About Gro Mambo Angélá Noványón Idizol
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.
Also a professional dancer, she began her dance career as a student of the Arthur Hall Dance Ensemble of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and, after being certified as a Master Dance Instructor there, later went on to found the Spirit Cultural Dance Ensemble. She has presented and performed in numerous dance recitals, including at the Walnut Street Theater and the Robin Hood Dell Theater. She appeared in Ayida atthe Philadelphia Academy of Music and choreographed, arranged, and performed in the Aqua de Voudaun Suite at the Robin Hood Dell and Germantown Friends Theater. Further, she has surved as the director of the African Dance Department of Lacher Latari, and she has also served as a dance instructor at various colleges and universities.
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.
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
- Cambridge Who's Who
Gro Mambo has also appeared in the following media since 1999:
- National Geographic
- Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine
- Miami Herald
- New Orleans Times Picayune
- New York Times
- El Nuevo
- Los Angeles Times
- Washington Post
- El Sol
- Haiti en Marche
- Philadelphia Metro
- Philadelphia Weekly
- Philadelphia Tribune
- Philadelphia Sun
- Philadelphia New Observer
- Community Focus/Enfoque Comunal
- SCOOP USA
- Associated Press
- Black Suburban Journal
- Germantown Courier
- Mt. Airy Times Express
- City Paper
- A&E Network
- Unsolved Mysteries
- Discovery Channel
- Philly-Live 35
- CN8 News
- Drexel University Public Television
- Green Star Television
- 102 JAMZ-FM
- Power 99 WUSL-FM
- Web Live-Span Radio: Black Voices
Also an author, Gro Mambo has several books to her credit, including Divine Messages of the Loas, Vol I 1990, Vol.II, 1991, and The African Way, 1992. She has also been featured in several other publications, including The Philadelphia Inquirer and National Geographic. Her work has also been the subject of television documentaries, including A&E Television Network's Ancient Mysteries, Fox Network's Sightings , and The History Channel's In Search of History: Voodoo where, as a result of her work, Le Peristyle Haitian Sanctuary is described as "one of the world centers of Voodoo."
Gro Mambo has also lectured at many colleges and universities, including the following:
- Pace University, New York
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
- Cabrini College, Radnor, PA
- Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA
- Rutgers University, Camden, NJ
- Arcadia University, Glenside, PA
- Lafayette College, Easton, PA
- Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
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 in defense of the practices of the Voodoo religion.
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.