Conversations with Ogotemmeli by Griaule, Marcel, November 6, , Oxford University Press, USA edition, in English. Conversations With Ogotemmeli: An Introduction to Dogon Religious Ideas Get your site here, or download a FREE site Reading App. Conversations with Ogotemmeli: An Introduction to Dogon Religious Ideas ( Galaxy Books). Marcel Griaule. Click here if your download doesn"t start.

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Available in the National Library of Australia collection. Author: Griaule, Marcel, ; Format: Book; xvii, p., [5] p. of plates: ill., map ; 23 cm. Download full-text PDF. Masques Dogons:Social . Griaule's conversations with Ogotemmêli,-- that the manifold and nuanced activities of the. Conversations with Ogotemmêli book. Read 17 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Originally published in as Dieu d'Eau, this near.

In hue-mans, clavicles are the first bones to form in a hue-man embryo. They grow in the form of an exaggerated 'S'. The celestial clavicles that grow from the Po are the spiral nebulae arms that extend from the galactic core and define the shape of our spiral galaxy.

Suddenly, the Po burst forth, and eight new seeds were created. Amma planted these seeds in his egg near the clavicles of the Po.

With these eight seeds, Amma intended to create eight celestial beings - four male and four female. The Nommo are the first beings created by Amma, and they are amphibious celestial creatures. The Nommo correspond to the Kemetic Khem-Anu. These eight beings were going to be Amma's perfect creation. However, one of the male twins - Ogo the Kemetic Set - grew impatient as he waited for his female twin to gestate.

Ogo decided to rebel from Amma. He jumped out of his celestial womb and stole parts of his own placenta. He then began creating and pro-creating with his own placenta in an attempt to re-create his own little world.

His stolen placenta became impure, and his actions greatly threw off the divine order Amma had intended. The Dogon say that our Sun - whom they call Nay - is the stolen placenta, and that planet Earth is the rebel-world established by Ogo.

To re-establish order and purify creation of Ogo's transgression, Amma decided to sacrifice one of the completed Nommo twins - Nommo Semi. Nommo Semi was composed of both a male and female Nommo Anagonno, and was a complete and perfect Being onto itself. Amma lifted Nommo Semi out of the celestial waters and tied the androgynous fish to the Kilena Mother of charcoal tree. In one swift cut, Amma sliced the umbilical cord and genitals of Nommo Semi.

Semi died a suffering and painful death. The Dogon say that Sirius 'A' - the visible star of Sirius whom the Dogon call Sigi Tolo - is the celestial embodiment of the sacrifice. Amma then took the nyama of the sacrificed Nommo and dripped it on the former placenta of the celestial fish the Sirius system and the stolen placenta of its brother Ogo our Sun Nay. Amma's goal was to purify his creation from the transgressions of Ogo. It required him taking a pure and perfected being Nommo Semi and sacrificing it.

Amma intended for the spirit of Nommo Semi to heal Ogo's torn placenta and become one with the Impure Earth Ogo created. When Amma sprinkled the sacrificed nyama, it did several things: - It caused the resurrection of the sacrificed Nommo.

When Nommo Semi's nyama dripped on its former placenta, it caused it to be reborn. Its re-birth however, multiplied Semi's forms and transformed its nature. Nommo Semi resurrected in three simultaneous forms: 1.

The Kora-Na is depicted as a step-pyramid with an antennae-looking rod at the apex. Unum - The once androgynous Nommo Semi now manifested as the eight original ancestors of Hue-manity - four males and four females. The male and female souls of Nommo Semi now had their own separate forms. They were paired in four couples united in the image of the original eight Nommo. It carried as its occupants the Unum of Hue-manity and the seeds of eight celestial grains.

Also, the shape, design, and proportions of the Ark express all of the principles and science hue-manity would need for the reorganization and atonement of Ogo's earth.

Even though the Kora-Na, O Nommo, and the Unum were going to travel to 'The Impure Earth' of Ogo, they were to forever remain connected to a lifeline that connected them straight to Amma's womb. This ever-living placenta is the Sirius system, and as long as the connection with Sirius was maintained, the Resurrected Nommo would never die.

