Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The term Mambo refers to a high priestess of the Vodu religion as it is practiced in the Republic of Haiti in the Eastern Caribbean. Along with Houngans, their male counterparts, Mambos thus occupy the highest position in the Vodu hierarchy, at least as far as humans are concerned. This entry looks at the initiation process, the role of the mambo, and her worship community. How does one become a Mambo? This happens often through blood lineage, that is, as a spiritual family inheritance and charge passed from a mother or father to their daughter. However, one may also become a Mambo as result of having been called—that is, chosen by a Lwa , a Vodu divinity, to serve him or her. The Lwa typically makes his or her wish known through divination, recurrent dreams, or a series of misfortunes that are later interpreted as a spiritual call. Vodu, like ...