The Dogon - Star people? : Mystery Files
The Dogon - Star People?
In West Africa lives an ancient tribe of people. Their religion is a strange and secret one. for many hundreds of years the most profound teachings of their religion were a closely guarded secret available to only the highest Dogon initiates
In the 1930s French anthropologists Marcel Griaule, and Germaine Dieterlen, succeeded after more than a decade working amongst the tribe, in gaining their confidence up to the point where the tribal elders allowed them some insights into the secrets of their religion.
Even the highest ranking priests were not privy to the entire teachings. Each was responsible for a part of the complex system, which when placed together made up the Dogon's knowledge.The anthropologists had to piece together the whole story for themselves from a number of sources - What they found out stunned them.
The Dogon's story told a tale of knowledge that was given to them by visitors who came to earth from another star system. The star they describe is known to them as "Po Tolo" - it is known to us as Sirius B, which resides in the same area of sky as Sirius, the dazzlingly bright "Dog Star" of the Canis Major constellation.
Their knowledge of this star was the first shock. It is impossible to see with only the naked eye, and is difficult to see even with a telescope. In fact it was not observed by Western Astronomers until 1862. They had however, suspected it's existence when certain irregularities were noted in the movements of Sirius in 1844 - movements which suggested that there was another body exerting gravitational pull on the star.
But their knowledge of the existence of the star was only the beginning - There was more, much more.
"PoTolo", the Dogon name for Sirius B, consists of two words. "Tolo" which means Star, and "Po" which describes the smallest seed known to them. It is the seed of a variety of Crabgrass Digitaria exilis, and is used by them to show the stars smallness. They say that the star is the "smallest there is" and yet it is "The heaviest star". It's colour, they say, is white.
The Dogon are perfectly describing what modern astronomers would call a "White Dwarf". A White Dwarf is the smallest class of visible star "the smallest there is". Because they are collapsed stars, they are incredibly dense bodies "the heaviest star" and their colour, as the Dogon have informed us, is indeed white.
The Dogon also say that the star has an elliptical orbit, with Sirius A residing at one focus of the ellipse - it does!. They say that the star rotates on it's own axis - It does! And that It's orbital period, is fifty years - it is!
Their astronomical knowledge also includes the fact that the planets orbit the sun, that Jupiter has four main moons, and that Saturn has rings. They keep four calendars, one each for the Sun, Moon, Venus and Sirius.
The Bringers of Knowledge
According to Dogon Lore, their impressive astronomical knowledge was given to them by creatures known as the Nommos. These are described as amphibious beings which had been sent from the Sirius star system to Earth, for the benefit of all mankind.
The Nommos are also known to the Dogon as "The Monitors" and "Masters of the Water" - The name Nommos, comes from a Dogon word meaning "to make one drink".
The Nommos are said to have landed in the northeast of their homeland "spinning and whirling...with a great noise and wind" The vessel skidded to a stop, ploughing up the earth and "Spurting blood". After landing, it was said that the vehicle was dragged to a hollow by a thing with four legs. The hollow then filled up with water allowing the vessel to float in it.
Fact or Fable?
So, what are we to make of the Dogon's story? Is it simply myth, an elegant story constructed to account for the origins of the Dogon people? - or is it a factual representation of something that actually happened way back in the mists of time?
Interestingly enough, there exists a similar legend from Babylonian writings which record visitors from another planet known as the Oannes. They arrived in an "egg shaped" vehicle which landed by the Red Sea. They too came to this planet for the benefit of all mankind, and were also described as amphibious creatures - "half men, half fish".
Were the Dogon visited by Amphibious Aliens? Who can say? If the Dogon were not visited by interstellar callers, it still leaves us with a puzzling enigma - how else did they come by their incredibly detailed information about an unknown star, invisible to the naked eye, centuries before the invention of the telescope?
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