The Dogon tribe can be found in a region in Mali south of the Sahara Desert. French anthropologists Drs Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen studied the tribe from 1931 to 1956. Dogon mythology is only known by a hand full of their priests. This is a very hard to understand system, not easily given to even the friendliest of strangers. The culture of the Dogon tribe in West Africa centers around a star in our gallery. Sirius A is a big, bright star, has two and a half times the mass of our sun. Sirius, or actually its companion star, Sirius B. Sirius B has ninety-five per cent of the mass of our sun The Sirius Star is in the Canis Major Constellation. Sirius is visible with the naked eye, its companion is not. Now what is really fascinating about this is how these people knew about this, after all they have no telescopes. Sirius B wasn’t even visible with telescopes until 1862, or photographed until 1970. Dogon astronomical lore is dated back to 3200 B.C.
According to the Dogon legend the tribe was visited by a race of people called the Nommos, which come from the Sirius system. The Nommos resembled ugly amphibious beings. It is believed that the Nommos gave the Dogon tribe knowledge about their solar system. For instance: Jupiter has four major moons, Saturn has rings, and the plants revolve around the sun, and not vice versa. These facts weren’t known until Galileo invented the telescope. After they landed, the Nommos released a body of water which they later inhabited. They could live on land, but preferred the sea. Oral stories, drawing and tablets, depict the Nommo with large fish skin running down their bodies. The Nommos were regarded as saviors and spiritual guardians.
Carl Sagan believes that our modern knowledge of the Dogon tribe came from westerners or Europeans, who discussed astronomy with the tribes’ priests. Sagan believes that if Europeans came to the Dogon tribe, they most likely would of discussed “astronomical matters”, and talked about the brightest star in the sky. This however doesn’t explain a 400 year old artifact that shows the Sirius configuration. It also doesn’t explain how the Dogon tribe knows how dense Sirius B is.
They also tell us that Sirius B has a 50-year elliptical orbit around Sirius.
The Dogons refer to Sirius B as Po Tolo. “Tolo”, means small, and po means star. The tribe claims that Po is composed of a material known as sagala, a mineral heavier then all of Earth’s iron.
While many parts of the legend are considered true ,there are some parts in question. For example, the Dogons’ believe that Sirius B once occupied the spot where our sun is now. Physics disprove this. Also, if the Dogon believe that Sirius A orbits Sirius B every 50 years, then why do they have their celebrations every 60 year? The Dogons believe there is a third star called “Emme Ya” . So far this is yet to be discovered. According to legend, the Nommo breath through holes in their collarbone.
The Dogon are not the only people that have a strong connection with Sirius, Sumer, Babylonia’s Oannes, Acadia’s Ea, Sumer’s Enki, and Egypt’s goddess Isis. The Egyptian goddess Isis which is said to be mermaid –like. The ancient Egyptians also believed Sirius was significant . Their calendar was based on the rising of Sirius. Even thou there is no solid evidence of a third star, in 1995 French researchers, Daniel Benest and J.L. Duvent, published an article which states that it is possible that Sirius is a triple star.