UNGUNDO (House of the Ceiba): The Palo Monte -Regla Bruja- Afro-Cuban
my Tata Cristóbal Orlando, Nicuago Luana; in memoriam.
1997 and 1998 we studied Afro-Cuban ritual music and dances
Matanzas, Cuba. Also, we facilitated and managed the teaching
of Afro-Cuban ritual music and dances in Los Angeles, California.
The learning came from Afro-Cuban folk masters and the students
in California where 40 non-Cubans and non-practitioners of
the Afro-Cuban religions.
We focused on the Lucumi (Yoruba music and dances of the Regla
de Ochá) and in the Congo (Bantú music and dances
of the Regla de Palo Monte). In the original Lucumí
practices an individual will be initiated and receive an Orisha
(God) on his/her head; during the ritual ceremonies an initiated
may be incorporating under trance the behavior of his Orisha
(bajar el Santo) and show particular physical abilities and
perform hard movements with total analgesia. The ritual dances
are based on the “possession” of the practitioners
by each different Orisha.
In the Palo Monte (Regla Conga) practices one medium will
became the horse to be mounted by the mpungos (forces) guiding
the visit of beings. Those Congo entities will be carried
on the shoulders of the medium, not received in the head like
the Lucumi Orishas.
The Afro-Cuban syncretism relates the Lucumi Orishas to the
Catholic Saints in what is knows today as Santería
and the Santería will turn into the syncretism with
the Congo Palo Monte, the Arará, the Iyessás
and the Society Abakuá.
For example: the Virgen de Regla of Christianity will be Yemayá
in Lucumí, Madre de Agua in Congo, Ananú in
Arará, Kedibé in Iyessá and Okande in