Africa Guide
recommended trip :

Wolof People


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.  

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