E-Village News!
Youth Cultural Festival---Dano, Burkina Faso                                          May 2010

Parade 4

Marching in the Parade!  Photo by Robert Walker

In This Issue
Letter From Malidoma
Photos of Dagara Youth Festival
The Village of Dano
Africa Trip Announcement
Quick Links

The 4 Elements:  Community, Connection Ritual & the Earth
Zen Mountain Monastery,
Mt. Tremper, NY
May 13-16

Private Divinations---
East Coast Village (ECV),
Cherry Plain, NY
May 17-19
for more info write to [email protected]

3rd IAST, East Coast Village (ECV)
Cherry Plain, NY
May 19-23

An Evening with Malidoma Some´┐Ż: Drumming, Teachings, and Discussion@ Rites of Passage Council, Asheville, NC
Saturday, June 19
for more info write to: [email protected]

Private Divinations---
Rites of Passage Council
Asheville, NC
Jun 19-23
for more info write to: [email protected]

4th IAST, Asheville, NC
Rites of Passage Council
June 23-27

4th IAST, East Coast Village (ECV)
Cherry Plain, NY
July 14-18


APSYS Conference---
Systemic Constellation & Rituals
Pollauberg, Styria in Austria
July 19-25
for more info call:
Tel:  +43/(0) 316/32 52 91
email:  office@apsysorg
website:  http://www.apsys.org

The Spirit of Africa:  Workshop & Divination with Malidoma Some
Caduceus Klinik, Niendorfer Weg 5
29549 Bad Bevensen, near Hamburg
July 30-August 1
Divinations:  August 2-3
for more info contact:
Caduceus Verein
ph:  49.5821.477.129
fax:  49.5821.477.130
email:  [email protected]
website:  www.caduceus.de

Lecture:  Of Water & Spirit---
The Story of an African Shaman
Ljubljana, Slovenia (venue tba)
Saturday, August 7 @ 7pm

Divinations available near Ljubljana---
Visoko 103, 1292 IG, 25 km from the center of Ljubljana
August 8-10

For more info about the lecture & divinations contact:
Jozica Amadea Demsar
mobile phone:  00.386.30.648.910
office phone:  00.386.1.364.487
email:  [email protected]


Ancestors, Healing, & Empowerment:
A One Day Intensive with Malidoma Some
Rolling Ridge Conference Center
North Andover, MA
September 4, 10 am to 10 pm

To register visit:  http://web.me.com/betsymcnair/malidoma/Registration.html
For more info contact Betsy McNair @
[email protected]

Divinations available September 3 & 5
For appointments contact Betsy McNair

Malidoma @ Minnesota Men's Conference
September 14-19
venue tba

Youth Fashion Show
Photo by David Sprague
Fashion Show1
A young girl struts down the catwalk!

Photo by Robert Walker
Male Dancers
A young man smiles as he shows off his attire.

Photo by Robert Walker

Fashion Show4
A highlight of the show!

Photo by Wendy Kaas

A little one shows off!

Center for Malnourished Children
Photo by Judy Ivey
Mother & Child at the Center

Intrigued by the visitors, a little girl looks on sitting between mothers at the Center.

Mothers and their children listen to the tour guide.  Monetary contributions to the Center delivered by Malidoma provided the funds for much-needed shea butter and millet grain.

The Village of Dano
Whistle Blower
Photo by David Sprague
Whistle Blower
During the archery, contest a flute is played to symbolically represent the calling of the animals and birds during a hunt.

Two Baobob Trees with Nests
Photo by Robert Walker
Malidoma Speech2
The nests belong to vultures!

Children of Dano
Photo by Robert Walker
Malidoma Speech2

Malidoma Gives Lessons
Photo by David Sprague
Malidoma Speech2

Welcome to the Compound
Photo By Shaun MacLaughin
Malidoma Speech2
Everyday we were joyously welcomed by the children!

  At the Market
Photo by Robert Walker
Malidoma Speech2

On the Move!
Photo by Robert Walker
Malidoma Speech2

Weaver at Work
Photo by Robert Walker
Malidoma Speech2

Cashew Tree
Photo Wendy Kaas
Cashew Tree

Smiling Faces
Photo by Wendy Kaas
Malidoma Speech2

Photo by Wendy Kaas
A traditional home!

