Girl with Water Vessel in Fields Near Sanga Village.
20th c African (West) Dogon Topographical View
(Fresno CA, 1933 - )
Sanga Villiage. Mali.
Los Altos. Cohen Collection.
The protection of the escarpment is provided at a cost, for there is little water or arable land on the cliffs. Grain is grown below beside a river that runs along the flats, and is watered by means of large vessels, now of metal, but based on traditional calabashes that one still sees in use.
Africa's food supply is based upon various grains--wheat, barley, millet, and one called fonio-- which were part of the grain belt of Middle East, Europe and Africa. The map shows the basic Neolithic argricultural centers from which these crops descended, contrasting to corn as the basis for the life in the Americas and rice as the basic subsistence for Asia. The life of Africans was greatly helped as a result of contact and trade as rice was introduced from Asia and corn, potatoes and perhaps peanuts came from the New World.
The map shows the vast size of Africa in comparison to these other areas, and outlines the difficulty we have in a program such as this which attempts to introduce Africa, a continent with incredibly diverse topography, climate, peoples, languages and artistic traditions. We will be able to examine only a few of them, and we will concentrate on ways that Africans have interacted with other cultures throughout the centuries.
COHEN Kathleen | Girl with Water Vessel in Fields Near Sanga Village. | 1999 | African | Dogon