Nkisi. But, there was another West African religious tradition that’s kind of similar. According to Wisegeek, possible misconceptions about Voodoo dolls came from the Haitian Voodoo practice of nailing puppets to trees in graveyards. The dolls were meant to be spirit messengers to contact dead loved ones.
Voodoo. According to Wikipedia, Louisiana Voodoo combines original elements of the Haitian religion with Southern American folk magic. Some contemporary Voodoo incorporates mysticism, Roman Catholic religion, and freemasonry. But Louisiana Voudons don’t use the dolls for revenge.
Pain and healing. In the 20th century, Voodoo dolls were believed to have been used for benevolent purposes. According to Wisegeek, they were meant to cause sympathetic magic in painful ways. The pins were not meant to agonize the recipient, but to enforce the spells.