There is an old saying in our community, ‘nganga no hay sentimiento’…the Nganga has no feeling. Often said with some bluster, letting you know that the nganga doesn’t have feelings, and will do what needs to be done.
….and it’s true.
The nganga isn’t a *person* in the same way you and I are. It doesn’t share the same feelings or motivations, necessarily. It is a powerful entity, a Power closer to a storm or an earthquake than to another man. If we were Egyptians, it would be drawn as a conglomerate entitiy, with mans leg’s, a lions heart, and a Vulture’s head…and other things unshared. Were we Greeks, it would be written in story as capricious and powerful, taking various forms in order to work it’s will on the manifest world, with motivations beyond a man’s understanding.
We must remember, though, that the nganga is more than just the Nfumbe inside. That is only one part. One aspect of the entity in it’s fullness…and certainly not the most important part! It’s easy sometimes to mistake the hammer for the carpenter, when one is looking up from the anvil.
The Nganga may not care, but rest assured…the Bakulu, the ancestors, the deep powers….they absolutely DO. They do care. They have a perspective on what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’. They care about your character, and the choices you make. You are the Bakulu made manifest in the physical realm–you represent them. Especially after the pacts are made. If you make choices that they disapprove of, you will know.
No action goes unnoticed. We see the results in the lives of Tata and Yayi. Amplified, even. Sometimes we burn, sometimes we get burned. Like everything in life for the Palero, things are amplified and hotter. Lessons are learned quicker, or suffering is delivered quicker. We find ourselves blessed or being burnt and refined. You gone have good character, one way or the other. In this life or the next. Best to learn the lessons and listen to the wise voice of elders and spirit the first few times they whisper. If they have to yell, they will.
Now another way to view that saying is with the understanding that while the Nganga references our vessels, it also is the word/name for the priest himself. The Tata Nganga. So if you here a Palero saying ‘Nganga no Hay Sentimiento’, he may just be letting you know that He don’t care, regardless of price paid or outcome, and he’s ready to work. Watch out.
Tata Sima Ngango