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Of Water and the Spirit – Slowly Becoming
Grandfather’s respect and love for children was Universal in the tribe… To the Dagara, children are the most important members of society, the community’s most important treasures… This love and and treasured importance is where the saying it take a whole tribe to raise a child…
Grandfather had been my confident interlocutor for as long as I can remember… There is a close relationship betweens Grandfathers and grandchildren… The first few years of a boy’s life are usually spent, not with his father, but with his grandfather… What the grandfather and grandson share — that the father cannot — is their close proximity to the cosmos… The grandfather will soon return to where the grandson came from, so therefore the grandson is bearer of news the grandfather wants… The grandfather will do anything to make the grandson communicate the news of the ancestors before the child forgets,as inevitably happens… My grandfather obtained this news through hypnosis, putting me to sleep in order to question me…
Grandfather knew how to talk with the void, or rather to some unseen audience of spirits… Among the Dagara, the older you get the more you begin to notice spirits and ancestors everywhere… When you hear a person speaking out loud, alone, you don’t talk to them because he or she may be discussing an important issue with a spirit or an ancestor… This rule applies more to holy elders than to adults in general. When I was with Grandfather, I felt as if there were more people around then could be accounted for… When he knew I was not following his stories, he used to redirect his speech to these invisible beings. he never seemed bothered by my not listening…
– Of water and the Spirit
– Malidoma Patrice Some

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