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Houngan is the term for a male priest in Haitian Vodou (a female priest is known as a mambo).[1] The term is derived from the Fon word "Hounnongan. There are two ranks of houngan: houngan asogwe (high priest) and houngan sur pwen (junior priest).[2] A houngan asogwe is the highest member of clergy in voodoo and the only one with authority to ordain other priests.

It is the houngan's role to preserve the rituals and songs and maintain the relationship between the spirits and the community as a whole (though some of this is the responsibility of the whole community as well). They are entrusted with leading the service of all of the spirits of their lineage. Sometimes they may also be bokor (sorcerers).


  1. ^ Corbett, Bob. "INTRODUCTION TO VOODOO IN HAITI". Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  2. ^ "WORD MEANINGS AND REFERENCES". THE AMERICAN VOODOO SOCIETY & THE GEDE NATIONS. Retrieved 14 October 2011.[permanent dead link]

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