Part 1: The people of Eden, Chapter 8: Dogon

Part 1: The people of Eden, Chapter 8: Dogon

Published July 18, 2009

Box palaver …

Empires Edenic

As we saw in Chapter Asians, there is in space, the empire of the sky which is the base space

On earth there is heaven, land base, located in the Kunlun Mountains, and empires:

The Middle Kingdom, Asian

The empire of the north, the vanes

The empire of the east, the Hopi

The empire of the south, the Aborigines

The empire of the west

It is headed by Shao Hao, name asiate

It is the first of the five mythical emperors

But where on?

We are looking for a civilization with a mythological space, calendar and mythological references relating to the gods Edenic

The Dogon, Mali, could be a valid candidate …

Marcel Griaule

The Dogon are known to us since 1907

A lieutenant of infantry colonial Desplagnes Louis, we learn the existence in 1907

It is the mission Dakar-Djibouti (1931-1933) will reveal to the world the history of this people

The expedition, part of France May 19, arrived in Dogon country September 28, 1931

From 29, the writer and ethnologist Michel Leiris, who keeps the journal of the mission, note:

“Formidable religiosity. The sacred swimming all over. Everything seems wise and serious. ”

Two days later, researchers, awake at night, attending the spectacle of the funeral of a hunter

In the 30’s, Ogotemmeli was a hunter who was blinded by the explosion of his gun

Ogotemmeli was initiated by his grandfather at the age of 15 years
The ancestor living watched the child and found it capable of being initiated

In 1936, Marcel Griaule has interacted with him during thirty-three days

Perhaps the wise old man had felt that a new era was coming and it was necessary to translate the word to perpetuate?
So he chose to convey to Mr. Griaule …

In October 1946, request to review Ogotemmeli Marcel Griaule

These interviews will be born the most famous book ever published on this people: God of water

Territory of the Dogon

Dogon country is a vast territory of more than 30 000 km ², located in eastern Mali and encroaching on the Burkina Faso

It occupies a spectacular site: a large eroded sandstone plateau, overlooking the plain of Seno Gondo-on tan and a steep cliff 260 km long, the Bandiagara escarpment

Recent archaeological studies have shown that different groups have settled on this cliff, and sometimes mixed

There would have been three waves of settlement

History of the Dogon

In the second and third centuries BC, Dutch researchers have found by identifying nearly thirty caves in the region of Sanga in 1964, forty granaries made of superimposed rolls of clay

This ancient civilization was baptized Toloy, the name of the place of discovery

We still know little today

Much later, to the XI-XII centuries, the population appeared Tellem

This name comes from the Dogon and means “those who were there before”

According to the Dogon, the Tellem did not exceed 60 cm in height and some even claim they flew

The size and location of their shelter, clinging to the cliffs in places apparently inaccessible, can suggest …

One thing is sure, if the Tellem were not flying, they would be very good climbers if they wanted to reach their shelters …

Archaeologists have found many skeletons and objects Tellems

Well preserved by the dry atmosphere of the caves, they prove that it is a pygmy people, farmers and hunters to the advanced civilization

The disappearance of the sixteenth century Tellems remains a mystery

They are believed to have been decimated by famine and epidemics, or perhaps by the incessant raids of Songhai and Mossi warriors

The Dogon are the third and final wave of settlement site where they are now

With the remains found, the French anthropologist Marcel Griaule dated in 1931, the arrival of the Dogon in the cliff in the thirteenth century, when confirmed by the discovery since other archaeological remains
The origin of the Dogon is multiple

The largest group comes from the Mande region of south-west of Bamako, mainly from a village called Dogoro in the Mountain region Kouroula, a village may be the origin of the name Dogon

Driven by Islam which they refuse to convert, the Malinke, earn the cliff from the south-east, while another segment of the population would have reached south of the current Burkina Faso

The Soninke come around Timbuktu, Niger

The Dogon are thus a mosaic of peoples coming from different places at different times

The term mastiff is also very recent, since it appears from the thirties, in the texts of Marcel Griaule

The different peoples Dogon share a common vision of the universe, cosmology and the beginnings of the world …

Life of the Dogon

Dogon villages are hung at the foot of the cliff overhanging rocks

The Dogon are installed in the tiny pygmy cave houses, perched in the gaps

Most villages are located in the cliff and accessible only by steep paths that borrow the flaws of the plateau

