Max Beauvoir

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Max Gesner Beauvoir (b. August 25, 1936) is a Haitian biochemist and houngan.


Beauvoir graduated in 1958 from City College of New York with a degree in chemistry.[1] He continued his studies at the Sorbonne from 1959 to 1962, when he graduated with a degree in biochemistry. In 1965, at Cornell Medical Center, he supervised a team in synthesizing metabolic steroids. This led him to a job at an engineering company in northern New Jersey, and later to a period as engineer at Digital Equipment Company in Massachusetts. His interest in steroids led him to experiment with hydrocortisone synthesized from plants; however, the death of his father led him to move back to Haiti in January 1973 and become a voodoo priest.[1]

In 1974, he founded Le Péristyle de Mariani,[2] a Hounfour in his home (which also served as a village clinic) in the village of Mariani. He had a troubled relationship with the ruling Duvalier family. While he urged that the do more to meet the medical needs of the poor, his status as a houngan kept him from being subjected to much of the wanton violence exacted by the Tonton Macoutes against critics.[citation needed]

During this period, he founded the Group for Studies and Research on the African Tradition (French: Groupe d'Etudes et de Recherches Traditionnelles, GERT) with a group of scholars, and later founded the Bòde Nasyonal in 1986 to counter the effects of the post-Duvalier dechoukaj violence which had targeted both Vodou practitioners and the Tonton Macoutes paramilitary, both of which had been used by the Duvalier regime to oppress the Haitian people.[citation needed]

In 1996, Beauvoir founded The Temple of Yehwe, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization for the promotion of education concerning Afro-American religion. In 1997, he became involved with the creation of the KOSANBA group at the University of California, Santa Barbara.[citation needed]

Involvement with KNVA[edit]

In 2005, he launched the Federasyon Nasyonal Vodou Ayisyen, which he later renamed in 2008 as Konfederasyon Nasyonal Vodou Ayisyen; he serves as "chef Supreme" or "Ati Nasyonal" of the organization, which is an attempt to organize the defense of Vodou in the country against defamation.[3]

In media[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lacey, Marc (4 April 2008). "New head of voodoo brings on the charm". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  2. ^ What is The Temple of Yehwe
  3. ^ "Max Beauvoir, King, but of Grand Voodoo Priests, Ordinary Voodoo Priests"
  4. ^ US application 3981867, Max G. Beauvoir, "Process for obtaining sapogenin particularly hecogenin from plant material such as agave sisalana leaves", published 21 Sep 1976 .

External links[edit]