Dogon’s country

In Mali, it is better to go after the end of the exhausting bake and the rainy season. But the stars ordered otherwise, and Seine, the airport of the Malian capital, waiting for us in the midst of the African heat. In Moscow, it has already come tomorrow, and we move to the lengthened today to descend in the evening of the color of the Marrengo, caressing soft and wet – the first drops fell from the sky, the sign of the rainy season, which will not overtake us.

"No, no, not a conference". – "Then you here". This is, rather, there, on a summer floor to a narrow door inside the airport building. The stamp hangs on a visa number 24. For my back, welcoming an officer, shatter "their". Immediately abroad, a large woman, vigorously gesticulating, shouts something in the mouth of a stream flowing into the country. So, the certificate of vaccinations … day too much, seeking it in the bag there is no strength, I smile concilibly: yes, yes, there is, everything is in order. Her day seems to be alone – she does not insist.

Our jeep is found under the spreading acacia. Machines are crowded, pushing to the barrier, sinking between them the employee charge charges for the parking lot. Man in white manually raises barrier. Bamako.

On a wide bridge over Niger – excellent coating and neat zones for cycle and motor transport, which is hardly more than cars, rolls in the main canvase. Evening streets in the stains of yellow lamps, taut of motorcycles and diverse cars, buses of all colors of the rainbow. The big city turns into the street without a coating, the evening breathes a close river and greens, on the left, about the Lord, there is a sign "SIBERIA" in Russian and in French (the next restaurant closed now). We are in Site du Nerome – built up with villas with a fashionable quarter Bamako. Hence, before you go to the country of Dogon, we will master the capital of Mali. In Moscow, a deep night, in Bamako – ten evenings, time difference is four hours. And a few more centuries.


As in general, the white person falls into Mali? Here are those who fed the lazy beach holiday and when world centers of civilization have already been completed. But even for the experienced countries, the journey through Mali remains a serious test.

Yes, there are several roads that are not inferior to European, and you can find a decent hotel. But it also happens to choose between overnight in a tent or on the roof of a mazanica – and the delights of such a hotel are measured not by stars in the price list, but the Myriads of African stars who look at you from the sky all night.

Of course, here in the yard of the XXI century. And yet: you have a mandatory vaccination from the yellow fever? You are ready to go through the country, severely affected by the newly illuminated AIDS, an unetected smallpie and, it would seem, long ago forgotten, archaicpros? Agree you meet face to face with the most poor people planet? The human development index that appeared with the easy hand (IRSCH) connects the most important indicators of what determines the quality of human life: income, lifespan and level of education. So, in the ranking of IRRC for 2005, Mali ranks fourth from the end. (Worse, perhaps, only where the war is in Somalia and Niger.)

If you are confident in your affirmative answers, then you have a chance to get into a completely different world, in the very heart of Africa, where you quickly understand what is really important in life, but what is over. These are not East African Kenya Tanzania – Uganda with their resort climate. This is the hottest, wet and sultry of all africa – Western. And in the title of Mali, something primitive and original, is not true? How "Mother", which is very similar in all languages ​​- because it is the first thing that can say a little man.

From the depths of centuries

Modern Mali from a fairly early historic pore served as the center of large and developed civilizations. From here, from the shores of the upper niger, well-armed (iron swords and spears, as well as metal chains), equestrian detachments were sent to the fill limits. The leaders (and later, after the adoption of Islam, the ruler of Birmindan – Sultany), regulated in these places, controlled all transbshar trading, supported regular relations with the Mediterranean countries and flourished in every way – from about 700, when the star of the Ghana empire was held (its main ethnicity was Soninka ), before the fall of the Songai Empire under the blows of Moroccan conquerors in 1591. Between these two dates in the Malia territory, there were still several strong formations, among which the Empire Malinka was and governed by the modern state. And from the same time until the transformation of these lands into French possession at the very end of the XIX century, small Muslims ruled here "Knyazki", constantly quarreling and fought with each other, "Loose" Slowly ancient cultural heritage. In the 60th year, the last twentieth century at once, 17 former African colonies have achieved political independence. Among them, the French Sudan – he became the Republic of Mali, named so in honor of the Power of the same name, which arose no later than 1235 years and reached the heyday in the first third of the XIV century.

