Palo Mayombe, II.2.8-II.2.13.

II.2.8. Centella

p. 104

"Centella is ... a name given to the garden of blood and bones ... . The name has multiple meanings from ... spark of light. Her name is also used as a direct reference to the cemetery, which she owns. ...

She manifests in the mysteries of the bat, ... and

{Navaho goddess Jabunni Estsan ('Bat Woman') transformed, by means of sunflowers, the extinct Thundrebirds' feathers into the extant species of birds


{Mandan goddess Old Woman Who Never Dies hath as her husband a divine snake whose single eye “resembled a sunflower very closely except that at times lightning would

flash forth.” (WhW, p. 50)}

tornados are her most intimate manifestations. ...

{"Oya is the tornado goddess." ("YEAAA", p. 322, n. 78)}

She ... indeed ... is Lady Death ... .

In Cuba it is common to perceive her as multi-coloured --

This name, /sCiNTiLLA/, may refer to scintillation (twinkling) of a star; and thence to the rhyme /Twinkle, twinkle little Star, ... like a Diamond in the sky/, whereof the diamond is able to refract light efficiently into diverse colors.}

but ... in Africa ... she is red, white and black as typifying the extreme of female manifestation. ...

{the colours of the 3 gun.a-s : rajas (red), sattva (white), and tamas (black)}

She is ... Sta. Teresa of A[`]vila.

{This is because sta. Teresa de A`vila was "considering our soul to be like a castle made entirely out of a diamond" (TA).}

She is {regentess of?} the very fortress of death -- and death is the collective sum of ancestral wisdom ... . ... Here opens the field of the restless dead and thus she presides over the mysteries of lycanthropy ... . She is the power of transition. ... Because she possesses all the wisdom of the night and the secrets that avoid the light of day she is ndoki and her messengers are vipers and spiders.

To effectuate her mumia you will need bat,

eyes of a wolf,

{in order to effectuate "the mysteries of lycanthropy"}

horns of a bull

{or more accurately, horns of a buffalo : "the mask (with buffalo horns) dedicated to Oya, the tornado goddess" ("NPEO", p. 46c)}

and a knife or nine. A convent of nfuri enters her cauldron and the nine-fold pact recreates her garden of lascivious and lusting death that brings wisdom from the beyond and enables oracles of the most profound virtue."

p. 105

(illustration of her vever : 6 directional pointing-lines,

{In an Arapaho food-bag decoration, "a series of six black spots ... symbolized six places Whirlwind Woman rested" (WhW, p. 40).}

upon a large spiral)

{"A frequent Oglala design was a large single spiral, signifying Twister" (WhW, p. 43).}

p. 106

"she is also known as Mariwanga, Mama Wanga, Kariempembe, Yaya` Ke`gue, Yaka` Ke`ngue`, Marufina, Maringoya, Mariaguairo".

"NMC" = "Navajo Myth (clear)"

WWh = Nani Suzette Pybus : Whirlwind Woman. PhD diss, OK State U, 2009.

"YEAAA" = Babatunde Lawal : "Yoruba Elements in African American Arts". In :- Toyin Falola & Matt D. Childs (edd.) : The Yoruba Diaspora in the Atlantic World. IN U Pr, 2005. .pp. 291-324.

TA = Teresa of Avila : Selections from The Interior Castle. HarperCollins Spiritual Classics, 2004.

"NPEO" = Babatunde Lawal : "New Perspectives on Edan O`gbo'ni". AFRICAN ARTS 28, No. 1 (Winter, 1995), pp. 36-49 + 98-100.

II.2.9 Balu-ande

p. 109

"Through their interaction the wisdom of the mountains flows within the waters of ancestral memory. ... Ancestors are found both in the waters and in the centre ofthe earth. The latter is in Kikongo called Kuma[-]ngongo ... . ...

Baluande is also known as Mpungo Kasimba, meaning spirit that lives in the cavity of the waters ... . ...

p. 111

This spirit is also referred to ... as Mboma or Mbomba meaning serpent, boa, python (mboma-ndongo) ... . ... Baluande ... is also

the serpent that spins the wheel in the hands of Fortune. ...

