The history of Palo Mayombe

Palo Mayombe is a tradition of Africa, which has gained roots in the diaspora. It has originated in Congo and its Spanish term is known as Las Reglas De Congo. Palo is practiced widely in different forms in African diaspora mainly in the Spanish speaking countries including Venezuela, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Columbia. It is still practiced in Brazil and France. Among other terms, Palo Mayombe is also called Palo Monte, Brilumba, and Kimbisia. Its origin is in the Congo Basin. It is reported that more than 10 million people are into Palo practice in one or the other form in the Western hemisphere.

The spells, liturgies, and incantations of this religion heavily depend on the Kikongo language. The rituals and spells of Palo need several items, herbs, special sticks, and roots that are only found in the Congo Basin. The Palo Mayombe tradition is still practiced these days in the Democratic Republic of Congo along with other neighboring countries including Benin and Nigeria. This religion is practiced along with other conventional African beliefs. In Congo, it is very common to hear practices that are referred to as Vodou though it is quite different from what it is recognized in Benin.

The kinds of spirits in Palo Mayombe

When the spirits need to be contacted, the best way is contacting the spirits directly. Similar to Shamanism, Paleros strongly believe that death does exist. In Palo, they have faith in ghosts and spirits and they want to use the powers of spirits to get the goals in a better manner. The supernatural powers are categorized largely into the following:

  • Ndoki (Ghosts)
  • Nkuyo (Spirits)
  • Mpungo ( Angels)
  • Nfumbe (Ghosts harnessed)
  • Kilombo (Ghosts that are forced)

The spells in Palo

Palo makes use of two spiritual forces- the power of the African spirits and the deceased. Both these powers are called in all Palo rituals. The deceased’s power is noted. The deceased soul is interlinked with a magical artifact. It is the main point of Paleros. If the soul of the deceased is more powerful, then the spells will be powerful too. Palo is known to be evil and it is linked to forces, which bring curses, illness, sickness, and hexes. It is accepted that Palo curses are very strong. The curses are strong, act fast, and are deadly. However, it is overlooked that Palo has an equal power to heal. The effectiveness and the power that Palo bringregarding healing is great as a curse.