Mali and today is one of the largest countries in Africa. On space in a million and a quarter of square kilometers live without a small 12 million ..? Malinese? Yes and no. Today, in addition to descendants, Malinka, the country is inhabited by very different nationalities: Bozo, traditionally industrial fishing, Fulbe’s beads, farmers and bambara hunters, Taways caravantes and still Songai, Dogona, Saintfo – only 25 ethnic groups. About the dogways in recent years they write especially many – their amazing astronomical knowledge still cause a lot of issues.

If fetish is needed

Assume that the doghows live only on the plateau of the Bandiarigar, it’s like to think that all Muscovites were born in the capital. With the first representative of the mysterious nationality, we meet the day of arrival in Bamako: these are sitting, our city guide, smiling simpatyaga in two meters. Siti studied in Leipzig, speaks German, in French, in the language of Bambara and another four dialects of the Dogon language – his father had four wives from different villages. Sities have beautiful hands with long fingers, on which you can not notice the rings: one thing – on the left hand, two – on the right.

– What is this rings, sit?
– this is, – he stretches his hand – from evil spirits. And this, – shows another, – brings good luck.

Dogons – Animists (from Latin "Anima", that is "soul"). According to their ideas, the world around spiritualized, in everything that surrounds us, spirits live. They may be angry or show mercy, as well as strengthen people’s desires and broadcast them into space.

– And you happened to ask for anything? – Syi according to nods.
– what, for example? – Pause. – Sorry, this is not customary to speak.
– And how do you do it, you can tell?
– You can … – Sitie is going with thoughts. – First of all I’m looking for fetish. I bring a sacrifice and tell him what I want.
– Fetish is always the same?
– Of course not. – Sidia is glad that I can at least check out something. – It all depends on what I want to ask. Different requests – and fetishes are different.

Sydy knows where and who has to look for a fetish – an inanimate object with a magical power. He has a lot of friends. We are in Bamako guests, and therefore we go to the market – to look at.

Benches, shops, canopies, sheds, trays. There are almost no buyers – not the season. Musical series quiet, and tools do not read. DIN-DIGDIN – Multi-tender tender sounds remove chopsticks with rubber pads. Little xylophone leaves with me – eight wooden plates attached to three pumps resonators. In a couple of it, the seller persuades to take a small tool similar to Banjo: The round deck is covered with white leather, on a light brush wizard brush threw a glass of black cups, yellow strings sounds thick and waiting for a skillful hand … Next door Sell cloth with all sorts of shades of blue with white ornament : stripes, squares, asterisks. But – shirts, scarves, bedspreads: "Well, buy, I will give up, Madame .."

And, of course, masks. They are everywhere. Stylized heads of unearthly creatures, carved from wood, painted and covered with ornament from color beads and small shells. Huge, intended for ritual dancing, and small – masks of talismans. Finally, masks and decorations – for the housing of Europeans.

What to wait from the sky

Immediately sculptures from wood and clay. Here is a doghon in a prayer pose. The seller clarifies: he asks five years of rain. Similar figures – most popular on the market. And it is not good. There are everything in Mali – from anhydrous and deserted sugar in the north to wet tropics in the south. In the north in a successful year, even 50 mm of precipitation – happiness. In the south, in the year from the sky, one and a half or two "meter" water. Rainy season lasts from July to October-November. In the dry season (from November to June), cool northeastern winds, causing sand storms blowing. In the spring, in April-May, in the Sahara there is a split wind Harmattan.

Orange road stretches past the streets from the river without names. Life takes directly on them: the doors of low buildings are open, their inhabitants, leaning at the threshold, talk, fry and immediately trapes, mastered, bathe in the pellets of children. Kids, nesting behind maternal spins, not heard: They are either sleeping, or carefully peer into the world around them. Older children hide on birds – It is necessary to slow down, they are already here as here, twitched-chant in French "Argen – Argen", "Kado – Kado" – Suddenly, in fact, a small money or a useful trifle?

