Conversations with Ogotemmêli
Originally published in 1948 as Dieu D'Eau, this near-classic offers a unique and first-hand account of the myth, religion, and philosophy of the Dogan, a Sudanese people.
Why read it?
1 author picked Conversations with Ogotemmêli as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
At first glance, a difficult read. Griault shares many of the faults of French academic writing, opaque and ambiguous in turn. But it is worth the effort. The elderly sage, Ogotemmêli, is patient with outsider obtuseness, and the book is a fascinating look into the complicated and sophisticated cosmology of African spirituality, so different in tone and structure from those we are familiar with in the west. In the end, this book easily puts the lie to commonplace western notions of African religions, that they are mere animism, or obsessed with ancestors. As the Times Literary Supplement put it at…
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