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Palo Mayombe: The Garden of Blood and Bones Paperback – March 18, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Scarlet Imprint (March 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956720390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956720399
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

One of the best books on the subject in English.
Kalunga
One of the best book on our religion and of the world around us.
Tracy Palak
This is a rare book for it's approach and content.
Pussycat

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Troy Chambers on July 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
There are very few books in English dealing with the subject of the Congo-derived necromantic sorcery of Palo Mayombe, and the ones that are... are dreadful. The Montenegro money-waster is an odd mixture of Macbeth and folk magic, and the Baba Raul piece is evasive and bumbling.

This new book by Nicholaj Frisvold however, is an absolute GIFT to anyone wishing to really learn about Palo that is unable to read any of the spanish texts.

The material is presented in a respectful manner that I have yet to see on Palo, and expressed through an obvious passion for the religion/cult. There is honesty and integrity in Frisvold's words, and shows quite clearly throughout the book.

While the book does present a lot (a brilliant and absorbing history tracing Palo Mayombe's roots, conversations on necromancy ranging from Greece to the Congo, Spirit Firmas, songs, chants, herbs, etc), don't expect this to be a book that you can purchase, read, and use to start practicing Palo in your shed. Throughout, the author stresses the importance of initiation- and will probably be able to convince most people (even those who usually forgo initiation-type rituals) that Palo Mayombe is not an overnight practice, and it would behoove you to seek out someone already practicing the religion. So, while oath bound from revealing some information, the information that IS presented is accurate and fuller than any previous treatment of Palo. The aware and watchful reader will also be able to see a lot more than what is presented forwardly if he reads between the lines carefully...

All in all this is a book that demands to purchased. From people interested in African/African Diaspora cultures to Voodooists, Necromancers, the eager Palo enthusiast, and actual initiated members, there is something important to be found here. Get it.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jose M Redondo O on September 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
Licencia Nasambi! This is a very important contribution and a much needed one, and not only for the english speaking practicioners, but for all the growing comunities which in several parts of the world, far away from Cuba, aproach the Reglas Congas; by the way, for the not-initiated it is an specially valuable source of well thought explanations (as much as this material, by its nature, allow this) free of nonsense estoterisms or the distorted fantasies or terrible supertstitions that usually soround published material on Palo.

In my opinion the exposition of mpungo and nkisi, of nfumbe and also the brief history of Palo as well as the botanical section plus several mambos (chants and prayers) and patipembas or firmas, trully make a profound and very important aportation to the tradition, a much, much needed clear, informed exposition but that also transpires knowledge (nóesis), Ina Nsambia Liri, inspirations from the mpungos and nkisis, the presence of Nfumbe; cause "Regla conga no son fasenda!". Mundele kualikilla mukopnda, bafiota kualikilla bititi mela: "El blanco sabe con la pluma; el negro con los palos y hierbas" (The white man knows with the pen, the black man knows with sticks and herbs); Tata Remolino knows with both! I can honestly say this is one of the best expositions of Palo i have read about, including original material or that i had never heard or know about, learned but alive with the nkisi; a true tratado. Nsala malekum! Nsambi mpungo nos okutare.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Oscar Guerrero on March 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
[...]

The world has been waiting for a well written concise book about Palo in English for quite some time now. I was completely unaware that this book existed up until not too long ago. I believe this is because the publisher, Scarlet Imprint, was targeting the "new age crowd" and not solely those English speaking practitioners of other Afro-Cuban religions. This makes it difficult to stumble upon the same way we stumble upon books at "botanicas" whether they be virtual or not.

I was however lucky enough to come across it at the suggestion of one of my godsons who spoke very highly of the work and wanted to know what I thought of it. I anxiously looked for it and found I couldn't get it at my local Barnes & Noble. I searched for the book online and hesitantly coughed up $29.99 plus shipping for a paperback version that was coming from a third party. As somewhat of a collector of published works on Palo I wanted to add it to my library but I was worried it was going to be as big a disappointment as Raul Canizares' The Book on Palo or perhaps another sensationalized book on Palo that really isn't about Palo and is a strange mix of folk magic, Palo names and Mexican deities.

The author, Nicholaj De Mattos Frisvold, is an Anthropologist, Psychologist as well as a practitioner who traveled to Havana, Cuba to undergo initiation. I almost couldn't think of anyone better to tackle such a project! I was hoping his work would be a reflection of both the academic aspects of his life as well as the religious one and I am happy to say it is. Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold has released the
first authoritative work on Palo in English and available for mass distribution that is worth reading. I can't say that I agree with all of the author's ideas or that the work is flawless.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kalunga on December 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well worth every penny. Unlike the questionable and sensational material written by Montenegro, this book is a solid treatment of the subject in my opinion. One of the best books on the subject in English.
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