- -- --- ---


Palo, one of tile four main African-derived reUgions still practiced in Cuba~ theether three are Sanre_ria. Abakua. and Arara.-devel.oped among practitioner.s of a form of f!€.:crommcy called Ng~ga 'still widely found in various parts.oftbe we-st cos -t of Central .A:fli.ca. "'NgaJI.ga·i refers both to the practice and to its priests. In Cuba, lhepractidoners ofNganga. were mostly of KiKongo and B&Kon,~o stock. Highly utilitarian and syncretistic even in Africa.. Palo, as thepractice of Ngang&:. came to be knovro in Cuba, added to the Congo, Yoruba, Ar:::-.D,. and. Dahomean mix it brought from Aftica, popular Roman Catholicism. KardeciiID S:piritism, and elements of Freemasonry in Cuba .. Palo has fo!tr branches: Palo Brlyumba. Palo Monte. Palo Mayombe, and Palo Kimbisa. Palo Briyumba hastbe most A..fncan retentions. Palo Monte is, mostly identifiedVifitb goodness, while Palo Mayombe is 'thought to be' "evil." Palo Kimbisa irs, the most Christi,a.ruzed and Masonic of the Palo sects, The focus oftbls book is Ol.'l. Palo, Mante as t-: -'g'h' t b"'i' D~ em etrte ·G - -: ~: .' c .. ""~ csantc Media. .0C" 01> I ~ g.74~ 1968 '!, ""r

JUli_ . J' .m, .n.... omez _ .•• p ... .., - .' - ~I ... ~. -' -- _ J ""_

Gumabacoa, a town on tile outskm:s of Havana f&lnous for keeping Afriean tl';.di,tiollsa1ive. I was jni~iated into- Palo by Demetrio when I was a small child, he died when I was, twelve. .His stude,llt Pa.eg kept careful notes On

O .. tri .- ,"~":<"d - .I!.A. D -- .,..j",'" d .. ,,,,.,h Peee w'en""',n t- beceme a

eme. no Ii, ·...,....o.m. n,H:er . emel-Jll .... ",. -!-Il,. _'" . ." '",,__ 0 _ e ....... ' .

priest of Ii'a, abandoning 'WI" practice of Palo.. Before .his O\N11 death in 1985, Paeo generous,ty S~J ned .his invaluable noses on Demetrio with me. Begi.nning in chaJlmer- o.~, it will be Demetrio's voice you will hear. channeled through ·, ..... ae. May GodAJrnighty Zambia bless all our efforts.

Bsba Raul Canizares

lounde" Orish-a COtlSciousntss Mowement. rata, .MUJ1IJnZO Tie'mbla Tie"a.

New York. NY. 161(J6I99



-- -- -


CHAPTE,RI WI'Q,t is Palo Monte?

My Christian name is Demetrio Gomez. both ormy parents" Jose Herrera and Franeisquiha Perez, were' bam in Angola. They were brought to Cuba as slaves, It was in Cuba that they 'met. while :servin,s ~he same .mIStier; it relatively poor Spaniard named DOD T.n"burQo Perez. DOll Triburcio had a small farm in Guanabacoa where he raised pigs, He only owned 'tllFee slaves; Don Tribureie's w:if:e U1d children used to labor right a]mlgsid.e the slaves" so there was a. feelmgamong the: slaves of be' longing to a fiurn:ily rather than bema owned by sla,venmsters. Shorrtly after I was born a strange slclrness kilIed@:ifmosl of Don Triburcio'spigs and he fa.eed losing his property, In order to raise rna,Dey, he was. forced. to sell my father to a. wealthy aristocrat named Demetrio Gumersind,Q Gomez Chaviano, who paid an incredibly high price for him. _B,lek in AfH.(:a, my father had been a feared

Na,i!lIFI. Do ,-, D --,,",-' - who ,-I"_~W ·the-' 'I'IQw-r .... f.;I..~c"' .. · m~,o1·c· h-d' h' e-~d

1;1- -s . -. n e:m ..... no . 0 l'!.JI!e ... _I" _e_ v 1"UIi' -- --""'e' I _ a _ ar

of my fa.ther's gifts as a practiti0 ner .. 'fhirIk.Wg my fadler's lalen:rs; were being, wassed r.cUsing pigs, as soon as, he brought his new slaveto his property he encouraged him to set up shop! as a PaI'era,Bi,s Ngamga:s wen: called iin Cuba,. providing Don Demetrio as weD as file numerous slaves and &ee meJ1 whe worked w 00111 Demetrio"s sugar cane: p1mttation with his special kind of seMe,e.ln less than a year. Don Demetrio cameto view my father as his spiritual mentor and principal 'pr~blem-solver. Anomer powerfill praclitioner oflP,alo nam,edA.:ndres Petitt who was anelelant •. impeccabJy .. dressed tee man of color who befriended both Don Demetrio and my father, convinced the latter to initiate Don Demetrio into, the mysteries of Palo in 'e,,~ch:ange for bis freedom .. Atldr,cs Petit was a man, 'of

eat charis .. - -, .... wa.-.: - .• 1,. ad·. "-ed-,b.·e -: . -- It-= had 1..: d . act· . -.

II' -- c __ sma Wl"",_sgreauy _ rmr _ y moS1i:. yet _ e Hl!S _etTL._ ors,

he had been criticized by other blacks fur Uselling. aut the secrets of Am.ean magic" to whites. In rea1ity, .initiatingwhites, into Amcan :magical systems was a brilliant act of,empowemumt for the initiators" since it virtually put the white· initiates in ~:he subservient position of neophytes in relation, 'to their black t.eacllers,

Allb,ough non T riburcia abso.1ut!e.ly refiised to uti my mother to DOD Demetrio. his childrm considering their rlQl'll1as much a pari: of their fruniJy -: D , Tribur'Ci.· ··'fY-. D" .. ":, - :C,_:I: .:. mthe ... - all· wed to's· m-

as _ on _ _ _ _ __ IJ S VOn!!!;, ami! I!;;;.Ul!JJa." my __ _ _f was 0. '\rut __ y

momber as often as he could. ] was baptized in the Catholic Church when.] was about OilS and 3l half. Don Demetrio and his wife, Dona Petra, became my Catholic godparents. Don Tribureio ,agreed to let me: move, in with my father. By the time Don Triburcio died in 1880s1aYlery had been abolished in Cuba, H,e I.eft: my mother a. comfortable cottage in asmallplot oflmd near his farm in: Guma:baco9i. At last. my family was reuni-ted. It was in that cortage. where I Stil] live, that my rather and other men u'cim the' '~old

- - - ---

- -


Country,"as Afri,ca was called, taught me how 10 be a Palero, Old', S. Bar6, a former slave from the Belgian Congo, taught me about Palo Mayom'be', Andres Petit initiated me into Palo KJ mbi sa, yet, it was my father's in[lmate' knowledge of Palo Monte, tha.~ most deeply adfected: me.

P,aJo Mente is my TRUTH. It is also the lruth for thclIlsands of others. I would never say tbat Palo is ",rhe TRUTH:; No one religion should cla1:m to be: the sole repository of the TRlfl1:l I rej,em no religion except those that routinely practiu coercion, exploitation, andlor dishol1esty. The Iteachillgs I leave behind are intended for those who would benefit from the practice of Palo Monte, Pale is not for everyor",~;. IIII my sixty year:sas a PaJero I have rejected ten times as many peopl,le as I have accepted. for initiation. Those: who need to be herewill find their way. Palo Monte teaches trust in God" beliefin destiny. and respect: for the (clices that move Ehe Universe; these forces C&rI take surprising forms andean manifest themselves in WlUSUal and unexpect,ed manners. ]n a world steeped in despair, any path that brings solace and spiritual fortitude 'should be allewedto flourish .. Tile practice of Palo Monte engendG:fs a p,articulaT form of spiritUal strengt.b., a gu~sy, downin .. your-gro'in..eanl:ly power that some people need to experience as their souls travelonthe way 'to' the Final Cause' ..

Palo Monte .. Vodou, and Maeumba havemuch incommon. AJ,though what E know of Brazilian Maeumba is mostly seeead nam1 I have spent. months a1 ,a time in Haiti studying Petro Vedou and I can tell you that it is similar ,en,otlgh to Palo M,on~:e for both religions to be considered branches of the same tree. The: ,first lesson for the would-be P,alero is that this religion is as. valid as CI:u:istiani.ty,. islam, Of Buddhism. To ru[ly understand A.ffi'C;a.n traditional religi.ons, the outsider who seeks shelter in one of them. such as Pale Monee. bas to' leave behind pre-coacesved ideas about the wild,

sensual, horrific "voodoo" cults depicted in Hollywood fi:1ms. Such grotesque imagery has. two prilldpalhistorioal precedents: The overvn-ought I' .• - "-1;--,' . _.. c. 'U,-',': ~--Ii. ~ b . efit . ftbrill.~seekmf1 re'ner: .. d

UllUl1st Suows p~ o.n m.nmb lor tnC en . tL ._ _. __ g ~O_ 1£1 _ S, BIL

{he deliberately wild dances orchestrated en Congo Square 8i.lldother p,la,ces in New Orleans during the last half ofth,e 1.9th century. These spectaeles were put on. by a: series ef'Vocdoo quemtSJ, the most notable being Marie

L, ''1/ .e. -,.1.~. Il.--:- A,1Ii: .f- hi ... li._ . ,- .'. ..' ,~··.I.:te _1. ~ kef' ,Hth· . uah M· . adame

s. eau,lo:r we !I.Il<JlRlt 0 &"J paymi w;u _ Of,UOO S. I"U. o_~. . _ _ _ . _

Lavew was tmdoubtedly a pc,werfu'l practitioner, she was also a sharp businesswoman who knew hewto put on I, lucrative show, The re'ligiolJ.s aspects of Palo, Macumba. and. Vaden. however, ha:v,enot.rung to do 'With these aberrations, In a concise mannert I'll describe in the following notes the basics of Palo Mome". including its deities, initiatory rituals. eeremcnies, as weU as ;ne relationship between Palo deities, Yoruba. orishas., and Calholic saints. I'll also provide a glossary of Palo terms eonsisting of creolized Kil<.ongo. and. most .i.mponwly., a, compa,a.tio~rn of some of the most poputar and. effective mambos. The Pa10 invocations known as


mambos are of supreme importance in calling 'forth the spiri'tllal forces that we work with: tmerefore, .learning these mambos is ·e,s·senrjaj to a Palero's gr·owth.

We P'Rlero's do 'not proselytize, since we do nOI believe rmat. ours is the only way. "Many are me reeds that .Iead to Heaven," ssares one of our proverbs, Although some ant~opologists have criticized us for bell:lg,syneretistic, mixing elemems of many other paths, tbeyfail to fleaJae Ihat this couldalso be said Ot Illy other religion. Palo is as aneient &5 any ot.ne:r faith.. Adapting and changing hi. jus:t parlOr our tradition, a way >ClfsurvivmS~ Palo has all the 'hcnll""r~-r-n -r - ·7'"'~d·· .... 1: .. :"on '-·e.1uIllilS·· II! well~d.efi:med-. s·"'_ - f· ethi - - - d

_ . _ . iUUll.i:UA.:! 0 it ~.!UJ Hal!gI • ., w . . _ _ __ __ ... ~ 0 _ u:!cs an

morals which teach respect for human life11i1e sharing of weail:th with those who are less fortunate. and belief in a supreme god called ZA.NfBIA.,. as well as in his helpers, the nklsis, also commonJy cailled "crishas" (31 [em we borrowed from our Yoruba neIghbors back in Amca). We also, have whl.t I call a "natural priesthood" consisting ofms:" and women who have been chosen by the viise spirits and the orisbas to be se~· apart as teachers, heroalists. counseJors, and messengers between the woild of'the SCt'ln and of the unseen. P.alo priests and priestesses, therefore. must become p:roficiient

im·b. .' -c .. [ .. ,-~- -;-'- ,:- - ·~t·h-....,.·l; .... ,.,*, ·d· di -.' .- m,lllL- -- w-

tue an 0 commurucatmg W'L !:;l;.K.I!!!"H",ene _ sencamate _ tcwgenceB_e

call '~pure essences" or "pure spiri.ts". We also believe that sometimes backward. evil essences can be: manipulated and used by the Pslero. If the PaJero' is a practitioner of m.ost]y ben.eficial malic, the evil spirit may be helpedto evolve into a good .spirit. An W1SCrup,U.lous PaJero· may also use these unfortlllna:te souls for his own benefitW'itJlOut caring for the spiritu.aI devclopm;ent of the backward spm.ts. The Evildoer will then have to face the consequences of his actions at some future point, :iU'ld the impure essence that hadl:leen miSl.lSed by the Paleromay eneeunrer 8. good teacher in tbeftnure who will help him or her' develop. so in God's eyes the whole evil/good djchottOm.y is just a play .Ieading to -even.rual order and balance. for all Pateros believe that, ultimately. good wilt triumph over 'evil.

Palo Monte teaches that all that exists was created by Zambia God. He c:rat·edgood as well aseviJ-tne reasons why he mathis areuhimately unknown to, us in the material plane', although theologians and philosophers

m- "'';'llI'He··· ab"'m it· :-:11 the eo -- 1 ....... meL."'me.O':·fi~ sp·-c'''-, .; n ~ ate '. -th~-

il1 _',:>- __ ""_ _ :uu U.1_ t; ws """' IJ", • .."" e m.:s u ""a e liD _I:

mat1erial "NOEld in order to live out their destmymelie for as I.ong as it is necessary in order to learn what can Oldy be learned in the material plane,. later to go on to the realmeftha spirits {,aJiso called the realm of the essences} or to the realm ofTrnth from which no reincarnation is .necessary.

The' Ideographs, painted "signatures, " ehaats, invocations, and seances designed to communicate with thepure spirits form t.l1e coreofthe practice of Palo MOIne. We who are initiated in thee palh of'PaJo Monte .aH~CaUOO "Paleros." Although some may find this tap.p:eilation hamorous r'p'a!em"



m - -. -- ":- - .... f -·iek-"} 'We find no fault with thi" l'Ia:me - d .. - ce-1, it with

eans IJser,," s,- _ s , . _ . _ _. _"' _ alL .. C _p "" I

dignity and hoeor. In my O'Ml hmJse(lcoogregatiofil) we we under the protection of Centella Ndoki, the goddess of lightning, and are com.l1Ntled 'II} seeking out that which is be,nendaJMd just, for aU members, We maintain COnslaru communication with enlightened, essences in order to receive: their guidance:" 'Wisdom. and Dl!neficent care for all who come under the protection offhi,$ bouse (muf1mrzo) under the divine C3iJ"C crCen'.ella, Ndolci. Our religion consists ln belief in a rugh God whom we praise, a Dumber of de,mJ,gods who we ,actively worship and interact Vilit.h, the pure ~spirits we lCOnstmtly work mth" a hieTUcIDcai priesthood. a 'body of believers, templ6S~ altars, and traditionld rituals, passed on from generation to generation by way of our ancestors.

Most of my lodclilldrenare simple;. hardworking folk Many have been victimized by systems notm.end:lyto the poor and disenfranchised. Many of these people have beenturned away by co.l!lvent~onaJ sources of support and have' come to 'view Qur .:spiritl anci de.ities ali their last hope for justice. Palo Monte is a utilitarian and, practical religion. more' concerned 'IoVith tile here arid now than \Vita [be bereafi:er. We recognize lGOD (,ZAMSlA) as the mghest being. BOfTov..ing a Yoruba werd, in our munanzo we call: ,tbe demigods "orishas' mterchangeably \Vilh "nkisis," which is tile: more traditiollal 'KiKc;mgo teem, The erisbas have po,wer over everything that,

li:! - -: ., ·b ,~L 0' -d· -' . .11 -Wl ·U· ... like ·S. anteria which do -.- ~·t teaeb ··L.at

__ appens.,.OmoOOaDue_.mlA ........ eSlJO ~UL_

there exists ;mttle.mal du.ality of good vs, evil, we Paleros believe that there isa elear and long-standing: battle between. absolute good and absolute evil, the tension between. thetwo being the elJergyiliat propels existence. In my mananzo, called MUNANZO CENTELLA NDOKI. I teach that we must strive to do iood. We: are committed to lighting the fbrees of evil, Our temple here in Guanabacea is simple. There is a :major "prenda" (cauhiron) far worship and anOther one weactuaJly work 'With. The major prenda is dedicated to Centella Ndoki, the 'Workins prenda,inhabited by an. old 'tricitsterspirit called Lungam:be. is used in all ofthe temple's dealings with the dead~the essenees.

Our mera:n::rucal structure is, simple, The head oCthe temple'is, C3illed the' "Tata N,gansa" (a iTemale would be the Nana Ngamga). In Sp,amsb., our members call the Tata upadrino:' which means Godfather. AnYOlIJ3 soolcing member,ship in our .munanz:o and is accepted by the Tate must undergo the ''Purification, aru:l, Aeeeptance" 'inii.tiation, also knOViJIil as "Pr·esentatlon 10 the Nganga.u At this sti1Q:e the neophyte becomes a member orl:he mwumzo and isealled "'ahijadcn or 'Uahijada" (godson or goddaughter). Later on. the neop.hy!!e mayreceive ful'tber instructions preparing, him Olf her for further development The next step after presenration is the SCAATCHINO ceremony .. Aller a peried of'time where: the neophyte and the godfather have had iil! chance to assess each other for a minimum of three months, the


neophyte may requ.estthat the godfather ask mhe orishas andthe spirits ifthe neophyte is ready to be offiered a more, advanced initiation. Altlhough everyoneeaa ben.efit from bemg present'ecl to the Nganga, not many are called to go deeper than that. If G, godcllild is acc'epted for scratching, he 'or she'recm.s eertain ceremomru scratches 101'1 the skin and is given certain ,info.rmsrtiixl not available to nee-scratched people. This infor:ma,tion has to do 'With SKIed fOmIulas. ana practices tihat empower the newly scratched Palero. After a year and seven days ofha:vingbeen scratched. a godchild may request to be given bislher O'Wl1 cauldron, The cauldron (preada. nganga) il a mimiarure:univ~rse cont.a.i.m:ng at least 21 stj'cks (palos, where the religim gets itsnam.e) and other secret ingredients which imbue it Mth enormous power. Palerosare supposed to concentrate 011, developing their pmicwlUtal.enus, such as rimal expert, bealer, hertaiUst, lexorcistl drummer, singer.orm.viner. He 01:' she will dev1elop 'these a:tt~butles through the grace (asile) Qfhis elder's.

