ENSUNGA, ACHí, TABAC, TOBACCO

Escucha cuento que yo embonda mano mio:
Listen this story I am talking to you my bro:

“Tabaco, el regalito de la naturaleza al hombre”
Tabac, the Nature’s gift to mankind.

Those were words of Don Fernando Ortiz, father of Cuban Anthropology.
Don Ortiz was a student of Cesare Lombroso, famous for his studies of criminology in XIXth Century.

Due to the Native traditions of the Pearl of the Caribbean a.k.a. Cuba, Tabac is not only a plant but a Spirit, a kind of Messenger of the Gods; the indian, taino, arawak version of Hermes and Mercury, in a comparative mythology view.
Tobacco, despite modern mentality, is considered a very important part of afrocuban religions. Essential like frankincense for other religions. Tabac, Ensunga, the incense of the Congos. Ensunga bacuenda ensulu.
Those of Old School, were taught how to use a cigar for spiritual purposes. Quite rare now but real. The most simple thing, a modern “vice” have then a mystical purpose. An old as f#çÄ· practice.

When you see an old Cuban man alone and smoking, gentle but severe, you see a Caballero de Antaí±o, an old school gentleman praying.
If he moistures his cigar with his tongue and passes the cigar several times through the palm of his hands. If he lits it near you, if He watches the smokes carefully, this man is clearly praying. Praying in a very old way, being a great mystic among common people. It can be done only with cigars and pipe. No cigarettes, no weird mixtures added.
This is a cultural gift I would love to share with many friends and people who perceives it differently due to modern views and tastes.
A cigar can be spiritually charged with the problems and deliver them instantly to the Sky to find a solution.
You have to know how to do it, you have to have a heart to feel it.

Smoking a cigar can be also a form of Spiritual Deliverance.
Problems, needs, healings are then delivered.
It is said I smoke a lot. I reply I am asked a lot too. Ensambia guatuca, si Dios quiere, if God wants.

But modern mentality and tastes changed a lot and to many people, a cigar became a vice or a disgusting practice with bad smell involved and severe medical issues.
Brasilian Catimboceiros and Pajés consider pot to be an enemy of tobacco.

My fellow U.S. citizen may also remember how important was tobacco when a baby was born or a marriage celebrated…

Those are little gems I learned in Cuba and Brasil during my field researches.

Con un tabaco en la mano, como un Indio cubano, yo miro la vastidad del Cielo.

With a cigar in my hand, like a Cuban Native, I glaze into the immensity of the Sky…

Manuel Congo

About Manuel Congo

A renowned Palero, Babalawo, Ajarn and Hougan, Manuel Congo lives in rural Italy, where he spends most of his free time touring on his custom Harley Davidson. An avid ethnographer and noted expert on Italian witchcraft, Manuel has spent decades working for elite clients around the world, conducting investigations in locales as far-flung as Togo and Thailand. He enjoys rainy days, BBQ and blondes.

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