1: a member of a people of Mali noted for their sculpture.
The ancestors of the Dogon came from Mande, an area in southwest Mali and northeast Guinea that was home to the thirteenth-century Mali empire. The Dogon migrated after the empire’s collapse to the cliffs of the Bandiagara plateau.
How did the Dogon come by this knowledge? Temple’s book says that long ago an ark descended to the ground amid a great wind and brought amphibious beings, known as the Nommo, who gave the Dogon the scoop on Sirius B.
In Mali, West Africa, lives a tribe of people called the Dogon. The Dogon are believed to be of Egyptian decent and their astronomical lore goes back thousands of years to 3200 BC.
This type of mask, known as kanaga, is created by the Dogon people of Mali in Western Africa. The masks are used in funerary rituals called dama, which allow the souls of the deceased to leave the village and enter the world of the dead, marking the end of the mourning period.
The Dogon are an ethnic group indigenous to the central plateau region of Mali, in West Africa, south of the Niger bend, near the city of Bandiagara, and in Burkina Faso. The Dogon are best known for their religious traditions, their mask dances, wooden sculpture, and their architecture.
Like other Dogon masks, kanaga masks are worn at rituals called dama, whose goal is to transport the souls of deceased family members away from the village and to enhance the prestige of the deceased and his descendants by magnificent masked performances and generous displays of hospitality.
Nommo are the ancestral spirits of the Dogon (Mali) and are derived from a Dogon word meaning “to make one drink”. Nommo implies the power of words to create harmony and balance in the face of disharmony2.
Dogon language, language of the Niger-Congo language family spoken by some 600,000 Dogon people in northeastern Mali to the east of Mopti and along the border between Mali and Burkina Faso.
Following a death, Dogon peoples bury the dead immediately. They dance emina, masks carved from wood and woven from hibiscus fiber, as part of a sequence of rites that are conducted for men long after they are buried.
Sirius, also known as the Dog Star or Sirius A, is the brightest star in Earth’s night sky. The name means “glowing” in Greek — a fitting description, as only a few planets, the full moon and the International Space Station outshine this star. Because Sirius is so bright, it was well-known to the ancients.
Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa, located southwest of Algeria.
In West Africa, the Dogon people of Mali believe that the African concept of Nommo, the power of the spoken word, carries an energy that produces all life and influences everything from destiny to the naming of children. Nommo, the generative power of the spoken word, is the force that gives life to everything.