Born in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), West Africa, Dr. Somé was kidnapped at age four by a French Jesuit missionary to be trained as a priest. For the next 15 years he endured the harsh regimen of a seminary where his native language and tribal traditions were systematically suppressed. At age 20 he escaped, but when he returned to his Dagara village, they rejected him as an outsider. To reconnect with his native culture, Dr. Somé underwent a month-long initiation, normally for pubescent youth having grown up in village life (around age 13), and, one which could have cost him his life. Despite of the fears of his elders and the challenges he endured, he survived, only to realize his destiny as one was chosen to “who make friends with the stranger/enemy”, becoming a bridge between his dying indigenous culture and the West. He is now a self-described “man of two worlds”.
Dr. Somé holds three master’s degrees and two doctorates from Sorbonne and Brandeis University, and has taught at the University of Michigan. He currently devotes himself to speaking and conducting intensive workshops throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
In the recent years there has been a surge of interest in indigenous wisdom and practices to find meaning and purpose in the modern, industrial world. As people in the Western world, we have begun to feel the stirrings of our own indigenous souls and go looking for answers to those who still possess a connection with the ancient past. While a lot has been published about Native American traditions, ceremonies, and way of life in the U.S., little is known about Africa. Dr. Somé, therefore, provides a welcome and highly inspiring contribution to questions of universal importance to all of us…
Why are we here?
How do we awaken and live an authentic life?
What is the importance of initiation in shaping human identity and sense of belonging?
What is the role of nature and spirit in the unfolding of our destiny and purpose?
These are some of the topics of conversation Dr. Somé can bring as a highly valued keynote speaker at universities, community groups and public institutions.
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We look forward to working with you!
~Blessings from the Ancestors~