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Mali, and the village of Bamba in the north of Dogon country, where, since the beginning, that is to say since the Dogon arrived in this magic land in Mali long ago, a sacred fishing ritual is practiced, known as “Antogo”. A small yet very powerful lake rests just beneath Bamba. Antogo is celebrated only once a year, and only on this day is fishing allowed on the lake, it is strictly prohibited on any other day of the year.
The ritual seems to contradict one of the distinguishing aspects of the Dogon culture, that is, the antipathy towards water, which they prefer to avoid when they can, confining and structuring their living around rocks, hills and semi-deserted areas, far away from the feared river Niger.
All of a sudden hundreds of Dogon jump wildly into the lake, in order to capture as many fish as possible in any way they can. Fish are then placed in a leather bag that they communally carry. The dance continues happily albeit chaotically, with everyone covered in mud is used to draw on the faces and bodies of the participants, the intensity of the moment is immense, overwhelming.
Just about 30 minutes later a gunshot marks the end of the ritual. All fish captured will be put together and given to the oldest man of Bamba, who will ensure proper distribution among all villages. via: http://reportage.co.uk
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