Before we get to the juicy stuff, let me introduce you to the Dogon tribe of West Africa’s Mali. Out of all the Orion legends I’ve heard, this one resonates with me the most, since I live on the same continent, in South Africa. The Dogon’s origins are not entirely clear, but it’s believed their ancestors were Egyptian. The Dogon believed that Sirius, a bluish star in the Orion constellation, had an invisible companion star. This companion star, known as Sirius B, was not discovered until 1970 (some sources say 1862)! How did the Dogon know this?
Now here’s where it gets juicy, and this legend is what inspired the T’Acan (Book 2 onwards) in my sci-fi fantasy series, Legends of Origin:
Dogon legend has it that, thousands of years ago, a race of amphibious beings from the Sirius system came to Earth. These beings were called the Nommos, took the forms of whales, dolphins, mermaids and mermen, and are also mentioned in Sumerian, Babylonian and Accadian mythology. The Nommos’ home planet is said to orbit another star in the Sirius system, Sirius C. Lending some credence to this, in1995, it was suggested for the first time that there might be a third star; however, not many scientists believe that life is possible in the Sirius system.
Legend has it that it was the Nommos who told the Dogon about Sirius’ invisible companion star, along with other things about our solar system that modern humans only discovered after the invention of the telescope.
Some, like astronomer Carl Sagan and writer Ian Ridpath, believe that Dogon priests discovered the knowledge of the stars from Westerners and then incorporated it into their legends. While this is certainly possible, it doesn’t explain a 400-year-old Dogon artefact that seems to depict Sirius, or how they knew about Sirius B’s super density.
It’s intriguing, at the very least.