Talk:Serer people

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traditional religion[edit]

Re. the edit war over %ages of various religions, we need RS's. We follow what they say. Ethnologue has "Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian", suggesting that a plurality are traditional, but no figs are given. The %age of Islam was given while citing the Joshua Project as a source, and the JP says, Most Sereer adhere to traditional beliefs while some have converted to Islam and others are Roman Catholic. The Sereer have been very gradual in accepting religions outside of their traditional beliefs. Even though people claim to have accepted Islam there are still many traditional beliefs included. Combining these two systems of beliefs is called "folk Islam".[1] I'm not sure either really counts as a RS, but they are suggestive. — kwami (talk) 06:06, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

  • Exactly! This is why I removed the percentages cited by Halaqah and brought to their attention in the edit summary that Joshua Project in that regard is not reliable. That is why I am very reluctant to add percentages to the number of followers of Serer religion yet, but this Halaqah in their wisdom considered it right to do so in order to show a higher percentage of Islam followers. Even if you go by Joshua Project as you can see for yourself, the key words are "some have converted" couple with the fact that, it had contradicted itself by saying Most people adhere to the traditional beliefs then gave a higher percentage to Muslim section (which Halaqah used) this is certainly not RS as far as this issue is concerned. I am actually not in favour of adding percentages yet because even those who converted to Islam and Christianity still revere the Serer religion to some degree.

By the way it was I who changed Halaqah's edit. I thought I was signed on but I wasn't it was after posting I realised I wasn't signed on. Tamsier (talk) 06:47, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Well, the only way to give religions is in how people identify themselves. How would we decide on a religious test, and how would we administer it? I know more about Islam than many Muslims I've met, but that doesn't mean we don't count them as Muslims. And few Christians actually believe the fundamentals of Christianity, but that doesn't mean we don't count them as Christians. This isn't just in Senegal, but all across Africa and really the whole world. In southern Benin, for example, Christians believe in Vodun, they just don't practice it. I think the way to approach this is to note that what we are counting as Muslim or Christian is largely syncretistic. As for %ages, I agree that JP does not look like an adequate source. In the table, for example, they say that the primary religion of the Serer is Islam, at the same time as saying that most Sere are animists. — kwami (talk) 07:23, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
No JP is not a good source and I will remove it pending a better source. My Issue is JP has an agenda. I came across them when checking the edit which one editor put in. But They seemed very keen on JP when one editor used it to say Muslims were a tiny tiny percentage. (i never knew JP up until then). See the edit history for this edit. Now here is what I do know. Go and look at all the notable Seer, start with NDour, what is his religion? 100% Muslim. What I am realizing is most Serer are Muslim people. Synergistic is not unique to Africa, it is in every corner of the planet where Islam and Christianity live. So Islam accommodates this, all the key historian on Islam say this. especially David Robinson and others. Vodon per Kwami is a good example. Even in the Caribbean - google Jesus in the morning Vodon in the evening. These people are classified as Christian. I do not think we will get exact stats but should not go with the POV that most Serer practices their religion, which is a myth. It is the same in Ethiopia (which i know something about) When the animist holiday comes everyone is there, when eid of Meskal comes, well they are there to. However Islam and Christianity define most people. And when you ask them this is what they will say. See this book.The resistance to Islam was a thing of the past I do not think it is the case today--Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 08:01, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
[2] 44% ATR, 40% Muslim, .6% Protestant. "Originally animist by religion, they (the Serer) are now becoming increasingly either Muslim or Roman Catholic" (EB, 856). While far more accurate can we trust a missionary site for stats on religion? I will hold off on any stats either way until it is discussed here first. --Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 08:26, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
  • How strange! All of a sudden JP has an agenda yet it did not stop the editor using it. Even if "one editor" put it in, it was balanced out with other sources that only commented but never did any editor started to put in percentages until Halaqah put it in. There was a reason for that, non of the sources gave actual percentages apart from JP. However, JP did redeem itself by disclaiming that the figures are not accurate. However in the text version, it provide a direct link of the source which collaborate "most Sereers adhere to traditional beliefs..."

