Talk:Dogon people

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Original Research on the Toguna[edit]

from http://acpizza.livejournal.com/529828.html "It seems entirely likely to me that the Toguna also served the function of a catabatic swamp cooler." This represents a much better opportunity to prove an early technological accomplishment of the Dogon, for it does not rely upon the need to discover stashed telescopes, time travellers, or space aliens, but rather, simply to test the effectiveness of structures that still exist and everyone agrees existed long ago. Zaphraud 18:02, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Sirius[edit]

Most of this should be okay. The Dogon are an actual tribe, and apparently like Sirius very much. Dysprosia 09:22, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Still, there should be some critical piece added - one anthropologist describes the Dogon myth about Sirius B, but a few others deny having come across it. Andre Engels 12:41, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Done. —Frecklefoot 17:46, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)
The whole controversy revolved around disputes between western scientists. There was no mention about the Dogons' own mythology regarding the Nommo (the gods from the sky, "the teachers"). Added that in the beginning of the Sirius paragraph. --Astikain (talk) 21:26, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

There is no known Sirius C... not only is it 'invisible without a telescope', it has never been observed. The only thing that's been found is a possible regular perturbation in A and B, but that hasn't been confirmed. Frankly, I'm confused as to what's going in with Sirius C in this article. Omnipotent Q 05:30, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Well, thanks for fixing 'er, Frecklefoot. I thought about just removing the C information but thought that maybe I was missing something. Omnipotent Q 23:18, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Well, it was my fault for adding it. Sorry about that. I am not an astronomy expert and thought I had heard reference to Sirius C in my investigation. :S —Frecklefoot 15:14, 18 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Hmmm, now the whole part about Sirius sounds like a debate: "Dude A says this. But dude B says that. Sure, but dude C..." Any chance we could streamline it a bit, to make it more readable? --Astikain (talk) 21:26, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

3000 BC?[edit]

Consider this passage:

Information from those other cultures [i.e. advanced civilisations on Earth] do talk about dark companions [i.e. invisible companions of stars] circa 3000 BCE in their mythology which may have reached the then less isolated Dogon.

In other words, this sentence claims that cultures like the ancient Sumerians or Greeks were talking about dwarf stars back in 3000 BC. This sounds like bollocks to me. Is it? The Singing Badger 17:27, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Confusing facts[edit]

  1. When did the tribe first describe that companion of Sirius? Before 1860 as it says in the first section, or before 1970's as the last section implies?
  2. Why are the article talking about a binary/trinary system? If there are no evidence of a third companion star, it would reduce confusion to remove that trinary-reference, or at least mention that we don't know if the system is binary or trinary.
  3. They are most noted for their descriptions of the Sirius star system. - What is this? In the first section of an article - which is the only part most people will read - one cannot have such disputed statements presented as facts. I wouldn't mind if it had said something about a claim that they are noted for the claim that their mythology describes the star Sirius B or some such weasel terms. But giving such a statement without any explanation, that's no good... \Mike(z) 09:27, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The last one bothers me the most. Bah! this is a sensationalist article, it's not an encyclopedic article about the Dogon at all. It's a shame for Wikipedia. You know, I think we should move all that Sirius stuff to the Talk page until we have a decent article on the Dogon, the people, you know, real people, speaking a real language, living in a real world and not under the microscope of Western exotists. I'm sorry for the rant, it's nothing personal, Mike. — mark 01:43, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Ah, no problem. As I said, there are some stuff that should be removed - at least from the first paragraphs. If one wants to mock these exotists (I like that name, btw), one could of course keep it at the end of the article... Or rather just refer to some other article about those creatures and their beliefs of other peoples... :P \Mike(z) 08:32, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Marcel Griaule[edit]

French anthropologist Marcel Griaule took part in several expeditions to the Dogon in the 1930s, which resulted in his highly controversial (but also highly interesting - IMO) book "Conversations with Ogotemmeli". (I´ve addded the ref. at the end; was quite suprised to find that there was no ref. to him.) The french version of the book was published around 1952, me think. I also believe Griaule was the first to connect the knowledge of Sirius with the Dogon. I believe the (english?) anthropologist Mary McCartny (??..spelling probably not correct) and other english academics were very critical of it; they thought Griaule "read" too much into the Dogons belief. Feted them as "the Greeks of Africa", etc. Especially after the book was published in english (in 1965), several anthropologist wrote critically of it. -I read about this controvercy years ago -will try to find the references. To sum up: not always easy to differentiate between what knowledge originated with the Dogons, and what knowledge originate with the anthropologist :-> Huldra 00:38, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

