God wanted to give human beings their fullness right from the beginning, but they were incapable of receiving it, because they were still little children.
St. Irenaeus (125-203 A.D.)
Bedik tribe, Iwol village
Chief Jean Baptiste Keita:
-->"Our village was founded more than 900 years ago. It was the first village which have been settled all around here. The first one here. And it has been in continuous existence until today.
(While the Bedik had a designated historian who I met on my first Bedik trip, it wasn’t until very recently they had any written language, French. I don’t know how the chief arrived at 900 years and forgot to ask for an explanation. But if Chief Keita was accurate about the age of Iwol village, that’s about the time Angkor Wat was completed and the second crusades got underway. )
"What makes the village so different is the specificity of the place. It is really wonderful here. You can see it is surrounded by big mountains, with big trees, sacred trees.
"And you see, there are many sacred symbols here. You heard yesterday about the baobab tree, and the sacred Fromager tree here.
|Sacred site, Bedik tribe, Iwol village, Senegal, Africa.|
"We are Bediks. We are animists. And for that, we preserve our ancestor’s way of life. And Iwol is the only village which has preserved its tradition. It’s been the same since ages. It hasn’t changed.
"We are the only people that have remained rooted in their traditions. We are the only ones who have preserved in tact our tradition.
"And we live only in this place. We are quite restricted. We are not numerous, we Bediks."
|Bedik village of Iwol, Senegal, Africa.|
Personal journal thoughts:
Was this the religion of our ancient ancestors? Did storytellers like Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad and Constantine whisper their variations of the Bedik stories I heard into followers’ ears just like players in the telephone game?
My being tingled with the pure joy of mystery. There was more here than I could see and immediately understand.
I certainly was in a Disneyland-like museum of our modern beliefs.