Over these past winter months I have dug deep into my personal spirit work. My focus has been on the ancestors and through them I’ve been led back to the Afro-Cuban traditions that were sprinkled onto me as a child. I have thus been exploring these paths and, in particular, the tradition of Palo Mayombe.
I don’t intend to give a detailed description of the history and practices of Palo. For those interested in learning more, I have attempted to provide a good number of references in the footnotes below. To highlight a few, I highly suggest the webpage Palo-Mayombe.com run by Eric Colon and Christopher D. Bradford together with Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold’s Palo Mayombe: Garden of Blood and Bones.1 Todd Ramón Ochoa’s Society of the Dead is also a fantastic read and ethnographic account despite it focusing more with how Palo society functions in current post-revolution Cuba and within an extremely syncretized religious culture.2 These are some of the best resources I have come across written in English by initiated priests of the religion. Each of the sources has its own merit and each also speaks to very different branches of the religion ranging from the orthodox Palo Mayombe of the Pinar del Rio highlands of Cuba to the more popular mpungo and Catholic saint oriented forms of Briyumba and Kimbiza. 3
Palo is a living initiatic tradition passed orally from teacher to initiate, and thus it can only be understood within the context of a spiritual lineage or branch (rama) and the house (munanso). Each will have their own set of secret teachings, taboos and techniques through which they interact with the spirit and natural world. It is thus impossible to provide a complete description of the tradition as the beliefs and practices will vary between locations and the individual Tata or Yaya Nkisi (Father or Mother of Spirits) – we can at best only provide a broad overview of the shared foundation.
All manifestations of Palo hold a belief in a singular creator (Nzambi) and the ability to work with spirits (Nkisi)4 in an animistic landscape. This core ideology originates with the traditional religions of the Bakongo people of the central African coast and thus Palo is identified as Regla-Kongo. But despite this Congolese foundation, Palo as we know it today was born in the highland wilderness of Cuba when escaped Bakongo slaves came into contact with the indigenous Caribbean people.5 Indeed, the preference of using cauldrons (calderos) as the prenda, nganga, or fundamento over the traditional Congolese fetishes was likely influenced by the native Caribbean practice of keeping the bones of ancestors in baskets and pots. This funerary practice was at the heart of the local religion as the primordial spirit-gourd of the indigenous creation story.6
Despite some later and highly syncretic forms, Palo Mayombe has nothing to do with the Yorubaland Lukumi religion (Ifa, Ocha, Santeria). 7 Palo stands on its own as a practical magical religion centered on the ancestors (bakulu) and making pacts and working with the spirits of the landscape (basimbi)8 and the dead (nfumbe). 9 This animism of the natural world is at the heart of the tradition together with the ability of the Palero to establish direct spirit relationships, and it is through these relationships that the authority and license to work the tradition is granted. This spirit-fueled approach to magic and the focus on pact-making 10 is shared with other African diasporic religions as well as the magical practices of the PGM 11 and traditional folkloric forms of witchcraft and the spirit conjurations of western grimoires. 12 13 14
There are many forms of pacts in Palo, from the initial blood-pact of the ngueyo (new initiate) to those made by the Tata or Yaya with their nganga and nfumbe and the various pacts made with the spirit of trees and plants to produce healing and hexing medicine/workings (bilongo). 15 16
To further examine the role of pact-making, we will explore an ethnographic account of the ritual elements, evocation and process of making a pact with the mpungo (named force/spirit of nature) known as Kadi a Mpemba (alt. Kadiampembe, Lukankazi, or Lugambé). Mpungo/u is a complicated term in Palo as it has been mixed to mean “saint” or some other anthropomorphized spirit. Most of the commonly known mpungos in Palo (i.e. Zarabanda, Siete Rayos, etc.) refer to the Nkisi of specific locations in Cuba that developed into their own cult and took on a life of their own.17The definition of “named force/spirit of nature” is an attempt to provide a neutral definition and is in-line with the original meaning of mpungu in Kikongo.
Kadi a Mpemba is often translated as and equated to the western “Devil” , particularly in more christianized lineages of Palo where Nzambi is understood as the Abrahamic god. Thus from a Christian perspective, this account is nothing less than a pactum diabolicum – a core tenant of traditional forms of witchcraft and western magic. However, such definitions are the result of Palo viewed through the lens of external religious beliefs – Palo Mayombe has nothing to do with these definitions or the worldview in which they operate.