-and I added a link to Nommo; strange that that was missing. There is some discussion there about the influence of Griaule. (Oh dear; I believe this Dogon article still needs quite a bit of work...)Huldra 03:23, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

natural to talk about astronomy?[edit]

This sentence "It is only natural that conversations with visitors would eventually turn to astronomy" sounded dubious to me at first. But it does make sense when I think about it. For a westerner visiting non-electrified peoples, it is amazing how dark it gets after dusk. So it is easy to imagine that a visitor, wondering what to do in the dark (not being used to going to sleep so early) and sitting outside because of the heat, would start talking about the stars above. 208.145.81.25 14:25, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Mythology and controversy[edit]

"...they had had a great deal of contact with the western world and had time to incorporate Sirius B into their religion."

I have been following the development of this article for a while, but I still cannot shut my eye over this argument. The section puts forward an assumption that the Dogon supposedly got their information on Sirius B and so on from Western astronomers and incorporated that into their religion. This assumption has, in my opinion, two problems, one from the point of view of religious history, and the other from an encyclopaedia's point of view.

The first problem is simply that I do not see anything to support this claim. I've spent many years studying the workings of mythology and religions, and I've read and heard first-hand experience of dozens of cases where mythologies, religions and cultures (including Native American, Australian and Asian cultures), had contact with modern Western civilization. And while many have started adapting and using modern technology, out of the many dozens of cases I have not heard one that ever changed anything in their religious practice or mythologies. This is partly because these cultures possess tradition that is hundreds or thousands years of age, and there is no indication that it would have any basis to simply include anything that is heard. It is also important to point out that there is also no reason for this culture to change their whole mythological system (whether there is one star or two stars at the centre of their religious system) just because of one instance of a group of unknown people going there and telling them something. While I do not consider myself an expert in the field of religious history, based on my current knowledge I see no reason that contrary to every instance I know of Western culture meeting other cultures, the Dogons would import such a piece of information into their religion.

The second problem is that we seemingly have no objective, NPOV recollection of actual Dogon mythology besides what Temple and co. had been saying. Why is it, then, that there has to be a tedious down-to-earth, skeptical explanation of why the Dogons must have changed their mythology according to modern Western knowledge when this is not supported by anything.

Because of these two problems I think that there is no need for this sub-section to be there. It is also a possibility that the current text should be something that is more NPOV than the current version which claims to be a universal truth. AdamDobay 18:27, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

