Who are the Bakulu?

These are the ancestors. This is dedicated to the first slave ships that sailed from Central Africa with the bakulu. To those many souls who are in the stars looking down on us. For those we never truly take the time to mention,

Celestina Cruz
Manca Perro
Na filomena
Na Severina
Pela coco
Paulo D’angola
Chino Arrieta
Felipe Marica
Juan Cabanga
Ta rufino
Bienvenido Morales
El Buen Changuito
Graciella Ayala
Oriol Bustamante
Santiago Varela
Pancho Mora
Taita Gaitan
Ta Guapito
Gilberto Cordovi
Lazaro Cuesta
Macario Mauri
Domingo Hernandez
Jose Encarnacion
Miguel Caney
Nazario Herrera……. And all the Bakulu’s that walk with all of us.

Palo Mayombe is one way of understanding the interaction of the life force of human beings with the energies of the physical world and the greater universe. An element of this deals with spirits, including the spirits of the dead. In Palo, we have dead who are close to us as well as dead who are part of the great sea that is Kalunga, the ever-living dead who manifest in the realm of the stars and watch over us, shining their light so we may find our way. We are all spirits. At the time of death we live on as spiritual consciousness while our bodies nourish the soil (ntoto), insects, plants, and animals, weaving our physical consciousness into every living thing. We are all connected.

Palo Mayombe’s roots are in the warrior societies of the Congo, whose members were transported to the New World through the slave trade and found rich soil in which to grow and once again find freedom in Cuba. This history of persevering in the face of oppression resonates today.

When we call on the Bakulu (ancestors) in ceremony they partake of our offerings as living entities. They recognize our struggle and work with us to achieve balance and promote healing in ourselves, our families, our communities, and the world. We express our affinity with the Earth and the Universe through our practices.