Mandate for Mayombe
A call to unite!
The time has come for we of La Regla Kongo community to demonstrate that the face of Palo Mayombe has been transformed in the past decade and now reflects the face of America. No longer is Palo Mayombe solely a Cuban practice; it is an American practice as well with its own roots and with many munansos teaching Kongo wisdom. We come in all shapes, colors, creeds, and ethnic backgrounds. Your lawyer, your doctor or nurse, your electrician, or your neighborhood sanitation worker could be a priest of Mayombe. We live here in these United States of America and we have the right to practice our religion without persecution or fear, as guaranteed by the Constitution and as affirmed by the Supreme Court.
It’s time to move Mayombe forward into the 21st Century. We invoke our freedom of speech to share this Mandate as a peaceful call to spiritual gathering and growth and affirm that:
1. We as Mayombe priests and priestesses have the right to practice and to choose for our family and children what is best for their spiritual development without the involvement of State or Federal government.
2. We as a working religious society have the right to make superficial cuts upon the body for sacrificial bloodletting. This practice does not require licensed medical care or assistance, including sutures. Any scarification resulting from these minor cuts is minimal and intentional.
3. We have the right to practice Mayombe peacefully with no interference so long as we abide by all laws and regulations on sacrificial rites involving animals. It is up to each munanso to be familiar with local laws and ordinances and to be good neighbors.
4. We create awareness within our munansos that each member strive to achieve thorough understanding of Kongo wisdom and to respect others’ traditions. When we lead exemplary lives, we define how Palo Mayombe is portrayed.
5. We work to create a healthy community, to offer nurturing childcare, to promote activism for the environment, to participate in food drives and other programs that support our communities and enhance Mayombe as a society and as a religion. We engage with our communities.
6. We do not partake in or encourage criminal activity such as grave robbing or the desecration of cemetaries. (Note that as American citizens we have the right to own human and animal bones, but that stealing them is against the law.)
7. As Tatas and Yayis it is our responsibility to properly train our godchildren; as godchildren we must honor our godparents.
This mandate is only a blueprint of many things we as Paleros can and must do. So it goes out to you, my brothers and sisters. This mandate is not set in stone. I am going to put it up for revision in our comments section so that the community can suggest changes and alterations. Let’s make this our vision of the future for the betterment of our children’s children to come….