Bus Stop
Photo By Wendy Kaas

Water Tree
Photo by Wendy Kaas
Crazy Tree

The Eldest Elder in Dano
Photo By Sheila Evans
She joked she was nearly 200 years old!

Women & Water
Photo by Judy Ivey

Gettin' a Groove On!
Photo by Wendy Kaas

Village Pigs
Photo by Judy Ivey

Photo by Sheila Evans

Carrying Wood
Photo by Wendy Kaas
Carry Wood

Preparing Lunch
Photo by Judy Ivey

Mango Tree
Photo by Wendy Kaas
Mango Tree
Mango trees are everywhere in Dano!

By Wendy Kaas
Boy Dancer

Letter From Malidoma


A Dream Comes True
The Dano Youth Cultural Festival, First Edition, was a milestone in the effort to rally young people age eighteen and under throughout the Province of Ioba in the Southwest region of Burkina Faso around the theme of culture and tradition. Begun as an initiative based on the ancestors, their culture and the determination to make it palatable to youth it raised a plethora of issues including language, culture and identity while allowing the youth to enjoy a festive atmosphere within a spirit of competition and exploration. Throughout, it was clear that this festival of culture was raising not just problems faced by youth only but also addressing the deep seated challenges of the Province and perhaps the country of Burkina Faso as a whole.

Under the leadership of the Provincial High Commissioner, and the entire body of government workers in the Provincial capital, DANO, the festival entitled "la semaine de l'expression et de la pratique artistique et culturelle (SEPAC)" --The week of Artistic and Cultural expression-- was wrapped around numerous competitions and events including dance, music, handicraft, archery, indigenous fashion show, gold sifting, poetry and drama all of which were captivating to the large audience of youth under the supervision of their teachers and leaders. It was also the occasion for a number of debates on subjects pertinent to youth development such as native language, education in French and the changing face of school. But the most prevalent of all was the Soccer Competition, the sport of choice of the country. We only went to the finals on the last day of the festival. It was presided over by the Governor of the Southwest who was surrounded by other dignitaries from his office and was the occasion for various televised speeches, interviews, acknowledgments and praises for the week-long festival.

The High commissioner stressed in his speech the beauty of a life dedicated to the future of the young ones and urged everyone to follow our lead in showing the youth that we care. This was in response to an embarrassing statement made by a young woman a few days earlier who said that young people's alienation from the values of their culture is not their fault, but the fault of the grownups because they do not show any motivating interest. Young ones can only follow what they see. He acknowledged that the current state of alienation from ancestral culture was due to sustained prior disinterest that was being passed on to subsequent generations.

The governor's speech was brief and supportive, mostly centered around what he called a notable act of citizenry on my part and thanked the dignitaries for their presence which he thought spoke for itself. He was then about to kick off the soccer game when the High Commissioner whispered to him whether he thought it was a good idea to let me say something. The Governor agreed.
 Caught up in the moment, I told everyone present that I was not the one to be lauded for the beauty of what was going on, but my American friends who took to heart the welfare of our youth by contributing funds and, for some, by coming all the way here to show their love and support. I called everyone to the fact that the youth are our future and the future of our identity as a people, the Dagara. I appealed on people's common sense to make the fate of these youth their fate. I had to stop when I realized I was getting a little emotional. The moderator remarked that if I had continued on this vein for another two minutes too many people would be tearing up.

I was touched by the overall beauty of the afternoon. The festive atmosphere stirred by the game continued into the evening with the display of tremendous energy of joy and celebration by the youth. The cultural evening that followed the ceremony at the soccer finals took place at the Provincial Conference Center. It was delightful to say the least. Packed with at least a thousand youth, we watched them deploy their prowess in dance, music, fashion show, songs, etc.

I was touched by the dedication of the High Commissioner who labored hard to ensure that everything went well. Of course nothing really worked according to schedule which itself was constantly being refashioned. There was a lot of stress throughout, and I complained a couple of times about the rising cost of the event. I was stressed because I could see how stressed the High Commissioner was in his deliberate move to please the American delegation. He never missed the opportunity to ask me if my friends were doing ok, if they were pleased and what was their impression of the various events. I tried to be as reassuring to him as I could amid my own stress and 110 degrees heat.

I have to admit that I have never had so much government exposure in my country. I've never been part of an official escort complete with flashing lights and siren. I have never sat with senior government agents. Needless to say, my comfort zone was on trial. Being the center of interest from government is a mixed blessing. There are always expectations and a price to pay.