Every godchild has an obligation teaid his ,godfatber in whareverrhe c·"A,CI.·U~.. ·T1.:., sheeld m" -'clude' ,offering helli'l' in maintaim-g the ~e---'l-

g ... u lIMY ........ , Ul .. ",. 0_ __ __ __'."'~_. _ !,,_" n _I, mpe

and the.&lars themselves extremely clean and fill.edmth flowers and sweetsmelling oolognes. All members ,oftbe housesh,ould lea:m bow to divine using ro.m pieces of cocoaut or four shells (sharnalol'Jios). The me,s,t common mdacce;pted fum @fdivinatlon in Palo is te eommuaieare direedy with the essenees wlilie these essences possess Palo priests. t.aking over rheir senses aa:I. speaking through them. My filth,er tall.gilt me 'that whe~1l orishas possess, Paleros, these: are really av,amrs, of the orishas, not the totidity of t:hosegfea spirl'ts""'""uruess the Palere 'happen,s to also be ,S, s'antero, in which ease. and under the right cIrCWMtances, the arcbetyp:a] orishas may possess them. Ppdo~ic:auy, however, when a Palero c'ommumcates, mtban avatar, he is actaaUy ,eommunicatin.gwitb. the great spirits, because these avatars are part of dmse great beings as much as 8. drop of cofFee- EfuJ!t sp,iUs out of .ii, cup

·sfth - - - -' ·b· .'. - - ,'~ ,- .. t..~ '. - Fr am unt that --~ .'~ .' -'d',- 'h

L ertnesame sustM,ce as me STeIl_e_. __0 __ it remams U\Sl e tne cup.

Som.e Pakros feel tbat the best method of communicating With. the or:ishas is to' use th;liilDggun tor cowry shells method of diivination. SinCE it is said that the primal force o.fthe orishas speak through, these sixteen shells, Another advantase ofusing shells rather thanpo~ssesiion. asa way of comm.t:micatmg wjth the orishas is that the priest does not lose his conSC10USiless to the odsha. as it happens during possession. It also requires less ,effort 'to cast theshells than to become possessed.

During tbe: time: of persecution. wbleb intermittently Ia:sted well into the. middle of the presentCientury, P'~deros were fOfced to hide their deities under the guise of Catholicsaints. Back in Afii~ Ngangas h,ad already developed a. correspcndence between their deities find those of the Yoruaa pantileO,1l. What follows is a Gst of our most popular deities, theirCatbolic cO!JDterpazts and their Yorube names,



Zamb~, Nsambi, Mpunp

Ma:ma Kengu~ Iiemhla- Ticna



God AlmJgbty

Child ,or Pfl.~ St. AlithO.DYi Looely Soul

Our Lady or Mercy, Jesus

St. Darb~n

Kaltmga. Bab.und~

Madre Ide ,AP2 n.L. of RegIa

Kabaycnde,. P'ata eo Lllga,


Mariwtne;I, C~nl1:1bJ Ndoki

Wllmn:lUllbiL Vente Batallas, BlI.$c. RMtl'll'

Tata Funde, Cuat:roVientuilJ fl_day


St. ,'eter,

St. ,John the Baptist


St. Therese



St .... 'Francis oJ Assisi

Buru,finds" Ngunafinda St. Josepb

Brazo 'uene

Os aoyin !, Oslin

o..L. !fif Mlluot CarmeJ Nua Bukuu

St. Christopher A,gujm



in Cuba the language we use in our ceremonies is called "Palo" or "Bantu." U derives mai~y 'from. K.iK.ongo, with plenty of creolized Spanish and some Yoruba tnro\V1l1 in fer lood measure. \Vhen sacrif],ci,rng anim.aJs, we ,always call fhemby their P,a:1o names, thus a: rooster is called ensuso; a ~hee'p enkonde. a, loaf ffl'ems. the rum we spmyrramourmouth.s in a ceremonial fas,hia,n, 'mala/o, the sacrificial knife em'bele-lroto"gumpowderjUla, water l'ansa, gourd, di.sh,ie tie. machete emhele. the raz,or blad,e we use to scratch neopbytes geJe-samba. the cigar we use, to ,after 'OUf' spirit's blessed smoke ensunp, and incense is maba-guindonga. Ahead I, mo'r,!!: eXitensive: glossary wil1 be prov.id~d.

The first sign ofinitiation tb.e neophytefieceives after the purifica.tionip,resematiQIl 'ceremony is the ·'n~k.laoe. ,. Wearing this necklace indicates that the person is a, member ofth,emunanzo and isentided to 'the godfather's protecUon as well as .help from all members "fthe mWlaru:o, including.lhe spirit protectors, who are considered ,an i.IIltegral pati: of the house. Along with tbe necklace, the ne,o,phyt,eis glven a set of rules and guides to follow. Becoming a member of a munanzo carries with it privileges, but also, responsibilhies. !falter g,etting the aecklaee the: neophyte neglects his/her duties, then, he or she may become vulnerable to. misfonune,

th- - ., " 't - 1-';'" - ~._ .. , '-, - ,_' an I"':"'"AW tha.t· 1 :''"e' is .a tw .... ,.way. '-'e"':'" ner-1 e"'" - .... -.e ",pm s "'''''ID~il '1.11 ... pe,,,,o ~ Ml ... _ . __ 1J4" __ i> __ - ¥ - _ _, ill"'" _......_~_ ..... yvUf

respon.sibifities, to me, and I'll neglect mine to you, the spirits might s.a.y. Every munanzo shoald take care to celebrate its important feasts, such as its Tara's initiation day and the days of the mos~.importimJ orishas

OuT munanzo is fairly vaned, most of our members ar-e Ilard-working people. although we do hB.ve a cQuple ofimportan.tpolitic&l figures and several showbiizz luminaries that are fBithfuIPaleros,. One ofthe factors, that uaites us Is om devotion to LUNGArvmE, the spirit ofo!Jr temple'.s worting ngang~ who in our house takes the form of a deceptively finmy old man WboCQllstant!.y licks ms lips. Lungam:be, an avatarofE.shu, :isCentella Ndoki\s m.essell.ge:r.Lungam.b4·s principal spirit, be'lper is Perro Bernardo, who IIK.es to present himselfas a m:)t~too"'Qdvanoed essence who

c- .,..,r .... i. eless "aets t'he 'ob do'l'J -.". The ma"'" l'S .1.. "'t, P·'err'" B' ema:rd is VP'f"IJ

n .. "el ~11,e ... _ ~ , . 'j , '_1;. ,_,", _ ...... 'U! ... , . - - ",' , . - -- --- .... J

brig'b't, be just enjoys playing down Ills mtel1i.gence. Other spirits we work 'with we EI, Hermase ,Jmie, an extr~mely wise old. blackman who died j'n

] 9' J S. and Candelo Blanc, also .known as, Le Flambeauj ,a Haitian Petro s;pJrit. Pure spirits may not have the ,answer t,o ,all OUT' problems. but rhey d.o' have the advantase ,arnot beitlg fettered by a material body and of being able to de~ect.lieSUld '&aud. After experiencing a thouSSlld and one advemares withthese and many other spirits, I've come to regard them as members Q'rmy family, as real and present as my~fe or my children. These spiritS are our protectors; they deserve ,all our love, praise, and devotion.


-- --- ---- - --


Let me again reiterate why I am instructiag those '1,0 whom lam. dictating these words to make them public after I am gone. As both Palo and Sameria ,emerge' from seereey and as more and more practitioners are \vil~ing to speak up publlcaUy. the need for-accurate information rega:rdmg these forrneriyclosed 111agicaJ systems vviU.beeome greater. Another

-. ble -- .. 1..-" - '--- - ·-··th·~·p~:l., . 'd Saateria's inereas d vi ·biU' ihat '.' ,-pro em. tua:t anses WI iiLlO an ant_ _i _ . __ . _ se_ VISI. ry.s L __ m,lny

dishonest or 'misinformed people purporting to speak about these faiths mil not be presenting an accurate picture, J bel.ieve we wlla have been blessed \lrith a paweml Palo and Santeria foundanonmustevenmally lay aside the veilofseereey mat was used :iEl the past in order to give the world a glimpse

f I. -. b- .--.- - :·IIl:·1 .. ·-c-.J~' - ~. y.- --. . , ... rtici ..... ..,; ... in A;G.,;C - ~·b ... ~~..3

0_ our eaunru trawtlon&, . ears ago, p,.u b! _ Pi;l!.Wl!S ~ .l_ an .~

reli,gions could cause a person's life: Of freedom to be taken aw.ay, A.lso. people who practiced African religions were often s'Qcially ostracized and persecuted in many subtle ways. Now' that such abusesare less frequent,. we must lift: up our voices and dern.aJl:d mal our reUgiorns be respected by the world at htfiae',

Coming back to our present task of writing down allthat is accurate about Palo •. let me: say that we consider the coconut sacred; it is SiIil. indispensable component crall our .rituals. Cccoautthrowing, more properly called obi divination. is ,an ale-old method of,communioatiofi between humans and spirits. CO"""'Y sbeU casting, called mBO. SH.A1VtALONGO, or COBO in Palo and DR.OGGUN' in Sant.ena, grew out of obi divination. Cowry shells' are thought to be the "mouths" of the orishasandare considered more accurare ~tan eoeenuts. In Palo, however, we believe t.hat intense, one-toone interactions 'With the pure essences is the highest form of divination.

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CHAPTER ,II Ma'king Chamba

(nOle: most m;lmes hove' bee» left ill Spanish erc:epl when I was SlIFe oj the English ,equivalent. Any well-stocked)}Olanictl will CQrry most of the ingredients named in this c:hapler:~Raut Cantzares)

CllaJn!ba is, the holy liquid Q,fPalo. There am man,ywa.ys to mab chamba, tile main ingredienms of the cham,ba we make for muJtip,le uses are: .Rain, water, p,anJeuJarly'that collected awing tbe.first :ram of the month oi.May as it settles ill thecrevices oi t.ne silk cotton tree, fol1llin;g smaIl puddles~ri~er water, sea water, holy water from a Catholic or EasU~m Orthodox church, palm oil, cocoa butter, cascarilla or pembe chalk, black pepperkernels, eru (a, Nigerian root). !co]anut. a burning cbarceal wrapped in a ma'ianga leaf and at least twenty-one of the erisha's herbs.

Chamba: serves to' purifY and san,cti:ty stones, nooklaces, seashells, amulets, and all kinds orimplemems used for ritualpurposes or to provide protection. The herbs which are to be used in the preparation ofchemba should be pl.aced on a; s,tr,aw 1Il.IU in front efseveral elders who will chew some of them 10 imbue me heros with their ash« (gr,ace). Of those presenl' during the preparation of the chamba, the onewith the least: amount. of,tm-ae initiated will gadler the: herbsand, walking on IUs or her knees asa sign. of respect, will hud the hems over to tlle elders for chewing. After the elders, chew the plants, t.hey will deposit them in clay 'containers that have been painted 'in the' emblematic' colors of each erisha represented. Thus, heros, sacred '(0. Shang" will be (h~posit~d in a red container, to Obillta£j, ina white one, and :SQ on. The elders mustna;ve recited the me ]'Ulba p.rayer before start,ins, and must sing to 'eae,horisha as he Of she works wlit.h. the different: orishe's herbs. After the sonmg .. of':'tne ... nerbscieremony .. the 'person with the w=test ,seniority wilt Iffi the straW' mat where the herbs had been. worked making sure every single bit ofbetb gets used in tbe chamba. The oOBRas, must be sung to ill the: :foUavring order: Lucero"Zambamda. Oshosl, Tiembla~Tiemt, Siete Rayos, Centella Ndoki, Madre de Agua. and Mama Shola, reHowed by any other orisha tlu:t meed$ to be mveked, ln our house, since we have so mmly Santeros dmt. also practice Palo, we tend to sing

'~- ·~JV'o,rub~'·· ,-. when '.,~ ,_,_I'_~ ehemba 'Cl:.ftTI..:!Ii· mdis-ensa:ble in

-"!imtenillll- _~ __ a"sol!lis ' .. ~ we Um!\e _1~L_. t!!Atuv_lS. __ ._p _

the ma.lri.ng of a 11gangulero (c'wner of acatJJdmn). After:a scrntcbed member of the m.una:DZO has .sucoess.fu.li1y completed :b.islher one year and seven days appnulticesmp., he or she may ask the rata, tor a reading reguding, whether he or she is psyc1101 ogically, spiritually., and physIcally readyto receivethe awesome responsibility ofha:ving his.lher own ng:a.mgll! (prenda, ,cauldron). Assilming aU goes weI'l and the a.ppLicant is accepted for


--- - - --- - -


inclusion in the ranks ofnganS;Uleros, the rata's assistant. ca.IJed the mayo1'dtJ1I'1o or, ifa wom:m:,Ehe""JI!Q)l.i or Itkan·liko, \\!ill have EO bathe the future ngangulero wit]" chamba seven days in a row. The mayordomo will also make sure hi'S charge drinks three big gu,lps efchamba each morning.

A super.-charged chamba 'Will alsc contain some of the blood of sacrificed ,animals. as weU as some rum. Aberikulas {non~lnitia:tes} should never view any of the' ceremonies discussed, so' far. ,After initiation asa ngangulero, the ,new~y-crea.ted cauldron-owning priest must, be w,Qtched c.losely by the padrino, themayordomo"or the yayi~ ror in the week fa,1 10m n.g: initiation. his strengths ,and weakness \Viii be magnified a thousand rimes;ir is tbe 'teac:ber'~ responsib,j,lity to l101e these strengths and weaknesses in order to guide the new ng.anguI,erothrougb them later in life. Some oftbe Iilkisis we' have installed in our muBB.llZO inolude C'enteU~ Monte Oscuro, Siete Rayos, Tumba Loma. Ll.lngm1be, Venee B,atallas. Marlqullla Ndoki,. Acaba MW!II:io. Tranea Viu;. ,and Vaa Mundo. These. are potent forces. B.efore we can aUow one of OUT 'priests to cba.n.nel one 'of these spirits, we must be sure he or she can handle it After one week. 'we ofFert.he new ngamguj,ero his Esengu.e. a staffmade ofIroko wood" w.hile he bo.l.ds a lli.t candle wruch rests on 81 whlte plafe.

Chamba is alseused to feed and invigorate the deities. Lucero's chanlba may have duee, twenty-one. Or one-hendred one different herbs, TiemblaTierra takes eight. Siete Rayos six, Centella Ndold rune,Madre de Agua seven. Mama Sbola! :fiv,e~ 2mbanda. three or 'seven" Pata 'en Llaga seventeen, and so on. AU herbs 'must havle been duly consecrated as described above. Chamba sheuld be added to any food cooked for the orishasor during feasts. The fol,lom.ng. are some herbs belonging to the different orishes,

LUCERO; hOI':sehailr. len,gua de vaca, grass, whea.tgrass, asafe<tida. itamo real. melonciUo .. basil, p'mon, yamao.

l1EMBLA-TIEJIUtA:bledo de elavo •. sauce, el'ilcampme~ agumaldo bl,anco~ Ullies, biguerel:i1L" a.1m.Olld, soursop, marquesa, jagua blanca.

SIE'TE RA Y()S and B,RAZO fUERTE: bledo rQjo •. atipo1m, mace de

, . b· .. ~.. "'1 ~tn_:,II- . Jant";,, baa ..... :!1 sasoarilla china berrv eJb iebe

guan:aJO, ._ ...... !".a:~<!I.!!.wtIO~ p - ~~ -._.._...., '-- y ~~ ~, - - ~~.,.,- '-I' J - - .

l'viADlRE DE A(jUA~ vervain, lechugu.iIl~ yeib.a anil, prodi,gio~paraguita, flor de agaa, lotus, hyacinth. fern, watercress, merna buena. purple: basil.

",., -. b~'· ,- de : ~ ·,:c-L-d·· - '1' .... :;;, .. ·CU·' .,I!. ... , ' ale c nele . ,~ ..... , m guasuna, oton e oro. yelllla e a !W~ _.ca:rac.o.m, p. __ an_.~Q., y~ va . ora,

cerazon die pidoma.

ZARABANDA: lemongrass. pa.ta de gallina, hueso de g:aJJo.mB:nosa. siempreviva, jericho flower. rom.erill0, pinoe, rompe saraguey, pu.rp.le basi], ebony.

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CENTELLA NDOKI; yerba garro, guasimilla. bans... yucca. plum, cabo de

hacha, - -r:-,u]"l1a.

aCI! _ mazo Q. __ ,_

Never put sticks or bark in chamba, oDJy [eaves and soft sterns. Lucero, Zara.btmda, and IOshosi C,1n interchange herbs. So can Madr,e de Agua and Mama Shola. Pata en LIa~ however, must never be mixed in rituals with other erishas except Nana Bukuu and Mi. His herbs are: cundliamor. sargaze, pazete, zazafra, ateJe, alacran,c.illo, Iscoba amarga, pinon botija, casimon, bejucQ ubi, tapa camines carabali la yaya, and tengue.

We must not Corset that .tle mest IlmpClrtal!ilr mgr;ecfient ofChamba is water, the very essenee of God's favorite daughter, Oshun. who incarnated in Angola asa queen named Sho,la Wmga,. Baths mate our members healthy and ready to receive the good vibrations our spirit guides bring. Any prospective member of our munanzo must be given some chamba to drink. He or she will then be bathed in Chamba and 'taken to a cemetery or a sacred gr-o:ve where be or sbe MIl swear an oath IOf allegiance to the TMa. the munanzo, and an ofits members. Initiations should ideally be carried out outdoors in the: wilderness. but pla.cing lots of plants" trice. branches, and herbs in a room can substitute for the real thing if circumstances call fOT it.




A pilant considered mere pcwerftd dum. aU others, including the maj:e5tic royai palm, is mOKO" which in Cuba bieS been .id,en.tmed with the ate,tely silk cotton tree. Paleres sometimeseall lroko "munanzo mambe" (hoaseof God). Most P,ido Mo,ntenouses gtve-Jroko a whit.,e chicken ofFering each

month Jr"C k .Is nl_ " -:-' ~ - .. ~-~ "or ,evil . Qses Th - -: exe~ l' - ',-

.. .. 0._0._ ,iJI.IUost nev~r us~ tL. _ purp . _e one _._. ep,.lon IS

the makingof:so-caUed Rl'fflrgasjudias in the Palo Mayombe tnldition. The pejorative use of the word ~'Jew' (iudia) 1.0 imply evill reflects the: an,tri ... Semitic sentiments of the dominant :Spanish rulers of nineteenth cen.tury Cuba. In remity~ mostPaleres are not conscious of the offemiv,e 'namre of [he use ofulis word. I find it imerestiDgthat the Jews ill my munanzo' have never complained abollltthi:s;, leventllolllgh I've instructed my godchildren 110t to use the wordjudill in its negative COlllt'B:xt. Since at] the other houses continue: to .refer to "prendas jlJdiss" and "ngangas judi.as. ,; ] mentio,n, this here as a way o·f teaching what these are. 111e Mayombero will bury the prenda thatwiU be used for evil purposes under koko'sshadow fur t\ventyone days, At tfliit time. a to,taUy bla.ck cat ~U be made to become enraged, when it i's then decapitated. its sblU and I,e-' back tibiabeins made an integral part of the evill nganga.


