Dogon creation myth is very complex, but for the relevance of this African
story, can be
summarized as follows.
Heaven, which is also regarded by the Dogon as
the creator, is called Amma.
At the beginning of time, Amma (a supreme god who lived in the celestial
regions and was the origin of all creation) created the Earth and immediately
joined with it.
The stars represent the various bodily parts of
Amma, while the constellation of Orion is called "amma bolo boy tolo",
"the seat of Heaven", or "Amma's navel".
Amma split in two, creating Ogo, who represents
disorder. Ogo descended to Earth in an ark, along the Milky Way which connects
Heaven and Earth through a form of bridge, and he created havoc on Earth.
Amma then decided to create an representative
of order, called Nommo, and also created for him 8 assistants, comprising of 4
couples of twins.
These 8 were called the ancestors of human
beings, and they too descended to Earth in an ark, also created by Amma. The ark
was suspended from Heaven by a copper chain, which allowed the ark to float down
to Earth, like the Sun traverses the sky and settles in the west.
As a matter of interest, the Dogon construct a
representation of the ark which is left in every home for ritual purposes; it is
woven from dry leaves into a boat shaped basket.
Amma created the stars by throwing pellets of earth into space.
He created the sun and moon by modeling two white earthenware bowls, one
encircled with red copper, the other with white copper. Black people were
born under the sun and white people under the moon. (The latter paragraph
is quoted in L.V.Thomas, Les Religions de L'Afrique noire, Paris, 1969)