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Ogotommeli - Weaving

Identifier

002386

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

In essence a description of how the systems of the universe were created, symbolically described. 

Given that the systems of the universe are one vast interrelated network, the appearance given is of a sort of fabric.  If we use the analogy, when a computer system of considerable complexity is produced and we view the links and dependencies diagrammatically, it looks like a vast tapestry of functions and links.  In terms of storage the systems of the universe are stored in the atom and thus the egg too in a matrix and the cells of the matrix are the warps and weft threads described here.  The cells are separate vibrational layers but symbolically can be viewed as a sort of loom.

In Dogon belief the Nummo is the creator/created and it has a forked tongue – the two tunnels.

The Word is then the language of creation – the programing language of creation.

Clever but very complex symbolism.  Griaule never did understand it, but to his credit he recorded it word for word.

A description of the experience

Conversations with Ogotommeli (An Introduction to Dogon Religious ideas) – Professor Marcel Griaule

At sunrise on the appointed day the seventh ancestor Spirit spat out eighty threads of cotton; these he distributed between his upper teeth which acted as the teeth of a weaver’s reed.  In this way he made the uneven threads of a warp.  He did the same with the lower teeth to make the even threads.  By opening and shutting his jaws the Spirit caused the threads of the warp to make the movements required in weaving.  His whole face took part in the work, his nose studs served as the block, while the stud in the lower lip was the shuttle.

As the threads crossed and uncrossed, the two tips of the Spirit’s forked tongue pushed the thread of the weft to and fro and the web took shape from his mouth in the breath of the second revealed Word.

For the Spirit was speaking while the work proceeded.  As did the Nummo in his first revelation, he imparted his Word by means of a technical process, so that all men could understand.  By so doing he showed the identity of material actions and spiritual forces, or rather the need for their co-operation.

The words that the Spirit uttered filled all the interstices of the stuff; they were woven in the threads, and formed part and parcel of the cloth.  They were the cloth and the cloth was the Word.

That is why woven material is called soy, which means ‘the spoken word’…….

Thus the interlacing of warp and weft enclosed the same words, the new instruction which became the heritage of mankind and was handed on from generation to generation of weavers to the accompaniment of the clapping of the shuttle and the creaking of the block, which they call the ‘creaking of the Word’

The source of the experience

Ogotemmeli

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References