PORT TOWNSEND — With the help of the Port Townsend Foundry, a North Olympic Peninsula artist has created a work that will be part at an international celebration in West Africa in January.
Lois Burnett has created a bronze plaque commemorating the life of Papa Elie, an African tribesman who, in response to efforts to bring civilization to his village, started a movement to bring the healing wisdom to his tribe to the world. He died in January at 94.
“Papa’s life was dedicated to creating a spiritual bridge connecting the modern and the indigenous,” Burnett said. “His generation was the first to be impacted by French colonization.”
Elie was from the village of Dagara, in what is now the country of Burkina Faso. An observance of the first anniversary of his death will take place there Jan. 6-8, with people coming from the United States, Canada and Europe, Burnett said.
During the observance, plaques from different countries will be dedicated and placed on Elie’s tomb in his family compound. Burnett’s plaque, commissioned by his son, author Malidoma Some^le, is the only one representing North America, she said.
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