This central-African based Cuban religion is centered on help from ancestors and a relation with the earth, one’s land and one’s home. The supreme power in the faith is Nzambi Mpungu, and under the patronage of this power practitioners revere spirits of their ancestors and spirits of natural forces. The Indian is one of the ancestral forces recognized in the religion; it signifies land and home in the Americas.
Palo Monté is an ancient Afro-Cuban religion related to Santería. Called “paleros” or “ngangleros,” followers of this form of worship believe they can use human body parts to contact, and enslave, the spirits of the dead. The spirits are then compelled to do the palero’s bidding – almost exclusively in the service of evil. Paleros must learn complicated rules involving skulls, arrows, crosses and other symbols that are drawn on the floor to summon up spirits.