The Dogon, a tribe in West Africa, are believed to be of Egyptian descent. After living in Libya for a time, they settled in Mali, West Africa, bringing with them astronomy legends dating from before 3200 BCE. In the late 1940s, four of their priests told two French anthropologists of a secret Dogon myths about the star Sirius (8.6 light years from the earth). The priests said that Sirius had a companion star that was invisible to the human eye. They also stated that the star moved in a 50-year elliptical orbit around Sirius, that it was small and incredibly heavy, and that it rotated on its axis.
All these things happen to be true. But what makes this so remarkable is that the companion star of Sirius, called Sirius B, was first photographed in 1970. While people began to suspect its existence around 1844, it was not seen through a telescope until 1862 -- and even then its great density was not known or understood until the early decades of the twentieth century. The Dogon beliefs, on the other hand, were supposedly thousands of years old.
The Dogon name for Sirius B (Po Tolo) consists of the word for star (tolo) and the name of the smallest seed known to them (po). By this name they describe the star's smallness -- it is, they say, "the smallest thing there is." They also claim that it is "the heaviest star" and white. The Dogon thus attribute to Sirius B its three principal properties as a white dwarf: small, heavy, white.
sweet page! well done muta! -KunDa