"I have not heard one that ever changed anything in their religious practice or mythologies." Wow. Your claim is so preposterous, I don't even know where to start rejecting it. Have you ever heard of syncretism? Incorporating elements of western culture is exactly what happens in almost every case when native people meet westeners. Your claim is a personal theory, and those don't belong in articles, unless they are supported by a considerable number of people. That's why I deleted this section. --Zumbo 23:29, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I appreciate your taking time to revise my editing and to point out the flaws of what I have written. I admit that what I have written is not clear in some parts, especially in the sentence you quoted, which is quite dubious.
However, in what I have said I have not tried to express that there has never been a case of religions and mythologies never influenced each other. I was familiar with the fact that when religious cultures border each other, frequently meet and other variations, things start to merge, replace one another, etc. I'm afraid, rather, that I haven't found anything of which you have mentioned which would enable the content described in the syncretism article to be applied to the Dogon problem.
As I have pointed out earlier, in the case of the Dogons we are talking about (and the article mentions) only a few instances of Dogons meeting Westerners, and not traditions living together or exchanging knowledge a high number of times, as is the case with all the examples mentioned in the Syncretism article. Where are the examples you mentioned, Zumbo, of "almost every case when native people meet westeners"? I haven't seen one. I may have not been clear in my first post about what I mean in relation to the Dogons meeting Westerners, but I hope it is clear enough now.
I still do not see why this should be instantly regarded as syncretism, as I still see no evidence for this case being so simple as a whole tribe changing the base of their religious system based on some random people saying something. The Greek mythology's meeting the Egyptian or the Christian influence on many religions did not happen overnight, but gradually, with two or more cultures constantly interacting. In the Dogon case, however, we do not know of such, only a few instances are mentioned here and in all the other sources that are available on the Internet (unfortunately I could not yet get my hands on any of the books). That is why I think it is not a good idea to state that the Dogon religion would simply change because of one opinion heard once or twice and from one or two parties.
As for the whole "Skepticism" heading, the current text tries to explain the whole Temple controversy with an assumption about what may have happened in the case of Temple's research (not his assumptions) having any ground, using not more than expressions such as "it is only natural" and "it is reasonable" to support its claims. I wonder on what basis is it that much more NPOV than my proposal (not the part that this is unprobable, but the part that this is also only an opinion and not fact). Syncretism may be one solution but the problem is, we cannot really know based on just this. As far as I can tell we do not have an actual, objective recollection of the Dogons' mythology and religion in our hands right now, based upon which we could decide.
I do not know why the article has to lean toward this opinion (and not stating it is an opinion but presenting it as the most probable version) while the whole problem is so blurry. I even do not know why the article on the Dogons has to be so much about what the solution to Temple's claims about what the Dogon believe in are, if that those have any ground whatsoever. Do we know for certain the Dogons have talked about those things at all? Why, if this is so controversial, does it have to be decided with these current paragraphs? Why cannot it be there instead that these are opinions, instead of using "it is only natural" and "it is reasonable" as support? I don't think it would be very wise to decide this question, based upon so little, on probability. I think that just a teency addition of stating this was another opinion would do.
This is why I have edited the article, I admit not too well in some parts, but the problem is still the same. AdamDobay 21:32, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
OK, so we agree, religions do get influenced by other cultures. And the Dogons wouldn't have changed the principles of their religion overnight after meeting one or two westeners. But nobody claimed the opposite. Well, it's hard to define what exactly the claims about their belief system are, since there is no precise account of it, especially of their belief system before they meet westeners. What the article says about Sagan's claims (I haven't read Sagan myself) is that the Dogons already had an interested in astronomy and in Sirius, and when a western visitor told them about Sirius B, they just incorporated this bit of information into their belief system. Now that I've read over that section, it looks quite suspicious to me, especially the part about the "dark companions about 5,000 years ago in myths". To me, this looks like someone has grossly misquoted this source: [1]. I'm going to change it in a moment. --Zumbo 23:55, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
To Zumbo: What makes me (and I think perhaps others) think that it is the article that leans toward the skeptic opinion is the arrangement and logic of sentences and paragraphs. In the Skepticism section, the first paragraph has the thesis sentence that introduces us to the Temple version. The second paragraph follows by introducing us to the Sagan version. The third paragraph does not contain any reference whether it is continuing the description of either version. In the logic of the section it does not follow that the third paragraph would be continuing the Carl Sagan version, and thus it seemed to me -- up until closely reading the section a number of times -- that this is meant to be a general statement that summarizes the problem. Thus I included the final paragraph but perhaps it would be best to make the second and third paragraph into one paragraph (maybe even shortening it a little?), to resolve any misunderstanding.
I will try to make a simple structure change. Please tell me if you agree with me. AdamDobay 20:47, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

One more thing, I have been reading James Oberg's comprehensive article on The Sirius Mystery, mainly collecting the many arguments and evidence against Temple's claims. An online version can be found here: [2], we may want to refer to parts of that to make things (like what exactly Temple and Sagan had said) more clear. What do you say? AdamDobay 21:20, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

I've updated the part on mythology, removing from the general mythology part the Temple-based claim that the Dogon were describing Sirius B -- the debate on that belongs, I think, to the controversy section (which I've changed to this title, I think skepticism does not really describe the problem anymore), and the mythology that is known to exist should stay there.
Also, it seems that many of what Oberg stated in his book was attributed to Sagan in the article, so I've made small sections for the individual people. As I've spent a few hours into the night writing this and my native language is not English I may have made mistakes in grammar and sentence structure, sorry if I did.
One more question to you all: what to do with the Nommo? It is part of the mythology and maybe it should be included there (or carried over from the top of the article), but the Nommo article as well has its problems with being a bit confusing over who claimed what and what the myth/myths really is/are. AdamDobay 23:39, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Completely by Robert Temple?[edit]

