Portal:Serer people

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Symbol of the Ndut initiation rite
Welcome to the Serer portal
Ndalin poortal Seereer
Bienvenue sur le portail Sérères

The Serer people's portal

Youssou N'Dour's show in Warsaw (13 September 2009).

The Serer people are an ethnic group found in Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania. They make up the third largest ethnic group in Senegal and can also be found in the West. Their current population is over 1.8 million (2011). According to some scholars, they are among the oldest inhabitants of the Senegambia Region. The Serer group comprises the Sereer (the Serer people or Seex), Niominka, Ndut, Saafi, Noon, Laalaa and Palor. The Sereers are the most numerous among the Serer group. Although all the Serer group are ethnically Serers, some of this group do not speak the Serer language but speak Cangin languages. The Sereers speak the Serer language, and the Niominkas speak one of the dialects of the Serer language. The Serer precolonial Kingdoms included the : Kingdom of Sine, Kingdom of Saloum and Kingdom of Baol. The Kingdom of Baol was previously ruled by the Serer paternal dynasties such as the Joof family and the Wagadou maternal dynasty (Bagadou in Serer) at the time of the Ghana Empire. The Wagadou's were princesses from the Ghana Empire who married into the Serer noble families. These old Serer paternal noble clans descended from the ancient Lamanes (the old kings and landed gentry among the Serer noble classes). Traditionally, the Serers are landowners, mixed-farmers, fishermen and boat builders. Many of Senegal and Gambia's notable people come from this ethnic group. The famous Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour and the Gambian historian Alhaji Alieu Ebrima Cham Joof are from this group. Although there are some Serers who are Christians or Muslims, many Serers adhere to Serer religion especially in the Sine area of Senegal. The Serers (and the Jolas) are the last to embrace Islam among the Senegambian ethnic groups and spent nearly a thousand years resisting Islamization. Serer medieval to 19th century history is characterized by resisting Islamization.

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Selected article

Serer medieval history to the 19th century is partly characterised by resisting Islamization and later Wolofization from the 11th century during the Almoravid movement (particularly the Serers of Takrur) to the 19th century Marabout movement of Senegambia. Although the old Serer paternal dynasties (descendants of the old Lamanes such as the Joof family, etc.) continued, the Wagadou maternal dynasty was replaced by the Guelowar maternal dynasty in the 14th century. After the Ghana Empire was sacked as certain kingdoms gained their independence, Abu-Bakr Ibn-Umar, leader of the Almoravids launched a jihad into the region. In November 1087 (C.E), the Serer King Ama Gôdô Maat, according to oral tradition defeated Abu-Bakr Ibn-Umar and he was killed by a poisoned arrow.

In 1446, a Portuguese caravel carrying the Portuguese slave trader - Nuno Tristão and his party attempted to enter Serer territory in order to carry out slave raiding. None of the adult passengers of that caravel survived. They all succumbed to Serer poisoned arrows except five young Portuguese (or less). One of them was left with the task to charter the caravel back to Portugal. Nuno was amongst those killed.

Selected biography

Léopold Sédar Senghor, first president of Senegal (in office : 6 September 1960 – 31 December 1980). Succeeded by Abdou Diouf.

Léopold Sédar Senghor (9 October 1906 – 20 December 2001) was a Senegalese poet, politician, and cultural theorist who for two decades served as the first president of Senegal. Senghor was the first African elected as a member of the Académie française. Before independence, he founded the political party called the Senegalese Democratic Bloc. He is regarded by many as one of the most important African intellectuals of the 20th century. His father Basile Diogoye Senghor was a well-to-do businessman and a member of the bourgeois Serer tribe. He also had links to Serer royalty, a descendant of Prince Tukura Badiar Senghor from the Kingdom of Sine (c. 13th century).

Serer religion

The Star of Yoonir, symbol of the Universe in Serer cosmology. Commonly known as the Star of Sirius.