The rama of Palo Mayombe that arose in the Pinar del Rio highlands has maintained some continuity with the Nkisi cults from the Mayombe region in the Cabinda province of modern day Angola. 18 This has been discussed in depth in the seminal Ta Makuende Yaya y Las Regla de Palo Monte 19 and more recently by Ralph Alpizar in his Palo Mayombe. El Legado Vivo de Africa en Cuba. 20 His ethnographic account of the practices of traditional Kikongo religious practitioners in both Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo not only shed light on the role of Kadi a Mpemba, but further highlight the importance of pact-making in congolese spirit work and its diasporic manifestation in new-world Palo.
In a cosmological account from Cabinda, Kadi a Mpemba is the son of Mbi (Evil) and Luffa (Death), the grandson of Ngonde (the Moon) and Tia (Fire), and the great-grandson of Muini (Sun) and Ntoto (earth/ soil). He rapes Lufuanesu (harmony/balance) to generate Biawonsono (the primordial material world) that is in turn destroyed by Nzambi to create the sensible world we live in today. As such Kadi a Mpemba is a vital – albeit volatile and antagonistic – force in the cosmology. 21
Kadi a Mpemba or Lukankazi as he is known in Haitian Palo is – if not outright feared – most definitely highly respected and treated with extreme caution. 22 While he is lord over the Ndoki (“raw power”) and the bringer of mbi (“evil”), we should be clear that this is not to be understood within the moral dualism of Christianity or any other religious tradition outside of Palo. Ndoki has several definitions that will vary according to the branch of Palo, and for some it is another name for Kadi a Mpemba. For the more Catholic-influenced branches and in modern Kikongo, ndoki is a reference to something dark and dangerous often simply meaning “dark spirit”. Mayombe and the practitioners of traditional Bakongo religion; however, explain Ndoki as raw power and force, the possessor of which is capable of commanding spirits and the ancestral dead.23 The Kikongo word mbi describe the negative force that accounts for unpredictable changes in nature and our daily lives. Thus, anything that disturbs, restricts, or changes nature – or inverts a pre-established order – is an act of mbi attributed to Kadi a Mpemba, from an unexpected storm to a prolonged drought. 24
This ability to effectively act against structure and order is fundamental as no other force or spirit is endowed with this power – not even the creator Nzambi as this would entail acting against one’s own nature. Yet, this ability to invert and counteract the natural progression and state of things is the very power represented by Kadi a Mpemba. It is in many ways the epitome of sorcery and magic and is the power by which both hexing and healing are made manifest. 25 This is what makes him so powerful, dangerous, and alluring for those seeking supernatural power. In both Cuba and the Congo it is attested that those who have made this pact successfully have gained the power of spirit-flight and shapeshifting, two acts that like Kadi a Mpemba effectively break away from the physical laws of nature. 26
Such sorcerous abilities and the power that come with it are undoubtedly some of the principle reasons that one would pact with Kadi a Mpemba, these are however not the only ones. According to Tata Nfuku, one of Alpizar’s principle informants, “For real protection, one needs to form a pact with Kadi a Mpemba” this is to ensure that his “Ndoki recognize you and do not cross you with their nzalas.” Other Tatas state that great riches and political power can result for those who are willing to risk and make the pact. 27 His other informant, Tata Nge states “In order to form a pact with him you must speak with him and he with you, everything must be agreed upon clearly and the pact is signed with blood, for he does not understand anything else.”
The following is translated from the chapter Bisambulu bia Kadi a Mpemba in Alpizar’s book and is based on his own observations of pact-making rituals among practitioners of Bakongo traditions in Africa and from his two primary informants Tata Nge and Tata Nfuko. 28 To my knowledge this is the first translation into English and I take full responsibility for any errors.
Note that Alpizar uses the term unganga to refer to the material object through which the practitioner interacts with Nkisi rather than the terms nganga, prenda or fundamento commonly used in the Americas. Additionally, the tern Tata Ngagna or simply Nganga refers to the practitioner himself. This is the original meaning of nganga in Bantu Kikongo as “sorcerer”, “healer”, or one who poses the knowledge and ability to interact with the spirit world; only later in Cuba was the term applied to specifically mean the cauldron or vessel housing Nkisi. It is a testament to the core animism of the religion that there is no distinction between the practitioner and the tools of his craft just as Nkisi refers equally to the spirit and the physical object occupied by the spirit.
