El Palo or congo It is a religion closely related to the Rule of the Ocha or Yoruba religion, although they are different religions in themselves.
The Mayombe has Bantu origins, although it was also introduced into Cuba by slaves from Central Africa who were brought to the Island in colonial times.
Other names associated with the various branches of this religion include: palo monte, palo mayombe, palo congo, brillumba, and kimbisa, and is also related to Abakuá society.
Palo congo even spread outside Cuban communities and is currently very popular in nations such as the United States, Venezuela, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.
What is the faith and religion of Palo Mayombe based on??
The belief system of the palo congo is based on the belief in natural powers, and the veneration of the spirits of their ancestors.
Natural objects, and especially sticks, are considered objects of spirit-infused powers and are known as “nganga”.
As the Rule of the Ocha (Santeria)In the rule of Palo Monte there is a pantheon of deities that the followers and religious of this Afro-Cuban branch worship.
They are spirits or deities that reside in ships or centers (Nkisi), representing aspects of nature, such as thunder, agriculture, wind, seas ... etc.
These forces or spirits of the Palo are divided into:
- The Spirits of nature Mpungu (or kimpungulu, plural)
- The Spirits of Ancestors (Bakalu)
- Anonymous spirits (Nfumbe)
- Wandering spirits (Nfuri)
However, the gods of this African religion are similar in characteristics and powers to the Yoruba deities, which is why they have been syncretized throughout the ages.
The Mayomb deities, the Orishas and their syncretic myths
Let us know the name of the Orishas of the Yoruba pantheon compared with the deities of Palo Mayombe in a summarized way and later the characteristics that define them.
|Mayombe deity||Yoruba deity||Representation|
|Kobayende||Babalu Aye||God of Disease|
|Mariwara or Centella Ndoki||Oyá Change||Custodian of Death|
|gurunfinda||Osain del Monte||Protector of the mount and nature|
|Nkuyu or Lucero Mundo||Eshú and Eleguá||Owner and protector of the roads|
|Mother of Water||Yemaya||Owner of the seas of the world|
|Mama chola||Oshun||Goddess who rules the rivers|
|kimbabula||orula||God of divination|
|Surumba mukalla||oshosi||Owner of the hunt|
|Seven rays||Shango||Thunder Warrior|
|Earth trembles||Obatala||Great spirit of wisdom|
|Sarabande||Oggun||Warrior deity of work|
Characteristics of the forces or Mpungu in the Stick:
Nzambi: God creator of the Universe with Olofi
In Palo Monte the creator God of the Universe It is known as Nzambi or under other names such as:
- Nsambi, Sambia, Nsambiampungo, Pungun Sambia, Sambia Liri, Sambia Surukuru, or Sambi Bilongo.
All these names derive from the same root that seems to mean the true phenomenon of early light, the dazzling light, the light of heaven.
In myths, Nzambi Mpungu is mentioned as the Creator God of all things. He created the sky, the earth, the mountainsañas, rivers, forests, and all nature. He also made man out of clay.
- Equivalent to Olofin in the Yoruba religion, the creator, lord of the sky.
Kobayende: Illness and Healing as Babalú Ayé
Kobayende is the God of death in El Palo, the god of disease himself, his power is immense.
- Your other names Under which it is known according to the religious slopes or branches of Palo are: Cobayende, Pata Llaga, Tata Pansua, Tata Nfumbe, Tata Funde, Tata Fumbe, Pungun Futila, and Tata Kañeñe.
Your name means "Leg wound", it is associated with pests and infectious diseases.
It is said that he is wise, old and trembles in pain, as several sores cover his legs. He is highly honored and respected for his miracle cures.
- Equivalent to Babalú Ayé, Orisha of Plagues and diseases. Both figures are related to Saint Lazarus the beggar.
Centella Ndoki, the protector of the cemetery as Oyá Change
Mariwara is the faithful custodian of the door between life and death. It controls the dark energies of the spirits and the dead, it is very protective but when it gets angry its power is destructive.
- It is known by other names such as: Pungu Mama Wanga, Centella Ndoki, Yaya Ndoki, Mariwara, Mama Linda, and Campo Santo.
Equivalent to Oyá yansa, Goddess of the Centella, the one who guards the cemetery and the souls that wander. Both figures are related in the Catholic religion with Saint Teresa.
Gurunfinda, the sage of nature with Osain del Monte
Gurunfinda is the same god of the forest and herbs. Sorcerer, healer and herbalist, connoisseur of all the secrets of nature.
It is said to bring light, evolution, and luck.
- Equivalent to Ozain In the Yoruba religion, he is the owner of the mountain and knows the secrets of the herbs. They are associated with San Antonio Abad.
