Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The Dogon are a modern-day African people who live at the border between Mali and Burkina Faso, alongside the cliffs of the Bandiagara escarpment, south of the Sahara desert, near Timbuktu, and not far distant from the Niger River in Mali, West Africa. Their group numbers approximately 100,000 members who reside in some 700 villages. Although the geographical origin of the Dogon people is not certain, by their own account they moved to their current location during the 14th or 15th century from a prior home along the Niger River perhaps as a way of avoiding conversion to Islam. The Dogon are an agricultural people known for their artwork—especially carved wooden gate locks, wooden granary doors, and wooden masks. Binu is a totemic practice that has complex associations with the Dogon's sacred places used for ancestor worship, spirit communication and agricultural sacrifices . Source: Martin Gray/Getty Images. The religious beliefs ...