Spots on the back of the crocodile

… in the language of bambara bamako means "Crocodile Creek". Usually foreigners and tourists here do not long delay. Exotic looks tempting from afar, and near it is just a half-and-half-million city, and if you do not have the task of studying the features of architecture and life, to draw up catalogs of monuments, explore Malian music or education system, then the path is lying on – say, to the north of the country. And then in memory, like sunlight glare, a large stadium will remain, built in the course of the heyday of friendship from the USSR, a Catholic temple, a fountain, which will elapse three gypsum crocodiles, the height of the agricultural bank, a large mosque, red wood beds that are sold at intersections, like we have pine, motorcyclists, sharply tearing on green light, rare casinos and numerous markets where not only souvenirs are waiting for you.

The market where the cattle is sold, you hear and fell away. In Bamako, such seven – the livestock in Mali is rather big: 7 million sheep, 20 million cows. In former times, the cattle was traded by Fulbe, now the monopoly is lost – the business is profitable. You goat? Fifteen thousand francs, less than 25 euros … for the purebred bull asked half a million in local currency, and the camel will have to go to the mopti. The rustic residents come to the markets by groups, under the woods of Masters, they live – when a couple of weeks, when a few months. "Watch method" on duty of his wife, come, leaving, come back again. Inogenztsu with the camera here you can wander the clock – it is unlikely that someone will persuade him to buy a cattle, never as he arrived, clear. But in crowded places, on a retail area or refueling, get ready to withstand the head of the seller with despair in the eyes, which to a non-low minimum will reset the price for a goat wool blanket, because he will at least feed the family today for insignificant earnings. And inhale deeper when the jeep, moving on which you want to see the maximum possible, slows down at the traffic light: blinds with guide women here are no less than intersections. Your little things will be enough for a couple of days, but from the impossibility to help otherwise it will not be much in itself.

Mali, as it will seem strange, the country is dear. When Russian woman Ekaterina Grishko, living in Bamako 10 years and teaching languages ​​and sociology in private universities, on the day of our departure will appoint me a meeting in the metropolitan cafe "Relax", That looked around in the cool room in search of the stranger I need, I will see a dozen European persons – and only one local couple. "You are here, sit?" – I ask our guide polyglot. – He moves his head: "I can’t pay for coffee so much".

Presidential Pause

There are two bridges through Niger in Bamako. Going to the north, we took advantage of the third opportunity: Brod Sweet, a small corded dam, usually hidden and protruding with a decrease in water level, allowed to see the naked bottom of the big river. There is a great highway in the village, there are no more than three hours of the path in front … However, one after an hour, the path is blocking a polite policeman: in connection with the expectation of the presidential cortex, the road is blocked. President, he and Africa president. By the way, the current head of Mali, Amada Tuman Tour – a graduate of the Ryazan School of Airborne.

After the fountain capital, a forced stop even by the way. Volodyo village lies on both sides of the road. Moving into the depths of the street, you can consider the spacious outlook, acquired by the fences from the bank – clay, mixed with cut straw. Machines and travelers arrive. Local children are circling around, the photoestro does "goat" crumbling with gold earrings in the ears, next to me there is something a concerned woman with a pelvis under the arm and in a wonderful dress. Malians love to dress (in the National Ethnographic Museum of Bamako, the best in West Africa, this thesis proves the exposition of fabrics). Excellent cut, large neckline, lace trim, rich blue fabric with small bouquets … Wonderful contrast with my road apparel! "Madame, what is your wonderful dress .." – Woman smiling: "You find?" Lady chat interrupts driver. Patience of him seems to burst: Having made us a sign to take places, with the exclamation "Tools!" He sends a car into a roadside.

