After the first series, that of abstract signs or "trace" bumo, will come the second series, that of the yala "mark" or "image," executed in dotted lines..."The yala of a thing is like the beginning of the thing." Therefore, when one builds a house, one delineates the foundation with stones placed at the corners: these stones are the yala, the "marks" of the future dwelling. The term yala also has the meaning of "reflection," which expresses the future form of the thing represent."
The third developmental stage refines the image of the thing to be created by filling in the main details of the object or concept. We could say that this third stage would be comparable to a student's detailed notes to a first draft of the report. In regard to this stage. Griaule and Dieterlen wrote:
The third series of signs is that of the tonu, "figure," "diagram," or sometimes "periphery," of things. The Tonu is a schematic outline of generally separated graphic elements; it is the sketch, the rough draft of the thing or being represented. THe word tonu comes from tono, "to portray," which also means "to begin," but in the dynamic sense of the word. it is said that Amma "began things," amma kize tono, to demonstrate the initial impetus he gave to creation.... the Tonu of the house connotes the pebbles that have been placed between the corner-stones to delimit the walls."
The fourht and final stage of the creative act is to produce the finished image of the thing to be created. It is interesting that the Dogon make almost no distinction between the representation of an object and the object iteself. Griaule and Dieterlen described this completion stage in The Pale Fox:
The fourth series consists of the "drawings," toymu (or toy), as realistically representative of the thing as possible. It is also the thing itself. Wen one has finished the building of a house, it is as ife on had made a complte drawing, toymu, of the house. In speaking of the toy and of Ama, one says: "to make the drawing is to make the thing that he (Amma) has in mind. It is, therefore, to represent the thing created in its reality."
Source; The Science of the Dogon, Laird Scranton