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#3521: Re: On the post to defend the Philadelphia Mambo. : A reply


This is not an answer to Kathy Grey's post but just in an attempt to set the 
record straight on the Corbett List about Mambo Angela from Philadelphia.

I do not know the person personally. Yet, I am a very good friend of her 
spiritual father and I can testify that she was formally initiated as a Mambo 
by Hilaire Michel, Hougan since at least fifty years residing in Truitier 
(Haiti). Hilaire Michel commonly known as Pè Ilè is today one of the oldest 
and most respected Hougan in Haiti. His blood father was a Hougan before him, 
his brother Lahens who passed away a few years ago, was also a well-known 
Hougan in the same locality and his blood son is a Hougan in Miami. Hilaire 
Michel was initiated by Jo Pierre-Gilles, a very famous hougan from La Plaine 
du Cul de Sac, which means a lot to those who have some sense of cultural 

I was told by Pè Ilè that he had been invited a few times by his spiritual 
daughter, Mambo Angela, to Philadelphia and that he had personally helped her 
set up her Peristyle Haitian Sanctuary. I also know that Mambo Angela has 
been returning each year since her initiation, about fifteen years ago, to 
broaden her knowledge of our tradition. In one word, her father is proud of 
her, she has fulfilled the expectations of her initiator.

How does she operates in her temple? I do not know and I do not think that 
anyone who has not been there to follow her work does know either. I do know, 
however, that each properly initiated Hougan or Mambo does have the right to 
establish policies in his or her temple as long as the tradition and 
"reglement" are respected. Furthermore, any Hougan or Mambo who can hold a 
congregation for a number of years should be respected.

Anyone who claims to be a Hougan or a Mambo, who is incapable of making his 
or her own initiation, who needs someone else to initiate for him or her, who 
doesn't have his or her proper temple, is never recognized as a proper priest 
or priestess in Haiti. Initiations can be performed all over the world and 
being in Haiti to perform this task isn't a condition sine qua non for 
authenticity; Mambo Lola is a good illustration of what I just wrote.
I agree totally with Michel and I will memorize his quote from the 
sociologist Pierre Bourdieu 
"I often notice that our popes of methodological rigor can be quite
  latitudinarian, even loose, in their own uses of the very methods for
  which they zealously proselytize".

Even proselytizing is strictly forbidden by the "Vodoun regleman".

Bébé Pierre Louis