Day tends to sunset. The jeep rolls over the countryside, along which the Agaves stick out, on the right and the fields are stretched, where cotton and millet are already collected. From millet here, beer is boiled, taste like our kvass, refreshing and slightly black. Baobabs from the planet of a little prince take up to the sky dozens of branches, green with small leaves. Baobab’s fruits ripen to January, falling completely mature to the ground, having been having rigid peel, can be cared with a sour-sweet pulp, like a drying. And still sacrificed in particular the fruits turn into rattles and use as musical instruments. On the roof of the jeep rustle branches. "This is Carita, "the driver explains, – Oil tree. His fruits are collected in autumn. At the time of mass collection of harvest, when full of other urgent affairs, the fruits are burned in the ground, to reveal again in January: then oil is pressed, which is used in cosmetics and for the production of soap. The oil is partially exported to Europe, and durable wood carite is suitable for mortar and pestles".

We are traveling African "Tools", By farms, where large, 30-40 people, families live. Following us, a woman with a jug on his head smiles, screaming the shouts of fans (closer to the empty road boys play football). The cart with a brutal brown of the cart is friendly by hand. In half an hour, when the meal in the roadside restaurant "Phoenix" Ends the delicious fresh mango, it becomes clear that it was illuminated in the snow. Then on the highway towards Bamako and finally swears the dark jeep with the government flag.

The shadow of the kingdom

The former capital of the Bambarian kingdom meets us provincial silence. Changing the centuries and peoples in this territory by the XVI century led to the focus of the biton dynasty Mamari Kulibali. He ruled for more than 40 years, leaving after himself a residence, descendants in several generations and acacia – a symbol of royal dignity and virtues: modesty, accessibility, kindness, humanity and undoubtedly greatness. Balancer, as the whitish acacia is called here, is covered by foliage during the African winter, when the rest of the trees are discharged.

In 1932, the French company established the construction of dams and irrigation channels in Saga. The French stay left the city in the form of numerous buildings in the Neosaudsky style. Populating the sleepy streets, in the depths of which colonial villas were viewed in two or three floors, and by chance passing through the territory of the local garrison, we turn out to be on the high shore of the Niger on the quite equipped embankment. Recently, the annual music festival on Niger is held here. Not far from the festival podium – terracotta built, similar to the palace. Just like once to the ruler, enter inside without boncons will not be possible – the doorway makes itch.

A young man with the royal surname Suleiman Kulibali – the founder of a small weaving center located here, where the traditional tissue of Bogolan is manufactured. Root of the word – "Bogo" means "River clay". Woven panels lowered in the juban with this material, staining fabric in yellow, brown or orange colors. Then the drawing is applied using the stench. The tradition of the manufacturer of Bogola is risks roots to the camouflage clothing of hunters, now it has been preserved, rather, at the level "folk fishery". In addition, the Suleyman’s Weaving Center produces many well-modern products: shirts, bags, scarves, bedspreads. Disadvantaged in the painting on the fabric, we go to the high bank of Niger.

Water stands low, the traditional wash is unfolded on the shallow water – the spectacle, fascinating, as if a small performance. On the sand dry fabrics of all colors of the rainbow, teenage boys diligently bathing a white sheep. The gardens are broken on a fertilized slide, in the shadow of a canopy, a friendly one-nursed granddaughter Nurse is a five-month granddaughter with bright beads in the ears. "What is the name of the baby?" – "Binta Cana", – sounds in response. – this is exactly what – even if the little man can not be introduced to himself. Not just a bandage, but a bint from the genus kane.

Jenne Island

The sun, festened to the left, suddenly fit into the windshield: We entered the Damb leading in Jenne. In the rainy season, the city turns into an island, and to get there, it is necessary to plunge on the ferry and overcome the influx of Niger, the beloved bath. Now, in the heat at 50 ° C, the ship is sleeping on joke; The water strip is narrowed up to two tens of meters, and a ferry, rolling the pants, walks along the bottom of the river, pointing to our jeep.

