The Dogon Tribe

University of Phoenix
Marjorie Smith
February 14, 2011


      The Dogons are an interesting tribe of indigenous people who are very sheltered from the industrial world we live in.   Their way of life, religious beliefs, and customs are basically frozen in time because of their geographical isolation from more advanced civilizations.   The Dogons geographic isolation was part of their defense up until the 1930s as it withstood various attempts by Muslims, the French, and others who have attempted to conquer them (Unknown, n.d.).
      The Dogons currently live in village districts of Bandiagara and Douentza in the country of Mali, West Africa.   The Dogons inhabit three geographical regions of Mali, the plains, cliffs, and plateau.   The Dogon population in these areas is around 300,000 with the most concentrated population inhabiting the 125-mile stretch cliffs of Bandiagara.   There is also a tribe of anywhere from 400-800 Dogons in the country directly below Mali named Burkina Faso.   There are thought to be more than 700 different Dogon tribes living in the cliffs of Bandiagara and Burkina Faso.   Most of the tribes have fewer than 500 inhabitants (Unknown, n.d.).
      Dogons are thought to be of Egyptian decent and are said to have migrated to the Mali and Burkina Faso regions by way of the countries known as present-day Libya, Niger, and Algeria.   They first migrated into the present-day countries of Guinea and Mauritania.   They are said to have migrated around 1490 AD to their present inhabitance of Bandiagara, Mali and Burkina Faso.   The migration was carried out because they had to flee the onslaught of another civilization, the Mossi people, and the dirt began to become unfertile for their crops to grow (Unknown, n.d).
      Perhaps the most controversial part of the beliefs and way of life of the Dogon people is their religious beliefs.   Their religion is generally centered in the belief that they were visited by an...