Bwiti: School of Life

This course introduces the Gabonese culture and the spiritual practice of Bwiti (with the use of ibogaine). The course informs people about how the whole ritual takes place.

  • 100 Enrolled
  • All levels
  • Last updated Jan '23
  • English
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Course Description

This course introduces the Gabonese culture and the spiritual practice of Bwiti (with the use of ibogaine). The course hopes to inform people about how the whole ritual takes place.

Bwiti: School of Life is a series of four recorded webcasts that aims to educate people about the traditional use of iboga in Gabon, known as le bois sacre ("the sacred wood"). It will provide an in-depth look at the traditional uses of iboga in Gabon, including how it serves as a medicine and a way of life, and discuss themes related to plant medicine and sustainability.

The webcasts will feature short video clips from villages in Gabon where traditional Bwiti is practised, as well as guest presentations and discussions. The series aims to provide a unique educational opportunity by exploring the cultural context of iboga's use and how it has influenced global culture and approaches to healing and spirituality.

You will learn:

  • What is Bwiti?
  • Roles in Bwiti initiation/treatment
  • Instruments in Bwiti: ngombe, mogongo
  • What is an Nganga
    • Maboundi/Yombo
    • Maboundi/Yombo
  • Sustainability/reciprocity

You will learn:

  • History of the Fang tradition
  • Dissumba vs. Dissumba Fang
  • Ombwiri/Mbumbayano Fang
  • The kambo
  • State of Fang Bwiti in Gabon
  • Impact of Westerners coming to work with the sacred wood

You will learn:

  • History of the Missoko tradition
  • Various branches of Missoko initiation:
    • Miobe/Mioba
    • Ngonde Na Dipuma
    • Sengedia
  • The impact of logging on the tradition
  • What the future of Bwiti could look like in Gabon

You will learn:

  • History of Dissumba
  • Various branches of Dissumba initiation:
    • Abanji/Mabanji
    • Ilombo
    • Ombwiri
    • Ombudi
    • Loro
  • The ngombe (sacred harp)
  • Healing rituals involved in her tradition
  • Training to serve the wood
    • What does it involve?
    • How long does it take?




About Instructor

Tatayo (“Fruit of the Wind”) first arrived in Gabon in 1971 at the age of 21 and became a Gabonese citizen. In 1979, he became the first white person to be initiated into the Bwiti Fang tradition in Gabon. In 1994, he was initiated into the Misokko tradition. As a guide for numerous expeditions and missions, including those of National Geographic, the BBC, and others, Tatayo is considered to have “opened the door” to westerners in Gabon.

Frequently Asked Questions

This course is self-paced and is always available.


This course includes

  • Modules 4
  • Duration 6 Hours
  • Skills All levels
  • Language English
  • Availability Always
  • Certificate No
Bwiti: School of Life Course Image