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Dogon (dōgänˈ) [key], African people who live on the bend of the Niger River in the Republic of Mali in West Africa. A patrilineal, sedentary agricultural people, they number over 360,000. They depend mainly on grain crops for their food. Believed to be the original inhabitants of the Niger valley, they lived for thousands of years in completely isolated villages cut out of the cliffs of the Hombori Mts. Many still live in these inaccessible rock caves. The Dogon are known for their art work, which is highly prized.

See M. Griaule, Conversations with Ogotemmêli (1965); K. Ezra, Art of the Dogon (1988).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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