I noticed that the whole Dogon mythology heading now falls under the theory of Robert Temple. But is the part about Sirius, Orion and other stars being important to the Dogon really only said by Temple? Is the sentence about the Bozo people also a theory of Robert Temple? We really don't know anything about Dogon mythology but Temple's theories? AdamDobay 13:04, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, we probably do know more, but this article (or at least this section) doesn't mention much more, which is why I attributed it to him. The wording might need to be improved, but that's my reasoning. — mark 13:25, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I think this is a very important point. Temple seems to have used the work of Marcel Griaule to build his theory upon that there would have been an extraterrestrial contact. To write this down carefully, we would like to know what exactly wrote Griaule on Sirius? What is the contribution of each of these two? Does any of you have the original Griaule book ‘Dieu d’eau’ to find this out? If not, I could try to find it, that should be not too complicated. Two other points on Dogon myths / knowledge and the difficulty of knowing what is true, that are described in ‘La mère des masques’:

1. Their knowledge is transmitted orally, from father to son, over many years and from one generation to the next. One can imagine that such stories change easily over a few generations. They wrote down almost nothing themselves (especially the elder, that have most knowledge, do not write and read) and they still rarely do. I wonder whether there would be as many different myths / stories / variations as there are Dogon? It is said that no Dogon would ever be able to know all their myths / stories.

2. It seems that the Dogon like to satisfy their (western) interlocutors. That might even help them avoiding revealing real secrets. This means that an anthropologist would have to be very careful not to direct the Dogon in a specific sense, as the Dogon would easily confirm his hypothesis, true or false.

I will develop the part on oral transmission of knowledge in the article later on.--User:AAM | Talk 14:33, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Balance[edit]

I'm glad that the Sirius part of the article is improving; I've never liked the fact that so much weight was given to some exotist claims while there always has been enough serious ethnographical research to counterbalance it. In any case, don't forget to source everything using reliable sources. It's the only way for us to be verifiable and thus trustworthy. — mark 11:59, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Mark, I would really like to see some reliable ethnographical info on the Dogons here (and well, generally). You mention serious research: do you have titles or names, perhaps? AdamDobay 20:47, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Some time ago I made a start on their languages and also added something on the people. Marcel Griaule is the inevitable starting point, but later Dogon ethnographers have shown that he focused too strongly on uncovering a certain 'native philosophy' and that his informants were, well, 'creative' and 'not without monetary realism', as Van Beek (2004) puts it. Some of the more recent studies:

  • Apter, Andrew (2005) 'Griaule's legacy : rethinking "la parole claire" in Dogon studies', Cahiers d'études africaines, 45, 177.
  • Beek, Walter E.A. van (2004) 'Haunting Griaule: experiences from the restudy of the Dogon', History in Africa, 31.
  • Berche, Thierry (1998) Anthropologie et santé publique en pays dogon, Karthala.
  • Diawara, Mamadou (1997) ' "Dieu d'eau", eau du barrag : les populations du plateau Dogon face aux contraintes: pluviométrie, terre et démographie', Africa.
  • Huet, Jean-Christophe (1994) Villages perchés des Dogon du Mali : habitat, espace, et société. L'Harmattan.
  • Paulme, Denise (1988) Organisation sociale des Dogon. Jean-Michel Place.

