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(dōgän`), African people who live on the bend of the Niger River in the Republic of Mali in West Africa. A patrilineal, sedentary agricultural people, they number over 360,000. They depend mainly on grain crops for their food. Believed to be the original inhabitants of the Niger valley, they lived for thousands of years in completely isolated villages cut out of the cliffs of the Hombori Mts. Many still live in these inaccessible rock caves. The Dogon are known for their art work, which is highly prized.


See M. Griaule, Conversations with Ogotemmêli (1965); K. Ezra, Art of the Dogon (1988).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Dogom), a people living in the Republic of Mali in the Bandiagara Plateau region. There were over 300,000 Dogon according to a 1967 estimate. Linguistically they belong to the Gur group (central Bantoid). About 50 percent of the Dogon are Moslems; the remainder retain their ancient traditional beliefs. Agriculture is their basic occupation; in some areas irrigation is used. They also herd cattle.


Ol’derogge, D. A. Zapadnyi Sudan v XV-XIX vv. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.
Palau, Marti (Montserrat). Les Dogon. Paris, 1957.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Lester, the author of many books for both young readers and adults, based this tale on his study of the Dogon religion, and he includes a glossary of terms at the end.
Davenport's text makes a renewed contribution to the renaissance of the archaic, for the West African Dogon, considered among the most primitive of surviving Stone Age peoples, are its central subject.
A few years ago, I visited a tiny isolated village in the Dogon country of Mali.
MALI: Art of Travel (01285 650011) has 13-day camel treks by camel and four-wheel drive from January 13 visiting the Dogon people of the Niger border, the petrified forests of Unfassen and endless expanses of red sand dunes, mountains, rivers and valleys.
The Andoumboulou are a somewhat shadowy people alluded to in the cosmology of the Dogon people of Mali.
Finally, there are the dwellings of the Dogon in the Bandiagara region of Mali, a fascinating compendium of architectural developments in the African savannah.
Key travels during this period were trips to Dogon villages (1960), Taos Pueblos (1961) and visiting professorships to the US.
And it is raising [pounds sterling] 2,000 to dig a well in a village on Mali's Dogon Plateau, one of the hottest places on earth.
His evidence is limited to references and allusions rather than analyses: to the famous cosmology of the Dogon, analysed by Dieterlen and Griaule, or the familiar facial scarifications of Yoruba culture.
From the ability of Mali's Dogon culture to compile an immense body of astronomical knowledge, to Dr.