Magic elements in Palo

Santiago de Cuba, Cuba – August 2008

Magic elements in the Palo religion (shells, plants, feathers, horseshoes…) sold in the market in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. The Palo religion (Las Reglas de Congo) belongs to the group of syncretic religions which developed in Cuba amongst the black slaves, originally brought from Congo during the colonial period. Palo, having its roots in spiritual concepts of the indigenous people in Africa, worships the spirits and natural powers but can often give them faces and names known from the Christian dogma. Although there have been strong religious restrictions during the decades of the Cuban Revolution, the majority of Cubans still consult their problems with practitioners of some Afro Cuban religion.

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