To be clear: by saying '...ethnographical studies to counterbalance it' above, I meant that this article should be more about the Dogon people and less about views ascribed to them by Western exotists. — mark 09:20, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for the sources. I hope at least one of these titles will be available somewhere in Budapest, but I'm not sure.
About ethnographical studies, I agree that the article should be about the Dogon people, but I also think that the amount of misinformation that is on the internet and seemingly everywhere has to be sorted out. I myself didn't know what was partand not part of Dogon mythology until I read up on the various sources the essence of which I worked into the article yesterday. And I also know a Hungarian physicist who also only knew the Temple version of Dogon mythology, and this almost got into a television programme. There are simply too many sources (just look up Dogon on Google and it will be 90% New Age and Temple-influenced posed as fact) that treat Temple's version as the base without saying so - probably they got it from elsewhere, too.
An alternate solution would be to devote a different article to the Dogon mythology controversy, and to leave the information on the people here. A yet another solution would be to create a Dogon mythology article, including what is here and what is in the Nommo article. AdamDobay 11:28, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
...but I also think that the amount of misinformation that is on the internet and seemingly everywhere has to be sorted out. I fully concur. The 'meta-ethnographical' studies by Van Beek and Apter are good sources in that respect, as they show where it went wrong. One other relevant one is Ciarcia, Gaetano (2003) De la mémoire ethnographique: l'exotisme du pays dogon, (Cahiers de l'homme). ISBN 2713217954. — mark 12:00, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Great, then if they are, let them be summarized in this entry and let us direct the reader's attention to those studies. I still think it is necessary to present the whole picture, if not in this article then another, because for the average internet user or non-professional who hears Dogon and becomes interested won't instantly know to go and research Van Beek and Apter, as there are very few publicly available references to them in "non-academic circles" such as the Internet. I myself have started my search on the Dogon on the internet, and I have not found one search result that mentioned Van Beek, Apter, Ciarcia or others of relevancy, but I have found a number of New Age articles, skeptic pages and summaries of the Dogon which looked like non-superficial but still contained information that I could only know not to be true after spending many days and weeks sorting out what came from which source. Now if I'm just a casual person that is interested wouldn't it be nice to be able to read one NPOV recollection of the whole problem. AdamDobay 13:04, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
You've got mail. — mark 23:38, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Polygamy and marriages[edit]

I just came back from the Dogon. They are definitely polygamous. We have been discussing this matter for hours with our Dogon-guide. He even said there are more women than men (very strange, I don't believe this) so it is important that men have several women. "A woman is only happy when she has children and the man has to take care of this." I corrected the text on this point (monogamy = polygamy). An interesting point is that men and women do not live together during the first years of their marriage. A woman slips into the house of the man (still living with his family) during the night and gets back to her own family early in the morning. She will raise her first child in the house of her parents. This gives the man some time to construct a house for his new family. They move in together after this period. The first born child stays with the family of the woman, to compensate for her loss. =AM, France.

The article already did mention polygyny. Over the last days, it had been changed several times from polygyny to polygamy and I changed it back because polygyny is more specific in this context. Your change looked like the same change, so at first I undid it; but upon reading your comment, I changed the text to reflect what you say. It would be nice to have published sources to cite for this, however, in order to maintain the verifiability of our articles. — mark 21:13, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
The website you mentioned below, says that a Dogon can have up to 4 spouses http://www.necep.net/facts.php?id_soc=12, look at the social organization. F15 Extension of marriage prohibition Yes, up to four spouses and F16 Polygamy Virilocal, patrilocal (formally wives only joined their husband's residence unit after the birth of their first child). I agree that polygyny is more accurate than polygamy. I think however, that it would be more accurate to say that Dogon society is primarily polygynic but that some men have only one wife =AM
You're right, and I agree. I'll leave it to you to update the article, and I wish to apologize for yesterday's revert; I should have assumed good faith. Thanks for coming back to discuss! — mark 08:42, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
OK done. Apologize accepted and appreciated! I think you are right that things should be verifiable. However, this is also a weak point as I cannot write down my experiences / information I obtained at the Dogon as I have no backup litterature for many of them.--AAM 10:36, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Good to see that you've created an account; welcome to Wikipedia! As for literature, if you feel like reading up on the Dogon, you might find something to your liking in the above section (titled #Balance), where I mentioned a few recent anthropological publications on the Dogon. As noted in that section, too, this article (just like the Dogon themselves, I imagine) often suffers from exotism, which is the main reason that I was somewhat protective. — mark 11:09, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

New online source available[edit]

An interesting online resource on the Dogon has come recently available: the NECEP database. There is much to be found there that could be of use for expanding the article. — mark 21:17, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Etymology of Dogon[edit]

What is the etymology of the name Dogon? Alexander 007 20:27, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

  • Oppose - XXXX people is standard. PeaceOnEarth 01:47, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Who requested a move? Alexander 007 01:57, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support, why not? I wasn't aware of the request either, but it can be found here. As Dogon is simply a redirect at the moment, I see no reason why we would have this article at Dogon people instead of Dogon. — mark 07:54, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support: I think it is strange to have an empty Dogon page and use Dogon people instead.--User:AAM | Talk 09:03, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support The Dogon are the Dogon, I think this should not be such a controversy to rename. Gryffindor 09:59, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

