Mayombe, Briyumba, Malongo

Nsala Malongo everyone looking back at a prior conversation I thought that this would be a good starting point for explaining Briyumba or as many would say Bi yumba. . Briyumba or in the case of what is Bi in many bantu languages as is in zambia, and other regions the Noun Bi meaning head and Noun – Yumba meaning state connotates as everyone has or is a head of state. Remembering that everyone who came before me was a head of state since when I am looking back I am remembering my elders and bakulu. The pugnacious nature of Briyumba became more consistent with warring factions within Palo Mayombe lines. Most of the nkisi born today are not initially mayombe in nature because to truly have a mayombe pot two factors you must take into account.


“One, If your nkisi does not have a mayombero who was a relative to you in the pot it is more likely a spirit you have a pact with.”


“Second a nganga from mayombe most of the times can be made with Dirt, animals, incantations, firmas, and proper ceremony from beginning to end. This is how it was done in the old days but there are very few paleros that have this type of knowledge can actually talk in-depth about malongo.”


Fortunately there are still some good palero priests who understand that the nganga does not teach us we utilize it, As we grow in the religion so it grows. In front of our nkisi many spirits reveal itself in due time and we learn from them and can bring forth spiritual growth and evolution. But a nfumbe that is incorporated truly does not teach it is like a child that is being set forth with other elemental forces (Mpungu) a force with (ngolo) energy and this is how in briyumba lines the nkisi moves forward to work.  Not to take away from everyone’s experience or even to claim to be an authority on truth. Your practice is yours and you can choose to do whatever you feel may seem correct. But feelings can betray you and teachings can not. It is like the road map for every good student to have a teacher who shows you the way.

To be a good palero is to leave the ego out the door and allow for people to express themselves in this tradition. But we are bound by rules, laws, tratados(treatises) spiritual pacts that were born in africa and came through into the Caribbean islands. But to negate africa and its presence in our rituals is to negate those that came before us.

All of the mayombe lines were born in Pinar del Rio cuba. En la tierra colora la tierra del tabaco( The red earth the land of tobacco).  When we see this connection and the root to africa from the land we appreciate the teachings of our ancestors who always looked to the past to bring forth a better future. Many people may feel that to understand mayombe you have to either be some illiterate person who can not express themselves. Well in an age of free speech and thought its time to put mayombe in a place of true understanding and leave all the rhetorical nonsense as the words from the eternal bruce lee said

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

Tata Musitu.

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One Response to “Mayombe, Briyumba, Malongo”

  1. Thank you so much for “MY LESSON” of the day

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