Kako su Dogoni očuvali svoju jedinstvenu kulturu duž litice Bandiagara Mali

Kako su Dogoni očuvali svoju jedinstvenu kulturu duž litice Bandiagara Mali


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Litica Bandiagara (ili Zemlja Dogona) u Maliju je izvanredan krajolik i ima zemljanu arhitekturu koja kao da prkosi zakonima prirode i protoku vremena.

Uprkos globalizaciji, još uvijek postoji nekoliko mjesta u svijetu koja su dom kulturama za razliku od bilo koje druge. Postoje i područja prirodnih čuda, kao i regije od geološkog, arheološkog ili historijskog značaja. A tu su i posebne web stranice poput ove koje se mogu pohvaliti svim tim značajkama.

Litica Bandiagara, lijepa i jedinstvena strmina, dom je naroda i kulture Dogona, a zbog svoje svjetske važnosti, UNESCO je 1989. godine priznao nju kao svjetsku baštinu. To je zaista jedna od najimpresivnijih regija u Sub -Saharska Afrika.

Karakteristike litice Bandiagare

Opsežna strmina proteže se na više od 150 kilometara i visoka je između 100 i 500 metara. Formirana nizom brda od pješčenjaka, litica ima osebujnu geologiju i tvori prirodnu redutu koja je donekle izolirana od okolnog područja jer je označena između dvije planine. Erozija pješčenjaka ostavila je niz izuzetnih karakteristika, poput pećina, kamenih skloništa i dina.

Mali krajolik oko Dogona (Spooner, J / CC BY 2.0)

Bandiagara je nekada bila gusto pošumljena, a vrste biljaka koje se ovdje nalaze ne rastu nigdje drugdje.

Duga istorija Dogona

Potok je zbog svoje geologije pružio prirodno uporište za nekoliko društava. Prvi put su ga naselili Tellemi, lovci iz kamenog doba, prije najmanje 10.000 godina. Ljudi koji su živjeli na liticama, nastanjivali su to područje stoljećima unatoč neprijateljstvu okoline i uspjeli su sačuvati svoj drevni način života jer ih je dugačka litica Bandiagara štitila od rivala.

Negdje u 14 th stoljeću, Dogoni su stigli u to područje i istjerali Tellem sa strmine, mada je također moguće da su se ovi asimilirali kao u napuštenim selima Tellem, utjecaj ove kulture na Dogone je očit.

Dogoni su posebna etnička grupa sa svojom kulturom i vjerskim uvjerenjima. Odlučili su se migrirati na to područje, odbivši preći na islam, i još uvijek žestoko štite svoju kulturu. Čini se vjerojatnim da su narodi Dogona spoj nekoliko grupa koje su se opirale islamizaciji. Međutim, lokalni muslimani često su ih napadali lokalni muslimani koji su ubijali muškarce i porobljavali žene i djecu.

Tokom kolonizacije Malija od strane Francuza, stanovnici strmine mogli su koristiti pećine i tunele kako bi izbjegli Evropljane i sačuvali svoj način života. Nažalost, ovih dana kultura Dogona je ugrožena jer su mnogi prešli na druge religije.

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Ritualni ples okruga Dogon (Gleeson, G / CC BY 2.0)

Strmina je bogata arheološkim otkrićima iz Dogona i ranijeg društva Tellem. Mnogi su artefakti locirani u pećinama i svetištima na tom području što pomaže stručnjacima da bolje razumiju povijest i društva litice Bandiagare.

Nevjerojatna kultura Dogona

Postoji više od 200 Dogonskih sela preko strmine i svako selo ima demokratski izabranog poglavara (Hogon), koji je ujedno i njihov duhovni vođa. Oni se bave poljoprivredom, a povremeno i love, a mnogi Dogoni nastavljaju prakticirati autohtonu politeističku afričku religiju. Ples pod maskama i maškare na sahranama odlika su njihove kulture po kojoj su dobro poznati.

Jedinstvena arhitektura prilagođena je lokalnom okruženju korištenjem opeke od blata (ćerpiča) za izgradnju zgrada nalik na kule na najnevjerojatnijim mjestima na litici Bandiagare, uključujući skloništa od stijena. Među zanimljivim zgradama Dogona nalaze se zajedničke muške kuće za sastanke (Togu Na) i grinna, koje su porodične kuće. Ovo su dvospratne zgrade sa odvojenim prostorima za muškarce i žene. Postoje i dvije vrste žitnica - 'muške' žitnice sa šiljatim krovom skladište sjeme, a 'ženske' žitnice (bez bodova) su žene u ovom društvu (koje su ekonomski neovisne o svojim muževima) lične stvari.

Dogon vrata sa stiliziranim figurama (Wegmann, M/ CC BY 3.0)

Upečatljiva totemska utočišta, koja tipično nadziru Hogoni, igraju važnu ulogu u životu ljudi u strmini, ali su i vrlo tražena od strane kolekcionara jer su Dogoni poznati po svojim skulpturama stiliziranih predstava ljudskih ili mitskih figura .

Kako doći do litica Bandiagare i zemlje Dogona

Litica se nalazi nedaleko od grada Bandiagara u zapadnom Maliju. Preporučljivo je unajmiti vodiča s automobilom jer je područje udaljeno. Tamo su mnoge staze otvorene za posjetitelje uz strminu, a tijekom posjeta tradicionalnom selu Dogon potiče se kulturno poštovanje. Povećanje broja posjetitelja tog područja posljednjih godina učinilo je čuda za turizam, ali je nažalost nanijelo štetu okolišu i ovom posebnom kulturnom krajoliku.

Iako u blizini litice Bandiagare (okrug Dogon) nema mnogo smještaja, ima ih u obližnjim gradovima. Dobro poznavanje francuskog jezika moglo bi biti od pomoći pri posjeti tom području, ali višejezični vodič mogao bi prevesti svakoga ko ne zna jezik.


Područje uzbrdice danas nastanjuje narod Dogon. Prije Dogona, strminu su naseljavali narodi Tellem i Toloy. Mnoge su građevine ostale od Tellema. Potok Bandiagara uvršten je na UNESCO -ov popis svjetske baštine 1989.

Litice Bandiagare su lanac od pješčenjaka koji se proteže od juga do sjeveroistoka preko 200   km (125 milja) i proteže se do masiva Grandamia. Kraj masiva obilježava Hombori Tondo, najviši vrh Malija sa 1.155 metara (3790 '). Zbog svojih arheoloških, etnoloških i geoloških karakteristika, cijelo je mjesto jedno od najimpozantnijih u Zapadnoj Africi.


Sadržaj

Nedavna transformacija rijeke Yamé omogućila je otkriće arheološkog bogatstva Ounjougoua. Zaista, velika poplava značajno je promijenila konfiguraciju vodotoka redizajnirajući njegovu znatno nižu putanju, što je dovelo do snažne regresivne erozije u okolnim kvartarnim formacijama. Ovaj okomiti urez, odgovoran za spektakularne jarke koji su sada vidljivi u tom području, stvorio je prirodne dijelove veće od 10 metara. [3] [4] Otkriveni stratigrafski niz sadrži mnoge arheološke slojeve koji se mogu pripisati širokom hronološkom rasponu koji se proteže od donjeg paleolita do danas. Ounjougou sekvenca također je značajna po nizu izuzetno bogatih holocenskih slojeva bogatih dobro očuvanim organskim ostacima (ugljen, pelud, lišće, sjeme i drvo), nudeći mogućnost izravnog rješavanja odnosa između ljudskih zanimanja i klimatskih i okolišnih varijabilnosti dugačak niz.