To gain Iroko's favor, hard-boil sbct'oon eggs. removing the: shell :fro·m. each .. On the eastern side of'the Iroke 'tree, draw an equilateral cross lIsing palm. oil, then p'~ce' sixteen pennies ,and the sixteen peeled e;giSl one ,at a time. over the CfOSS< Plae,e ,ea.ch elg on top ofeacbpemy. beginning at the head ofthe cross down ~.O its feet, then :from left to right in the h.orizontallil1e. Each time you deposit an egg) say out loud BI pBIitic:ulu pedtio.n-it must be the same petition all. sixteen, times. At theend, say ~"Father Iroko. grant me

thi I.. • . 'd' . to

.. _ Ii !Joon 11'1 twemry~one ·ays. ,amen.


To, ,calm an enemy. beil [our ,eggs uotilthey are nard; peel them., dress them lNith cocoa butter, almond oil and Balsamo Tfanqui:1o Cll' oil ·of cloves. Take the dressed eggs to Irako, makirng the offering to Tlembla-Tjerra, whose palace ,is, in the top of lrokr» Tie-mbla, Tierra 'will pacify the most sh..i,bbom soul.

lmkc, Father ofa:ll trees, gives solace to all who ask. There 'C8IlI be no nganga without Irok,o" since irs stick: is the most important ofthetwerntyone. \When walking bya silk cotton tree, believers must always sa!u'tie i.twitb respect" saying something like "good morning, Father Iroko, bless me, your humble servant, with health and peace. and forgive me if I've unwittinsly

stepped on your holy shadow." My father used to call Iroko Fl.Th1B.E. Spirits cailed "nfunbi" Ii vie: in Iroko, where Paleros feed them periodically. These: E.shu-lj!Qe spirits" s.lmilar also to the ge'de of Vcdou, are offered candy on a. brand-new plate. The.Palero wiU write b.i:sjirma (personal ideograph or s[gyIl) on the ground by the part of the tree's trunk that faces east. Along with the candy, the n:fumbiare give_n four peeled hard~boiled e.M'B~ four clear glasses filled with water, coffee,. a lit cigar, and some rum. Wben a vulmre rests all ene of'Ireke's bnmdu:s,. we PmIcros believeil .. is a 'sign of Os bUrl

Ibu :Kale's favor. This crone aspect. of the goddess ofse'llsuaHty and riches is called Kana-Kana mn f.ala. Tile fo]Jowina. mambo is to, be: suog after ,sunset t@ lroko.


Sud.a.nkinia nanbt:


N IDng,lnlms.i Ndig,a lII.undo P.anguaian boeo Mediotugo ~beNgu.si MIII:emhe mpo]o :KbldiamiJo kiHenso Guamka ngusi


Ireke is 1:1 natural temple. It is there that we bu.ry our n8an~as, our

cauldrons, irn order to imbue them with enonnous power. ]I!l places where there are 110 silk cotton trees. Paleros wiUtrave] to places that have them if they arc serious about obtaining tile greatest: amount of power. Thereare many Irokctreesin the SQuthern United St:at,es. The Seminole indians worsruPlped Iroko under the marne "kapok." Paleres work with Iroko in many difFeill!l]t wa,ys. Its trunk is, used in tieing dO\1ffl spells; Iroko's shadow serves, as ;8. restil1lg place for mam.y spirits that the Palerc em comrminicate mth~ Iroko';s roots an: the homeef a powerwl spirit called Mwna Ungungu. Soil ftom around Iroko is oft'ered to the orishas Qddua and Brazo Fuerte, A tea, made ±rom IrolGo's.lea'll'Ie5, will open a neophyte's third ey,eand help her become a. ,spirit medium .. The spirit of.bok:o 'cm be: contacted even if the tree is not present by S •. 8 the mambo listed above while s'haking8n i.roko stick rythmicwlly' in torn of the Ilganga.


A small 'Piece of'][roko wood hlllng with a. red' nobon by a balby's crib will protect her from Ihe evil eye. Sinee we Pateros believe, tha.t th:ere: is all eternal s!ruglle betwee.n the forces of good ,and ,the forces of evil!, we have a responsibility to learn how to combat evil im order to 'maximize our happiness and that ofoul' loved ones. The evileye is a nawraJ manifestation of evil. Knowing tbam the eyes are ~he win·daws of the soul, 'We can surmise that a pervened.siok. individual who hasilillowedi his soul to become tainted


with evil\oVill sometlmes even unwlUin._gly look at someone and this evil will spill from his sOul waugh his eyes, mett:ing the persol:'1 be is looking at. in a negative fashion. Because oftilei'f innocence, babies, are partieulady vulnerable to the evil eye and must be protected at aU times, . Because they are most defenseless while they sleep, babies should not be allowed to be, looked upon whil'e they are a:deep. Ira stranger or SJl'ersOfl known for his evi]eye compl.mentsyour baby, make sure he utters the: phrase "may God bless her" right after. Othe:rvrise, you must say to y,oW'selfthe words, "besat« eJ' cuJito. besaie el aJliio' . .besal'e et culUo ., .. " severw times. This literally means, "kiss his little· ass," why it, 'Worb, no one: knows. Other talismans a.g~ the ,evil eye that work are a piece of jet (ambaclie)" apiece of red coral or a dog's teeth. AJtbaugbmany Hispamicjew1el'lersin the U.S. claim t.h~y sell azabaehes, many times, toey are selling black plastic beads lnst:ead.Genuine jet doesnot shine. can. be 'piercedw1'tb a 'needle, and will stain a white paper black if one runs it across it. Otherimptem.ents success,fully used to ward off the evil eye are garlic, camphor, and :a prayer to St. Louis Bertand (San Luis Beltran). The great Palero Andres Petit, founder of the Kimbisa faction. of Palo, said. there was no more powerful defense ,against the evil eye than the prayer to San Luis Be.ltr,an. He alw.ays

e -- -'cd ·t withlU, c -,' d w - u.ld '.' -'te it do\\'D for anyone wilo asked-he

_am I .. man .. 0, Vffl'-- '." .. ' .. _. . _ " _ _

k:rJew it by heart. Andresa!sogave my fa,ther the roUoW"ing recipe .for low-enngs, fever: Mang,s for three people to read the prayer to San Luis by the bed of the feverish person, Each reader must come. read the prayer) and leave without ,se,eing: who read bero,re or aft,er. and all three must read in tum, not more than one hour apart . .A.littJe cross made out of basil leaves and. boly water fro.m a Cathollicchurch mustalso be used, by m.e reader, who must sprinkle some holy water 01"1, the feverish person while maldng the, sian of the cross ever merom 01' her while bolding me basilcross pressed between tbe right index finger and the thumbeach time it 'Says to. do so in. the written prayer.

A special, chambe made Ollt ofthe leaves, oib-oko, guara, y,aya, teague. aad eaja, serves as baptismal water for infants. Babies baptized, in this chamba. ,alled Mamba Nsanbi, grow strollg and hea1thy. Let It be clear that ,infant bapti.sm in P,alo does not make ourchildren Paleros. They 'WiH cheese if they Msh to remain InPal.o whentbey are old enough. to make such a decision.



Nsanga:. means "myste[)','" "saul," or "force." In Africa:. what we call a Palo :priesE is called a ·'Ngang8 .. ;i' In Cuba,nganga .refers to the cauldron wmch is at the: cmtevofour ·prlt1!ice. This eauldren ii·also' calh~d "prenda," wmchin OJd S am h - -. -. " J\' ... '. •. '1'10 '-I .. ' •. \oAt .. J." .·..e ' , d '. .' . '. ~Th'

.1' smeantp_'et'JOus, II1lIp)!1Qg "'lID_we l:lganga rs ' ear to us. ..e

making, of a nganga involves tbe' :signing of a pact between a living bein,a and nne who has 'passedon to the spiritwodd. A :spmt who agrees to wor.1e with a Paleroin thi'S fashion is caJ1ed a "1'l,gans,aluzambi" or "nganga ndeki," The makinS ,of,e, DaMp invelves loins to the bush and to. the cemetery. contracting wi.mh a spirit, and knowing how to coatrol dlat s)ilfit.

In the cemetery one finds the human remains needed far the ngang~ in the bush theplants and spiritS .one needs to contact. Cemetery and bush are not that diffeliem~ in both one finds the Nfumb.i. souls wiJJllilig to make a paa with the Palero, A n.ganga may be inherited. but more often it is specially made by the padrino :For the DBViiI' ngamgul£ro. [11, old mllnanzos, itwould ~ake at least seven 'Y'ear5 after ~~scrat~mn,g:" .for,iI. .pruero to be considered for

flO'atlffI,.jer - B:e ., ~ 'se ~'f' the ~. ~e . -'",,, of mod, , liIp th - n' ~., ~. '1.,,, .. 1... ~e,n

C . rio- - O. . - _CiU.!. 0 , _ eX!!s_oa_ ~ ~, .e. me l,.!""",,!Je _

shortened 'to one year and seven days in mest :munanzos.. The Padrino "l71onla" (makes) the I'I.g an ga: by putting .inside the caul.droll the benes, vine~ sticks, herbs, soils. animal carcasses, and other secret ingr,edien.ts which give'

the C,-O' ll'lG:~ £"'ry' .. ~O!' ~, ',-, Lave· alan (M.... ~) ,..;·r ~'.At:ba de rhL'n

. __ . nSiUl(;j.a .Ie., ve,. n3aB .... a mus, fJ. .. ' .. " , ........ oe ... p.~ __ , ._ ........ ~

(stone arrowhead), also caUedmatari. These dark, flat" elo:ogated Slcnesare poiated on one 'end and bave wt:Ure streaksrunnimg through them, Tiley are sacred to Si.eteRayos. Sie~e Rayos, by the way. is a corruption of Cetewayo,lhe famous .Zulu cmef.nephew of S'h.aka. thought to, 'bean incantation "fthe god oftftunder. The stone must be' fed sacrificial blood, m,enga;, separat,Bly. Then it "eats' again when the ~ntir,e ngange is fed .. Ceremonies of in1tiati.on should be done either d.wing the new moon, laMp or oshuko. guamiaku. or during me fUU moon,oshuka dido. Never during w,anlng moon. oshukDaro, a time when plants lose their powers. The fono~ns prayer is o'tJeredto the new mooa:

Luna n!;!~ YI) te sal:udo. dame saiud, truquiUdad Id mUlldo~q!Je DO bays guerra, ni eorermeda.d,

!!Jqui it dlillY 1m. lIDoned. p:aJquc no nos 'alte el pan ni II mi ni !I mis ~joS.ramiliMes, amigos, y tDCrni.gOS.

Afterwards three "Our Fathers," thee "Ave .Marias,"" and one ~'ffiori8!" are recited. foUowed by tbe foUoMng Lulrumi prayer:


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Chukwa madeni

(kbl:dtW:I If.iade.t&WD Othuba madeni Ocbmkwa.lfiilde· faWO Sol'udde pini guin.i ItCO e,co Oth.ukwl.lm.lbere iDa.WD loawo< illl .• w.er·e

.Motber Moamis godmother to all magicians. She is the qlJeen. o:faLI heaveruy bodies. The Moon :p.resides over a .nganpdero·s initiation. She is '<Mama Mpo.si,1I< The i~A1l .. Motber. t. IE is during dtefiill moon ·that the godfather, 'the mayordomo, and th:.e future ngam;gufrero go te fhe cemetery~ asking. ~th the shamalcngos: or wit.h obi oracle at the fool of each grave if 'tlm.t muerto (dead. person) wishes to work with them .. If the oracle gives a posibve' answer, men the _padrlno spill.s some rum (mala/o) by the grave', listening ~or some rumbling SI.J<unds which. will indicate that the spirit of the dead body buried w'ildel' the chosen graV1B is eager to work 'Wi1h him. Tile next step is to Conn a cross; over the' grave using the rum. The grave· is then dug up and the kiyumba (sbJ.IJJ, fingers~ toes, tibias, and ribsare removed from thecadaver and placed inside a large black b.s. mack at the: munam:o; the black bag containtn,g the bones is covered with a white sheet as four white candles are lit around it. The padriao then caUs outthe name·o·hhe dead person, which had been copied from the tombstone at the gravesite, Seven sm.aJ:l piles ofg:tmpowder (!uta) are placed on top of one efthe ·flat sides ofa.large sugar~cllttirJ.glmife called amachete, Iftbey aU explode wh.en fire is applied to one of them"it means thatthe spirit (nfimi.hi) has agreed 1:0 become the resident. :spiri't of the :ngang8 tbat. is being made. Using a penc,11, the padrinothen.vmtesthe name of the nfwnbi on a. piece of parchrnelOt 'or bro\Vll paper bag, pia,dng it at the bottom of the eaaldren dun will become the new ngan8lll1ero's prenda, The padri.l1o IlQ<W adds to the name thedead man's bones, seven .silver ecias, the previously prepared stoae, and a ruor blade (preferably the one that had been used to eut scratches on the new IIlgangulero'.s skin), A bJact chiclcen or rooster is. now Oilfe_rOO. 10 the nganga .. in-the-mwngt.o ensure theoontinuing weD-beihS of the proceedings. Othe:rsacrifice-s :aJ.S0 take 'Place :at thisdme_

Further iogedj'ents that go mto thell,8~g.a are~ soil taOC,en from fOUT different spots near the grave (NoM. South, East, and West), a hollowed piece of bamboo about two i.rncne.sm diameter and. six to twelve inches long that had been previously filled witl:1,me:raur:yI' sea. water • and sand 'fi',om a. beach. all o:fwhich had. been ~sealed ins~de with beeswax; the remains @fa smaU black male dOl wllleh wiU serve as. the tdUmbi"s pet :W'ld messenger, din (roman antbilj~ the necessary twe1llty ... one foundation stic.ts (sold as a package i.n.mo:s~major botanieas in the U.s. ),temlltes, a dead bat, spiders. liz:ar:ds, a ·centipede •. a toad, cinnamon, chili pepper:s, ginger, a. white onion,


- - - -- - ---

sage', and more soil from the grave. The cauldron is, then taken to thll c,emetery, where it is buried on a Friday in a spot where it won£, be disturbed. preferably close tOI the stave of the ,nfumbi. The n,gansa is left buried fOf three weeks, Aft~-I"tihtee weeks nave elapsed. the ngUlga is dug up, a lemcke-n is sacrificed on the' spot and rune pennies are left on the hol,e left, by tile l'1emovatof the ,nganga. This; is a. symbolic payment: to the forces that govetntbe cemetery and a reminder mat ODe doesn't receive anytl:Ii:ng inthis worfd witbaut paying for it. The :nganga is immedja.tely taken lathe bush. where it is buried next to Iroko or another ,sacred tree and left there for an,other three weeks. Afl!e'IVI,a.ras, thecaul~dron is, removed from tba.t spot and, after the spi:rim of the tree has been offered iii, chick-e,n and eight pemnies (or six ifit isa palm tree) •. the clluldJion, is taken 10 the mwlaJ'lZO.,. where it is plaeed next to the templle?s main nganga and left there for t.mee more wcmk.s in order for it to receiveash.e(stre-ngth). at the, end of these three weeks, a black rooster whose: throat is sUt but h~ not decapttillted is

OJfir-·..I - - " .. -...:t: - - R' ,.m -·-eo d'", -- -1..'t~ urine·' "''''d' m"'rlda W' ·3ter- ,,, ..... :__e eu as, ,jI ."""C:U.!Il·ce, . ' ...... nU'I.-U,I: 0'i'~ J Will' e ...., ' ...... ' J! J'v_ ,_.:_ , . _' .... ",'

then added to thengangm. that is now ready to eeeupy its place ofhonos in the new ngangulero's home.

A I:J:i:Iditio·l1.aJ typeo:fngang;Q, not usually made .mymore, is the, ngQn~a boum,sa, which used ,0, burlap bag as its reoepts,cle., rather thana cauldron. This flsangarequlred as iogrediemts, the legs, hearls~ and hearts &om. the following mimmS',: a. dog. a cat, an opO.ssum. fa rat can be substituted)" a black goat, a spm,QW, an owl, a bat. a. vulture, a woodpecker, a blackbird.

"'''·d·- .,--,--{. -Pl--,tL ... :. ~i"'-I-f," --AI~e ",I~""A~,A Il!f· ... .B ... a.~ o a taraarula

_~iI parro. us ue rem ........ ! 0 ,., snl:!.ll\, .. ~y,. _ I~"'_~ _ u ~, U!.i!, __

a scorpion. a. c,entlpede.,B wasp, a dralonfly, red ants, temites. WOmlS, and caterpillars. OrigjnaJ1y, :a.lI evil preadas were kepr in burlap bags, not in cauldrons since the cauldron, as a f1Bpr1f:-semative ofthe justice--loviDg, god Zara:banda, doesnet lend itself well to undeserved evil. The boumba. also

~'l dl. .rc: 4acu' ·k· ··t. h-- , ' .. -, . b 3! r· C!"Ie from the eadrinc' s ce.i.fulg.

cwe sa~ .was._ep .angms. y--0f'-----------t'---.- - __ -

The padrine had to' sing the following llUlmbQ to tile saeu-sacu before lowering it to the :floor.

Ay L_be Ltmbe Lembe Mi Ic.ab:all·o ita 'tropiao Malembe yay.

Lemb,e Lrembe Malembe Ao.dale sirte Jegua

Que yo yengD

Cuando Ilegue ,Iqw Lernbc LeUlbe MaJembe Siete 1.1 qUf:' yo 'Vcnlo GUruba:n8 ton litensia ,Jacinto clon30 ta]ilI toma



These burlap ngangas were also called "macutos. '" Before bringing down the, sacu-sacu, the padrino would also sweep the 0.001' under i1 ~th much ceremony whilesinginl [he fo,Uowing mambo.

Barf'e, barre, bITe:. buur,. HarTe., barre, barre. basurR Simbito. Simbi-co

Tata NglUlga ya limpio piso

The Tata would then sign hii:sfinn.a (sypl) on the floor usingashes 001" white chalk (eascarrilla or pembe). The Tala would also draw the tra.ditional Palo sign for the universe ( ~, ). afterwards singing the following mambo.

Mpati! .Mpari!

Npembe Simbi ko!

MpatU MlPa.til:

Npembe Simbi ko. Simb' ko? Como Tala 'Ie manda

Abaj'o ngan,ga

8aj8lo, mi Mama

Como Tata'ie mmdo

Bajdo,. mi Mama

True, trailo" mi Dlog,s

Tr:do, ~glDgll, tOlDQ paso, )'ingun.a Despllcio ,tontO unLB tllBaJeon

The-f, ks ere then -, .. ,,.,,,..c:.,II'y taken out of the bag, end placed leanmi:l by a

.. s:me, wer lien C(j!;iI,"",lLUl iU\ II "' I UL --- '-.< - "'- -. ------'0

wall in a vertical" standing position. While this operation was undertaken. the Tata would sing the' foUowi:ng mambo.

pauJo. parBi!lIl uri Mama 'COiDO' tata te ,lblDdo P.talD, parillo, S;mbito '.'que yo jur. mi Mama Simbito, paralo.,

While cominuingto organize: the contents gfthe saeu-saeu, the pa:drino would continue singing

\" ayapattmpolo'

pa'tQ 10 'mondo S,imbicQ' V 1i)'1!! p.ttmpoJo

YayB M_riB Ng,qa

Ya 1".am.o a ve' Si:lIJbicl!!

