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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'No Kings, No Lords, No Slaves': Ethnicity and Religion among the Sereer-Safen of Western Bawol, 1700-1914
Author:Searing, James F.
Year:2002
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Volume:43
Issue:3
Period:November
Pages:407-429
Language:English
Geographic term:Senegal
Subjects:African religions
ethnic relations
Serer
Baol polity
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
Religion and Witchcraft
Link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4100601
Abstract:The Sereer-Safèn occupied a defensible refuge zone in Western Bawol, Senegal, where forests and sandstone ridges provided protection against Wolof monarchy. The Safèn were part of a larger Sereer world that defined itself by opposition to Islam in the period from 1700 to 1914. This religious divide made the Sereer targets for enslavement by the Wolof, but Sereer religion was also linked to Safèn resistance to Islam, slavery and monarchy. Religion was interwoven with an ethnic boundary, which emphasized the incompatibility of Wolof and Sereer society. Safèn religion was centred on the village shrine or 'xérém', which served as the focal point of ritual, justice, communication with the other world and defence. The article focuses on the period when the Safèn were still able to maintain their independence from the Wolof monarchy of Bawol, but the last section also pays attention to the process through which the Safèn were conquered by Wolof chiefs allied with the French in the 1890s, and examines their status as dominated minority in the early colonial period. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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