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The unknown stories about the Palo Mayombe religion

What about it?

The Palo Mayombe religion is one of the oldest religions in the world. It can also be known as las reglas de Congo. In this religion, they believe in protection from spirits and supernatural powers. The Palo religion originated at the time of slave era in Cuba. Its roots are engraved deeply in the Congo Basin of central Africa during the period slaves were brought to Cuba where the religion evolved. The word Palo is a Spanish word which means stick and this can be related to a Cuban religion that makes use of sticks to prepare their altars. The Palo religion consists of denominations (branches) known as Mayombe, Monte and Briyumba. They make use of priests and priests. The male priests are called tata while the female priests are called Yayas or Nganguleros. Their members or initiates are called Ngueyos or Pino nuevo. The Palo Mayombe is sometimes compared to the Santeria. They have a main distinction whereby the Santeria originates from the Yoruba people in Nigeria and the Palo Mayombe comes from Congo. Overall, the Palo Mayombe is more powerful and effective than the Santeria.

Interesting right? Well, there’s more.

The Palo Mayombe believe in the veneration of spirits and natural or earthly power. Spirits play a very important role in the Palo religion and they have several spirits they use in manifestation and all kinds of actions.

The Spirits of The Palo Mayombe

  • Zarabanda: this sprit is the divine messenger of the underworld. Through this sprit, mankind can make direct communication to the spirit world. The caldron contains necessary elements for the spirit of Zarabanda to manifest on earth. Zarabanda is the force behind innovation, ambition and technology. It is the god of iron, wars and road; the evil destroyer. It protects its children when they cry for help. This spirit accepts plantain, rum, cigars and the colors green, black and coral.
  • El Christo Negro: this is the lord and king of the underworld. All other spirits bow to it. He is seen as the crucified black Christ. His symbols are the black rooster and crows.
  • El Christo rey: he is referred to as the lord of this world. He has direct contact between man and your higher self. He is involved in spells of divine justice, harvest, fertility and healing power. He is mostly called to reverse witchcraft and for spiritual alignment. El Christo grants you great healing powers, telepathy and the power to work with white light spirits.

The Rituals and Spells in The Traditions Of The Palo Mayombe

The Palo Mayombe are one for spells and rituals. It’s a whole process and part of their traditions. It is through these spells and rituals that they’re able to communicate with the spirits and call upon divine protection from them. The prayers of the Palo Mayombe are very simple yet so complex. The rituals with spirits are very important to them. The more time you spend with the spirits, the more benefits you receive. In their rituals, they dance and play music via wooden instruments and drums. They make use of different divination process but the most common method used are coconut shells.

The Initiations Process of The Palo Mayombe

You want to be a part of this religion? Here’s how!

If you’re interested in the Palo Mayombe, you can learn about it and get initiated through a rite of passage. The initiation ceremony is called Rayamiento. It loosely translates to “being scratched”.  This initiation is secretly done because the authorities prohibit the religion. The prohibition is as a result of a misunderstanding by the westerners and people who have no knowledge about the Palo Mayombe. Yet, the Palo Mayombe still receives tons of new converts. These converts are expected to take oaths and seal pacts of loyalty to the Munanso Congo (head of the denomination).  Palo Mayombe priests have reported cases of individuals coming to them for blessings before an interview and end up getting that position and also other forms of problems they might have.

palo mayombe santeria

Syncretism in Palo Mayombe

Palo Mayombe religion practices have come under the invasion of the Catholic religion to some extent.  The effect of Catholicism can be seen in the traditions of some houses of Palo. A version of Palo Mayombe religion with the most massive influence of the Christian religion is of the houses of Palo, known as Palo Christiano.

Another break out from Palo Mayombe religion from Kongo is Palo Judio, which presented itself as a version that is resistant to the influence of Christianity and based his practices solely on the Congo African spiritualism.

