Spread throughout Central West Africa, the Bwiti people have been using Iboga as a tool to study life for thousands of years.

The Bwiti refers to the people who use Iboga to understand Life. Up until recently, the Bwiti have been the people of western equatorial Africa where Iboga grows naturally (Gabon, Cameroon, and Congo). But you don’t have to be from that part of the world to be Bwiti. Iboga is for all people regardless of where they were born, their nationality, the color of their skin or hair, or any other way of grouping people. To become a Bwiti, it is only necessary to experience Iboga in a ceremony called the full initiation.

Iboga ceremony under candle light

The Bwiti of Gabon do not have a written history. So it is unknown how long their tradition has existed, but it is believed to be many many generations. The Bwiti shaman that we were trained by, knows of at least 10 generations of Bwiti shamans in his lineage, but the Bwiti tradition is believed to be much older. The knowledge that has been gained through the use of Iboga is passed down through speaking only, through oral tradition.

When you come to the Iboga Wellness Center, part of what we do is share this oral tradition with you. What is so interesting about this process is that each person can confirm for themselves everything that is said. You don’t have to take our word for it because when you take Iboga, you can confirm everything.

Bwiti dancer with torch artwork

Bwiti is not a religion. It is merely the study of, and mastery of, the Art of Living. This simple, authentic path cultivates depth and richness of the spirit.

Through Iboga’s teachings, the Bwiti have not only developed a thorough understanding of their own lives, but also know the truth about their relationship to others, and to nature. Iboga is the chief tool they use to enter the spiritual world, where clarity and direction relating to their physical, day-to-day life can be discovered.

For the Bwiti, life is about knowing who you are. Only when you know who you are can you know what you truly want.

Iboga provider Levi Barker during ceremony

Our providers have been trained and initiated into the ways of the Missoko Bwiti of Gabon, a culture which does not have a written history. All teachings have been passed down through the generations in an oral context. The wisdom and truth of this culture cannot be found in any book.

Providers at Iboga Wellness fully embody the teachings and spiritual practices of the Bwiti, and these rare gifts are shared with guests in each retreat. The merging of these life values and teachings with Iboga’s healing power is the real root to lasting peace.

bwiti okume torche burning during ceremony