The Dogon Tribe

University of Phoenix
Marjorie Smith
February 14, 2011


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The Dogons are an interesting tribe of indigenous people who are very sheltered from the industrial world we live in. Their way of life, religious beliefs, and customs are basically frozen in time because of their geographical isolation from more advanced civilizations. The Dogons geographic isolation was part of their defense up until the 1930s as it withstood various attempts by Muslims, the French, and others who have attempted to conquer them (Unknown, n.d.).
The Dogons currently live in village districts of Bandiagara and Douentza in the country of Mali, West Africa. The Dogons inhabit three geographical regions of Mali, the plains, cliffs, and plateau. The Dogon population in these areas is around 300,000 with the most concentrated population inhabiting the 125-mile stretch cliffs of Bandiagara. There is also a tribe of anywhere from 400-800 Dogons in the country directly below Mali named Burkina Faso. There are thought to be more than 700 different Dogon tribes living in the cliffs of Bandiagara and Burkina Faso. Most of the tribes have fewer than 500 inhabitants (Unknown, n.d.).
Dogons are thought to be of Egyptian decent and are said to have migrated to the Mali and Burkina Faso regions by way of the countries known as present-day Libya, Niger, and Algeria. They first migrated into the present-day countries of Guinea and Mauritania. They are said to have migrated around 1490 AD to their present inhabitance of Bandiagara, Mali and Burkina Faso. The migration was carried out because they had to flee the onslaught of another civilization, the Mossi people, and the dirt began to become unfertile for their crops to grow (Unknown, n.d).
Perhaps the most controversial part of the beliefs and way of life of the Dogon people is their religious beliefs. Their religion is generally centered in the belief that they were visited by an ancient extra terrestrial civilization by the name of Nommos. The Nommos were said to be led by a being by the name of Nommo. The Nommo are described as fishlike beings resembling humans in a way such as the fabled merman or mermaid looks. The Nommos are described as amphibious creatures that can adapt to land and walk but prefer the water. The Nommo are worshiped as deities by the Dogon tribe. ???According to Dogon mythology, Nommo was sacrificed on a tree and was resurrected and returned to his home world. Dogon legend has it that he will return in the future to revisit the Earth in a human form??? (Unknown, n.d.).
The most interesting fact about the Dogon religion is that they claim that the Nommos explained to them that they were from a planet in the Sirius star system. The Nommo claimed to have been from a planet that orbits a third star Sirius C (Krystek, 1998). Evidence of the claim of existence of the Sirius star system can be dated back to the Dogons celebrations of the cycle of Sirius star A and B dating back to the 13th century. Dogon artifacts, dating back over 400 years, have also been found depicting the Sirius star configuration (Krystek, 1998). The big question that cannot be answered is how did the Dogons know about the existence of the Sirius star system before scientists were able to discover it in the 19th century
Dogon traditions involve a series of sacred symbols to represent the essence of their religion rooted in the Sirius star named by the Dogons as the Sun of Woman and considered the birthplace of mankind. Sirius is the brightest star in the sky as well as the closest at approximately nine light years from earth and only visible to the human eye as one star (esky, n.d); however, the Dogon priests illustrate Sirius as three solid circles. One large circle is in the middle of two smaller circles (Roberts, 2009). The significance of this ancient symbol, as Dogon priests explain, is Sirius has a companion star not visible to the human eye (Reunite, 2010). In 1862 astronomers indeed discovered this second star, named it Sirius-B, and in 1920 the star was found to be a white dwarf star, very small, and extremely dense. The Dogon priests name for Sirius-B is Po Tolo that translates as the smallest seed star, very heavy, and white in color as well (Reunite, 2010).
The Dogons have also recognized a third star, known as Sirius-C, which revolves around Sirius as well, but is lighter and a little larger than Sirius-B. Sirius-C was supposedly seen by Van Den Bos, Finsen, and others at the Union Observatory in Johannesburg, South Africa, but the star hasn??™t been seen since (Temple, 1987). The Dogons belief system relates to the legends of Sirius-C and the planet that revolves around it. The Dogons name for Sirius-C is the Sun of Woman and described as the seat of female souls of living or future beings (Roberts, 2009). The Dogon??™s symbol for Sirius-C illustrates a sun with a planet orbiting around it.
Another symbol representing the Sirius system shows Sirius-B orbiting around Sirius. The most intriguing element of the symbol is the path of Sirius-B does not illustrate a perfect circular orbit, but shows the orbit as elliptical or egg shaped, which is an impressive observation for a primitive people. The Dogons believe Sirius is the axis of the universe, and all matter and all souls are created in a spiral motion from Sirius (Roberts, 2009). The Dogon??™s creation of life statement is significant when applied to the trail of the Sirius orbits. The linear extension of the elliptical orbit of Sirius and Sirius-B, moving through space together and stretched out over time, displays a trail that forms a double helix. The spiral double helix path parallels the image of a spiral DNA strand that contains the genetic instructions for the development and function of all living organisms. Dirk Vander Poleg (2011) of UFO Digest states that Ogotemmeli, who was the tribes oral historian, declares that beings created mankind by genetically engineered human??™s DNA. Ogotemmeli said that mankind??™s DNA was manipulated three times and three different versions of humans were designed. Researchers and followers assert that these symbols demonstrate primitive Dogons had an accurate knowledge of cosmology and the Dogon??™s symbols continue to tie their beliefs and myths to modern science.
Current State
Currently the Dogon tribe practices their religion in the country of Mali; about 400 to 800 people live within the region of Bandiagara, Mali. The population of Burkina speaks Dogon thought to be an indigenous language that has not had any influence from the outside world. The religions practiced by the minority of this tribe are Christianity and Muslim, but the majority practices the Dogon legends. Many Anthropologists and astrologists have been puzzled by the Dogon??™s beliefs and knowing about the star of Sirius and the two dwarf stars that orbit around it. The question that scientists cannot seem to wrap their heads around is how a culture without the capabilities of technology knows more about Sirius than those that have studied it.
Revenue has been brought to the country of Mali after the Dogon tribe was recognized a part of the World Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The tribe sets up mask dances for travelers to watch but the money made does not change the circumstances. The majority people are farmers. The Dogons interest travelers as they seem to be a society stuck in time with knowledge that has taken science years to discover. Many companies make money off of the travel made to Mali and the area of Bandiagara because of the books and history that has been unburied by writers like Temple, Blom, and Griaul.
Information on this tribe is very secretive and only about 20% know the legends followed today. Though very extensive studies of these people have been done, controversy still is a large issue within the evidence. The majority of scientists have disagreed with the stories that the Dogons tell, stating that it was likely this indigenous faith had been influenced by an outsider of western society. The information that was recorded by Marcel Griaul was information on the star Sirius B, the size, weight, and orbit of the star was before it was even discovered by Alvan Graham Clark in 1862 (“The Astronomical Journal”, 1891). This controversy has been the reason for the attention brought to this indigenous tribe and the outside world is interested in the history of the Dogons and their ways.

