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Thinking Allowed: Welcoming Spirit Home (Sobonfu Somé) (2000)
Explore an ancient African approach to celebrating children and community with Sobonfu Some of the Dagara of Burkina Faso in West Africa, author of Welcoming Spirit Home. Special importance in placed on the naming of children, either as they come into the world or before they are born. It is understood that the name is a blessing, yet it can also be a curse if not listened to properly. Elders in the community are not only interested in who is coming, but also in their gift.
A Hearing ritual enables the community to question the incoming baby by putting the mother into a trance-like state so that the incoming soul's intentions can speak to the group through the mother. When the attributes are heard, a name is chosen to reflect the child's purpose.This celebration significantly aligns the child's life path and name, and brings the community together.