For the crossing time changes pace; flavored street dust air thickens. Opened Gear Jenna is like a fortress surrounded by dry moat. It stretches painted carts with knitters of long harsh. Merchants Hollard will do it right outside – their goods are here, behind the city feature. Cutting with light soil, clay hay as if grows out of the ground, rushing down the steps of the roofs. Crown Pyramid – Famous Mosque Jenne.

The jeep entering the city is introduced into it like a combat horse: on full of chance, leaving the cloud of terracotta powder, slowly settling in the legs of pastry.

As well as the remaining from our route, Tomboukt, Jenne – one of the oldest cities in West Africa. Jenne Mosque – the world’s largest cult facility built completely from clay. Raw clay is not the most durable material, its eroding rain, and the mosque at times "floats", like a giant candle. Then it is restored, as they are called, the whole world. Inside the building – long, no more than a meter width, corridors, separated by supporting high ceilings by columns. Hidden from the eyes of staircase leads to the flat, fenced perimeter of the roof. Her fence is decorated with pointed teeth – in the city they are visible from everywhere. The surface of the roof – as if frozen in a boiling clay porridge, swollen a hundred bubbles-hemisphere. At the top of each – a hole: the light and air penetrate into the temple.

The mosque is not only the city center, but also the heart of the largest bazaar in West Africa, which is going here on Mondays. We arrived the day before, Sunday evening, so as not to miss the start of the bunning. On early morning, mounted canopies and dresses, declined, hanging goods: solid-caliber pots, plastic, fabrics and other manufactories, car tires, oblong, like balls for rugby, watermelon, rice, tomatoes, onion, rice, yellow melons. Here are fried donuts made from rice flour, from the far corner smells of fish, the boy carries a wheelbarrow marble balls local soap. By 10 am between the ranks no longer be made.

Coloring old man laid folk drugs on Earth: Lap animals – "from the back", the fruits of acacia – from malaria, dried monkey head – it is unclear what. Everywhere sells drinking water, but not bottled or in jugs, everything is easier, the packaging – a transparent plastic bag, tied with two sides, pierce a hole – and drink to health! As in any city in Mali, large or small, market – not just trade, but also the focus of life here and they cut and shave, nurse and feed the children. Kids pripelenuty to maternal dorsal stripe fabric to match the dress or contrast, out of my mother’s elbows stick out a little touching heel. Again, these wonderful clothes on women and men: white, yellow, purple, pink, turquoise; dresses, skirts, trousers, tunics, capes, with embroidery and decorations. At half-mast from one shoulder women’s blouses, skirts on the uneven edge of turned ankles chocolate – Do not come here to Europe new fashion?

Dinner with a flashlight

In the evening we were invited to the dinner to Lyadzhi. Our guide for Jenna lives in the country; his cousin kindly gives us by car – a quarter of an hour leisurely drive. Porch at not bright lamp, a long corridor; at the entrance to the courtyard in a chair located an elderly woman. Mom Lyadzhi takes for their children gifts: adults should talk to adults. Uncle, brothers, nephews – lived in the house fifteen. Thirty years of a man built the house himself 8 years, out of the bricks – rising along with us on a flat roof, it points to the ditch, from which he took clay. Together with the 26-year-old wife Aisha and her three children in the house it occupies two rooms, furnished entirely in European style: chairs, sofa, TV. On the couch in the same position, in which the day he hangs behind my mother’s back, snorting, sprawled frog, younger son.

Hot. Dinner is served in the courtyard – no table, on mats. A circle is a basin for washing hands: the instrument is not provided, the food from the common bowl habitually take his right hand. The evening menu shu-shu – rice with spicy sauce and fish. We take a pinch portion by portion, inhaling the spicy scent of hot rice in the far corner of the yard goat bleats, the sky horns hung up crescent moon. The left hand of Llaugi holds a flashlight, pointing to the rays into pieces of fish: "Tasty?" – "Highly!" – "Here, take more, this is another". Another is even tastier – Captain Fish, Juicy and Gentle. Goodbye – green tea and. toys. Tiny colored cars – dump truck, grader, excavator – made of canned tin. Once the owner began to make them for sale, and trading went so Boyko, which allowed him to scatter money for education. Now the toys do brother, such a family business, and even have a workshop. Sorry, I will not have time to call tomorrow.

