New PDF release: Conversations with Ogotemmêli: An Introduction to Dogon

By Marcel Griaule, Germaine Dieterlen

ISBN-10: 0195198212

ISBN-13: 9780195198218

Initially released in 1948 as Dieu d'Eau, this near-classic bargains a distinct and first-hand account of the parable, faith, and philosophy of the Dogon.

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Extra info for Conversations with Ogotemmêli: An Introduction to Dogon Religious Ideas

Sample text

Seven,' said Ogotemmeli, 'is the rank of the master Speech; I 7 = 8. The eighth rank is that of Speech Speech is separate from the one who teaches it, that is, seventh ancestor; it is the eighth ancestor. ' The oldest man then living, therefore, because he beionge 48 + But men possessed an older Word, the second, which they had 1111lrnt from weaving; and this Word had to give place to the Ihird Word. The new Word should have been imparted by the Mt~vcnth ancestor Nummo, who had been killed by men, and wllOse head was now lying under the seat in the smithy in the 1I000thern section of the primal field.

That eight was in a certain sense the last of the numbers, and there was nothing beyond it. By 'Lebe' he not the original old man, but the new elemental being rellUHU1. from the union of the old man and the Nummo. ' He also meant that the descendant of the eighth am;t:1Stu; was like the eighth ancestor himself. But in the series ancestors the seventh and eighth are both female. 'L6b6 is a new Word created by two females. ' But Ogotemmeli was careful to explain that all this was manner of speaking, arid that he was merely trying to explau to the Nazarene the absence of a father.

But the European was never greatly interested in his own "peculations. 'All the same,' observed Ogotemmeli, 'the new L6b6 who emerged from the vomit, the Leb6 whom we honour today ... ' He pulled himself together. It was a difficult thing to explain. Moreover the Hogon's wife had just come into the courtyard Imd greeted them. She was an old woman with a gentle voice, which broke at certain words because of palpitations of the Iwart; bending her small round head forward, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, she listened intently to what the European luud to her.

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Conversations with Ogotemmêli: An Introduction to Dogon Religious Ideas by Marcel Griaule, Germaine Dieterlen


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