The purpose of creating an American Society of Paleros, that reserves the right under a governing body of like minded individuals to share knowledge, is an attempt to broaden our understanding of Bantu teachings under the umbrella of ki-kongo philosophy and practice. Understanding that through activism, education, knowledge and understanding we can reach a common goal.
What is that goal? Our goal is to educate and take away common misconceptions of Ki-kongo teachings when understanding Palo Mayombe and any other Kongo Based Traditional Institutions. We are not changing views or practices from house to house, changing traditional views or starting a separate/new branch of worship.6 We only want to educate and hope to answer the questions and concerns of a community that has been shadowed by misconceptions and biased views of our faiths and traditions.
What are the plans in the future?
Eventually we would like to create a system of healing for our community through education of self, healing not only physically but mentally and spiritually. Our goal is to bring to the world a view of Mayombe that does not present us in a negative light. We are mostly portrayed in media and magazines as a purely thaumaturgic cult with no ritual or conceptual value. Our hope is that through this association we can all grow to appreciate the richness of our culture wisdoms, and promote rituals that are healing for people and the community.
We are not a New Age Group, we are an association of individuals promoting self-growth, healing, education, and positive activism for the community at large. We are doctors,lawyers, teachers and students. We are people who strive to work hard, we pay our taxes and are a living, growing part of American society. We are family oriented, and through our munanso we work to increase the well-being of the persons within our House and community. We aim to create a place for education about Palo, purchase of supplies, and also plan to allocate funds for important future endeavors that have cultural value for Palo Mayombe. In the near future we would like to create cultural centers and a legal defense league to protect our religious rights.
This is our goal and this is what we will set forth into the world…
Welcome to The American Society for the Preservation of Palo Mayombe.
“Looking at palo, One of the greatest misconceptions has to do with it being evil, a “dark” cousin of the other African Traditional religions. Their is no such thing in palo. Many of the misconceptions encountered by seekers into our Art are due to language barriers, and foolish practicioners who paint us to to be spiritual mercenaries. A Palero is first and foremost a Priest, who works with Nzambi and the Bakulu to better his life and the lives of others. We are children of Mpemba(light), and we work to grow in our understanding.
In old bantu traditions we wear white to call the spirits down; the color being remeniscent of stars represents bakulu(ancestors) the fallen stars that shoot across the sky are Nkuyo (lost souls). Yet palo is a full cycle of life,death, and rebirth. In a 24 hour day everyone wakes up, works, and lays down to sleep as part of the cycle of life. Imagine as you sleep you are in a state of consciousness that is free of the body, of pure soul. Sleep is the little death, allowing us to swim in the Kalunga from which we sprung. As to the bantu philosophy, the Kongo’s and the initiates do not die–they live on, transferring this material body to the next life and so forth. Independent of will, and vises. We are in tune with our planet and this universe, more so than you might think.”
Most times when you think of Palo Mayombe people think of chickens to the slaughter, and bones of the dead for conjuring the unknown. Many people do not even know that it has been in place for 500 years as a practicing initiatic rite. Even in america most Black Americans are genetically inclined to lean more to the Bantu origins of Angola and the Kongo then their African counterparts. Every religious group today has a ritual right of practice in the new world. That is what the forefathers preached in this country and so we bring this to light, as mayombe has been getting a bad rap in the media, which uses Palo Mayombe as a tool to scare the general public.
“Where there is no shame, there is no honor.” Congo proverb ……we all must remember that shame builds character and we learn from our mistakes… how can we learn if we have no shame?”
We must lead by example, and there may be times when a person can fall short because of ego and ideological differences–we must all learn from our mistakes in order to grow. Palo mayombe for too many years fallen into the hands of money hungry proprietors who use it to profit off of books that mislead the public. Their lies make a mockery of our religious beliefs and our own culture. Terms like “The dark side of Santeria” and other foolish titles only fuel the constant negative rhetoric and the bashing of mayombe. When people have to build content on teaching about a culture and have to utilize the names of others to profit on supposed book sales or entrepreneurial adventures with Mayombe than they lose sight of what Mayombe is. Mayombe is not the next “New Age” religion. Mayombe’s purpose is not to harm but to bring forth healing. The conceptual idea of it being a warrior religion has to do with what it’s roots in the warrior societies of the Congo and the legacy of slavery. From defending to becoming the slave the nganga priest has lost its purpose in this world. If a lot of these elders would look at the populace and realize that this is a movement and no one will stop it, we would be in a better place. This is a movement…. That was given to me by a friend, and now I am sharing with you. “ I do not do this for me. I do this for Mayombe”