The people of Dogon can be classified into the most interesting nations on the planet. This ethnic group of approximately 300,000 people lives in the African state of Mali and until the 1930s lived almost completely unknown to the rest of world. Getting acquainted with the modern world has not thrilled them a lot, they are completely indifferent towards technology, but they have a very interesting culture with rich mythology and life philosophy that is transmitted verbally. Dogon people live from soil and their religion is animist with dances under masks, although many in the 20th century accepted Islam.
Dogon people are one of the last peoples of West Africa living the traditional way of life. Most of the housework is done by women, while men are in charge of hunting, and their houses are in caves so that they have as much soil as possible to produce food. In the center of each village of Dogon, there is a toguna, a low building in which only men are coming to discuss the various problems. It is interesting to note that this building is very low so that no one can stand upright. In this way, Dogon people prevent aggression and attacks among present men.
The men of Dogon people have two important initiations. The first initiation is circumcision with detailed elderly instruction on myths, how to care for the family, and how to use plants in savannah. This first initiation is mandatory and represents the basis for Dogon's lifestyle. The second initiation is not obligatory for everyone, but only for those who want it and it represents an entry into the society of masks. The purpose of this second initiation is to transfer knowledge about rituals, to make sacrifice dedicated to ancestors, to respect religious fetishes and to dance under masks.
After the second initiation, Dogon raises a family, but there are those who choose to spend their entire life in initiation. Those who decide to do that will become a kind of community controller: they go to the savannah and check if members of the community respect the taboos, take the wrong plants, or hunt the animals whose hunting is forbidden. Those who achieve the highest level of initiation are called "seri" and have special authority in the community. They even learn a special secret language called "Sigi so" and the Dogon people believe it is a universal language that all beings on earth can understand.
Interest in Dogon people was particularly high after the French anthropologists Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieteren presented Dogon mythology to the world. Namely, although they were without any astronomical help, the Dogon people knew of the existence of the star Sirius B, as well as Saturn's rings and Jupiter's moons. Sirius B is invisible to the naked eye, but their name for it is "Po Tolo" - a small star. Also, in their mythology, this star is white and very heavy, which fully agrees with the data on Sirius B, which belongs to so-called white dwarfs, stars that are small, white and have a large mass - so large that one spoon of matter from Sirius B would weight about 5 tons.
Moreover, the tradition of Dogon mentions Nommi or Nommosi, the fish-like beings that had long ago come from Sirius B and passed the knowledge on to their forebears. It is not entirely clear where Dogon people got this kind of knowledge. There are also those who doubt the information contained in Dogon myths and believe that they have already met with missionaries before and have acquired knowledge of the stars and planets. There is no doubt that Dogon is very old people and there are even assumptions that they were related to ancient Egypt. In any case, further understanding of the Dogon people will reveal more about them and their unique culture.
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