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Welcoming Spirit Home: Ancient African Teachings to Celebrate Children and Community Hardcover – September, 1999

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Narrative Nonfiction
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 141 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library; First Printing edition (September 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577310098
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577310099
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,217,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

On a spiritual and global level, readers would be hard-pressed to find a better book on family values than Welcoming Spirit Home. Author Sobonfu Some, whose name means "keeper of rituals," narrates this collection of stories and traditions from her native tribe--the Dagara of Burkino Faso, Africa. Children are considered the soul of each village, according to the Dagara people, and as a result the tribe has numerous rituals that celebrate the arrival and raising of young ones. Page by page, Some explains these many exotic and loving rituals--from helping grandparents and babies bond to activities that support a "child's sense of worth." Even a woman's conception is cause for enormous community pride. Elders bathe the mother-to-be, dress her up, and then "introduce her and the incoming soul to the community." Everyone kisses her belly and sings songs of welcoming and joy. The tribe's simplistic lifestyle and genuine happiness seem to stem from its strong connection to the earth as well as the honoring of all tribal people--even the unborn.

"This is a teacher who can help us put together so many things that our modern Western World has broken," according to jacket quote by Alice Walker. This is, in fact, Some's underlying mission--with the entire back section devoted to how readers can adapt these beautiful Dagara rituals into a Western lifestyle. --Gail Hudson

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By tufani@att.net on October 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book has placed Sobonfu on my list of truly inspirational leaders. I was inspired, impressed and entertained by the concise, vivid and useful information provided in this book. It provides a vision of spiritual community, plus a few simple techniques for those who are ready to make their first steps in that direction.
Principles like the ones outlined in this book will help improve our communities, and put spirituality back into its place as paramount to our well-being.
A must-have for parents, teachers, midwives, family counselors, and administrators who want to improve the quality of life for the children they take care of.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Phil Rogers on April 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The people of the Dagara culture relate to us that children have themselves recently re-emerged (via being born) from the world of the spirit, of the ancestors. They are fresh and full of wonder at being here, still very expressive of the spirit of the other world in all its truthfulness and spontaneity.
Sobonfu's husband [Malidoma Patrice Some] has covered very incisively the funeral and male initiation ceremonies in his three books; Sobonfu, by contrast, goes much more than he (given the stated topic) into such things as the pre-conception naming ritual. Then there is the ritual asking the child [before birth] what he/she is coming to life to be, to accomplish within the community. Then everyone in the community will be able to help the child in every way possible to grow into the person that he/she would be.
And there is the welcoming ceremony done for every child, each who has come on this long journey from the land of the ancestors to the land of the living. One beautiful feature of this is that the other village children (standing together in the next room) imitate the newborn child's first cry as accurately as possible to let the newborn know he/she has come to the right place.
Sobonfu goes into exquisite detail describing the bounteous relationship between children and their grandparents. The old ones are all getting closer to the world of the ancestral spirits, as they are approaching closer to the time they leave this world, whereas the young ones are most familiar with that world, having recently returned from there.
In another chapter she discusses how and why miscarriages occur, how strongly they affect the community (especially the mother and other close relatives), and what this has to do with the world of the ancestors.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "blvdcaroln" on June 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I loved reading this book! It helped me to understand so much about my life. The since of community and love that is transfused into the children that are cared for by the methods in this book is a story that needs to be told.The rituals sound wonderful and I only wish that I had this knowledge prior to the birth of my children.This is a book about healing as well as love and honor for all of nature.This book gives wonderful information to instill pride in my African heritage. Prayer and intent are also stressed in this book and I find both to be very powerful forces in my life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Anne McCarty PhD RN on April 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am deeply grateful to Some for writing Welcoming Spirit Home and sharing how her community prepares for, welcomes, and supports babies and families having babies. I have worked with families for over 30years as an ob nurse, childbirth educator, marriage and family therapist, prenatal and birth therapist for babies and children, graduate school professor and family consultant. In my resesarch and writing a new model of early development that recognizes our fundamental spiritual nature and "new ways" to support our babies' whole self, I find Some' community has been practicing these principles for generations. When I read this book, I wept for the beauty of her message. I highly recommend this book to help us all remember more of our innate knowing of life, of babies, of connected living. Prenatal and perinatal psychology is the new field that is revealing more and more in our western ways how conscious, aware, and sensitive prenates and babies are. Our western science is coming full circle to remember how to welcome consciousness.

Some's book holds gems of how her community honors and prepares for this sacred passage of the spiritual being into human life. I imagine reading this book on a picnic in nature and being nourished by this beautiful message.
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