Nsala Malongo Everyone, As you can see I am on my grind again trying to bring to you relevance in an ever-changing society that is Palo Mayombe. When we look at Palo Mayombe’s strategic path during its inception. Many people forget the untold stories about our culture and religion to the point of utter ignorance and disdain for the truth. The Bantu philosophy and its fundamental thought was born in Africa. Many tribesman, heads of state and dignitaries from central africa and it surrounding neighbors were born into Nkisi worship. So it was not so far to understand that the birth of Palo Mayombe which is strictly done by many Bantu tribes located in Cuba would adopt the lands strength and ownership of what we know as Malongo(Nature). Though the ideology of Bantu tribesmen was preserved they also adopted many of the lore of the Taino brethren and native Peoples who lived high in the mountains. The birthplace of Palo Mayombe came from the Maroons(Cimarrones) escaped slaves from boats and plantations which later on formed into groups who got together to create La Regla Bantu de Cuba. The Bantu rule of Cuba see the explanation to why this rule was set into motion in Cuba was entirely because of the reputation of The Nkondi and Nkosi Magic that was influencing into the Island. Under the tyranny of slavery we can not forget that the Rules implemented in Cuba was to fight a common enemy Slave owners and the conspirators of indoctrinating a Colonial rule in rural towns.
Pinar del Rio and Sagua la Grande and all surrounding areas Camaguey, Oriente had many interjection of religion and culture that embarked into what is Palo Mayombe today. In America we had Bantu people as well but the influence of Nkisi within ceramics and pots were not well-known and even to say that they were non-existent until the 1920’s and on with the influx of many different nationalities with Bantu ideologies and principles here and from abroad. Now we take this into the 21st century and many nkisi are born here totally an American fixture in our Socio Religious groups. How do we keep that connection to Cuba, Africa, and the world at large where Palo Mayombe is now influencing in the culture?
This excerpt is used and is solely the sites intellectual property(www.SlaveRebellion.org)
“Enslaved Africans, not free to openly transport kinship, courts, religion, and material cultures, were forced to disguise or abandon them during the Middle Passage. Instead, they dematerialized their cultural artifacts during the Middle Passage to rematerialize African culture on their arrival in the New World. Africans arrived in the New World capable of using Old World knowledge to create New World realities.”
In other words Palo Mayombe in Cuba was an augmented practice that was revisited by New World realities. So why in America people want to kind of DownPlay nkisi that are born from this soil? I am not saying to lose the cultural connection to Cuba we can not as it would be an utter offense to those who came before us to practice this humble religion from country folks. We need to understand that the narcissistic view of those who want to claim Palo Mayombe is evil do not really understand our spiritual concepts. You have nkisi in Alaska, United States, Hawaii, Brazil, Jamaica, Trinidad, Colombia, Venezuela, Norway, Italy, Britain. It has become a world practice so now we must adopt the land for our practitioners of Bantu Faith. Especially Palo Mayombe being one of Many Bantu practices to kind of educate ourselves and try to maintain our elders legacy. I am a practitioner of an Afro Cuban religion which its roots are from Africa in the United States and I am Puerto Rican who is half jewish. Talk about a Melting Pot of culture and spirituality. Many of us need to start embracing and connecting with our surroundings outside as we move forward through a new type of struggle. Maintaining a spiritual balance without re inventing what has been already set in motion.