Seereer Religion (a ƭat Roog)

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Seereer religion or  "a ƭat Roog" ("the way of the Divine" or "path of God") is the original religious beliefs of the Seereer people. The Seereer people being very diverse with different languages, each group refer to the Supreme Being in their own native tongue. The religious beliefs and practices of the Seereer group are however very similar and practically indistinguishable. Even the names of the Supreme Being irrespective of language are very closely related and similar in name and pronunciation. For instance the Saafi Deity Koox Seen (variations: Kooh or Kooh Seen, following its pronunciation) is very similar to the Ndut and Noon Supreme Deities. Koox Seen is also very similar to the Seex Deity Roog Seen (variations: Rooh or Rooh Seen, following its pronunciation). The names Kooh and Rooh are very similar and are worshiped in a similar way. For Seereers who adhere to the tenets of Seereer religion, it is not uncommon to find some who worship and/or invoke all of these Supreme Deities regardless of the language they speak. 

It is common to refer to African religious beliefs as Animism. In many cases, especially in scholarly works, the term "Animism" is used as a short hand to refer to African religious beliefs. Seereer religion is not "Animism" and the SRC does not use the term to refer to Seereer religion. Many of those who practice the faith, Seereer theologians and scholars of Seereer religion and culture regard it as an offensive or improper word to describe Seereer religion and African religious beliefs in general. In the Seereer context, the word has its roots during the colonial days, used by the colonialists to refer to the original religious beliefs of the Seereer people in a negative way. It is not uncommon to find Senegambians (irrespective of ethnic or religious belief) refer to Seereer religion as "Animism". Even president Léopold Sédar Senghor (Leopool Sedaar Sengoor), a Seereer by birth, who was a staunch advocate for Seereer religion and culture in spite of his Catholic beliefs, used to refer to Seereer religion as Animism. The Seereer scholar Babacar Sédikh Diouf (Babakar Sidiix Juuf), citing Henry Gravrand ("La civilisation sereer, vol. II  : Pangool", Nouvelles éditions africaines, Dakar (1990), ISBN 2-7236-1055-1, p.142,) argues that :

 

  

"Yoonir" (in Seereer-Siin) or "Seeseen" (in Saafi-Saafi).


More commonly known as the Serius star.

For a list of topics or resources relating to various aspects of Seereer religion, please scroll down the list below and click on the relevant topic. 

If there is something you feel we do not have which you would like to see, please contact us.  Some of the videos and images we have are kindly donated by the Seereer community, their friends or individuals/organisations that support our vision. If you have any thing that you think is important to Seereer religious heritage and would like to donate it to us, please get in touch. We accept most things Seereer related in order to expand our religious archive. All we ask is that you are the copyright owner or have the right to pass it on to us.

1. Deities
       1.1 God in Seereer religion, Supreme Deities of the Seereer peoples  (the Seex, Saafi, Walo (Palor), Ndut, Noon                and Laalaa peoples).
                1.1.1 Roog Seen (variations : Roog, Rog or Rooh) :  In Seereer-Siin, generally worshiped by the 
                        Seex people
                1.1.2 Koox Seen (variations : Koox, Koh or Kooh) : In Saafi-Saafi, generally worshiped by the Saafi people
                1.1.3 ???????  : In Sili-Sili, generally worshiped by the Waro (or Palor) people
                1.1.4 Kopé Tiatie Cac (also called :  Koh or Koope) : In Ndut, generally worshiped by the Ndut people
                1.1.5 Kokh Kox (or Koh) : In Noon, generally worshiped by the Noon people
                1.1.6  ??????? : In Laalaa (or Lehar), generally worshiped by the Laalaa people.
       1.2 Demi-gods 
               1.2.1 Takhar 
               1.2.2 Tiurak
               1.2.3 Kumba Njaay 

2. Beliefs system

3. Place of worship
        3.1 Some sacred places and sites 
                 3.1.1 Fatick 
                 3.1.2 River Siin (or Sine River)
                 3.1.3 River Saluum (or Saloum River)
                 3.1.4 Siin-Saalum (Sine-Saloum)
                 3.1.5 Bawol
                 3.1.6 Somb 
                 3.1.7 The Point of Sangomar 
                 3.1.8 Tattaguine 
                 3.1.9 A Tukaar (or Tukar)
                 3.1.10 Yaboyabo
                 3.1.11 Senegambian Stone Circles
                               3.1.11.1 Steles of Roog
                 3.1.12 Tahompa (the well at Tahompa in Kaymor) 
                 3.1.13 Chess (or Thiès)
                 3.1.14 Jooɓaas (or Diobass)
                 3.1.15 Bandia 
                 3.1.16 Guinabour 
                 3.1.17 Tchiki 
                 3.1.18 Kirène 
                 3.1.19 Ndiass (or Diass) 
                 3.1.20 Dobour 

        4.1 List of Seereer Pangool the village, town or city they protect, and the patriclan or matriclan they are                             connected to
                 4.1.1 Ginaaru Julang Juuf
                 4.1.2 Laga Ndong 
                 4.1.3 Lunguñ Juuf 
                 4.1.4 Mindiss 
                 4.1.5 Moussa Saar 
                 4.1.6 Njemeh (of Languème) 
                 4.1.7 Njoxona 
                 4.1.8 Ngojil Juuf 
                 4.1.9 Ngolum Juuf

5. Compilation of Seereer prayers and invocations  (in Seereer, English, French, Saafi, Ndut, Sili-Sili, Laalaa and  Noon)
         5.1 Offerings and sacrifice (Sadax)

