Griaule, Marcel, 1898-1956. The pale fox

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Chapter I Amma

I. Amma

Creation And Morphology Of The Signs.

Classification And Multiplication Of Signs.

From Sign To Drawing.


Role Of The Signs.

2. First Genesis

Creation Of The Sene.

Creation Of The “first World.”

Destruction Of The “first World.”

3. Amma's Egg

Second Genesis.

First Yala Of Amma's “egg.”

Opening Of Amma's “eyes”: Second Yala Of Amma's Egg. ”


4. Creation Of The Po

Creation Of The Po.

Creation Of The Eight Seeds.

Gaba And Anu.


5. Creation Of The Nommo Anagonno

Amma's Double Placenta.

The Egg Of The “nommo Anagonno.”

Formation Of The “nommo Anagonno.”

Multiplication Of The Fish.

6. Amma's Work

Amma's Work.

Elaboration Of The Second World.

Chapter Ii Ogo

Ogo's Revolt.

Ogo's First Descent.

Formation Of The Earth.

Representation Of Ogo's First Ark.


Ogo's Return To The Sky.


Creation Of The Sun And Of The Turtle “agunuru.”

Theft Of Amma's Seeds.


Reintegration Of The Elements Of Creation In The “po Pilu.”

Ogo's Second Descent.

Ogo's Second Ark.

Ogo's Sowing.

Crushing Of The Placenta By The “nommo Titiyayne.”

The “sene Na” And The Work Of The Spider.

Chapter Iii Sacrifice And Resurrection Of The Nommo

I. Emasculation Of The Nommo

Amma's Choice Of The Victim And The Sacrificer.

Separation Of The Souls Of The Victim.

Emasculation Of The Victim.

2. Ogo's Circumcision

Ogo's Second Reascent.

Ogo's Circumcision.

Ogo's Third And Final Descent.

Ogo's Transformation Into The Pale Fox.

The Divination Tables Of The Fox.

3. Sacrifice Of The Nommo

Slaughter Of The Victim.

Division Of The Body Of The Victim.

Projection Of The Parts Of The Body Into Space.

4. The Nommo's Resurrection

The Nommo's Resurrection.

Plan Of The Sacrifice And Resurrection: The Altars Of The Lebe Dala And The Line Of Blood.

A. “ Lebe Of The Day Of The Fish Seated On The Outside,” Izubay Lebe Para-ne Da, Commonly Called “ Lebe Of The Outside.”

C. Uguru Uguri, “place Where The Fumigation (purification) Is Performed.”

D. Dummo Dama, “forbidden Boulder.”

E. Ka Amma, “(altar Of) Amma Of Ka.”

F. Pegu, Literally: “planted.”

G. Keze Amma Or Tenu Amma, “moist (altar To) Amma.”

H. Belu Uri, “place Where One Skins The (sacrificed) Animal.”

I. Sogo Of The Yébéné Totem.

J. Sogo Of The Guéméné Totem.

K. Sogo Of The Goummoyana Totem.

L. Sogo Of The Nommo Totem.

M. Sogo Of The Tiré Totem.

N. Enegirim Tolo Sogo.

O. Digi Tanu Tolo Sogo.

P. Yapunu Da Tolo.

Q. Igibie, Literally: “one Must Know” (from Igi, “to Know, To Be Acquainted With”).


The Lineage.

The Totemic Clan.

Value And Function Of The Sacrifice And Resurrection Of The Nommo.

5. The Creation Of Man

The Clavicle.

The Anagonno Bile And The Anagonno Sala.

The Spiritual Principles.

The Smith, The Griot, And Yasigui.

Death: The Anagonno Alagala.

The Placenta Of The Resurrected Nommo And The Turtle Kiru.

Chapter Iv Work Of The Po Pilu

The Elements Of Creation And The Female Po Pilu.

The Nommo Swallows The Po Pilu.

Classification Of The Elements Contained In The Female Po Pilu.


Chapter V The Nommo's Ark

Contents Of The Ark.

Descent Of The Ark.

The Ark On Earth.

Representations Of The Ark Of The Nommo.

The Resurrected Nommo In The Water.

The Stars.

I. Orion, Sirius, Po And Emme Ya Tolo.

Ii. The Sun, The Moon, The Planets, And The Calendars.

Chapter Vi The Closing Of Amma's Clavicles

Descent Of The Gaba And The Anu.

The Signs In Amma's Clavicles.

Amma Closes Himself Again.

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: The pale fox

Published By: Original publisher China Valley, Ariz.: Continuum Foundation. 1986. 562 p. ill. [some graphics not included]

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen ; translated from the French by Stephen C. Infantino

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2000. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Dogon (FA16)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Visual arts (5311); Cosmology (772); Mythology (773); Spirits and gods (776); Ideas about nature and people (820);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This is the English translation of the classic French ethnography on the Dogon creation myth, ‘Le renard pâle,’ published in 1965. Although Griaule's ethnographic methods have come under attack (see van Beek, document no. 31), this is nevertheless an impressive work. The myth tightly weaves together Dogon ideas about language, anatomy, astronomy, botany, the landscape, and genealogy. Could the creation myth be a mnemonic device for storing and transmitting Dogon knowledge? The myth represents the accumulated knowledge of Dogon elders, underlying their authority, and serving as a blueprint for Dogon social life. It is also an epistemolgy, in which ideas are thought to emerge through a hierarchy of symbols: from traces (BUMMO) to signs (YALA) to figures (TONU).

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 25

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. fa16-025

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English translation from the French

Note: Translation of: Le renard pâle|Originally published in French by l'Institut d'Ethnologie, Paris, 1965 Includes bibliographical references (p. 548-522) Many graphics are not included

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1931-1956

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologist-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Ian Skoggard ;1999

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1948-1956

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Sanga region, Mali

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Dogons (African people)


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