Why an American Society?
The tremendous growth in all ramas, or paths, of Palo in the United States has brought diversity to munansos everywhere. No longer are Paleros and Paleras Cuban or even Spanish speaking. Sometimes new initiates lack access to elders who speak enough English to convey the subtlety of Mayombe. Worse, false practitioners take advantage of non-Spanish speaking seekers. One purpose of the American Society for the Preservation of Palo Mayombe is to provide good-hearted Kongo wisdom for initiates and non-initiates alike. We have a saying in Mayombe, “Buen ensenansa vale mbombo que vale simbo” — Good teachings are worthy like the snake who brings money. May we provide a light in the darkness for all who have been called by Nzambi to follow La Regla Congo.
It is our hope that the Society will attract practitioners who desire to learn standard practices and ideas that are shared across La Regla Congo. The idea of standardization is not intended to change house rules or create a new rama. Each path, whether Mayombe, Monte, Briyumba, Malongo or any other Palo lineage has its own character. We respect that. Just as there is a core of Kongo wisdom common to all ramas, there are American laws and societal expectations that we all live under. It is our hope that our Rayamiento may become regarded as an initiation into our faith much as circumcision is a requirement of Judaism, and that our Palero/as are as devoted to learning and worthy of respect as Rabbis and Priests.
We hope to provide a place to share ideas, but also to be a united voice for Paleros and Paleras in the United States. We have a right to live our religion without fear of reprisals or persecution. We have a right to worship in our own homes with our children and families. Kongo nunca tesia, dia que tesia mundo cuaba. Kongo never gives up, the day he gives up is the day the earth ends.