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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Haunting Griaule: Experiences from the Restudy of the Dogon
Author:Beek, Walter E.A. vanISNI
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic term:Mali
anthropological research
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
About persons:Marcel Griaule (1898-1956)ISNI
Germaine Dieterlen (1903-1999)ISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4128518
Abstract:The author describes his experiences while repeating ethnographic research carried out by Marcel Griaule among the Dogon of Mali in the 1940s/1950s, and the work of one of Griaule's most important followers, Germaine Dieterlen. Griaule's 'Dieu d'eau' (1948) was a revelation at the time of its first publication: never before had the secrets of an African society been exposed so clearly in order to show a native philosophy on a par with what the Athenian and Indian civilizations had offered to humanity. However, the present author shows that Griaule fell into a trap: a combination of strong and overtly expressed personal convictions, with a position of authority backed by a colonial presence on his part, and on the Dogon side a small circle of crucial and creative informants, a clear courtesy bias and some monetary realism. The fact that there are no creation stories among the Dogon, at least not in the Griaulean sense, is crucial in this restudy. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]