prayers and with faith are guaranteed to work,These pow-wows are also for animals as well as humans ,must believe the Christian faith for them to work since all prayers are about the christ!!!The author has also placed sworn testimonial s that his pow-wows have worked on many people and who ever carries this book with them are protected from any type of evil and misfortune!!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Zachary Owen

    An odd marvel of antiquated charms, spells, and remedies. It gets repetitive, but for my research purposes it suited me well. It's definitely kooky. An odd marvel of antiquated charms, spells, and remedies. It gets repetitive, but for my research purposes it suited me well. It's definitely kooky.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Indispensable as an historical artifact—the great-granddaddy of PA German folk magic.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Porscha

    I don't wanna rate this. I read it out of sheer curiosity. I don't wanna rate this. I read it out of sheer curiosity.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jönathan

    This is, to the best of my knowledge, the only annotated edition of "The Long Lost Friend" out there, which is a Pennsylvanian Dutch book of folk charms and home remedies from the 1820's. Daniel Harms has done a wonderful job of describing the background to many of the charms and explaining obscurities and many fascinating odds and ends of lore. Both English and German text of "The Long Lost Friend" are provided. This is, to the best of my knowledge, the only annotated edition of "The Long Lost Friend" out there, which is a Pennsylvanian Dutch book of folk charms and home remedies from the 1820's. Daniel Harms has done a wonderful job of describing the background to many of the charms and explaining obscurities and many fascinating odds and ends of lore. Both English and German text of "The Long Lost Friend" are provided.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    Wonderful for the historical value, not too many remedies that would actually work, it is essentially 1800's Christian Witchcraft so I found the forwards very interesting Book is half in English and the second half is in German. Wonderful for the historical value, not too many remedies that would actually work, it is essentially 1800's Christian Witchcraft so I found the forwards very interesting Book is half in English and the second half is in German.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tarandir

    The book is a doorway to the 19th century's appraoch at magick. The combination of pagan intuitive witchcraft with elements of Christianity is always interesting. Also due to the book's Pocket Edition format and original intention the Long Hidden Friend is not only a book, but a nice talisman. The book is a doorway to the 19th century's appraoch at magick. The combination of pagan intuitive witchcraft with elements of Christianity is always interesting. Also due to the book's Pocket Edition format and original intention the Long Hidden Friend is not only a book, but a nice talisman.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hatchet Mouth

    How many people were brought here from Keene's Dark Hollow books? It's interesting, but I'm not sure I could consider myself a powwow enthusiast, much less a practitioner. How many people were brought here from Keene's Dark Hollow books? It's interesting, but I'm not sure I could consider myself a powwow enthusiast, much less a practitioner.

  19. 4 out of 5

    PJ Graham

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jim Kirk-wiggins

  22. 5 out of 5

    Angel. Davis

  23. 4 out of 5

    Roge Roger

    Excellent folk material. Seems in a better format that other editions.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Janice Crouse

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Douglas

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

  28. 4 out of 5

    MK

  29. 4 out of 5

    Aidan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Connie McBee

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