Malidoma Patrice Somé was a West African writer and workshop leader, primarily in the field of spirituality. He was born in a Dagara community in Dano, Burkina Faso, and he moved to the West to share his knowledge of the ancient wisdom and practices of his people with the rest of the world.
On the first page of your autobiography you write, “My elders are convinced that the West is as endangered as the indigenous cultures it has decimated.” They sent you from your village into the “white wilderness” in part to help save us. In what way is the West endangered?
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.
Sharing access to the gifts of water binds family and community groups together. An Elder from Burkina Faso, Dr. Somé recounts the profound pro-social impacts of bonding through water, connecting the water of the earth back to the amniotic fluid of the womb that nurtures all new life.