Houngan Matt's Vodou Blog

A City Houngan's Life Among the Lwa
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Ann Pale Kreyol!/Lets Speak Kreyol!


There’s something that really, really deepens a person’s experience of Vodou… something incredibly important to any burgeouning Vodouisant’s capabilities in this faith and something incredibly important to being able to move past the level of an utter beginner… the Kreyol language.

Kreyol, the unofficial national language of Haiti (the official is French, but only the minority elite speak it), is the language in which Vodou service is performed and the language in which all of our songs are written.

Kreyol is a language that, in order to progress into initiation and eventual priesthood (for those who are called to be clergy) you will have to learn. It’s a beautiful language, capable of utter and complete linguistic transparency as well as deep meanings and wonderfully colorful puns and wordgames.

I HIGHLY recommend starting with the University of Indiana’s Creole Institute program Ann Pale Kreyol… it has a fascinating and wonderful textbook, but also comes with 10 CD’s worth of listen-and-repeat language instruction to help you master not only vocabulary but also pronunciation, intonation, and word stress where applicable. This one program is a MIRACLE in terms of learning the language of Vodou and will help you more than you might at first know. (No language program is *perfect*, but this one comes closer than ANY I have ever seen)

PLEASE consider purchasing this program, available HERE: http://www.indiana.edu/~creole/apkpromo.html

Kreyol pale, Kreyol konprann… Kreyol spoken is Kreyol understood. There is no better way to begin learning this language than jumping in and speaking it.

And now, a word FOR our sponsor…


Dearest Readers,

This is a personal issue of mine, and one I feel is exceedingly important. Our religion, Haitian Vodou, is something that is sooooooo deeply embedded into the very fabric and culture of Haiti (a fact we often banter around) and yet the majority of the texts that are written about the religion (you know, those books you’re always asking me to review or recommend) include the early history of the island but stop well before current events or even the last 30 years of Haitian history.

Read the rest of this entry »

Vodou Boston is a teaching blog as well as a look inside the life of a mostly average city guy who just happens to be a Houngan Asogwe of Haitian Vodou.

My name’s Houngan Matt… my initiatory name and title is Bozanfe Bo Oungan Daguimin Minfort, pitit Antiola Bo Manbo, pitit Selide Bo Manbo, pitit LaMerci Bo Manbo… and so on into time. Im a Houngan Asogwe serving at home in Kansas City and in my spiritual mother’s temple in Boston (and Jacmel, Haiti)… our House is called Sosyete Nago, in honor of the Nago Nation of lwa. Im a typical Bostonian-turned-Midwesterner with a few extra dimensions to his world (tell me, how many Bostonians do you know who serve African and Haitian ancestral spirits through the lens of Haitian Vodou? Actually… more than you may know.)

This is a no holds barred blog; Im not one to limit myself in fear of what you’re going to think. Be prepared for a blog where noone’s gonna pull any punches, and you and I will get along just fine.

I can always be reached at Houngan @ VodouBoston . com for any questions, setting appointments for readings or work, or even just social mail; I am here to serve YOU, and YOU are what is important to me. No person and no question is too small.

Look for me on Facebook, too! Bozanfe Bon Oungan is my username

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