Ropes to God: Experiencing the Bushman Spiritual Universe (Profiles of Healing)

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9780918172402: Ropes to God: Experiencing the Bushman Spiritual Universe (Profiles of Healing)

In this detailed personal account of traditional healing practices, Bushman doctors from Namibia disclose the defining symbolism, art forms such as rock art, and kinesthetic elements that define Bushman spirituality. Ropes, cords, threads, and lines of light enable the spiritual healers to commune with ancestors and gods, as well as communicate with other Bushman communities. Also documented are the physical movements that facilitate entering the transformative states of hyper-arousal and synesthesia.

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About the Author:

Bradford Keeney, PhD, is the author of Gary Holy Bull, Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, and Walking Thunder.

From Publishers Weekly:

Transformation is a way of life in the Kalahari, and Keeney (editor of the Profiles of Healing series, of which this is the eighth volume) offers us an insider's view of the shaman-like healing dances of the Bushmen of Southern Africa. A psychologist by training, Keeney has been dancing with the Bushmen for more than a decade and has himself repeatedly experienced spiritual transformation in the manner of the Bushman doctors. This book distills his many interviews with Bushman doctors into a synthesized, first-person narrative that serves as a clear, compelling orientation to the core elements of Bushman spiritual life. Among other things, he describes the three basic ropes of light that Bushman doctors see during the frenzied, ecstatic dance: vertical, white ropes that serve as conduits up to "the Big God"; and knee-high, horizontal green (good) and red (evil) ropes that can spiritually transport doctors to other people, villages, or animals. The book then offers excerpts from the interviews with Bushmen doctors, both men and women, as well as Keeney's own intriguing, though somewhat haphazard, discussion of his conclusions. 184 color and b/w photos of the dance are liberally interspersed throughout the text, which comes with a DVD of the ceremony. Though the writing is at moments stilted and repetitive, Keeney effectively combines his professional methodology and his personal experience to deliver a work that is part study of and part testimony to the transformative power of the Bushman healing dance.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Editore: Ringing Rock Press / Leete's Island Books (2003)
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Bradford Keeney
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