Grandparents are important and needed allover the world. What is your relationship with your grandparents? What is your relationship with your grandchildren like?
“…in Dagara life, the first few years of a child’s life is spent with the grandparents, not the parents. What the grandparents and grandchildren share together … that the parents do not … is their close proximity to the cosmos. Grandparents will soon return to where the grandchildren came from, so therefore the grandchild is the bearer of news the grandparents need. The grandparents must get this information before the child forgets.”
~ Malidoma Patrice Some in “Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life”
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Malidoma Some was born into a village in Burkina Faso when it was still under French rule. He describes his first four years, focussing particularly on his close relationship with his grandfather, an elder and shaman.
At four, the author was taken by the local priest, and compelled to live in a Catholic boarding school. Forced to communicate in French, he soon forgot his native tongue. And Catholic dogma replaced tribal rites. But while he was persuaded by the religion, to the extent of wanting to become a priest, he was also repelled at the sexual and physical abuse he witnessed, and at the colonial attitudes towards the African people.
At twenty he ran back to his village; much of the book now tells of (parts of) the month-long initiation ceremony he underwent.
Few people and tribes have been able to hold on to the wonderfully rich traditional heritage of their ancestor’s indigenous traditions and faith systems. This book is an deep journey where the truth of the spirit conquers the falsehood and violence of man-made beliefs.