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TRIBES & PEOPLE GROUPS
The Wolof are one of the largest people
groups that inhabit modern-day Senegal. They live anywhere from the desert area
of the Sahara to the rain forests. Traditionally many Wolof lived in small
villages governed by an extended family unit but now most Wolof move to cities
where they are able to get jobs.
Most Wolof are Muslim, in fact to be
Wolof is many times thought to be Muslim. Their most popular art form is
beautiful amulets which contain beautifully written sections of the Koran.
These papers are enclosed in silver for jewelry or in leather as a carrying
bag. Wolof are also known as the merchants of West Africa, they are very
aggressive in trading, which is a big part of their history. Historically a
role the Wolof are especially known for is their involvement in the slave
trade. They worked capturing, transporting, and selling slaves from the port in
Dakar, and with this have been involved in many different people groups.
Culturally, clothing is very important to the Wolof, who are a style
conscious society. To a Wolof what you wear says a tremendous amount about you.
Women will dress elaborately, many times going into debt just to be dressed up
to an occasion. They also wear elaborate hair styles and makeup. The Wolof are
known as the trend-setters of West Africa. The family unit is very important to
the Wolof. Many times a man and all his brothers and their wives and children
will live together in a single compound. Many Wolof are also polygamous,
however, polygamy doesn't seem to be considered natural to many of the Wolof
who soon after obtaining a second wife are divorced from their first.
Information and images kindly provided by
PDF file: Prepared by Peace Corps in