{The wheel is in the hands not of Tukhe (Fortuna 'Fortune') but of Nemesis (Invidia 'Envy'), who is described (O:M 2.760 sq -- "DN") as "eating viper's flesh".} {Without being in her hands, Nemesis's "wheel turned itself round before the queen's feet, ... like a self-rolling wheel." (N:D 48.375 sq -- "DN")}

{There is, howbeit, a mythic Aiguptian ouroboros (tail-swallowing) hoop-snake.}

Her mumia is erected on swan, duck and serpent. ...

Other names given to her are Kalunga Mpaka Ndoki, Mayanguera, ... and Muana Lango."

O:M = Ovidius : Metamorphoses.

"DN" = "daimon Nemesis"

N:D = Nonnos : Dionusiaka.

II.2.10 Cobayende

p. 113

"Cobayende is Lord Death. ... Naturally he is the one who walks with Centella as his wife and daughter. ... His name is Tata Nfumbi or more correct[ly] Ta'ata Mvu'mbi means literally Father/Master of Death/Corpse. ... Nevertheless his mystery is closely knit and transformed through the coming of

Pandilanga ... .

{cf. name /PANDurANGA/ of transcendent god seen in sky in Bhagavat Gita}

The name itself, Pandilanga, means ... profoundly elevated.

To go to the nsulo, heaven, was uncommon, it was the mark of a noble king truly favored by Nzambi to invert the way of thunder.

{By means of "the lightning god, Mwindo is translated to the sky" (Nyanga myth -- MA, p. 129); Mwindo's father is named KARISI (loc. cit.).}

{Alternatively, *KARISI (/Karihi/ in New Zealand) had his eyen resuscitated (according to the Ngāti Porou) by levin-god (PM, p. 57; MR&M, pp. 434-5) *Tabaki (/Tawhaki/ in New Zealand), who climbed to heaven; or (Nguna in New Hebrides -- MCM, p. 98) his eye restored by Mako-SAVAKI (Tawhaki as god in HAWAiKI-nui).}

As such Pandilanga represented a divine anomaly ... .

{Among the Ponca of Nebraska, "any man or woman ... able to control this supernatural power were said to be xube. ‘Contraries’ were xube through thunder" (WhW, p. 60).}

He [Cobayende] is also known as Mfu'tila ...,

p. 114

while Pandilanga who was the mpungo who resurrected him

{The god Dharma[-t.hakura] arrangeth the redincarnation of souls.}

lost his body. ...

It is Cobayende who is the guide of souls ... . ...

{"Yama ... is the guide of those who depart this life" (HMV&P, p. 79).}

He walks with dogs

{"pass without alarm
The four-eyed hounds that guard the road
Which leads to Yama's bright abode" (
HMV&P, p. 81).}

and vultures ... . ...

{cf. the Zaratustrian custom of leaving human corpses for vultures to devour}

He is ... all weeping trees.

{trees having amber as their sap?}

MA = Isidore Okpewho : Myth in Africa. Cambridge U Pr, 1983.

PM = George Grey : Polynesian Mythology. 1854.

MR&M = Elsdon Best : Maori Religion and Mythology. P. D. Hasselberg, Wellington.

MCM = Alphonse Riesenfeld : The Megalithic Culture of Melanesia. Brill, Leiden, 1950.

HMV&P= W. J. Wilkins : Hindu Mythology, Vedic and Puranic. London: W. Thacker & Co.

II.2.11 Guru-nfinda

p. 117

"In kikongo he is known as Sindaula Ndundu Yambaka Butan Seke.

The name Sindaula means to extract or to dry up,

Ndundu Yambaka means ... albino pygmy and

Buta` Nseke means little man who is the master of the mountain. ...

In Cuba the various parts of his name are all viewed as ... attendant spirits of Gurunfinda.

This name is derived from the kikongo Ngu'lumfinda, composed of ngu'lu, wild hog {warthog}, and mfinda, wild forest. ... Gurunfinda is the supreme master of the wilderness while Sindaula and Seke are seen as his boar[-] and dog-headed attendants. ...