Syncretism of Palo Mayombe with Santeria

Another evidence of the syncretism of Palo Mayombe and other religions can be found with Santeria. Santeria has been a close religion to Palo Mayombe, and some Palero associates or confused Nkisi to the Orisha of the Santeria.

Compare to Santeria and other African religions in Cuba, the Caribbean, and other parts of the world, Palo Mayombe is easily the most resistant. Palo Mayombe Survived, for a large part, the battle of culture and beliefs supremacy with the Spanish’s Catholicism. The resistance of Palo Mayombe more impressive, considering it came before most of the African religious in Cuba and the Caribbean, the Yoruba rooted Santeria.

Palo Mayombe Divination is an essential part of the Palo Mayombe belief and practice.

Starting a Palo Mayombe ritual or spiritual work without divination can be compared to going to an unknown land without a map or any direction. The same way a doctor will not start treatment on his patient without examining the condition of the patient. After which a diagnosis is made to get to the root of the problem. A genuine Palero will consult with the spirit of the dead to know the best course to take for healing or protection. Palo Mayombe divination gives Palero deep insight into the follower’s problem and the best solution. A Palero that starts a ritual or spiritual work without Palo Mayombe divination is doing it based on his experience. Every situation is unique, the same way the solution to it. Palo Mayombe gives the palero the ability to know the definite cause of a problem and the accurate answer to it. The information about the issue and its solution will be directly from the dead, and it never fails.

The efficacy of Palo Mayombe Sigils

Palo Mayombe sigil is a magical tool known as Patipemba in Palo Mayombe, directing the nature force to work for the purpose we want. Drawing Palo Mayombe Sigils and directing nature energies is only the first part. A Palo Mayombe Sigil like finding your way to a locked door, you will need a key to unlock the door. The key to making a Palo Mayombe Sigil to work and work effectively for a Palero is to leave the realm of humans for the moment. The Palero needs to be possessed by the spirit. Some other religious beliefs have incorporated the Palo Mayombe sigils into their practices. This practice dilution is not only unfortunate but can be dangerous. The natural forces directed by Palo Mayombe Sigil can be good or bad, depending on how it is being used. It is essential to consult a real palero priest for all your solutions.

palo mayombe religion

The Journey of African Religions in Cuba

As expected, Christianity of the Roman Catholic is the predominant religion in Cuba. Until a few decades ago, African religions were forbidden from been practiced openly. It is normal to see African religion syncretized with some Catholicism. The most popular syncretic in Cuba is Santeria, brought by the Yoruba people of Southwest, Nigeria. It was probably the youngest African religions to come with enslaved to Cuba. It only occurred in Cuba around three century after Palo Mayombe. It is also popularly practiced in Brazil as Umbanda.

Though some Cubans did and have not fully embraced the African religions, they are considered more potent and powerful than popular Christianity. An estimated over three-quarter of the Cuban population had visited African religions practice for guidance, healing, protection and other consultations. Santeria may be the most popular African religion in Cuba. Many regard Palo Mayombe as the most powerful of them all. Palero Priests are consulted from far and wide.

Voodoo Religion

Based on media misrepresentation of the religion and its practices in various movies and music, it is the most famous Africa Spiritualism. The enslaved from West Africa first brought it to the Caribbean, precisely Haiti. There is various histories of persecution of the practitioners of the religion for long by the Catholic Church. The misrepresentation of Voodoo religion probably started with the oppression and painting it in a bad light. 

Despite the suppression and negatively publicity, the voodoo religion found its way to the heart of many Haitians. There were an increased following and respect for the faith for the rule it played during the Haitian revolution. Palo Mayombe and voodoo have one thing in common; both have suffered from years of persecutions and stereotype. It is undeniable that Voodoo is one of the most potent African religions, but it does not come close to Palo Mayombe. Palo Mayombe rituals involve the invoking of the spirit of the dead and the ancestors, which guarantee fast and effective results. 

Santeria Religion and Practices in Cuba.

