2014-04-23

Sacred Antogo Fishing Ritual in Mali

There are many interesting holidays celebration around the world. Many of these holidays are characterized by bright colors, captivating action, costumes, music and dancing. A small village in south-east Mali, Dagon county, hosts a grand celebration called Bamba. It is held each year during massive fishing in Lake Antogo. 

Antogo Fishing Ritual in Mali

Antogo Fishing Ritual in Mali


Antogo Lake is just one of hundreds of lakes that are part of one of the largest tributaries to the African river Niger. Despite its desert climate, the lake has water and fish all year. The Dogon is considered a sacred lake, and fishing in it is forbidden throughout the year. The ban is lifted once a year and the lake opens up to great fishing.

All the villages are home to holiday-fishing families. For many hours were held prayers and sacred rituals, following which thousands of special wicker baskets-armed men rush to the lake in search of a catch. After about 15 minutes, a gunshot signals the end of the ritual. The catch of all the fish is gathered and given to the oldest man in Bamba, the village elder. He will ensure that the catch is distributed evenly among the villages. 

This simple fishing ritual is symbolic of the unity and peace of all Dogon people. The ritual stands out in stark contrast to other aspects Dogon culture. People from this region are anti-water and try to avoid it whenever possible. They prefer to live in the hills, rocks, and semi-deserted regions, away from the fearsome river Niger. For the Antogo festival, all fears are forgotten and people leap into the water to catch their fish.

Photo credit | Matteobertolino
Sacred Antogo Fishing Ritual | Mali
Photo credit | Matteobertolino
Sacred Antogo Fishing Ritual | Mali
Photo credit | Matteobertolino
Sacred Antogo Fishing Ritual | Mali
Photo credit | Matteobertolino
Sacred Antogo Fishing Ritual | Mali
Photo credit | Matteobertolino
Sacred Antogo Fishing Ritual | Mali
Photo credit | Matteobertolino
Sacred Antogo Fishing Ritual | Mali
Photo credit | Matteobertolino
Sacred Antogo Fishing Ritual | Mali
Photo credit | Matteobertolino
Sacred Antogo Fishing Ritual | Mali
Photo credit | Matteobertolino
Sacred Antogo Fishing Ritual | Mali
Photo credit | Matteobertolino

The story of this unusual holiday will not be complete without a video from the company BBC, which is better than any words tell about this exciting action.



Source — Reportage | Matteobertolino | Topnews

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