An Announcement of Independence, and of Open Roads
|Vittore Carpaccio's "Saint George and the Dragon" (c. 1507)|
On this day of São Jorge, vigilant warrior masque of Ogum, great opener of ways:
Salve bom povo!
With great pride and trust in Exu and Pomba Gira, and having completed over seven years of obligatory training as Tata Quimbanda in the Cabula Mavambo Ngbodi Nzila, also known as O Quarto Vermelho, in Minas Gerais, headed by Tata Sigatana, Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, we announce that the Templo Hora Grande in New York is fully independent, duly and truly stirring with the fires of Exu, under the guidance of Tata Apokan.
While the Temple has been independent for some time now, this year, which is the ten year anniversary of my initiation, I acknowledge and celebrate the lineage that allows for the axé and força received, through Tata Sigatana and ultimately from Lucio Paneque, Tata Negão, his Tata before him, and also publicly recognize the responsibility of the Temple under my care and guidance. The Temple now operates separately and has no continued relationship with the Cabula Mavambo Ngbodi Nzila.
I remain grateful to my mother Temple and lineage, yet at this time celebrate the move forward within a large community of support and further education from elders in other lineages across the different Quimbandas- those tied to the different nations of Candomble, the different houses and lineages of Umbanda, other ‘de raiz’ houses, as well as other traditions based in Quimbanda and Macumba that continue to honor Exu and Pomba Gira.
Knowledge spreads across the earth like a flowing ocean, reflecting ourselves back to ourselves like a mirror; we in our lifetime sail where we can. The waters of the Kalunga rise and fall like tides, and we are guided where and how we need to go by the strength of our relationships to both the seen and unseen. This venture is not new, but, mandated by circumstance and by necessity, we embrace it, and so too the continued study at the feet of elders and friends, and most especially at the feet of Exu and Pomba Gira, completely and happily.
Quimbanda is a thousand things to as many people, but what is true always, is that the presence of our spirits as incorporated in their possession-priests, and as speaking through divination properly executed and because of offerings properly given, it is the fire at the crossroad that tempers the spirit to thrive in this world. With the novices under my care, the elders that continue to inspire me, the wisdom and traditions of the lineage that birthed me, and the miraculous spirits I have vowed to serve and grow with and through and in, the road is open.
With cachaça and water and dendê, with padês for the spirits of this house, for foundation and peace and growth and wisdom, I greet the Street and the spirits of the Streets, as so many have done before me:
Nvakala murinda ia muzambu
Nvakala ki otambula mpaku
Ki dia ie Exu e Pomba Gira.
Road free of problems,
Road that receives tribute
so that you may help us,
so that there may be peace.
Road who is my friend,
that eats with Exu and Pomba Gira.
Laroyé Exu, e mavile mavambo. Salve o bom povo de Quimbanda. Pembele, pembele, pembele o!
Under the Watchful Eyes of the Maioral,
Jesse Hathaway Diaz, Tata Apokan