By Nieger

Niger for Mali – I don’t care that Neil for Egypt. If you believe rumors, we recently showed considerable oil reserves in his pool. It is quite possible: neighboring Nigeria with oil is already lucky.

They say, in the rainy season, Mopti becomes like Venice. And now in the lagoon, peculiar pies are taught – they are called them here "Pinassami". They go with the engine and under the sail, and in the shallow water are given in the movement of the sixth duty "Gondoller". This is exactly what I move from one shore to another, from the local market – where, as inserting, the salt is sold with huge plates – to the well-known entire district of Baru "BOSO", decorated with drawings "A la Pirosmani".

We load on Pinass. Ours – Rather, walking, fifteen meters long and with a motor. Between the sides are adjacent benches that divide the boat on food and recreation compartments, most of them are hidden under a canopy that protects from the Sun. The owner of the vessel Amada is the captain and navigator in one person; his son is attached to the motor. Still in the team of the sailor boy, without tired, the waterproofing waterproofing water, and the young beauty-cook baman. In the dry season, Niger Mel, and to turn around in the right direction, we have to strain closer to the middle of the fairway and make a fair hook.

Sun palette warming yellow water. On the gentle shores, eucalyptus stretch into the sky, graze goats and the circular cows zebu. "Hippo, Hippo!" – Jumps suddenly from your place of the baman. Really, meters in forty on the right side of the water show a huge head. Hippo, by the way, the symbol of Mali, in Bamako, even such a sculpture is: impressive sizes "River horse" on pedestal. In a huge pink mouth of a herbivore horse – the third largest mammal after an elephant and rhino – it is not possible to look. How is Marshak? "For all days from the reservoir, it does not go out – there is fresh. " Not paying attention to us, hipipo snorts, dives a couple of times and hiding out of the eyes – graze at the bottom of Niger.

Date with marabou

– Want to look at the village of Bozo, see how fishermen live? – Rolling from the Farviter, the captain stuck Pinasi to the beach.

In Mali Bozo traditionally are engaged in fishing. Niger is a fish river, even in the summer, when it dries, the locals do not remain without a catch. In fishing villages, there are often light huts that can be disassembled and re-put above or below the slope depending on the water level in the river. And some families all year wander in search of rich places.

Dogon's country

Where we were, the hut was not. Already familiar clay buildings ran up to the shore, a small mosque rumped out in the depths. Distributed by children, we climbed the sunbarrow. Ahead in the vibrating air was dissolved by the door; A man who flowed into the street in a bright lilac closure was the son of the living in the village of Marabu. Marabou in Mali – spiritual authority, mentor and judge. They say he and the future to predict. "And you can meet with him, so easily?" – Kivok: Of course.

In a dark, no windows, a room with access to the courtyard men sitting on the mat, making me the only chair here. Marabou appears not immediately, apparently, we are in the reception. And here he. Enters, relying on the hand of the accompanying. The dried ninety-year old man looks like Mahatma Gandhi; Dark to Semi Dress, Little Red Hood, Strong Handshake. Bright attentive eyes on a moving face – at your service. In the temple drums the final phrase from "Picnic": "Happiness for everyone – and let no one go offended offended!" In the end, everyone goes for this – to him.

– Tell me, and you yourself, – the question of someone squeezes the throat, – what makes you happy? – From French on Bambara, then in Arabic, Pause, again in Arabic, Amada translates from Bambara, and.
– Mali is a very poor country, – the Marabu answer sounds. – And yet people from the east coast of Africa go to me.

Before the village near Mopti from the coast of the Indian Ocean five to six thousand kilometers. It means and in fact knows if people do not fear the way. It is a pity, I didn’t ask myself – when you get to Marabu?

