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Assign: Having broken its wrapping the creative… | re/touch: an encyclopædia of touch and culture



Having broken its wrapping the creative process emerges to follow the predestined and predetermined movement of being. For inside the first seed, and forming its central core, was an oblong plate divided into four sectors in which lay the signs corresponding to the twenty-two categories into which the universe is classified, each placed under the direction of one of the four elements: air, fire, earth, and water. In the rotatory movement of creation this plate, turning on itself, flings off the signs into space, where they come to rest, each one on the things which it symbolizes and which till then existed only potentially. At their touch every being comes into existence and is automatically placed in the predetermined category.

  • Source: Griaule, Marcel. “The Dogon” in African worlds : studies in the cosmological ideas and social values of African people, edited by C. Daryll Ford, pp. 83-110. London; New York: Oxford University Press, 1954.
  • Culture: Dogon
  • Location: Africa