An unusual fishing on Lake Antogo


Every nation, even the least numerous, has its own traditions. To outsiders, it may seem strange or ridiculous, but for each of them lies a story. One of the more unusual traditions is a ritual at Lake Antogo, located in the heart of Mali (Africa). A small lake fed by the waters of the Niger River and is rich in fish.

Thirteen residents living nearby villages — Dogon tribe — consider it a sacred lake. Therefore, it is forbidden to fishing all year round — except for one day. On this day all the Dogon leave their villages and going to the lake.

First, the elders hold sacred rituals and recite prayers, hundreds of dark-skinned, half-naked people frozen in water for several hours look impressive. Then the elders give a signal to the beginning of fishing, and the whole mass of people rush to the lake for prey. The already shallow lake is at this moment like a mud puddle. 15-20 minutes is enough to catch all the fish from Antogo.





According to legend, this ritual is rooted in the distant past of the Dogon, when the lake found several villages. The bloody war between them for the right to call their lake was carried out for a long time and has claimed many lives. And now the annual fishing is designed to combine all the seed, it is a symbol of unity and peace of the Dogon villages. So at the end of the ritual all the fish caught is given to the Dogon elders who share the catch equally among all the villages.

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