May 19, 2018 (updated 2019) Sacrificial Hunt was Held at the Equinox by Shannon Dorey
Illumination of Earth
by the Sun
at the March EquinoxImage by Przemyslaw "Blueshade"
Idzkiewicz.CC BY-SA 2.0,
To the Dogon the equinox symbolized the restoration of balance in the solar system. During today's equinox, the sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is the first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of fall (autumnal equinox) in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Dogon sacrificial hunt tala took place at the spring equinox and symbolized the regeneration of the solar system, which occurred before the celebration of the nay banu "red sun". The Nummo, who was symbolized by the red giant star Po Pilu, was mythically sacrificed at this time and her body regenerated space, creating the stars as we see them today.Dorey, The Rose p. 265
The Mistress of Speech was also symbolized by a red giant star and was associated with the planet Jupiter and the hunt. She was identified with an Ostrich, which is the largest bird in existence at "2.74 m (9.0 ft) in height and up to 154 kilograms (340 lb) in weight." Ostrich's also lay the largest egg of any living bird, which could be why the Dogon associated an ostrich egg with the "Egg of the World".
I believe that the ostrich's association with the Mistress of Speech and the ritual hunt extended to other areas of Africa, which may be why the North African Ostrich, also known as Red-necked Ostrich, had almost been hunted to extinction in several countries.
At the time that Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen recorded the Dogon religion in the 1930s and 1940s, the scarcity of game in the region had caused the ritual hunt to become almost nonexistent.Dorey, The Rose p. 330
Roman Mosaic 2nd cDorey, The Rose p. 266
"Ostriches have inspired cultures and civilizations for 5,000 years in Mesopotamia and Egypt." This scene from the Zliten mosaic from c. AD 200 shows a man killing ostriches. The Zliten mosaic is a Roman floor mosaic found in the town of Zliten in Libya. It was discovered by the Italian archaeologist Salvatore Aurigemma in 1913 and is now on display at the Archaeological Museum of Tripoli.Dorey, The Rose p. 266
In Roman times, there was a demand for ostriches to be used in the venatio games, which I believe were associated with the ritual hunt, as it was known to the Dogon people. After the venatio games those convicted of crimes were crucified, burned or thrown to the animals, suggesting that it was part of the hunt ritual, which in the Dogon religion was about death and regeneration.Dorey, The Rose p. 265