Bainuk people

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The Bainuk people (also called Banyuk, Banun, Banyun, Bainouk, Bainunk, Banyum, Bagnoun, Banhum, Banyung, Ñuñ, Elomay, or Elunay) are an ethnic group that today lives primarily in Senegal as well as in parts of Gambia and Guinea-Bissau. The Bainuk are believed to have been the first inhabitants of the lower Casamance.

The name Banyun is attributed to the Portuguese, who derived the word from Mandinka and applied it as a collective name for a number of groups settled at strategic sites along waterways, portages, and trade paths between the Gambia and Cacheu rivers.... Possibly Banyun served as a generic term for "trader," much as dyula identifies Mande traders engaged in long-distance commerce (Map 9).[1]

In the fifteenth century, there were at least five Bainuk states including Bichangor, Jase, Foni and Buguando. The Bainuk were also a major component of the population of Kasa.

In modern times the Bambe have often become absorbed into the Mande or Jola cultures.


  1. ^ George E. Brooks, Landlords and strangers: Ecology, society, and trade in Western Africa, 1000-1630 (Westview Press, 1993; ISBN 0813312620), p. 87.


  • Clark, Andrew F. and Lucie Colvin Phillips, Historical Dictionary of Senegal (Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press, 1994) p. 73, 179.
  • Barry, Boubacar. Senegambia and the Atlantic Salve Trade (Cambridge: University Press, 1998), p. 21

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