Ounjougou je prvi put otkriven 1994. [1] Istraživanja provedena na kompleksu lokaliteta Ounjougou između 1997. i 2004. dovela su do prijedloga početnog scenarija za povijest ljudskog naseljavanja u zemlji Dogon koji je, međutim, još uvijek sadržavao nekoliko arheoloških ili sedimentnih naslaga. praznine. [5] [6] [7] Od 2005. godine istraživanje se postupno proširivalo na hrid Bandiagara i Seno ravnicu s ciljem testiranja modela naselja definiranog u Ounjougouu i razumijevanja različitih praznina prikazanih u nizu doline Yamé. Otkriveno je mnogo pleistocenskih i holocenskih nalazišta. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] Terenski rad u zemlji Dogon prekinut je 2011. godine zbog sve nestabilnijih sigurnosnih uslova.

Danas se izraz Ounjougou povezuje s istraživanjem koje je provedeno u okviru međunarodnog programa "Ljudska populacija i paleookruženje u Africi", nastalog 1997. [14] [1] Ovaj program koordinira laboratorija Archéologie na Univerzitetu u Ženevi (Švicarska). et Peuplement de l'Afrique na Jedinici za antropologiju, Odsjek za genetiku i evoluciju.

Pleistocensko uređivanje

Paleolitski slijed visoke rezolucije mogao bi se uspostaviti u Ounjougouu, posebno zbog 50 OSL datuma u strogoj vezi s geomorfološkom analizom formacija. [15] [3] Štaviše, čini se da se neki sedimentni propusti uočeni u pleistocenskoj sekvenci Ounjougou podudaraju s naglim Heinrichovim klimatskim događajima tijekom izotopske faze 3 (H5 i H4). [16] [17]

Najraniji dokazi o ljudskoj okupaciji viđeni su na nekoliko lokaliteta u kompleksu u obliku litičke industrije sastavljene od poliestera od kvarcitnog pješčenjaka i pod-sferoida povezanih s obradom kaldrme (Soriano et al. 2010). Tehnološki i tipološki aspekti ovih artefakata ukazuju na ranu fazu paleolitika i primijećeni su u stratigrafskom kontekstu u lećama grubog pijeska induciranog željeznim oksidom koji se pridržava podloge. OSL datum završnog srednjeg pleistocena, oko 180.000 godina, dobiven je za naslage koje se nalaze iznad ovih formacija, tvoreći terminus ante quem za ovu litičku industriju. Njegove tehničke karakteristike, međutim, ukazuju na starost prije najmanje 500.000 godina. Iako ima široku arheološku vidljivost, Acheulean je do sada bio odsutan u zoni Ounjougou i zemlji Dogon općenito. To može ukazivati ​​na postojanje u zapadnoj Africi regija bez akueljske populacije, iako su dobro zastupljene u susjednim regijama. [18]

Sve ostale pleistocenske litičke industrije u Ounjougouu kronološki su povezane sa srednjim paleolitikom. Levalloisovo jezgro s povlaštenim uklanjanjem, pronađeno izolirano u stratigrafskom kontekstu, prvi je dokaz za srednji paleolit ​​u Ounjougouu. OSL datum u kontekstu stavlja ovo jezgro na oko 150.000 BP tokom kasnog srednjeg pleistocena. Srednja paleolitska zanimanja u zoni Ounjougou, sva mjesta na otvorenom, postala su još učestalija tijekom gornjeg pleistocena: 25 različitih tipo-tehnoloških grupa identificirano je između 100.000 i 22.000 BP, s posebnom koncentracijom tijekom izotopske faze 3 između 50.000 i 30.000 BP [19] [20]). Industrija između 100.000 i 20.000 BP je izuzetno raznolika. Pojava proizvodnje oštrica oko 65.000 BP, praćena diskoidnim smanjenjem oko 60.000 BP, pojava lisnatih bifacijalnih komada oko 50.000 BP i nestanak Levalloisove tehnike oko 30.000 BP najznačajniji su događaji u nizu. U nizu srednjeg paleolita bilježimo i pojavu kvarcne kaldrmisane industrije sa karakteristikama uporedivim s ranim paleolitom. [21] Studija na nekoliko lokacija u Ounjougouu također je omogućila opis nove industrije s masivnim alatima (robotima) i komadima dobivenim udaraljkama bipolarnim na nakovnju. Postojanje ove vrste sklopa naknadno je potvrđeno iskopavanjem kamenog skloništa na uzatoku Bandiagara. [8] [10] Raznolikost industrija srednjeg paleolita i njihovo nasljeđivanje bez očigledne logike upućuje na redovnu obnovu ljudskih grupa u regiji. Između 20.000 i 10.000 BP primjećujemo značajan zastoj, uglavnom zbog sušnog ogolskog perioda. [15] [22]

Uredi holocen

Rani holocen (& gt9500 BC-6750 BC) Uredi

Na početku holocena, keramika se pojavljuje rano u Ounjougou -u, u prvoj polovini 10. milenijuma prije nove ere. Regija se tada suočila s povratkom vlažnijih uvjeta povezanih s brzim povratkom monsuna nakon Mlađih sušaka i razvojem otvorene travnjačke savane na visoravni Bandiagara. [23] [24] U tom kontekstu, populacija je pravila keramiku koju karakteriziraju male zdjele i otisnuti dekori. [25] [26] Pojava keramike u Ounjougouu povezana je s malom bifacijalnom litičkom industrijom. Ove su inovacije vrlo vjerojatno povezane s ekološkim promjenama tijekom uspostavljanja tropskih savana tijekom ranog holocena, novog sastava lovljene faune koji je rezultirao i razvojem jestivih divljih trava. [27] [28] Ova se faza stoga vjerojatno podudara s uspostavljanjem oblika proto-poljoprivredne ekonomije, koji se sastoji od strategije selektivnog i intenzivnog sakupljanja trava. U slojevima datiranim u 8. mlin. Kr., Keramika je također povezana s brusnim materijalima (žrvnjevi i drobilice). [29] Ova faza okupacije u Ounjougou bila je stoga povezana s ranim neolitikom.

U 10. milenijumu prije nove ere, govornici Niger-Konga razvili su pirotehnologiju i upotrijebili strategiju egzistencije u Ounjougouu, Mali. [30] Prije 9400. godine prije nove ere, govornici Niger-Kongo nezavisno su stvorili i koristili tehnologiju sazrijevanja keramike [30] [31] (npr. Posuđe, lonci) za držanje i kuhanje žitarica (npr. Digitaria exilis, biserni proso) [30] [ 32] etnografski i povijesno, zapadnoafričke žene bile su kreatori keramike u većini zapadnoafričkih keramičkih tradicija [33] [34], a njihova proizvodnja keramike usko je povezana s kreativnošću i plodnošću. [34] Usred desetog milenijuma prije nove ere, zapadnoafrikanci koji su koristili mikrolite migrirali su i nastanili se u Ounjougouu, zajedno sa ranije naseljenim Zapadnoafrikancima u Ounjougouu. [35] Među dva postojeća kulturna područja, zapadnoafrikanci koji su ranije živjeli u Ounjougouu bili su kulturno područje koje obuhvata područje Sahare (npr. Tenere, Niger/Čad Air, Niger Acacus, Libija/Alžir [35] Tagalagal, Niger Temet, Niger) [36] Afrike i zapadnoafrikanci koji koriste mikrolite bili su kulturno područje koje obuhvata šumsko područje Zapadne Afrike. [35]

