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

Serer civilization : The spots where the Senegambian stone circles stand were ancient burial grounds. The stone circles that runs from Senegal to the Gambia were built by the ancestors of the Serer people.
The prehistory of the area where the Serer have lived for generations has been extensively studied and documented over the years.

Several material relics have been found in different Serer countries relating to their pre and ancient history. Some of these relics included gold, silver and metals. Laterite megaliths carved planted in circular structures with stones were also discovered in Serer countries. The controversial Tiemassassien culture dates back to either the Neolithic or Upper Paleolithic Era. The Cult of the Upright Stone and mummufication of the death were part of Serer religion.

Selected biography

Yandé Codou Sène (also Yande Codou Sene) was a Senegalese singer of Serer heritage. She was born in 1932 at Somb in the Sine-Saloum delta and died on 15 July 2010 at Gandiaye in Sénégal. She was the official griot of president Léopold Sédar Senghor. Most of her music is sung in the Serer language. Yandé Codou sings in the old Serer tradition and have had a significant impact on Senegambian music as well as artists including Youssou N'Dour whom she has inspired immensely. Although she has been singing since she was a child and have had a profound effect on Senegambia's music scene, she did not record her first album (Night Sky in Sine Saloum) until she was aged 65. Her first recording debut on an album "Gainde" was in 1995 that she shared with Youssou N'Dour (another Serer but who tends to sing in Wolof) in which she received rave reviews.

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

Quotes

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
Date 18 July 1867
Location Kingdom of Sine, now part of independent Senegal
14°40′N 17°25′WSenegal
Result Serer victory
Belligerents
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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