Day tour of Sangha and other towns above and below Bandiagara escarpment

April 4th, 2010  

The trip to Dogon Country continues with a day tour to the village of Sangha on the top of the plateau, then with a transfer by 4x4 to other towns below the Bandiagara escarpment. At sunset, visit the major Dogon village Songho, near Bandiagara, while a circumcision ceremony is in progress.

Sangha, Mali
Tour of Dogon village Sangha on the top of a plateau, just before the falaise. Sangha is a good base for trekking along the falaise and to visit several other Dogon towns, as I did yesterday. In these pictures of Sangha, a panorama of the town seen from an house roof, and vegetables drying on a roof.
The central square in Sangha, with the toguna (a meeting place having a roof held by columns) and beautiful baobab trees.
Baobab Baobab
In Sangha there are majestic baobab trees and, under one of them, I am just a small dot.
Dogon chief ( Hogon ) Millet
I visit the Dogon chief house (" Hogon ") in Sangha. The Chief, or Hogon, is the town's oldest man and is in charged of religious and agricultural rituals. Because of his important charge, he must respect several important taboos, for example, he cannot be touched by anybody, including his wife or family components, and cannot wash himself for the remaining life.
Dogon house
In Sangha I see this special house made of stones rather than dried mud. This is the women's house during the menstrual cycle days because, during these days, they cannot stay in the same home with their family.
Reading fox footprint Reading fox footprint
Reading foxes footprints. This is a method used to look into the future: nuts and sticks are placed into these spaces then, when a fox will come the next night, it will move the sticks and leave footprints. Reading the footprints gives an explanation to the problems which a person may have.
Mud bricks
Bricks made by dried mud, ready to be used for buildings.
Bandiagara, Mali Bandiagara, Mali
A few hours by Toyota 4x4 brings me to another place along the Bandiagara falaise. The weather is still very hot, but the landscape is amazing and still very different from the same landscape during the raining season.
Donkey Donkey
Donkeys are searching for some shadow below the few green trees.
Mud brick mosque Mud brick mosque
At the base of the Bandiagara cliff, at Kani-Kombole, I visit from outside a mosque made by dried mud.
Bandiagara cliff Dogon mud buildings
Bandiagara falaise Bandiagara escarpment
It's then a short drive along the Bandiagara cliff, to old and modern Teli, a Dogon village with amazing ancient houses and granaries, built directly into the vertical wall of the rocky cliff, still used by the locals until just a few years ago.
Dried mud building Dried mud building
Granaries and houses built into very difficult and inaccessible places, held by wooden poles.
Teli, Mali Dogon village Teli
Dogon house pictures from Teli, below the Bandiagara escarpment.
Luciano Napolitano
Me like a Tuareg (or so....)
Dried mud mosque
The modern Teli on the plateau below the Bandiagara escarpment, with the dried mud mosque in the central plaza.
Circumcision ceremony in Songho, Mali Circumcision ceremony in Songho, Mali
At the sunset, I visit the village of Songho, which is just a short drive from Bandiagara. Here, a ceremony for the circumcision is in progress.
Circumcision grotto Circumcision ceremony
Circumcision place

The circumcision grotto is a place where young boys are actually circumcised. On the lower-left picture, the place where the circumcision is actually done. On top, the young boys spend their time here dancing, playing songs and renewing the paintings on the rocks. They will stay here for 21 days, spending also the nights here. During the circumcision period, every woman must leave the village.
Songho Songho, Mali
Dogon house and granary Granary
Pictures of Songho seen from the top of a nearby hill.
School in Mali, Africa
A small school in Songho. There are now projects to make a new bigger school for the village.

Dried mud buildings in Songho.
An hunter's granary, having the external facade covered by animals skins.

Other Songho pictures and the toguna in the middle of the town.

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Western Africa Mali trip

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