Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman (Compass)

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9780140194968: Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman (Compass)

Maliodoma Patrice Some was born in a Dagara Village, however he was soon to be abducted to a Jesuit school, where he remained for the next fifteen years, being harshly indoctrinated into european ways of thought and worship. The story tells of his return to his people, his hard initiation back into those people, which lead to his desire to convey their knowledge to the world. Of Water and the Spirit is the result of that desire; it is a sharing of living African traditions, offered in compassion for those struggling with our contemporary crisis of the spirit.

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About the Author:

Malidoma Somé was born in Burkina Faso in 1956. At the age of four, he was forcefully taken from his family to be educated at a French Jesuit boarding school. At the age of twenty, he escaped from the school and was reunited with his family. He now lectures on his experiences.

From Kirkus Reviews:

This autobiography vividly describes the author's loss and rediscovery of his cultural and religious heritage. Burkina Faso was still a French colony when Som‚ was born in 1956. At the age of four he was taken from his village by the local Jesuit missionary, who had persuaded his father that he should study for the priesthood. Som‚ begins his account with a description of his early years in the village and his relationship with his grandfather, a powerful elder and medicine man. In the middle section, he deals with the painful years at school and junior seminary. He and his companions were forbidden all reference to their native language and customs, including use of their tribal names, and were victimized by incidents of sadistic cruelty inflicted by the priests and their native assistants. When he was 20 Som‚ was involved in a fight with a priest, after which he fled the seminary and returned to his village. There the elders decided that he should undergo the men's initiation ceremony, normally carried out at puberty. The book's final third describes this extraordinary six-week experience, a dramatic encounter with the psyche that involved, among other things, being buried alive. (Several young men apparently died during the ceremony.) Afterwards the village elders divined that Som‚ should return to offer whites the wisdom and healing they need. To read this book is to be immersed in a fascinating world of spirits, symbolism, and magic, yet the author leaves some unresolved contradictions. His claim, for example, that the Jesuits ``kidnapped'' him is not borne out by his text, and he does not seem to have really lived the harsh village life that he eulogizes. Nor does Som‚ address the crucial question of whether and how traditional ways can flourish in anything but the tribal context. Rservations aside, a beautifully written and personal story that grapples with questions of identity and tradition that affect us all. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Maliodoma Patrice Some was born in a Dagara Village, however he was soon to be abducted to a Jesuit school, where he remained for the next fifteen years, being harshly indoctrinated into european ways of thought and worship. The story tells of his return to his people, his hard initiation back into those people, which lead to his desire to convey their knowledge to the world. Of Water and the Spirit is the result of that desire; it is a sharing of living African traditions, offered in compassion for those struggling with our contemporary crisis of the spirit. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780140194968

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Maliodoma Patrice Some was born in a Dagara Village, however he was soon to be abducted to a Jesuit school, where he remained for the next fifteen years, being harshly indoctrinated into european ways of thought and worship. The story tells of his return to his people, his hard initiation back into those people, which lead to his desire to convey their knowledge to the world. Of Water and the Spirit is the result of that desire; it is a sharing of living African traditions, offered in compassion for those struggling with our contemporary crisis of the spirit. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780140194968

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