Sirius is very close

On the plateau of the Bandiarigar, his foot and the slopes live Dogona – the most mysterious of the nations Mali. In the 30s of the last century, the French ethnographer Marseille Griol began to study their origin, history and life, but since then scientists have not found unambiguous answers to the question where this unusual tribe came from. Some attribute to him related ties with the ancient Egyptians, others are looking for His roots in the extreme West, from where the dogoni would be fled from violent Islamization. They themselves – their own version, their legends. The most beautiful of them connect the appearance of ancestors with heavenly luminais, or rather, with the star Sirius, the brightest in the constellation of a large PSA (by the way, name "Dogons", Probably has a English root – Dog Star – "Star dog"). Dogons themselves call themselves "Children of pale fox", how, according to myth, called their star father.

One way or another, these are the people of ancient: about people living under the walls of the Bandiarigar Plateau, African caravantes began to mention since the XII century. Today "Aliens with Sirius" Life of peaceful farmers lead: grow onions, millet, garlic and cotton, tank fabric. In his villages, they retained customs and traditions, beliefs and holidays, which still attract scientists, travelers and tourists to the plateau.

Doctor notes and his dad

Bandiarigar plateau – a ledge of a length of about 150 km and a height of 500-600 m. On foot and more difficult to get here; Machine to large settlement Sanga can be reached in a couple of hours. Countryside hotel came out; It stands on the hill, and from the entrance site, the only local street seems to be avenue: its width is highlighted by low, in one or two floors, houses and giant baobabs. Increased alone, it does not work – the aliens without accompaniment should be patched.

– Madame from France? – a thin man in a spacious dress is clearly ready to become my guide. – From Russia. – Welcome! – Sounds in response in Russian.

In Russia, not Bubakar himself studied, and his brother living now in Bamako. From uncle younger son bubakar got "rank" – Two-year-old baby is called no other way as "Doctor Dr". He already runs, but mom still often binds him to his back, where "doctor" falls asleep, – a great way to learn a live curious boy. At Balkis and Bubakar Six children, senior schoolgirl girl – twelve.

"Sorry, Mamad is not today," Bubakar says. – He is a real gangster, you will like it. And learn love.

With nine-year-old Mamada, I will seek the next day: running a tiny courtyard, he will screw in hand with the words: "Hey! It was not yesterday! Want, I will show my notebook?" – The notebook looks thoroughly: a good assessment is certified, near the teacher’s note: "Works not yet in full force, it can better".

All homemade hassle gets a woman. Balkis is working without tired: Pour a bolt-bolt to Dr. NEDO, coming here, wash there, put on fire millet. Sat down with guests – and immediately took the needle, bright curtains with knitted crocheted applications, behind which the entrance to the room is hidden – her hand. Life is zaddy, here we are glad to simple things: a piece of fragrant soap, sewing needles, notebooks, handles. But the guest will always make a glass of water and will be invited to dinner, highlighting the lantern, if in the yard it is dark.

Bubakar shows me Sangua: There – onion fields and dams, here – wells, on the water, of course, women walk; Here, in the family, Giol, lived; And this Togun is a low canopy, under which the local one is going to. Toguna – the structure is functional: the thick layer of straw on the roof keeps the coolness, and the low ceiling does not allow to jump to the feet in the heat of the swashed passions.

– What are you celebrating, Bubakar?
– I’m idle when light in the soul, and every morning I thank Providence for waking up, and I ask him to give me to me and my family. And I also celebrate all holidays – Catholic and Muslim. – Bubakar’s view Polon Yukavia, and I understand that he simply does not mind drinking beer.

On the slope and in the valley

Near Sanga at the edge of the ledge of bandiarigars, the stones are formed by something like a tunnel – a symbolic entrance to the country of Dogon. Passing through it, we descend down the slope of the plateau towards the Bananani. You need to go around the village carefully, stepping the track in the trail conductor: God forbid to go to the sacred platform and damage the unrecognized fetish.

There are no narrow paths between houses here; Upstairs on the rocky ledges are molded to each other of the buildings, similar to large bird nests with a hole inlet. Previously they served as housing people by the people. The displaced devils are used for burials. They build their homes from stone, and indoor straw barn – from bank. Warehouses for the province and home scar in the farm may be several: men – their own, in women – their own.