Nakon ogolskog razdoblja, između kasnog 10. tisućljeća prije nove ere i početka 9. tisućljeća prije nove ere, tvorci keramike Ounjougou - najranije keramike u Africi - migrirali su zajedno sa svojom keramikom iz Ounjougoua u Maliju u Srednju Saharu. [37] Bez obzira na to je li se keramička kultura Ounjougou proširila čak do Bir Kiseibe u Egiptu, koja je imala keramiku koja je podsjećala na keramiku Ounjougou, imala je oruđe za brušenje kao u Ounjougou, a slijedile su je sljedeće keramičke kulture (npr. Wadi el Akhdar, Sarurab , Nabta Playa), ostaje da se utvrdi. [37] Pojava i širenje keramike u Sahari mogu se povezati s podrijetlom i umjetnosti Round Head i Kel Essuf, koje zauzimaju škrinje u istim regijama (npr. Djado, Acacus, Tadrart), kao i zajednička sličnost (npr. osobine, oblici). [38] U Centralnoj Sahari, period Kel Essuf i period okrugle glave slijedili su pastoralni period. [39] Kao rezultat sve većeg zakiseljavanja Zelene Sahare, srednjosaharski lovci i sakupljači stoke možda su koristili sezonske vodene puteve kao migracijski put do rijeke Niger i bazena Čada u zapadnoj Africi. [40]

Srednji holocen (6750-3300 pne) Uredi

Općenito, hidrografsko funkcioniranje doline Yamé tokom srednjeg holocena jasno odražava vlažniji klimatski kontekst tropske Afrike između 5300. i 3000. godine prije nove ere. [24] Okupacija Ounjougoua obilježena je važnim arheološkim prekidom od oko 2000 godina nakon završetka ranog holocena. Radionica specijalizirana za dvofazno oblikovane točke od kvarcitnog pješčenjaka svjedoči o novoj okupaciji doline Yamé između 6. i 4. mlina. Pne. [41]

Kasni holocen (3300-400 pne) Uredi

Na prijelazu iz srednjeg u kasno holocen, zona Ounjougou još je bila dio guste šumovite sudanske savane povezane s močvarama sa gvinejskim afinitetima. Između 2600. i 2200. godine prije Krista, vegetacijski krajolici počeli su se mijenjati, što odgovara promjeni u vegetacijskim zonama što odražava smanjenje padavina i tendenciju prema sušnijim uvjetima. [42] [24] Moguće je da su u tom istom razdoblju pastoralne populacije s južnog ruba Sahare posjećivale dolinu Yamé tokom sezonske transhumancije. [43] [44] Arheološki i botanički ostaci ukazuju na to da se poljoprivredno stanovništvo naselilo u dolini Yamé između 1800. i 1400. godine prije nove ere u sušnom klimatskom kontekstu, ali vlažnije nego današnje vrijeme. [45] [46] Između 1400. i 800. godine prije nove ere, poljoprivredno stanovništvo razvilo je i stvorilo poljoprivredna sela ili zaseoke u dolini Yamé. Neke osobine materijalne kulture ovog razdoblja ukazuju na veze s nekoliko regija koje se nalaze u granicama Sahare i Sahela, poput Gourme i Méme, odražavajući ogromnu kulturnu struju koja crpi barem dio njezina podrijetla u regiji Dhars u jugoistočnoj Mauritaniji . [47] Neolit ​​u Ounjougou završava između 800. i 400. godine prije nove ere. Arheološki slijed se zatim prekida pauzom od nekoliko stoljeća, dijelom povezanu sa sušnijim klimatskim uvjetima [6] [24]).

Terminalni holocen (400. pne.-danas) Uredi

S arheološke perspektive, preddogonsko razdoblje [48] datira u Ounjougou iz 4. stoljeća prije nove ere, ali se njegovo cvijeće nalazi između 7. i 13. stoljeća naše ere. [11] Keramički i metalni sklopovi za ovo razdoblje dobro su poznati zbog proučavanja mjesta Dangandouloun, kamenog skloništa s ritualnom funkcijom. [49] [6] [50] U blizini uzastopnog pojasa Bandiagara, na mjestu Dourou-Boro, skup pogrebnih građevina izgrađenih od gline namotanih između 3. i 4. stoljeća i korištenih do 9. stoljeća poslije Krista također se pripisuje pre -Dogon period. [13] Ovi nalazi, koji su ispunili važan arheološki zastoj, dovode u pitanje koncept kulture Toloya i Tellema, proučavan u pećinama litice u blizini Sanghe. [51]

Model koji je općenito prihvaćen od 1970 -ih naglašava postojanje jaza između entiteta Toloy i Tellem, ne samo na osnovu hronološke pauze i arhitektonskih razlika, već i na osnovu važnih kulturnih razlika koje otkrivaju keramičke tradicije. [52] Nedavni podaci zagovaraju reviziju ove paradigme, koja pretpostavlja trostupanjski populacijski model (Toloy, Tellem i Dogon). Nedavno stečeni podaci sugeriraju da je zemlja Dogon posljednja dva milenijuma otvorena regija, koja je kroz stoljeća integrirala mnoge kulturne značajke kroz migrantsku grupu, zanatlije, predmete i savoir-faire iz više područja, poput Meme i unutrašnjosti Niger delta na sjeverozapadu, Gourma ili Oudalan na istoku, Burkina Faso ili voltažni jugoistočni Senegal, bez potpunog fluktuacije stanovništva. [13]

Istraživanje u Ounjougouu također je pokazalo veze između visoravni Bandiagara i susjednih etnolingvističkih sfera Mandé, Gur i Songhay. Analiza površinskih keramičkih sklopova iz desetak napuštenih sela u blizini Ounjougoua i radiokarbonsko datiranje jednog od njih ukazuju na to da su visoravan Bandiagara zauzeli Dogoni iz 15. stoljeća nove ere. Osim toga, etnohistorijska istraživanja otkrivaju nekoliko valova naseljavanja različitih Dogonskih klanova, nakon čega slijedi više preseljenja i ponovna okupacija sela povezanih s klimatskim, ekološkim ili političkim uzrocima, što se danas odražava u određenom broju sukoba oko zemljišta. [6] Dogonske populacije bile su u središtu mnogih etnohistorijskih i etnoarheoloških studija, posebno u pogledu različitih keramičkih tradicija i metalurške proizvodnje. [53] [54] [55]


Recenzije zajednice

Dogonska sela Bandiagara Falaise nesumnjivo su jedno od velikih nalazišta u Africi. Prošli smo petodnevni izlet među njima i rado bismo se vratili u drugu posjetu. Čak je i u prosincu jako „vruća šetnja“ i skoro se pitam bi li duži boravak u 1 ili 2 sela bio poželjniji od seljenja svaki dan - krajolik se ne mijenja toliko i treba pronaći suštinu mjesta u ljudima i njihovoj kulturi. S francuskim kao lingua franca i lokalnim vodičem bilo je moguće komunicirati. Dogonski pozdrav smo naučili s proširenom listom pristojnih pitanja i formalnih odgovora o velikom nizu tema. Vidjeli smo ograde za gatanje u kojima se preko noći otisci pustinjskih lisica prelaze preko pripremljenih pješčanih mreža za predviđanje budućnosti. Razgovarali smo s lokalnim stanovništvom koje je izgledalo spremno oprostiti naše nesvjesne društvene propuste - npr. Pristojno sam zamoljen da se ne oslanjam na određenu stijenu - u Dogonskim animističkim uvjerenjima „neživi“ predmeti imaju značaj koji nije očigledan za autsajdera! Imali smo i maskirani plesni ples (fotografija).

Pitali smo se je li naše prisustvo bolje ili ubijamo ono što smo došli vidjeti. Pa vjerovatno oboje. Gledajući unatrag gotovo 50 godina putovanja, mogu vidjeti da je ono što se čini trajnim zapravo prilično nestalno, bilo da se radi o prirodnom mjestu, gradu ili kulturi. Gdje god da sam bio, sreo sam ljude koji su mi rekli „Trebao si biti ovdje prije mnogo godina - bilo je daleko bolje“. I to se neće promeniti. Ali za koga bolje? Dogonska sela će se promijeniti - nadajmo se na bolje onih koji tamo žive, ali nadamo se da će zadržati dovoljno onoga što ih čini posebnim. Bojim se, međutim, da će se u godinama koje dolaze plesovi biti predstavljeni u gledalištu orijentiranim prema turistima, a ne će se gledati, kao sada, među stijenama - samo pogledajte Bomas iz Kenije. Već postoje ceste niz liticu i kamioni koji se kreću po dnu - nesumnjivo će se promet povećati i mještani će (sasvim s pravom) poželjeti i nabaviti motorne skutere - dugi pozdrav dok hodač prolazi pored hodača postat će prošlost. Zatim će se sela postepeno razvijati s novim zgradama od betona i valovitog željeza, a njihova originalna arhitektura bit će "getoizirana". Zato IDITE SAD!


