The Santeria and the Palo Mayombe- are they twins?

The Santeria and the Palo Mayombe are often compared and are claimed to be the same. In some times, the Palo Mayombe is said to be the evil twin of the Santeria. The Santeria is a part of Yoruba religion that is practiced in Nigeria. The Santeria is also known as Reglas de Ocha. It is a remnant of the Yoruba religion. Santeria is a Spanish word which means “worship of saints”. It is infused and syncretized with Roman Catholicism. They make use of the language Lucumi which is seen to be very sacred.

The Palo Mayombe and the Santeria have their similarities. In terms of rituals, they both make use of music which is done by different instruments and drums, dancing is a similarity among these two religions. The Palo Mayombe and the Santeria both originated during the slave era in Cuba. They both seek guidance and protection from their gods and spirits. In these two religions, they make use of priests and priestess. The priest of the Palo Mayombe are called Tata or Yayas and the priests of the Santeria are called Santeros or the santera.

The Palo Mayombe and the Santeria also have their differences. The major difference is that the Santeria is a remnant of a Yoruba religion that hails from an African country Nigeria while the Palo Mayombe has its antecedents in the slave era. The rites and worship of the Palo Mayombe were brought to Cuba in the Congo basin while the Santeria rites originated from a Yoruba region of Nigeria. One other difference between the Palo Mayombe and the Santeria is their nature.

The Santeria places emphasis on its deities while the Palo Mayombe focuses on ancestral worship and in the belief of earthly powers such as their sticks which they believe to have natural powers, water or mountains. It is very easy to identify yourself in the midst of a Palo Mayombe altar which is also known as a Nganga) because of the way it is decorated with sticks, bones and sometimes a crucifix hanging above it. The Palo Mayombe religion also have their own deities which is called the kimpungulu and a god creator which is known as Nzambi but they don’t make it known unlike the Santeria orishas that is known all over. The Santeria is all over the place; their place of worship can be found and their numbers can be counted unlike the Palo Mayombe where the religion is kept a secret and it’s difficult to figure out their place of worship and number of members.

The Palo Mayombe and the Santeria have some similarities but their differences are more making it clear which overrules the other. The Palo Mayombe is more powerful and effective than the Santeria. It is usually kept a secret because most people are very misunderstanding and are ignorant therefore leading to the spread of false information. It is a religion that brings peace to its members.