The rarest of birds like the nightjar announce his presence to the woods and to people. {The nightjars are nocturnal insectivorous birds.}

{[Warlpiri] "nightjar is a familiar spirit of the Kurdaitcha man" ("JAON").} {[Britain]"the nightjar became associated with the evil spirit Puck ... . ... . ... [Makusi] -- .. the nighttime cry of the goatsucker (the bird) was believed to be the shriek of evil spirits" ("SPCh").}

He is the protector of all things strange and unusual ... . He is panic itself.

He takes power at twilight and goes to rest at the break of day. He is the power that oversees the wild at night."

{"Ki-yoo the Coyote ... followed ... while the darkness around him gave way to gloom." (Klamat -- "HCSS")}

p. 118

"To generate his mumia ... he needs exotic birds of various kinds,

like the canary .... .

{There are "wild canaries" within "a hollow tree" in the Karuk (Karok) Old Man Coyote myth (CR).}

He needs at least 101 sticks and shrubs, fungi and leaves to be present.

He walks steadily with the help of


{Accompanying a female desert-tortoise, "coyote continued to follow her, with his nose close to her feet and continued walking until he could walk no more. " (Yaki -- "DT&C")}

and toad

{"Coyote ... "married the Frog-Old-Woman." (Maidu -- "CA")} {Toad and Coyote possess the two shortest bows (Karuk -- "HCGC").}

and he flies on the wings of the parrot.

Insects of various kinds are his allies and messengers and need to make part of his secret.

{There are "grasshoppers" and "winged ants" in the Karuk Old Man Coyote myth (CR).}

He is the one nkisi that prefers vertebrae, finger and toe bones over the skull ... .

{"the phalanges were taken off the corpse" (Oyana -- "PhI&MIGu", p. 11, fn. 12).} {cf. Coyote "as bones" (Maidu -- "CM-TP&W-M").}

Anything yet unborn and in the process of developing belong[s] to him".

{"Tvas.t.r. ... is also said to bestow form on the foetus in [R.c Veda] X.184.1" (CD, p. 343).}

"HCSS" = "How Coyote Stole the Sun"

CR = William Bright : A Coyote Reader. Berkeley, 1993.

"DT&C" = "The Desert Tortoise and The Coyote" &

"CA" = "Coyote's Adventures"

"JAON" = "Jarlajirrpi – the Australian Owlet-Nightjar"

"SPCh" = Jason Colavito : "Secret Prehistory Of El Chupacabra". citing :- L.D. Arnett : “The Soul”. AMER J OF PSYCHOLOGY 15, no. 2 [1904]:145.

"HCGC" = "How the Coyote Got his Cunning"

"PhI&MIGu" = C.H. de Goeje : Philosophy, Initiation and Myths of the Indians Of Guiana. Leiden : Brill, 1943.

"CM-TP&W-M" = "Coyote, The Mountain-Tossing People, And The Wind-Man"

CD = Malati J. Shendge : The Civilized Demons: the Harappans ... . Abhinav Publ, New Delhi, 1977.

II.2.12 Lukankazi

p. 121

"He is thus celebrated by placing his fundamento in a hole in the earth on burning coals in a ring of fire

{"I stepped into ... the cauldron ... and it began to grow hot." ("CCB", p. 288)}

{"do ... bury me in the ash and coals and put ash and coals on top of me, and do you all gather round the fire" (Nzemi -- "SK").}

where his Tata the walks on fire and hot coals and manifests his presence. ... . ... Natalia Bolivar Aroste`gui [: Ta Makuende Yaya y Las Reglas de Palo Mayombe. Cuba, 1998] ... tells of a ceremony where you go to the cemetery on a moonless night and ... call on Lukankazi by his name ... and ask him to guide you to his proper tomb. Here you exhume the corpse ..., and this is the beginning of forming a pact. ... After seven days ... the same procedure is repeated. After another seven days, under the full moon, the body is again exhumed ... . This time ... parts of hands, feet and ribs are taken ... and .. put together on the foundation of snake and thunderstone. ...

This mystery is demonstrated in the one eyed vampire firmas that belong to Lukankazi. His firmas ... appear reminiscent of

p. 122

a cat fiend with fangs and often with one eye. ...

