Women Healing, Drumming in a Safe Place

PULLMAN & ROSELAND – Health & Wellness
Can Drumming Help Women in Roseland Heal?
By Andrea V. Watson | June 8, 2015 5:08am @andreavwatson12

extralargeROSELAND — Oroki Rice wants women that are hurting in her community to know: You have a safe place in Roseland.

The founder of Sisters on a Journey said that includes everyone from mothers who have lost children to violence to women who simply need someone to talk to.

Rice, 62, founded the nonprofit in 1994 — and started holding a drumming and healing circle…two years later…in her home….

The gatherings are less about…drumming.., more about…connections…made and the healing…people feel….

“…[T]here are a lot of women who have never had the opportunity to sit in a safe place with other women,” Rice said. “A lot of women have been bruised and injured, psychologically, spiritually, emotionally in relationships with [other] women.”

The session usually begins with calling out to the ancestors, burning incense and pouring libation — an African ritual where someone makes an offering to a god or spirit, or to remember a loved one who has passed away. Rice invites a guest speaker each month so the women listen, talk, drum and eat.

“Our people, African people, and even natives of this land used the drum as a speaking tool, as a connection tool and it has carried on,” she said.

Cynthia Nia Henson, 66, said the drumming and healing circle allows women the opportunity to share and tell their personal stories.

“I believe that in every community, people have been devastated by all the things…happening daily, like the drive-bys, the killings,” Henson said.

“They need to connect to people,” she said.

But that’s not all Rice’s organization does, she said. The drumming circle.., storytelling group.., a monthly writing circle….  All are welcome.

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