Mali autohtono pleme Dogona bori se s 21. stoljećem

U ovom sušnom području blizu istočnog ruba Malija blizu granice s Burkina Fasom, autohtoni narod Dogon bori se da održi svoju kulturu i tradicionalni način života od kraja kolonijalne ere. Za VOA, Naomi Schwarz je nedavno putovala u sela duž stjenovitog grebena kojeg Dogoni nazivaju domom, da vidi kako je moderna invazija utjecala na njihov tradicionalni način života.

Na pola litice u južnom, centralnom Maliju, zvuci modernog sela Dogon dopiru iz ravnice ispunjene četkom ispod. Da bi došli do malenih, izoliranih sela Dogona, većina stranih turista mora putovati pješice.

No, čini se da to nije obeshrabrilo ljude da krenu na put. Danas je zemlja Dogon jedna od glavnih turističkih atrakcija Malija. Kao rezultat toga, prošli vijek je doživio značajne promjene u društvenoj organizaciji i materijalnoj kulturi Dogona.

Nekada animistička kultura, Dogoni su pobjegli na ovo područje prije više od 500 godina kako bi izbjegli progon muslimana Fulanija. Geografija je nudila zaštitu od potencijalnih osvajača. Pokos Bandiagara proteže se 150 kilometara preko ravnica ispunjenih četkom i čini neku vrstu zida između zemlje Dogon i ostatka Malija. Čisto lice litice izgleda kao podijeljena planina, raznobojni slojevi taloga podsjećaju na zalazak sunca izgrađen u kamenu.

Sada je ta ista živopisna geografija i osjećaj odvojenog svijeta ono što dovodi hiljade turista u sela Dogon svake godine.

"Herb Lebenton. Connecticut. United States. Bio sam u Maliju osam dana", rekao je Herb Lebenton, jedan od tih turista. Objašnjava šta ga je dovelo u ovaj kutak Malija.

"Kultura Dogona. Arhitektura. Život sela. Mene zanimaju sela", rekao je.

Tradicionalno, ekonomija Dogona temeljila se na poljoprivredi i stočarstvu. Danas gotovo svako selo ima smještaj za turiste. U regiji bez struje i tekuće vode, neki od tih smještajnih objekata imaju klima -uređaj i tuševe s toplom vodom.

No, turisti su ostavili i drugo naslijeđe.

Amadou Lougé, koji vodi turistički smještaj u Kanikomboléu, selu u kojem je rođen, 12 godina radi u turističkoj industriji.

Kaže da su ranije sela imala malo domova zdravlja ili škola, ali zahvaljujući turistima koji su donirali novac za razvoj, to se promijenilo.

I kaže da je turizam zapravo pomogao ljudima Dogona u očuvanju načina života.

Prije toga, kaže on, mladi ljudi su morali ići u gradove da nađu plaćeni posao. Sada ljudi mogu raditi u turističkoj industriji, kaže, i ostati pored svoje porodice.

Ali Ban Guindo je vodič Dogona koji već 10 godina vodi turiste kroz regiju. Kaže da se život ovdje mijenja, ali to nije samo zbog turista.

Guindo kaže da ne samo turisti mijenjaju život ljudi. Kaže da pet posto čine turisti, a 95 posto radio, televizija i telefon.

Čak i prije takvih tehnoloških promjena, Dogoni nisu bili imuni na vanjski utjecaj. Uprkos njihovom početnom otporu islamu, mnogi Dogoni su na kraju prešli iz svojih animističkih uvjerenja. Sada postoje animistička, islamska i kršćanska sela.

Ali Aminata Guindo, žena Amadou Lougéa, kaže da će, ako se stvari nastave nastaviti, za 100 godina dogonska sela nestati.

Dogonske zgrade izgrađene su od mješavine blata koja se mora redovito ponovno nanositi ili se raspada na vjetru i kiši. Čak su i stoljetna sela u kojima Dogoni više ne žive tradicionalno primali ovaj tretman svake godine.

Sada, kaže ona, ljudi ne rade kao prije, na održavanju starih sela. A to su prava Dogonska zemlja.

Ljudi su previše zauzeti plaćanjem poslova za održavanje, kaže ona.

Turistička biljka Lebenton vidi još jednu lošu stranu turizma.

Ulazeći po selima, djeca se roje oko njega tražeći darove koje vide za druge turiste: slatkiše, olovke, novac.

Lebenton smatra da je pogrešno davati takve poklone djeci.

"Učimo djecu da prose, a to nije dio njihove kulture", rekao je. "Ako želite dati, dajte na odgovoran način. Dajte učitelju ili dajte seoskom starješini, neka to podijeli."

U jednom selu Dogon na vrhu litice, turisti se okupljaju oko prirodnog amfiteatra kako bi uživali u tradicionalnom plesu maski.

Ples je nekad bio tajan, a samo muškarci i žene bez roditelja koji su smatrani muškarcima, mogli su učestvovati. Sada jedna Evropljanka maršira kao dio povorke i svako može gledati.

To su promjene, ali ne nužno na gore, kaže vodič Ali Ban Guindo. Kaže da turisti dolaze i odlaze, ali na ljudima Dogona je da odluče kako će se prilagoditi ili ne u 21. stoljeću.


Putovanje u Dogonska sela na ponoru Bandiagara.

Skok Bandiagara presijeca vruće i prašnjave zemlje Sahela u Maliju preko 160 km. Bandiagara je čudo prirode, gdje se litice uzdižu gotovo 500 metara prema nebu i imaju geografsku raznolikost od pustinje do slapova koji se slijevaju u ravnice ispod.
Nalazimo se u središtu Malija, oko 90 km istočno od Moptija, gdje možemo vidjeti nevjerovatnu liticu od pješčenjaka s visokom visoravni iznad i pješčanim polupustinjskim ravnicama ispod. Poznat je kao Bandiagarsko pobrđe, ova se litica proteže na oko 150 kilometara, a UNESCO ga je od 1989. godine priznao kao "izvanredan krajolik litica i pješčanih visoravni s prekrasnom arhitekturom". Lokalitet Bandiagara smatra se jednim od najupečatljivijih nalazišta Zapadne Afrike, zbog svojih geoloških i arheoloških značajki, ali i zbog etnološke važnosti.

Mjesto je naseljeno najmanje 2.000 godina. Od posljednjih petsto godina bio je dom etničke grupe poznate pod imenom Dogon. Prije nego što su migrirali na ovo područje iz svoje domovine daleko na jugozapad, u današnjoj Burkini Faso i Gani, Dogone su često napadale susjedne islamske plemenske grupe. Muškarci, žene i djeca su zarobljeni i bačeni u trgovinu robljem. Vjerovatno oko 15. stoljeća ili možda ranije, Dogoni su počeli stizati u ovu regiju i nastanili se u liticama Bandiagare, iskorištavajući prirodno utočište litice poput odbrane od potencijalnih osvajača. Kad su stigli, zatekli su strminu koju su već naselili "mali crveni ljudi", koja su bila plemena Tellem, pigmeji koji su izgradili stanove oko podnožja strmine i isklesali grobne pećine visoko na litici. Očigledno nemoguća lokacija ovih zgrada navela je Dogone da vjeruju da ljudi iz Tellema mogu letjeti.

