September 10, 1943 |
|Other names||Mary Robin Adams|
|Known for||Voodoo Priestess, Founder of the New Orleans Voodoo Spiritual Temple|
Raised in Mississippi, Chamani says she has had visions and mystical experiences since childhood. She became a Christian at age eleven, and would often go off by herself to pray and talk to the spirits. In 1975, after living in New York and then Chicago she became interested in the Spiritual church, and left the Baptist faith in which she'd been raised. During this time, she also worked as an operating room technician in a Chicago hospital.
In 1982 Chamani was ordained a bishop in the "Angel Angel All Nations Spiritual Church". In 1989 she met Oswan Chamani; they were married in 1990, and would go on to found the New Orleans Voodoo Spiritual Temple together. After his death on March 6, 1995, Miriam Chamani continued her husband's Belizan Vodou and herbalism traditions, in addition to her own spiritualist practices. She also continues many of the inclusive trends of Black Christian Spiritualism, seeking to serve all peoples regardless of race or belief. She is presently married to environmentalist Allen Villeneuve.[unreliable source?]
Chamani has been featured in numerous documentaries and articles. She has been appeared in The New York Times in articles about Voodoo and events in New Orleans, as well as features in Spin Magazine, in movies, and on PBS and commercial TV in America, England and Japan. She was invited by actor Nicolas Cage to perform a blessing ceremony during his wedding to Lisa Marie Presley, after hiring her as a consultant for his directorial debut film Sonny. On Halloween, 1999, a local radio station asked her to perform a ceremony outside the Superdome to help the New Orleans Saints win against the Cleveland Browns (which was interrupted by harassment from a Browns fan dressed as a dog). She claims to have had better results helping the Spurs win the NBA championship in 2004.
New Orleans Voodoo Spiritual Temple
The Temple was established in 1990 by Priest Oswan Chamani and Miriam Chamani. It is located in the French Quarter next to Congo Square, and its rituals are directly connected to those performed on Congo Square by Marie Laveau and Doctor John. It is the only formally established Spiritual Temple with a focus on traditional West African spiritual and herbal healing practices currently existing in New Orleans.
- Voodoo - (2004) CD recorded at the Voodoo Spiritual Temple. Jose Suescun Music Distribution
- Costonie, Toni (2004) Priestess Miriam & The Voodoo Spiritual Temple. InstantPublisher ISBN 1-59196-800-3 p.1
- Pinn, Anthony B. (1998) Varieties of African American Religious Experience. Fortress Press ISBN 0-8006-2994-9
- The Pluralism Project: Voodoo Spiritual Temple
- Sens, Josh, "Voodoo Golf" in Golf Magazine, December 01, 2005. Retrieved 28 December 2007
- National Public Radio feature on Chamani
- Geometry Online Learning Center Website
- Storycorps Website
- Bragg, Rick, "Jazzy Final Sendoff for Chicken Man" in The New York Times, February 1, 1999. Retrieved 28 December 2007]
- Kinzer, Stephen, "Interest Surges in Voodoo, and Its Queen" in The New York Times, November 30, 2003. Retrieved 28 December 2007]
- "Nicolas & Lisa Marie Return to Romance" in IMBD November 17, 2003
- Peter, Josh (staff writer, The Times/Picayune) "Hell to Pay" archived on Nola.com. Retrieved 28 December 2007
- Chester, Laura (2000) Holy Personal: Looking for Small Private Places of Worship Indiana University Press ISBN 0-253-33804-2, ISBN 978-0-253-33804-4
- Conner, Randy P. & David Hatfield Sparks (2004) Queering Creole Spiritual Traditions: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Participation in African Inspired Traditions in the Americas. Harrington Park Press ISBN 1-56023-351-6, ISBN 978-1-56023-351-0
- Pile, Steve (2005) Real Cities: Modernity, Space, and the Phantasmagorias of City Life. SAGE Publications Ltd ISBN 0-7619-7042-8, ISBN 978-0-7619-7042-2
- Pinn, Anthony B. (1998) Varieties of African American Religious Experience. Augsburg Fortress ISBN 0-8006-2994-9, ISBN 978-0-8006-2994-6