Unlike Palo Mayombe, one crucial aspect of Santeria is the emphasis on the deities. The Santeria religion faithful believes in the deities or the gods.

 These deities take care of essential aspects of life. Olodumare is considered the supreme beings, that created both heaven and earth. The Olodumare or Eledumare gives power to the deities to control the affairs of men, but He is the primary source of all power and energy. These deities are referred to as Orishas. Palo Mayombe is different; there is only one God, N’zambi. In the case of Palo Mayombe, Nzambi put the spirits of the ancestors are in charge of human’s affairs. Palo Mayombe Spirits, Mpungus may have existed as men or in another form.

In terms of Power, Palo Mayombe is above other African religions

Despite all the misinformation about Palo Mayombe, one thing that most African Religions cannot disagree it with is the power of Palo Mayombe. This power comes from understanding and harnessing the energy in the spirit of the dead and the ancestors. The secret of the efficacy of Palo Mayombe lies in harnessing these power and the natural forces around. Things not understood are often misunderstood. The secret to the power of Palo Mayombe needs to be kept, away from the charlatans and the wrong hands. Consult a genuine Palero priest for solving real-life and spiritual issues with Palo Mayombe.


Santeria not so holy – What You Think Of It?


Cuba, religiously, is a very diverse country. Its greatest influence, like most Latin American countries, is the Catholic religion with 60% while 11% is influenced by Africa, and from there comes Santeria, Mayombe stick, etc.This influence comes from the 1800s, where the greatest number of slaves arrived in Cuba from Africa. But, as you may know, the slaves when they arrived in Cuba, did not let them practice their religion and had to force themselves to be practitioners of the Catholic religion, as their only religion.

Likewise, they began to change the names of the saints of religion, the virgins for saints, for example.This is how Santeria or the Rule of Ocha is influenced, as it is also known. Of origin, he is a polytheist, each one is born with a saint like Eleggua, Obatala,Temaya, etc. and this one has to be honored by sacrifices, for example playing his musical instrument, or the greatest of all, devoting himself to the saint.


The Cubans who practice Santeria are mostly Afro-Cubans; which as we mentioned before, are origins of slaves brought from Africa. His belief is based on a universal God who was commissioned to create everything we see today.This God is called Olodumare.


He is the person who is beginning in Santeria, his first task is to memorize the 256 Odus, they are the sacred writings, and also the verses of Ifá. He becomes a teacher, and is dedicated to being a spiritual guide, helping people solve problems, leading them along the spiritual path.

Becoming holy

It is the beginning of the cleansing, and “becoming holy” means putting the angel on the head and facing the responsibility it requires.The person who is made holy is called “iyawó“, this title is given for the first year.This must be followed by an Orisha, who is a guardian prior to the act.This first year is a year where many strict rules have to be followed in order to be purified, and at the end of the year it is called “santero”.

To begin, it is an intensive process, which lasts 7 days, where the name of the saint and itá is reborn.The ceremony is directed by Obá Ení Oriaté, who is a santero with a lot of experience and knowledge.Then a godfather does a head cleaning with herbs.Then comes the acquisition of beaded necklaces, which colors depend on the saint of the person, this necklace is bathed in blood, herbs, etc.To receive it, he leans in a bathtub to wash his head.

Then comes the half seat, which is a consultation with a santero where a review of the life of the iyawó is given, this gives inspiration to a sculpture that they have to build to protect the house. Reception of the warriors, here they receive sacred objects from their godparents.Among other rituals, there is also Ebbón’s ceremony, which consists of

palo mayombe initiation

Spirits, spells and the initiation of the Palo Mayombe religion

Have you been hearing about the Palo Mayombe?

 Is this your first-time hearing about it?

Well, read on.

