South African native and now Ulster County resident Glenn Leisching, an Elder in the tradition of the Dagara tribe of Burkina Faso in West Africa, joined me on the Forget-Me-Not Hour last week. He talked about the importance of ancestors in the spiritual traditions of indigenous Africans–an unusual but fascinating topic for this genealogy radio show.
Glenn shared how and why ancestors (which is anyone who has died) are honored and venerated in indigenous African traditions–not unlike how they are honored and venerated in other traditions like Native American spirituality, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Celtic spirituality, Hinduism and more. Just go to Washington, D.C. and see all the statues and monuments dedicated to the ancestors.
The ancestors are all around us, helping and guiding us, if we pause long enough to listen. Glenn tells us how and why the ancestors do this and how we can connect with them to hear their stories (the ancestors do want their stories to be told) and to let them help us tell our own stories. As a genealogist, I often talk to my clients’ ancestors, asking them for clues as I research. Genealogy research sometimes is a very intuitive process.
Listen to Glenn Leisching right here.