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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bukut, sacred woods ritual of passage in Senegal

        According to an article from Au fait Maroc , sixteen villages in Casamance, Senegal went back to the ritual of passage-Bukut (Initiation in Diola) in the sacred hoods. In Africa, these initiations have been coming back. However this time, the young generations threatened the elders to go somewhere else for the initiation. It shows that in this new millennium, many among us have the need to go back and take the time required to grow. It shows that traditions are transmitted beyond or despite the trends.
      The youngest of the novices was five years old and the oldest was sixty years old!! Lucky all of them were already circumcised at hospitals. All the novices went to acquire the wisdom of being, loyalty, responsibility and solidarity. They went in the sacred wood guided by elders and came out as heroes. They consciously made the transition from childhood to manhood with the support of their families and communities.
       I believed that we all have memorable rites of passage. Many of mine involved planes, airports, new continents, new countries, new cities, new smells, new tastes, new languages, new music,…..and a child. Well, the Bukut ritual is here to stay. Regardless of our origins, we will go thorough “sacred woods” in the school of life. And hopefully we will gain the wisdom of being, loyalty, responsibility, and solidarity.

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