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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Across all four of the religions practiced by the Dogon people, Strassmann and colleagues found that father-son Y DNA mismatches in only 1.8 percent of father-son pairs, a finding that contradicts the prevailing view that traditional populations have high rates of cuckoldry.
GENERALLY, ETHNOLOGICAL MUSEUMS rarely focus on a particular country, let alone a single ethnicity, but the Musee du Quai Branly has done just that with a major show dedicated to the Dogon people of southeast Mali.
Idiosyncratic helmer Isaki Lacuesta combines docu, recreation and fiction in the visually impressive but narratively challenged "The Double Steps." Weaving elements of the life of French-artist-in-Africa Francois Augieras with those of his spiritual heir, Spanish-artist-in-Africa Miquel Barcelo, and stories told by the Dogon people of Mall, the pic uses the search for a hidden fresco cycle as a jumping-off point to play with concepts of storytelling, fantasy and Barcelo's relationship to his chosen home.
Lankton's many favorites is entitled "Nommos on Stool." The 7-foot tall carving made from a single piece of wood by the Dogon people of Mali also caught Mr.
Similarly in the Dakoro region of Burkina Faso, the Dogon people have the same practices to this day with the difference that the central characters are not the griots but people infected with leprosy.
The Dogon people' migrated here from the surrounding plains in about 1300 AD as a refuge from other groups entering the area introducing Islam.
A large display documents the fascinating culture of the Dogon people of Mall, legendary because their traditions and cosmology seem to anticipate recent discoveries about outer space.
In his essay contribution to Black Theatre, Harrison explains that "Nommo" comes from the Dogon people of Mali and is their name for "the creative force that gives form to all things" (316).
No aspect of complex human culture was without interest to him, from the Italian Renaissance to the Dogon people of Mali to the quaint folkways of his own native hill people.
Then the starkly penetrating, unflinching eyes of the Dogon people stare at us from razor-sharp, black-and-white prints, as they must have gazed at Agnes Pataux, the trusted white storyteller with the camera.
Cerami unconvincingly attributes Banneker's intellectual interests and dignified personality to native wisdom of the Dogon people of Mali, based on common character traits and the importance of the star Sirius to both.