U početku su Dogoni dijelili lokaciju s Tellemom, no postupno je autohtono stanovništvo istisnuto i Tellem je nestao. Moguće je da su ljudi iz Tellema asimilirani u Dogonsku kulturu ili su migrirali u obližnju Burkinu Faso, ali mnoge zgrade i strukture koje su ostavile preživjele su stoljećima i još uvijek su vidljive na cijelom ovom području. Dogone i danas koriste neke zgrade Tellema, posebno žitnice. Prvo naselje Dogon nastalo je na krajnjem jugozapadu od pobrđa, a vremenom su se preselili na sjever uz strminu, preko visoravni i ravnica Seno-Gondo na jugoistok. Danas, u „Zemlji Dogona“ ima preko 400.000 hektara i uključuje gotovo tri stotine sela razasutih duž ušća Bandiagara. Većina sela nalazi se na platou na vrhu strmine ili u podnožju litica, ispod starijih struktura Tellema na licu litice.
Ljudi Dogoni isklesavaju sve, od jednostavnih pravokutnih kuća u zidovima litica do detaljnih džamija od blata i štapa. Čitav koncept njihovih sela je nevjerovatan, a njihovi domovi koji vise s litica prkose svim prirodnim granicama tradicionalnog grada. Neka se sela teško mogu čak ni vidjeti, jer se besprijekorno stapaju sa stjenovitim liticama koje ih okružuju, a druga su vidljiva samo po njihovim slamnatim krovovima, koji strše iz pijeska i stijena.

Dogoni su bili praktično nepoznati na Zapadu sve do ranih 1930-ih, kada je mladi francuski antropolog, Marcel Griaule, krenuo na petnaestogodišnje istraživačko putovanje po Zapadnoj Africi. Nakon godina ispitivanja Dogonskih starješina o njihovoj vjeri i tradicijama, konačno mu je odobren niz intervjua sa slijepim lovcem na Dogone po imenu Ogotemmeli, koji ga je naučio vjerskim pričama na isti način na koji ih je Ogotemmeli naučio od svog oca i djeda. Kasnije je ovo pretvoreno u fascinantnu knjigu pod nazivom "Razgovori s Ogotemmelijem". Većina izvornih kulturnih tradicija Dogona postoji i danas, uključujući rituale maskiranja i pećinska svetišta.
Danas su Bandiagara Escarpment i Dogonska kultura odredište velikog broja turista koji svake godine posjećuju Mali. Posetioci mogu boraviti i direktno u Dogonskim selima duž strmine, za zaista jedinstveno iskustvo.


Bandiagara Escarpment Cliff Dwellings

Pogledajte sve fotografije

The Bandiagara Escarpment slices across the hot and dusty lands of the Sahel in Mali for over 100 miles. In itself, Bandiagara is a wonder of nature. The cliffs rise over 1,500 feet in the air in places and range in geographic diversity from desert to cascading waterfalls plummeting onto the plains below.

However, almost more impressive than the landscape are the Dogon homes carved into the escarpment. Although a range of people lived in the area, for over 600 years the Dogon people have made Southern Mali their home, carving everything from simple rectangular homes into the cliff walls to detailed Mosque’s made out of mud and stick. The Dogon’s contribution to the region is immense.

The entire concept of their village is stunning, as homes hang from the cliffs defying all natural bounds of the traditional city. Some of the villages can hardly even be seen as they blend seamlessly with the rocky cliffs that surround them. Others are only noticeable from their thatched roofs, protruding from the sand and rock.

Every aspect of the Bandiagara is strongly punctuated. The escarpment itself rises dustily from the sparse Sahel vegetation below and the homes of the Dogon villages dot the cliffs for miles until the escarpment terminates at the highest peak in Mali, Hombori Tondo.

There are thirty Dogon villages in total across the escarpment and a multitude of Dogon sites aside from the houses. The dramatic landscape has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1989.

Much of the Dogon’s original cultural traditions still exist, including mask rituals and cave shrines. Visitors to the region can also stay directly in the Dogon villages along the escarpment, allowing for a truly unique hostel experience.

Saznajte prije nego odete

The main bases for organizing your trek are Mopti-Sévaré, Douentza or Bakass. Within the Dogon country, Bandiagara and Sanga can also be used as starting points. Most people opt by a three-day trek starting from Bandiagara. It is important to know that much of Dogon country is very rough, and you will be rock scrambling and climbing to the cliffs under intense heat. Guides are essential in the Dogon country and you can make arrangements in any of the villages mentioned above.


Ancient African Architecture Series: Cliff of Bandiagara: (Land of the Dogons) Mali

Cliff of Bandiagara (Land of the Dogons) (Mali) Author: A. Wolf Copyright: © UNESCO

THE Bandiagara site is an outstanding landscape of cliffs and sandy plateaux with some beautiful architecture (houses, granaries, altars, sanctuaries and Togu Na, or communal meeting-places). Several age-old social traditions live on in the region (masks, feasts, rituals, and ceremonies involving ancestor worship). The geological, archaeological and ethnological interest, together with the landscape, make the Bandiagara plateau one of West Africa’s most impressive sites.

Cliff of Bandiagara (Land of the Dogons)

The Bandiagara site is an outstanding landscape of cliffs and sandy plateaux with some beautiful architecture (houses, granaries, altars, sanctuaries and Togu Na, or communal meeting-places). Several age-old social traditions live on in the region (masks, feasts, rituals, and ceremonies involving ancestor worship). The geological, archaeological and ethnological interest, together with the landscape, make the Bandiagara plateau one of West Africa’s most impressive sites.

Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The Cliff of Bandiagara, Land of the Dogons, is a vast cultural landscape covering 400,000 ha and includes 289 villages scattered between the three natural regions: sandstone plateau, escarpment, plains (more than two-thirds of the listed perimeter are covered by plateau and cliffs).

The communities at the site are essentially the Dogon, and have a very close relationship with their environment expressed in their sacred rituals and traditions.

The site of the Land of the Dogons is an impressive region of exceptional geological and environmental features. Human settlements in the region, since Palaeolithic times, have enabled the development and harmonious integration into the landscape of rich and dense tangible and intangible cultures, the best known of which are those of the Tellem, that are thought to live in the caves, and the Dogon.

This hostile milieu and difficult access has been, since the 15th century, a natural refuge that corresponded to the need for defence of the Dogons in the face of formidable invaders. Entrenched on the plateau and hanging to cliff faces, the Dogon were able to conserve their centuries-old culture and traditions, thanks to this defensive shelter. The architecture of the Dogon land has been adapted to benefit from the physical constraints of the place. Whether on the high plateau, the cliff-faces, or on the plain, the Dogon have exploited all the elements available to build their villages that reflect their ingenuity and their philosophy of life and death.

In certain cultural areas, the Dogon villages comprise numerous granaries, for the most part square with a thatched tapering roof. The gin’na, or large family house, is generally built on two levels. Its facade built from banco, is windowless but has a series of niches and doors, often decorated with sculptured motifs: rows of male and female characters which symbolize the couple’s successive generations.

One of the most characteristic forms of the Land of the Dogon is that of the togu-na, the large shelter, a long construction that provides shelter under a roof of branches supported by roughly-shaped wooden poles, for a platform with benches for the men.

The totemic sanctuaries (binu), privileged places, are of a great variety: some, in caves, keep alive the cult places of the Tellem others, built of banco, resemble houses. The most venerated are the responsibility of the Hogon, the priest of one or several villages living alone, his source of inspiration being the snake, Lèbe, whose totem is often sculpted near the door of his dwelling.

The irruption of new « written religions » (Islam and Christianity) since at least the 18th century has contributed to the vulnerability of the heritage that today has suffered from the negative effects of globalization linked to the increasing development of cultural tourism and the phenomena of rural exodus, consequence of the drought of the last decades.