This is a fascinating account both from an anthropological and ritualistic perspective. Practitioners of grimoire magic will undoubtedly find many similarities to the practices from the firmas (spirit signatures, sigils) to the overall format and structure of the ritual. 29 30 In particular, there are some interesting commonalities between this rite and the pacts of the Le Veritable Dragon Rouge and the Grimorium Verum group of grimoires.13 32 Not that we are to assume any direct relationship between this rite and the grimoires, but instead highlight some common protocols used to interact and pact with the spirits – specifically those identified as of a more trickster and nefarious nature. The care and importance placed on the spirit of the magical tools is to be noted as well as the treatment of the sacrifices, the nuances of the stone circles and the demarcation of ritual space. These together with the timing (lunar phase and night) and the polarizing of directionality (both cardinal and left/right) structure the phenomenological experience through a symbolic language of rather familiar principles.
With no further ado, I leave you with the translated account and hope that you find it as fascinating as I did.
“It has to be at night during the waning crescent or new moon. The Tata Nganga must find a virgin area in the forest – one that has never been cultivated – and it should practically inaccessible so that it can’t be stumbled upon”, “this is extremely important: if someone interrupts the ritual once it has begun it could result in the death of the Tata Nganga, the intruder would have to be sacrificed to salvage the situation.”
The Tata Nganga approach this rite with utmost severity, for nothing must go astray.
“Aside from the one making the pact, it is necessary to have another Tata Nganga as a helper, this person should have already made the pact himself and should of course belong to the same Nkanda – tribe, Munanzo or religious lineage -, he will be the only active participant in the rite. The other Tata Ngangas who attend will be spectators, unless the one making the pact decides that there must be additional witnesses, incase Kadi a Mpemba does not uphold his end of the deal!” Exclaims Tata Nge. 33
“However they should only be there to prepare the ritual and protect the Tata Nganga who is making the pact, at the moment of truth, they must leave him alone with Kadi a Mpemba, if things go well, great, if not, the helping Tatas wipe their hands clean; and, there should never be more than seven in total.” Adds Tata Nfuko.
The rite begins by choosing a location, a virgin forest, never or hardly trodden and well hidden; crags and caves are also appropriate locations. Three large trees are chosen, they should be somewhat dry or even decaying and be more or less in a straight line or a least as close as possible to each other. In the case that the chosen venue is a cave, three large rocks are used instead to delineate the altars.
“It is best if the central one is an old Ceiba” – the African baobab – notes Tata Nfuko.
The Ceiba tree is of particular importance in the African religions. Almost without exception wherever this tree is found, it is bestowed with important magical and cultic qualities. They are believed to be inhabited by the most esteemed ancestors of the community. The African species is particularly large and beautiful, and also has the distinct ability to regenerate any part of its trunk that has been worn and aged. We can assume that this ability to regenerate together with its longevity add to the magical value of the Ceiba. There is no doubt that in Cuba, the Ceiba together with the Royal Palm are of extreme importance in local folklore and beliefs.
The earth around the roots of the trees are exposed by sweeping away the leaf-litter and foliage under the chosen trees. The altars are set up on the western bases of the trees, according to Tata Nge , they take on the following forms:
“Seven paces from the central tree a nine foot circle is made with twenty-one stones. The circle should be as round as possible and the earth flattened and cleaned so that it is smooth and level. Within the circle the symbol pertaining to this altar is drawn in white clay (Fig. 12); this is done after the stones have been washed in an ablution of herb-infused water, and carefully placed around the circle. The stones are then covered with a mixture of white clay, ashes from a dried hornet’s nest, and of course vunji” – a powder made from the inner covering of the bamboo. “A large stake is hammered into the center of the circle and a goat is tied to this stake with the rope around his neck.
The goat should be bearded and have large horns, he should be black very black” – Tata Nge emphasizes. “Beneath the left-most tree, and at the same distance as the central circle, another circle is made but this one only with seven stones (these are also bathed in the herb-infused water and covered by clay), the inner diameter of this circle is six feet, within it the corresponding sign is drawn with powdered red ocher (Fig. 13). Here a large bonfire is lit with piles of dried wood collected beforehand. One must ensure that the bonfire will last throughout the night, it cannot go out for even the slightest moment during the ritual.”
