Friday, April 15, 2011
Dogon Dance and the Celebration of Death
Just watched a video in my ancient astronomy course today. The video was about the Dogon people of Mali. These people have a certain cosmology which is ingrained in their spirituality. Also, the Dogon people consider all of life to be a dance. They dance to celebrate life.
The highlight of the video dealt with the Dogon’s dance for death. They dance to celebrate death. They dance people into their death and beyond. So unlike the modern technological society I am a part of. In western society, the propagation of the judeo-christian religions brought the idea that suicide was wrong, that death was bad and not a part of life, that death could be dangerous. Jack Kavorkian was put in jail because he wanted to help people in pain to find their death. We have forced death as far outside of our realm of thought as we could, as if death is wrong or bad. I love how the Dogon celebrate death. I love the idea of dancing our loved ones into their death. Why should we fear death? Why should we consider suicide to be wrong? It makes no sense to fear a natural part of life.
Of course, the Dogon don’t wish for death or seek it, but they respect death as part of life and they dance in honor of death. I wish more people in this modern technological culture were open with death and unafraid. It’s hard to deal with that. I'd like to be open about death. I'd like to dance to celebrate death. And, I hope that when I die someone will dance to celebrate my death.
Posted by Graham Lau