Fikir Amlak & King Alpha release their 8th album on Akashic Records which explores the Dogon people of Mali - their history & philosophy.
The album consists of 7 vocal tunes and 7 dubs. It continues the journey through different mystery traditions of the world. To date they have released albums exploring Rastafari, Ethiopia, Meso-America, and the Orishas. This album explores the mysteries of the Dogon people because they find them fascinating, insightful and beautiful.
RASTAFARI is African centric. So part of Fikir Amlaks work is to educate the world about African culture and traditions, not just Ethiopia, like he did with the Orishas / 7 Powers.
“Education develops the intellect; and the intellect distinguishes man from other creatures. It is education that enables man to harness nature and utilize her resources for the well-being and improvement of his life.” Haile Selassie
Lyrically it’s an exploration of Dogon culture and spiritual system. The first song 'Dogon', explains the Dogon people who are an ethnic group indigenous to the central plateau region of Mali, in West Africa, south of the Niger bend, near the city of Bandiagara, and in Burkina Faso. The population numbers between 400,000 and 800,000. The Dogon are best known for their religious traditions, their mask dances, wooden sculpture, and their architecture.
The second song 'Nommo' explains the venerated primordial ancestral spirits in Dogon religion and cosmogony. The word Nommo is derived from a Dogon word meaning "to make one drink." Nommos are usually described as amphibious, hermaphroditic, fish-like creatures. Folk art depictions of Nommos show creatures with humanoid upper torsos, legs/feet, and a fish-like lower torso and tail. Nommos are also referred to as “Masters of the Water”, “the Monitors”, and "the Teachers”.
'Po Tolo' the third song, is the Dogon’s name for Sirius B, the companion to Emme Ya Tolo, or Sirius C. Neither of these stars are visible to the naked eye. How have the Dogon acquired knowledge of these stars without the use of a telescope? This is referred to as The Sirius Mystery.
Awa, Lebe, and Binu are three groups or (cults) within the Dogon culture. The Awa are responsible for leading the souls of the deceased into the ancestor realm. They dance with painted masks. The Lebe are responsible for the earth, the purity and fertility of the soil. The Binu are responsible for totem shrines, communication with spirits, and ancestor worship.
The Togu Na “House of Words” is a shelter in a Dogon village open on all four sides and supported by stone or wood pillars that carry a roof made of millet thatch. The ceiling is too low for a person to stand upright. It is a shaded place where men discuss village affairs and where they can rest.
'Moons & Orbits' is about the Dogon’s astrological knowledge of Saturn, and how they may have come to this knowledge.
The Kanaga mask is a mask of the Dogon of Mali traditionally used by members of the Awa Society, especially during the ceremonies of the cult of the dead (dama, ceremony of mourning).The Kanaga mask evokes the Creator God Amma. It presents a double cross shape, which reminds the creation of the world, danced during funeral ceremonies.