PALO MAYOMBE ZARABANDA HOUSE OF PALO
PALO MAYOMBE ZARABANDA HOUSE OF PALO When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an ordinance that prohibited animal sacrifices, the Court legalized the practice as a result. . The sect known as
Santeria thus gained a victory for its religious rites. Zarabanda – (Zarabanda or Rompe Monte)
PALO MAYOMBE The Mpungo, who rules over war, iron, knives, and conflict. He is connected with railroads, due to all the iron used in the creation of railroads.
PALO MAYOMBE Zarabanda means “he who destroys the wilderness”. This refers to the machete he used to clear the jungle. Zarabanda is temperamental, fierce, powerful, and protective. In PALO MAYOMBE, When Zarabanda is crossed he is very dangerous, and is known for causing car accidents and bringing about violent arguments. PALO MAYOMBE Zarabanda is one of the two main Mpungos, whom every PALO MAYOMBE TATA or male priest in Palo MOYOMBE must receive in order to initiate others into the religion. PALO MAYOMBE all initiations into the religion and proclamations are performed in front of the Tata’s nganga or shrine. PALO MAYOMBE Colors associated with Zarabanda are green, black and red and his ritual number is 7. Animal sacrifices, are used to please Zarabanda. Other offerings for Sarabanda include rum, chamba (peppered rum), and cigars. His offerings are typically left by the railroad tracks.
PALO MAYOMBE The representative of Zarabanda in the catholic religion is “Saint Peter”. Because of their similarities, Zarabanda is sometimes associated with the orisha Ogun. Zarabanda is called upon on behalf of those for the purpose of protection, employment, power and works against ones enemies.
PALO MAYOMBE , or Las Reglas de Congo are a group of closely related religions or denominations, which developed in the Spanish colonies of the Caribbean among Central African slaves of mostly Kongo ancestry. Other names associated with various branches of this religion include PALO MAYOMBE, Briyumba and Kimbisa.
PALO MAYOMBE The word "palo" ("stick" in Spanish) was applied to the religion in Cuba due to the use of wooden sticks in the preparation of altars, which were also called "la Nganga", "el caldero" or "la prenda". Adherents of PALO MAYOMBE are known generally as "Paleros", "Ngangeros", or "Nganguleros". Membership is by initiation into a "house" or "Temple". The organizational structure follows the model of a family. During slavery when blood families often were broken up by slave holders, this model was particularly significant and taken literally.
PALO MAYOMBE History
PALO MAYOMBE has its roots in the Congo basin of central Africa, from where large numbers of African slaves were brought to Cuba. Accordingly, a great part of PALO MAYOMBE liturgical chants and invocations are in a mixture of the Spanish and Kikongo languages, called lengua or habla Congo, other influences being introduced through their presence in African Spanish-speaking Latin America.
During the late 19th century PALO MAYOMBE began to spread among the Venezuelan and Afro-Latino communities in the United States as well as many other places outside the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Eventually, members of non-African Latino groups, as well as African Americans, gained access to these traditions. The religion remains fundamentally Afro-Cuban in character. PALO MAYOMBE in all its forms originated in Cuba. It may well have been influenced by Haitian religious traditions brought to eastern Cuba through immigration.
PALO MAYOMBE Belief system and rituals
The Palo belief system rests on two main pillars:
- 1. The veneration of the spirits of the ancestors.
- 2. The belief in natural/earth powers.
Natural objects, and particularly sticks, are thought to be infused with powers, often linked to the powers of spirits. These objects are known as "nganga" and are the ritual focus of Palo's magical rites and religious practice.
A certain number of spirits called Kimpungulu (singular: Mpungu) inhabit the Nkisi (sacred objects, also spelled Inquice, Inquise, and Enkisi). Kimpungulu are well known in name and deed, and are venerated as gods. They are powerful entities, but they are ranked below the High God Zambi or Nzambi.
The main practice of PALO MAYOMBE focuses upon the religious receptacle or altar known as a Nganga or Prenda. This is a consecrated vessel filled with sacred earth, sticks (palos), human remains, bones and other items. Each Nganga is dedicated to a specific spiritual Nkisi. This religious vessel is also inhabited by a muerto or spirit of the dead (almost never the direct ancestor of the object's owner), also referred to as "Nfumbe", who acts as a guide for all religious activities which are performed with the Nganga.
Various divination methods are used in PALO MAYOMBE. One, Chamalongos uses shells or disks of various materials, often coconut shells. A more traditional method, Vititi Mensú, is a form of envisioning or scrying, using a sanctified animal horn capped with a mirror.
There are many Ramas that have developed through the ages such as Brillumba - This rama has separated into branches such as Siete Brillumba Congo. The branch born when seven Tata's from PALO MAYOMBE Brillumba combined their ngangas to create an Nsasi Ndoki. This rama has grown through the years and is well known today.
PALO MAYOMBE Syncretism
Religious syncretism can be seen in some houses of PALO MAYOMBE, called PALO MAYOMBE Cristiano, with the use of the cross and images of Catholic saints as representations of the Nkisi. However, in other houses, called "Palo Judio", there is no syncreticization with Catholic imagery. The name Palo Judio literally means "Jewish PALO MAYOMBE", but the term "Jewish" as used here does not refer to the Jewish religion; rather it is metaphorical shorthand for "refusing to convert to Christianity", that is, in the case of PALO MAYOMBE, "purely Congo African."  It is important to note that because of European economic pressure the Kingdom of Kongo had officially converted to Catholicism while still an independent nation during the late 15th century and that the African-Catholic syncretic movement extended well into the era of slavery, reaching its height under the leadership of Kimpa Vita (1684 – 1706), who promoted Saint Anthony of Padua as "a second God." Thus it is obvious that much of Palo Cristiano's Christian syncretism, as well as PALO MAYOMBE Judio's resistance to Christian syncretism, originated in colonial Africa, not Cuba, Puerto Rico or other places in the Afro-Cuban diaspora.