“Fire is the only thing that can dominate the power of Kadi a Mpemba when he manifests, if the fire goes out, he can leave the central circle and eat you alive, you wouldn’t be the first, nor the last, who doesn’t conclude this rite alive” – warns Tata Nfuko.
Before lighting the bonfire, a black hen and rooster are sacrificed to the stone circle as the sun sets behind the horizon. The heads must remain slightly attached to the bodies and the bodies are cut open down the center and placed atop the wood so that when the fire is lit the meat will cook and eventually burn, for the smell of charred meat attacks Kadi a Mpemba.
The altar beneath the tree to the right is composed of the same circle as that of the left, but in its center the magical symbol is drawn in powdered coal (Fig. 14). At its base a large stone is placed atop which all the offerings for the pact will be placed together with the elements of the unganga of the Tata Nganga that will act as the witness and those of the Tata Nganga who will be making the pact, this is to empower and give faith to the ancestors of what will transpire.
The pact-offerings to Kadi a Mpemba will vary according to the Tata Nganga who makes the pact. Basically, it is an animal with whose blood the pact with Kadi a Mpemba will be sealed; however, as I have been told, the animal chosen is a secret very closely guarded that nobody reveals. The animal is kept in a sack so that it cannot be identified by any of the other human witnesses. It can be any of a number of animals such as a rat, toad, serpent, owl, vulture, dog, cat, etc. There is no restriction as to what animal is chose to form the pact since it is to be an offering of particular meaning to the Tata Nganga making the pact. In Cuba, the common practice was to use a black cat for this rite, perhaps it is from these rites that this animal became associated – unfoundedly so – with diabolical rites and black magic. I’m aware of one unganga judía [not containing a cross] in the area of Pina del Río in which a jutia conga (Cuban hutia) was used for its creation, and it is rumored to have been used for extremely effective hexes up until the death of its owner.
Once the preparations for the Uatala – ceremonial altars – are concluded, another ablution is prepared with twenty-one herbs gathered from the surrounding forest, these are dried and used to bathe all the stones of the three altars and all the participants in the ritual. Afterwards, a small goat and three cocks are sacrificed to the elements of the unganga belonging to the Tata Nganga who is making the pact, these are located on the right-most altar. One by one the animals are held against the central stone of the altar and while reciting the pledge to Kadi a Mpemba their heads are cut in one clean stroke with a machete dedicated solely for this rite. After their blood is drained over the magical implements, their bodies without their heads are thrown outside the circle so that the helping Tata Nganga can prepare them for the summoning. The magical tools are propitiated for long periods with songs, ceremonial drums, libations, candles and other ritual items.
The objects and items that formulate the connection to the ancestors are also fortified and purified so that they can in turn empower the Tata Nganga during the ceremony. It is at this time that the ancestors are acknowledged and asked for their support and approval. Needless to say, their approval is an indispensable requirement for the efficacy of the ritual. After the sacrifice, all the magical elements are completely covered by the feathers of the roosters and white clay so that they cannot be seen. Here, the logical magic of the Mayombero intervenes, if Kadi a Mpemba sees any of the magical implements of the Tata Nganga while he is materialized, he can annihilate them or influence them with his own energy. Among the magical implements that can be included as witnesses to the rite are the Nkisi that symbolize the magical hierarchy and lineage of the Tata Nganga (among other things containing the tibia bone of some important tribal dignitary), the Npaka, Matadi and other Mpungo that represent the rank and power of the Tata Nganga, even his entire Unganga may be present.
Three long paces from the central circle, a cross is drawn in white clay. In the two top quadrants two of Kadi a Mpemba’s sigils (Fig. 15 & 16) are drawn in red-ochre and next to each of them are placed clay cauldrons. The cauldron to the right contains the organs and feet of all the sacrificed animals cooked in the bonfire, and the one to the left contains the remains of the herbal ablution mixed with the remaining blood of the sacrificed animals.
The remains of these animals are dismembered, dressed in palm oil, seasoned, prayed over and staked around the bonfire to be barbecued and later eaten by the participants. Any leftovers will be burnt in the bonfire.