The Palo religion is one that originated in Cuba during the slave era.  Its roots can be traced to Congo basin in central Africa. It is a product of Bakongo religions. The Palo religion makes use of liturgical language which is a mix of Spanish and the bantu language. The word Palo is a Spanish word for stick. Its traced to the religion in Cuba where they prepare their altars out of wooden sticks. The Palo Mayombe has different denominations (branches); Mayombe, Monte and the Briyumba. 

In certain situations, the Palo Mayombe is often compared to the Santeria. There’s a major difference between them. The Santeria is from the Yoruba people who stay in Nigeria while the Pola Mayombe is from Congo. Despite the comparison, the Palo is more effective than the Santeria.

The Beliefs Of The people of Palo Mayombe.

The Palo Mayombe are known to have the most powerful and most effective form of black magic in the world. The influence of the Palo religion can be seen in central America such as brazil and Mexico. In brazil the Palo Mayombe is known as Quinbanda. They believe in two main pillars which is the veneration of spirits and the use of supernatural powers. These spirits are considered very powerful but not as powerful as God the creator, Zambi or Nzambi

The Spirits of The Palo Mayombe

There are several deities in the Palo religion; these deities/spirits hold different positions and perform different actions. Here’s a few.

  • Zarabanda: the Zarabanda is the best and foremost divine messenger of whom? Yes its underworld. Do you want any protection? Then contact him.
  • Los Espiritus Intranquilos:  In English it’s called “seven tranquil spirits”. It is very poplar spirit in Mexico and Central America. It is used to force a lover who has gone and not plan to come back.
  • El Christo Rey: He is the lord of this world & yes, he is often called on to reverse witchcraft. El Christo Rey can be called on to settle terminal illness.
  • La Santissima Piedra Iman: this is another powerful spirit used in Palo Mayombe. It can be used for both black and white magic. This particular spirit can be used to attract money and wealth. It is often used by Latin businessmen to gain wealth and prosperity.

Rituals in Palo Mayombe-How Are They Done?

The Palo practitioners have a belief that natural objects have the power of the spirits especially sticks. The main form of spiritual practice is the altar made out of stick which is known as the Nkisi or the Nganga. The Palo religion includes music in their rituals which is being made by wooden instruments and drums. In their rituals, they make use of certain music tones such as Cata, Guagua and the conga or ngoma. The cowbell, plow and hoe are metallic instruments also used during rituals or time of worship.

How Are Initiations Carried Out in the Palo Mayombe?

To get initiated, you have to undergo a sacred rite of passage. This initiation ceremony is called Rayamiento meaning “being scratched” whereby special marks are carved on the skin of the new convert. An oath or a pack of loyalty is made to the Nganga. After this has been made, the person who has received the Rayamiento would be under the protection of the Nkisi. This method is called the Kujamputu. A self-initiation can also be carried out. You’re probably wondering how to that that and if it works. Will the spirit accept you?

Yes, the spirit will accept you. People have wondered around to search for the ingredients and initiate themselves without the priests. Nowadays, people tend to collect huge sum of money to initiate you via a priest when you can do it yourself. We will give you all the ingredient you need to collect or buy and simple instructions to follow. To know if it works or not, a guide on a ritual will be given to you to summon your ancestors to guide you.

palo mayombe

The process of initiation in the Palo Mayombe religion

Palo Mayombe is among the black magic religion that has been practiced over the years. It is a sacred religion which is practiced secretly to avoid misinformation and the mis-practice of the religion. To get initiated into the Palo Mayombe religion, you have to undergo some process either if it’s an initiation to become a member or an initiation to become an ordained Palero. In the Palo Mayombe, initiation is described and death and rebirth. It’s the dropping of the old life and awakening into a new life. During this initiation ritual, they make use of drums known as Ngoma. This drum is said to be the drum of affliction. The initiation process is called the Rayamiento and it means being scratched. This involves the carving of special marks unto your skin. You have to take an oath to prove your courage and loyalty. There are 14 oaths to be take.

