Bemba Soul Song and Healing Ceremonyadapted from Alan Cohen
The Bemba tribe live in the Northeastern part of Zambia, near Tanzania and the
Democratic Republic of the Congo.
When a woman in the Bemba tribe of South Africa knows she is pregnant, she goes out
into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray and meditate until they hear the song of the child. They recognize that every soul has its own vibration that expresses its unique flavor and purpose. When the women attune to the song, they sing it out loud. Then they return to the tribe and teach it to everyone else.
This song is sung at every important event of the child. When he or she is born, the
community gathers and sings the child's song to him or her. Later, when the child enters
education, the village gathers and chants the child's song. When the child passes through the initiation to adulthood, the people again come together and sing. At the time of marriage, the person hears his or her song.
Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, the family and friends gather at
the person's bed, just as they did at their birth, and they sing the person to the next life.
In the Bemba tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child.
When a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he is placed in the center of the village, alone and unfettered. All work ceases, and every man, woman and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused individual. Then each person in the tribe speaks to the accused, one at a time, about all the good things the person in the center of the circle has done in his lifetime. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy is recounted. All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. The tribal ceremony often lasts several days. At the end, the song is sung again, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the person is symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe.
The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment, but
love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no
desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.
They believe a friend is someone who knows your song and sings it to you when you
have forgotten it. Those who love you are not fooled by the mistakes you have made or the
dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your
wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.
From India, Bangalore
Hello Sherley Johnson,
A truly beautiful one.
Tales & facts like this are galore all over the world w.r.t. early/ancient tribes & sects of people--who interacted with one another from a LARGER perspective....and we think it's WE who are advanced than those who lived before us on this planet.
From India, Hyderabad
A great one.
Gives us lot of learning to take home, imbibe, practice and also to give others.
World will become a wonderful place to live and enjoy if we all learn this from those Bemba Tribes.
Thanks for sharing.
From India, Madras