Palo Mayombe. Initiation Ritual

Jacinto, one of the members of the secret sect Awuaka be subjected to rite of initiation of Palo Mayombe, in the Palo Monte.

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Planet Doc

In this film we witness the rite of initiation into Cuban black magic, Palo Monte, by members of the secret society Awuaka. The essential difference between santeria and El Palo, is that here they work with the dead instead of with the saints.
This religion is based on the prenda mayombe, the pots were they catch the dead in order to use them in rituals. If the offering has crosses, it is to do good, if it does not have any, it is for black magic. It will be covered with black cloths and will be called prenda judía (Jewish offering).  They use sticks from different woods, stones, human bones, tools, coconuts and a dead man's skull. 
Jacinto is led blindfolded to the altar, where the officiant will lay hands on him, strike different parts of his body, make painful cuts in his skin, and force him to drink a healing potion.
Jacinto knows he is supported from an invisible source in this religious space: the presence of the spirits of the dead who act as a guide in his initiation. 
The blindfold is removed, and candlelight illuminates the way of the newest member of the Palo de Monte whose dogma is based on the word of God the Creator, author of all that is exists. But while most of the devotees of this religion have been baptized by the Catholic Church, at the same time they also practice sacrifices and abominable rites.
Once the initiation is over, the prendas mayombe must be fed. So a goat and two hens are sacrificed. Their blood will satisfy the appetite of the dead, who will help the newly-initiated member to follow the way of Palo Monte.

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