User:Doug Weller/Serer stuff

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Jolof Empire[edit]

The mother links the Njaay dynasty to the state of Takrur. Since the Wolof, who later receive Njaajaan Njaay, are described in the myth as having no real dynasties or princely clans at this time, this part of the myth can be interpreted as giving a Takrurian origin to the Njaay dynasty. This reading of the myth aligns the origins of the Jolof empire with influences from the Almoravids and Takrur. p11

As a statement about kingship, the myth of Njaajaan Njaay emphasizes the role of the king as wise peacemaker and arbitrator of disputes, voluntarily acclaimed king by his subjects. Traditions attribute the military expansion of Jolof and the creation of state institutions to later kings. Hidden beneath an Islamic revision of the myth, there is a story which suggests a connection between a miraculous river spirit, the king, and the fertility of the kingdom.4" These associations were preserved in the rituals p11

The court of Njaajaan Njaay then served as a vehicle for the expansion of the Wolof language and culture. Most versions of the myth explain how the new dynasty superimposed itself upon a preexisting social structure dominated by the laman, Wolof elders who claimed "ownership" of the land as the descendants of the founders of village communities. The laman retained many of their functions under the new monarchical order, becoming a kind of lesser nobility within the new state, and serving as electors when the time came to choose a new king from the Njaay dynasty. page 12

<ref>{{cite book|last=Fearing|first=James F.|title=West African Slavery and Atlantic Commerce: The Senegal River Valley, 1700-1860|year=2003|publisher=Cambridge University Press|isbn=978-0521534529|page=11}}</ref>