Que pBltimpolo 'goy,g Y81 q~e p!ltimpolo Mambe DiD

M.ambe Di'o'5


Once the sacu-sacu was organized o,n, the floor, the Tara and his assistant would proceed to spray rumor aguardiente on it. also offering the ngaaga cigar smoke while singing

Sa1. mi nga:ng&t sahala <0 Nsungl, d'e wella, Iig~'Dia A:mba mlmdo to m,l)CUI. Sm;ga, y,lUDo',miuga Yimbil., yimbil.

l£mmediately afterwards, the Tata wouJd sins the foUo,W1ing

Mayombe rue bUI9IO ell ~guin,ea GOlD, ~o:nYly8, lonya.ya

Coan.do viene,

Vama ave

SU!lUD,dam:1I ,",8, ts piuta, ngang,a M..I/y,O;mbe bUeDD en. Guinea Mama Lola da Hcensla

Abre ·~amino

Mayomoo (ue blJeno m Gtinea Ms),ombe, abR camin.o Chikinmgoma reeo;gi Chikinmgoma a rtcoge

VamID reen Iii

After wCl'flcing with the sacu-sacu, the Tata,wolJld carefully place everything back inside the burlap bag and hang the ngang,a baek from the ceiling, Such

, - ,tb- 'W3,- f,the· -~i' "·"'c:u '-,o'<I' ·S·<:Il·-;- .. 1..- d-c '," of -ld

was e" _.1 0_ ' ,_ sa ... w-~_, rl-Qi ,I"'" r! !.!I,e ay .. , ,: 0 ,'.

'The Ufe of Bac:h nganga is sustained by the st~cks (palos) of the bush (llfindaj lIha:t gjve .our religion its name. by the: ,spirit, who has chosen to reside in it. and by,aJj] ofthe mim,aJs it eonta1ns. A nlal1,ga is I microuniver,se: reflectinga.ll that one can :find in tnelarger world, bat:h good and evil This 'iii, why so: many ingredients gomto a ngams8I:, 'because it must ~r:eflect the fortes of the: universe, fcrces that are c.lw:u:leled in a I1ganga, to be used by the ngangulero, who is like the' god of the nganga. Since Andres, Petit imtiatled whites into Palo back m 'the mid 1840s. membersofvi.nuaJly all raC,B5, and nationalities have discovered Ihis path which. while it is 1101 'for everyon,e,everyone can benefi.tfrom it

A ' , -' -d '. eededte enide a ti 8fi a' II I believe the c, • 'ts of

strong mtn lS n~!L ,I) gtu 'S-,-i- well.,l, !J 3e Le Spin" _ .

former slaves :t.h.at usl1.aUy work with nganguier,os like torest us. They aliso ffiII:ve a t,endencym try to obtain r-evenge from whites because of the: mistreatment they may have received while in their last iacamatlcn. Nga:nguJeros have a responsibility not to give in to these: feelings of'revenge,


instead chaanelingthat energy towards, 'less destructive aims. r believe good is good and bad is bad. No one race bas a monopoly ,01':1 either, so lets move on.

There is onliy ODe way to destroy a nganga. Aft,er feeding it the blood of a rooster; rum. and cigar smoke, bury it 'beneath an anthill saying loudly "GOOD BYE FOREVER!" If. however, other ngangas have been born from that one. the parent I'Igang,a win continue to exist in an ethereal form as long as its deseendaats exist. To be a :nganguiero, a person must have a stable characteT, a strong mind, faith in 'God and the orishas, respect and ebedience for his padrino, and the humilltyto realiae that: to be placed in a position of leadership in the world of spirits is a hug,e respol'lSibility as well as a great: privilege.



1\ rt.» -:,. ~ Vim- - - - U' ~- ','g,', ulu: the deities ['fIAIS S, ..0.. .. ,p n ',', ,", ,',,' " , ,


we stan with Nguruftnd~ ailso lm,O\Vll in Palo as Simdaula. Ndundu and YembakaButlDlseke, called OSlin in Lukumi, because as god of plams he is ..... ,1lI)' clese ito every Palere's ,bean. It is ,sal!dthat Osain, began the praetiee of makingmagi,cal, potions out of plants and ,storing, the potiens in sourds and ,calabashes many, many, years ago,. It was a woman who fimt discovered the secret potions"~ for~ B1!.IJ'llfiDda to ,mare ,knowledge @fhowto work YJilth herbs Vllitn the 'woman. Sbe: In rumpromisednclt. to, work with herbs while on her menses, ,a, promised she did not keep, Since that time; most

P,ft' , - C 'it..,' t -1..0, ' .. a,-, ... : ...... 'ai\linD' me Burunnda deirv to wom.el"l' In our

iUeros nave aIJ 0 .... g~~ v __ Q __ , _ _, "___O'!! _ , ' , "... ,

heuse, we make special osains for women called Osain Kinibos, tbese are kept outsidethe borne and must be hl.[ng at a low ,altitude, less than eight feet.

.People bern with the ~ft of working with plants, are ealled "Osainistas" and are l.I.S'uaJIy childre.n ofSiete Rayos (Shangol),. Osain's favorite godchild. It was to Shang,a that: Osain first 'taught the secret ofhow to make power:fu1 medicine out. of plan.ts and it was he who first klept a gourd fi11ed Ylith a :margicaJ po·tJon ,in his home. Lu,ee,ro, ZarabaIDda, Veeee Ba,taUas, and the n1iJ.1"l.bi are ,all mtima~ely mtemYined with Burufiada/Osain, The: Osain we work 'With in 'Our house is called Olsam. Aguenegui AguaJdo Kinikini aad the w.ay to praise.mm is with the fu.lloYl>ing mambo:

Oilc sal sal babaJop,ol

Oile sal sal b.ab aJo pOI Osain, ,Iweoeyreeli H ko Ewei'eye n'ile' ~ySire ,obaniwe

Osa:in eats go,ats" torteises, and roosters, eSp0Cially6ghting rooster and thos~ called "silky," Ingredients fof' I ,gourd Osain include deer antlers, soil c.-, '-I--.'t -~-.,C'",nlir. . " ,]-.- ,.,'1.,.,,, ,-.,,' 'i "tha bas l. , -- "4ced:

uom at eassevel'J U,weremt p aces, ,SlIt_, il torto,Sf) , __ ,_t !.leen sacn,, __

n) Osain, rain water coU~ in May, 'sea Wiler" river water, Cath.olieholy waler" and whole peppl!r kernels which mu,st be chewed and spat. inside the gourd by the lata. The Osain deity also requires bugs, birds,and ,coins. After the g,ourd is iliUed with aU these ingredients, it is then uiken to a palm tree; wnere it is buried, for six days in, order t.o receive Siete Rayos' andw5 sister Dada:! 5 asbe. By burying Osain for eight: days next to Ireko, Tiembla.Tierra. Nama, Bukuu, and Aganju imbues it with power. Kept, 'buried for three days in an anthill gives the IQsm.n deity the blessings of the nfurnbis, while burying it .for wee days ina crossroads ,gives it powerltom Lucero. Each orne' Osrun islak,en out of the earth (Iile) a, rooster, a" tortoise, toasted


com. drywine, a silver corn, and rum, must be left inside the hole, and a Catholic prayer called "The Apostles Creed" as well as the OUI" Father must be recited ,aft.er each :removal orOssi'n from a burial. Thls is called «thanking the eanh." Some Osains are: not made'ill gourds, but in terra cOltl, dishes or small iron cauldrons.

The, secret powder that give life to Osain can be: k,ept inside a. smaIl bottle, inside an antler, inside a buD or ,cow bom., or inside a li:ttle gourd. Divinati,on det'ennmes which wEn be used. This powder is made out of four feet fr'O'ID a torto~se~,two feet :fro.m 3. small parrot, the remainsofa large parrot ormaca:w~ the: :remains ,of aronfe' dove, the foUowing socks: amansapaPOjj w,akibaota., sapo~ plus theeyes and 'tongue of a .rooster, seven larg,e ants, seven human teeth which mclude the two canlnes, diirt ftom a graveyard, hair from a dead persoll. the name of,thesame: dead person written on parchment, seven, mate seeds, pius ,Il )Jr.de :rum. A.n of these insredients are '[0 be burned to ill crisp, the ashes that remrun, alons wjth

So- - -- .. a:' tli.. n t d· ''"d,n-'\ burn, is - t on amertal and ~ es .. le an-d·· ercund te a

_me SUIU.I!rm_ L 1 pu_ - - - __ - __ - P _:!JI -Cl""----- .-

powder. The ensuing. powder is a powe.rful ashe tlmt. is stored in one of the receptacles described above and then placed inside the larger gourd that had been prepared befo·f!e:. On a Thursday.. Friday, or Saturday, The whole: deity 'is 'to be buried along; witba large piece oflroko, :sacrificing another' turtle at the site. Three weeks later the Osain is n~'adyi,O be taken out. Tile Osain is now complel:e, ready to be hlmg up high .from the ceili.rns or from a tree in your backyard or p.atio, a.pr.a.ctic::e] don't recommend because your enemies 'may nave access to this precious nki:si if it is outside.


Also called Teta Nfinda and Quido-Pu.erta. Lucero is THE CHILD. a natural trickster. He 'is easily irritJlbJe end must: be cared .for.Like any child~ Lucero does not respond. well to negleer, He: is the most indis,pensable of the orishas. for witilout him. nothiqg moves. He is called el porterc; the 8a:tBkeepe'r. for -.Mtb.out, his blessing no metaphysical doo:rwa:y can, be entered, Md, lNithout his beI1p~. no material thteshoJ:d can be crossed, With his cowrysbel1s" a priest can address any @risha.. It is, his shelh that serve best for :in .. deptb readin,gs.Luoero enjoys offerings aftoys. 'candy, and all these things dear 10 childrea, He enjo},spanics, and' c~dtbratjons. as well as games. Lucero is ,11 flappy-go .. !ucky' youth. yet be can be brutal if one forgets to propitiale him ·OQ, Mondays. Lucero may fo(give the Palero,ifhe forgets to hcnorhim, Dace or twice, but if a third week goes by mtl'lout Lucero receiving his tribute. thefl the P,ajero '!NiH be remmd,ed that he needs Lucero by Josmg 3. lot .of business.

To honor Lucero. on Mondays. offer him rum sprayed onthe Lucero figure dir'lectiy from your mOl.:uh"ciS1:r smok'e, a ciindle.tmd a clear glass ofwater,


R>em!llmber ~Q talk to Lucero throughout your Monday cerem.ony,. 'telling him step-by-srep what: you are doing: "'1 am now .lighting.a candle for you. my precious child, I mil !'lOW spray some rum. all you, beloved Lucero,'; etc, Speak toh1m .sweedy, as ifyolJ w,er,e speaklng t03 child. AJways, renUnd him tnat he is the lord ofyolJif' home'. Beforeaddressmg :him. always knock three: times on th8 floor in front of'Lucero, usm,S; the knuckles of your right hamd.

Lucero is one of The Waniors and is often k:epll'leQ. to Zarabanda.,. Oshosi .and Osun, Osun" notto be- confused witb Oshun, isa .nlcisi associated 'With Own., represe.nring the Practitioner as a dei.ty,a. remiinder of the inherent godhood within us all.. Osun is depiid::ed as 8" little metal roosser standing in what looks like a cbalic;e. In Africa, Osun is a. metal stalfas tall as the practitioner, capped by a bird, and stuck inthe ground in front of a; practi;:iofler~5; home. Thls:tells, peoplethat a Tata liv'Bs onthe premises.


(Warning: .only duly .t"ilta(ed tata«; SamerD$, ()tiSM priests, bahalawos, houngai1s. or other priesthood holders at: a similar levellwve .the necessary ashe to make (In ejJicQ'CJOus Lucero dei.ty-Jt ;srmn.gerousfor the nOI1~inrtullted to arrempllo ma~ a LuoetYJ, What the ~lf7'·inlfi(jte(l,(;an do .ill' order tohavea rempo.rary Lucero is take (J t:OCOliur, dress It wnn palm oil, tmdp/tJce it behind his/her door. nonai'mg if ezS (1' Lucero .. )

To make a Lucero d.eity,. a, stone the ~e and appro~ate ,shape ora potato is, chosen by divination. The steae is betbed in ehamba .. At the: bottom or the stone, 'With cementtaixed with ehsmbe, stick severalnickels that have' been obtained from different, success,ful, businesses such as banks. Add copper coin;s., a pieeeefsilver, a piece' ofS:ofd. dust iTem tos:id,e and outside the main. door of the pe'f'Sot'l who is to receive the Lucero, soilfrem outsid.e a grocery ssore, dirt from a crossroads, and other ingredients such as mercury and pieces of.l<.ola. nuts. Eyes, nose, and mouth fashioned out of cO'~ shells can be g1u~ 011 to, tbesto:lle. A.. clUek:en is then sacrificed allowing its blood (men:ga) to flow over the deity while songs to Lucero are sung Aftenvar·ds Lucero is buried in a crossroads fora total of twenty -one da.ys, after he is W1earthed~ 'the hole 'that. remains must be filled with B! S8'crifice. Lucero is then broushtto tbe house in which he'll :stay. a party havln[Jbeenorgam.iz.ed~·mJr:"'.ho- or L -c·~r·-; I-v~- calm ..... :iJ! ho-ey """""white

,1:1 .. _ - - ~~~ m" no~. uce Q ~Q es p_ ~ "". ~ - r! _, -1 .

wine, dried. fish. dried l'ossum.,candy, rum, cigar smoke, cool w,aler. and a. candle.

Before 3i. person receives a Lucero from a. padrino ormadrina, both parties should be aware that this exchange makes them respensibletoeaeh other, since ,after a padrino comers a Lucero on someone, mllart person is. forever to be consideredthe paarino s godchild. People who do not respect each other or do not get wong should not enter into a. godparen1ig,cdchild


relationship, for there j,s a IGkongo proverb that says '''i,t, is better to be tom apart by four elephants and eaten by ten valtures and seventeen hyenas than to speak badly of one's godfather." A jodchiId's disrespect for a godparent will be punished by me erishas, but a godparent's abuse of his or her ,godchHd wm also receive punilshrnent.

The foilowjng, are Lucero's attributes, Colors: Red and bialek.

Fruits,; Guava, su,gar came.

H£Tb: Pasrure.

Beverages: A,gu.lJdiente~ rum, dry white wine.

MineraJ:: Jet

A.nin:Ws: Chicken. small ,Boats, rooster, chick.

Condiment: Palm 'Oil.

Sttek: Abre-caminc.

Numbers: 3, 2 r.

Lucero is lord of the lonely death~ he kills those who deserve it by making them bleed to death. Lucero loves parties, food, and sweets. 'When entering a place where a Lucero deity i,s present, the 'initiate 'will salute

Lucero wi1h the fbllo,wing praise:

Eshu a Ire bnru b ori ake b aye to ri ttl to Ia ye fi y,o,'i,ru ,a,'re ,8 me le ku'pa she eyo me'ko

Lucero should be petitioned to keep away evil in the foUoMng manner:

Ko si iku Ko 5ii·ofo

KD si, &raye KIl5lfWaD Ko si fitibo Ko Sl ubelu KD si,egba. Ko si .Nn

:kcep away death 'keep IIway loss

k~p away tragedy Ikeep .way prison keep sway ,obstades keep away the police keep away paralysis keep, Ilway illness

Lucero is humankind's teacher psr 'excellence, always putting people through tests, Lucero has twemy-o,n,e' manifestations in P,&1o .. but all are


one. The oldest Lucero is called Elufe. He is, fashioned out of wood and goes inside the Nganga


Owner of everything white, protector of albinos, said to be his legitimate children, Creator of human heads (intelligence). Tiembla- Tierra brought fertility to the world by splitting into male aru:I female halves thus introducing sexual :intercourseinfo the world. Most orishes were born to this P'rimordial coupl1e.

The (oHowing are Tiembla-Tierra's attributes. Color: Whlte,

Fruits: Soursop. cantaleupe, Herb: jasmine.

Beverages: water, milk.

Mineral: Platinum. "~'hi'N: marble. Animals: \Vhit,e doves, white she-goats, Condiment: Cocoa butter.

Stick: SiUe-cotton.

Numbe'fs: 8, 1-4.


Arguably the most popular of aU Palo deities,my father 'told me thai this

deity was acrually a rea] king in South Afiica named CetewQ]llo 'who lived ill the late I 80as and was considered an incarnation of'the god efthuader. Siete Rayos does not like the dead, for his vibrant personality loves everything seasuaJ such as drumming, dancing, fl,ghting and copulating. He lives on the top of the extremely 'taU royal palm trees.

The {oHowiog are Siete Rayo' 5, attributes. Colors: R~ ,and white.

'Fruits: R.edl bananas, red apples. Herb: Palm frond.

Beverages: Aguar-diente. rum. red wine, Mineral: Stone arrowheads; ruby. Animals: Rooster, goat, quail Condiment: Palm ca.

Stick: paint

umbers: 4. 6.

Men must not mistreat daughters of Siete Rayos, for the god fiercely protects his female devotees. The following mambo is sung to Siete Rayos:


Abuke.nke jugo con lo''Sambi y, DO V8I tasa~O!5M!.t(J Zaraband!l SOD mi Z.!lp,!lJt~ Lucero SOD mi C8D1is.

Y' ,R e'J 5i 10 aeato cDseguida, Sic:tc Rayos son be~djtc)

All Paleros 'worship Sieu: Rayos. even those dedicated to evil. He is considered the first Palero~tbe greatest magician, the king of our religion. Another mambo to Siete' Rayos goes 1ike this:

MaUri Nllasii. m .lui m!.lkian.l M"tm lDonoveh~ es Ia: eovolturll

L, piedra ell que: Nkita Nsasi 'C,Be del cielo NSl!Si IDYF8 mu}u

filiI. moks m'uiada

MUDa nsuh:a sgcrihll

Nsasi kiodlmJ.a inlJll1antate NSl5i Ita en cwo

E!!Iue.lIA.; ~ae ell, tierra. y b!lj ..

This 'n1ambo twks, ,abou.t bow Slete Rayos rules the heavens. sending hghtnin,g to his enemies, Iording over all heavenly bodies. $iete Rayos is the most attractive of all male Nldsis.


First-born ,ofTiembla-Tim1L, wife of'Brazo Fuerte, Motber of Hum :miry. Madril! de AgUE!!, rules the: oceans from where all life emerged. She is 'said [0 possess wisdom. as vast as the ocean" and can offer her devotees, unimaginable riches,

The following are Madre de Agua's attributes"

-Colors: Blue and white (her necklace consist ofblu.e and clear beads).

