Bandiagara plateau

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Bandiagara escarpment in Mali

Among the sandy plateaus of Mali, West Africa, near the plateau Bandiagara is located the Bandiagara escarpment. This area, which has preserved the ancient culture of the local residents has been preserved to this day. The first settlements were founded here by tribal hunters in 1770.

Bandiagara plateau’s area is called the Dogon and the name comes from the fact that it is the ancient territory of the Dogon people. Their population numbers 300, 000 people. The Dogon are well known in mythology, by their dance masks, wooden sculptures and architecture. In the past century, however, there are major changes in social organization, material culture and their beliefs, partly because the Dogon country is one of the biggest attractions here.

Still, there are small settlements of four of these African tribes - lion, Aru, Domo and Dion. These indigenous people live in communion with their ancestors and their main occupation is agriculture. For centuries their history is told in many rock paintings that can be seen in the vicinity of the plateau.

These stone carvings have become something of a local ancestral art. The largest village is here Sanga village, its inhabitants painted the rocks, which symbolizes cultural dialogue with their ancestors. Interestingly, there is the custom here that the little boys to be circumcised during a special ceremony with handmade, painted Masks. There are two types of petroglyphs.

The first is called. BAMI and is connected to the ritual traditions of the tribes. Most often they represent prayers for rain and fertility of the land, and the ritual of circumcision. The second type of rock paintings, which can be seen here bear the name tonu- showing mystical scenes related to the vitality of the dead.

Even today people Dogon continue to paint various scenes of life in the rocks. The most attractive to tourists are located in rock shelters near Condi Pegyu in the Sanga village, but unfortunately they are not always available for visitors.

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