Again this editor is passing an opinion. This article never denied that there were Serer muslims. Just because Youssou Ndour is Muslim all of a sudden all Serers are 100% muslims? And what do you mean 100% muslim? Are you talking about orthodox? If you are how do you know Youssou Ndour is 100% muslim? Youssou could also be one of those Serer muslims who also revere the Serer religion to a certain degree and mix it with Islam which is very common in Senegalese muslim populations as well as Gambian muslim populations in fact in many parts of Africa. In the case of Senegal for instance:

"Elements of animism have also found their way into the practice of Islam" (Source: Anthony Ham. West Africa Lonely Planet West Africa, p672. 7th Edition. Published by Lonely Planet, 2009. ISBN 1741048214)

Even you have said a similar thing in your analysis above. You also claim that: "The resistance to Islam was a thing of the past I do not think it is the case today." You then provided us your link to justify your statement. I had to scroll further down to find a reference to Serer people and here is a snippit (click on link above):

Note 37: "The Sereer were truly non-Muslims by the fact that they followed the precepts of Sereer religion and did not claim to be Muslims. Until the colonial period, the Sereer put up a stiff resistance to Islamization that they also associated with Wolofization."

There are two issues here:

1. Could it by any chance be that the Serer people no longer needed to "resist Islam" (meaning going to war in the Serer case see Klein, Sarr, Diouf and Becker) since the last jihad that affected them was the Battle of Kumbof (also "Goumbof" of "Coumbof")? (See Martin A. Klein. Islam and Imperialism in Senegal, p135, 138-41. Also see Alioune Sarr. Histoire du Sine Saloum).

2. As regards to whether they still are resistance, what we do know is that there are no more Islamic jihads in modern day Senegal or Gambia. Therefore there is no need for going to war against Islam. But according to certain scholars (see quotations below):

I. "The Serer are among the most traditional people in Senegambia. They have been among the most reistant to Islam, often continuing today to follow traditional beliefs" (Source: Elizabeth L Berg, Ruth Wan. Senegal. Cultures of the World. Volume 17, p63. 2nd Edition. Published by: Marshall Cavendish, 2009. ISBN 0761444815)
II. "But Christians are a small minority among the Serer in The Gambia and Senegal just like in all the other indigenous ethnic groups in the reigion. Many Serers still follow their traditional religious beliefs." (See Godfrey Mwakikagile. The Gambia and its People: Ethnic Identities and cultural integration in Africa, p133).
III. "Maba Diakhou, the fighter of the faith died in the land of Sine without ever managing to Islamized the country deeply rooted in centuries old belief. The glorious epic of Islam in the land of Senegambia did not spread to "Ceddo" (Animist) Sine, who were determined to reject forever the religion that threatened the faith of their forefathers and to rule their lives in defiance of their customs. The Sine is an impregnable bastion of the anti-Islamic." (I.D. Thiam. Maba Diakhou Ba Almamy du Rip (Sénégal), Paris, ABC, Dakar-Abidjan, NEA, 1977, p44. See also Cheikh Diouf . Fiscalité et Domination Coloniale: l'exemple du Sine: 1859-1940. Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar - (2005)).

Tamsier (talk) 11:15, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

WP:AGF If you want to continue to use this talk page successful I will ask you to assume good faith I am getting a little tired of the remarks. Do not tell me my agenda, nor try to tell me any "all of a sudden" foolishness. It is a waste of time per wiki policy. Who was it that put the Joshua link in the article? The issue with trying to edit and editor is you are not a very good mindreader and it is taking away from working on this article. You will be reported if you continue. If your position has merit it will be cleared up here, not by trying to insult my African intentions. The proof is in the eating, look at the b4 and after article and tell me about agendas.

