Spirituality and religious diversity as a whole has evolved a lot in Cuba and there is now freedom to religious expression. The Spanish settlers were the first to stamp their religious activities in the 1500s. Then came Palo Mayombe religions of the captured people from the Kingdom of Kongo. Other religious practices like the Santeria were later introduced by the Yoruba Slaves after a couple of centuries after Palo Mayombe. The African slaves were made to worship in the Catholic way, which explained the blending of some Catholicism into African religious practice like Santeria. Palo Mayombe practitioners have preserved the core of the religion practices by limiting the influence of the outsiders. This is one of the reasons Palo Mayombe still remain the most powerful form of magic compared to other African spiritualism. Palo Mayombe and syncretized have since enjoyed started enjoying the freedom to practice their faiths after Fidel Castro lifted long restrictions placed on other religions other than Catholicism.
Palo Mayombe and Santeria
There are always comparisons between Palo Mayombe and Santeria. Before the people of Kongo and Yoruba people of present-day western Nigeria and Benin were captured and transported to Cuba as slaves. There was known to war against themselves, there were differences also in their religious beliefs. It is however not uncommon to find a few similarities between Palo Mayombe and Santeria practices today. This can be as a result of interactions between the different beliefs that may go way back to their African origin or get mixed in Cuba.
Palo Mayombe is not the dark side of Santeria, just more powerful
One common statement that linked the two religious beliefs is that “Palo Mayombe is the dark side of Santeria”. This is very wrong and misleading. It is the lie fed to the people about a religion they don’t understand and supported by bad Paleros. This Paleros seek to exploit people who are looking for illegal means to attain success or hurt people. Palo Mayombe is powerful, quick effect magic and practices that code of ethics that must be upheld at all time. It is stronger and has a faster effect than Santeria, for those people that are ready to dedicate themselves to the way of the spirits. Palo Mayombe works for those to seek its knowledge and practices.
This is the original religion of the most South Western people of Nigeria. The tribe and the practices extend to neighboring Togo and Benin. The Yoruba people are also close to the Fon and Ewe. The voodoo religion and practices id from the Fon and Ewe people. Yoruba religion ‘gave births’ to religions like Santeria and Umbanda. Both Palo Mayombe and Yoruba revere the dead and honour their spirits. But Palo Mayombe recognizes more the power in the spirit of the dead. The practitioners of Palo Mayombe not only honour the dead but know the means to use them for protection, healing and finding solutions too many life problems. This is one reason that makes Palo Mayombe more effective than other religions.