Fruit: Watermelon. Herb: Seaweed

Beverages: Aguardiente, moiasses. Minetal: Aquamarine.

Animals: Ducks. roosters. sheep. Condiment: Molasses.

Stick: Bamboo.

Nu.mbers,: 7,. 12.


, --


Orisha of beauty, 'itlery 'vibrant, krlo\W for herexpans.ive laughter. She is the goddess or love, but is also I .. fierce warrior. }\(tams. Shola rules all rivers, She: loves her devotees:,bul can. be bmtaJ ..vitll the:m if they fail to meet, her expectations .. Onee Mama Sholatumsag,Wnm iii devetee, she may never forgive him. Mama Shola d.emands that pr,cnnisesmade no her be kejn, 'Priests who work v.rith Mama Shofa must be: paid in advaneeand in fiill for their services.

Th.e following are MamaShola W~gue·s attributes. Colors: V,eJilow and amber.

·F ... ·rt"'. Or . -e- ~11ow cantaloupes:..

~~" .. ,-ans-s~ ,-- -. -- -.' _'--

Herb: Chamomile. Beverage: Beer.

Mineral: Go.ld, (lo'pper; .amber (not really a mineraL bl.1t :fimctioning as one). Animals: Castrated goats. yemowhen~.

Condiment: Honey.

Stick: Cinnamon.

Number: 5,

- .. - " --'. . 1 G"


Owner ofir-on. so' .respected in these parts of Africa that worship rum. thai to SVt'ear on him is aeeepted iaeourras equivaJem. to S'Weari:ng, on the Bible Of the Ho!y Qur'art He IS one offcur nkisis colilectively called. "The Warriors." Zar.abanda is pr'csent where eV,eF iron is found, he is, therefore iilinost aJways found in nganga.s,. since most are comainedin iron cauldrons. Ti;), prepu'e.8 Zarabanda deity, the folJomngmgredients must be gathered: A stone pic'kedout.m the IWildemess, certafn humUl bones, soil, a horseshoe. bamdClLffs. ,an ironcbain. aJli iron ball, mercury. two bottles of rum. dry white wine, cigars. and a pls,eon, A smail black dOl must be sacrificed, his skuU being kept forever in the cauldron. Therituai of'mml'lg. Zar:abanda. must begin at midnight. The wl.ture,. ffl'ayim~be, ·mu.S\. be praised by sjnging, "Di6t 'D'''' Di'JI, Ma . ". ....... M.·' .. be· M •. ·be ;9

Iv, __ .U _ .--.ytPI~ .' --·fUIl· -~ f6D- ..

1!1I!"L. . u 00 fo-l.l0 o,1"e: .. ~ld;;o'i)'T'le"s in order to n_.d .,t.. r suired stoae

l"I!lJell, yo._ Q I !In __ "" Wl,L _"'._"'_ . . _ _'. _ IJjJ!.II .1J~e . eq iu_De

needed fol' Zaralum~ take aa 'e;gg as an offering.. 'When youseew btaekish or gray stone tha.t catches your eye,. take it. The foUo."Ning sticks are indispensable to Zarab31l.da: palo hueso, palo jiqui.quiebra hacha, malambo and palo yaya. Another featuretbat must not be overlooked InZa:ra:banda's prenda is the addition of a beavy, padlocked (;hain which is wound tightly around t.he outer rim of the cauJdro.!l and is said to .Il.mction as a barrier tokeep Zarabmda" senorrnoes energy' inside the c:~dron until dle Palero is

ready to use: it. Zarab.iU:lda·':sftrmQ ( ) Is painted. outside and

inside the cauldron, The cauldron. is 'tn.en covered 'vrith a. black and white cloth after a. pOSSllUlL, jutiQ, or gmnea pig,pllls a black rooster, has been sacrificed to Zarabanda. It is then buries. near lrok:o or another sacred Wee

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for twenty-one days, feewng the ,eanh app.ro'p:riste:ly after the cauldron has beea un'e:arthed. This is the mambo tl1at has to be suflg while manng Za.rabanda.:

Va mime mEcbc

Que kuenda ntete

Tu kuenda 1111 rUldli

Til ben.da car.b.asil Ndoki, que yo bobbll,

Tu mimo sonmi 1;i18ft

TIIJ llliDIo SOD mi: mare

Tu .miml) SOD to IM'I:kaJ:J Mo Ko juma:QsaJ Idyumbl

The cauldron 1:5 now ready. Zarabandatsjinna is now drawn on the floor or table where the deity will be placed, The circle represents the world, each point of'tne cross represents a cardinal point, and the center of tile cross represents the crossroads-choices, Seven piiles of gunpowder are Ht to welcome Zarabanda to its home, the new owner 'ofth'e nganga may now decorate it with vulture feathers. A cat bone-usually the tailbone--is sometimes added to' .la.rabanda., .Pickthe rigilt bone by placing a magic mirror near it" if it getsclolldy, thaI is 'the bone you'll choose.

'The foUowJns are Zarabancla' 51 anributes,

Colors: Green ,Uld bJack,; white and black in some munanzos. red in others, Fruit or tuber: African yam. &fees plantairu

Herb: Ginger.,lemongrass.

8ev:erage: Zarabanda loves hard liquor, but sboald only beoffered some on speeielcceasions ..

Mineral: Iron.

Animals: Dogs •. young bulls. Condim,sl'lt,; Bla.ck pepper. Stick: Algarrobo.

Number: 3; 7·.


A terrifylng.enti'ty in Africa,. where: he iskncwn as the one who brings plagues. in the Americas, he has been truly syncretized with the beloved 'old beggllr depicted in Catholic llthogra.phs accompanied by twosmall dQgs that lick the sores wrucn cover his body. Pat.a .. en~I.I:aga. was born lame, sbowing us tlIateven the gODS may be' faced W'ith pbysical cha]lenges. In fact; Pateen .. l1ag;a. had to overcome Dot one" bum several disabilities, induding severe ski.nproblems, syphims, and ignorance Dft:l1e language and customs of the land to wl1ete he was sent as an exile" Arata. Because ofbjs indomitable

I _


spiri~ and his enOm'lOIll$ strength of character" Babalu has become the most beloved orisha in Cuba" the people of our country identif:;'r:i1ng with this great fighter who went from royal prince to exiled crimina] to king: of his own land. Pata-en-llaga's perseverance becomes embi'emallic of the Cuban, ethos. Syncretized witb St. Lazarus. not the friend of Jesus, but the old man of the parable of the rich mall and thepoor man, on December 17th massive pilgrimages to 8, little church outside Havana which houses a miraculous image of'tneaJleged saint (the"Olcgians MIl ten you that parables are aillegmi:e.s1, so this particular Lazarus probably 'Dever existed). People 'from all parts of Cuba and :from tid] w:alks of1i£ea:nd religious traditions walk, crawl, -or ride to the little church and leprosarium where Para-enl!lagaIBabaliu is said to reside disguis,edas an old white man in crutches,

The following are Pata-en-lJaga's attributes. Colors: Purple. bro'Wll, yellow.

Fnnta; Dates, raisins.

Herb: Eseoba amarga, apazote.

Beverage: Dry whit'!: wine; milt for his dogs,. Mineral: Quartz.

Animlls: Guinea fowl, castr-ated goats. Condiment: Sesame seeds.

Stick: Arbol del sebo.

Number: ll .. 13, 17.

Pata-en-llaga protects the elderly, people' with skin conditions. peopie with blood. infediolls. ,g:rav,ey,ard. werkers plmps, dogs, ;and the poor.B'urlap is another one arm.s a:ttributes.,it reminds Pa:tasen~Uaga ofa time when be 'was so poor he had to dress bimselfby fashioning clothes out of discarded burlap bags. A common sacrifice offered to Pata-en-jlagaafter be grants a boon is fOT the devotee to dress in burial'. either for a prolonged period, such as a month, or (or OR,e day per month. usuaUy on the 17th.

A simple way to honor Pata-en-lla,ga is to take ,11 toasted or dried corn-onthe cob, such as the kind sold in the U.S. as ornamentation during Halloween. dress, it'N'lthpalm oU,attach seven. difFerent~olcred ribbons, each about 8, foot in length, from the cob and hang it inside YOW" borne Q10m [he middle of yourfroll.t' door. Nail a piece of'bread or dinner ron right: above the: corn-on-the cob so that you'll never lack food and prosperity.



The fiercest female warrior and beloved y;ife of Siete Rayos" CenteiJa Ndoki

roles over Nfuiri, the A..nge] ofDeath--kno'WD SIS lkil in Santeria, Ceruella Ndoki protects merchants. as she Is called "La Duena de 10 Pkca' ,(The owner of1be marketp,lace). She is said to be present at the gates of cemeteries. This md-icat:es that part of her role: is to aid people who are making the transition from the' material 'to the spirituaJ plane. Along with. her sisters Mama Sbom Wang8 and Mama Kaluna;a. she rules over waters, her particular dominion being rainwater. Her po,wer as !1 mediator is also evident here. for she not only rules ever rainwater, but, abo over hghtning which is fue. CenteUa Ndoki's most imponant aspect however, is as the ruler of the wind, especially storms Her dominion of air implies that :she ms QIil,e of the forces that :sustains life. for there can be no life 81'S we, know it Vtithout 'the air we breath. All oftbese artributea make Gent ella, Neold. in my opinion. the most powerful female force in the universe. She bas four sets of twins and a ninth son called AbikU said to bean incarnation of death


The foUo\.Vi:ng are Celltella Ndoki s :attributes. Colors: AU colors except black, brown.

Fruit: Papaya

Herb: Caimitillo.

Beverage: Aguardien.te, beer Wnerail: Bronze.

Animals: Guinea fowl. hens. condiment: ES'gphDlt. Stick Guara.

Number: 9.

These are some offlle most /1onor;ed or.ishas. There are manyalhers., but to describe aU of them w{Nld rfIqllire Q lGlJ1J:f! volume dedicOIed to just that, a

wark I may ,undertake' in t'he /1IlW'e-R. C.



CHAPTER VI Ch,omoloftgosllbbolDiloggun Cowry SbeU Divination

DiIo~flIUDt also called ISBO, :is IDIlI·of ~fourubdnllS c,f ZAMBlA .. P:ALO MONTE. It is tbemoutb: of the ORISHA. "I'ho deitie-s ear; p_d talk byway o.fthl: cowry shells.. Oldy Sam.mia, padriDos or Palo T AT AS Un: lM authority to use tbl5 form ·ofdiviDMion. LUCERO 8- 21 co~ 11JO!A D,tbar ori.l S, thQ'usD mall cases oub' 16 ,8M cut. The ~uJ way ofcam:img, tlzsbeJls, is BS, foUows: All, presem DDISt mOil t.hG floor 1D'O'tliDfI a ,maw' mat- 11le T'ATAletS, me ,LUCERO.shells our;, seaim; five Mide es he·says O'WI' each o~ respecdvelYI i.IIK.O 81 lKU" KG SI ARUN. KO 51 OFO~ aJ:Id zo SI ARAYF' wbich n".IC8DS""kH'll"l! ,&\V8"" death. .sic~ .. -, ,- mN 101-.. anat'f'i'lD-+O t; H 1,"" '. that .~L.~ r··' ' .. 11. ...

. . ,.- -to'. , ',f.' -~ 1::-",.,1. ,.-..., . -""t= ...... ,J' . iIiS5'IlD1e __ ,~ ,a4a:1IJol:I.::i

altudiy, early in .• momma. said his MO JUBAprayers". so [won"t, ,8Pimo iE bm:. The W:ml l'W11ycid1e five_Us, is called tbI! AGDI:::YEce.mm:my. WItb the remaininS 16 -u.s.. the- TAT A 'pnllc=ds, to ask 'the GUARDIAN ANOm.. cftb! parson be_read fOr pamission tot.oucli1the pmrson?s,forebmcl with. 'both haoo.t; cooraining (;owril!S, IWDiaSlR person sa~ USCFiand .. SO oomes bdb,[! us today af;;1dq &uidance.ti: LUCEAO is thim peddoned [0 b~ip' the individllll by ts1Idng,o, 'the caster through the sbel&. l'be _lis are taken iBm Um: :rigbt ,bSrJd a_ndm g_mJr dropped on,me su--aw mat. 1"he msttWCI "tlttaws;" lR c:omsidered l:hf;f'I'.IC)St :ittqKJrmm.

1btn 8m 16 possibiliti!!S tim: sblDs caD &It on, depending on ,how many fall wtm,the nm1Jal aprrnue .meing. Ul=1'. EalCh Ofl'hs po&itions is called. an ODDU" or cbapler. in the dilcssun corpus. ,.All: adm! e,omDinaDons are OMOD,DU. IC'bildren ,gf me ODDU~ ,aDd: ate ,obtained: by combining tWO throws., fbrc:xample, if the first throw is seven ,shells (Qdi) .and theseco,nd six (Obara) the OMQDIDU is ·Udiham.,'~ Which 'so.mepeopiB simply read as, a combination OCIOdj and Obua, but knowled;gea.bl!, priHts know mDe ,I totally dlftinm cbaptut Just. as a Icbild '0 f two' parems is a totally dfff'e~ person th:I,m ebher Qlfhblher~arem:tS" ahOOugh belsbe .n:IB)" 'resemble both. Co'Wria prepared for 'reading: areopm!d on 'the closed sKte., :50

tloau will L_., , r . __ ... , ....... J ' •. __ ..II' .. ~-iaI .', .' . ~ .I' .... ' TA. T AC'" I~...,. ". ~ . ..1 .' .... 1.. -.1' . ~ve a umwm DpeIUIlS.,a,gy IIJl !II!.~ __ . O~~l'I\u'S't ._~ ~,IiI: llia.iau.i. 0'.W7

10 ODDU number twelve" 'only '1M IOOst ,experic"Qe&i TAT AS koow bow to ra:d 1.1116 ODDU!!;,. Some OOlliSGS ·thachan ,PWD subservient topriestSiofIF A wiD IIDI 'rad, beyond ODDU 12, t:a:Jcing:'!he clicmma. SABALA WO (PlUEST OF' WA)ta .imerpret OD'CUS 13 mmup 16 ifmyoftMse, come up Dna fust tbrow.

ln, ourmunsmzo .'We always, throw thl\!l: slm.1Is tw1c;e as: first(lud.iDg bothind.i'Yidually as well as: lht! OMODDU which, results: wm. the ,com.bination. Woe tMm, inti our wiztkel' t.I:l! ODDUS bri:mg lRB(good. 'fol't'Wl.C) Of OSOOBO (obmu:lcs), W:chaVI! some' implllb!'lltS we we in this 'cellon of 'tru:ccmoo'rlf called IS,BO. T'ra.ditig1JliUYI five: .IBBO ,are u.sed, tliollgb two :Ble all Em. is reaJlly needed if one is to ,simplifY miDIs. 1bt:: fiye .IBBO


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are: a white stone called OT AN FUN, a darkstone (OTAN DU), a sma!L long stuill (EYO), '!he headofa tiny doll (ERI AWORAN),! a bone 'tram a goat.'s. fool or &om a human, bamd (EGUN),a.md ,I p,ioce ofca.searilJa cbalk (EFUN). 'The first: 'question 10 ask with me IBBO iswbethe:tthe ODDU comes 'Ntth IRE tor OSOu,BO. The white stans and the dark stone ,Ir,e liVen 'toihsperso[!, be.ing read, be or :s.be is, ~o,ld 10 iem:1y mix, tbetwo stones!, later separating one in. eachbaDd~, roams. twO 'fists. and pn:sem:ingthe: clese film to the, reaaer. The rea.d&r men WoVfS the cowries~ If lit major OODU comes up (I, 2" 3, 4, 8, 10, 'l.2~ 11, 14, 151 and. 16) coma up, the reader ,asks forth! teft band. IfamiDDr aDnU CQI:Il!!!S up (5" 6,! 7, 9t~ and 1 t )" the readerasb die person 'bema read, to give himlhc:r'tb! mBO that heiR is hedding in h:i&therrigD:.t, hand.. If,SJ.'White stone is obtBi:nBd, 'the ODDU COIllltS 'With IRE" .ifthe d.arlc: onet '..",.;m 080080. Some rAT AS use the white stOm:i1S OS00J30 .and the CASC:ARR.LA CHALK as IRE ,2$ ,3 means ofminimi2img tile bad

i:;.. I"IM.. I ..... _1.. .. 1' '- ".~_.:J '. .' • ns Of'I.._'.,1.. ~~.uor ". --- .. L dO"" 1.._.01 .1.. •

'u.!mme. I, u8 rung ~I.l 'LS '.~ III que:suo _ _ __ ,~~, ilUJlMI. __ money,l..utll . 0, S ~ WileD a

tml5t be datemlined whethel" tim, penon being read or another member' cfhis.t1ler immediate fimWyi.s: being a1luded~o. TIm' bcuw: is used 'to ask abca.lt death orthe dead. Some PAURO! use a small cross lID ask U'me IRE is fum in tbelleavens. Using this, method. a grcm, deal ofinfbrmation is :a.cqu:iTed,. fur each oonu thal comes up, incllld.iJ::lg the ones used to detennme 'Whicb baud is '1:0 be opened, have something 10 ,say. At the end of the

.. . d . _.J 'L:' h Ea' BO if- •. • ~..l_.J Ii..':~h b - .

reading; It must, be ,etem:u:n~WIUe - ' .... ,., .• anylS, fl~1iSU. 'to eS"Ua:U~ - • ailancc' m, the

1::__ ..Ii t..:,..:1~ I:£"

CWliJllor H;,OU:CUIU;i! S, we.

lbe: sin""!n OIJ'DU are:... l-OKANA2.~E.Yl!O&Q l~OGrn:';~DA4-IRCSOt S-O'SEE 6- O:BARA. 7 .. 0DIS-EYEUNLE 9-0SA lO-OFUN 11-0IDA.N112-EYILA IJ~lvIETAN"LA 14--~A 1 ~-:MANUNLA 16 .. MERlN"Dn..OQGUN.

ffIROSO TONn (4-4) comes aut, the person being read .may !JeW] elder from another house come UJ, lest you .. so De"NUe ,ofsmm!!ers tha.t come up 4-4!

110GUNDATONTI (1-3) GIlD:li::S om. iInm=Wa.tely ask if 'tragedy awaits you. orw person you're' reading fur.ano, na rooster is enough 1,0 break, me ODDU. IfIOGUNDATON'l1

t-;... ...... 1D;c" .0":,,""1.. :'rl,.~ ~ - ~ in c 1d \YlUel': ll'llace: tbembet.. .... ..1 ""'our door ll··rI.. .... ~- - i" ...

U.L~~~W,~,~CO __ __ . - ,,. ----~:J_- l.JW;Ouu l"wra

minme. and keep refreshing them throughou.t the r-ad.ing, nit comes 'With OSOGBO, leave tile reading for another day:8ii1d '~Oout. to look Cor a rooster for o gun i:mmediatcly!