Criterion (v): The Land of the Dogon is the outstanding manifestation of a system of thinking linked to traditional religion that has integrated harmoniously with architectural heritage, very remarkably in a natural landscape of rocky scree and impressive geological features. The intrusion of new written religions (Islam and Christianity) since at least the 18th century has contributed towards the vulnerability of the heritage that today suffers from adverse effects of globalization.

Criterion (vii): The cliff and its rocky scree constitute a natural area of unique and exceptional beauty in West Africa. The diversity of geomorphological features (plateau, cliffs and plains) of the site are characterized by the presence of natural monuments (caves, secondary dunes and rock shelters) that bear witness to the continued influence of the different erosion phenomena. It is also in the natural environment that the endemic plant Acridocarpus monodii is found, its growth area being limited to the cliffs, and specific medicinal plants used by the Dogon therapists and healers. These plants suffer from gradual decline due to climate change (drought and desertification) and logging. The relationship of the Dogon people with their environment is also expressed in the sacred rituals associating spiritually the pale fox, the jackal and the crocodile.

Due to the socio-economic phenomena (exodus, scholarization, infrastructure development), human activities and the degradation of the environment (climate change causing droughts, desertification or also torrential rains demographic pressure), the populations are leaving the villages located on the steep escarpments for the plain. Some intangible cultural practices undergo mutation linked to contact with other imported value systems (religions, cultural tourism…). The integrity of this very extensive property is, consequently, threatened as several sectors no longer contain all the attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value.

Authenticity

The social and cultural traditions of the Dogon are among the best preserved of sub-saharan Africa, despite certain important irreversible socio-economic mutations. The villages and their inhabitants are faithful to the ancestral values linked to an original life style. The harmonious integration of cultural elements (architecture) in the natural landscape remains authentic, outstanding and unique. Nevertheless, the traditional practices associated to the living quarters and the building constructions have become vulnerable, and in places the relationship between the material attributes and the Outstanding Universal Value are fragile.


Fulani-Dogon Conflict

On 16 May 2019, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA, announced it had recorded "at least 488 deaths" in attacks on Fulanis in the central regions of Mopti and Segou since January 2018. Armed Fulanis "caused 63 deaths" among civilians in the Mopti region over the same period, it said. The Fulani are primarily cattle breeders and traders, while the Bambara and Dogon are traditionally sedentary farmers.

Mali s population today reflects a composite of ethnicities that together form a mosaic of national identity. Recent killings in central Mali highlight the age-old conflict between the nomadic and predominantly Muslim Fulani (also called Peuhl, representiang about 15% of the population) and the generally polytheistic and sedentary Dogon [9% of the country's population]. Since 2015, relations between the nomadic Fulani herders and Mali's Bambara and Dogon farmers have been antagonistic following accusations of Fulani grazing cattle on Dogon land as well as land and water access issues. Fulani are seen as being linked to the jihadists of the Islamic State of Greater Sahara, while Dogon militias are said to have the support of the Mali military.

The region is being hit particularly hard by climate change. Conflicts over resources like water and land are not new. But where there used to be a predictable three-months span of rainfall in a year, precipitation has become erratic and hard to predict, increasing the pressure on the population. While resources like water, land and pastures are dwindling, "the number of people who depend on them as farmers or cattle herders is actually rising. Poverty makes it easy for either side to recruit fighters for the militias. Especially young men in this region have very little to do and very few prospects.

The UN reported in March 2019 that over the past year, fighting between the Fulani and Dogon ethnic communities had resulted in the deaths of some 600 women, children and men. Disputes over land and water between Fulani herders and Dogon Dozo or traditional brotherhood of hunters are common. Often recruited from among the nobles, the dignitaries, especially the warrior classes, the members of these brotherhoods played a very important role in traditional society. The dozos are supposed to be depositories of secular mystic knowledge. A traditional hunter is outfitted in a distinctive brown hunting suit and gris-gris amulets worn around the neck. The amulets (gris-gris) worn by Dozos possess magical properties protecting them from harm.

Ths situation in Mali makes it difficult to define dozos, as Ibrahim Ma ga, a researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, based in Bamako, explained 26 June 2018. " We think we know who these dozos are, but the situation is much more complex. When speaking of dozos, in principle we speak of people who are introduced to traditional rites. This is not the case for everyone. You have, in the ranks of these groups dozos, people, young people who consider to be in a logic of self-defense and not necessarily to be dozos, in the ritual sense of the term". In this logic of self-defense, some dozos would have engaged in the fight against the terrorists of the Macina Liberation Front, a predominantly Peul group operating in the center of the country.

The fighting has grown increasingly violent. Conflicts between farmers, pastoralists, fishermen and dozos hunters are not new, but rarely have the balance sheets been so heavy. The deadly conflict has been fueled by a proliferation in arms and an Islamic insurgency moving ever further south from its strongholds in Mali's north. One of the reasons is certainly to be found in the security context, which has deteriorated terribly in the center of the country. The presence of terrorists and the weapons that circulate have resulted in much greater violence at each confrontation. The state, absent locally, no longer plays its role of regulator.

The trend of increase in violence in central Mali taking place between Fulani herders and Bambara and Dogon farmers has been triggered by accusations that the Fulani are grazing cattle on Dogon territory as well as disputes over access to land and water resources. The Peuhl are accused of working alongside jihadists from the Islamic State of Greater Sahara to attack Dogon villages and prevent them from cultivating their land. They in turn have alleged that the Dogons are collaborating with the Malian military though there is no conclusive sign of state support.

Community leaders from all ethnic groups and security analysts in the region told Human Rights Watch that the proliferation of semi-automatic assault rifles and other weapons in the possession of self-defense and Islamist armed groups was contributing to the lethality of the communal violence. Villagers said self-defense or hunting societies were traditionally armed with artisanal or single-barrel shotguns and only started seeing war guns within the last few years.

Clashes between Dogon hunters - who have a highly distinctive traditional culture dating back centuries and the semi-nomadic Fulani herders, have become a growing flash point in recent years. Intercommunal violence related to disputes over transhumance (seasonal migration) and cattle grazing occurred among Dogon, Bambara, and Fulani in the Mopti Region, Bambara and Fulani in the Segou Region, and between various Tuareg and Arab groups in the regions of Gao, Timbuktu, and Kidal. Intercommunal violence led to frequent clashes between members of the Fulani ethnic group and, separately, members of the Bambara and Dogon communities. Self-defense groups representing these communities were reportedly involved in attacks.

The agricultural Dogon live on the Bandiagara escarpment high above the western reaches of the Niger bend. Dogon arrived in the Bandiagara area in the 15th century and dispersed into relatively autonomous communities that colonized not only the Bandiagara cliff and plateau but also the vast plain of S no-Gondo, a sandy area east of the cliff that provided fertile ground for cereals, abundant water resourcesand nutritious wild fruit. Once an animist culture, the Dogon fled to this area more than 500 years ago to escape persecution by Muslim Fulani. The geography offered protection from would-be invaders. The Bandiagara Escarpment stretches 150 kilometers across brush-filled plains and forms a sort of wall between Dogon Country and the rest of Mali. The sheer face of the cliff looks like a bisected mountain the multi-colored layers of sediment resemble a sunset built in stone.

Amma, the otiose deity who created the mythical and human worlds, is the ultimate spiritual force in Dogon religious thought. Amna is formless and ie thought to be creative energy rather than a being. The principal Dogon spirits are the eight Nuhmos. To the Dogon, the checkerboard is a symbolic diagram of the ideal human order the spiral or zig-zag depicts the form and path of the mythical Nummos.

In 1818, the Fulani conqueror Seku Amadu founded the Empire of Massina (Diina) and a new capital, Hamdullahi, located southeast of Mopti. The Massina Empire gradually extended from Segou in the south to Timbuktu in the north. Like many other precolonial political formations, the Massina Empire maintained fuzzy peripheries where pagan peoples were either converted to Islam by force or enslaved.The Fulani used their cavalry to raid the Dogon plateau and the plain of S no-Gondo, destroying thecrops of the farmers and enslaving the local populations.