The Serer religion, a ƭat Roog (the way of the Divine) is the original religious beliefs, practices and teachings of the Serer people. The Serers believe in a universal Supreme Deity called Rog (variation : Roog) also known as Rog Sene. Serer religious beliefs encompasses ancient chants and poems; veneration and offerings to the Serer Gods, Goddesses, Serer Saints and ancestral spirits (Pangool), astronomy, initiation rites, medicine cosmology and history of the Serer people. Rog is both everywhere and nowhere. That is why there is no house of Rog. The Serers pray to Rog (through intercessors), but do not make direct animal sacrifices to Rog.

There is no heaven or hell in Serer religion. The immortality of the soul and reincarnation (ciiɗ in Serer language) is a strongly held belief in Serer religion. The Pangool - ancestral spirits of those who lived pure lives after they have passed on to the spirit world (Jaaniiw) are canonised as Holy Saints, and will be called upon and venerated, and have the power to intercede between the living and the Divine. Acceptance by the ancestors who have long departed and the ability to intercede with the Divine is as close to heaven after one passes over. Rejection by the ancestors and becoming a lost and wondering soul is as close to hell in Serer religion.

Religious calendar

2012 Calendar

Serer religion

  • Xoy
  • Jobai
  • Randou Rande
  • Mindisse
  • Mbosseh
  • Mboudaye
  • Tobaski
  • Gamo
  • Tourou Peithie
  • Daqaar mboob
  • Raan - Thursday 3rd May at Tukar, Senegal.
  • Sam Southieh
  • The royal struggle
  • The massacre of Cadde
  • The session struggle at Ndiaye-Ndiaye
  • Khanghere
  • Diouck
  • The consultation at Ngalagne
  • The session struggle Jiloor - Jijaak

Quotes

Alhaji Alieu Ebrima Cham Joof


I have been born in knowledge.
Geidj Faye (a Saltigue)

(Oberdiek, Ulrich, "Anthropological Abstracts", Volume 2, p 126, LIT Verlag Münster (2004), ISBN 3825880109)

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Selected picture

HenriLhote.jpg
Credit: Boston

The prehistorian Henri Lhote next to rock art in modern day Mauritania

Did you know...

Anthem : Fañ na NGORO Roga deb no kholoum O Fañ-in Fan-Fan ta tathiatia. - [No one can do anything against his neighbour without the will of the Divine (Rog)].
Motto : Dial - fi - mayou to Tiin. – [Selflessly serve and produce].
The Battle of Fandane-Thiouthioune
a 19th century Royal War
19th century junjung of Sine
Date 18 July 1867
Location Kingdom of Sine, now part of independent Senegal
14°40′N 17°25′WSenegal
Result Serer victory
Belligerents
Muslim Marabout Serer people
Commanders and leaders
Maba Diakhou Bâ
(Almamy in rebellion)

Damel-Teigne Lat Dior Ngoné Latyr Diop
(King of Cayor and Baol)
Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof
(King of Sine"Maad a Sinig")

Maad Amad Ngoneh Joof
(King of Thiouthioune and uncle of Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof)
--->
Units involved

Maba Diakhou Bâ :

Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof :

  • Buumi - Somb
  • The Great Jaraff
  • Maad Patar (King of Patar)
  • The Sandigue Ndiob
  • Maad Amad Ngoneh Joof (King of Thiouthioune)
  • Maad Semou Gallo Joof
  • Mbagne Somb Faye
  • Makhoureja Ngoneh Joof
  • Army of Sine
The Muslim Marabouts prevailed in the early hours of the battle, but the Serer army held firm. In the latter part of the battle the Marabouts were defeated. Maba Diakhou was killed and his body decapitated. Damel-Teigne Lat Dior Ngoné Latyr and Bourba Jolof Alboury Sainabou Njie fled. Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak was injured. Mama Gaolo Nyang was held prisoner.

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For more Serer related topics, see Category:Serer people.