Oaths of the Palo Mayombe initiation

  • Do you vow to believe in the existence of only one god?
  • Do you promise to love and to have loved your parents?
  • Do you vow to accept and be obedient to the laws that you know of and not know of that guide this religion?
  • Do you vow to be devoted and free?
  • Do you promise to furlough all the obligations given to the servants of this religion for your own welfare?
  • Do you solemnly promise to embrace the cravings of knowledge of the religion and apply it to the religion?
  • Do you vow by the crucifix you hold and by your word that no one has coerced you into being a part of this religion without your approval?
  • Do you promise to embrace the craving of knowledge with the aim of helping a fellow man give absolute loyalty to the religion?
  • Do you vow to forgive all your enemies?
  • Do you promise to never be involved in an act of blasphemy?
  • Do you vow never to go against and betray the religion?
  • Do you vow to help your fellow members even if it means personal sacrifice in terms of disgrace, illness or death?
  • Do you vow to never disperse from these sacred teachings of the religion that gives spiritual knowledge?

These oaths, once they have been said, they help in bonding ties and also in spiritual development of the individual and spiritual alliance with the ancestors. After an initiation, there are several positions to take. The first initiation process is usually into the Pino Nuevo. You could decide to remain a pino Nuevo for a very long time. If one should decide to proceed into other positions, once can study for about a year to become a Tata or a Yaya. Once you become a Tata or a Yaya, you undergo what they call a cleansing ritual for a year and seven months whereby you have to do the following, eating of meals on the ground, avoiding contacts with non-initiates, wearing of white all through and not staying out after dark.

palo mayombe initiation

The origins and histories of the Palo Mayombe religion

Various religions have developed over the years and they range from Christianity to different traditional religions.  There are different ways and methods people use to worship their creators. The Christian way, the Islam way and the traditional way. The traditional way is what we’re going to be talking about and we’re going all the way to Cuba which holds the palo mayombe religion. The palo mayombe came about during the slave trade era of the 1500s in Cuba. It can still be traced to the Congo basin in the regions of central Africa.

The Palo mayombe is also called the las Reglas de Congo. They have a special believe in the veneration of spirits and the use of earthy materials which they believe to be infused with the spirits of the deceased. They also believe that the deceased live among us and inside of us.  The make use of divination process known as the Nganga which means altar. The Nganga is usually linked to a deceased or an African spirit. These spirits are the ones that define the kind of spells to be used. For example, if an Nganga is linked to the kobayende spirit, a spell of healing would be conducted, if it is linked to the Chola Wengue, a spell concerning riches and wealth would be done. The Palero which is the priest has the control of the Nganga and can make use of more than one Nganga. He is the only one that has the power to channel it summon a spirit of the dead.

The Palo Mayombe is often compared to the likes of the Santería and the voodoo.  These other two religions are from the Palo Mayombe and from the remaining parts of a Yoruba religion that is practiced in Nigeria. Unlike the Santería, the Palo Mayombe doesn’t pay much attention to the use of colors in their rituals or worships. The Palo Mayombe is more powerful and more effective than that of the other two black magic religions. The palo mayombe makes use of dancing and singing in their rituals. The music sounds are mainly made by wooden instruments and also drums which is sometimes called the drums of affliction.

To get initiated into the palo mayombe, you have to meet a Palero. This is sometimes difficult because it’s hard to find out those who are members of the palo religion not to talk of a priest of the palo mayombe. The initiation is among the first steps you take when wanting to be a member of the Palo Mayombe. This initiation involves the dead and the use of different crafts associated with the dead. The Zarabanda spirit is the spirit that is usually summoned during an initiation, it is the spirit that gives direct communication between this world and the spirit world. Before undergoing an initiation, the Paleros consults the ancestral spirits to know if you can be a member of the palo mayombe or not.

palo mayombe religion

Elucidation of Yoruba religion

The Yoruba religion refers to a series of beliefs that come from West Africa, between Nigueria and Benin, and expanding to the Caribbean islands as did Santeria, Palo Mayombo and voodoo. In this religion, myths, songs, stories, etc. predominate.The deities are called Orishas, which means owners of the head, and to become, it is also called “becoming holy,” where a god crowns the new practitioner. In their belief it is that the Orishas were also human at one time, but after their death they go to heaven, all of them were completely evoked to the firmness and commitment that this religion dedicates.