The Sirius system floods the Impure Earth with rejuvenating and nourishing Nyama every sixty years, at which time the Dogon perform the Sigui ceremony to reaffirm the Earth-Sirius connection.

The sacrificial Nyama created parallel structures in celestial sphere and on Ogo's earth. In heaven, it reorganized space and the cycles of time in our solar system.

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It also synchronized our system's cycles with the cycles of the Sirius system. The Sirius System and this planetary system thus became twin placentas of a pair of the 8 ancestral Nommo. On earth, it organized hue-man culture and set the order for hue-man interaction.

This is the celestial foundation of the Earthly sciences of astrology, astronomy, and agriculture. Lastly, the sacrificial Nyama set the stage for the day of total purification and renewal for planet Earth. This day is called 'Izubay Minne' - "Earth of the Day of the Fish", which occurs when "the fish is sacrificed" the termination of the Piscean Age and "His blood falls to Earth as cords of rain" when the celestial waters pour down to initiate the Age of Aquarius.

One day during the transition of these ages, Taba Tolo - the reuniting of the two placentas - will occur. Taba Tolo is when the Sun and Sirius come together in a grand conjunction.

My guess is that this grand conjunction will probably occur on the first helical rising of Sirius after the equinox sunrise occurs with Aquarius as the celestial backdrop.

This stream will wash away the corrupt order of Ogo and immortalize the sons and daughters of the Nommo. As stated, Ogo's self-willed actions really threw off the universal balance Amma had intended. Beyond creating the principle and act of theft, when Ogo took his own placenta and recreated his own world, it amounted to an act of incest.

Amma felt that Ogo must be stopped from creating more chaos, as well as punished for his misdeeds. Amma ordered one of the other Nommo - Nommo Titeyanye - to punish Ogo. Nommo Titeyanye smashed Ogo's genitalia, making him infertile.

Ogo fled from the heavens down to Earth. Once on Earth, Amma wanted to bind Ogo to this planet so that he could not disrupt the celestial order anymore. Once on Earth, the Pale Fox Yurugu continued his disruptive and chaotic behaviors.

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He attempted to create an artificial world outside of the divine order of Amma. That was what he was doing when the Ark Kora Na landed upon Earth.

African Creation Myths

When it landed, the force of impact almost killed Yurugu, but he survived by fleeing underground. Out of the Kora Na emerged the eight ancestors of hue-manity. They came forth with eight grains, including millet, black rice, chickpea, and sorghum.

Their mission is to cultivate the land and grow the celestial grains so that everyone could live in abundance. They were also supposed to reproduce and spread throughout the world bringing the spiritual technologies contained within the Kora-Na with them.

The eight ancestors and their offspring were charged with conducting important ceremonies such as the Sigui ceremony. The Sigui is performed every 60 year when the planets Jupiter and Saturn are aligned. The Sigui re-establishes the bond of the Fish-people who sacrificed their divine self to their homeland across the waters - Sirius.

The ultimate purpose the Dogon say they have is to maintain this extra-terrestrial connection by establishing sacred sites and celestial granaries throughout the world in an effort to prepare Earth for Izubay Minne 'The Day of the Earth of the Fish'. Dogon Cosmology, Sirius, and Hydrogen Astrophysics There are some profound astrophysical truths contained in this summary of Dogon star science, a few of which have already been alluded to.

Team-based learning see www. In examining these sources, we will pay special attention to the relationship between mythic stories and the rituals that often frame them; the relevance of mythic stories to everyday human experience; and the ways in which such stories might be considered "true.

Emphasis will be on the modern period, but the course will also consider briefly, via secondary readings, the way that mythology has developed historically since ancient times. All but the first and last for which instructions are provided below are available at the Hornet Bookstore.

The schedule of readings below refers to these sources using either a title abbreviation or the author's last name, as indicated below in parentheses in bold print. Optional: for those seeking more in-depth study of myth, you may wish to search on-line for the following sources.

Conversations with Ogotemmeli

Roughly two thirds of the class sessions involve the completion of a graded activity for which you cannot receive credit if you are absent; this includes team readiness assessments scored for each individual and team assignments for which attendance will be taken within each team. See "Grading Policies" below regarding credit for missed assignments.