6. Afterlife (Jaaniiw)

7. Reincartion (Ciiɗ)

8. Seereer cosmogony (creation myth)

9. Seereer cosmology

10. Seereer astronomy 

11. Seereer numerology

12. Symbols and symbolism

13. Seereer religious law 

         14.1 Why lamane(s) were ritually killed during the Lamanic Era. (see rainmaking and laman)



17. The role of men in Seereer religion

18. The role of women in Seereer religion

19. Seereer patriarchs
         19.3 Seereer paternal clans
         19.5 Medieval and post medieval men revered in Seereer religion 
                   19.5.1 Jegaan Jaay Juuf (Laman Jegan Juuf)
                   19.5.2 Jaan Fadé
                   19.5.3 Noxo Coro Juuf (or Nohor Tioro Diouf)

20. Seereer matriarchs 
         20.1 YAAB  : The first woman ever created, based on Seereer creation narrative (from YAAB and YOP narrative).
         20.4 Seereer maternal clans
         20.5 Totemism and Seereer maternal clans

21. Religious Figures
         21.3 Jegaan Jaay Juuf (or Laman Jegan Juuf) 
         21.4 Semou Njekeh Juuf (18th century)
    
22. Notable figures known for defending Seereer religion (medieval and post medieval era)
         22.1 Amar Gôdômat (Seereer : Ama  Gôdô Maat/Maad) : reported killer of Abu Bakr the Almoravid leader
         22.2 Bukaro Ngooni Juuf : Martyred at the Surprise Attack of Mbin o Ngoor
         22.3 Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoofeen fa Maak Juuf (King of Siin) Defender of the Faith prior to, during and
                after the Battle of Fandane-Thiouthioune (or Battle of Somb).
         22.4 Laba Jeen Ngom (or Laba Dièn Ngom) : One of  Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoofeen fa Maak Juuf's counsel
         22.5 Wassaly Seen (or Wasally Sene) : One of  Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoofeen fa Maak Juuf's counsel
         22.6 Wally Nyang (19th century) : Called for martyrdom at the Surprise Attack at Ngaaye 
         22.7 Issa Laye Thiaw (the Seereer religious scholar)

23. The arts and Seereer religion
         23.1 Seereer religious dances 
         23.2 Seereer musical instruments used for religious occasions 
         23.3 Poetry (Ciiɗ) in Seereer religion (Ciiɗ can also mean reincarnation in Seereer)
         23.4 Njuup music  : Conservative religious music
         23.5 Tassu  (variations: tassu, tassou or tasu) : Originally, religious chants

24. Seereer religious festivals


26. Rite of passage
    26.1 Rite of passage for Seereer boys :  Classical Ndut Teachings (Ndut) - Circumcision 
    26.2 Rite of passage for Seereer girls (Ndom) - Tattooing of the gums. Seereer religion forbids female                                   genital mutilation  (FGM).

27. Encyclopedia of Seereer Legends

28. Relations between Seereer religion and other religions : Islam and Christianity
         28.1   Battles or jihads against the Seereer people (religious based only)
                      28.1.1   Introduction of Islam in Takrur and the Seereer-Takrurien exodus 
                      28.1.2   Seereer resistance to Islamization from the 11th century 
                      28.1.3   Seereer resistance to Islamization (against 19th century Muslim Marabouts) 
                      28.1.4   The Surprise Attack at Mbin o Ngoor (or Mbin Ngor)
                      28.1.5   The Battle of Fandane-Thiouthioune (or Battle of Somb
                      28.1.6   The Battle of Kaymor (initially a surprise attack)
                                      28.1.6.1   The Mayhem at Tahompa (mass suicide) 
                      28.1.8   The Battle of Nanjigee 
                      28.1.9   The Surprise Attack at Ngaaye 
                      28.1.10 The Battle of Naoduru
          28.2 Interfaith dialogue between followers of Seereer religion and those of Abrahamic religions                                            (mainly Islam, in the Senegambian and Mauritanian context).

29. Criticism of Seereer religion

30. Criticism of the Seereer priestly class (Saltigue)

31. Anti-Seereer religion sentiments (multi faceted)
        31.1 By the French during colonial era (Senegal)
        31.2 By the British during the colonial era (Gambia)
        31.3 By the Senegalese and Gambian media
        31.4 By Senegambian Muslim communities 
        31,5 In Mauritania
        31.6 In the Senegalese and Gambian religious education system (at school)

32. Influence of Seereer religion in Senegambia  

33. Seereer funeral rites

34. Pyramid tomb building

35. Martyrdom and Seereer religion
Index of Seereer Religion
 1. Deities
 2  Beliefs
 3. Place of worship and sacred          sites
 4. Saints and/or ancestral spirits
 5. Prayers and offerings
 6. Afterlife  (Jaaniiw)
 7. Reincarnation  (Ciiɗ)
 8. Cosmogony (creation myth)
 9. Cosmology
10. Astronomy 
11. Numerology
12. Symbols and symbolism
13. Seereer religious law 
14. Role of the lamane(s) 
15. The priestly class : Saltigue(s)
16. Rainmaking
17. Role of men
18. Role of women
19. Seereer patriachs
20. Seereer matriachs
21. Religious figures
22. Notable figures known for               defending Seereer religion.
23. The arts 
24. Festivals
25. The Seereer Calendar
26. Rites of passage
27. Seereer Legends
28. Relations with other religions
29. Criticism of Seereer religion
30. Criticism of the Seereer                   priestly class
31. Anti-Seereer religion                       sentiments
32. Influence of Seereer religion in       Senegambia.
33. Funeral rites
34. Pyramids and tombs
35. Martyrdom 
 

Seereer representation of the Universe [in] Henry Gravrand, "La civilisation sereer", Pangool (1990)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seereer Saltigues of Siin at the 2010 Xoy Ceremony.