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Who is Gro Mambo?

Visionary. Motivator. Ethnologist. Religious leader. Choreographer. Dancer. Playwright. Teacher. Mother. Founder, Director, and High Priestess of LePeristyle Haitian Sanctuary. Founder and Chairperson of the National African Religion Congress.

Initiated first in the Akan religion of Ghana under Nana Oparebea, she began her study of Haitian Voodoo while under the tutelage of her Akan Godmother. It was during this time that her destiny was calling her to Haiti to become a Mambo.

While in Haiti she studied Loa rhythms, shantis (prayers) and dance of Haitian Voodoo under Mambo Josephine in Delmas, Haiti, as well as vevé and related religious art and symbols of Haitian Voodoo. She was initiated as a Mambo in Mariani, Haiti, and then later as a Gro Mambo by Papa Hilaire Michel. During her training leading up to her final initiation, she studies under Hungan Rejje of Kenscoff, Haiti; Hungan Daniel of St. Louise, Haiti; Hungan Marcell of Mais Jace, Haiti; and Hungan Lionells of Haiti, becoming a specialist in all of the various aspects of the Voodoo religion, from the prayers to the drum, from divination to spiritual baths.

As a Voodoo priestess, Gro Mambo has blazed a trail that has helped her garner a national and international reputation. She founded Le Peristyle Haitian Sanctuary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1982, and later incorporated Le Peristyle as a 501(c)(3) church, making her church the first church of Voodoo, or Humofor, to achieve 501(c)(3) status. She also directs her Humofor in Mariani, Haiti, Le Peristyle Sanctuary, which belonged to her late godfather Papa Hilaire Michel. She also erected the first Voodoo Sanctuary in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where government officials hung marquees over the shrines declaring them the first shrines in the country since slavery.

Continuing her legacy, she held the first public Voodoo ceremonies in the United States. She hosted two ceremonies at the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum, and in Congo Square in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she held the first Haitian Voodoo ceremony since the times of Marie Laveau. In recognition of her work, the City of New Orleans proclaimed Gro Mambo an honorary citizen and the dates of those ceremonies as holidays. To this day, June 6, 1998 stands as New Orleans Festival Day.

This recognition is only one of many; she is also the recipient of many awards and accolades.

  • J. J. Desslaine Award, J.J. Desslaine Society

  • Sol. Achievement Award, Level Movement

  • Choreographer grantee, Pa. Coun. Arts

  • Who's Who in America

  • Who's Who in the East

  • Who's Who in American Women

  • Who's Who in the World

  • North American Delegate, Orisa World Congress

  • Chieftaincy holder, Oyotunji African Village, Sheldon, SC

  • Olori Erelu Isese Agbaye, Ile-Ife, Nigeria for fostering unification of all people practicing African-based religion

  • Cambridge Who's Who, 2007-Present

  • New Orleans Voodoo Festival Day, June 6, 1998, City of New Orleans

  • Honorary Citizen, May 9, 1999, City of New Orleans

  • Tom Ridge, Office of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

  • Edward G. Rendell, Office of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

  • Senate of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA

  • African Religion National Unity Week, John F. Street, Office of the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, PA

  • Congressman Chaka Fattah

  • Buddy Dyer, Office of the Mayor of the City of Orlando, FL

She is the founder of the National African Religion Congress / NARC World International, the certifying board of priests and priestesses of all African-based religion worldwide. As NARC World's founder, Gro Mambo Angélá Noványón Idizol is the first to introduce the certification system of Priests, Priestesses, Babalawos and workers of African-based religions. She has also been called as an expert witness for judicial systems to clarify information that the courts otherwise would not understand about traditional practices.

Gro Mambo Angélá Noványón Idizol resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she devotes her time to offering comprehensive spiritual consultations: child guidance, employment and career guidance, marital, drug and alcohol counseling and spiritual training for High Priests and High Priestesses. She is a master teacher of divination and spiritual healing to training priests and priestesses.

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