The Cloudcatcher’s Sadness

This video chronicles the three-day celebration held in October 2011 to introduce the new hogon, or high priest, of the Arou tribe. The event followed the completion of WMF-supported restoration work on Arou temple, a mud-brick structure that had been unused and deteriorating since the last hogon died in 1997. Arou is one of some 200 Dogon villages along the Bandiagara Escarpment in southern Mali. The escarpment was included on the 2004 World Monuments Watch to draw attention to the challenges, including emigration, facing this unique cultural landscape. Following Watch-listing, a tourism management plan was developed. A few years later, WMF partnered with the Mission Culturelle de Bandiagara and CRATerre-Ensag on the restoration of Arou temple.