Dogon, Tombo in Mali

Provided by Joshua Project
Dogon, Tombo
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  Anonymous
People Name: Dogon, Tombo
Country: Mali
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 109,000
World Population: 109,000
Primary Language: Dogon, Tommo So
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 4.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Gur
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Dogons live in a dry remote savannah area in Mali, spilling over into Burkina Faso. About 20 different languages are spoken in different communities. Unless they learn the language spoken by a neighbor they would not understand each other even though they all identify themselves ethically as Dogon. The Tombo are one of these.

Dogon territory includes a rocky plateau in the West where the Tombo live and a sandy plain in the east, separated by a 400-700 meter high sheer cliff. The Dogon built their first villages in caves in this cliff, safe from the slave raids of the Fulani nomads who roamed the area. Isolated and distrustful of outsiders, they grew into a scattering of micro-communities, eventually each with a different language.

What Are Their Beliefs?

For centuries, the Dogon have resisted Islam. But as society modernizes, they are increasingly deciding that animistic religion is no longer adequate and grudgingly accept Islam for lack of an alternative. In the few villages where Christianity has been lived out by missionaries, or locals who have become Christians elsewhere, one can indeed see the growth of the Christian faith. For example, in the village of Kani-Gogouna, each week the church community is larger than the week before, and Christians are considering building a bigger church, whereas the mosque is emptying at the same rate.

Text Source:   Anonymous