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Lessons From the Bamemba Tribe


UnknownI’ve been intrigued by this tribe ever since I heard about them while listening to Dr. Wayne Dyer speak on their unique tradition. Take a moment to read about it below and share your thoughts. I hope it touches you the way it has touched me….

“In South Africa the Babemba tribe treats people who step out of line in a remarkable way. Instead of treating the person with judgment and punishment, the tribe treats the offender with love and appreciation.

If a member of the Babemba acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he or she is placed at the center of the village, alone. All work ceases, and the entire tribe gathers in a large circle around the violator. Then each person in the tribe, regardless of age, speaks to the accused, one at a time, recalling all the good things the person in the center of the circle has done in his or her lifetime.

Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy is recounted. All the individual’s positive attributes, good deeds, strengths and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. No one is permitted to fabricate, exaggerate or be facetious about the accomplishments or the positive aspects of the person. This tribal ceremony often lasts for several days and does not end until everyone is drained of every positive comment he or she can state about the person in question.

At the end, the circle is broken and the person is symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe with joyful celebration.”

(Excerpted from “Contact: The First Four Minutes” by Leonard Sunin)

In our MarketPlace conversations we have learned this to be a process of re-igniting and reconnecting the human spirit to wholeness and well-being. The Bamemba (or Bemba) have embodied this into their culture and this process is said to only happen rarely –because the culture is so affirming and centered around the well-being of it’s citizens.

What are your impressions of this tradition? How have you seen it applied personally? What impact might it have if it became a part of our everyday lives? In our workplace? Our schools? Our homes?

You can read the original observation of the Bamemba (or Bemba) tribal practices in the following book: Contact: The First Four Minutes


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