The Conflict Doctor

Arms Dealers, Ancestors, and Trauma Healing: The Traditional Liberian Mourning Feast

September 13, 2022 Dr. Rebecca Nicholson Season 1 Episode 1
The Conflict Doctor
Arms Dealers, Ancestors, and Trauma Healing: The Traditional Liberian Mourning Feast
Show Notes

Episode 1: Arms Dealers, Ancestors, and Trauma Healing: The Traditional  Liberian Mourning Feast
The Liberian Civil War lasted for 14 years. Arms dealers, warlords, and those vying for power  terrorized the population and wreaked havoc on the political, ecological, social, and spiritual infrastructure. In this episode, Liberian Elder Bill Saa discusses how the war devastated the land and traumatized the people. He also talks about post war peacebuilding through the traditional Liberian Mourning Feast, a community ritual that acknowledges the deceased ancestors and brings disputing tribes together to address and resolve their conflict. We discuss warlords, arms dealers, disputing tribes, indigenous peacebuilding, the physical relationship between the ancestors and the living, and how the zos (traditional Liberian Seers) communicate between realms. 

About the Guest:
William F. Saa. As a direct victim himself of the civil war in his home country Liberia (1989 – 2003), William has dedicated himself to post-war re-building. For over twenty years, William has worked in peacebuilding and conflict engagement. William contributes extensively to reconstruction and peacebuilding in Liberia and neighboring countries, as well as in other parts of Africa, Europe, Asia, and USA. His consultation history incorporates the complexity of issues necessary to foster professional peacebuilding practices; civil society strengthening; ecological restoration; conflict mediation; trauma recovery, and social reconciliation. William received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Citizenship Award by the US Embassy for outstanding contributions promoting the ideals of Dr. King. William holds an MA Degree in Conflict resolution from the University of Massachusetts, USA, an undergraduate degree in sociology and several other certifications in the field.

About Dr. Rebecca Nicholson:
Dr. Rebecca Nicholson is a podcast host, consultant, trainer, researcher, and author working with leaders across sectors and cultures. Her expertise is in the areas of violent and political conflict, purposeful leadership, and impactful relationships. An expert-level critical thinker and agile communicator, Rebeca helps clients articulate multifaceted conflict issues clearly and succinctly, decode subtle points of negotiation, and discover hidden possibilities for growth, learning, and expansion. Her cross-functional field experience was developed in West Africa, South America, Far East, MENA, and Europe, in initiatives that included military special forces, indigenous populations, private companies, NGOs, policy makers, media outlets, and tribal leaders. Rebecca has over 20 years of experience working in complex roles that include conflict, strategic communication, and behavioral intelligence.

Contact Dr. Rebecca Nicholson:
Publications & Business Inquiries:

If you have an idea for a show or would like to be a guest, e-mail me at

The Conflict Doctor Podcast is sponsored by 8th House Elan Ltd., a Public Benefit Company formed to: 

 (1) Improve human health and wellness by teaching conflict resolution skills and peace building techniques.  (2) Promote attitudes and behaviors that favor expanded communication, learning, tolerance, and acceptance.  (3) Advance knowledge of applied peace building, specifically in relation to international affairs, society & culture, and public policy.

Check it out at