In villages, the market is held every five days, which corresponds to the Dogon week

The doors of the houses are carved and tell their customs

Each door is a shortcut to Dogon cosmogony

There are invariably eight ancestors, the images of the sacred serpent, the sacred masks, to curry favor with the celestial intermediate …

The traditional house is organized around a courtyard, each woman having her attic in which the husband has no access

The attic of her husband used to keep millet, attic women used to keep condiments and various personal items

The granaries are clearly identifiable by their roof Seko (straw), the husband being the most important

The men cultivate millet in fighting against the advancing desert in the Sahel

Women pounding millet, carrying water or wood

Whatever they do, they have their baby in the back

Children also work as soon as they walk, girls with their mothers and boys involved in small flocks

Near the house of hogon, there is the case of circumcision

Every three years, the village boys of about 8 to 12 are circumcised to the channel with a sharp stone, and then treated with traditional medicines

Given the lack of hygiene, infections are common

Another nearby house is reserved for women who are menstruating

They are isolated each month

Further up the cliff, the cracks in the rock are used as burial

The bodies are hoisted with ropes in these galleries rock

Each village has its toguna, a house without a roof wall with eight layers of millet straw

This roof is very low, we can not stick to only seated

This is where we solve the problems in the presence of village chief

The low roof prevents players to make big gestures and excited, can not stand up without bumping your head!

The Dogon village has several totemic clans and is under the authority of the council of elders

The hogon is the religious leader, head of the cult of Lebe, the mythical snake

Assisted by the blacksmith, he presides over ceremonies

It does not work in the fields, but can not leave her home considered a sanctuary

The clans are subdivided into ginna, led by the patriarch, guardian of the altar of the ancestors of the clan and officiant of the cult

In addition to this hierarchical system of kinship associations for men and women are responsible for the initiation takes place by age, tonno, corresponding to a group of new uncircumcised or circumcised

Members of an age to have a mutual aid until they die

Initiation of boys begins after circumcision, the teaching of the myths discussed by drawings and paintings

The boy will learn the place of man in nature, society and the universe

Dogon mythology is so complex that a griot needs a week to recite it in its entirety

The secret knowledge of the Dogon is transmitted by word of mouth by insiders known as the Ouloubarou

Each householder must pass on his knowledge to a young judge he can understand his words and in turn pass

The Dogon speak several dialects

But there is also a secret language, the sigi so, language reserved for society masks


When God wanted to join his wife, the earth, the clitoris-termite stood against him

He had to cut the clitoris to continue the union

For many African ethnic groups, each born with two souls, one female and one male

It is therefore necessary to end the indecision of where excision and circumcision

Poetic explanation for reality Barbarian

In addition to the scandal of being deprived of pleasure, we must remember the horror of the operation to basic hygiene and healing accompanied by very painful life-threatening complications

Female circumcision continues to be widespread in Mali, despite government campaigns

Social pressure locks the system

Guide and a Catholic, opposed to female circumcision, had to let his daughters be operated under pressure from his mother in Dogon it is inconceivable to disobey his mother


The castes are composed by the Dogon blacksmiths, weavers and shoemakers

They are considered different and do not marry among themselves

Members of a caste are considered antidotes of evil

Considered to be holding an occult power, they are respected and feared

They transmit their hereditary profession

Their women are in charge of the pottery

The weaving of cotton men’s business

The weavers set up their looms in public

Originally, the blacksmith stole fire during its descent to earth

He is a creator able to get in touch with the invisible

The blacksmith shop is considered a world mother’s womb

The bellows is the masculine principle, the focus is the female principle, the anvil is the matrix, the mass is the male organ

When the mass strikes the anvil, the Nommo male joins the female Nommo

During an argument, the blacksmith’s anvil and tap on the minds subside

Blacksmiths and weavers are buried in separate tombs, like pregnant women who died or settled

Locks, your koguru are fixed on the doors of houses, kitchens, pens, shrines, and on aspects of attics

Each lock has a name related to the message it conveys, a person, a myth

The locks are often offered as a wedding present, and are transmitted from generation to generation



money is the human predator
This entry was posted in Bandiagara, dogon, Dogon cosmogony, Excision, Gondo-Séno, hogon, marcel griaule, Ogotemmêli, palaver box, Seko roof, Shao Hao, Soninkés, ta koguru, Tellem, toguna, tonno, ulubaru. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s