Dogon People

Dogon Valley 400
Dogon Valley
Photo by: 300td.org, Creative Commons

The Dogon People can be found on central plateau area in Mali. The population at 800,000, these people are well known for their architecture, wooden sculpture, mask dances and mythology.

There are about 700 villages in Mali where the Dogon live. These villages measures 200 kilometers long and stretches towards the Bandiagara cliffs. The Dogon People are Animists; although some have converted to either Christianity or Islam.

The main occupation of the Dogon People is agriculture and they adopt different methods of farming. The major crops grown here are onions, rice, tobacco, millets, sorrel and beans. In addition flocks of sheep and goats are also seen here. The Dogon People comprises of three groups which are Ono, Domno, Arou and the Dyon.

A village feature a number of family groups with the father as head of the family. A man may marry more that one woman but not more than two.

The villages feature a number of communities and the people here gather at a place known as “Togu”. The people gather here and settle their disputes. The oldest living descendant here is known as “Gina Bana”. He conducts ceremonies and presides over the meetings here.

The oldest village founder is known as Hogon and he is also the main person in the village. He looks after the welfare of the village and dispenses justice amongst the people of the village. Majority of the Dogon are spiritual tribe and also they worship their dead ancestors for guidance.

The buildings in the villages are mainly constructed of mud. Their architecture is unique and the huts here feature flat roofs. Also a sequence of cemeteries is seen on the cliffs and the only way to reach here is through the ladders. For its cultural importance the Dogon region is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

4 thoughts on “Dogon People

  1. louise

    this website was really helpful, as i was searching for Dogon people for my Geography GCSE work, it would be great if you could do one of these sites for the Aberigines people thank you!!!

  2. chris black

    What are some of their Myths?
    And don’t they have some special ones about the Stars/Constellations?
    Thanks,

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