If o.FUN l!4A.FUN( 10..1 O} comes up ·with osegbo, eight fioes musE' be dr:a'Wn be:bmdtbc:' door with cascariila ,and COCQa buner. At the end efthc RadiFI&1 the shells must be washed witb herbs ~red.to OB..AT,i\LA.. as must the person being read.


mE AR1KU (Dead bring good femme) IRE OTONOWA (firm in heaven)

Ute A YE (firm in the earth)




-- -- -

ELESE (a.t tbe feet: ,oraIl orisha[a:sk whic,b onej) owe (byQ"Wn band)

~MO (through a sea)

\..t::. ELEDD<A(throu:gb own head) ;j: '(;;0 ENYOKO ( Through karma)

llS OKUNI (throu.gha, maJil) tRE OarN! (througb a woman)

E T"OiLOl{]Thl (through the sea)

RE ELESE EGliN (1Ihmugi:ll a guard.ian sp:iritlancest.or) _ - OWO (through money)

"RE ELESE ARUGBO (thmugh,an ,~ldcrlyperson)

iRE ELESE ABUXO (through ,iI! brodmt or sodbrother) [RE ARA OK.O (dmougb, the CJQ1uIDyside)

IRE ARA ONU (through the' ,pat bqtond) .


T_hU (death)

ON (sickness) L fO (env}\ blood) OFO (loss)

O"lA (obstac.les)

X.OBA (revoJution) rrrmo (problems)






Spells and firmas: Working the spirit

firma Siete Rayos to help an inmate achieve freedom

Paint the above firma in four different colors. You may paint ;t on the gmund or on a piece: of cedar wood about three feet by three feel. A1way:s paint from the center eur, A white quall and !II brown one must be saerifieed to Siete RAyos and left in the middle of the sygill to rot. White flour must be used to trace the inner circle, gunpowder over the outer circle. The' mambo tha,t empowers this work is tbe followll'l:g:

Lieellc-is ago. se va que cuenda Sambiampungo Sambiaotin, Nsambi SurortlC!um,

Samb:ia bUongo, Siete Rayos me entare ndian, ndisn euenda saia0 s.anyo"

mundo garabatea.

mumbara. Licencia mi TaU lic:eoda to nfunbi, fieencia t. ndi.anbe, Ih:enda cuadriJJa Congo,. lIc::end-a Coatro Vieotos, licencia Tango, li~eDcia nsula, liceneia ototo, licend,a

,Ma.ma NsaJs Que 1'81 cmcndt. b.je nt,oro .

.s -1.11 .maleko. maleko s.ala.


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Firma Siete Rayos to empower a house. and make the tata strong and healthy

Draw firma in front "fthe main nganga, using cascarilla, pembe, or chalk. A ram., two white quails, £'WO brown ones, two white roosters, and two tortoises must, be sacrificed to' Lucero and the n,ganga. Add red wine, dry whitewine, chamba, cigar smoke, twenty-one little piles of gunpowder. and all of the main firmas of the Douse 'Written on parchment.

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Zarabanda firma to obtain material wealth


. ,






Sacrificial animals Beetled: two black roosters whi1ch must be passed over the person fo'r wh,om the mODey' work is being perfonned, the roosters arethen killed without decupit:acing them. their bodies .left: on the nganga for rwenty-fous hours

-SlS'oqB S'U!sngn.-arqn.OJl ~i 5':1101' {\lOS '~s.m:;dlis!p iUtWlJ. ~ql SV -laa1 J~\{fS!:tf ijllA\ euug a~ja PIAOqS [p9Stre9p :SU!gq IIOSJ31d 'eitm~u:;tp 01 pooIQ ~~l JO JSru a til, 8u~:;jJO ·1~J. aJ'Bq S,uOSJ~d ;'1. uo poojq amos 5~~ds 'waql'S'II!le1!dBOOP 11l10l(1lVt\ w~tP iU'!ID'1 'uo~j3d r.JAO SG1SOOl OMl! sa'SS'ed HI,au !AlBA JO 91U~ 'paloo,JgJ1!q BUUg, uo ca'l,S P{no1.ls ~SU'~1:J':Jq 01 UOSJ;d 'rilnl'!UJO ~UQ.ij, ~ JOoy a1Jj11l0 effiR.JRO JO ;qw;d 1t1lA\ BUUg lAeJa:

\ I



abanda firma for permanent protection





x ()

should be painted in the nsc, the temple where the person who seeks protection ( er nganga. 1 have made this firma a perman~nt part of t.h.e d.ec.orltion of my

H requires the sacrifice of two guinea, fowl. a black rooster, Bald a quail.


Zarabanda firma to make an amulet that makes one invisible' to the police

Draw this firma in parchment or a. piece of brown paper bag. Ptace on top of nganga sacrifice two bla.ck pig,eons, a red rooster, .and MO white quails. Make SUI"'!: some ofthe blood of each, animal rea,cbes, the paper. Aft,erwards, fold paper and place inside small ~eather bag wo,ns with a hwnming,bird heart. Cany amulet (makuto) with you at all 'times.


- - -----------------


Some simple firmas depicting the nkisis




PATA EN LLAGA ...... I ,

. ".









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Palo's reputation for bBing "evil],," "datk' or "black magic" comes from a misunderstanding of the forces that move the wodd. Zambia's all-encompassing energy is expr,e&sed in creation as I"pa.nding and CODn,B,ctmQ 'forces, tbe yil'layan,g of Taoism, Paleros work with botb, cW'fents, ndoki and nsanbi. Ndoki, fhe negative ma.rJiife51!stiQD ofbeins, is the ,aspect: or divinity tba,t acts as she pumsbme,nt: for wrongdoers:"karma,. t' Ndolci is dark. lunar, hidden, fluid. and primal, pr,;ma!acie, Ildoki appears to be evil. Ndoki is ,identified with the contracting aspect of the, eesmcs, )V]th impl@sion, destruction. death, anddisea:se. Nsanbi is the positive' manifestation ofbemg. Nsanbi is bri'ght. solar, exposed. soiid,and developed. Nsanbi is identified with goadness; with the 'eq>anding cosmos.'Wi~hlife.

birth., growth, and healing. mreality, ndeki cannot exist without nsanbi and vice ver,sa. Imagine; an ,organism constantly inhAliim.8 without ever exha.Iing~ it would. eN'plodel \Vilen Pateros work with ndekl, therefore. they mum bee)!treme:ly careful not to inour ~:heM,ath of the Lords of Karma. O.n'ly 'very seasoned and well-balanced practitioners should work with the forces oIndoki. Less experit'RCed 'P,ahuQs may seriously imperil their spiritual development as welJ as those' of their ,clients and god,chlldren if they misuse the power of ndaki


Thebwc "good. luck" 'bath. is prepared. with wlUteGUies.adding itspetels to your ba'thw:atBf. Light a candle to Tiembla· Tierra while you are taking the bath. Do it eight Thursdays in \1 row.

If you :fi.nd signs of a. work against 'you outside YO\lT home, such as a dead! chicken or a bunch of bananss etc. urinate 01'1 the work, tnel'ldis,card 11.. If in your household there's a young boy {girl.s· urine is not~.hought proper, for some reason). then Jet him l1nn'8.te on it, for an. irmoc,ent child's urinels a more powe:rfu.1 spiritual cleanser than holy water blessed by the Pope. In fact, to, ensure the :spirituaJ inH~grity ory-our home, add a couple 'of drops of 8J child'sunne as well as some hoty watertt,om a Catholic, Ortli:lodox, or High Episcop,a1ian Cburch to the water you use to clean, your home's Hoors.

Another bath design,ed to' a;nraC! good vibrations conS;igs of .addmg three bay leaves to Y'OW' bamW'8tef, along with SBVen difi'elienl. ,perfumeS/colognes. Repeat seven times, once per week.

m A1'1X4Cr,LOV'EIU

Fill a pail half-way with water, add to~t a splash ofappJ:e~blossom cologne, five drops of boney, and some lillies, lromedial,ely after yO'IJ t:.tIik!e a shower. pOW:' the previously· prepared p.ail 0'11 your bodyfto.m tile neek down. 0'0 Uris three Wednesdays or Fridsys in

, , - A,d- ... esrsle to'tl'F,' ·tn:'edie .. t·s d it becemes a mO",mJ .;I~ ... ";"'g b- ,,,,~I.. .... well

a row. u Poy,SLY ... '1: m,D'" ~ .~ u_. _ ....... _ ..... _ ._f!~}"\U'I1".... ",UI ~ ,e "

,Another bath to attract: a lover ismade 'by fillillg a. pail 3/4 of the w,ay with water, adding to' :itpar.sley, petals from fiv,e carnations, 6~ye dropB, of'holley.a. white rose' ,(petals onJy).




and a splasb of Florida Water. POUf p,eil on your body from eheneckdowa-make sure your genitals gel plenty! Repeat bath five Wedn,escilays or Fridays in a row.

To make a roan yO'!J know faD 'in Jove with you (rhis speU does oo,t w@* on a woman) st,ea) one ofms handkerchiefs, pB$S it. all over your naked body and. leave it in as intIma.tea. !part of your body as ]I'OU CaJiI for twenty-row- hours .. If you c-an get hairs nom him. mix them with :your OWill hair and bum them if! the flame of a se.ven-da:y white eandle. Look at the camdle'sflame intently, vi.s~ the man's face. When his features appear clear in your miad's eye, the spell has been :successM.

Adding a ce·uple of drops of yOW' mmstrual blood mo coffee you make for yeur loved one makes him fall mad.ly in love with you; be: will. not be ,able to, 'think of anybody else.

To make aleved caecome back mler he has left yOIJ~ take a pumpkin and hollow ill out, keeping the top as a lid. Take five nails from the feet ofarooster and put them inside the boUowed pumpkin. adding an egg, marjoram. the n.ame oftb.e loved one written on parchment paper and an.)' personal item y.ou. may have of the person you want back, S.pit inside; the pumpkln three times. then close tbeplllI'Ipkin using the hd. Place the pumpkin nm' to Mama Chola Wanga forbve days, then oft'er it 1:0 the river aJongwith6ve pennies. YOW" stray lover 'Will come back wi:tlU twentyR,one days.


IIi a bathttlb full of warm water, pour five cup,s of milk, five bunches of curly. pars ley, and five drops of .honey , Bathe for a1.1ea:st rwer:rry miml.(esl1iSldng Mama Chela WW'l.8,a £0 bless you with money .

To attract business, clean the doorway of your place with parsley, cinnamon. and honey in

wat - .idli '''''~,-. d "P ead -.... -e·... - meal .. a:r - ~.md

!I ef. ru~e ..... !U'._ • ., rea s",m ... Ornrr!. _ 0' .

When writing a letter asking for maney. pass some cascarilla over the paper in which you are to write the letter before setting pen to, -paper.


Boiled leaves, sterns •. and bark of my:nl.e make a peat skin cleanser.

SOl.U'wplea:ves should be boiled and applied dlrect.ly to the side of the face that is affect.ed bymewalgia.

Lindee fIIowers and leaves make a sreat calming tea for' nervous or easily exci.ted, people.

Ch:unomille tea is good to settle an upset stomach ,alJd ,8.S a runuraJ shimlpoO for the. hair ..

Mango seeds.grouad 'to a powder and mixedmth water makea fir.st~r.at.e disinfectaru.



To bring serious discord to II home, take nine peony seeds, black pepp,er, and leaves from

a peanut plant, burn all to a crisp. Blow the resulting ashes on mile door of [he people you

want 10, see :6ghting among each other.

To separate acouple, lake seven pumpkin leaves, mix with twenty-one kernels of black pepper, srind to II powder. blow On door of targeted couple.

To keep' someone away. take dirt from the bottom ef a nganga, seeds from three okras, dirt from a crossroads. and the name of the person you want far. Put on CIi bottle weighted so that 'it goes to tbe bott,om of a river .. where you must throw it at twelve midnight.


Although many of the herbs used in Pale may be difficult 10 6nd in some areas, there are

enough common plants available in most places to hon.or each orisha. The foUo'~g are certain :fairly common plan,ls and herbs associatedwith the foUomng dehies,

LUCERO Asafetida Chili pepper Gr:ass

Black eyed pea leaves




Avocado leaves Coffee


Dried rosebuds

StETE RA.YOS Bamrnas

P,ahn fronds China berry

ZAR48ANDA Cayenne pepper Black pepper Oak leaves




Purple basil

BeN pepper


Sponge (not a plant, but ,functions as one)



Orange blossom Papaya


Witch hazel Vervain

Purple grapes Roses Coriander






All beans



Rose of Jericho (stem only)




Some important prayers and mambo's

When the T ata inserts the sacrificial knife in the t,molt of an animal. all present should sing the fonowing:

Memo (or ensuso !fIrs a rooster. eIC.) bbwinda embele kiamene

,eki, mella nkisi

When the Tara's hefpe'f' lifts the animalup, allewing its blood to flow on the prenda, a11 members present must sing as follews:

M,ot81 $i meng,B!!(IS COrTe,. tOInO eorre Ahora ,si mengs va eerre, si se;fto Ahota si meDga 'l'"S forre

\¥ben feeding other implements after ng8!Dga and Lucero have received the first offering, the fol']owing mambo is intoned:

Fogolrll yariJo' IDtDga, cerre 1119gB Fogoro yariro

At this ll'me a plate or dish made out of half a gourd containini some salt 1S placed under the animal's throat to oOUectitsfiemaming blood, wrule thi:s is going on. all present willi


Sang;ra, !!labl, lai 19 lai Ia, lai la, lai Ia, la.i 13 la.ila.



N gaangara nkunia

Munanfua monunkuame

rata: ndi:ibilongo tuyembere

- - -- _- - - - - '


OPENING PRAYER Guiriko nganga

Mbonda Tata Nganga Monte Mayombe

Kuenda Cemposanto Medianoche Andres Petit Zar,abanda Mata Mundele

Licencia Zambia

Zambia amos, Z-ambia abajo,

Zambia enlo cuatro costae

Licencia Lucero Tata Ndoki Lic,cncia Ntango

Licencia Mposi

Licencia NSBmbi

Lieencia Nd.oki

Licencia Ntoto

Lic,encia Nsulo

Lieencia Kamnga

Licencia Kuna]"emba Licencia Ktmasinda Licencia Kunafinda

Licencia Nfunbi vititi bacbeche,

Nfun'b· . "tin' - - :,., - . . 1 Vl __ - guanguan

Licencia to 10 nfunbi Guiriko nganga

Soma (] no somo? SOMO!


Tendundu Kicnpungu,ele Mani masanga Nsilan banza m:andi.e

Sese mandie B,jkan bioko Bigan diame NdiHcuarne Nsambi ndiganga.!


Pian kilanga

Tala moko

Nganga nkisa

Nkita mllbm~

Ngungu nsanguila

Sogulo basula

Kuenda muini















'PItA. YER TO 8ACBmCE A D'UCK Ba1usnde kiambi ko

Kiamfunda Kalunga

IGambonga nsns.u Suakarat (its head is then placed by its, side)

SALUTATION OF' TlIE NI'GANGA Zambia mpungi, vititi losa

tava sili, mono panibele

Machueo Kongo, Lunguanda buengue.



Caro.~Bwma.s, .Neches Nelle, saJuaiUldt!lo n IJsLed. Gula.-Yo wu:ao a. L~rn.o. Sa.hldtlnDOlo a US~ed, Duenas NDC)U!lS, N,!.n!., s.lludul'ldoip II IUSlCll!.

Yo wilda D. 'neD1btD~Tierra. si11udandolo D usled. Due:au N'Dc.nes Nen.I!, saJudlindalo a ustad.

Yo .Judo a 1 RAyos, sa1udindolo a ustcd. .l!uMu Nocl'lr.s Nene, AJudind!ll,la a. usten

y, wuda a. :MaClte de .AgUll, ~a:wd.iindoEo a usbed. EJI,Itms Nodu:!s Nene., RludindQIQ Ii Wited.

to aluda a Sba,lin Guencue. saJudi,ndDlo ill 'Wiled B.utna:s ND~bQI Hili wud4:ndolll 4 usted

Y ... hldo a .Pata en Llap, laJudtndo\D & usted. :S...,n,I!ii'N'cchel N"pc •. Siilludlindcda, a w'ted.

Va •• iuda ill Ccnl~IU'l.a, salud4nd:ala a usted. BuO'lu N'i!:JChiH Nene, salutlidndolo a.u.s!l!d.

Yo saluda a Zaraband:a. ,saludindolc li!i. usted...

_ Jill. ri illS N·QchI'.lS N~n!!, ~Iudil;ndalo aust.td.

Yo salu.d.a ,aj Pala en NSM;~, 5t1.ludii.ndolo a ustcd, BuenOOi No~hes Nene, sa.Judo.m:ic!!:I iIrI uslc:d.

Yo :s:JiJ'wio ui P:a.d.rc en Ng,U1SiJi, sa.Ludinuolo a i.J:Slea. Bu~nas NiDChes Mene. mluddndolQ iii. 'usted.

Yo miudo OJ VilentD len Coiba. soJudiUl.dolo a US'I,iOO. Duenas Noc.hl!S ~ene, ScaJull;loda]oa. une:d.

'Yo wuda' a ~erti, saludindolO a ust.~ .. BIilUli15 Neches Nenc'. :saludlindclo a 'usted.

'('D saj,lJJ,do 4 I..imp;~ PIso" Sill]uda.l1do~'ol a tJsleti.. Duenas Noch~$ N(!ne. s~II,:cl.il:",dQio, a usll:u,

Yo sru,l.Ido !J.IMa,ytl,r:doiirlo. Si11ud.~ndol.o QU!'ited.

. BLleml's NachES Nene'. s:nluddndolo a u:$ILed.

Y'o saludtl, ,n mj Pn.drtno •. sIlJuc1i'!.ndo~o, a usled .. lucas Naches Nene. s.:ll,u~,dol0 a. ustcd.

Yo .saJUDQ' iII.' L,uc.eri.t'!). S~.lul.landolo Q us:U:d. ·Mam,ile-[Dlosl. )la.m.~e (Oiosl ~.l.1I'nbe (Di!Clsl.



""p 0 RQ U E II'

, ..

G wa.-P'Qrque Cil!1inIl, nCl' :siem,I:U:2 GaliO. • . . . . POftJllle..

. COrQ.-PIlI:rque Gallina,r1asiernbra GaUc' ••• ' .•. ,Porque:.

GWa..-A Chape:u Cut.ero'. . . .

OIro.-Porque GaWna" ,Dill ,siembm GallD, POrque.

Guia.,_A Cballgr Cantara,.

Cbro.-POfqUe GaDina. l'IQ ' iembra. Callo •. , •••• ,Porque., Oul.a..-:A, Cbapuz canU!!.fiQ.

