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Damel was the title of the ruler (or king) of the Wolof kingdom of Cayor in what is now northwest Senegal, West Africa.

The most well-known damel is probably Lat Dior Diop (1842–1886) who died in battle during the final French drive to capture his territory,[1] which was one of the strongest areas of resistance.[2] Lat Dior is a Senegalese national hero.

The 30th and last Damel of Cayor, Samba Laobé Fall, was killed by the leader of a French delegation, Captain Spitzer, at Tivaouane, Senegal.[3]


  1. ^ Hale, Johnson & Belcher, 1997, p. 211.
  2. ^ Harney, 2004, p. 282.
  3. ^ Crowder, 1968, p. 79.


  • Crowder, Michael (1968). West Africa Under Colonial Rule. Northwestern University Press.
  • Hale, Thomas A., Johnson, John William and Belcher, Stephen Paterson (1997). Oral Epics From Africa: Vibrant Voices From A Vast Continent. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-21110-7
  • Harney, Elizabeth, (2004). In Senghor's Shadow: Art, Politics, and the Avant-garde in Senegal, 1960-1995. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-3395-3

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