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Sarabanda wields his machete
Artist - Dr. E.

Sarabanda (also known as Rompe Monte or Zarabanda) is the mpungo who rules over war, iron, knives and conflict. He is associated with railroads, because of their extensive use of iron.

Rompe Monte, Sarabanda’s common Spanish name, means "he who destroys the wilderness"; a reference to the machete he uses to clear the jungle. Sarabanda is temperamental, fierce, powerful, and protective. He is very dangerous when crossed and is known for causing car accidents and violent arguments. Sarabanda (along with Nsasi) is one of the two principle mpungo whom every tata or male priest in Palo must receive in order to initiate others into the religion. Oaths and initiations are performed in front of his nganga or shrine. His colors are green, black and red and his ritual number is 7. Animal sacrifice is used to propitiate Sarabanda within Congo-derived religions. Altar offerings for Sarabanda include rum, chamba (peppered rum), and cigars. His offerings are typically left by the railroad tracks.

In the syncretic practices of Palo Monte, in which mpungos are associated with Catholic Church saints, the representative of Sarabanda is Saint Peter. Because of their shared traits, Sarabanda is sometimes syncretized with the orisha Ogun. Hoodoo psychic readers, spirit workers, and root doctors who are adherents of the Palo Religion and who petition the mpungos on behalf of clients may petition Sarabanda for protection, employment, power and enemy work.


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