Learn more about the bwiti tradition

What is bwiti?

The Bwiti tradition, deeply entrenched in the ancient forests of Gabon, Central Africa, transcends the narrow confines of being labeled merely as a religion or cult. Originating about 4,000 years ago, it finds its roots in the profound relationship the Babongo people (often referred to as Pygmies) of West Central Africa developed with the Iboga plant. Their discovery of the spiritual potential within Iboga set the stage for the emergence of Bwiti as a significant spiritual practice aimed at self-discovery and gaining a deeper insight into life.

Bwiti is a transformative path that fosters a direct link with ancestors and the spiritual realm through the venerated Iboga, also known as the tree of knowledge. This engagement with the sacred plant opens up a wealth of wisdom, incorporating teachings, musical traditions, health practices, and healing methods, all preserved and passed down orally from generation to generation.

To embrace Bwiti principles is to forge a deep connection with all creation. Bwiti is driven by the quest for truth, happiness, and freedom, unencumbered by material or emotional burdens. It represents a collection of practices and a holistic approach to life, advocating excellence in living, infused with age-old knowledge, and acting as a continuous catalyst for personal evolution.

The structure of Bwiti can be visualized as a lush tree, where traditions such as the Disumba form its roots, the Misoko tradition embodies the trunk, and branches like the Myobe, Mabundi, and others contribute to its complexity and growth, each essential for the health and perpetuation of the entire organism. At Root and Wisdom, our initiation into these various Bwiti traditions enables us to add a new branch to this ever-growing tree. Our distinct approach with Iboga signifies the expansion of this vibrant entity, promoting its development and enduring legacy.