In response, the Dogon built spectacularfortress villages in the Bandiagara Cliff, a World Heritage site listed by UNESCO in 1989. The Cliff of Bandiagara, Land of the Dogons, is a vast cultural landscape covering 400,000 ha and includes 289 villages scattered between the three natural regions: sandstone plateau, escarpment, plains (more than two-thirds of the listed perimeter are covered by plateau and cliffs). The communities at the site are essentially the Dogon The social and cultural traditions of the Dogon are among the best preserved of sub-saharan Africa, despite certain important irreversible socio-economic mutations. The villages and their inhabitants are faithful to the ancestral values linked to an original life style.

The Dogon people are specialists in collecting wild herbs, seeds, flowers and plants. From these, Dogon women produce many unique seasonings, called neki. They produce seasonings with dried okra - a local vegetable- with baobab leaves with different varieties of local peppers with different varieties of local onions. U prošlosti, neki was a basic ingredient in most Dogon cuisine. But in recent times the people have abandoned their traditional food in favor of cheap and convenient imported stock cubes full of unhealthy preservatives.

In Mopti region, central Mali, communal violence in 2018 killed over 200 civilians, driven thousands from their homes, undermined livelihoods, and led to widespread hunger. The victims are largely ethnic Peuhl targeted by ethnic Dogon and Bambara self-defense groups for their alleged support of armed Islamists largely linked to Al-Qaeda.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that on 05 April 2018, 14 Fulani men suspected of terrorism were killed by the Malian Armed Forces (FAMA). The FAMA issued a statement saying that 14 men had died while attempting to escape however, witnesses believed that these men were executed by the FAMA. On 19 May 20189, a Malian battalion assigned to the G5 Sahel Joint Force summarily and arbitrarily executed 12 civilians at the Boulikessi livestock market in an act of retaliation, according to a MINUSMA investigation.

Ethnic Fulani in the central Mopti and Segou regions reported abuse by government forces. According to HRW, seven Fulani men arrested by the Army in Sokolo while celebrating a baptism ceremony February 21 were declared by the Ministry of Defense as killed in battle against Malian forces on February 27. Additionally, HRW reported that according to eyewitnesses, the bodies of six Fulani men previously arrested in Dogo by the Army were discovered in a common grave on March 22. HRW also documented several cases of torture or severe mistreatment of detainees during the year.

On 17 July 2018, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement expressing concern about intercommunal violence in the Mopti Region, mainly between pastoralist Fulani and agriculturalist Dogon ethnic groups. Intercommunal violence resulted in at least 289 civilian deaths since the beginning of the year.

On 02 January 2019, Armed men, believed to be traditional hunters, killed 37 Fulani herders in a central Mali village, according to the government, which has launched an investigation into the attack. The latest killings were part of a trend of an increase in violence, in central Mali, taking place between Fulani herders and Bambara and Dogon farmers. The killings were perpetrated by Dogon farmers, and many homes were burned in a part of Koulogon village which is inhabited mostly by Fulani. The attack took place around the time of the first call to prayer of 2019.

The 23 March 2019 massacre of some 160 Fulani herders by an ethnic vigilante group shocked the nation. The killings by suspected hunters from the Dogon community on Ogossagou, a village in central Mali populated by rival Fulani herders, were bloody even by the recent standards of Mali's ever-worsening violence.

The United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, expressed his deepest concern and strongly condemned recent attacks against villages in Mali, including mass-killings last weekend in the Mopti region, which left 160 dead, including some 50 children, according to the UN human rights office (OHCHR). The assault on the villages of Ogossagou and Welingara, populated with people from the Peulh or Fulani ethnic group took place on 23 March 2019. In addition to the killings, at least 70 were injured, allegedly by members of the Dogon ethnic group. It was the fourth major attack since the start of the year against villages populated by Peulhs/Fulanis. On 1 January, in Kolougon, at least 37 women, children and men were killed during the day.

Over the recent months, violence has reached unprecedented level amid retaliatory attacks and serious violations of human rights in central Mali impacting on all communities, Special Advisor Dieng said. Unless these concerns are immediately addressed, there is a high risk of further escalation of the situation in which atrocity crimes could be committed, he warned.

Since January 2019 there had been reports of at least 22 incidents of human rights violations by community-based self-defense groups, which had resulted in the deaths of at least 230 people by March 2019. The Mopti region has been the scene of deadly violence since the beginning of the year. The camp of the Malian Armed Forces (FAMAs) in the village of Dioura suffered an attack in which several of its soldiers were killed. On 26 February, 10 people from the Dogon community were killed in an attack on the village of Gondogourou. Further, on 1 January, 37 people were executed in the Fulani village of Kulogon by unidentified armed elements.

Human Rights Watch has said that Youssouf Toloba's ethnic militia known as Dan Na Ambassagou has been implicated in scores of deadly attacks over the past year. The militia has accused ethnic Peuhl of collaborating with Islamic extremists increasingly operating in central Mali. These militia fighters protecting Dogon villages are believed to have semi-autonomic weapons, making their attacks on Peuhl communities particularly deadly.

Over 100 people were reportedly killed during an attack on a traditional Dogon hunters village in Mali on 09 June 2019, prompting a call from UN chief Ant nio Guterres for authorities to act fast and bring the perpetrators to justice . Spokesperson for the UN human rights office (OHCHR), Ravina Shamdasani, said 11 June 2019 these traditional disputes have always been there , often fuelled by disputes over access to land and water. But lately it has taken on a particularly deadly turn because entire Fulani communities - and we are talking about millions of people - are being painted as violent extremists simply because they are Muslim.

Mali's government now says 35 people died in the gruesome attack on the village of Sobane, not 95, citing the governor's office in the Mopti region. "This number is based on a painstaking count carried out by a team comprising officials from the civil protection force, forensic doctors [and] the public prosecutor of Mopti" region, the government said in a statement on 12 June 2019. About a hundred women had succeeded in fleeing to a nearby village, and this was one of the causes of the confusion, it said.


Cliff of Bandiagara (Land of the Dogons)

The Bandiagara site is an outstanding landscape of cliffs and sandy plateaux with some beautiful architecture (houses, granaries, altars, sanctuaries and Togu Na, or communal meeting-places). Several age-old social traditions live on in the region (masks, feasts, rituals, and ceremonies involving ancestor worship). The geological, archaeological and ethnological interest, together with the landscape, make the Bandiagara plateau one of West Africa's most impressive sites.

Outstanding Universal Value
Brief synthesis

The Cliff of Bandiagara, Land of the Dogons, is a vast cultural landscape covering 400,000 ha and includes 289 villages scattered between the three natural regions: sandstone plateau, escarpment, plains (more than two-thirds of the listed perimeter are covered by plateau and cliffs).

The communities at the site are essentially the Dogon, and have a very close relationship with their environment expressed in their sacred rituals and traditions.

The site of the Land of the Dogons is an impressive region of exceptional geological and environmental features. Human settlements in the region, since Palaeolithic times, have enabled the development and harmonious integration into the landscape of rich and dense tangible and intangible cultures, the best known of which are those of the Tellem, that are thought to live in the caves, and the Dogon.

This hostile milieu and difficult access has been, since the 15th century, a natural refuge that corresponded to the need for defence of the Dogons in the face of formidable invaders. Entrenched on the plateau and hanging to cliff faces, the Dogon were able to conserve their centuries-old culture and traditions, thanks to this defensive shelter. The architecture of the Dogon land has been adapted to benefit from the physical constraints of the place. Whether on the high plateau, the cliff-faces, or on the plain, the Dogon have exploited all the elements available to build their villages that reflect their ingenuity and their philosophy of life and death.

