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Culturally rich, The Way Of The Elders is a spiritual guidebook that embodies rich, time-honored and meaningful traditions from West African culture.

 

Holding sacred the concept that there is one Spirit encompassing all making all things interconnected, both physically and spiritually, which in turn is reflected in all of tribal life, is the main principle set forth in this work. Some of the subjects discussed in detail are, offerings, charms, herbal healing, shamans and the nature of their work and abilities, plus wildlife and their importance. Some of the other topics touched upon are devotion to living a sacred life, village life, sacred music and dance, pregnancy, birth, childhood initiation, marriage, death, and funerals.

 

A comprehensive glossary of terms is included enabling the reader to understand unfamiliar terminology. The index is extensive and allows one to look up passages quite easily. 

 

For readers that are seeking their West African roots and traditions, or those that enjoy reading and learning about other cultures spirituality, this book provides a rare glimpse into West African tradition, particularly the Mande culture.

 

I personally found much in the book that resonates with my core beliefs, but found it difficult to read of the ritual sacrifices, as that is not something embraced within my spiritual traditions. If you the reader have a hard time with ritual sacrifices, this book might not be for you. If ritual sacrifices do not bother you, then this book is filled with spirituality that creates warmth within ones’ spirit and will quite probably cause you, the reader, to begin noting the sacred interconnectedness of all things to a greater degree.

 

~review by Lone Eagle Eye

Author: Adama & Naomi Doumbia Ph.D.

Llewellyn Publications, 2004

pp. 193, $15.95

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