Gloriosa stands out in most Cuban landscapes, the proud Royal Palm, one of the most revered trees on this Island and considered a sacred symbol of Cubanness, history and religion.
La Royal Palm, the national tree of Cuba, is considered sacred to all religions of African origin.
La palm, an identity symbol of Cuba, is highly valued by African religious expressions. In religious cults she communicates heaven and earth, and is seen as a pillar that provides support to the world.
The palm in the Rule of Palo Monte
For the Congolese or followers of the Rule of Palo Monte, the Royal Palm is Diba, Lala, Mábba and Dunkende, and it is said that when one palm She is struck by lightning, the followers of this religious expression go there in search of the "lightning stone" to mount the ngangas, or spiritual vessels.
In these containers various elements are combined that endows with spiritual strength.
According to the mayomberos in the Royal Palm Nsasi resides and therefore under the tree they carry out initiation ceremonies, cures the sick and offerings are placed.
They also use various parts of the tree to perform their practices and ceremonies and as charms against negative energies.
La Palma, home of Shango in the Rule of Osha
In the Rule of Ocha the Palma de Mallorca known as llé Changó Orissá, Iggi Opwé and Alabi and the god of thunder and drums, Shango, habita at its top, ensuring the protection of their children and devotees.
That is why in the Yoruba religion the palm is so important for the religious rituals linked to Shango.
Offerings are left there and also to the eggunes or spirits of the dead that habitan around its trunk.
Identity symbol of religions
Meanwhile the Abakuá they call him to the Palm, Ukano Mambre.
Legend has it that at the foot of that tree the sect was organized for the first time in Cuba, so its rituals and ceremonies are always connected to this powerful tree.
Also for Catholic practitioners in Cuba, the royal palm It is of utmost importance, since custom indicates that, to start Holy Week, believers go out into the streets in procession carrying Palm leaves which they then keep in their homes as sacred elements.
This procession is known as the guano festival and both churches and altars are adorned with those leaves that are burned on Ash Wednesday to mark the beginning of the Lenten period.