When someone truly wishes to learn Macumba, the first step they have to take is to find a Macumba teacher who is capable of accepting a new apprentice.

There are very few Macumba teachers left nowadays, and it's also quite an arduous task to train someone how to use Macumba.

Most Macumba teachers will already be occupied with training an apprentice, as they can only teach one single apprentice at a time. This is also a very time consuming task, as it usually takes a new apprentice between 3 and 8 years to finish their journey towards becoming a fully fledged Macumba practitioner, depending on the personal abilities of the apprentice.

Once a Macumba teacher has an open spot to take on a new apprentice, the demand is extremely high, as many people hope to be accepted as the next apprentice. In Brazil, many local families near a Macumba teacher already have saved up their money or goods (such as cattle, or special foods) in advance to gift them to a Macumba teacher, in order to try and get their own sons or daughters accepted as the new apprentice.

Training a Macumba apprentice is literally a full-time activity for teachers, which means they do not have any spare time left to make a living in other ways. Because of that, the apprentice's families are expected to provide the teacher during the apprenticeship with the necessary goods to live, or money to buy them.

This may sound like Macumba teachers are exploiting their own position to take advantage of the apprentice's families, but that is not the case. Keep in mind, almost all Macumba teachers live in the poor parts of Brazil, and most of their ways of living are still rooted in ancient traditions.

For example, it's also an old tradition that the Macumba apprentice has to make a loaf of bread from scratch every morning during the apprenticeship. That means actually walking to the fields, gathering the grain, bringing it to the mill, and so on.

Keep in mind that when I refer to Macumba "teachers" here, I am talking about those who have actually chosen this Macumba class during their own apprenticeship. Anybody who has successfully finished an apprenticeship with a Macumba teacher, no matter which class, may pass on their knowledge one single time to train a new apprentice.

This is most commonly used to pass the knowledge on to someone within their own family circle. The actual Macumba teachers repeat this cycle their whole lives, and also receive powerful special rewards for every apprentice they have trained.

During the apprenticeship under a Macumba teacher, there are many important tests that an apprentice must pass in order to continue with Macumba. If one of these tests should be failed, the apprentice's teaching will be immediately aborted without a chance to repeat that test. Any Macumba abilities that have already been learned will be deactivated for the rest of their lives, in effect forbidding the former apprentice any further practice of Macumba.

The hardest of these tests is the final one, before the apprentice graduates to become a fully fledged Macumba practitioner of their chosen class.

So you can imagine that all of this makes it quite frustrating for both the teacher and the apprentice, if they have already spent a few years on learning and practice, and the apprentice suddenly fails a critical test. In the end, this system assures that only the most capable individuals will be able to finish their Macumba apprenticeship to become a full "member" of Macumba.

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