The end: The Yorubas believe in reincarnation, they believe that there is a life after death, just as they believe that the Orishas were human, and that after death they became gods.

A sample of the fervor that this religion awakens by the depth of its spirituality, can be appreciated despite its eminently African origin, has integrated people from different cultural backgrounds.Torn their origins, they entered this continent in a violent and involuntary way, where they were subjected to a repressive process by which they were intended to forget their traditions, particularly the religious ones, and adopt the customs of the slavers among which the most important was Christian religion.

What is important?: The most important aspects of this religion are its mythology, the deep esoteric symbolism that it contains and the practices full of fervor, which over time underwent serious transformations, deeply influenced by the Catholic iconolatry of the Spanish “masters”, but maintaining Through strong and living time for their believers.

The Syncretism: Was a process originated by the survival of a culture and a belief: a mixture of elements, functions and gods, in which African slaves pretended to accept the images of Catholicism through a simple resemblance.Thus were born the different nominations, the syncretization of the different African cults and the Catholic religion, as a product of a natural and logical process; Thus was born the Rule of Ocha or Santería.

The offerings: Made to the Saints are called: Addimú.They are Fruits,Vegetables, Plants, Flowers and Animals that are fed to the Oricha as an expression of the Love of the believer who wishes to communicate with the divinity. Offerings do not always include the immolation of an animal, especially when it comes to uninitiated persons within Religion, but when this happens, it is an honor for it to participate in the ceremony, because by this act it becomes an energy that it transmutes the evil that afflicts humans, reaching higher spiritual levels by being a messenger between the earthly and celestial plane. His blood is a sacred fluid that is associated with everything that is beautiful, noble, generous and elevated, it is the food of the Oricha and also the vehicle that transmits the plea of believers.

What all these religions have in common is, they all have a feudal system, what you will do is what they indicate, which means that it is not you who will choose the destination. Unlike Palo Mayombe, who gives you the power to choose what you want, I remember how you started and fighting against the first enemy of man: Poverty.All these religions, in the end send Palo Mayombe to consult when none works, think about this every time you decide which path you are going to take.

palo mayombe spirits

The Power in Palo Mayombe

It is intriguing and secretive. It can be draining, especially for the newly initiated. But it is potent, powerful, and magical. Palo Mayombe is a belief and practice that is rooted in the betterment and protection of the people. For the Pro Palo Mayombe, the dead are not dead and to be forgotten. Their physical bodies may have gone, but their spirits are still to be connected with. This connection gives homes to the spirit of the dead and the ancestors. The Paleros know the iron or clay pot that connects humans with the spirits as Nganga.

 Once the Palo Mayombe spirits are invited, recognized, paid homage to, and given a home in a natural element, they become your protector. Palo Mayombe spirits protect you both from the spiritual and the physical. They keep you safe from all kinds of weapons, such as guns, machetes, knives, broken bottles, etc.

 What goes into Palo Mayombe Nganga and makes it so Powerful

Nganga is like the altar that the Christians go to pray to their God. But Nganga is much more potent and powerful for getting a request or prayer answered. Several things go into the Nganga. Inside an Nganga are the bones, the earthly elements, and some other items not permitted for sharing with the uninitiated.  

Nganga is a ‘tool’ that can be dark, abused, and harm others if it gets to the hand the wrong people. One of the reasons the whole and practice of Palo Mayombe is rarely shared with the outsiders and the newly initiated. Nganga’s power needs to be cherished and protected by the Palero. It is like a fierce trained dog that offers you protection but cannot be let loose on the innocent for whatever reason.

