La Prenda, a.k.a. Nganga, El Caldero, is an iron cauldron that is filled with various items such as sacred dirts, herbs, sticks, blood, insects, and animal and human remains. The prenda serves as a sacred house or dwelling of a spirit as well as functions as an altar in the religion of Palo, or Las Reglas de Congo. For an image of a prenda, click HERE.
The creation of a prenda is a secret known only to the Palo priesthood; however, according to the book, Spells & Magic by the Diagram Group (p. 158), the following is an alleged ritual by which the prenda is created. I would caution readers from taking the following information too seriously as it is far more likely that this information is incorrect or only partially correct.
"1.) The mayombero and his assistant sprinkle rum in the shape of a cross on the grave of a criminal or someone who was insane, then remove the head, toes, fingers, ribs and tibias of the buried corpse.
2.) In his home, the mayombero is covered with a sheet and his assistant lights four tapers around him. A knife is placed at his side heaped with seven amounts of gunpowder.
3.) The mayombero goes into a trance, hoping the spirit of the defiled corpse will take over his body. If this happens, the gunpowder ignites.
4.) If the possessing spirit agrees, it's name is written on a piece of paper and this placed in the bottom of a cauldron with some coins, some grains of soil from it's grave site, and blood dripping from the mayombero, cut from his arm using a white-handled knife.
5.) Wax, a cigar butt, ashes, lime and a piece of bamboo are placed into the cauldron. The bamboo contains sand, seawater, and quicksilver and is sealed at both ends.
6.) To the cauldron are added ants, bats, bark, a centipede, chili, cinnamon, frogs, garlic, lizards, onions, red pepper, rue, Spanish fly, termites, worms, the body of a small black dog, a tarantula, a wasp, and a scorpion. If the nganga is to be used for good spells as well as bad, a little holy water is added.
7.) The cauldron is buried in the cemetery for three successive Fridays. After 42 days the cauldron is taken home and rum, pepper, dry wine, Caribbean cologne, and fresh blood are added. The cauldron is now ready for use."