Bandiagara Plateau Mali Also Known As Land Of The Dogons

Bandiagara Plateau Mali Also Known As Land Of The Dogons

Amidst the stunning cliffs and sandy plateau of Mali in Western Africa, the Cliffs of Bandiagara on the Bandiagara Plateau are home to one of the few remaining communities still practising many age-old traditions and rituals. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Bandiagara Plateau Mali have been recognised for their natural beauty as well as their historical significance in understanding these ancient cultures through their surviving traditions.

Bandiagara Plateau Mali

The Bandiagara Plateau Mali , one of the main centres of Dogon culture, houses various small peripheral villages of the four Dogon  tribes who migrated from the land of Mande centuries ago: the Dyon, Ono, Arou and Dommo. The village communities consist of desert-edge subsistence farmers divided into ‘living men’ and ‘dead men’, existing in symbiotic union with each other as well as having a symbolic attachment to their environment. Both of these relationships are represented in the ancient rock art that appears in and around the Bandiagara.

The village of Sangha, the most populated in the area, is celebrated for its continued practice of rock carving and its ancient circumcision ceremonies that have taken place here for more than a millennium, complete with the use of beautifully and elaborately carved masks. The rock art, continually updated, works as an ongoing historical and social dialogue for these ancient peoples.

Two main themes of rock art that have been identified are bammi, or ritual paintings, and tonu, or other, more mystical or practical paintings. The bemmi paintings show the various stages of the triannual circumcision ceremonies, as well as those of traditional rain dances, burial rituals and fertility dances. The tonu paintings were mostly created to release the potentially dangerous nyama, or life forces, of the dead.

Rock art sites are located near to, or inside, the places where the ritual masks are stored. Here, the participants in mask festivals, the largest of which is the Sigui mask festival, rest before they perform.

Some rock sites remain in use today, particularly the shelter at Kondi Pegue in Sanga, but these are not always open to visitors.

What Is Bandiagara Plateau Mali

A subtropical paradise with areas historical and archeological importance.

Where Is Bandiagara Plateau Mali

Mali, Western Africa

What Is To See In Bandiagara Plateau Mali

Ancient rock art sites, traditional masks and ritual ceremonies.

Bandiagara Plateau Mali Also Known As

Land of the Dogons.


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