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Yumboes are a kind of fairies in the mythology of the Wolof people (most likely Lebou[1]) on Goree Island (Senegal, West Africa). They are described as about two feet in height, and of a pearly-white colour; the latter is an often found property of supernatural beings in African beliefs. The Yomboes are said to have silver hair.[2][3][4]

The Yumboes live beneath the Paps hills, and come out to dance in the moonlight. They feast on large tables, served by partially invisible servants (only feet and hands are visible). The Yumboes eat corn (which they steal from the humans) and fish (which they catch on their own). They do invite both natives and foreigners to their feasts.[2]

The alternatively used name Bakhna Rakhna literally means good people, an interesting parallel to the Scottish fairies called Good Neighbours.[2]


  1. ^ "Yumboe" is a Lebou word. Although the Lebou people speak the Wolof language, the Wolof language itself comes from the Lebou people, it was their original language. Goree is also Lebou country not Wolof. Various tribes also inhabit(ed) Jolof (Jallof).
  2. ^ a b c (in English) Keightley, Thomas , "The Fairy Mythology: Illustrative of the Romance and Superstition of Various Countries", Forgotten Books (2007), p 519, ISBN 1605061883 [1]
  3. ^ (in English) The Fairy Mythology", Forgotten Books, pp 495-6, ISBN 1451000219 [2]
  4. ^ Sochaczewski, Paul Spencer, "The Sultan and the Mermaid Queen: Surprising Asian People, Places and Things That Go Bump in the Night", Editions Didier Millet (2009), p 110, ISBN 9814217743 [3]