I do not know why their resistance stopped and I suspect the decline of Jihad is one possibility, not to mention as Seagal (I think said) Socialization increased in the days following colonialism. Where Islam vs, the new "White" religion. Islam Won out b/c it was seen as more local (Asante).(Robinson). I have no problem accommodating both positions. Although I suspect 85% Muslims in Sengal, 10% Christians doesnt leave a lot of room for 14% Sereer being majority non-Abrahamic. So houston we have a problem. So the debate is over "MOST", if both arguments are presented then it is balance. --Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 11:31, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

  • I agree with kwami in that Muslim and Christian populations in many parts of Africa is Syncretism with the old African religion. There are two camps, those who Syncretise with Islam or Christianity and those who don't. As for percentages, until we find reliable sources about percentages, we should not put it here. I think this discussion should be in the Serer religion article because it affects it. I will put a link on the talk page.

@ Halaqah, I do not have the energy.

Tamsier (talk) 11:47, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

In good faith I have added your references. as i see no issue with some of the arguments.(that is the main thing here) I dont think we will get pure stats due to syncretization. And at best it should be noted in the article. Most Africans mix, esp in Senegal with all of the maroubout and sainthood going on.--Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 11:51, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
  • @ Halaqah - Thank you. Finally we agree on something. Who would have thought. Tamsier (talk) 11:57, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
Someone added "majority Muslims" (and in Serer religion) without going through this discussion. I have balanced it out per the sources cited.Senegambianamestudy (talk) 21:47, 11 March 2014 (UTC)


Some sources to work with - we have to show the various viewpoints.

[3] "A contrasting problem surrounds the identification of the Serer ethnic group; the label "Serer" has long been applied to several different groups, some of which speak unrelated languages. The "true" Serer, who make up over 90 percent of the population identified by that name, are comprised of the speakers of Serer-Siin and the closely related Serer-Niominka, fisher- men who inhabit the coastal islands north of the Gambia river and who are consequently known as the seereer-u-ndox, or "water Serer" in Wolof. The most significant of the distinct small groups also called Serer are the Non, Ndut, and Safene peoples who inhabit a series of villages around the region of Thies." page 51

"Serer identity in Fatick is linked to the history of the pre-colonial kingdom of Sine. One of three Serer kingdoms to emerge between the fourteenth and the sixteenth centuries. Sine survived as an independent state in various permutations until the colonial conquest." p.52

Islamic Society and State Power in Senegal: Disciples and Citizens in Fatick By Leonardo A. Villalón Dougweller (talk) 17:06, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

page 21

The term "Serer" encompasses several groups associated with the states of Sin and Salum, situated between the former Wolof states in the north and the Mandinka Kabu states in the south. Although some Serer may have originated in their present region, others probably migrated from Takrur in the north beginning in the eleventh century, being pushed south by Moors, Fulbe. and Jolof. By the fourteenth century the powerful state of Sin was established, led by a line of rulers of Mandinka origin known as Gelwar. The Salum kingdom was established in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century by Mbcgan Ndur (Ndour). 9. For further information on the Wolof. sec Ames (1955-disc). Brooks (1993:167-257). A. Diop (1981). Gamble (1967). and Uvl/.ion (1985:145): on the Sorer, sec Gamble (1967) and Gravrand (1983. 1990): on the Job. see Irvine and Sapir (1976). Mark (1985. 1992), and Sapir (1965-disc); on the Scncgambia, see Barry (1998). Clark and Phillips (1994), and Sonko-Godwin (1986); on the Baga. sec I .amp (1996).

Mande Music: Traditional and Modern Music of the Maninka and Mandinka of Western AfricaBy Eric Charry Dougweller (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:16, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

User:Doug Weller and his POV pushing on Serer and African related article.[edit]

I will not give them the satisfaction responding to the above silly comments and personal attacks directed at me by bias and agenda driven editors especially in relation to articles concerning Sub-Saharan Africa and her people. Their attempts to discredit me and my edits is nothing more than agenda driven. If they have they their wish, every single article that addresses civilisations in Sub-Saharan Africa will be deleted, because that goes against their Eurocentric views and POV pushing agenda. My contribution to Wiki on African related articles (not just Serer articles) over the years speaks for themselves, whether you like them or loath them. The views of these Eurocentric POV pushers do not interest me. My life does not revolve around Wikipedia. Moving forward, I opened this section about this User:Doug Weller who has a long history of advancing his agenda driven POV on Serer and African related articles. All you have to do is look at the talk pages of Serer articles and you will see what I mean. This editor, copied and pasted unreliable sources on several Serer articles to advance his POV (see below).

