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This nOde last updated December 17th, 2004 and is permanently morphing...
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THE DOGON TRIBE
In 1995, two French Astronomers published the results, after years of study, and stated that a small, red-dwarf star seems to exist in the Sirius star system...
The Dogon people live in the Homburi Mountains near Timbuktu. At the center of their religiousteachings is knowledge about a star that is invisible to the eye and so difficult to obsevrve -- even through a telescope -- that no photographs were taken of it until 1970. The Dogon say they received their knowledge by visitors to the earth from another star system.
The star they describe is Sirius B. Its existence was first suspected by Western astronomers in 1844, when irregularites were noticed in the movement of Sirius. It was supposed that Sirius must be affected by a second star, and in 1862 a faint companion star was finally detected. Sirius B is a white dwarf that, although small and faint, is extremely dense and heavy enough to exert an influence on Sirius A.
The Dogon name for Sirius B (Po Tolo) consists of the word for star (tolo) and "po," the name ofthe smallest seed known to them. By this name they describe the star's smallness -- it is, they say, "the smallest thing there is." They also claim that it is "the heaviest star," and white. The Dogon thusattribute to Sirius B its three principle properties as a white dwarf: small, heavy, white.
They go on to say that it
has an is elliptical orbit, with Sirius A at one foci of the ellipse (as
it is), that the orbital period is 50
years (the actual figure is 50.04 +/- 0.09 years), and that the star
rotates on its own axis (it does). The Dogon also describe a third star in the Sirius system, called "Emme Ya" ("Sorghum Female"). In orbit around this star, they say, is a single satellite. To date, Emme Ya has not been identified by astronomers.
In addition to their knowledge of Sirius B, the Dogon mythology includes Saturn's rings, and Jupiter's four major moons. They have four calendars, for the Sun, Moon, Sirius, and Venus, and have long known that planets orbit the sun.
The Dogon say their astronomical knowledge was given to them by the Nommos, amphibious beings sent to earth from Sirius for the benefit of mankind. The name comes from a Dogon word meaning "to make one drink," and the Nommos are also called Masters of the Water, the Monitors, and the Teachers.
The Nommos were more fishlike than human, and had to live in water. They were saviors and spiritual guardians: "The Nommo divided his body among men to feed them; that is why it is alsosaid that as the universe "had drunk of his body," the Nommo also made men drink. He gave all his life principles to human beings."
The Nommo was crucified and resurrected and in the future will again visit the earth, this time in human form. Later he will assume his amphibious form and will rule the world from the waters. Dogon mythology is known only by a number of their priests, and is a complex system of knowledge. Such carefully guarded secrets would not be divulged to friendly strangers very easily. If the star Emme Ya is eventually discovered in the Sirius system, this would give considerablyweight to the Dogon's story.
* NOTE CITE: BENEST, Daniel and Duvent, J.L. "Is Sirius a Triple Star?" ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS. (Volume 299, 1995) pp. 621-628. -- In 1995, two French Astronomers published the results of years of study, stating that a small, red-dwarf star seems to exist in the Sirius star system. They have detected a peturbation in the orbit that cannot be explained by any other means. Article was received, October 11, 1994, and accepted for publication on November 8, 1994.
The Dogon are believed to be of Egyptian decent and their astronomical lore goes back thousands of years to 3200 BC. They are in Mali, West Africa.
