chapter  7
16 Pages

The Compound: Fixing, Gathering, and Enclosing the Everyday

The notion of a compound (Dogon home) refers to a walled-in domestic space that contains multiple buildings and that is occupied by a family. In the Dogon community of Tiréli, which is virilocal, patrilineal, and polygynous, the term gínna1 (‘family’) is used to describe a single built unit or a compound where the family of the lineage head resides. The term gínna and its multiple variations-commonly referred to in the Dogon and in French as la concession or la famille (‘the family’)—was defined by my sources as ‘Within the walls, you find that there is a family that lives there. This is the place where we were born and that belongs to our ancestors’.2