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Showing posts from January 11, 2015

Old Pacts, Nfumbe, and Modern Continuances.

Working the Dead

Sala Malongo,
Working spirit for a student / client this weekend, and a few thoughts came to mind. One in particular was about the nature of bone, spirit, and pact as it has moved through time....and how Cuban Palo's history has manifested itself in American Palo.
There were many Chinese in Cuba working during the slave times, and the societies of Cuba, the Munanso, the cabildo, etc often contained members who were of partial or full Chinese Ancestry. Many of us, Mayemberos and Brillumberos alike, count Tata ndi bilongo "Chino" Arriete as an ancestor. There is an old line of co-working and powerful Cuban spirits of Chinese ancestry in the current of Palo. Their influence flows in interesting ways though practice. 
As I'm working with the remains of an individual to bring forth his spirit from the un-manifest and pregnant darkness, we begin to connect. His identity starts to press against reality, like a finger pushing against water and without breaki…