Among Jamaican Obeah men you will find some called Bongo this (John) and Bongo that (Tom). Now the name Bongo is not always given to only Obeah men, they are also given to drummers (Bongo drums, Congo drums, which I believe the name derives from) and also Rasta men. In the eastern part of rural Jamaica, St.Thomas, you will find Kumina people. They are said to have brought their practice to the island from Africa, and could possibly be identified as Bakongo people (their language which is Kikongo is still spoken among them there who practice Kumina, and Nzambe the name of God in the Kigongo language, is still called by that very name) either came from the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly known as Zaire) or through Angola. Theirs (Kumina), is a deep mysterious practice (in the days of old, I should say, these nowadays younger ones are not as adept as their elders before) which is highly spiritual and deeply rooted in nature,animistic in their beliefs. I am very familiar with Bongo spirits. My familiarity comes from my genetic memory of them, and that manifests when I am possessed, as I am a medium. The first language which came through me when I first became who I am now was Kikongo language. The first spiritual possession I had when I was at a Kumina was that of a Bongo spirit. When they come they dance on one leg, which makes me wonder about Lucumi people when possessed with their Ellegua. My Padrino was an Ellegua initiate and whenever he became possessed he would dance and act like a Bongo spirit and also on one leg.
I suspect one of my head spirits as being a Bongo man, he has never revealed his true nature to me, only that all who knows him, through me, (he possesses me in order to give messages and also to heal) loves him for his humor, his no nonsense personality, and his ability to command all when he comes down and take possession of me. There are two types of Bongos, and although there are two type, know that each Bongo has a family with him. Short Bongo and Tall Bongo, in the post they are described. They are apart of the pantheon of spirits we know in Jamaica and among Jamaica Obeah men and women, one day I may tell you all about Ruthibel, she bad nuh brute foot. I know they are real because I met them while being initiated during my first set of spiritual initiations which were very hard on me. Enjoy the post below.
One New Years eve I was returning home from California, after I had exited the airport my friend who had traveled with me introduced me to the gentleman who had come to pick her up. I quickly said hello then goodbye because I was on my way to church for New Years service at that time, (I practiced Christianity then). While in the cab on my way to church something said to me that the man I just met is going to die. I shrugged it off and focused on going to church and ringing in the New Year. A few days after my same friend called me and we were on the phone talking and laughing when I heard the same gentleman’s voice in the background and immediately I remember the message that I had gotten.
I asked her if that was him and when she confirmed that it was I proceeded to tell her the message I had received the night on my way from the airport. She then placed him on the phone and again I repeated to him what I had told her. Di man puddung one piece ah bawling (he cried) to my surprise and astonishment as he had a reputation of being a notorious bad man . He cried and cried and cried and cried that I found it difficult not to giggle, please don’t think I am cruel but I found it hard to believe that this man who according to Oliver Samuels (the comedian) funny lines in one of his plays called Mad Max, ‘murda ten and wounded 2’ , (he was that notorious), would be crying so loudly and for so long, this was indeed shocking. I guess he cried because he knew I had a reputation for my accuracy in my predictions. After he had finished crying, I went on to explain to him that ‘what can be seen can be changed’ and I proceeded to pray for him and told him to come and see me in the week so that we could explore the different avenues that we could use to remove what was in front of him.
That night as I prepared for bed a stench which could be compared to that of sewage, filled the house. In my mind I said ‘mhmmmm!!! di dutty dranko dem come’ (the others have arrived, ‘dem odda one’). I paid no attention to it because it would be futile for me to chase them away in my waking state because this meeting had to occur and will only take place when I go to sleep, as this meeting was in the spiritual world, so off to bed I went.
After I had settled into a sleeping state I saw my spirit rise from my body and sat on the edge of the bed. I heard drums beating like Kumina and some beautifully attired African women smiling and dancing to the beat of the Kumina drums while they circled my bed. It was about 12 of them, all dressed in silver skirts, breasts bare and silver head wraps, then HE walked in – short, extremely dark with beady eyes and a slight smirk with his usual limp. In his hand he had a tape measure (one used by carpenters) behind him were his minions who carried a silver casket upon their shoulders. After he entered, the drums ceased to beat and the women stood to the side of course he spoke to me telepathically and said
‘ If you think you can stop Bagga (the guy’s name) from dying, yuh wrang’ he said ‘I’ve measured him, dressed him and picked out his burial spot already, who di hell u tink yuh are?’ I answered by saying ‘Who the hell you think you are? Because I know who I am and I am a child of the living God’ He then continued to say in a cajoling tone ‘why would you want to protect someone like him who has done so much harm to people? I am just taking one bad out of the whole bunch’ to which I answered ‘It is not your choice to make but that of God’s’ and then he left with one last saying ‘We Shall see’. Needless to say God prevailed and we were successful in removing that negative energy. The death, off this fellow.
Bongos are spirits that can be found in Jamaica. A lot of spiritual practitioners or ‘Obeah men’ are called bongo this or bongo that. When Kumina is kept in Jamaica especially in St. Thomas after 1 am Bongo will arrive, you will know him by the way he possesses his people and dance. People you see who are possessed and dance upon one foot are Bongos. People who drink and smoke when they become possessed are also Bongo. Some people who say that they are spiritual and they do spiritual work and constantly have an odor which suggest that not even deodorant can solve it, usually travel with Short Bongo.. Everybody (spiritual practitioners) has bongo irrespective of your race, color or creed, just called by another name. You might not know him by that name or even know him at all but Bongo exists in every culture. Bongo travels in pairs (each individual has two, tall Bongo and short Bongo) Tall bongo/good bongo is the dominant one, he will rule until you start doing bad and wicked things in your life then short bongo/bad bongo takes over. Tall bongo is slim, often times smiling, has a problem with his eye – especially with the right eye, it can look red, lazy, or cockeyed. He is of a benevolent nature, he doesn’t encourage you to do bad things but like human beings that energy likes to smoke, drink and party. If there is a spiritual party being kept and he arrives, everyone will have a good time. He is a very good spiritual teacher and will show you many different ways to have victory over an enemy without harming them. He is also a good defender and protector especially of those who are aware of his presence. He mostly wears white shirt, black pants and a red scarf around his head and sometimes he is in khaki attire. Tall bongo walks on your right side.
Now onto short bongo – di bad one…Short bongo of course as you know is short and walks on your left, he has a limp. People who spiritually work with him usually end up having some problems with their leg. He has a foul odor and is always smiling with an evil smirk/sneer on his face. He likes to drink and smoke (especially ganja). He is very vicious when he is given the leeway to rule and attacks without mercy. His personality is very popular among murderers, rapists, thieves and pedophiles.
This is all for now but I will tell you about these spirits, and they are spirits. If you have encountered any of these personalities whether in the physical or spiritual form, please share your stories, I will appreciate it and will answer any or all questions as much as I can.
The head could not have got to where it is now if it did not give….Yoruba Proverb.
Obara Meji is a spiritualist, Ifa-Orisa practitioner, and teacher of metaphysics. Since 2011 she has used her online platform to share her personal experiences to those seeking answers about spirituality. Her teachings will expand into short stories, novels, and public speaking to continue her mission of bringing enlightenment to the world.