The Binu shrine :

     Several patrilineages make up a clan. Clan leadership belongs to the Binu priest. His mission consists in maintaining harmony between supernatural forces of the bush and clan members. They will call on him for all kinds of problems of a mystical nature (unexplained diseases, divination, etc ...). Whereas the responsibilities of the Ginna Banga are transmitted through succession, those of the Binu priest are acquired in a very different manner :

     The Binu is a supernatural and protective being that manifests itself to an individual in the form of an animal. Whilst walking through the bush, this individual will be given an object, such as a stone, as a sign of alliance (Duge). Ethnographic literature has it that the discovery of the Duge by the person in question is proof of his ability to communicate with the spirit world and that consequently it is his duty to assume responsibility as Binu priest. From there on, the new priest will wear the Duge in the form of a necklace. But in reality, the Duge is not just a stone found in the bush by a person in a trancelike state. It is rather the necklace itself which on the death of the priest, is hidden by family members until the day it is rediscovered by his successor. One says that the Binu "sleeps" until the day the Duge is rediscovered. Only one out of the three existing Binu's in Ogol-Da was active in early 2006.

     Clan members have a close relationship with a totemic animal or plant (ba-binu). In "Graine de l'homme, enfant du mil-pages 33/34", J.Bouju gives the following example : In the village of Sibi-Sibi the Karambe clan's totem is a snake. One day an inhabitant of Sibi-Sibi was saved from drowning by a water serpent. It was through the animal's intermediary that the Binu manifested its alliance with the Karambe clan. Since that day, it is strictly forbidden for the Karambe to hunt, kill and consume snakes.

     In Sangha, the Walu (antelope - hippotracus) is Ogol-Ley's totem and the panther is Ogol-Da's totem. These animals are regarded as the protectors of the clans concerned and will not be hunted or eaten, nor will clan members dance with masks representing them. When a Dogon travels or sleeps in the bush his totem will look after him.

     However there is a particularity to be noted between the two Ogols. Ogol-Ley respects both the Walu and the panther. As a sign of respect for their neighbours, Ogol-Ley considers the former as their second totem. As regards Ogol-Da, it does not consider the Walu as their second totem. Thus Ogol-Ley dances neither with Walu nor with panther masks. But for Ogol-Da only the panther mask remains taboo.

     Today the Binu cult loses some of its influence. Other religions, science and the medical world in particular give alternative answers to the protective function of the Binu.

      Binu shrines are single-chambered constructions decorated with reliefs and geometric designs. The white marks on the fašades are millet gruel libations made during agrarian rites. These rites are to ensure the coming of the rain, the regeneration of nature and abundant harvests. Hereunder some examples :

 

   

 

 

   
   
sangha : ogol da




 
sangha : ogol da




 
sangha : ogol da




         
   
sangha : sangui




 
sangha : sangui




 
sangha : sangui




         
   
sangha : gogoli




 
sangha : gogoli




 
sangha : bongo




         
   
sangha : diamini na




 
kani kombole




 
yaye




         
   
banani amou




 
neni




 
yougo dogorou




   

 

   
   
komo sese




 
komo sese




 
komo sese




         
   
yendouma ato




 
yendouma ato




 
yendouma ato




         
   
ireli bolon
 
kamba sinde
 
kamba sinde