Portal:Serer people

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The Serer people are a West African ethnic group. They are the third largest ethnic group in Senegal making up 15% of the Senegalese population. They are also found in northern Gambia and southern Mauritania.

The Serer people originated in the Senegal River valley at the border of Senegal and Mauritania, moved south in the 11th and 12th century, then again in the 15th and 16th centuries as their villages were invaded and they were subjected to religious pressures. They have had a sedentary settled culture and have been known for their farming expertise and transhumant stock-raising.

The Serer people have been historically noted as a matrilineal ethnic group that long resisted the expansion of Islam, fought against jihads in the 19th century, then opposed the French colonial rule. In the 20th century, most of them converted to Islam (Sufism), but some are Christians or follow their traditional religion. The Serer society, like other ethnic groups in Senegal, has had social stratification featuring endogamous castes and slaves.

The Serer people are also referred to as Sérère, Sereer, Serere, Sarer, Kegueme, Seereer and sometimes wrongly "Serre".

Selected article

The Lamanes ("master of the land" or "chief owner of the soil" in the Serer language) were the landed gentry as well the title of ancient kings of the Serer people of the Senegambia region which includes present-day Senegal and The Gambia. Their noble council generally referred to as The Great Council of Lamanes was made up of Serer Lamanes (kings) who divided the Senegambia region into Lamanats (provinces or kingdoms) which they ruled. They were the Lamanic class. One of their constitutional duties were to hear legal cases like a Court of Appeal.

Selected biography

Léopold Sédar Senghor, first president of Senegal (in office : 6 September 1960 – 31 December 1980). Succeeded by Abdou Diouf.

Léopold Sédar Senghor (9 October 1906 – 20 December 2001) was a Senegalese poet, politician, and cultural theorist who for two decades served as the first president of Senegal. Senghor was the first African elected as a member of the Académie française. Before independence, he founded the political party called the Senegalese Democratic Bloc. He is regarded by many as one of the most important African intellectuals of the 20th century. His father Basile Diogoye Senghor was a well-to-do businessman and a member of the bourgeois Serer tribe. He also had links to Serer royalty, a descendant of Prince Tukura Badiar Senghor from the Kingdom of Sine (c. 13th century).

Serer religion

The Star of Yoonir, symbol of the Universe in Serer cosmology. Commonly known as the Star of Sirius.

The Serer religion, a ƭat Roog (the way of the Divine) is the original religious beliefs, practices and teachings of the Serer people. The Serers believe in a universal Supreme Deity called Rog (variation : Roog) also known as Rog Sene. Serer religious beliefs encompasses ancient chants and poems; veneration and offerings to the Serer Gods, Goddesses, Serer Saints and ancestral spirits (Pangool), astronomy, initiation rites, medicine cosmology and history of the Serer people. Rog is both everywhere and nowhere. That is why there is no house of Rog. The Serers pray to Rog (through intercessors), but do not make direct animal sacrifices to Rog.

There is no heaven or hell in Serer religion. The immortality of the soul and reincarnation (ciiɗ in Serer language) is a strongly held belief in Serer religion. The Pangool - ancestral spirits of those who lived pure lives after they have passed on to the spirit world (Jaaniiw) are canonised as Holy Saints, and will be called upon and venerated, and have the power to intercede between the living and the Divine. Acceptance by the ancestors who have long departed and the ability to intercede with the Divine is as close to heaven after one passes over. Rejection by the ancestors and becoming a lost and wondering soul is as close to hell in Serer religion.

Religious calendar

2012 Calendar

Serer religion

  • Xoy
  • Jobai
  • Randou Rande
  • Mindisse
  • Mbosseh
  • Mboudaye
  • Tobaski
  • Gamo
  • Tourou Peithie
  • Daqaar mboob
  • Raan - Thursday 3rd May at Tukar, Senegal.
  • Sam Southieh
  • The royal struggle
  • The massacre of Cadde
  • The session struggle at Ndiaye-Ndiaye
  • Khanghere
  • Diouck
  • The consultation at Ngalagne
  • The session struggle Jiloor - Jijaak


Alhaji Alieu Ebrima Cham Joof

I have been born in knowledge.
Geidj Faye (a Saltigue)

(Oberdiek, Ulrich, "Anthropological Abstracts", Volume 2, p 126, LIT Verlag Münster (2004), ISBN 3825880109)

Issa Laye Thiaw

(Obituary of Professor Issa Laye Thiaw [in] the Seereer Resource Cemtre and Seereer Radio. Published: 11th September 2017) [1]

Selected images

Did you know...

Anthem : Fañ na NGORO Roga deb no kholoum O Fañ-in Fan-Fan ta tathiatia. - [No one can do anything against his neighbour without the will of the Divine (Rog)].
Motto : Dial - fi - mayou to Tiin. – [Selflessly serve and produce].
The Battle of Fandane-Thiouthioune
a 19th century Royal War
19th century junjung of Sine
Date18 July 1867
Kingdom of Sine, now part of independent Senegal

14°40′N 17°25′WSenegal
Result Serer victory
Muslim Marabout Serer people
Commanders and leaders
Maba Diakhou Bâ
(Almamy in rebellion)

Damel-Teigne Lat Dior Ngoné Latyr Diop
(King of Cayor and Baol)
Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof
(King of Sine"Maad a Sinig")

Maad Amad Ngoneh Joof
(King of Thiouthioune and uncle of Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof)
Units involved

Maba Diakhou Bâ :

Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof :

  • Buumi - Somb
  • The Great Jaraff
  • Maad Patar (King of Patar)
  • The Sandigue Ndiob
  • Maad Amad Ngoneh Joof (King of Thiouthioune)
  • Maad Semou Gallo Joof
  • Mbagne Somb Faye
  • Makhoureja Ngoneh Joof
  • Army of Sine
The Muslim Marabouts prevailed in the early hours of the battle, but the Serer army held firm. In the latter part of the battle the Marabouts were defeated. Maba Diakhou was killed and his body decapitated. Damel-Teigne Lat Dior Ngoné Latyr and Bourba Jolof Alboury Sainabou Njie fled. Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak was injured. Mama Gaolo Nyang was held prisoner.


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For more Serer related topics, see Category:Serer people.

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