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Ritual: Power, Healing and Community

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  304 ratings  ·  19 reviews
?The stories within these books have the poignancy of new discoveries as well as the unworn imagination of the ancestors. The commentary has the sharp edge of modern thought and the intricacy which results from the intellect being woven through the ritual complexities of tribal life. The purpose of constructing thresholds that bring this world together is to find the power ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published December 1st 1997 by Penguin Books (first published 1993)
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Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Definitely one for the keeping. View a few of my favorite quotes from the book. ...more
Jul 19, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a good introduction to the practices of the Dagara people and other native tribes of Africa. Really shows the difference between modern society and traditional society well.
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wishlist
I found this book thoroughly fascinating and quite easy to read. Though written a while ago, the commentary seemed especially applicable with respects to Western Society, the Capitalist Machine, and the tendency to turn down noses to tribal ways of life in favor of "Progress." While some aspects were difficult for me to believe, I respected the stories that were shared along with the sentiment behind this form of Spirituality. I also liked that while this centers African Indigenous peoples, it o ...more
Crystal J. De la Cruz - Hopper
A lot of wisdom in this book!

I stumbled into this author and thus this book from an article I read entitled, "What a Shaman Sees in a Mental Hospital"... Excellent read, by the way.

As a student and practitioner of shamanic energy medicine, I am enthralled with the simple wisdom of Somè's lineage and tradition and I love the many parallels to other traditions and modalities. His writing style is quite eloquent and yet easy to follow; an excellent story teller.

If you're on a seeking path or enjoy
Mychole Price
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Typical of indigenous peoples giving stories to teach the practice and typical of westerners to not appreciate it. But this one did. His writing is engaging and the stories are dramatic but are his reality and promotes envy in my desire to experience community to this level. Wish there was more of a "guide" on how to conduct but I think I learned enough from reading his accounts. ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have enjoyed this book a lot. I think it helps you to stop I think about what the most important things are. Little by little we are giving the importance to feelings and emotions. Though I am from another part of the world and from a different cultural background, I agree with the author in so many statements. I highly recommend it.
Interesting read about the author and his experiences and how the Dagara view ritual as being necessary to their life. Their grieving ritual was particularly potent, and I do agree with how badly the West treats grief.
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book went beyond interesting to helpful because Somé was able to take Dagara experiences which may seem too far removed from a western cultural field of experience and map them to a more situational problem. His time spent in both cultures gives him valuable insights that are frequently challenging to get if someone from the western culture is just reading about indigenous wisdom. I so appreciate that. And I realized how much of what he said resonated deep in my soma as truth.

I had the opp
Dianne Daniels
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book - in-depth information on the tribal sensibilities, reasons for their rituals, and the relationships between members of the community. I also liked the amount of detail provided in the book, and the tone of the book.

It made me want to learn more and to perhaps visit their community.

I also now want to know more about my own ancestral traditions and who the elders would be that helped educate others on the ways of honoring elders, conducting burials, etc.
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Gives you a lot to think about, especially with consumerism, western culture and service to soul-less entities in the name of work. The description of Dagara funerals was so vivid, it scared me a bit.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ritual-self-care
Solid book on ritual. Great personal stories woven together with practical elements of ritual that everyone would benefit from knowing.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I really appreciated the author's observations that Western societies treat humans like Machines, because it's something that bothers me and it was nice to get the perspective of someone who was raised differently. He says it's because we've lost the importance of ritual. I'm... not convinced. Maybe. But it was really interesting to read his explanations, because he's coming to the problem from a perspective that I do not share at all. And that helps me become more aware of my beliefs/values/app ...more
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Definitely a great introduction to ritualistic spaces and community. Somé lightly touched on enough info to whet the appetite of his readers, challenging them to explore their spirituality. However, I don't believe this was meant to be much deeper than that. Powerful, yet really simple... ...more
Jul 23, 2010 rated it liked it
A-ho! For those who love ritual, for those who wonder why we need ritual, Malidoma Some reveals as much as he dares about the framework of life in his village in Burkina Faso. A humble read for us arrogant Westerners.
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, non-fiction
Not much to say about this one. It was a short but very interesting look at the way ritual forms the structure for which the rest of Somé's traditional community is based around, with the inevitable, but not unfair, comparison to Western society. ...more
Mar 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very comprehensive collection of the ways of African ritual.
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Somé holds three Master's degrees and two doctorates from the Sorbonne and Brandeis University. He has taught at the University of Michigan. ...more

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118 likes · 37 comments
“We need ritual because it is an expression of the fact that we recognize the difficulty of creating a different and special kind of community. A community that doesn’t have a ritual cannot exist. A corporate community is not a community. It’s a conglomeration of individuals in the service of an insatiable soulless entity.” 4 likes
“The focus here is not on ritual itself, but on opening up something in hearts and spirits that has been locked away so long that individuals can barely remember the source.” 4 likes
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