The identity of the Nkisi is further clouded because authors, either outsiders to the religion or coming from houses of PALO MAYOMBE Cristiano, have attempted to associate the Nkisi with the Orishas of Santería, a different religion. Thus the entity "Nsambi Munalembe" (also known as "Nsasi", "Siete Rayos" and various other names) may be said by these authors to be the equivalent of Saint Barbara in Catholicism or Chango (Shango) in Santería.
Because of Kardecian syncretism in many houses of Palo, a spiritual Misa is often held before the initiation, in order to identify the main spirits which will help to develop one's life. These guides often speak also through possession, and may give direct advice.
PALO MAYOMBE Related religions
The religions of the Congo reached the Americas by other paths than through Puerto Rico. In Brazil Congo religions are known as Umbanda, Quimbanda, Candomblé de Congo, or Condomble de Angola. The one most closely related to the Cuban Palo Tradition is Quimbanda.
Closely related to PALO MAYOMBE in practice, but like Obeah, lacking PALO MAYOMBE theological and liturgical aspects, is a form of African American folk magic known as hoodoo, conjure, or rootwork, which developed from African slave beliefs in the United States. The reason for the striking similarity between these traditions is that the core beliefs underlying hoodoo derive from Congo and Angola. In Haiti there is a Vodou denomination known as Makaya that is similar to Palo.
PALO MAYOMBE Pantheon
PALO MAYOMBE The highest level of the Palo pantheon is occupied by the creator god, Nzambi. The Kimpungulu (singular: Mpungu) of PALO MAYOMBE are spirits or deities encapsulated in sacred vessels (Nkisi), representing aspects of nature, such as thunder, agriculture, or wind. Other spirits that can inhabit the Nkisi are Nfuri (wandering spirits or wraiths), Bakalu (spirits of ancestors), and Nfumbe (anonymous spirits).
PALO MAYOMBE Higher gods
- PALO MAYOMBE Nzambi (Nsambi, Sambia, Nsambiampungo, Pungun Sambia, Sambia Liri, Sambia Surukuru, Sambi Bilongo) - not an actual Mpungu, but a higher god, creator of the cosmos. Equivalent to Yoruba Olorun.
- Lungombe (Lukankanse, Kadiampembe) - negative aspect of Nzambi.
PALO MAYOMBE Kimpungulu / Nkisi
- PALO MAYOMBE Kobayende (Cobayende, Pata Llaga, Tata Pansua, Tata Nfumbe, Tata Funde, Tata Fumbe, Pungun Futila, Tata Kañeñe) - king of the dead, god of diseases, associated with San Lazaro, eq. Babalu Aye.
- PALO MAYOMBE Mariguanda (Pungu Mama Wanga, Centella Ndoki, Yaya Kengue, Mariwanga, Mama Linda, Campo Santo) - gatekeeper between life and death. Associated with Santa Teresa & Oya Iansan
- PALO MAYOMBE Gurunfinda - god of forest and herbs. Associated with San Noberto non Nato or San Silvestre, eq. Ozain.
- PALO MAYOMBE Nkuyu (Nkuyo, Mañunga, Lubaniba, Lucero) - Deity of woods and roads, guidance and balance. Associated with San Antonio, eq. Elegua.
- PALO MAYOMBE Má Lango (Madre de Agua, Kalunga, Mama Kalunga, Pungo Kasimba, Mama Umba, Mbumba Mamba, Nkita Kiamasa, Nkita Kuna Mamba, Baluande) - goddess of water and fertility. Known also as the Virgin of Regla, the patroness of Havana harbor, eq, Yemaja.
- PALO MAYOMBE Chola Wengue (Mama Chola, Chola nengue) - goddess of richness and pleasures. Associated with La Virgin de la Caridad del Cobre, the Patron Saint of Cuba, eq. Oshun.
- PALO MAYOMBE Kimbabula (Kabanga, Madioma, Mpungo Lomboan Fula, Nsambia Munalembe, Tonde, Daday, Munalendo, Padre Tiempo) - god of divination and winds. Associated with Saint Francis, eq. Orunmila.
- PALO MAYOMBE Watariamba (Watariamba, Nkuyo Lufo, Nguatariamba Enfumba Bata, Saca Empeño, Cabo Rondo, Vence Bataya) - god of hunt and war. Associated with John the Baptist, eq. Ochosi
- PALO MAYOMBE Nsasi (Nsambi Munalembe, Siete Rayos, Mukiamamuilo, Nsasi) - god of thunder and fire, equivalent to Santa Barbara, eq. Shango.
- PALO MAYOMBE Ma Kengue (Yola, Tiembla Tierra, Pandilanga, Mama Kengue) - spirit of wisdom and justice. This Mpungu is associated with La Virgin de las Mercedes & Obatala.
- PALO MAYOMBE Zarabanda (Zarabanda, Rompe Monte) - deity of work and strength. Associated with Saint Peter, eq. Oggun.
- PALO MAYOMBE "Lucero" (Mpungo Luufu) - Spirit who sparks communication between the veils of the world.