Togu Na (Shelter Post)

By: Adenike Cosgrove Tagged:


The first shelter built and found in all Dogon villages, the togu na is a sanctuary for men to gather and discuss matters pertaining to the community's wellbeing, success and protection. Strictly forbidden to women, togu na shelters also serve as a dark and cool reprieve from the Malian heat and a location for men of the community to rest and relax.

Made up of posts that support a low ceiling of millet stalks, togu na shelters are typically built in prominent positions within the village to provide a view of the cliffs and plains of Dogonland. Stone blocks, mud bricks, or wooden posts make up the togu na supports—wooden posts are typically found in Dogon villages on the Seno Plain.

Distinguishing Features

  • Typically made of wood
  • Massive Y-shaped rectangular post
  • Figures carved in relief
    • Figures of women with enormous conical breasts
    • Images of men, animals, masks in rare cases

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