According to the historian David Galvan, "The oral historical record, written accounts by early Arab and European explorers, and physical anthropological evidence suggest that the various Serer peoples migrated south from the Fuuta Tooro region (Senegal River valley) beginning around the eleventh century, when Islam first came across the Sahara."[1]:p.51 Over generations these people, possibly Pulaar speaking herders originally, migrated through Wolof areas and entered the Siin and Saluum river valleys. This lengthy period of Wolof-Serer contact has left us unsure of the origins of shared "terminology, institutions, political structures, and practices."[1]:p.52
Professor Étienne Van de Walle gave a slightly later date, writing that "The formation of the Sereer ethnicity goes back to the thirteenth century, when a group came from the Senegal River valley in the north fleeing Islam, and near Niakhar met another group of Mandinka origin, called the Gelwar, who were coming from the southeast (Gravrand 1983). The actual Sereer ethnic group is a mixture of the two groups, and this may explain their complex bilinear kinship system".}[2]

Eventhough they are quotations, I tagged them as dubious and opinionated [4]. This editor then took the matter to RSN (here is my last response, you can read it for yourself -see: "Are dubious and opinion tags appropriate for these quotes by reliable sources?"). Before I even commented, he reverted my edits [5]. For posterity, I will copy and paste my response to this guy here i.e. why I tagged these articles. He is free to copy and paste or respond here, but below are my response to the issues he raised at W:RSN :

