After scrambling down and down over steep boulder-filled trail, my interpreter and I entered the tiny village of Koundou Gina. We wanted to meet the most powerful shaman in the region.
|A woman enters the outskirts of Koundou Gina village, Dogon tribe, Mali, Africa.|
|Powerful Dugui Dugene (Medicine Man) showing me how he removes doogu doogu from a person. Koundou Gina village, Dogon tribe, Mail, Africa.|
After a bit of chatter, I asked about Doogu Doogu and other terrible things caused by bad spirits.
In an casual tenor voice, the Medicine Man explained: "The bad spirit is created by God. Both good and bad spirits are created by God."
|Medicines Dugui Dugene (Medicine Man) gathers in the forest to heal people that come to Koundou Gina village from surrounding villages. Dogon tribe, Mail, Africa.|
Medicine Man continued: "We don't see the bad spirits because they have much magic power. They could be right here right now. We just don't see them.
The shaman paused a bit, pointed at me. Then: "But they can see us."
Squating with his back against the mud wall of his one-room house, Medicine Man continued: "I can see them in my dream. When I sleep at night time, I can see them.
"The bad spirit look like a man. They wear clothes. But some of them has a cow head. Some has only one hand. And some has one breast. Some look like men but not complete man. And always have two, three or ten heads.
Then he pointed to his hand. "Some have kind of feet here. The feet are cow feet."
|My visualization of the Dogon bad spirit as described by the Dogon tribe Medicine Man in Koundou Gina village, Mali, Africa.|
When I asked Medicine Man if he was afraid of the bad spirit in his dreams, he replied nonchalantly: "Afraid some, a little bit, but not that much."
Janis: "I would be very afraid."
Medicine Man: "If you suppose to walk with bad spirit and you afraid, they always come to afraid you. And if you afraid of them, you can be crazy. You can become crazy. They can do you something bad."
Janis: "Can I take a picture of you like you are sleeping, like you are dreaming?