Somé, Malidoma

(1956– )
   West African diviner and “medicine man” from Burkina Faso, now living in the United States, whose biographical and how-to books seek to encourage the growth of “elders of the new post-modern tribal order” and were initially most influential in the men’s movement and among neo-shamans. His work with his wife Sobonfu attracted the interest of women. Somé is also interested in reestablishing the importance of ritual in Western culture. Somé’s relationship with the New Age (which underpins much neo-shamanism) is complicated by his view that it can be shallow, naive, and overly optimistic. He argues that multicultural gatherings are more important venues for learning precisely because they require recognition of difference and difficulties, especially of the reality of colonial violence.

Historical dictionary of shamanism. . 2007.

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