Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Dogon Region of Mali
Dogon Villages are easily identified by their distinctive square graineries. Most house compounds will have at least two, this one being a "men's grainery", with three doors, used for storing the millet meal that is their staple.
The Dogon are famous for their lavishly carved doors, mostly on their graineries, but occassionally on the houses as well. The faces on either side of the door are representations of the town Spiritual Leader and the Spiritual Leader's wife.
The Dogon region runs along a magnificent escarpment, and much of the earlier villages were built along the face of the cave. It is only recently, with more security, that the people have left the old houses and moved onto new villages on the floor. The last people left the cliff houses about fourty years ago. The structures are entirely mud-brick, and some of them border on being nearly a thousand years old.