{"One among the cats ... had but one very big eye in its head." ("CCB", p. 280)}

{"went to the cat's house" (Nzemi -- "SK").}

{That "big one-eyed cat" espied Conall of the Yellow Hand atop "a rowan tree" ("CCB", p. 282).}

{By holding onto a quickbeam (rowan)-tree, To`rr eluded being drowned in urine from three pissing giantesses ("TD"); Namutan forbade royal subjects to "urinate" (Nzemi -- "A").}

{To elude a one-eyed giant "CCB", p. 284), Conall hid in "a deep cleft in the rocks." ("CCB", p. 283)}

{In reference to a the "neck" of "grass-hopper" -- humans appearing as grasshoppers to the <anaqi^m ('Necklace', Strong's 6060) giants --, B-Midbar 13:33), Leopardcat hid in "a hole in the ground" (Nzemi -- "A&M").}

Other names he is known by are Lucambe, Lugambe, Nkadiempembe, and Lukanzi."

p. 123

"You will at the feet of your prenda make a chichereku` (wooden doll ...).

{cf. the Aleut living "wooden doll" who "told the winds when to blow" ("W&W", p. 361). Among the Lushootseed, "sucking-monster's name, Ba`t>qs, "suck nose" is" (SM&L, p. 394, n. 12) indicative of indrawing breath : "His snoring breath was powerful, so powerful that, on every intake ... he drew me close." ("CCB", p. 289)}

The greater the depth of trance the better the bilongo will work. You will then fill the image with ndokis which in this case is ... weeds of the prenda ... . You will the search out a proper nfumbe, meaning you will go to the cemetery and seek out the grave ... . Here in a special ceremony you will make a pact with the nfumbe consisting of an exchange. You will take something from the grave and leave the chichereku` in its place."

"CCB" = Chapter 17 (Erse), "Conall Cro`g Buidhe". In :- Peter Berresford Ellis : Celtic Myths and Legends. Carroll & Graf, NY, 2002. pp. 274-90.

"SK" = "Story of Karumeona"

"TD" = "To`rsdra`pa"

"A" = "Asa"

B-Midbar 13:33

Strong = Hebrew & Aramaic Dictionary of Bible Words.

"A&M" = "Asa and Munsarung"

"W&W" = Victoria Sutton : "Wind and Wisdom". ENVIRONMENTAL & ENERGY LAW & POLICY J 1 (2005-7):345-71.

SM&L = M. Terry Thompson & Steven M. Egesdal (edd.) : Salish Myths and Legends. U of NE Pr, Lincoln, 2008.

II.2.13 Nganga Kissi

p. 125

"The Nganga Kissi also known as Pandljaga {sic : read "Pandijaga"?} is responsible for divination and the mystery is likely to be a metaphysical succession from the Kongo Ngoma cults, such as Lemba and Nkita.

The ngombe is a [spirit-]medium and [in] the Ngoma cult ... was considered to be a seer and a soothsayer, a sage. ...

[p. 206 : "Ngombe : Meaning oxen, but is used in reference to mounting or possession."] {cf. the C^>an/Zen "Oxherding Pictures", culminating with riding astride the ox's back} (This usage would be more accurate than the commoner New-World term "horse" (caballo of a caballero, derived through Spanish from a S.ufi source) for 'spirit-possessee'.)

The nkisi itself is found in many prendas in what is called mpaka vititi, the horn of the seer or seeing horn. ... Here the ancestors had a window out on the world and could by virtue of their double sight {2nd sight} advise the living. ...

In Cuba the ... Nganga Kissi ... replaced the spirit pot of the society of diviners or Kigoma. ... . ... .

p 126

... in Kimbisa ... the mpungo in question is mpungo Lomboa`n Fula which means the spirit who gives answers through the magical powders.

Lo`mbwa means to wait for an oracular answer,

mfu'la ... is similar to mpo'lo, magic powder. The name indicates an active use of {dried} herbs ... which ignite the oracular fire."

"Mambo for calling the inspiration of Nganga Kissi ... : Glin".


Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold : Palo Mayombe : the garden of blood and bones. Bibliothe`que Rouge (Scarlet Imprint), 2011.