The ritual of Dagara Elder Initiation has taken place three times on North American soil, exclusively at the East Coast Village lands. In 2006, ten elders were initiated, and in 2009, those ten supported as thirteen more were initiated. 2012 welcomed 10 new initiates.
These elders serve their villages and communities by keeping indigenous African wisdom alive in the modern world. They are accountable for making and dispensing indigenous medicine, facilitating ritual, and are some of the collective keepers of the wisdom of the world of the ancestors.
BEYI: The Taste of a Name
BEYI is a three day ritual facilitated by elders and bokoras who will contribute to the unearthing of each person’s mystical meaning in this world, embodied in a Dagara-inspired “Beyi name”. Beyi is available to any person who feels his/her gift and purpose pressing from within ready to burst into the world. BEYI then offers the chance to embrace one’s gifts for a practical and legitimate claim to community.
It is also the first step toward eldership in the Dagara tradition.