In the back-left quadrant of the cross the libations, candles, cigars and other offerings used throughout the ritual are placed so that the Tata Nganga has them at hand when necessary. Lastly, the Tata Nganga making the pact sits in the back-right quadrant to call forth Kadi a Mpemba. The other Tatas who have come as witnesses sit behind him further to his right where they act as a chorus to his songs and prayers and play the ritual instruments.
It is at this time that the one making the pact must demonstrate his knowledge and ability, as Kadi a Mpemba must be called with authority to appear without delay. There are times when he will indicate that he is not interested in making the pact, but the wise Tata knows that this a strategy he uses to gain advantages in the negotiations. While the Tata Nganga is singing and praying, he take pieces of the viscera of the sacrificed animals from the right cauldron and dips them in the fluids of the left cauldron. These are thrown at the goat in the central circle while invoking Kadi a Mpemba to manifest. One can also go towards the goat and hit it and even mutilate it by cutting one of its horns, eyes, tongue, or ears and throw these parts into the fire while praying. However, one must be very careful to not kill the goat as the pain-ridden bellows of the animal attract Kadi a Mpembe as nectar does bees. Upon manifesting, one is to interact with Kadi a Mpemba as equals and the pact is to be made as if it where negotiations between two mortals.
The songs must not stop, each of the Tata Nganga will take turns keeping the chants rotating from eldest to youngest until Kadi a Mpemba manifests. If he does not appear prior to dawn, it is best to leave the invocations for the following night. The pact process may take several days, and once begun it cannot end until the pact is made.
Kadi a Mpemba will manifest inside the central circle. More than likely he will assume a form that is quite unpleasant for the Tata Nganga in order to intimidate him. The Tata Nganga must convince him that he does not fear him and make the pact proposition clearly and concisely. It is at this time that the pact-animal that has been kept hidden inside the sack is sacrificed. Prior to the sacrifice, all the assistants must leave the ritual area and go far enough away to where they cannot hear anything that is being spoken, they will only return once the Tata Nganga making the pact calls them back with a predetermined drum beat. After the pact is sealed and Kadi a Mpemba has left, the assistants are called back, the goat is burned atop the pyre while all the attendants dance around the ritual altars in a serpentine path zig-zagging between them while reciting the prayer to Kadi a Mpemba one last time.
At sunrise following the night of the pact, the ritual area must be disassembled. The clay cauldrons are broken into pieces and these together with all the stones used in the altars and the ashes from the bonfire are scattered around the forest floor in places where the mid-day sun will shine its light onto them. The rays of the noon sun effectively neutralize the lingering negative energy. Immediately after this, the participants are bathed and purified with a white rooster and another ablution of potent herbs collected by one of the assistants. After the purifications, the white rooster after beings passed over the bodies of all the participants, is buried in the same place where the Tata Nganga was seated during the ceremony. Never again do any of the participants return to this site, at very least they will wait several years before returning to ensure that all of Kadi a Mpemba’s influences have been neutralized.
- Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold. Palo Mayombe: The Garden of Blood and Bones. (Scarlet Imprint, 2010) ↩
- Todd Ramón Ochoa. Society of the Dead: Quita Manaquita and Palo Praise in Cuba (Berkeley, CA : University of California Press, 2010) ↩
- See the discussion of Palo lineages in Frisvold pp 115-125 ↩
- The Kikongo word N’kisi means both spirit and fetish, or object inhabited by a spirit. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nkisi and references. ↩
- Eric Colon. ATR / DTR Why am I bringing this to the forefront. ↩
- Eric Colon. Palo Mayombe creating the creole consciousness within the land of the Antilles, South America, Caribbean Islands, and the United States through its own native cultures. ↩
- While we find many Paleros who may also be practicing Santeros and Babalawo; the two religions function independently of each other. The linking of the religion of Palo to Santeria is a huge misconception perpetrated by such misinformed writings as Gonzalez-Wippler’s book on Santeria that portrayed Palo as “the dark side of Santeria.” See Nicholaj de Frisvold Mattos. The Light of Palo Mayombe. See also http://www.palomayombe.com/articles/palo-mayombe-the-dark-side-of-santeria/. ↩
- Christopher D. Bradford. Basimbi Part 1. And, Christopher D. Bradford. Basimbi Part 2. ↩
- Christopher D. Bradford. Nigromantic Putrefaction of Western Alchemy and Palo Mayombe in At the Crossroads. (Scarlet Imprint, 2012). pp. 144 -151. ↩
- Pacts form a binding agreement between two or more parties; in our case, the ritualist and the spirit(s). They can be as formal as a document to work together sealed in blood and by the spirit’s signature or simply a verbal agreement and an offering or sacrifice in exchange for a task. Nothing is given for free. All of nature functions in this manner. If we want the land to produce crops, we exchange labor and water for its harvest…this a pact – a covenant- that our ancestors made ages ago with the spirits of the land. Spirit work is no different, be it Palo or some other tradition, something must always be given in exchange. ↩
- See Why the PGM? ↩
- It is interesting to note that the etymology of the word conjure contains the meaning of pact-making. From Latin con(together) and jurare (swear), it literally means to “swear together.” Thus, when you read through the grimoires you will often find the words “summoning” and “conjuring” in the same passage…most read these as synonymous, but they are in fact two separate processes – one calls forth the spirit, the other forms a working pact. ↩
- Jake Stratton-Kent. The True Grimoire. (Scarlet Imprint, 2009) ↩
- Aaron Leitch. Folk Traditions and the Solomonic Revival in At the Crossroads(Scarlet Imprint, 2012). pp. 1-10. ↩
- Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold. pp 155-158. ↩
- Christopher D. Bradford. Nigromantic Putrefaction of Western Alchemy and Palo Mayombe in At the Crossroads. (Scarlet Imprint, 2012). pp. 154. ↩
- Eric Colon & Christopher Bradford. The Mpungo(u) – dispelling the Myth. ↩
- Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold. Palo Mayombe: The Garden of Blood and Bones. (Scarlet Imprint, 2010). pp. 49. ↩
- Natalia Bolívar Aróstegui, Carmen González Díaz de Villegas, Natalia del Río Bolívar. Ta Makuende Yaya y Las Regla de Palo Monte : Mayombe, Brillumba, Kimbisa y Shamalongo. (La Habana, Cuba : Editorial José Martí, 2013) ↩
- Ralph Alpizar. El Legado Vivo de Africa en Cuba 1. (Madrid, España: Visionnet Ediciones, 2012) ↩
- Alpizar. pp. 96-98 ↩
- Frisvold. pp. 121-123. ↩
- Natalia Bolívar Aróstegui, Carmen González Díaz de Villegas, Natalia del Río Bolívar. Ta Makuende Yaya y Las Regla de Palo Monte : Mayombe, Brillumba, Kimbisa y Shamalongo. (La Habana, Cuba : Editorial José Martí, 2013) pp. 38-39 ↩
- “No es la magia africana maléfica, ni consideran al Diablo, en el sentido dogmático del catolicismo, como algo válido. Cuando hacen referencia al mal, lo que quieren significar es la acción negativa de un hecho que trastorne su vida cotidiana, como lo puede ser, la sequía, la enfermedad, el hambre etc …” (Alpizar, pp. 118) ↩
- As an interesting side note, this concept of a volatile force linked to the magical process can also be seen in the Greek Magical Papyri and in particular with invocations regarding Typhon or Typhon-Set. See PGM IV. 154-285: Invocation of Typhon ↩
- Alpizar pp. 125 ↩
- Alpizar. pp. 118 ↩
- Alpizar. pp 127-135 ↩
- Aaron Leitch has written extensively about the similarities between Palo and the Solomonic Grimoires. See Aaron Leitch. Secrets of Magickal Grimoires. (Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn, 2005) ↩
- Aaron Leitch. Modern Grimoire Magick: Folk Magick and The Solomonic Path in Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition. No. 10, Vol. 1, Vernal Equinox 2006. (http://jwmt.org/v1n10/modern.html) ↩
- Jake Stratton-Kent. The True Grimoire. (Scarlet Imprint, 2009) ↩
- Peter Grey. Lucifer Rising talk in Summer of Love Conference ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqaWSgkComU ) ↩
- This is an interesting concept. The idea that a Tata who has already pacted with Kadi a Mpemba is somehow capable of enforcing the pact made by another Tata. ↩