The Seereer Resource Centre (SRC) and Seereer Radio Podcast

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Cosaan Seereer : Part 2 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 second 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 on Seereer Radio : Saturday, 30th 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 : The Battle of Fandane-Thiouthioune (or Battle of Somb); The proclamation of saltigis at the Battle of Somb; Saltigi Laba Jëën Ngum - his fame and wisdom; Saltigi Jaye Chas, Seereer festivals : Gamou, Gamou Kahone, Ndut, Mbooye, Tobaski, Njuud, Sowing and Harvest; Origin, meaning and etymology of Gamou; Etymology of the word julit (a term used by Senegambians to designate a Muslim); Seereer songs when a person dies; How the Seereer view death; Seereer funeral ceremony (Mbooye) and rituals when a person dies; Juuf, Joof or Diouf family consolation song when a member of the that family dies; Seereer view of heaven and death through songs; Prayers by patrilineal and matrilineal clan members when a member of that clan dies and the associated rituals; The Juuf family prayer; The Thiaw family prayer; The ritual when the deceased is being interred (for men and women and relation to Seereer numerology); Seereer paternal and maternal culture and the importance of matrilineality; Origin of Seereer matrilineality; Seereer creation myth : First human couple (female, then male) - including their names; Origin of Tobaski, Seereer Calendar (Yuuk in Seereer, Reeh in Saafi) – an agricultural calendar; The year the Seereer were supposedly driven out of Ancient Egypt : 522 BC; Kechan, Manja and Cosaan in reference to the Seereer Calendar; Seereer and Jola : The oldest inhabitants in Senegambia and the ones who brought civilisation to the Senegambia region.

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 the SRC and Seereer Radio) and Demba Sene. It was recorded on 8th January 2015 at Professor Thiaw's house. Apologies for the noisy background from other members of the household.

Information about Professor Issa Laye Thiaw  : Professor Issa Laye Thiaw, also known as Mbañik Caw (his Seereer name, Thiaw is spelled 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 parttake 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 -