text readers click here for text only version

the people
eco info
series profile

Country Close-Up

Sahel Sahara Sahel Ethiopia Rainforest Great Lakes Great Lakes Savanna Swahili Southern Africa

PrintEmail this article
sahel: traditions
kanaga mask spirit ladder jewelry granary door gourd

The Sahel is a crossroads for traditions from both North and West Africa. Of the many groups that inhabit this barren environment, Mali's Dogon people are perhaps best known for the preservation of their native religious beliefs and customs. The work of Dogon craftsmen abounds in galleries throughout the world. The Fulani, another Sahel people, view the land with a similar devotion. For centuries, the Sahel's scraggly grasses have provided refuge for their herds of cattle, the largest in the world. Their artifacts reflect this sense of the land's power and glorify the products -- gold and amber -- that it produces.

Photo Credits:
Kanaga Mask -- Charles Klein, University of Pennsylvania Museum
Spirit Ladder - Tim Hamill, http://www.hamillgallery.com
Granary Door -- Tim Hamill, http://www.hamillgallery.com
Gourd -- Marc Ginzberg, "African Forms"

sahel explore the regions africa back