Somé describes his childhood among the Dagara people, focusing on their use of ritual as a means of establishing an ongoing relationship with the worlds of their ancestors and of the spirits. He also describes his own shamanic initiation. He suggests that the elders of the Dagara community were skilled in creating doorways through which practitioners could pass into other dimensions of reality.
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ph.D., is a shaman of the Dagara tribe of West Africa. He is author of Ritual: Power, Healing and Community and Of Water and the Spirit.