Malidoma Patrice Somé

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Malidoma Patrice Somé

Malidoma Patrice Somé (born 1956) is a West African writer. He was born in Dano, Burkina Faso, among the Dagara.


From the age of four, he lived away from the Dagara, at a Jesuit boarding school and was given a Western education. He left this school when he was twenty, by which time he had forgotten his native language. In order to be able to communicate with his people, he underwent a process of "relearning". He writes about taking part in a month-long Dagara "initiation process",[1][2][3] of the type all Dagara males undergo as part of the passage to manhood.

Somé says the Dagara believe that each person is born with a destiny, and he or she is given a name that reflects that destiny.[1] Somé says his name, "Malidoma", means "friend of the enemy/stranger."[4] Somé believes it is his destiny to come to a Western audience in friendship and tell them about his experience of being torn away from his people by Westerners.


He has taught at the University of Michigan.[1] He conducts workshops and "initiation" retreats in Oregon, Europe and the East Coast of the US.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b c Somé, Malidoma Patrice (1994). Of Water and Spirit: Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman. New York: Tarcher/Putnam. ISBN 978-0-87477-762-8. 
  2. ^ Somé, Malidoma Patrice (1993). Ritual: Power, Healing and Community. Portland, OR: Swan and Raven. ISBN 978-0-14-019558-3. 
  3. ^ Somé, Malidoma Patrice (1998). The Healing Wisdom of Africa: Finding Life Purpose Through Nature, Ritual, and Community. New York: Tarcher/Putnam. ISBN 978-0-87477-991-2. 
  4. ^ "Biography of Malidoma Patrice Some, Author of Of Water and the Spirit", in Religious Traditions of Africa and the African Diaspora, by the members of Honors AFAM 220 (Spring 1997/ Spring 1999/ Spring 2001).
  5. ^ Somé, Malidoma Patrice (2007). "". 
  6. ^ Ancestral Wisdom Bridge Foundation: Somé's "Indigenous African Spirit Technologies" group, with schedule and fees for his events.

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