The book is the history of two long journeys: the one undertaken by Louis Desplagnes in 1904-1905 and that of Ferdinando Fagnola on the traces of the French explorer. In the early 20th century Desplagnes was the first person to explore in depth Dogon Country (Mali) during a 2800 km trip that took him from Timobouctou to the cliffs of Bandiagara to the Lake Faguibine and back to Bandiagara. Desplagnes took over 400 photos (many published in this book) during the journey and he was the first to document dances, masks, daily life and material culture of the Dogon. In 1907, he published in Paris a book entitled "Le Plateau Central Nigerien", which soon was forgotten. Fagnola's interest was originally started by a small Dogon statue he owned and that was reproduced in Desplagnes' notebook, but as he visited time and time again the Dogon country he became more interested in Desplagnes and Dogon culture. He has retraced each leg of Desplagnes' voyage and has often taken pictures from the exact same spot.
This book is not only an account of this long forgotten exploration, but also a lively introduction to Dogon culture and art, the rituals, the daily life, the geography of this wonderful place, so important for the scholars of African art and culture.
Publisher: Officina Libraria