They have their traditions.
The Bandiagara plateau is known for its unique rock architecture and the wonderful people of the Dogon, living in the area. They live exactly as their ancestors lived many centuries ago, not using electricity and means of communication. Their village built of mud huts, similar to the dwellings of the dwarves, and the Dogon cultivate the land and cherish the ancient traditions of his people, passing from mouth to mouth, legends and stories about his appearance on planet Earth.
Highlands Bandiagara is spread over an area of about 400 hectares in South-West Mali, in the loop of the Niger river, the envelope of the amazing plateau surrounded by Sandstone cliffs. Their height sometimes reaches 600 meters, and on scree, you will find many villages, the total population of which about 300 thousand people. The rocks included in the list of UNESCO world heritage site for their unique beauty and historical importance.
The people of the Dogon consists of four tribes: Dion, it, AROA and DOMO. The story goes that the Dogon appeared in Bandiagara around the XV century. They moved to the plateau from the Mande, trying to escape from many of the slavers.
In those days on the rocks lived the tribes tellem, which the Dogon called “little red people” for their small stature. Located high in the mountains the burial of the rock people tellem assured of the Dogon in the ability of young people to move through the air. Gradually the people left tellem plateau, giving it full ownership of the Dogon. Buildings left by the predecessors, the Dogon used so far.
About the Dogon people for a long time nothing was known as tribes deliberately chose to isolate themselves from the outside world, in order to prevent the loss of its identity and traditions of their ancestors. Due to the isolation of the tribes were able to preserve their culture, social structure, mythology and their own bizarre rituals.
Thirty years anthropologists from France Marcel Grill Germain, dieterlen devoted to the study of the unique culture of the Dogon. After the publication in 1965 of their monograph devoted to the mythology of the people, astronomer Drake concluded that the Dogon are very familiar with the settings of Sirius.
The traditions of the Dogon
The people of the Dogon believer in the fact that their ancestors once came to Earth from Sirius, having made his starry journey in the ark of the Nommo. In addition to the ancestors, the ark encompassed everything that might need the ancient Dogon headed first to set foot on the Ground, Nommo.
It is in the form of a prostrate human body trying to build the Dogon villages. The head serves as a community house – tugun, which is usually the men gather to address important issues.
The heart symbolizes the house of elders of the tribe, located on the chest of the Nommo. It is usually built on hills, has no Windows on the façade and is adorned with niches in the amount of 80 pieces. Niches are a symbol of the first eight ancestors with the descendants. Carved figures of men and women decorate the entrance to the house elders.
Near the house of the head of the village are Adobe houses, and store of millet with thatched roofs. On the outskirts of each village of the Dogon are usually workshops and houses of craftsmen as well as round constructions for women during the monthly ailments.
Be sure each village has its sanctuary. As a rule, it is a special cave with her altar and iconic decorations on the walls. Animal sacrifices are part of the obligatory ritual for any appeal to the gods. Special relationship with the Dogon’s sacred trees planted by their ancestors or to honour ancestors.
Among the tourists there are persistent rumors that in some villages there is a custom of human sacrifices, when the gift of the spirits bring life to a white man. Despite the fact that evidence of this hearing no, travelers are not at risk to go through the land of the Dogon without the accompaniment of a guide.
The Dogon today
The Dogon have long engaged in agriculture, growing millet, corn, cotton and tobacco. All the work from building houses to harvest are held together. The end of harvest is always celebrated on a big holiday.
The villagers, usually made of wood and leather are not for sale, and for further use in traditional ceremonies. More than just worship the Dogon weaving, which is considered sacred to their ancestors along with the speech.
Currently, the Dogon learned to receive income from the many tourists who come to see Bandiagara. Each village built a small hotel and on the streets there were souvenir shops, which sell amazing masks, bright bedspreads and garments with African designs.
However, until now the Dogon, try not to use the achievements of civilization, than just keep the interest among travelers to their traditions and way of life.
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