Response 1

It is good etiquette to notify the person under discussion. The person who opened this discussion and I have had several disagreements over the years regarding African and Serer related articles in particular. Following my return to Wiki, I saw the numerous nasty comments he has left on some of the Serer talk pages directing them at me, backed by his Wiki friends some whom have hounded me from this project. I ignored those comments and did not dignify them with a response. I will not comment or pass judgment on another editor's remark about his racial bias, but from my experience dealing with him over the years, I find his edits to be racial motivated when it concerns articles relating to Africa especially Sub-Saharan Africa. Whether that is conscious or unconscious I don't know. I will state it here and will have no problem stating it elsewhere. My life does not revolve around Wikipedia. Because of the hatred he has for me, he has been targetting Serer related articles, which I have been active on, and providing selective sources which not only goes against general consensus, but substantiated no where else by reliable sources. He is merely doing that to advance his own POV, but most importantly to infuriate me. Little does he know that he is not actually infuriating me, he is destroying the Wikipedia project. Forget about the Kingdom of Sine for a minute (which I will come back to and will address wholesale with Serer history and Serer people, because he copied and pasted the same material in all three articles, see Serer history#Resistance to Islam, 11th century and Serer people#Ethnonym), a good example of his POV pushing is the Kingdom of Saloum article. Every reliable source would state that the Kingdom of Saloum was a Serer Kingdom along with the Kingdom of Sine from the medieval period. All one has to do is search for Kingdom of Saloum on Googlebooks and all reliable source would attest that it was a Serer Kingdom. This editor in his wisdom, skipped all those sources and went and select an obscure source (Saine, Abdoulaye (2012). Culture and Customs of Gambia. Greenwood Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-313-35910-1) who state that it was a "Serer or Wolof kingdom". There is no argument there are/were Wolof people in Saloum, but as noted by Diange (Diange, Pathé. "Les Royaumes Sérères", Présence Africaines, no. 54. (1965), p. 142-172) and Klein (Klein, Martin A., "Islam and Imperialism in Senegal Sine-Saloum, 1847–1914", Edinburgh University Press (1968), p.7) the Wolof were immigrants to Saloum. Even the Wolof do not consider Saloum as one of their kingdoms. Forget about Serer readers for a minute, but any Wolof reading that would probably laugh and loose all confidence in the reliability of Wikipedia especially if they are doing some academic research. Yes, I saw that edit too [6] but I ignored it. He is not scoring points with me, but destroying the project. I will now move to Serer history especially the section under King Njaajan Njie. This editor selected specific sources that talk about the nobility of this King not within a Sub-Saharan African context, but within an Arab context, by saying that this medieval Senegambian King's father was an Almoravid. Note that, anyone who knows the history which this editor doesn't, would know that the Almoravid being referred to is no other than Abu Bakr ibn Umar, as stated in his own article. Every reliable source agrees pretty much that Njaajaan ruled Jolof in the 14th century, which was 300 years after the death of Abu Bakr ibn Umar. This editor was selective quoting trying to advance his own POV and agenda. The earliest written narrative/epic about Njaajaan was recorded by the French governor of Goree in Senegal (in the 1700s) - Alexandre Le Brasseur and reproduced by Jean Boulègue in his book "Le grand Jolof p. 25-6". Apart from the oral tradition, every written record about Ndiadiane (specifically) originated from Alexandre's work because it is the earliest written source specifically about Ndiadiane and the Jolof Empire. I saw the nasty comments and false accusations he left on the Almoravid talk page where he claimed that the original performance I was referring to was Samba's work. See the talkpage of Almoravid dynasty under "See above: "In Ndiadiane Ndiaye's epic, scholars observed that:". That debate between some editors and I all those years ago were put to rest. There was no reason to hound me there as he has done on several articles trying to discredit me. Oh for your, information, I was not referring to Samba, it was Alexandre's work I was referring to when I wrote "original performances." Anyone who knows the subject would have known what I meant. I would rather you ask me than run around making false accusations against me on talk pages. I know the history of my people and the Senegambia region better than an obscure American Wikipedia editor. Please do not try to change our history. Thank you very much. And this is not about W:OWN. This is about present material in a neutral manner, using reliable and verifiable sources with respect to weight, as stated in Wikipedia policy. Although "fact" may not be one of the principles of Wikipedia, every good editor try to present the facts in the spirit of Wikipedia policy, because without fact, there is no need for an encyclopedia. I would rather all these Serer and African related articles be brought down than spreading false information by an editor known his his racially motivated edits and with a long vendetta against me. Wikipedia articles are highly ranked in Google. Some readers read these articles and believe in what has been written without doing their own work. If POV pushers like this editor are editing articles based on their own biases, it is dangerous to the project. By the way the OP has reverted my edit [7]. If you have an issue with Serer or African related articles being made available on Wikipedia, delete them. It is as simple as that. It is much better to delete them or reduce them to a stubb than putting out there factually dubious claims. I will still sleep at night whether they are on Wikipedia or not. Generally speaking, it is much better to delete articles or reduce them to a stub than to present factual bias, or worst, incorrect material driven by someone's own agenda.
Furthermore, Galvan is not qualified to make such a statement. His book is about Serer lamanic custom and land in particular. He has no background on languages African or Serer to make such expansive claims. No reliable source who have studied the subject have ever attested that. The closest we have is that Serer and Pulaar are similar. But to jump from that and say the Serer people who migrated were Pulaar speaking is dubious and Galvan's own opinion which he is neither qualified to make nor is it supported by any reliable source. Galvan should have stuck to Serer land law / inheritance (which is what the book is about) than going outside his remit. Étienne is unreliable, because he has confused the Guelowar dynasty (who arrive in Sine in the 14th century according to all notable and reliable sources) and the Serers of Sine who were already there. To jump from that and say the Serer existed in the 13th century is factually dubious. Note that, he or the editor cite Gravrand but did not state the page number. I have Henry Gravrand's book. Please state the page number and I will look it up. These are the reasons why I tagged them.

