Malidoma Patrice Somé. January 30, 1956 - December 9, 2021

East Coast Village: Living the Legacy of Malidoma Somé

The ECV is an inclusive and diverse community that honors our connection to the Ancestors and Nature. We are dedicated to empowering people through the practices of indigenous African spirit technologies as brought to the West by Dagara Elder, Dr. Malidoma Somé.

The Healing Wisdom of Indigenous Africa as Brought to the West by Malidoma Somé

Many people considered Malidoma Somé to be the most important living interpreter of African indigenous wisdom in the West. As divined by his elders before he was born, he devoted his life in many ways and in many places around the world to building a bridge between two apparently conflicting cultures. The East Coast Village is one of those places. That space - a natural, rustic, magical landscape on Bly Hollow Road in Cherry Plain, NY - became known as the East Coast Village (ECV or the Land).

Elder Malidoma taught that the healing power of nature, ritual and community is what the indigenous world offers to the modern world. In the indigenous world, community is integral to the harmony and balance of each individual. Ritual is the technology that weaves the individual and his/her/their gifts into a community that activates the transformative power of the natural world. We offer to the West, African spirit technologies, so long held secret, as tools to enable individuals live more peaceful and empowered lives.

The time for a vigorous act of devotion to, and embracing of the indigenous wisdom of Africa has come. After centuries of silence and in hiding, the teachings and wisdom of the Ancestors are rising up to lead the world into the next level of consciousness and spirituality. As we know, the African continent is not just the birthplace of mankind but also the repository of profound unseen powers and technologies. These technologies remain on standby ready to contribute to a radical healing change much needed in the world today. - Malidoma Somé

A Space to Learn, Heal, and Connect

Elder Malidoma was the inspiration behind the establishment of the East Coast Village. Having taken part in radical rituals based on the teachings and practices of the Dagara Tribe at various locations in Massachusetts and New York in the late '90's, a passionate group of individuals set out to dedicate a space where they could heal, practice and learn in a safe environment and, more importantly, in community. Spirit led them to the space now known as the East Coast Village. A rustic, natural, environmentally-protected landscape, on occupied Muh-he-con-ne-ok/Mohican (people of the waters that are never still) ancestral lands in upstate New York. Many have been visited by native ancestors of the land, giving their blessing to our work.

Temples and Gateways to Awaken the Spirits

Under Elder Malidoma’s guidance and direction, the Ancestor House ( with ancestral effigies to the Middle Passage and Trail of Tears commissioned by Malidoma) was built, and various temples and gateways (shrines) were consecrated to the spirits of Bèru, Gniur, Kontomblé, the Medicine Cabin, Tenbalu, and most importantly, Tingan, the supreme protector of the Land and the shrines. To prepare for elder initiation, Boan, the beacon for elder initiation was constructed on top of the Ancestor House. During the installation of the first shrines, Elder Malidoma recited the story that preceded the shrine - all the way to the beginning of the first Tingan in Africa. As a result, a bridge was formed between two worlds, the West and indigenous Africa. He also commissioned the installation of the Gateway on the Land - holding the mystical key to the entrance of the Ancient Realm. 

Rites and Ceremonies on Sacred Lands

As word spread and many came, the 2 - year long Indigenous African Spiritual Technologies (IAST) program was birthed and many trainings followed, led by Elder Malidoma, including the first Beyi (Dagara naming ceremony) and the first Kontomblé (Nature Spirit) merger taking place on Turtle Island. As well, he offered the only 3 - year long Dagara Certification Training, and the Ritual Healing Village (RHV), an intensive immersion into the natural world, sprang forth from the ECV. These experiences created an opening in the West for participants to invite the enchanting messages from the elementals, and awaken their gifts on sacred Land.

Initiations to Develop Keepers of the Wisdom

The East Coast Village was host to four Elder Initiations led by Elder Malidoma in 2006, 2009, 2012, and finally in 2015, birthing 37 Western-initiated Elders in the Dagara tradition. The initiates were assisted by a very dedicated group of supporters, followed by a glorious homecoming. These initiated elders, along with the sobs (gatekeepers of the shrines), were charged with living and sharing the indigenous wisdom of the Ancestors and Nature, and of ritual, healing and community. 

Our Vision Continues...

With the passing of our teacher, the East Coast Village continues to share the healing wisdom of Ancestors and Nature as we connect with elders and teachers of African Traditional Religion beyond the Dagara. As well, many of our initiated elders have stepped forward to share their wisdom and unique gifts, to keep the spark of the ancestral flame burning brightly.  Welcome home!

For two decades, the East Coast Village continues to host radical and personal rituals, shrine celebrations, community gatherings and teachings - inspired by indigenous African spiritual technologies. Join us!



Your love of nature, spirit, magic, and ancestral connection has anchored the work of this community. We appreciate your continued support in honoring the healing wisdom of indigenous Africa. Please donate now!

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