chapter  3
16 Pages

Conceptual Boundaries and Inside/Outside Dialectics: A Dwelling Process

The landscape of the Dogon village of Tiréli is conceptually bounded by two contiguous enclosures in which people dwell and gather the world around them. These encircling symbolic structures create particular liveable configurations by forming a system generated through a series of shrines that map out the land. They are ruled by the ɔmɔlɔ system, which expresses the relationships between people and their god, the spirits of the land, and the ancestors who founded the territory. On the one hand, the system of symbolic enclosures institutes a network of protection for its material and human content. On the other hand, it constitutes a social behaviour control device, a gathering process and material identity making, as well as attempting to act on the unpredictable environment. The symbolic protections of the Dogon landscape generated by a series of shrines that enclose its territory involves a particular philosophy of action that concerns the reactivation of ontological boundaries and thus of a series of earth shrines.