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The People in the Cliffs

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Kavitha climbs to the tiny Tellem Cliff Dwellings
Long Ago the tiny Tellem Lived, Up Above the Dogon Cliff Dwellings
Once upon a time, there was a group of very little people called the Tellem. They lived in tiny mud houses that were nestled in the cliffs above a wide plain.

The Tellem were nimble climbers, in order to reach their houses, and skilled hunters and gatherers. From high up in their tiny homes these Tellem people could look out across a forest of the odd shaped boabab trees, to see herds of gazelle eating tall grasses.

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The Tellum homes blend into the cliffs high above the ground
The water thunders down in front of Kavitha
In the winter, it got dry. The riverbeds were sandy, the soil cracked. In the summer, the rains came, and life sprang from the earth. The fat, squat boabab trees filled in their strange shape by putting out beautiful leaves. They looked just like dancing bears. The birds returned, and water flowed over the high cliffs in wondrous waterfalls that filling the rivers again.

Today, Kavitha and I hiked the cliffs and valleys where these little people lived. It is the rainy season and the boababs are again sprouting leaves. We marvel at the little homes perched high in the cliffs, too high for us to climb.

Kavitha and I play in the waterfalls. The forest, now, is gone, as are the Tellem people. All that is left are their mysterious homes far above our heads.


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