Cayor (Wolof: Kajoor; French: Cayor) was the largest and most powerful
kingdom (1549–1879) that split off from the
Jolof Empire in what is
Cayor was located in northern and central Senegal,
southeast of Walo, west of the kingdom of Jolof, and north of
the Kingdom of Sine.
In 1549, the damel (dammeel in Wolof, often translated into
European languages as "king")
Dece Fu Njogu became independent from
Jolof and set Cayor's capital at Mbul. The French, under governor
Louis Faidherbe, annexed
Cayor in 1868;
independence in 1871. France invaded again and annexed
Cayor again in
1879, when it ceased to be a sovereign state. The kingdom was
extinguished in its entirety October 6, 1886.
In addition to Cayor, the damels also ruled over the
Lebou area of
Cap-Vert (where modern
Dakar is), and they became the "Teignes"
(rulers) of the neighboring kingdom of Baol.
Traditionally the damel himself was not purely hereditary, but was
designated by a 4-member council consisting of:
the Jaudin Bul (Diawdine-Boul), hereditary chief of the Jambur ("free
men"; French Diambour)
the Calau (Tchialaw), chief of the canton of Jambanyan (Diambagnane)
the Botal (Bôtale), chief of the canton of Jop (Diop), and
the Baje (Badgié), chief of the canton of Gateny (Gatègne).
A great hero in
Senegal history, for his defiance and battles against
the French, was Lat Dior He was defeated at the battle of Dekheule,
and was deposed twice, in 1869 and 1879. He converted to
The 30th and last damel of
Cayor was Samba Laube Fal (1858–1886),
killed at Tivaouane, Senegal.
^ Papa Samba Diop, Glossaire du roman sénégalais, L'Harmattan,
Paris, 2010, p. 140-143