Mali, Dogon and Tellem settlements
Mali, West Africa, Bandiagara, Escarpment, Cliff, Dogon, Tellem,  Mud houses, Togona,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mali, West Africa. The land is flat. It is Semi-desert. Someone can drive for hours with nothing to catch the eye. That said, driving west of Mopti, the landscape changes to rolling sandstone hills, till someone arrives to  ‘End of the world’ a huge cliff, that falls about 500 m’, which known as Bandiagara escarpment’.

It is most amazing place!

Far from everywhere (and mostly far from the Niger river, which attracted many people) the escarpment was settled long ago. They first people who came here are known as TELLEM. They arrived here probably on the 11th century and built their mud dwellings in an impossible places on the cliff (note the structures in the upper side of the photo).  Who where they? why did they settle here? Those questions are, up to day, not known.

Years later, a new weave of settlers arrived here, the DOGON people, who ran away from the Muslims expansion on the 14th century. Did the Dogon found the Tellem here upon arrival? Did they mix up with them?  It is not known.  The Dogon built their homes at the base of the cliff, where they could farm the land and dig wells.

Today, The Dogon expanded, and build villages away from the escarpment, They are engaged in agriculture and grow: onion, sorghum, tomatoes etc’

 

 

 

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