In casual conversation this identity of mayombe being a necromantic practice to me in my view is false. I believe that when we talk about veneration of ancestral roots mayombe is a living entity. You would have to associate one of the greatest fallacy in the world which is the Roman Catholic church. Many historical accounts of conjuring spirits comes directly from the book of Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones.
“Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’”
Where god himself brought about the ancestors. Mayombe though very different in their beliefs have this one unalienable factor. We bring forth what was living in the spiritual back to the physical realm. Necromancy in its own definition seems to give the intention that mayombe is this dark and evil practice. Which is the farthest from the truth. Roman catholics flock to the vatican all year round to give veneration to their dead. They have amulet crosses with the bones of dead priests who were proclaimed saints. Yet catholicism for all its mysticism and financial power is not considered, or put into the same categorical list as a necromantic practice.
St Jerome in his study is always depicted with a skull at his disposal. Yet he is considered to be patron saint of translators, librarians and encyclopedists.
My comparison is to show the reader we are no more necromantic than any other religion. There is this common misconception that mayombe is necromancy we are a nature religion. We venerate our bakulu through the practice of ritual as does the catholic church. Their receptacles are made of gold laden crosses and chalices. Stolen from native lands of the new world yet everyday mayombe is being persecuted by the media and bad press as Satanic worshippers. We do not have that luxury and so our nkisi’s are propitiated in terra-cotta, ceramic earthen bowls. Steel cauldrons and of course with many dirts to symbolize a world within the world. Our ngangas are not laden in gold. But we are necrologists, offering a timeline to the past with our nkisi. Where we can call on an ancestor to come guide and give us strength, help us move forward and be one with that universal force, Nsambi. The truth is that mayombe is not necromantic at all we are natural healers who venerate our dead and so offering a world view on this issue may broaden a better understanding of Mayombe. Priests and priestess alike if we do not change these labels that even within our own community is more damaging than good. What solutions are you offering to this who look to us for healing and spiritual evolution and all you can see is some mere conjurer of dead people. If we do not re-educate people mayombe will stay in the age when man first developed fire and did not know the true concept behind it. In these days we not only control it but we can make it better. Malembe Tata Musitu.