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Missoko Bwiti Tradition

"You cannot have Iboga without Bwiti, and you cannot have Bwiti without Iboga"

The Bwiti Tradition

Bwiti is the spiritual tradition that comes with the use of Iboga. It originated in southern Gabon and has now spread in different forms throughout Gabon, Cameroon, Congo, and beyond.

Bwiti means "learning". The Bwiti tradition is literally the Study of Life Itself. The art of learning, the art of living, the art of being.

Bwiti offers practical advice on how to live a healthy, happy life. The teachings are what we use to become masters of our lives. Shamans and elders will consistently provide counseling rooted in these teachings. We call this practice the Firetalk. 

The Teacher of Teachers

The Firetalk was the original form of Bwiti. This is where people would gather around the fire and share wisdom.

Eventually the Bwiti discovered Iboga and it taught them the Keys to Life, the tools to create peace of mind and happiness and much, much more.

Everything in the Bwiti tradition-the music, the medicines, the songs-was taught to the Bwiti by Iboga and vetted through a rigorous process.

Iboga has been their sacrament ever since. They remain its shepherds and protectors this day.

The Missoko Bwiti

The Missoko Bwiti tradition derives directly from the Dissumba tradition which is the original form of Bwiti. It is often seen as the trunk of the tree that leads to and contains the other branches of Bwiti, and Dissumba being the roots.

Missoko Bwiti specializes in healing and natural medicine and includes detailed knowledge of how to use thousands of plants and psycho-spiritual techniques for healing purposes.

Missoko Bwiti also contains all the other branches of Bwiti, which are:

Ngondé na Dipouma: screening or diagnostics

Miobé: herbs, plants, and their usage

Seguedia: knowledge, and creation

Boussouka: protection

Maboundi: empowering women

Missoko Bwiti is true to the original form of Bwiti that was protected from the French colonialists and perfectly preserved. There is zero French, Christian, or any outside influences. Much of what you read online is about the Fang Bwiti, who were heavily influenced by the French missionaries and merged Bwiti with Christianity.

As Misssoko Bwiti needed to be hidden from outsiders until it was safe, little can be learned about it on the internet or in books.

 

The Music

Bwiti Music is truly original in its sound and is an essential aspect of ceremonies.

Throughout ceremonies you will have singing from both men and women, each with their own set of songs.

The polyrhythmic instrumental music enhances the effectiveness of Iboga and also brings the ceremonies to life.

There are 3 main instruments in Bwiti ceremonies: The Ngombi (Harp), Muogoungo (Mouthbow), and Drums. There are also varying forms of rattles..

 

The Dancing

There are many different types of dancing found in Bwiti ceremonies and practices. Both the men and women have their own unique dances. Having usually started from a young age, they are incredibly skilled.

Dancers are decorated with a red paste, white chalk, feathers, skirts, headbands, hats, jewelry, and leaves. They also sometimes wear bells and shells to bring beautiful sounds to accompany their dance.

A Few Bwiti Ceremonies

Initiation

The Initiation is a “coming of age” ceremony where Iboga is consumed. The initiation is the way that they are brought into and connected to the Bwiti tradition, and the spirit of Iboga. It is also where they learn the reality of life and meet their soul, learn who they truly are. It is typically done when someone is in their teens, but can also be something they do later in life, or much earlier if they are to be a Shaman.

Rites of Passage

The Rite of Passage, a coming of age ritual for women and men of all ages. Lasting varying amounts of time, delivering changed people on the other side – true adults in the community.

This works as a way to promote integrity, strength, and connection, which is something lost upon us in the west. In Bwiti, we keep the details of the Rites of Passage private in order to protect its potency for those involved.

Welcome Ceremony

Extra benches and chairs are brought out as the temple fills with people coming from the city and different tribes.

This incredible spectacle lasts from dusk 'til dawn with dancing and singing and drums and fire and so much more.

Moughenda Village, Gabon

Every year we travel to Africa to see our Bwiti family, collect ingredients, and deepen our knowledge of the Bwiti tradition.

 

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