The Dogon tribe is an indigenous group of people that live within the rocky steep slopes of the central plateau region of Mali in West Africa. Established by refugees who retreated from the Muslim-controlled lands in order to avoid being converted to Islam. This early oppression, and continued persecution from jihads and later French colonialists, pressured the Dogon people to settle along the walls of the Bandiagara Escarpment in nooks and crannies in order to better protect themselves. This isolation has preserved their intensely spiritual culture and traditions for nearly 1,000 years. The relatively dry climate of the region has had the fortunate effect of preserving Dogon artworks for far longer than is usual for African wood sculptures.