The Wolof people (UK: /ˈwoʊlɒf/) are a West African ethnic group found in northwestern Senegal, the Gambia, and southwestern coastal Mauritania. In Senegal, the Wolof are the largest ethnic group (~43.3%), while elsewhere they are a minority.
There are many tribes but the main ones are Mandinka, Wolof, Fula and Jola, each having its own language and traditions. Dress is varied but always bright and colourful and some of the complicated plaited hairstyles are a work of art, often taking up to two days to complete.
The Mandinka make up the majority of the population being the largest tribe to settle in The Gambia, the majority of which live in the provinces, Upper and Central River Divisions.
Senegal’s current population is believed to be a mixture of peoples who moved into the region from the north and the east. Despite its relatively small size, the area is home to several ethnic groups. Today, the predominant population groups are the Wolof (43%), the Fula (23%) and the Serer (14%).
Ethnic groups include Mandinka/Mandé (34 per cent), Fulani/Fula/Peulh (22.4 per cent), Wolof (12.6 per cent), Jola/Karoninka (10.7 per cent), Serahule (6.6 per cent), Serer (3.2 per cent), Manjago (2.1 per cent), Bambara (1 per cent), Creole/Aku Marabout (0.7 per cent), and other smaller communities (CIA World Factbook
Gambia Tribes & Ethnic Groups. Information: There are 8 main ethnic groups in Gambia living side by side with a minimum of inter-tribal friction, each preserving its own language, music, cultural traditions and even caste systems though there is an increasing amount of cultural interaction and fusion.
Bushmen lie at one end of the range of variability, Senegalese being at the other end but still fairly closely related to Bantu. The information provided by individual restriction enzymes to the distinction among the three major ethnic groups is reviewed and discussed.
Senegal, a majority Sunni Muslim country, is the only non-Arabic country to join the Saudi-led coalition.
Religion and beliefs occupy an important place in the daily life of the nation of Senegal. Many denominations of the religion of Islam (the largest faith) are represented. Christians (principally Catholics) represent 5%. Senegalese culture, in general, is religiously tolerant.
During the 17th century, Gambia was settled by various companies of English merchants. Slavery was the chief source of revenue before it was abolished in 1807. Gambia became a British Crown colony in 1843 and an independent nation within the Commonwealth of Nations on Feb. 18, 1965.
The peculiar shape and size of the country are the result of territorial compromises made during the 19th century by Great Britain, which controlled the lower Gambia River, and France, which ruled the neighbouring colony of Senegal.
For many years the official name was ‘Gambia’, derived from the Mandinka language, the largest ethnic group in The Gambia. This development also helps because for many years mail bound for Gambia has mistakenly been sent to Zambia. Since then ‘The Gambia’ is now officially the name of the country.
The Senegal DNA region is located on the western coast of Africa – the part that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, as seen in the image above. The area that corresponds to the Senegal DNA region is a little larger than the political boundaries of Senegal, and includes parts of the neighboring countries.
Political Context Senegal is one of the most stable countries in Africa, with three peaceful political transitions since independence in 1960.
Senegalese (plural Senegalese) A person from Senegal or of Senegalese descent.