Dogon - Settlements



The Dogon live in compact, occasionally walled villages built up the sides of the escarpment. Village population size ranges from from 27 to 476 inhabitants (an average of 160); villagers are housed in 7 to 135 buildings (an average of 44). Villages usually contain a single localized lineage whose dwellings are grouped around the "great house" ( ginna ) of the head. Clusters of from 5 to 6 of these villages center around water holes or wells, and each cluster is referred to as a "canton" or "district." Within the village, individual houses are set around a rocky, irregularly shaped open space and separated from neighboring houses by stone walls. Often the buildings are so close to one another that the floors of some houses begin where the roofs of adjacent ones end.


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