I undid the premature archival of this vote and have noticed Nightstallion (talk · contribs) of my doing so. The initial request dates from five days ago, but it seems that most of us became aware of it only today. — mark 11:41, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Numbers[edit]

The numbers don't add up in this sentence: "Sigui: the most important ceremony of the Dogon. It takes place every 60 years and can take several years. The last one started in 1967 and ended in 1973, the next one will start in 2007." Should it be 40 years, or does the next one start in 2027? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 151.200.49.25 (talkcontribs) 03:37, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks and you are right it should be 2027. It has been changed. --User:AAM | Talk 08:54, 10 March 2006 (UTC)


Circumcision + age groups[edit]

There has been a modification that changes the signification of the text (look at age groups last AAM version vs the current version). This might be a language matter (I am not a native english speaker) so I would like somebody that is to verify it. What I tried to express in the original version that there is a circumcision ceremony every three years and that all boys of the 'age group of 9-12 years' are taken together to be circumsized at that same moment. I mentioned 'age groups' as this is very important for the ceremony and their social position afterwards (their age in that specific group), so this aspect should not get lost the way it seems in the current version. It now reads as if boys are grouped at random at some moment between the age of 9-12 years and circumsized. If nobody could help me I will revert to the original version. --User:AAM | Talk 18:50, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

No, you are right, I'd revert the 'circumcision' section to your version; 'age group' is a common term in ethnography. However, not all changes in that edit were bad, so please don't simply revert it; a change that should stay, for example, is the change from "and were not a technologically advanced civilization" to "did not have telescopes or other astronomical technology". — mark 07:29, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks - only the edits in the CC part are reverted as suggested. --User:AAM | Talk 17:59, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

hello: circumcision is the more neutral term, why change to mutilation?! I know it must be painful etc etc, but maybe we should keep the txt factual.Consider it!Super48paul (talk) 08:11, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

"Mutilation" means cutting off or permanently destroying a body part. Male circumcision is not necessarily mutilation as the penis remains functional, but completely removing a girl's genitals certainly qualifies as mutilation of the genitals. Whether the culture endorses the practice or not is irrelevant to the definition. 76.174.24.153 (talk)

Recent changes[edit]

The recent changes by 71.193.82.16 (talk · contribs) are not all bad, but they are all unsourced, so I'm afraid I'm going to have to revert them. What do others think? — mark 06:39, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I think they are good-faith edits. I would let them stand. Wizzy 07:06, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, that came across too curtly, I also think the edits are in good faith. But who's going to provide sources for say, the population number and the change from 60 to 65 years for the interval of the Sigui ceremony? — mark 07:13, 7 December 2006 (UTC)


"Sirius" addendum[edit]

I think that this entire little part of the article should be considered for deletion or revision. It's obviously someone who professes New Age beliefs trying to argue for the Dogons being contacted by extraterrestrials.

While most people with any or no science background think stuff like this is bunk, we're on Wikipedia here, so maybe could we just make sure it's mentioned somewhere in this or another article that certain religions believe "the following".

Not only all this, but this "Sirius" addendum is not very continuous with the thought stream of the rest of the article.

You'd think because I do lots of work on a fictional language called "Atlantean" that I'd have more leniency for such causes. Think again. This alien-astronaught business is merely a figment of modern imagination and literature.

Epigraphist (talk) 02:14, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

I would support the moving of this whole thing to a sub article. It has precious little to do with Dogon people, and a lot to do with some by westerners. It is quite notable and should not be deleted, but the actual living Dogon community plays no role in it. If you can get concensus, I'll help with the move, perhaps to Dogon Sirius theory? T L Miles (talk) 20:07, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Move[edit]

I'm going to suggest again that the Sirus controversy section be moved to its own article. At over 8,000 bytes it represents just about 1/3rd of the article, and seems to have much more to do with Western researchers debating than the voices/lives/history of actual Dogon people. I'll tag the page, but people should weigh in here so we can get some concensus. T L Miles (talk) 20:44, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