He then insisted on the reliability of the sources he cited according to "our criteria" but could not refute my arguments above. Then I responded as follows:

Response 2

And what criteria would that be? A criteria you invented or a Wikipedia criteria? For a source to be deemed reliable, the author must be qualified in the subject. Further, even authors have to cite reliable sources. Neither of these people you have cited are qualified on the subject or cited references to support the claims you have cherry picked to push your own POV. I will state it again since you have missed it the last time: Galvan's book is about Serer customary land law/ lamanic land inheritance, which he wrote by interviewing some Serers and cited them as primary sources. He went against the remit of his book by making expansive claims which he provided no refs for, not to mention not qualified to make such a claim. He is the first person that I've ever seen made such a claim. There are numerous scholars who are qualified on the subject, well verse in Serer history, languages and culture and have worked extensively with these people for decades but have never made such a claim. To take his claim as fact and insert it in the article under the guise of quotation is nothing more but disingenuous. It is dubious and an unqualified opinion no matter how you frame it. As for your comment on Étienne, I will take it that he did not provide a page number when he cited Henry Gravrand? Therefore, I now take issue with using Étienne for two reasons: 1. In his haste, he mixed up the Guelowars with the Serer who were already living in Sine as you well know since you co-edited the Serer history and Guelowar articles, and cited Alioune Sarr ("Histoire du Sine-Saloum (Sénégal)" Introduction, bibliographie et notes par Charles Becker. 1986-87), a paper you knew about thanks to me because I cited him before. All mainstream reliable sources state that the Guelowars arrived in the Sine in the 14th-century. You knew this yourself because you co-edited some of the Serer articles. To go from there and cite an author who clearly hasn't done his homework properly is disingenuous. He clearly hasn't done his homework because if he had, he would not have made such a silly statement that the Serer are a mixture of Mandinka and only came about in the 13th-century. Even Galvan, the person you cited above made reference to the fact that the Serer were resisting Islamization back in the 11th-century. That fact is well known and record in all mainstream sources. If Étienne has done the leg work, he would have known that rather than make his ridiculous claims which is unscholarly. Of course you were not interested in facts or Wiki policy on neutrality and weight. You were only trying to advance your own agenda. I remember you stating somewhere that the Serer are a recent ethnic group around the 14th century when plenty of sources disagree (here are some sources that may interest you: (1. Chavane, Bruno A., "Villages de l'ancien Tekrour: recherches archéologiques dans la moyenne vallée du fleuve Sénégal", KARTHALA Editions (1985), p. 10, 28, ISBN 9782865371433; 2. Asante, Molefi Kete; Mazama, Ama; "Encyclopedia of African Religion", SAGE Publications (2008), ISBN 9781506317861 [8] - I threw in Molefi there because one of your chums on the Serer talk page I believe kept stating there are no Serer references in Molefi's work. Clearly they did do their homework because it is available on Google books). You then went on copying and pasting unreliable sources everywhere: this and this. For someone who once claimed to be very thorough when it comes to reliable sources. Please! I bet you couldn't believe your luck when you stumbled upon Étienne, or dear I say entered certain keywords on Google search to justify your POV. Sorry, he is not reliable and anyone that claims otherwise is not truly interested in creating an encyclopedia, but an encyclopedia full of bias and factually in accurate material. 2. The other issue I take with Étienne is that, he cited Gravrand but did not provide a page number. You have addressed him as "professor" in some of the Serer articles when you inserted his unreliable material. You inserted the title "professor" solely to give him credibility and advance your POV. A professor/scholar cite his sources in full, not just provide a name of the author and year of publication. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. He is not reliable. Neither of them are reliable for the claims you have cherry picked to support your POV. That is the reason why I tagged the article. As for your Martin Luther King claim, don't take me for a full. Not for one minute do I believe you will be made to revert your edits back to my tags even after demolishing your agenda driven unreliable source citations. Therefore, I will be copying and pasting some of what I've stated here to the relevant talk pages.

