Haitian Vodou: An Introduction to Haiti's Indigenous Spiritual Tradition

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Haitian Vodou is a fascinating spiritual tradition rich with ceremonies and magic, songs and prayers, dances and fellowship. Yet outside of Haiti, next to no one understands this joyous and profound way of life. ln Haitian Vodou, Mambo Chita Tann explores the historical roots and contemporary practices of this unique tradition, including discussions of:

  • Customs, beliefs, sacred spaces, and ritual objects
  • Characteristics and behaviors of the Lwa, the spirits served by Vodou practitioners
  • Common misconceptions such as "voodoo dolls" and the zombie phenomenon
  • Questions and answers for attending ceremonies and getting involved in a sosyete (Vodou house)
  • Correspondence tables, Kreyol glossary, supplemental prayer texts, and an extensive list of reference books and online resources

Well-researched, comprehensive, and engaging, Haitian Vodou will be a welcome addition for people new to Haitian spirituality as well as for students, practitioners, and academics.


About the Author:


Mambo Chita Tann (Chicago, IL) is a mambo asogwe, the highest initiated rank in Haitian Vodou. She has more than 20 years of experience as a teacher, published author, and lecturer on African religions. She is also a professional Egyptologist and the spiritual leader of the Kemetic Orthodox Faith, a modern form of ancient Egyptian religion, and has appeared in a History Channel documentary about Egypt under her given name, Tamara L. Siuda. 

Mambo Chita Tann (Mambo Tamara, or simply “Mambo T”) has been a mambo asogwe (the highest rank of priesthood) in Haitian Vodou since 2001, when she initiated with a sosyete in the city of Jacmel in southern Haiti. In 2004, she was granted membership in another sosyete in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with a satellite house in Long Island, NY: the Sosyete La Fraîcheur Belle Fleur Guinea of Mambo Marie Carmel Charles. Mambo T took a second initiation as mambo asogwe in January 2006, at Sosyete Sipote Ki Di, a historical Port-au-Prince peristyle administered by Mambo Marie Carmel Charles and Mambo Fifi Ya Sezi. At baptism, Mambo T was honored with the public name Chita Tann, a name passed down through several mambos in the house’s lineage. Mambo T is the head of La Sosyete Fòs Fè Yo Wè (see below).

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