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

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

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by Malidoma Patrice Some
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Born in West Africa in the early 1950s--the author is indefinite about the year--Some was kidnapped at age four by a French Jesuit missionary to be trained as a priest, for the next 15 years enduring the harsh regimen of a seminary where his native language and tribal traditions were systematically suppressed. At age 20 he escaped, but when he returned to his Dugara people in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) they rejected him as an outsider. To reconnect with his native culture, Some underwent a month-long initiation into shamanism during which he reports that he journeyed to the underworld, became a bird, then a porcupine and was buried alive. A self-described ``man of two worlds,'' Some, who holds a doctoral degree in political science from the Sorbonne and one in literature from Brandeis, is a speaker at men's movement conferences in the US. This vivid autobiography takes readers into a world of black magic, palpable spirits, walking dead people, force fields, transdimensional journeys--a world as strange as anything in imaginative fiction. QPB selection; author tour. (May)
Library Journal
Som, who was born about 1956 in Upper Volta, was close to his shaman grandfather. But this relationship and his tribal way of life was destroyed when, at age four, he was kidnapped by a French Jesuit missionary and raised in a seminary, from which he escaped at age 20. Returning home to his Dagara village, he was viewed by some as too tainted by white knowledge and ways to be able to join fully in tribal life; nevertheless, he underwent an intensive and dangerous six-week shamanic initiation that thoroughly established him as a member of the tribe. Later, he was dismayed to learn his destiny as revealed in divination and decreed by tribal elders: to return to the white world as a bridge to save his tribe from complete inculturation. This fascinating autobiography illustrates the profound culture clashes between Western civilization and indigenous cultures. Recommended for large public and academic libraries.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140194968
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/28/1995
Series:
Compass Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
144,589
Product dimensions:
5.48(w) x 8.43(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet 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.

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Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If the reader is spiritually....grounded..and prepared to accept 'the Norm' is only something pushed upon from one 'human race' to another. They will experience a healing within themselves. Spirituality cannot be denied or held back. This book took me to a higher level of awareness of myself and my surrounding which is helpful in how i truly feel others (heart to heart, Spirit to Spirit). Thank You Malidoma Patrice Some
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was healing. As a person who feels caught between many worlds at times, this book offered me understanding and hope. Easy to read, and good for anyone with an open mind. The amazing thing about the book is that it it TRUE. A good friend recommended it to me. I will recommend it to you. You won't be disappointed. There is more out there to the world than we (Americans) know. I knew that already, but I never have learned of the mystical nature of our ancestors until I read the words on these pages. Allow this book to shed some light on what you have been missing. It will expand your understanding of the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book speaks directly to the longing of African Americans coming of age. It helps to define the transition between youth and wisdom. There are no limits to the types of spiritual rituals encased in this book. I found the familial relationships to be studied and implemented. It is totally engrossing.