The remainder of class periods are study sessions designed to guide you in making sense of the assigneed readings; missing these will make successful completion of in-class assignments more difficult.

We will work out a way to make up missed work once you return; see below under "Absences " and "Grading Policies.

If I am talking when you enter, take a seat near the door rather than crossing everyone's field of vision. To avoid distracting others once your are in the classroom, please: keep cell phones turned off and stowed away for the entire duration of the class, as you would on an airplane. Please contact me during the first two weeks of the term if you have a disability or other special circumstance that merits an exception to any of the above guidelines.

If you miss a class or any part of one, please follow the steps below before contacting me by email or phone, which in many cases will not be necessary. Consult the syllabus to determine what activities you missed. If you missed a team assignment, you can still write the notes for it; see 4 below. Contact other members of your team ASAP to find out about any announcements, you may have missed, which are usually made during the first minutes of a given class session.

In terms of a dynamic corporeal field, a significant egocentric and sociocentric synthesis is thus achieved, whereby north is up, south is down, east is left and west is right. Because the body is lying down on its back, front is also celestial, back is terrestrial.

This dualism replicates the bisexuality of original twinship, with one gender dominating the other, and further suggests that the body of the house and village can be male or female, depending on context But if entering the village is like entering the house, with the male's frontal penetration of interior female space, then we should find maleness outside the village, in marked contrast to female space at the center.

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And in fact we do. Whether or not this explanation is based on ad hoc secondary elaborations, I see the discrepancy as more consistent with the generative scheme of entering and exiting. Furthermore, following the logic of scheme transposition, the same opposition can be inverted without contradiction, as context and circumstances dictate.

Thus from the "assembled" perspective of normative politics, of the male regulation of public affairs, men occupy the center in the men's meeting house, while women are marginalized in menstruation huts and the inner rooms of the domestic domain. In this gendered distribution of male authority and order, with men at the center and women at the margins, a further ethnographic contradiction occurs that vanishes from a practical point of view.

Again, in his normative diagram, Griaule locates the men's meeting house at the "head" of the village, which is above and to the north, whereas in his text, we find such structures in the central square of the village, and in each public square, presumably those of each quarter.

How can it occupy both positions at once—the northern head and the central square? In this case, Griaule is succumbing to the synoptic illusion Bourdieu , when practical systems of classification are abstracted into a fixed hierarchy of logical relations apart from their context-specific validity, and thus appear contradictory. The men's house can occupy both positions at once because, according to the coordinates of body space, "up" is male, north, dry, celestial, associated with lineage ancestors and authority, and by implication, "down" is female, south, moist, terrestrial, associated with childbirth.

Dogon and Zulu Cosmology

Dogon Village Scheme from Griaule 95 42Ogol is "almost right", and most of the houses of Upper Ogol face west to avoid the prevailing rains ibid. But again I would emphasize practical movement over static design; movement in and out, up and down, back and forth, left and right.

From this more active agentive perspective, we can even "predict" certain amendments to the village scheme that find support in Griaule's text. Returning to the men's house as centrally located in the Dogon village, and "facing north" Griaule 98 , "the elders [who] [.

In relation to the domestic matrix of gendered orientations, however, these straight-talking elders resemble women. Like women giving birth within the house, seated on a stool, supported by other women, so that the infant is delivered "on the ground", the men are seated at the center of the town, supported by men, delivering good words that are "grounded" in a ground plan that evokes the seventh and eighth ancestors, "the master of Speech, and [.

But if from the vertical axis of standing and sitting, these men are like women, from the frontal and dorsal axis of ahead and behind, they again assert their difference: women give birth with their backs to the north, whereas men in the speech shelter, at least in principle, face north. It is the lateral axis of left and right, however, which extends to the most significant contrast between men and women, purity and pollution, center and periphery, and finally, good and bad words. For at right angles to the north-facing men, the women's menstruation shelters establish left and right "hands" and east-west limits of the village.