The Saturn system is a very interesting one... no doubt why they are sending that Cassini probe out to investigate some more (ETA 2004). You will find some very interesting stuff about it in the first chapter of Temple's "The Sirius Mystery", especially about Phoebe:
"... I realized the Dogon might be suggesting that the base of the Nommos is parked in the solar system as the tenth moon of one of the outer planets. Neptune doesn't have ten moons, so that was out. It didn't take me long to realize that the tenth main moon of Saturn is anomalous in the solar system, and is the only one which seems to have a smooth surface without craters or other lumps and bumps. Its name is Phoebe. It has a retrograde orbit around Saturn wildly different from all the other Saturnian moons, so that when our space probe photographed the moons of Saturn, Phoebe was the only significant one which was not close enough to give a good photo. (At the time I suggested Phoebe as a possible artificial body it was several years before this space probe, and I was deeply disappointed that the probe was unable to produce much more information about Phoebe). Phoebe is about 160 kilometres in diameter, but its mass seems to be still unknown, so that we cannot make statements about its composition. It orbits Saturn every 523 days, 15.6 hours. In 1982, following the Voyager results, I asked Brad Smith of the University of Arizona Department about Phoebe and he said 'as far as we can see it is 'perfectly' round'. He also pointed out that it was too large to be a degenerate cometary nucleus. He said it had only 3% reflectivity. ... it could be that Voyager One might have triggered a local alarm by entering the Saturn system, and thus awakening the Nommos. The whole design might have been that simple and elegant. It avoids artificial or questionable criteria and sets as its absolute threshold the entering of the Saturn system by an artificial probe (of whatever kind, since this plan would enable an alarm to be triggered by an extraterrestial as well as by an Earth probe). The entering of the Saturn system would thus constitute a tripwire which would have activated the Nommos in 1981...
We should not forget that the Dogon say that the Nommos will return, and when they do it will be called The Day of the Fish. The first indication of their return, say the Dogon, will be that a new star will appear in the sky - the 'star of the tenth moon' will have returned...
I speak of all this as if I believed it. Do I believe it? However much verification occurs, the hypothesis of contact with Sirians remains a hypothesis until contact is re-established, and then we don't need to wonder anymore because it will have become obvious."
The gods of the Dogon are pairs of twins, which is a common theme of shamanism the world over.
musical entity Dogon
This two-disc NEWdOG release contains Dogon's critically-acclaimed first album, _Notdunjusta_, with the addition of a disc of remixes of that album as well as a couple early solo cuts by Dogon's members, Venezuelan Miguel Noya and American Paul Godwin. The duo is percussively inventive and original in the same way that Aphex Twin is. They use anything that is necessary to impart their rhythms. Often the source of percussion is sampled vocal bits that act not as voices but as musical notes and textures, as on _Chet's Dream_, in which a vocal motif-more like sinister pagan chanting-opens the song before spreading into the lovely, almost childlike, melody. "Humedo" even progresses over top what sounds like typewriter clicks, and with its Middle Eastern feel, comes out both sacred and essential-sounding. _Notdunjusta_, in general, blends ethnic influences with spacey techno and nervous drum 'n' bass.
Sometimes percussive elements morph into melodies themselves. On _Lleno_, bubbling synth notes and electronic squelches weave in and out of womb-like bass pulses while the song's melody created by piano and cello exists almost subliminally off in the background, as if it is filtering in from speakers. It's almost like a symphony happening out in the real world has transfused through the skin of an expectant mother and mixed with the blood and internal sounds of the body. In fact, Notdunjusta takes the force and instrumental texture of the symphony into lush electro-ambient spaces, building and subsequently undercutting momentum with unequaled evocative command to the point that Noya and Godwin can take a listener anyplace they please. The album is pastoral in the sense that it paints detailed backdrops and locales, though they are not entirely the province of either urban or rural dimensions, often seeming imaginary or surreal, as if they have one foot in this world, one foot in a place of disorientingly placid mechanization. The feeling is almost utopian-or perhaps dystopian, it is never fully revealed. The album ends on a note both pastoral and, like it began, womb-like, as "Brainstorm at Redrock" showers the listener with turbulent ocean waves, rain, and a heart beat. The sense it leaves is one of textural consistency, but that consistency could be either serene or darkly glistening, as if something may be lurking beneath the surface.
_Redunjusta_ is much more incendiary and frenetic than its parent album. Drum & bass beats and dubbed-up bass splay manically throughout the songs courtesy of top remixers such as NYC's M'Lumbo, citymates Reza and Seer, and labelmate Jhno. Even the most ambient of songs, in these hands, whips into electronic mayhem and mystery, and the dimensions it adds to the music is incalculable. Instead of just serene head food, _Redunjusta_ is kinetic and move-worthy.
-- Stanton Swihart