This editor has a long history of pushing his Eurocentric POV on Sub-Saharan African /Serer related articles. Since he could not rebuke my argument at RSN, I doubt he could do it here. Therefore, I will not be wasting my time responding to any comment he may have unless he can back up the reason he has cherry picked those sources to advance his POV which goes against any mainstream reliable sources. Unless he offers something new, I will not be wasting my time. All I got from that RSN debate was "I am the Administrator. I can do whatever the hell I like and you can't do nothing about it." Take a look at RSN link above and see how he worded his response, to gather support against me. As he has done on numerous occasions including here [9]. My conscious is clear. I sleep at night very well. And I have a life outside Wikipedia. Thank you. Tamsier (talk) 11:01, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

Great. I sleep well too. Your arguments at RSN have been refuted, you just don't accept that. You're unhappy that a respected academic didn't give a page number in a reference in a quotation added to an article, but we actually don't require that and to try and guess what page he was referring to would be original research. That you don't believe that I marched with King at Selma is your problem, not mine. If I had a Eurocentric or racist point of view I wouldn't, for instance, have Great Zimbabwe on my watchlist and revert edits by the real racists/Eurocentrics who deny that it was build by Africans. It's a lie to suggest that I want articles on sub-Saharan Africa to be deleted.
Everyone edits from one or more povs, there is nothing wrong with that, it's whether we follow NPOV that matters. My pov is basically that of mainstream science, history and archaeology. I'm not sure that you do. Perhaps you can tell me how old you think Serer religion and the Serer people are? My experience with you is that you are unhappy with showing different povs in the articles you've created - as you are doing by claiming that these two academics aren't reliable sources. And that just as you think I've used unreliable sources (although so far no one agrees with you), some of the sources you've tried to use in the past have been shown to fail WP:RS. As for using 'Professor', if someone doesn't have an an article of their it seems reasonable to show in some way who they are and that they aren't just a random source found through a Google search. And since I'm the one who added the Galvan quote about the Serer resisting Islamisation in the 11th century (which I think you agree with despite not liking Galvan) I'm hardly going to argue that they didn't exist before the 14th century. Having said that, if a source meeting WP:RS makes that statement we should probably also use it, suitably attributed. What we shouldn't have is articles that only present one perspective and ignore the rest. Doug Weller (talk) 11:59, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
You sleep well! I don't know how but good for you. Here is a response I made earlier on my talk page so I will change some of the wording rather than wasting my time.
I made my case succinctly regarding the unreliability of the sources you have cited and for which they were cited. I've said it before and I will say it here. Galvan, may be reliable but only in the context of Serer customary land law and lamanic system (which is what his book was about) because that is his remit i.e his qualification. But he is not qualified to go outside that remit by making expansive claims without first sourcing them from reliable sources. That is the reason why I tagged Galvan's citation. As for Étienne, not only is he not qualified on the subject and went against mainstream sources, but he confused two facts and prescribed his unsubstantiated opinion. First, the Guelowars arrived in Sine in the 14th century, which you well know, but just in case it escaped your memory, see Sarr (as stated in RSN). Second, there were already Serers in Sine, which also knew since you co-edited Serer articles, so for Étienne to come up with that ridiculous notion is unscholarly. Last but not least, Étienne quoted Gravrand for his dubious claims, but only gave the surname of Gravrand and the year of publication of his book (according to your insertions). Even scholars have to quote sources in full when making such claims. I have never seen a scholar quote like Étienne. Never in my life. For that reason I tagged him too. I tagged them for different reasons which are justified. I have stated my point at RSN. Notice that provided nothing in return that rebukes my argument. For someone who once claimed to be very good at selecting sources, I'm surprised you didn't picked that up. As such, I am surprised why RSN didn't ask you to revert your edit or at the very least provided reliable sources that substantiate your claims. I have scoured the internet and the books in my possession trying to find reliable sources that backs up your claim but found absolutely nothing other than the sources you inserted, which means you were cherry picking.
You said and I quote : "And since I'm the one who added the Galvan quote about the Serer resisting Islamisation in the 11th century (which I think you agree with despite not liking Galvan) I'm hardly going to argue that they didn't exist before the 14th century."