O:im ....... Parqut!' CI 11 ina. no I.lernbra, Ga:llD,.. ••.. P'Ol'qUIL Gula.",=Parque: C.wna:" fiQiIil,il!mbr:a, CaUD •.•.•. Porque. ecam.-f'OrqUie Ga.l.I:i.na:"no silcmbD, Gallo •••.• ,.Porqt;IL Dtlla.-A Chapear Cantero.

CafD.~Porque Gallina, ,nosilmi:lf31 Gallo: •..• ,.P,OI'qUL

GWa.-A ChaggrOmU!ra" \ .

COro.-POfqUe Gallma, flO slembn IGallO Porqu,lJ:;.

Gu.ia.-A ClapRl" can~ro.

Cara.-Parque Callina, no liembra G!lIJa •••••. PD1'qUIJ:;. GuIa.-.A Cha~v canti!M.

COlO.-P,orque Gallina, no siembra Ga.l.h:II Porqute.

Gwa._A Ic:.bapeu CantrlH'C.

Guia._Porque C:~m.nli" l:U:lisl~mbra Gallo ...... ,PDrq1JIC. Guia.-A Cbapea:r 'OmtBm.

Cori!il.-Porque CaDma" no 'siembra Ga.Uo Porque.







" END U N D Q: ,.

Coral.-,~aULIdlo. Endlu:ndo. G'ula.-~,lisma. Palma son Endundo'. Ca:ro.-Endundo, Endundo. Guia.-Mmmo Toto, s'an End:undo. Coro._;EndWldD', Endundo. GIli:;'.~lo1.i:smD Fumbl, son EndunCio. Coro.-Endunda" EntlUDd'oc. GUla.-1"IOsmn t-Ig:anga. son !:n dlY!l1 do .• Ccm._:Endund,a. End.W!lda. IGwa.-~IismD. n,err;]., son Endulldo. CQfo.-Endundo. Eu dun do. Guia.:"';i\iUsmc Palo, son EJ\d,yndo. CQra.-EndundQ, E:ndunclo .

. Gui,e,.. Drlisma . Ia:nyu;mb~. ,SOI'\ EndlWldio" CO,I,'Q.-Endund:o, E.nd'l.lluio. Gwa.-Mambe.

Caro.-Dllls. .

Gui ill .~fji1;;un.be_



,COf'Q .-Dios.

-- --- --- -- - - - - -----


e01'O •. ~lJjgUi LJgu1 Miquina Vapo' Gwa. Son las: hora

Cmo_LllgUi. LJp.iMiql.l.i.ma VIBptl C"I, ......,Jura .Mmp

Caro.-Llgui URi Miquina 'V,apo em • ........Jura Emp ca

Cam.-UlgUi Ugui Miquim.. Va'po Gwa.~ur:a. en Palo

C(!ro.~Ulg\.Ii LlguJ M4quina Vapo Cui ,-Jura, efI Fumbi Coro.-Lljgui IJgui MJiquina Vapo 'Ciuia.-MaQWnl.ta

C - -lJi-. _ .. lJc_.~ 11'1",ni:I!'I,;3 Va

oro. -KW· I5,WoII ~.",- ",,'-- po

Cu1a . ...-Jura Embe1e

Con:t.--,,--tJiguj llguli Ma.Q,Wna Vapo

GuJ]a.-Lul!ecita. .

Oo'ro.-Uigui LJgu.i Miquina V'R'pa Gui-a_...J'ura en Nganga Ccm.~I.JJliUi, U,i'\U MiQuina. Vapo 'GUla.-- Maguinita.

CO·f'(I.-Uigut Ugul, Miqwna Vapo Gwa ...... · .• l"um an KIsa

Coro~I.ligui Ugui Miquina V po GWa~.....JW1L Meng;a,

Con:l.-UJgu.i Llgui .Malq_Wna v,apo ClWia.-Mambe.



. C:Oro. -Dim.

GuiL-Mambe.. Coro.-Dlos.


YOI ,wile pa ,Ia loma, yo ,lube pi la. ,la,nA. Jala y jilla, yo ja..ba prabaito,-

YojaJa pn.bato. :31',0 3aJa pn,bam, J,m)" iala. )'0 jala ~bat.al

y'a ,baja de 1a lama. :y:abaja de Ja 19~ . lata y jala. yo j,ala garaba'c.O •

. . y CIltm pi 1a lomB. )'0 cotta 'Pi j8 ]omil, J'aJa y jala.,ya, jala,ganbato,

BlilScando 01 fundam,ento,! btDCanc10I oJ .fundamento, ,J,ala Y'jala. yo jalia. gamba'to,


13uscando la, klnyumba. buscando lra. kinY1llmba.

Jalll 'Y jala" ya j III a, ganba.tD, _-

B\ISC8'ndc mt l:IaJa, busam,dol mi palo, J'ala y jaJa" yo iala gamblto',

13USC3.Ddo a m.i paddn,D, b~CBDdo a mi padririo, Jala., :y ja.ia. yo iala rgarabam'l

Busea__gdg at Vleuto ence:iba. bascando a Vient,Q 'e-n C'cil.la.. J'ala, y j'aIa; yo jaJa ga.n!I ba LO', • -

Buscnndo a Mala Fama, blu:cando a Mala Fan1a.,

JaJa y jab" yo jala garabato.

8'U.s~-mdo a ., RaYDS" tnz·cando a 1 Ra,yos, JalB Y Jala" )"0 jl!il!1 gJJ:Rbal,o,

Busc:ando a T'ilm1bl~ 'I1,!u·,ra" buseando 11 Tiiembin Tlc!"rn, 1ala y j,a.Ia" YD jols :1;.:lr;abalO',

Busc:a.ndo a Maim de Agua, busearrdo a Mt!!clr(! de l\gu.n, Jda Y lilla, )'0 ja]a gara'batll',

BUlSCanQO a Sholan Guengue. blLlScatncio ;;:a ShO,.I:m GuenI


,Jala y j1313., yo ja.1~ rganbata,

Buscnndo ,!ii!i 141 Cuadrilla. b~dg, Ii!! la, 'cuildrilhi, J'alat y jaJa." yo j::lJa g,arabato,

Bus:ca.nd.oal Mayol"domlJl• blllScandcl al .Mayordomo, Jda y ;alal 'yo laJa. garabato'~

Buscando a! tal 10 eimpaea, blJ.S.cnndo a. t6 10 cmpacas. ,Jala Y j;da. yo' ja,la ;:arabnt'Il:i"

BU:sc;:andQ ill Manzanerc, buscando llm::mZ.1ln,(!ro" Ja]a y jala, )'0 ja]a ga:rabato,

Yo [ala garobaLo. yOI jah~ garabato, JaIa '"i jalaJ, yo jElila 'guabato.

Buseando 3. Lucento, btlKando a LYCI!'ri,'to, Mamh~ (Dios) Mambe' (Dies) Mambe (Dios)I,


Q),rQ,,-PalD Ma)'im.bel me Devan pa ,J,a LoOUL

Gu1a..-:Me Devan pa 181 lAma., me Uevan pa ,la Lema. Com.-PakI Ma)limbe, me DeYUl 'pa la 'lm""L Gma.-yg CDJm pa, :Ia, LoJDat yO eonu JI& la. Lama.. Coro.- _ Palo Ma,~ me Devan pa Ia ,Lama. Gula- Yo sube '1)3; Ia LaD'Ul, )ro mbe pa Ia LamB.. Coro.-Palo, Ma~ . me Devan' pa 1a Lama.

. Gula,........Yo SIl))!' 7 byes, mt! Devaa, J)- Ia. Loma.,

,,.. COE'O,.---PglQ Ma,yImbe, me Devan p_ 1a LomL

GWa.~Yia sa~ l\mnbla TIerra, me Hewn pa Iii. Lama. 'Co,ro.~Pa.lo Mayimbe, 'me Devan pa la Lam.a. 'Gula.-Yo my Bhutan GUmlgUe. me Devan pa. la Loma. Corv.-P'alel Ma,yimbe" me Jleva:n l)a list Loma.

'Ciwa.. -YOI SOlY Madre de A.gua.. me llevan pa. JiI, ,Lama.

Co- '-p ... i '11 .. -' be . - n ,-- - 1_, T.,.-.-

• roo _ II.LO ~yun __ • rue _ e:v:a.n pa I'!i:Ii _Uta.

Guia ....... YoSlD!' pa la Lama." yo subelpa JaL Loma...

. Co,ro_Palo Mayim'be, me UB'YBJ'I, po. ~a., Loma.

GUla ....... yo ,soy Pafa 'en [J'aga,. rne Ilevan pa IlL Lama. OOro.-Palo, Mayimbe., me Un'Bnp8 la lAmL GWa.~Y,o soy CenteUi't.1.. me Uevan pa la LDmll. Com.-Palo Ma,yimbe. me Uevan pa ,la Loma. CiWI.-Y:O' SQy LucentD. me !levan 'PI., 'Ia l.o1:na ..

Con:l ........ Palo lItayimbe, me llev,an Pal la :Lam,a,. GWa.~Yf!' sube' pa la Lorna, ')to sube' pa Ja Lomn. O:Iro.-,P-.lg Ma:yimbe,. me Illev;a.n pat Ja Lamll!..

Oula.' ..... YD sube pa Ia Lorna" yo ,su,De p,a Ia Lerna. Ooro.-Palg Maylimbe'. me Bevan p.a laLoftUL Gula.-Mambe.,"

CO.m,.-Dlos .

. Cula. ....... Mambe..

Cbro.-Dlos:. Guia.-Mambe. CoM.-Dics.,


Ii N G A N G U L E It c '"

c;ul:a.--,A.d.Ios Npngulerc. brisa que el vienw me~ Ueva Aeue • . CoI'O.-Bdsa qU.e e1 vleatiO me Uev. Ague.

~.I1sa. qU.e eivientD me Deva Ague.

GIJb,.,_A-dics .Npngul:em, b~ q,ue el 'rie.r:tw m,1! Ileva Agu.£. Oaru.-Eldsa q,ueelYienm me .I1e:va A!gue.

. :Brisa que el viento ml!·.!leva AgUe.

G··,_ ·A.ll. ,.., ....... ,.I-m b' .' ",~- i'iiit_ e1 'mt:D me Ueva. . .It • ·e .

............. , Uil@S I.'1gBin,B; loOHO __ ~. n:;a ... _. Yl_ _ _ _ " '_ _' _ .nllil-

Caro ........ Brisa que ell 'Y:imto me Dew. Aigue. . Bri:a, que B \!ien.t:o .me: leva ,Ague:.

IGula.-AIB.osNg&lJgul,e:f'D,., briDq;U. leI vientD' me Ueva, Ague. Coro.-Dlisa 'q.ue el \I1.mtml ~e lll.wa Ague. .:

!lima Que el vi.en,b] me ,II'pa ,Ague. -

[i,wa Adios Nga.ngule.ro~ brls.a, que ~l "Iiento, me lIeva AgUe"

·CCno Brlsa. i!I,ue 'el vienm me llew ,Ague.

BrJ:sa, que el vlenlo me .ne~'!I'aAgul!'.

Gwa.-.Adios N.C:II!!plero. b:r'iQ que e.1 vj'enltome !U'!ilvaJ\gue. 'Coro.-Brisa., qu.e el vie:nto Int:~ lJeva .Agu,e.

!I'dsa Ique' 01 vj'ln't!Dme lIe;v,a Agu'B.

GWa.-=---cA,dios: Nga.:ngui·C'rtI', bri= Que el VitU1,tO me neva .AGUe. Coro'.~Bris::L qu,! el vienlo: me :lleva A.gU.'!L

BriA.CJ:ue Ri, viento me neva Ag:ue'.

Guia. -=-Adics NgangUl.ero, bdsa. queel viento me J!lrgva A..gue. Con:h.....,Brlsa 'que: el v:ie.n,to 'me ll.eva .. Ague.

Brisa, que e1 'Vimtcme Ue:va ABU!!.

GWa.-.A!dlals NgangWe.rtl', bnsa qneeJ. vientome Uev8. A:g'.I;e" COm. . Erisa, qu.eelvientom.e .neva Ague.

:Brisa Ique el vllmlto me.: lJeva. ,Ague.

Gu5a. ....... Adloo Nga:rlgUl.ero.,brisa qu.·e el vien:to me lley,1:I! Agu.e. Coro."'_;Bdsa Iqu!e eI. viento me !leva .Ague.

Brim, qUI! el vien.to me Ueva. A:gue.

IGuIa. ....... :Adios. NgBJ'lgulerQ, brisa que em vitoLO me .11£'1'8 Ague. Co.m,-:Bma .q,u,e e1 'viiento me ,11e'MA!gue.

Brisa que eIvimUl' me'UevaA,gue.

Gwa.-Adios Ngang\1.l,eto,. brisa, que e£ vienw me~ lle,"Ia, Ague. Coro.-Brisa. qu.e elvientD me .I1evaA£UL

Brisa que e1 virm:tDml! Deva. Ape.

GWa.-Ma:mbe. On:til.-DiDs. Gwa..,-MaalDe.



Coro.-Si Lil np tn.!:! canocos: pit que me Ua.m.a:s. G·u.ia.-Pa que til me UGmiil::l1 p~ que tu me llamas, Yo soy Lucente, pi que ta me llamas,

Conll.~l til no me ,conoces p:i que ·tll me llamas" GI1ia...-Ya ,soy Ti.embl,a.~Ti'el·l·,aJ pa Que to'. me llmna~

" lSi tU lJIJ me .eonoces pi gue to D1.! llamas, ·yo .soy 1" Rayos, pat. que tu me· J.lmnas,

S1 til: ".0 m.e· eeneees pi q.ue la. me' lla.mas,

Yo 50ly Mach-e lae Agua. pi que Lu me llamas, 51 hi no me conoO!s 'pa que tu me Damas,

Yo soy Shnlin Guengue, pii [quo lu me &!.mas, ,Si tU n'o 'me eoneees 'p';. 'Iud: tu me: llaDlas,

. Yo s'cy Pa:taen I..larga, pi: ClUe tu me :lla!.mas.

Sl tu 'I'lQ me ,coli'loc~pd Qut} tu. me iJOlmas, Yo soy CenteWta., p,t que til me' ilama.s. S1 tilino me canoees ,Ipa QIU!! tit me Uamas,

Yo SIi'i)' Za.rabilfllda." !ii, que Lu. 'me llamas, 51, tu 111i'i In!! ccneces pi 'lIl.lO, 1.1.1 me' JlJ~.

Y'o soy Pwo en NgaDga.. poi que t.o. me U;;UWUji. Si t.U no me eeneees .pi qur; l'u' me: lI:iUIla:S, .

. YIi'i soy TaLa. ell Ngan'ga, pia. quo 1.". me J.l.a:ma.s.

Si w no me 'COJ!lOces pa que tu .me .Lb.mas,

. Y'Q 50'1 Vien1.a I.!Di CeJba, pi!. qt.u'!: til mlC! lta.m,3S; Si til ne me' coacees pi que lu. meilJamas,

Yo .so)' .l.'U!.n'UU1C,I.·O, pa IQ.U'CH.U me llamas,

Si tu no m.e COUDC8S pol que lu. me liamlJ.!i,

Yo soy Limpia. plso, pi que tu me. llllDla:i.

Si tu nome ccnnees pa 'qu.e til me llamas •

. Yo so)' M.ayordomo, pi que 'Lume lJ.amas,

,Si w nlo me e,Dnoces pi 'Que: lu me llamas,

Yo ,so)' Siguc &astra, pi, Que bi me llamas,

51 Ih1 no me r::onoces pi. ·que'tu me U;una.s:,

Yo S'oy' 'p'aJa'e,!'! Nganga, li'i, Que till me' .1Iam-as. 51 tu. no zln'g cencees pa '1lJ1Ile. 'IUi me Uama,s,

Yo .soy Madre Oeiba. pi Que tu me llamas,

SI. lu no mit! conee'l!$ ]:)31 que lame Ilamws,

Yo .soy Luc:cnto.pa quetu me~ llwno.s,

Coro'.--Si 1.1I hO me ccneees, pa que' til me llamas.. Guia..-Mi.li'nbe {DlQS]. Mambe (Dics). Mambe (Dios.).


Gula.-Ahora venin, aboea verall.

RepUe £'1 CDI"D.,---!\ ,LUICIJ1'ilO en Ia :J?alma, ahcn'a VCl'~. Ahora veran, ahora venm.

A Tiem,bia·'1'ierl'a en la PwJma:. anera veran, .Ahora .'1.'eran, ',&hen"a venin.

A ?Rayos en l~ Palma., ahora V(!r.Ul, Ahorn 'lJerin" aba,n vlerUI1. •

A .Madre de Agua en Ja Palma, ,Ahara, veran, ahara. vt!r.in.

A Sha,bin GLlengue, en 10. Palma. ahara venin" ,Abora veran" ahora ,'arim.

A paJa len Llaga, en In Palma, ahcra 'venIn, A.hcn·a, veran, ahara veriin.

A CrenteJ1ita en Ia Palma. ahara verarr, Ahara ... e-rin" ahora venin.

A Zarabanda en la PaJima, ahera vie ran , Aho'mVtrl'an. ahem verrm .

. .AJ 'TaU en Nganga IEm la Palma, ahcra verirl, Mo,ra ve'r3:n~ abera veran .

.A Vie!lI.o en Celba ~n la Palma, aho"a venin, Ahara, veriD., Mora verin.

A sigue rastro, en .I.a Palma, ,ahara verin, ,AhaR 'veran, ,Gi.ba,ra. verin.

A Marwmero' en la Palma, ahara ver&n; Ahara v !U"in , ahora vera

A Llm,pia Piso, en. la Palm,a, ah.ct:a,Vleran, ,AhCf'a 'v'enini ahera v'erin.

A) Maycrdo:m,QI en la Pa1J:na, ahara venin, Ahora verim. ,ahara. '''Bran.

'" I ,P"dri:n1J en 1,_ EI_,:I_".. 'nllo- ra ·ve-c·

.otU _ .. _ _ _ _ _ _ ,!4, ,;-_u.." ... , ran.,

. Ahora veran, ahora \l'emn .

. .A t6 i.o empaca en ,m Pa]m:ai, ahora veran, Aho.ra 1Ierin.· ah.ora verin. .

.. A.. la cua.drilla en 13. Palmal ahora veri.:n,

Ahorn vera1'll,ahorn verano -

A Lucente rem la P,a]ma, a,b,ora. VE!:rin.

Mambe (Dies), I:Iltambe (Dials). Mambe (Dios).



Deba,;!) de! Laurel, yo 1tengomi Iconfiafl%D.,!

Yo tcngo mi confiarn:i!!, yo 't:engo mi~nfiBttUl." Ooro,,~Deba'jo de! Lau:re:~. yo tengo rni c:o.nfianza.., Gwa.-Luc:e:ro esmi CCJIl.flIlI'Wl, Lucero es mi, COrui:1f'1Z2, Deb:ajgl del .Laurel, ,D tengo mi confiam:::a, nemblB~Tierra. I!'-S m.i rCol'!fiama, TI:~bh!l-TiefTIl es mi c:onfi~j

. Debajo Idel ]l..numJ"yo te:ngo mi confi:ama.,t

7 Rayos es mi confia.fl:.m, '1 Rayos: es rnl C'cu'wa.nza, Deba'jo del L.nurei, l:'Q U~nlIomi confiafi2a,

Madre de Agua es mi C:Qnfll~~, Madre de' .Agua es mi C'Onfl:a:nza.