As it happens, I moved the whole Robert Temple section to the entry on The Sirius Mystery only yesterday, but one Taharqa reinstated it without good reason. There seems widespread agreement that it is not relevant here, irrespective of its validity. If it is reinstated again, we can be sure that the person concerned has a POV agenda that is not compatible with the aims of Wikipedia.Skeptic2 (talk) 21:28, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
That may be the answer, but I think it would be nice if we could reach some kind of consensus on this instead of just a revert war. The first answer, I would suggest, is that this debate has little to do with the Dogon people, unless we can get accepted Dogon writers debating this topic. But because it's an issue that, given the ink spilled, deserves a place on Wikipedia (whether I agree with the veracity of it or not), I'd hope that partisans on either side can agree where it should be placed, rather than one editor sticking somewhere, and another sticking it back. Can we get an agreement between both sides to where this should be moved? T L Miles (talk) 02:38, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Sorry about that. I now agree that it should be removed, however I did not read the talk page, which is my mistake. I don't appreciate however, being accused of anything as suggested above since ironically, I saw such drastic rewording/pov refining (devoid of citation) as an indication of that exact behavior. Also, your name would to most, confirm that suspicion but I've learned to give the benefit of the doubt, which I will do regardless of the immediate distrust displayed above and unwillingness to cooperate with editors in civil accordance with wiki standards. See your talk page for additional concerns. Hopefully we don't have to resort to such ill mannered dialogue in the future. Not really sure where that emotion comes from (this is aimed at Skeptic2).

Thank you also TL Miles for your contributions and I will abide by consensus, devoid of misguided additions rooted in pov. Didn't at all mean to detract away from that and I appreciate your general tone and take on this.Taharqa (talk) 02:47, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't think previous editors had realized there was an entry on The Sirius Mystery book, otherwise we would probably have been having this argument on that page instead. As a comment on the now-removed text, let me note that it attributed information on the Dogon knowledge of astronomy to "A number of researchers". As far as I am aware this number is One, i.e. Griaule, with the inevitable support of his colleague Dieterlin. As we now know, other anthropologists seem to disagree with Griaule, some quite strongly. In reply to Taharqa's comment on Oberg's views, Oberg wasn't aware of the criticisms of Griaule's work when he wrote about Sirius mystery. It seems to me there is little point discussing supposed explanations for Griaule's findings about the Dogon when it's not even established that there is anything to explain. These points were made at much greater length over two years ago, particularly by AdamDobay (see above). Skeptic2 (talk) 09:03, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
PS: If Taharqa knows of independent confirmation of Griaule's findings then I'm sure we would all would welcome the reference(s). The unsourced statement at the end which Taharqa objects to was inserted by another editor (anonymous), although it strikes me as fair comment. Skeptic2 (talk) 09:25, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Dogon Alphabet?[edit]

Do the Dogon have their own alphabet? In reading "Mali: A Prospect for Peace", Rheal Drisdelle, An Oxfam Country Guide I came across the following "Dogon culture, with its own alphabet, its five day week, and references to stellar bodies...". However, no further information is provided. Does anyone know anything more about this? I'm not able to find anything much on the internet. There is a website here:

Dogon and Bangime Linguistics

This site has a section titled 'Alphabet' but does not present a script, rather it seems to be a vocabulary. 86.143.69.15 (talk) 21:04, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

"converted by missionaries to Christianity"[edit]

This line in the religion section sounds non NPOV to me. So I changed it to a minority practice Christianity, like the existing sentence about a minority practicing Islam. Maybe saying "there is a minority who are Muslims and a minority who are Christians" would say the same thing in fewer words. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Marfinan (talkcontribs) 15:18, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Enlarged -> Extended family?[edit]

"Enlarged family" sounds contrived, perhaps due to translation (since the sections that mention "enlarged family" do not explicitly cite sources, it's likely that the "enlarged family" mentions all stem from the same source that is quoted near them). "Extended family" is a lot more commonly used, I should think.--JeR (talk) 13:47, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Are dogon and Euskera (Basque language) related?[edit]

It would be interesting to include the hypothesis that the Euskera proceeds from Dogon. According to the news from several newspapers, a linguistic study done by James Martin, professor at the Instituto Cervantes in Madrid.

Hidden comment on Griaule just deleted from the Culture and religion section[edit]

The section was enlarged - no comment on that, but the hidden comment that was removed stated "ethnographer: Marcel Griaule (a good start; but he seems to have focused mainly on the Dogon of Sangha; and don't believe everything he says about the language) (see also talk)". Dougweller (talk) 19:18, 2 December 2013 (UTC)