Nkuyu or Lucero, the first to protect as Eleguá
Nkuyu has other names like Manunga, Lubaniba, and Lucero Mundo.
Deity of the forests and roads, is the guide and the same balance. The first to receive the ngueyo (initiated in the Rule of Stick).
It is said to be a star, the first energy of paths, communications and dualities. He is considered the "messenger" of all the "mpungu" of the "kimpúngulu" or Congo saints. A continuous walker.
For Nkuyu-Nfinda or Lucero-Mundo, there are no limitations, neither of time nor space. It represents the passage from darkness to light.
- Equivalent to Eshu-Elegguá in the Yoruba religion, the Orisha who opens the paths and the first saint the initiate receives. Both figures are related to the Santo Niño de Atocha.
Madre de Agua, the very Yoruba mother Yemayá
The Mother of Water in Palo Mayombe It is the feminine spirit of fertility, it represents the stability of the home and family, peace and protection for its followers.
Goddess of water and fertility, highly worshiped among her devotees and revered for her power.
- Má Lango, as it is also known, is called by other names such as Kalunga, Mama Kalunga, Pungo Kasimba, Mama Umba, Mbumba Mamba, Nkita Kiamasa, Nkita Kuna Mamba, or Baluande.
It is considered the owner of the 7 seas. It is very wise and is symbolized by the waves of the sea in the plane of nature.
- Equivalent to Yemayá, the Queen of the Seas, in the Yoruba religion. Both are related to the Virgin of Regla, Patroness of the port of Havana.
Mama Chola, owner of rivers like sweet Oshún
Mama Chola is the beautiful goddess of wealth and the pleasures. It is always represented full of necklaces, precious jewels, very colorful and relaxed clothing. It symbolizes fertility.
- Mother Chola also has the name Chola Nengue or Chola Wengue.
It governs pure and sincere feelings, love, romance and friendship, and intensity when it comes to feelings. Delicacy and femininity are reflected in her deity.
In addition, it is the ruler of rivers, springs, and fresh waters.
- Equivalent to the Goddess of Love and Rivers, Oshún in the Yoruba religion. Both are associated with the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, patron saint of Cuba.
Kimbabula and Orula, together in divination
He is the God of divination and the winds.
Kimbabula is also known as Kabanga, Madioma, Mpungo Lomboan Fula, Nsambia Munalembe, Tonde, Daday, Munalendo or Padre Tiempo.
- Equivalent to Orunmila or Orula the great oracle of Ifá in the Yoruba pantheon. Both are linked to Saint Francis of Assisi.
Surumba Mukalla, great hunter as Oshosi
It is Surumba Mukalla the deity or Mayombe force that is related to battle, is the God of hunting and war in the Rule of the Stick.
The other names of Surumba Mukalla are Watariamba, Nkuyo Lufo, Nguatariamba Enfumba Bata, Saca Empeño, Cabo Rondo and Vence Bataya.
- Equivalent to Ochosi, the hunter of the Ocha, sorcerer and protector of the unfortunate. Both are linked with San Norberto.
Seven Rays and Shango keep their power in the rays
Siete Rayos is a warrior character that in his past he was a king named Cetewayu, one of the most worshiped spirits in the Palo religion.
He is the great God of thunder, fire, he also represents all the imperfections and virtues of man and virile beauty.
- Seven Rays is also known according to religious branches or slopes as Nsambi Munalembe, Nsasi, Mukiamamuilo or Mariwanga.
This deity protects and helps with love relationships. He is very protective of all his daughters, having their prayers and songs to be able to worship him.
- Equivalent to Chango, King of thunder, fire and dance in the Yoruba religion. Both are related to Santa Barbara.
Earth trembles is the wise Obatalá
Earth trembles is considered a spirit of peace and protection, but it is very demanding within its religious cult, where they are governed by Congas rules.
It is the spirit of wisdom and justice. Ma Kengue as it is called is also Yola, Pandilanga, or Mama Kengue.
It is said to contain the virtue of the balance, for in it the forces of both good and evil are balanced.
- Equivalent to Father Orisha Obbatalá, father of deities and human beings. Both are related to the Virgen de las Mercedes.
Sarabanda and Oggún, gods of hard work
Sarabanda, Zarabanda or Rompe Monte He is the mighty deity of work and strength. Considered the great warrior, owner of lands, iron and metals.
It is the force that stands out for its aggressiveness and firmness, but also as the one that fulfills everything that is requested.
- Equivalent to Oggún, Pattern of the Metals in the Rule of the Ocha. Both associated with San Pedro.