So fundamental is this schematic opposition to the construction of gendered public space that "in the past, when a village was founded, the [men's] shelter and the women's houses were the first buildings to be erected" Griaule Such words are not fertile, but sabotage procreation, since they are formed by unwanted blood, the result of mother-son incest when the jackal later called the pale fox violated the earth.

Bad words thus pass out of the womb "in emanations" ibid. Good words, by contrast, represent the water of Nummo, which is pure, the female moisture and blood of procreation, mingling with the male seed to create new life. Since the bad words of menstruating women cause such havoc, they are exiled to the margins of the village, and after their periods, cleanse their vaginas with Lannea acida oil which as a sweetener, works "like a good word in combating the bad smell resulting from a bad word" ibid.

This profound association of bad words with bad blood explains why we find, at the center of the village, the female shrine as sexual organ, made of stones "on which the fruit of the Lannea acida is crushed" ibid.

Located at the sides and margins of the social body, these "words" have a subversive and destabilizing force as the negative dialectic of cosmological renewal—the valence that sunders and takes apart in order to remake and recombine anew, to purify through ritual reproduction.

In sociopolitical terms, such deep knowledge aligns with dominant sociopolitical cleavages, emphasizing the separation and division of power competition over the administrative unity of the political body as a whole, be it the household, ward, village or district. The secret of deep knowledge in these oppositional contexts is not found in a hidden doctrine for the privileged few, but in its paradigmatic negation of the status quo associated with the relevant political authority.

If the true words of men are delivered while sitting, evoking the position of women in labor, it is because their official words are socially reproductive.

By contrast, the destabilizing words of the left and right are transformative, false by official standards but sanctified by deeper truth-conditions that remain impure and off-bounds to the public. Studies of Dogon sociopolitical organization reveal a complex tapestry of interrelated and overlapping institutions, including clans and lineages, occupational castes, various cults and mask societies, indigenes and strangers, men's and women's associations, as well as households, villages and districts stratified by age-sets and in many cases divided between Upper and Lower sections with complementary ritual domains.

Thus in the well-worked region of Sanga, divided into Upper and Lower sub-regions, we find villages such as Ogol, Sangui, Ennguel and Bongo, each in turn divided into Upper and Lower sides, as well as villages such Barkou and Gogoli that are not divided as such But such complexities aside, we can abstract a core model of "politics" and "administration" in the Bandiagara cliffs that identifies relations of opposition and inclusion in the following terms: within the district or region, we find two main "halves" Upper and Lower , segmented into villages, many of which also split into Upper and Lower divisions, and which in turn break down into quarters or wards, and further into lineages and lineage segments organized by households or homesteads of the "grandes maisons".

Headed by the Hogon as a fused political and ritual office, the system was administered through a council of elders that represented the dominant quarters and lineages of each village, and these presumably were similarly organized around a senior elder and his representative age-mates, and so forth in a replicating pattern that applied to the village quarter and even the "houses" within, each with its "chef de maison".

According to this ideal-typical pattern, authority relations refer to the hierarchical inclusion of houses, quarters and villages within the Hogon's regional jurisdiction, and political relations to the divisive competition between houses, quarter, villages, even Upper and Lower divisions—that is, between units of equivalent status and rank—for the power to determine public policy and its outcomes.

As Smith points out, this dialectic of power and authority informs all levels of political organization; in the Dogon context, these would include the family and its internal sibling groups up through the ward, village, and district levels. But what I am suggesting in ritual terms is that the transgressive potency of power sui generis, opposed to authority as it violates its categories and constraints, is simultaneously manifest in menstrual blood and the unbounded powers of the bush, outside of society.

Denise Paulme notes that the olubaru elders in the highest grade of the Sigi society are not only considered impure inne puru.Intrigued by anthropology, he gave up plans for a technical career. The Po is the Black Hole that is the core of our galaxy. They came forth with eight grains, including millet, black rice, chickpea, and sorghum.

What for Calame-Griaule remains an ideational explanation—words are linked to power and efficacy because of Dogon beliefs about language and the body—becomes from our pragmatic perspective more of a grammatical explanation, based on the very principle of linguistic performativity. Suddenly, the Po burst forth, and eight new seeds were created.

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