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Page 372 of 377

Finis Self Evident Truths By Christopher Hyland O n the previous page, a life-sized statue created by a Dogon tribe member accompanies a quote from American Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806), a free African-American astronomer, surveyor, almanac author, mathematician and farmer. It has been suggested that Banneker���s father came from the Dogon tribe, a tribe known for its knowledge of astronomy as contained in its oral history, accounts from which commonly reference the stars and visitors from beyond Earth. Not surprisingly, therefore, Dogon figurative art contains a recurring posture: hands raised towards the heavens, as in the case of the Dogon statue shown here. At a time apart from the creation of the above Dogon statue, Banneker sent Thomas Jefferson a copy of his almanac, a work aligned in temperament with that of the sculpture and Dogon history. Banneker���s interaction with Jefferson extended further and with great resolve, much like that expressed by the statue. He wrote to Jefferson HYLAND

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