Palero Tata Rodriguez is your guide through this exploration of Palo Kimbisa, an Afro-Cuban religion where nothing is as it seems: elements of nature become spirits that speak to the Tata and initiates, clay pots become miniature sacred groves, and a chef becomes a Tata—a counselor, protector, and teacher. Palo goddaughter Sophia Kelly Shultz experiences and relates Tata Rodriguez’s practices through anecdotes, firsthand accounts, and exquisite pen-and-ink illustrations. Special passages bring life to concepts represented by each Spirit; others highlight important facets of the palero's beliefs and practices. Stories invite anyone, from future initiates to those who simply wish to know more about this religion, to get a feel for the rules and practicalities—and the magic—of Palo.
Not quite an itinerant preacher, peripatetic palero Tata Rodriguez moves his family hub as work, housing, or the Spirits dictate. He currently lives in Florida, where, when not working as a chef or with the Spirits (or both), he enjoys fishing and painting.
Definitely an itinerant author and artist, Sophia Kelly Shultz, who is also an award-winning quilter and needleworker, lives in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, with her extremely patient husband, David.
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