In certain cultural areas, the Dogon villages comprise numerous granaries, for the most part square with a thatched tapering roof. The gin’na, or large family house, is generally built on two levels. Its facade built from banco, is windowless but has a series of niches and doors, often decorated with sculptured motifs: rows of male and female characters which symbolize the couple’s successive generations.

One of the most characteristic forms of the Land of the Dogon is that of the togu-na, the large shelter, a long construction that provides shelter under a roof of branches supported by roughly-shaped wooden poles, for a platform with benches for the men.

The totemic sanctuaries (binu), privileged places, are of a great variety: some, in caves, keep alive the cult places of the Tellem others, built of banco, resemble houses. The most venerated are the responsibility of the Hogon, the priest of one or several villages living alone, his source of inspiration being the snake, Lèbe, whose totem is often sculpted near the door of his dwelling.

The irruption of new « written religions » (Islam and Christianity) since at least the 18th century has contributed to the vulnerability of the heritage that today has suffered from the negative effects of globalization linked to the increasing development of cultural tourism and the phenomena of rural exodus, consequence of the drought of the last decades.

Criterion (v): The Land of the Dogon is the outstanding manifestation of a system of thinking linked to traditional religion that has integrated harmoniously with architectural heritage, very remarkably in a natural landscape of rocky scree and impressive geological features. The intrusion of new written religions (Islam and Christianity) since at least the 18th century has contributed towards the vulnerability of the heritage that today suffers from adverse effects of globalization.

Criterion (vii): The cliff and its rocky scree constitute a natural area of unique and exceptional beauty in West Africa. The diversity of geomorphological features (plateau, cliffs and plains) of the site are characterized by the presence of natural monuments (caves, secondary dunes and rock shelters) that bear witness to the continued influence of the different erosion phenomena. It is also in the natural environment that the endemic plant Acridocarpus monodii is found, its growth area being limited to the cliffs, and specific medicinal plants used by the Dogon therapists and healers. These plants suffer from gradual decline due to climate change (drought and desertification) and logging. The relationship of the Dogon people with their environment is also expressed in the sacred rituals associating spiritually the pale fox, the jackal and the crocodile.
Integritet

Due to the socio-economic phenomena (exodus, scholarization, infrastructure development), human activities and the degradation of the environment (climate change causing droughts, desertification or also torrential rains demographic pressure), the populations are leaving the villages located on the steep escarpments for the plain. Some intangible cultural practices undergo mutation linked to contact with other imported value systems (religions, cultural tourism. ). The integrity of this very extensive property is, consequently, threatened as several sectors no longer contain all the attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value.
Authenticity

The social and cultural traditions of the Dogon are among the best preserved of sub-saharan Africa, despite certain important irreversible socio-economic mutations. The villages and their inhabitants are faithful to the ancestral values linked to an original life style. The harmonious integration of cultural elements (architecture) in the natural landscape remains authentic, outstanding and unique. Nevertheless, the traditional practices associated to the living quarters and the building constructions have become vulnerable, and in places the relationship between the material attributes and the Outstanding Universal Value are fragile.
Protection and management requirements

The property is listed in national heritage by Decree No 89 – 428 P-RM of 28 December 1989 as a natural and cultural sanctuary. The Law regulating forestry exploitation (No.68-8/AN-RN of February 1968) as well as the Ordinance No. 60/CMLN of 11 November 1969 concerning hunting are also applicable. The Ministry of Culture of Mali, the overall body responsible for the protection of the property, has delegated the management to the Cultural Mission of Bandiagara. The Cultural Mission of Bandiagara has prepared a management and conservation plan for the site (2006-2010). This plan requires the implementation of activities relating to integrated conservation programmes. It highlights the improvement of living conditions of the communities, bearers of the heritage values of the site.

For a sustainable and effective management of the site, priority is given to the implementation of programmes inscribed in the management and conservation plan of the site. This plan calls for the correlation of the management of heritage and development of the local economy. The Land of the Dogon is a living site, but fragile, and certain important values can only be preserved by taking into consideration the well-being of the local communities, translated by the implementation of targeted development and infrastructural projects (for example, the provision of water to high-perched sites and the economic enhancement of heritage resources).

It is essential to assess the implementation of the management plan to better pinpoint the concerns of the populations and those responsible bodies of the decentralized territorial communities.

Another concern is the need to revise the listing of the site. Any revision of the boundaries should reflect the vulnerabilities of certain parts of the property in terms of authenticity and integrity.
Long Description

The Cliff of Bandiagara is an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, representative of the Dogon culture, which has become vulnerable under the impact of tourism. The complex ritual relationships of the Dogon people with the environment include the use of curative and medicinal wild plants and the sacred associations with pale fox, jackal and crocodile.

The zone stretches from Gani-do in the south-south-west to Koudianga in the north-north-east, along the road linking Bankas, Koporo, Madougou and Diankabou. The sanctuary lies at the southern limit of the Sahara in an arid Sahelian region with averages of 580 mm of rainfall per year. It exhibits three distinctive geomorphological features: Bandiagara plateau, Bandiagara escarpment, and the Plaine du Sìno. The landscape consists of an ancient eroded terrain of flat tablelands, mesa and sandstone buttes. The rock substrate is predominantly upper sandstone of the Cambrian and Ordovician periods, formed into horizontal strata and characterized by a great variety of facies. Exposed horizontal strata periodically result in rock polygonation. In some areas the plateau is crowned by laterite, ironstone shield or impervious conglomerates. The escarpment has formed into numerous irregularities, indentations, promontories and is pierced by thalweg ravines, gorges or rocky passages connecting the plain and plateau. Thalwegs maintain a humid and shaded microclimate able to support dense vegetation. Water is also retained in rock fissures, resulting in seasonal boggy areas on horizontal or gently sloping rock strata.

The predominant vegetation type is Sudano-Sahelian open wood savannah with mosaics of steppe and chasmophytic flora. The plateau of Bandiagara is covered in a typically Sudanian savannah vegetation. A wide range of animal species is found in the region. The cliff and rock habitats support a diversity of species including fox-kestrel, Gabar goshawk, yellow-billed shrike, scarlet-cheated sunbird, abundant cliff chats and rock doves. Mammal species occur in the region and probably also in the Bandiagara escarpment.

The region is one of the main centres for the Dogon culture, rich in ancient traditions and rituals, art culture and folklore. The village of Sangha or Songo is celebrated for its triennial circumcision ceremonies and its rock carvings. The Dogon subsistence farmers did not arrive until the 15th and 16th centuries, yet the region is rich in unique architecture, from flat-roofed huts to tapering granaries capped with thatch, and cliff cemeteries. Symbolic relationships occur with the environment such as with semi-domesticated crocodiles, pale fox and jackal, and the development of elaborate masks, headdresses and ritual dances.

The large family dwelling was generally built on two levels. The facade was windowless but had a series of niches and two doors, often decorated with sculptured rows of male and female characters which symbolized the family's successive generations. The size of the house was almost exactly half that of the ginna and generally was on one floor. Women were temporarily excluded from the domestic group during their menstrual period, one or two circular-shaped women's houses being built at one end of the village for their use at this time. A distinction between the sexes was also made in the size of the granaries. Special areas were reserved for traditional shrines of which a great variety can be found. Some, in the caves, probably perpetuated the ritual sites of the Tellem cult. Others, built from banco, conform to several types of architecture. The most venerated are the responsibility of the Hogon, the priest who works for several villages. Living alone, his source of inspiration is the snake, whose totem is often sculpted near the door to his dwelling. The oldest mosques (Islam developed strongly in Dogon country during the 19th century) were built by local masons alongside the togu-na on the village common.

The integration of new elements in the traditional architecture is clear proof of the strength of Dogon civilization in the face of external contributions. However, it must stress the precarious preservation of these traditional habitats and handicraft techniques, lifestyles and way of thinking which helped the Dogon people to survive.


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