The spirit housed in an Nganga has been given a ‘life’ that let it feels, communicates, and acts based on the request and the recommendation of a trained Palero Priest. It is capable of strong emotions such as love and extreme hatred concerning the welfare and protection of the Palero it is watching over. 

Palo Mayombe Ritual Drawing

Firma is the graphical representation of the Palo Mayombe ritual. The drawing figuratively represents all the physical and spiritual elements involved in the Palo Mayombe rituals. The Color of the drawing determines for what purpose it is. White chalk is widely used for helpful spells, while Firma drawn with charcoal is considered destructive. A spiritual entity is invoked in preparation for a Palo Mayombe ritual through the Firma. Each spirit has its sign representation. A Palo Mayombe spell involving love will have the sign representing mpungu Mama Chola.

How to go through Palo Mayombe Initiation

Palero Priest can consult for you. You can also get the power to protect and better your life and those of your loved ones. But becoming a Palero is not for everyone. The spiritual world determines whether you can handle power and responsibility at that particular time. Or it may be the practice of Palo Mayombe does not align with your destiny.

You get approved for Palo Mayombe initiation through the consultation of a Palero Priest with the spiritual world. You will be marked, or body scratched to invoke the spirit of the dead. Different spirits are also summoned through the spiritual cauldrons on your behalf during the Palo Mayombe initiation. One of such spirit is Zibranda. The spirit gives you communication access to the spiritual world.

reglas de congo

Lucero Of Palo Mayombe; the Spirit of the Doors

Nkuyu, also called Lucero Mundo or Nkuyo is regarded as the most important mpungu (deity) among the other deities in Palo Mayombe. He is the god of woods, crossroads, and wilderness. Lucero in Spanish means lightning (Morning Star). The lightning also represents the descend of a spirit to the earth. 

Nkuyu is said to have an errant nature and he lives in the wilderness, forests or top of the bamboo tree. He is the Guardian of the Cemetery door, of Voyages, Fortunes and the Moon.


Nkuyu is associated with balance and guidance. He is also known for his wisdom through which he guides men. He is said to be tricky, fickle and mischievous like a child. He can also play the role of fierce defenders, contending strongly with his enemies.

He is also said to be fond of dragonflies, fireflies, sparks from a forge and everything that can produce fire such as mercury and sulfur.

Tasks/ Functions:

Lucero is the one that travels the paths and roads. He is believed to be the deity who shuts and opens doors. He is known as the divine messenger. He sees everything and no spiritual energy can be accessed without him.

Therefore, he is first acknowledged in every rite or ceremony. He is said to be the first to receive the mysteries of the Supreme Deity, Nzambi. His personality is so revered that that alongside with Zarabanda, must have individual shrines dedicated to them by any Tata of Palo Mayombe.

Tata must establish a good connection with him to get their requests met. Failure to do so will result in very futile efforts. It is advised that anyone going into agreement with him must do so very carefully as he is known to be tricky in his methods.

He can be compared to a strong magnet that can repel or pull the forces of good and evil. He places the character of the man on trial using challenges and tests. 

He is consulted on issues relating to employment, cleansing, legal and court matters, protection and road opening.


Nkunyu is also appeased and consulted with sacrifices and offerings which include: rum, cigars, peppered rum, and animal sacrifices. His sacrifices are presented to him in the wilderness. His sacred colors are red and black and his dedicated number is number 21.


He shares similar traits with the Holy Infant of Atocha; a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. He is also likened to the orisha of the Santeria and Yoruba religion, Eleggua or Eshu.


Nkuyu’s shrine is built using a red and black painted terracotta pot filled with earth samples from different locations. Examples of these locations are forests, crossroads or cemetery. It is filled with sticks got from the forests. The pot is decorated with beads, feathers of a sacrificial bird and leaves associated with the mpungu. At the center of the pot is the statue of Lucero.