Marcel Griaule (Aisy-sur-Armançon, Yonne, 1898 - Paris, 1956) is a french ethnologist.
After having passed several months in Abyssinia (1928 - 1929), he organised the crossing of Africa from west to east: it's the Dakar-Djibouti mission from
1931 to 1933 with Michel Leiris, André Schaeffner and other ethnologists, marking in the same time the start of the field ethnology. During this expedition, he studied the Dogon group, on which he consacred the majority of his researches.
Very linked to the dogon culture, he contributed to the development of the region by promoting the construction of an irrigation boom for the culture of onion and pepper in the region of Sangha.
One of his main contribution (related to ethnology) is having proved that the dogon cosmogony is at least as important as the western ones. However, he'll be very criticized for having under-estimate the western influence in the dogon astronomical knowledge. He has been one of the rare ethnologists to get traditional african funerals.
In 1941, he stood in for his former amharique professor Marcel Cohen, unauthorised to teach because of the anti-Semitic laws, at the INLCOV (School of the Eastern Languages).
From 1943 to his death, he's professor at la Sorbonne (first chair of ethnology). He's also advisor of the French Union. From 1940, he was the general secretary of the Africanists Society.
He has worked, among others, with Germaine Dieterlen and his daughter Geneviève Calame-Griaule.
* Les Flambeurs d'hommes (1936)
* Masques dogons (1938). 4e édition 1994, réimprimée en 2004.
Publications Scientifiques du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle. 890
p. + XXXII. (ISBN 2-85653-569-0)
* Jeux dogons (1938)
* Les Sao légendaires (Gallimard 1943)
* Dieu d'eau (entretiens avec Ogotemmeli, ouvrage qui révèle les structures de la pensée sacrée dogon) (1948)
* Méthode de l'Ethnographie (1957)
* Renard pâle, ethnologie des Dogons, Institut d'Ethnologie, 1965/1991 (en collaboration avec Germaine Dieterlen).
* (en) Walter E. A. van Beek, « Dogon Restudied: A Field Evaluation of
the Work of Marcel Griaule », Current Anthropology, n° 32 (1991), p.
* (fr) Isabelle Fiemeyer, Marcel Griaule, citoyen dogon, Actes Sud, 2004, 166 p. (ISBN 2742748059)
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