I deplored the fact that there were no indigenous elders among the speakers and noticed that they were not present at the closing ceremonies either. I understood later on that due to the fact that the language of the proceedings of the festival was French, it was a logistical challenge the organizing committee couldn't resolve. Elders do not speak French and not all the youth spoke Dagara. In sharing my impressions with the High commissioner later on, we both agreed that this youth festival is a work in progress. He said that this was the very reason he called it the "First Edition."

I want to thank everyone whose contribution has made this possible. From those who reached into their pocket to those who decided to come and see for themselves, I pray that the ancestors of both lands deliver a lasting thank you for a gesture that has brought two worlds closer, raised hope where there was little, and allowed young ones to feel alive once again. ASHE!!

Marching in Step in the Parade
Photo by David Sprague
Parade 5

The Parade before the soccer game!

Traditional Song
Photo by David Sprague

Young women lift their harmonizing voices in Dagara traditional song!

Traditional Dagara Dance
Photo by Theresa Thomas
Burkina Children Dance

Girls tell a story through dance!

More Dagara Traditional Song
Photo by Theresa Thomas

The Dagara youth performed complex rhythms through clapping & singing!

More Traditional Dance
Photo by David Sprague

Many traditional dances were performed at the Youth Festival!

The Warrior Dance
Photo by David Sprague
Male Dancers

The young men show off their skills in traditional dance!

Girls Playing the Balafon
Photo by Robert Walker

It is rare to see girls playing the balafon among the Dagara---it is usually reserved for boys.

Dagara Traditional Music
Photo by Theresa Thomas
Boys Balafon

Young men playing the balafon---the traditional way!

Soccer Mania
Photo by David Sprague
Soccer Mania
Celebration on the soccer field after scoring!

The Dignitaries
Photo by Theresa Thomas
The Dignitaries

Malidoma, the High Commissioner, the Govenor of Ioba, and other dignitaries enjoy the soccer game.

Soccer Awards Ceremony
Photo by Robert Walker
Awards 2

Award presented by Malidoma and the Governor of Ioba Province

The Archers
Photo by Theresa Thomas

The Archers
Competitors in the Dagara traditional archery contest

High Commissioner Draws His Bow
Photo by Wendy Kaas

The High Commissioner shoots his bow as Robert, Malidoma's uncle, & Malidoma and others look on!

Malidoma Takes His Shot
Photo by Robert Walker

Archer Malidoma
Malidoma hits the bulls eye!

Teaching at the Bi-lingual School
Photo by Theresa Thomas

 A teacher searches the sea of raised hands to call a student up to the board.

Student Reading Dagara
Photo by Theresa Thomas
The Student

At this bi-lingual school in Dano, children are taught solely in their native Dagara language for the first 4 years before integrating the French language.

The Dagara Language
Photo by Robert Walker

Malidoma, can you translate please?

Photo by David Sprague
Malidoma Speech2

Malidoma's Gives A Heartfelt
Speech at the Soccer Field
There was barely a dry eye in the audience when Malidoma finished his speech!  Though he spoke in French and those of us who only speak English did not understand, we felt the energy and the truth of his words with our hearts!
Photo by Sheila Evans
Africa Trip Planned
For December 2010!

Malidoma is planning a general trip to Burkina Faso at the end of this year!  The focus of this trip will be to introduce participants to the rhythms and flow of daily, indigenous village life.  Now is the time for those who are seriously interested to begin preparations to make the journey a reality.  Begin now to investigate how to obtain essential items such as passport, visa, travel shots, etc.  Details will be forthcoming!
Gold panning
Panning for Gold
Photo by Sheila Evans
Goldmine small
Into the Gold Mine
Photo by Judy Ivey
Goldmine childcare
Day Care at the Gold Mine
Photo by David Sprague

A very sincere and warm thank you to the following folks who contributed their time, energy, and photos to this newsletter:  Sheila Evans, Judy Ivey, Wendy Kaas, Shaun MacLaughin, David Sprague, Theresa Thomas, and Robert Walker.  Without your help and contributions, the May, 2010 E-Village Newsletter could not have been possible.

Malidoma & Yetunde

A NOTE TO OUR READERS AND VIEWERS:  It is requested that the photos shared in this newsletter not be used for any commercial and/or marketing purposes.