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   Undertoad  Tuesday Aug 13 02:26 PM

August 13, 2013: Crazy fishing at Lake Antogo, Mali

via Amusing Planet:

Everything here is parched as the dry season reaches its peak, leaving only one sacred pond full of catfish. Every year, an ancient fishing ritual called Antogo is carried out in the lake – a spectacle that is worth seeing.

A small lake fed by the waters of the Niger River and is rich in fish. Thirteen residents living nearby villages - the Dogon tribe - consider it a sacred lake. Therefore, it is forbidden to fish all year round - except for on one day.

On the day of Antogo hundreds of Dogon come from all parts of the country to Bamba’s lake, a pond the size of an Olympic swimming pool. They crowd around the lake – kids, young and old men – armed with cone-shaped fishing baskets and other hand made tools to catch the fish.

The frenzy lasts for only about 15 minutes. The intensity of the moment is extreme, huge, and overwhelming.

All of a sudden 400 bare-chested men jump wildly into the lake grabbing whatever they can. About 15 minutes later a gunshot marks the end of the ritual.

All fish captured are put into a leather bag and given to the oldest man of Bamba, who will ensure proper distribution among all villages.

Sundae  Tuesday Aug 13 03:07 PM

I knew a chap from Mali. I doubt he was from this area.
But this describes his competitive spirit.

glatt  Tuesday Aug 13 03:08 PM

I'd get a kick out of seeing that. Not a very big catch though.

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Aug 13 03:11 PM

The other half got stomped to mush.

Diaphone Jim  Wednesday Aug 14 12:27 PM

The caption for the second picture says, in part "Thirteen residents living nearby villages - the Dogon tribe - consider it a sacred lake."
What about everyone else?

It has a little in common with the trout opening day around here.

CaliforniaMama  Thursday Aug 15 01:14 AM

Originally Posted by glatt View Post
Not a very big catch though.
My thought as well, especially with SO many men and baskets. But, I can't imagine how they'd even get a basket in the water with all the people so thick.

glatt  Thursday Aug 15 09:49 AM

I wonder how many fish were missed to be able to reproduce for the next year. Lots of little guys in that catch. There can't be many survivors. They might want to think about imposing a size limit instead of relying on a gunshot to keep the pond from being over fished. It doesn't seem to be working.

chrisinhouston  Sunday Aug 18 09:29 AM

Now all they need is some corn meal and a skillet full of hot grease!

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