The Seereer Resource Centre (SRC) and Seereer Radio Podcast

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Cosaan Seereer : Part 1 of 2 : Exclusive interview with Professor Issa Laye Thiaw (January 2015) by The Seereer Resource Centre and Seereer Radio

February 4, 2016


In January 2015, the Seereer Resource Centre sent its research team to several parts of Seereer country to interview some notable and knowledgeable Seereer elders, historians / scholars on matters relating to Seereer religion, history and culture, so that we can document and preserve this before it is too late. This team was headed by Tamsier Joof and Demba Sene.  

This is the first part of the interview they conducted with Professor Issa Laye Thiaw at his house in Diamagane Sicap. Dakar, Senegal. This audio is in two parts.

Date of first broadcast onSeereer Radio : Saturday, 23rd January 2016

Presenters : Tamsier Joof and Demba Sene

Interviewee : Professor Issa Laye Thiaw

Other panel member : Njaga Gaye

Source language(s) : Saafi-Saafi, Seereer-Siin, Wolof, French and English

Subjects covered : Meaning and origin/etymology of the word Seereer; Meaning and etymology of the diverse Seereer groups (Seeh, Saafi, Ndut, Waro, Noon,Laalaa, Jegem); Seereer surnames; Why the Seereer groups speak different languages?; Wisdom in Classical Ndut teachings; Seereer - the earliest inhabitants of Jolof and Waalo; The Xoy Ceremony and other Seereer religious festivals; The original reason for Xoy; Seereer prayers against flooding;The great griot – Hama Juma and wisdom to acquire rain by the Saltigi class; The honour of real Saltigi in ancient times (they used to commit suicide if their predictions did not come to fruition); Saltigi wisdom was either acquired or born with; Why in Seereer culture a child deemed to be wise should have his head and eyes covered; The sacred sangool stick that the Saltigi used to used during the Xoy to announce their predictions; Seereer prayers, ways of praying and the reasons why Seereer pray; Prayers and offerings to the ancestors; The great Saltigi Laba Jeen Ngum (19th-century) and his prayer to Roog; Prayers to Roog.

Radio program : Cosaan Seereer

Radio station : Seereer Radio

Owner : The Seereer Resource Centre (SRC)

Collection : The SRC Collection

Date of recording : 8th January 2015

Location : Diamagane Sicap. Dakar, Senegal

Medium : Audio recording

Additional information : This audio was recorded for the SRC Collection, with permission to broadcast granted to Seereer Radio  | The Voice of the Seereer Community (our 24 hour stream radio station). The research team was headed by Tamsier Joof (founder of theSRC and Seereer Radio) and Demba Sene. It was recorded on 8th January 2015at Professor Thiaw's house. Apologies for the noisy background from other members of the household.

Information about ProfessorIssa Laye Thiaw  : Professor Issa Laye Thiaw, also known as Mbañik Caw (his Seereer name, Thiaw isspelled Caw in Seereer) is a scholar of Seereer religion and history, but perhaps better known for his work on Seereer religion and culture. His work has been cited by several international scholars writing about Seereer religion and culture. Along with his writing, Professor Thiaw has also appeared as guest speaker on several inter-religious dialogue meetings. He is the author of that celebrated book "La femme Seereer." Other papers authored by Thiaw include:

  • La religiosité Seereer, avant et pendant leur Islamisation

  • Mythe de la création du monde selon les sages sereer

Professor Thiaw supports the Seereer Resource Centre(SRC) where he currently serves as Consultant on Seereer religion, History and Culture. Working in partnership with the Seereer Resource Centre, Professor Thiaw and the SRC are in the process of building a huge complex in Sanghe (or Sangue) - Senegal, which will be called "The Seereer Resource Centre and the Temple of Initiated Women." It will be the flagship office of the SRC where Seereer ancient religion, culture and medicine will be taught to those interested in these subjects. To learn more about this project and how you can part take in it, visit the Seereer Resource Centre's website or e-mail us at

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Download transcript « Télécharger la transcription » :

Visit the Seereer Resource Centre download page to download a transcript of this audio in English, French, Seereer a Sinig, Saafi-Saafi, Ndut, Sili-Sili, Noon and Laalaa.

Websites :

The Seereer Resource Centre (SRC) - 

Seereer Radio -