The religion of the Dogon tribe has many features in common with other religions. The greatest similarity is the Nommos appearance, crucifixion, resurrection, and eventual return to the earth in the form of a human. This is strikingly similar to the Christian??™s belief of Christ??™s journey on earth. Also parallel to Christianity is the Dogon legend stating that ???The Nommo divided his body among men to feed them??? ( Christ was said to have done at The Last Supper.
Additionally, the Nommos were considered to be Fish Gods. Even in the Christian religion, Christ is symbolized with a fish. Other cultures who worshiped Fish Gods include the Babylonians. Their Fish God was called Oannes. He was known to reside on land by day and in the sea by night ( The Sumerians called their Fish God Enki. He was thought to live in a submarine palace. The Philistines worshiped Dagon and Atargis. They were believed to be of human form with a fishlike tail. Egyptians have an amphibious deity known as Proteus who is thought to have ???sheltered in a cave to avoid the heat of Sirius??? ( The Greeks honored Poseidon, God of the Sea.
Alien Gifts
Alien races are perceived as little green men in science fiction movies. What if they actually resembled us What if we resembled them Civilizations throughout history have been documented as believing in aliens who came to earth with gifts. The Anunnaki gave us mining and agricultural skills. The Nommos aliens visited the Dogon Tribe of Mali Africa, leaving a special multi-purpose plant. What if the religious beliefs in present time are a distorted story of the true gods who have gifted humans in the past
The Anunnaki, an alien race, created Adamu and Tiamat (Adam and Eve) as a helper race for mining gold to repair an atmospheric distortion resulting from a war conducted on the Anunnaki home planet. Teaching the human race to mine ore, gather herbs and grow plants for food, the Annunaki constructed massive structures known as the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx as monuments to the Annunaki leaders. The 12 leaders were given an astrological sign and name. The Great Pyramids were constructed to point to different constellations pertaining to the Anunnaki leaders. The Anunnaki provided many gifts and teachings to the human race.
The Dogon tribe claims the Nommos aliens arrived from the moon of the Sirius B constellation, bringing cannabis as a solution to food, clothing and lodging needs. The Nommos home planet has an elliptical orbit of 50 years. The Dogon tribe has a celebration every 50 years, in correlation to the planets elliptical orbit, dedicated to the Cannabis plant given by the alien race. The Dogon tribe descended from the Egyptian civilization, believers of the Anunnaki alien race. The Dogon tribe, through alien races, has provided the Earth with a plant that is believed to be the savior of the planet.
The Sumerians recorded the Anunnaki??™s story on a tablet made of sky blue Lapis Lazuli stone, placed in an Acacia wood chest inlaid with Gold. Modern society knows the chest as The Ark of the Covenant. The Great Pyramids were constructed as monuments for the Anunnaki leaders. The Anunnaki stated,???When in future days it will be asked: When and by whom has this marvel been fashioned.??? pertaining to The Great Pyramids and the Sphinx in Egypt. Cannabis, given to the Dogon tribe by the Nommos alien race, for thousands of years has been used for medicine, food, clothing, and construction. The world relied on Cannabis for rope and sails to discover the Americas. The United States requested for agricultural land to convert to cannabis crops during world war two to provide rope to equip war vessels. Alien gifts have benefitted humanity as well as providing humanity itself.
The gifts of aliens have benefitted humanity throughout history. The cannabis plant from the Dogon tribe, the agricultural skills of the Sumerians and the Astrological interpretations of the Anunnaki have guided ships for thousands of years. Charles Darwin believed the human race is too advanced to have developed through evolution alone. Believers of aliens are perceived as mentally unstable yet believers in an invisible person known as God are perceived as righteous. Thousands of years before the first bible, when multiple civilizations across the world believed in aliens of the same physical characteristics, humans were endowed with gifts from aliens to benefit humanity. Should these gifts be covered up or forgotten by changing the story

The people of the Dogons will keep their traditions and continue to mesmerize the world. Keeping the tradition and the religion whole, without influence, remains difficult for tribal leaders as tourism in their territory continues to grow. The Dogon people are a resilient people,? enduring while living life unchanged. The questions that will always be asked about the Dogons are because of their knowledge of the Sirius stars without technology. The minds of scientists will remain boggled and will go on doubting the recordings of these people. The ways of the Dogon people are simple but have complex theories behind them. This indigenous belief will remain a question without an answer to? those who have studied their intriguing? culture.

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