Notas de un etnologo investigando en el campo, en un altar espiritista cruzado

In the year 2001, I changed area for my field researches into afrocuban religions and moved to San F.co de Paula, one of many suburbs of La Habana. People were still proved by the privations of the “periodo especial” but the atmosphere was changing for good. I had the blessing, el iré elese Echu, to know an elderly woman living at the feet of an enormous Ceiba tree, She planted herself half a century before.
The house had a huge Spiritual Altar and was loathed with chromolitographs, antique Catholic Saints sculptures, flowers, plaster indians and water filled goblets, a SS. Sacramento, stones etc.
Doña Blanca, that was Her name, was a kind of living Saint, la Señora de la Ceiba, Mama Blanca. She was special indeed.
One day, visiting Her earlier in the morning due to the jet lag insomnia, I saw Her talking, almost quarreling to a big sea shell, un caracol cobo de Calunga. I hided myself in the shadows of the porch and carefully admired Her. After a bit She smelled my tabaco and with a great smile invited me to enter and have a café (el del bueno, no el de chicharos). I asked Her what She was doing. She replied She was informing the Goddess about the community issues and asking for advices, help and solutions. Because a shell looks like an ear, a mouth or an eye. And they are all of the Goddess. Doña Blanca then washed her words out of the shell with a mixture of waters and a sip of aguardiente, at the feet of the big Ceiba tree, to inform the earth, as well the other Gods, Ancestors and Spirits living in the Sacred Tree.
Todo alumbrado por una empemba, a candle was lit as well and smoke was blew all around.
Si quieres hablar con la Diosa de la Mar, de los mas allá. If you want to speak with the Goddess use Her natural telephone: the conchshell.

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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