I was aware of gris-gris as a concept related to Voodoo, but some recent research turned up a bit of surprising info.
Gris-gris, also spelled grigri, is a voodoo amulet originating in Africa which supposedly protects the wearer from evil or brings luck – wikipedia
Which sounds superstitious, but somewhat reasonable when dealing with a world where certain nations continue to believe in items like The Evil Eye, etc.
The next bit from the wiki-article is a little misleading, however.
Originally the gris-gris was adorned with Islamic scripture and was used to ward off evil spirits (djinn) or bad luck. Historians of the time noted that they were frequently worn by non-believers and believers alike, and were also found attached to buildings. – wikipedia
You might get the impression from this blurb that the amulets were an archaic tradition that fell out of fashion hundreds of years ago – not so.
Can you guess what ranked in Senegal’s top three contraceptive methods for 1982? I’ll give you a hint: the other two were herbs and abstinence.
According to a 1982 survey, gris-gris were one of the top three methods of contraception known to women in Senegal. […] Over 60% of women reported having knowledge of such methods; modern and “effective means of contraception” were not well known, with the pill the best-known of those, a little over 40% of women reporting knowledge of it. – wikipedia