Updated: Sep 3, 2018
The place and role of women in the Palo Mayombe communities is fundamental. There is no tata without a yaya and vice-versa. Yet, when we listen to the opening rites of any ritual in Palo Mayombe, the role and importance of women is pushed back… This rant is not about equality, it is a rant about respect and honor.
This yaya knows her role and her importance. This yaya knows that she is part of the nightly choir, part of the nightly rhythm that throbs when a new Ngeyo and a new tata and yaya are sworn to keep the fires burning and the dead alive among us.
Few words are needed to stir the core of resentments and a feeling of being second hand members of a very chauvinist community that many yayas hold close to their breast. Beware, yayas are not just creatures of the night. Yayas are the night, and no tata will walk lightly in the realm of darkness. Darkness feeds our souls the night is our shrine.
Tatas we are keeping our eyes wide open, we are measuring your intelligence and evaluating how you adapt and value your equals.
We, Yayas live in the real of the shadows. But our light is found beyond the fires of many Palo Mayombe kitchens, we provide more than nourishment and order in a world of men. The yayas are the very night, we are the temple in which you enter to hold conversations with your brethren, your peers, with long gone teachers and with the pulsing heart of Palo Mayombe.
Sisters, wives, mothers, daughters. Know your worth, know that your body is the temple of the night.
Yaya Nganga 7 Nkele
AKA Omimelli, Oní Yeymayá Achagbá