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

 Author: Malidoma Patrice Some  Category: All books, General Reading  Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group  Published: May 1, 1995  ISBN: 978-0140194968  Pages: 320  Language: English  Dimension: 14.02 x 1.45 x 21.36 cm

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.

Born under the shadow of French colonial rule in Upper Volta, West Africa, the author was taken from his tribe and virtually imprisoned by a Jesuit priest in a seminary. He lived there for 15 years, abused and intimidated into forgetting his tribal past and accepting the white man’s god and religion. At 19, he ran away and walked hundreds of miles back to his own people, the Dagara, where he received a mixed welcome. He could not remember enough of his native language to speak to his own parents, and many feared he had been contaminated by the white world. His only hope for reconnecting with his people was to risk death by undergoing the traditional Dagara tribal initiation ritual. This month-long ordeal in the wilderness with the magical forces of the supernatural forms the core of the story.

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