Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman (Revised) by Patrice Some Malidoma

Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman (Revised) by Patrice Some Malidoma

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Malidoma, whose name means "be friends with the stranger/enemy, " was born under the shadow of French colonial rule in Upper Volta, West Africa. When he was four years old, he was taken by a Jesuit priest and imprisoned in a seminary built for training a new generation of "black" Catholic priests. In spite of his isolation from his tribe and his village, Malidoma stubbornly refused to forget where he had come from and who he was. Finally, fifteen years later, Malidoma fled the seminary and walked 125 miles through the dense jungle back to his own people, the Dagara. Once he was home, however, many there regarded him as a "white black, " to be looked on with suspicion because he had been contaminated by the "sickness" of the colonial world. Malidoma was a man of two worlds, at home in neither. His only hope of reconnection with his people was to undergo the harrowing Dagara monthlong initiation in the wilderness, which he describes in fascinating detail.

Malidoma emerged from this supernatural ritual a newly integrated individual, rejoined to his ancestral past and his cultural present. For more than a century, anthropologists and ethnologists have attempted to penetrate the worldview of indigenous peoples. Now a true son of Africa has come forth, with the permission of his tribal elders, to tell us with stunning candor about their way of life. Today Malidoma flys the jetways writing on his laptop computer, seeking to share the ancient wisdom of the Dagara with the rest of the world and bring an understanding of another way of life to his village. His book is a courageous testament to the hope that humanity can learn to live in a global village and see the "stranger" as a friend.

Table of Contents:
Of Water and the Spirit Introduction
Chapter 1: Slowly Becoming
Chapter 2: A Grandfather's Farewell
Chapter 3: Grandfather's Funeral
Chapter 4: A Sudden Farewell
Chapter 5: In the White Man's World
Chapter 6: Life Begins at Nansi
Chapter 7: The Rebellion Begins
Chapter 8: New Awakenings
Chapter 9: The Long Journey Begins
Chapter 10: The Voyage Home
Chapter 11: Hard Beginnings
Chapter 12: Trying to Fit Back into Village Life
Chapter 13: The Meeting at the Earth Shrine
Chapter 14: My First Night at the Initiation Camp
Chapter 15: Trying to See
Chapter 16: The World of the Fire, the Song of the Stars
Chapter 17: In the Arms of the Green Lady
Chapter 18: Returning to the Source
Chapter 19: Opening the Portal
Chapter 20: Through the Light Hole
Chapter 21: The World at the Bottom of the Pool
Chapter 22: Burials, Lessons, and Journeys
Chapter 23: Journey into the Underworld
Chapter 24: A Mission in the Underworld
Chapter 25: Returning from the Underworld
Chapter 26: Homecoming and Celebration
Epilogue: The Fearful Return