Inner Awareness

The Dogon tribe’s extraordinary knowledge of astronomy


There were two separate articles in the INQUIRER recently which caught my interest.

The first was the column of professor Randy David asking where on earth Mali was, and the other was the story of an 86-year-old Cebuana who was clinically dead for one whole hour and then lived again.

I will focus on the first story. David wrote about Mali because of that country’s current political and social upheavals, which have been hogging world headlines in recent weeks.

But unlike David, what interests me about this small sub-Saharan country is not political but the esoteric and anthropological. Mali, which is near Timbuktu in West Africa, is home to an obscure but remarkable people known as the Dogon Tribe with a population of less than one million.

What’s so special about this tribe which caught the interest of two French anthropologists in the late 1930s, enough for them to live with the tribe for several years?

Advanced knowledge

The Dogon Tribe has an incredibly advanced and accurate knowledge of astronomy and mathematics which they could not have discovered or developed by themselves.

No one knows where the Dogon Tribe originated. Some have speculated that they were of Egyptian descent. Their traditions and folk ceremonies are aligned with the movements of an invisible and yet unknown star, Sirius B, which they knew travel around Sirius A every 50 years in an elliptical manner, something which was completely unknown to Western astronomers that time.

Sirius A is a bright star which can be seen in the western sky through the naked eye, but not Sirius B, its invisible companion.

The Dogon people knew that Sirius B was very small but very dense or heavy. Yet its existence was proven only in 1970 when it was photographed for the first time by Western astronomers. The Dogon tribe knew about the existence of this invisible star for thousands of years.

They also knew that Saturn has four moons, and has rings or halos around it, although these cannot be seen without powerful telescopes.


Alien encounters

Where did these primitive people get their knowledge of the Sirius Star system? According to tribe elders, as related to the French visitors in 1939, their knowledge of the sky was given to them by creatures who descended on Earth thousands of years ago from Sirius B.

They call these creatures Nommos, who were amphibious, meaning, they lived both on water and dry land. And they had very advanced knowledge of astronomy and mathematics.

To Western scientists, such stories of extraterrestrial contacts are merely myths handed down from one generation to another, but to the Dogon people they are as solid as the ground they stand on.

Information about the extraterrestrial origin of the Dogon Tribe’s accurate astronomical knowledge is the topic of the well-documented but controversial book by Robert Temple, “The Sirius Mystery,” published by Random House in London in 1977 and revised in 1998.

In that book, Temple boldly and categorically stated that there must have been contact with advanced extraterrestrial creatures as far back as 5000 and 3000 B.C.

According to Temple, not only the Dogon Tribe of West Africa but also the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians spoke of creatures who came from the Sirius Star system. And their oral traditions agree that these ETs were amphibious.

Contrary voices

Expectedly, the more conservative Western astronomers and researchers dismissed such extraterrestrial theories to be preposterous. They would rather believe that such knowledge must have come from some advanced but lost civilization on Earth.

The problem with these contrary voices is that they dismiss the conclusion of Temple without providing counter-arguments to the vast or massive documentary evidence he has presented in his book.

Their insistence that there is absolutely no proof of contacts with beings from other planets or galaxies stems from the fact that, after years of listening to some radio signals from outer space for decades, no intelligent sounds were picked up, till the time it was recently abandoned as a waste of time, money and effort.

But the Seti project, as it was called (“Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence”), did not tune in to the Sirius Star system but elsewhere in the vast universe. It is now known that in the Milky Way alone there are millions of planets similar to Earth where life could exist.

How else can we explain the Dogon Tribe’s accurate knowledge of the planetarium movements in the sky? To carry the argument further, how can they explain who built the pyramids in Egypt and Mexico, or the huge stone statues on Easter Island and why?

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  • virgoyap

    A very interesting column by Licauco. I’m interested to read also the one you wrote about the 86 year old woman who was clinically dead for one hour and live again.


    this was debunked by astronomer Carl Sagan already, in his book Broca’s Brain  

  • KeCo

    You know if you’re going to write about this subject, you could at least not mention that same old lies. Astronomers knew about Sirius B since 1844 even though it was not seen visually until 1862. Its spectrum was seen and recorded by the 1920s and its density and White Dwarf nature was understood by 1930. All this took place long before French anthropologists decided to drop by and chat up the Dogon.

    • maya11

      If this is about the Sirius Mystery and the Dogon tribe then I’m sure that Mr. Licauco made an error in stating it was Sirius B. The Dogon tribe legend tells of the existence of Sirius C, a red star which was only discovered in 1995 by two French astronomers.

      • KeCo

        Even if he meant Sirius C – Sirius C was not discovered in 1995. The two French astronomers mentioned suggested that it existed but a couple of thorough searches (including one with the Hubble Space Telescope) turned up nothing.

  • maya11

    Mr. Licauco mentioned Temple’s book so I’m sure he made a mistake in saying it was Sirius 

    B. The Dogon myth mentions the existence of a third star in the Sirius system which they described as a red star. Sirius C, a red star was only discovered in 1995 by two French astronomers.

  • michael l

    “Mali, which is near Timbuktu in West Africa, is home to an obscure but remarkable people known as the Dogon Tribe with a population of less than one million.” Correction, Timbuktu, a town, is actually within the Mali country territory. It can be safe to say that …”Mali, with Bamako as its City, is a landlocked country in West Africa. Timbuktu town is located in the Timbuktu Region, one of the administrative regions of Mali country.”
    As for the Dogon Tribe, I watched their ritual dance in the TV series of “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” several years ago.How the Dogon people dance, in elliptical manner, is precisely the way the Star Sirius behaves on its path. They are just copying it, as a sign that they knew of the existence of the Star System as being handed down in their generations. It is still baffling to understand. Any other idea why the said ritual dance? Unless there is really an ET intelligence contact with the tribe during the dawn of the civilization.

    • KeCo

       Because yes a bad TV show from the 80s is a valid source of scientific information…not.

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