On the matter of resisting Islamization in the 11th-century, because that is in the mainstream sources. There is a huge difference in stating something that is in most mainstream sources and saying something totally new which you are not qualified, not to mention no reliable source to back it up. Again, that is the reason why I tagged Galvan. Serer resisting Islamization in the 11th century is in countless reliable sources. As for your last statement : "I'm hardly going to argue that they didn't exist before the 14th century." But you did countless of times. Remember this Really? Wow! Forget about the 13th, if they were resisting Islamization in the 11th century how could they have existed only in the 11th century, formed a religion, culture, language, etc. all that in the 11th century. Wow you are a genius. Who need reliable sources when we have you? and this [10] and this [11]. I am tired waisting my time here. Perhaps someone else in the future can deal with this editor's POV pushing. I am done! Tamsier (talk) 14:59, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
You're getting confused. The Galvan quote says ""The oral historical record, written accounts by early Arab and European explorers, and physical anthropological evidence suggest that the various Serer peoples migrated south from the Fuuta Tooro region (Senegal River valley) beginning around the eleventh century," - which clearly means that they existed before the 11th century. I added that quote. One real problem seems to be the lack of recorded history for this period.
I've found something more recent. François G Richard[12] has a chapter in Ethnic Ambiguity and the African Past: Materiality, History, and the Shaping of Cultural Identities called "The Very Embodiment of the Black Peasant?’ Archaeology, History, and the Making of the Seereerof Siin (Senegal)"[13]. In it he writes that " Oral traditions chart the Seerecr expansion across Senegal and their settlement in the Siin, as they peacefully’ absorbed ‘autochthonous’residents and subsequent waves of Mandinka migrants, resulting in the emergence of a small polity sometime in the mid-14th century (M.-C. Diouf 1996; Gravrand 1981. 1983). In effect, historical sources document the existence of a Seereer kingdom at the time of early Portuguese navigations (Boulegue 1987)." He acknowledges that "Historians of oral traditions have generally accepted the consistency across dliferent myths of origins and linguistic affinities between Siin and Fuuta Tooro to imply that a ‘Seereer' identity had already existed at the time of separation or had crystallized through the process of migration and that recognisably Seereer groups emigrated from northern Senegal around the 11th century and gradually spread south to the Siin and Saalum through different migrations (Becker and Martin 1981)" but continues saying "Yet other signs invite us to pause before postulating the existence of Seereer social consciousness avant la lettre. The most obvious problem is that the current ‘Seereer' denomination and its colonial antecedents do not represent a single ensemble but an amalgamation of seven distinct subgroups whose histories, languages, and social organisations do not always coincide (Galvan 2004: 38, 40)." Copyright limitations mean people will have to read it themselves from the link, but he notes that "At the same time, the facts that considerable cultural differences remain between different Secreer communities and that their political trajectories over the past centuries have taken very different paths demand that we regard scenarios of deep-time Secreer connections critically (sec Richard 2007: 121-24)" and says "A second difficulty stems from the fact that what we call today the Seereer of Siin are not a singular, authentic entity but a historical product shaped bv several centuries of contact between different populations and their political traditions" and refers to " the fact that what we call today the Seereer of Siin are not a singular, authentic entity but a historical product shaped bv several centuries of contact between different populations and their political traditions". I realise this will be unpopular with Tamsier but again, by our criteria if not his, it's a reliable source.
I also note that Tamsier says elsewhere"Saine described the Serer as idol (kharem) worshipers. The word kharem is an Arabic word used by Senegambian Muslims to when speaking about those who follow the Traditional African religions. Serers who follow Serer religion would never ever used such a word because it is found offensive. Mainstream scholars use the word pangool which is linked to their religion and ancestors." I think this is part of the problem - he's appears to be saying that mainstream scholars are Serer, almost by definition. If we only used Serer scholars these articles definitely would violate NPOV. I've asked Tamsier when and where he thinks the Sereer originated but he hasn't answered yet. Doug Weller (talk) 16:58, 17 August 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b Galvan, Dennis Charles, The State Must Be Our Master of Fire: How Peasants Craft Culturally Sustainable Development in Senegal Berkeley, University of California Press, 2004 p.51
  2. ^ Van de Walle, Étienne (2006). African Households: Censuses And Surveys. M.E. Sharpe. p. 80. ISBN 978-0765616197.