D'ebajo d~l Laurel, yo' bmga m.t c:onfianm,

5110)'" GUlelilt\lees mi confianz:a,. So. GUengu'e es m1 con(i.:tnZa.

Debajo de~ Laurel, yo t~ngo mi 'l':tlniia.m.a.

Pata em L~,aga es mi Cl)oIianza, P. en LL.es tn:ic:oniiafiZa.~ DebaJjo de], Laurel, yOI tC'fI!;O ml c.onfiBlllZlll.

CenteUa -es mteonflanza, C(ilDuJla, es rni 'confianz.a. n,ebll,jo de.1 Laure't, 'yo tenso mi eordiPUllj • 'r' Zan!,ban,tl;;!l. es 'rrU eonUa.I,'1za,. Zarabanda. res rn..i c:onfi a.nm ".:

1D~.bajo 01::1 Laurel; }"if) tellgo - mi ccNiam:a., .

Tata en NgangEIJ es mi 'ctm€1arn:a, T. en N'gan:ga es mi .

eQnfiBli~. .

DebajQI del Laurel. yo t2:l1IJ(llmlconfiamza:, .. Palo en Ngang1il. e.s' mi ec 11 fiilTlza , P.e.n Nganga .esMi .

co'nfi 3Jll.a, ' . -

De,bajo' del Laurel, yotengo mi c.onfi:a.m:a,

Vi'ento en Cei,ba, e.s mi c~:mnan~a. V.. en e.. es mi, con·, [ianza.

Debaj'ocel Laure), ),'0 tongllJl mi confi.anza~ . .

Ma:nz",n::leroes mi~ cClnfia:nzi1. Manz:ane,f'IJ esmi eon.fi.an.z3i; . Debulo del Laurel yo ten:J:o :mi confiBJ'lZa,

Limpia Pi:soes mi COllf'i·a,nZtl, L. Fiso e.s mi conflia.m:a, D~I:J.a.,o del Laurel" yo te,ngo m! ,confianza., Sig;ueR.a:str'o es mi Ctlfifi:lfiZa., S"R. e:s, mi confia.n%a, Debajo del Laurel. ),'0 ten~ mi canfianza"

El Ma,ordo:m'D es mi tDnfii:U'S%a, elM., es ml eonfia:ma . . Debalo del La,unl, yo tP.Ii,'i;::O ml oon:flianza.

_ LaolJuliChilla es mi c;O'n,{l:::mza. Joa C. es mi con nanza , De'bajo dil!lLau.rel. lrD telJ!;O m:I. conftama,~

LUl:ero es mi tOnfiiam:a. LuiOOro es nrlcon:flanza..

;., ,

Debaj!o' de,1 LaUire'l, yo tc:ng;o mj C;'Dnfi~.

M.ambe (D10s1 Mambe (D1o.5) Mambe CDlos).

· 'LUMBE , LL?mE. LtJMBE"!


• Lum'bc, lumbe. lumbe, lu,mbQ Iii, cueva, en Nganga, 51 Luce~nt.o. U cers cere.

Co'Ml'.-· P,alo Kindiamba Qt:iS ague,

Guia.-i:..wnbc, lumbe, lumbe, lurnbe Ia 'C;UC!V3 en Ng:tlnl::~.Si 'Iil(!mbln- Ti en.". LiL cC:l"a CC'nJ,

,P,plQ Itindia.lt.ibo ;)c(: ~Gy'e"

Lumbe. IYmbl!'. lum,bc, il,lmbe 1:1 cueva en NS:lmg;t, Sf '1 Rayos 101 c~re cere"

Palo' lCUuliiambc aee mglJie,

Lumbe, ~wnb~, lumbe. lumtm Ja eueva en Ngncgn.. S1 'Madre de AguJa. til eere eera,

Palo IC.indiambo aC!l:cre :a rue,

Lwnbe'. iumb-:. lurnbe. lumbe IIJ cueva en NP;MSa.. $[ ShQ,Jan Guengue t.a. ~Ie.re cere,

, Palo RJindi,ambo acece Qgue,

Lwn be , lumbC!. iu.m.be, I,u.mbe 11)1 IcueVQ en NKtln~l'l. 51 Pilla Ion Lbgii, la, cere' cere,

PtJila J,Ondia.mbo D~eee ,ague,

LUmbe. l,umbe. ),umbel Jumb'e In cueva. en Ngnngn,. S!Oen.t.eHiLn 'I~A IC:t!H! CC!n:!.

,PaiD tOndiambo D,C:Cce ague',

[.umbe,. Jumbo, lumbe, lumbn til cue"s en Ngang'a., S1 'Zal'abanda 'ta cere c:,en:,

Palo Rlndiamool ;C~ ague,

Lumbe. ]wnbl~. lumbe, lumbe la C;Ue'\ra en Nganga., Si In, Nganga.. 'tat C!en! cere',

Pailo Kindiamho DCI£CC a.'g'Us,

Lumbe, lumb£!. hJlrn,bc, lumbe la eueva en NgMgn. ,Si Madre CtI'it'i!. ta cere cere,

Palo KlncUambo acec:e ague,

Lumbe, ]umbe-. lumbe. luznbe: la C:'!JC\'~ en Ng;l1n~o. S'; la cuad..'UIa." ti1 cere c:c're.

I p'ala lOnd.iambo Bl:2ee ague"

_ ,Lumbej l.umbe. lWflbe, lmnbe 1'B. cueya en, Nganl:l1. ! ,SI limpia plso, ,can lcere,

o • Palo Xlndiambo aeeee a:gue.

I. Lw:n:be:, lumbc:. ],lJmbe. lumbe 1s. rue,"" en, Nsan~. ,SI Luoorilo to cere cere.



,- .

" " Coro.-BUUlaS 'naches. buenas I"lodie:s, :: Gula.-Bue.na:s, neehes mi Lueeri\!o,

. .

.... Duenas :l:u:II::b,esl Duenas noci1IBS'i'

Buenas mf nembla-1Tierra" .. ' . :Bu.en'u nor:hest' DUenas noenll!'S,

" BUImILS !lfll:be5~' mi, 1. B:ayos,

. Buenas noches;. bumas :naches,

~ 'Due S DoChe5 mi Madre de Agoa.

" B.uen,as nocl1es'; buenas neches, - '~BlJenas n'omes' 'mf'Sbolln C;uen,gue"

DuenaS n,ocnes;" tu.imas Ilocbes"

, Buena:s 'DCIl::bu, mi P,ata 011 Llap..

Buenu fil'oches. buenas necbes, Buen¥ naches mJCenteUita. Duenas noci1es1, Duenas J'1!)ci1i!S, Duenas'Reclus mi Zarabanda,

. .

, Bue:nu, noChes:~: buenas 'DIDcnes,

.. Buenas nDcbes tenga mi N gmrga, .Duenas nQ:l_cl!U$,,' bue:nas naches,

-:'. Duenas IlIDche:s tenIa mi palo,

Buenas :nJJches. -buenas JU::II:hes.

, Bu,mars 'Iloc:hu; mi ,Malhie: Ceiba,

, '" . ,

. BUIlmU: ncu!hes~ buenas noches!

" Buenas names a L.impia :Piso, _ BlJenas. nochu~ buenas neehes,

'Bumas neches: m:i 51gue rast.l'O, . Du.enas naches. buena.s naches,,'

Buenas "'Debes al·Mayon:!,l'lmo, . Duenas moc::hes" Duenas neches • . E5uenas n.DChes:·:a to 101 Einpaca,

J Bueus ,naCbes, bUeDu nDebBS,

BUil!nasnodJes '~ ls_ ~dri~.

; BUImB! noelles, bUefiU flodhes,

B _enal :n,ocnes a Muwmero.

:aUI!:nas nlldJesi,· buenuJl,~es" Buenas neches a LuC!i!rilc.

Mambe (DiDs)! Mambe (Oios) Ma'mbe (Dios).



Coro,-5ala maJe' male'. salama1~, .maJectm. saJLa.

Gw.a.. ....... Ay qui yojun., 'yo jura en kis:a,saJa, ·mi!l.lect!l1, malec6n,

Salia. male male, saJa .male.. m.aJKOft sale.

A". que jum,YO j'Ur.l. menp" Sala, malecen, mllldn, aJa,

·Sabi malemalli!.sa1a malg"maJec6n sala.

AYQuj, yo' jum, yo jlJr.l; en Ngmni;lI,snlaQ],ah::c6f3, mo.,·

leedn.... '

Sa1a.maJe~ mm, .saJamale" malec6n &&k..

Ay qu.i yOI jura.. yo jura en Fum:bi" sabl maJee6,n. :M; Sa.I,a. Sala mah: mlJ,e., ala male" malecO.n sala"

Yia saludo ill LuceritD, SdIl:a maldn. maJea5n 'en sala, Sala maJ.t! male. sala male" maleciRsalat

YOISBilgao B. "nemb·la.:nern., saJa ma1ee6n~ mBllec:o!1 sala, Sab. mal,!!: male.sala. maJ~ malecOD sdla..

Yo ,SaJilJltiD a '1 'Rayos, 'sam m'aleeQn~ maleeOrI, en soJa. SaJla male maie,saia male, ·maJec6n. en .5ab,

Yo mil.uili::l'Bi. Madre die ,Agua, sala maJec6n., ma:,leceZ1 .5aJ8, ,Sa,la male milia, sala male, :malc:c6.nsala,

Yo 'sall.u:h~ SI Sbolan Gutmgu.e. sala m~e., malecij,n s.11a., Sala male m3t~. :salls m(dl!!" malec6n sala; .

YOII.l:!.hJdQ s:. Pnlal rn ~l1ga" sWiJ m:dC!:i:!on. mililecoll nln, Sa]a, !tude m.DI!:!, sa hi. male, malec6n saila..

Yo smulio :a C!E!1,l1l:ellita. sale. malecQn. maiecon sala, Sa]a male raale .•. sala.male.malcc6n sala,

Yo .sal.uda a Zarabanda, sa I;!I maJec6n,m3l.iec6n sala, Sala: male male, :saI.a lnaJe, .malleeOD saJat

Ya saiud.a a Ma.w.~e Cei.ba.,sal;. mn.lec6n, mrueccn sala.

Sa_ja male ,m a.1e , sa.l.a male, malecon. sala, .

"iOI saJudo a Manzanc['o,:saJa malecc,n, m.iUeacn. sa.lll, Sal" male male., saw. male" m.aJecon sa.ia,

Y'o saluda ,ill m:i. Ngan.ga, sala.. maJ.eccn,. maJecon sSiJa, SaJa male :m:alei SaJa. male, malecin :5.,

"Yo wuaol a ~6 lal Empacl1. sala malec6n, ma.!looon sala, Sala m:U1! male, sa.b male, malectiD :sala.

YmsaluQo al Maoyordomo. sala mllJe£~n., maleeer:l saJa, Sails. maie: male. s3la male, 'maJecOn sala,

,Yo salodD a Luc£ri to , sa.iamalecon, maJec6n sala, .Mambe (Dios) ·Mambli: (Dies]] M:ambe (010s)"



Palo Monte Vocabulary

The lanauage called "Congo" in Cuba derives mostly from KiKongo •. it ribal lenguage still spoken in. both Congas in Africa as well as in parts of Angola. Wbat follows. is a glossary of pop war terms employed In the p,ractioe of Palo Mont'e. \Vhere] know the Lutumi. I've also added it to the lexicon.-Raul Canizares.


ENGLISH abdomen Alril':a A.guardi~ote ah:ohel

ann (right) ashes

CONGO nunaloza Juankila mala:ro mal.afa-ruaya guamo,no koma

LUKUMJ ikOn A·rrika.


lembem beb_ ina

bag (.9mall.) D,kuto Wtl
beer ma.lafO-:5.hoIB. oti B.gbado
believer bobbo-kalenQ' onigbigbo
ben egunda ego
bird dielldio e~e
black nkueto, bunota dudu
body nkombo ara
bone kangom egunlgun
bottle utumlbo igo
bread blua aUra
bun nyiran'go .ak.o lDali
bUlb Dfmda igbo
buttocks ml'undaas. idi tandle t_nODfi (:81

culdron (empty) cemetery

nkinda matD,ndit!· MJlo-mus.ako "kindeno

.tamrpo-nfiDda- ku'nasinda

.tami iban Bfa ol6gbo ikok6 nla

ibi isinku lie

chlld musna omo
church rBun..-nzo.,Z robin il e-eloru n
cigar nsunga a_h'
deagsi.Qg n5a1a ebo
foe odl'i11 e enkumbe...la.ngo Dlqba
[01:00111' ~.Dy8 .. emputa obi
come kuisu sunmodo
cooking ,at ikoko ikoko
crab ngala ,aun
cricket ebKherengonia cd 010
darkness tombe su
dearh nruh; ikii
d;e.ity nkbJi OriSh'8
DevU Gongoro Alo i
diviDer na,ako awo
dog bua~.81bwa oja
donkey ,ungo k~teket-
duck y nlu.hl ku tku eye E,

earth eat

eJ eph ani enter f'lf'iI evildBer


t!!na tere-neae !k,ota

ndoki ,alembo~ okisi

,a'iyi uddia ,ay.an.aku wo burnku abui


(n father

ny (insect) friend

nli-'file otundl1 tata blJlao-b' bakuodi

abebt baba Hiusin oluku


go, Ged

godd ugbter god fa,tb er godmother gOdS&D good guine.a~fowl glUopowdl'

kuenda Z.m'bia embon.yaya ndoyeke... tab

eniu., yayi, em.b,rO mbote Dsung,a-kud8 fala

10 Olodul11sl"e

omobiorin orishs babaiorisha jyalorish omorisfba rere




ha,t hawk head healer heaven ben'

bOlDoselU8,1 man hODty

horn [animal) house buband

yerikuamt sinfu1em,ho lneeaa 'nga'ng,a-lDuoe ns:uJul yeo'reiefe wan-wan bonke

npake l1Iun3nzo matl'Oko, ac:ar

a_kele awodi ori okoga onD adle adodi, unyi ab ni Ue



insane incense


maba guiudaog,1)

sbiwerr mil-bing


jail jus-tir,e

jutia (Cuban rodent)

nso-zarabanda nfumallbata eg;uD'se-munaD.'lo

a"OD otlto skut





kID king kneel


vanda iyamba, ntinu 'fukamlil embelekoto

pa aba kuole

obc:, pioaldo



life lightning liOD lbard

panda mojo mbandaDlI DPma dJan.s:e.a


wiw., .aye manamaea kisino,



.maehell' m.n mirro mOoney )'dOOD morm m,orhe mounlaio JUout

embele 01. kala t.aJatala Dsimio'

8,gonda, mpos,i maksimtn i marildya mongo m,uoam


eoi. okuuriu awoji

0 .. 0,

oshu o,wuro





nedd C~ nDsr

coy era usura

eleke im_u







parrot peanut p.beaJ8Rt

.[lkon okia

dler bewe·n bad's


physida.n pigeon power pray prol!ltitub.~

c:o~hiDo-"da1ll yeokdb

Icado, m.p.ti, patti dodukila ndunga-·Ds me

,eyebi agbe atj sJuko 010 un ,eiyele ashe

badu.ra p.anthag ra


r iu rainbow ruorblade red


riYer water rooster roots

mfuJ· hu)'on-gue'fif8 gd&'sam ba mbuaki

100 lanso-ganswa nlDJO


ajD Q·.stiumare . be if an pon

5 lOIka:fa omilodo Ilkllk6 gbongbo


sea flIMw-ter serpen,t sbeep· sic:kn!KS skuU song soul speak speJJ star

mbu: 'I.Dso-kalunga :yaks

"ko·ode y.ri~yari

kiyumba, kuniako mambD

katubmba nfumbi "0'\'8



Dun omi1okun ryioko, s'bo


a .bari suyen emi WI egun inlwo

st'oDe stred ron

sweet potato

m,atari ki:aY,B ntugu bala


temple tlla.nks thunder tiger

toad today tongue tootb

tree hu'key tying spelJ

IQUDaDZO- estamfe:le ,tatoDdeJe m'baudano







eo -n,-8S0'WI






waist water

white (coloI') "bite ('person) wine




IU50, mas.

ojibo, IDpcmbc mUDdac'

sua, alee IJOlo,ku.na.ftnda mpefe lodu:nka, nkeoto

otao ons ornn b tab



,a 1"11 am,otei:uD opolo

abon. ede' ebin

igi tol'otolo lings

ib.di omi runfun

a'fe:{e oll in il

- - - ._ .



yes 'young

ina matoco--nkueye

en :sOIDQde



A few use!ulphrases

Klamb.olt!'!,: hello!

Wena majimpi?: Are you well? Inga, ye ngeie?': .Yes, ,andyoo? fiati m-,/ra: Ah. so-sa.

N/cum'bu ,Qkt~ inani?: W1tat;& youI'" name? 'l'/1rrJm'bu ,ame i .Lumumba: My nam« is Lflfflumba Nsala kiambote: slay well

Nwenda kiambole: go well

Qlt,ien kuenda?; Who goes there? Soma 0 no somal: Arewt' pateros!? Somo]: We are!

Zambitl arriba" ZambiQ' abajo, Zambia en to C1JQIt'O eotaa: God ,above, God below, God

In aU/our sides.


A.,yugo~ B.yu/o 9" C.yili ;II

D • salvari r

E.buo >F

F.came ~ G. nie .x..

H. busili m

. _.

I., tituli .::.

J" yaluni Cc.c.

L. hi D


The Palo Alphabet

M. duli (tt' N. suli ~,Jt)

N .. bulu "I -)C·O

o. bisula ...

P. dilonia

Q .. simbula 2)( R. yolito l:) S,.yuriko ~

T. bolva r:4 91 UN.soyke ~ ·W.sume WN

X.saulau -.:

Y .. teuse ;f:\J

z: kintoo ,J I,L

some simple Palo ideographs

Malongo (nature)

: go (government)

Mam,1 Nganga (godmother)

vititi (view; look)


Kaenda (go)

Pele---fltida (life)


MUDBOZO (house)

Ndumba (wo:msD)

Banoto Mbembe (Afri,can mao)

Ngueyo (brotber)

Ensila (road),

-sS-' ~


W8ll!j~ (river)

Mayimbe (vulture)

J '<§) >


Kalunga (sea)

• •

. .

NtaD.gu (sun)


·Eyioko (snake)




. , Nsulo (sky)

Lange nsulo (ra,io)

Bakonfula (assistant Tata)


Omalembe (pain)

Watoko (young man)

Yimbula (party)

Tata ngumbe (dead father)


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