Wickets and doors are decorated with expressive threads with a specific set of drawing elements. In the upper part, usually depict the rain and god of the earth. Two bulbs in the form of hemispheres in the middle row symbolize love and sexuality. The edge decorates the carved relief – the road with alternation of climbs and descents, the figures of the sacred crocodiles or eight founders of the country of Dogon are put down at the bottom. However, plots can be more – it all depends on the size of the door and fantasy of the carver. .

Tuk-Tuk-Tuk – shoes, grabs hammer by anvil. The village of Kunda lies at the foot of the plateau. Sitting under a canopy, twenty-five-year-old Drissa SAMASKU KUT AX blade. To become a blacksmith, it is necessary to be the son of a blacksmith – the craft is inherited. Kuznetsov worship and afraid: the manufacture of things repeats the act of creating the world. Drissa went on his father, he is not only a bunch, but also cuts on the tree and makes guns. His wife and mother three of his children is also a blacksmith daughter. The first wife is chosen by parents, such is the rule. Smiling girl fun balloons. On the sight of her about five years, after a year or another father will choose her husband.

Dancing by request

The main holiday of Dogon – Day of the Sigue, the ceremony committed in the redemption of the guilt of people in front of the mythical progenitor from Sirius. Holiday Big Sigue passes only once in sixty years. Few, some of the dogons manage to participate in two sigi in life – it is not possible to live more often before. But the burial holiday is carried out annually. It takes up to a dozen masks, in Sigi – more than a hundred. The main mask, a few meters high, symbolizes the connection of the Earth and the sky. According to the ancient myths, the stay of the doogle on the planet Earth is of course and soon should be completed. Star Messengers will return to their homeland, and their temporary refuge, the plateau of the Bandiarigar will disappear without a trace.

Cosmogonia of this People – Hidden Plast of Generic Culture. To understand it, you need to live here not a day and not two. Those who call for a while, willingly show fragments of ritual act. Dogons do not refuse to please curious tourists who are ready to pay a demonstration performance – not so much here many opportunities to earn.

. On the site – two dozen dancers. Young men in black harees, on top of which bright skirts from twisted thick threads, torso decorated with Kauri sinks. Masks replace one other – Colored heads of unknown creatures. This is the main ritual dance item. Decrypting their value, dance can be read. In it – the history of the tribe: Sirius, mythical creature nommo, mysterious birds of Balako – they are on stilts.

"Dance by request" lasts about half an hour, and props for it always at hand. For ritual holidays masks every time they are repaid. I know this Alubaru – a man prepared by a mentor and knowing about masks. For example, where the main mask is stored and which it gives a sign to start a holiday. Say that if during "present" Dance, imaginary antenna masks break, dance stop.

… we leave the plateau in the market Friday. Towards satellite, seed donkeys. At the foot of the plateau near the village of Teli, young women in bright dresses with songs Toltuch in the stups of millet. In the village of Ilield at school goes lesson. In class, crossing the threshold, get straight from the street. First-graders write to Toroso – one of the Dogon dialects. Before each instead of a notebook – Little black plate.

We spend in Sevar, where in the evening "seal" Electricity and hostess Hotels, Lebank, living here Thirty years, just as usual turns on the thara-tight generator – without air conditioning heat will not fall asleep. Then we will be debated to Bamako for half a day, and there are enough new impressions to tell about the country again. And for some reason, in the end, I will remember the words from the advertising brochure read yet in the plane "Country of mosques": "Mosque there as you could make sure it is true, they are picturesque and worthy of attention. There are other architectural beauties, and nature, for which it is worth it to heat the half of the globe. But still, you see, without "Artists" these scenery are dead – with all their painting. People of a distant African country – and those who need to be driving with long-distance routes, and those who accompanses us with white smiles at the airport – make up the main charm of Mali". Thought, of course not new. But true.

Dogon's country

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