The JOLOF EMPIRE (French : Djolof or Diolof), also known as the WOLOF
or WOLLOF EMPIRE, was a West African state that ruled parts of Senegal
from 1350 to 1549. Following the 1549 battle of Danki , its vassal
states were fully or de facto independent; in this period, it is known
Jolof Kingdom . This was largely conquered by the imamate of
Futa Jallon in 1875 and its territories fully incorporated into French
* 1 Origins * 2 Early history * 3 Society in Imperial Jolof * 4 Women in Imperial Jolof * 5 Political organization * 6 Contact with Europe * 7 Late period * 8 Battle of Danki and Disintegration * 9 References * 10 Sources * 11 See also
Traditional accounts among the Wolof agree that the founder of the
state and later empire was the possibly mythical Ndiadiane Ndiaye
(also spelled Njaajaan Njaay). :484 Traditional stories of the
ancestry of this leader vary. One suggests that he was "the first and
only son of a noble and saintly Berber
Almoravid father Abubakr Ibn
Omar also called Abu Dardai and a Toucouleur princess who was the
daughter of the Lam Toro, Fatimata
It has been suggested that the foundations of the empire were set
down by the voluntary association of several small states beginning
Ndiadiane was born Ahmad Abu Bakr also called Ahmadu Abubakar. The
legend of Ndiadiane Ndiaye begins with a dispute over wood near a
prominent lake. This almost led to bloodshed among the rulers but was
stopped by the mysterious appearance of a stranger from the lake. The
stranger divided the wood fairly and disappeared, leaving the people
in awe. The people then feigned a second dispute and kidnapped the
stranger when he returned. They offered him the kingship of their land
and convinced him to do so and become mortal by offering him a
beautiful woman to marry. When these events were reported to the ruler
of the Sine , also a great magician, he is reported to have exclaimed
"Ndiadiane Ndiaye" in his native
Serer language in amazement. :21 The
ruler of the
Kingdom of Sine (Maad a Sinig Maysa Wali ) then suggested
all rulers between the
Fearing writes that "Most versions of the myth explain how the new dynasty superimposed itself upon a preexisting social structure dominated by the laman, Wolof elders who claimed "ownership" of the land as the descendants of the founders of village communities. The laman retained many of their functions under the new monarchical order, becoming a kind of lesser nobility within the new state, and serving as electors when the time came to choose a new king from the Njaay dynasty."
John Donnelly Fage suggests although dates in the early 13th century (and others say 12th century) are usually ascribed to this king and the founding of the empire, a more likely scenario is "that the rise of the empire was associated with the growth of Wolof power at the expense of the ancient Sudanese state of Takrur, and that this was essentially a fourteenth-century development." :484
Jolof kingdom after its disintegration
The new state of Djolof, named for the central province where the king resided, was a vassal of the Mali Empire for much of its early history. :381 Djolof remained within that empire's sphere of influence until the latter half of the 14th century. :456 During a succession dispute in 1360 between two rival lineages within the Mali Empire's royal bloodline, the Jolof became permanently independent. A close examination of Jolof's societal and political structure reveals that at least some of its institutions may have been borrowed directly or developed alongside those of its larger predecessor.
SOCIETY IN IMPERIAL JOLOF
The Portuguese arrived in the
WOMEN IN IMPERIAL JOLOF
Throughout the different classes, intermarriage was rarely allowed. Women could not marry upwards, and their children did not inherit the father's superior status. :26 However, women had some influence and role in government. The Linger or Queen Mother was head of all women and very influential in state politics. She owned a number of villages which cultivated farms and paid tribute directly to her. There were also other female chiefs whose main task was judging cases involving women. In the empire's most northern state of Walo, women could aspire to the office of Bur and rule the state. :26
Serer tradition says that the Kingdom of Sine never paid tribute to Ndiadiane Ndiaye nor any his descendants at Jolof. It further states that the Sine was never subjugated by Jolof, and that the probably mythical Ndiadiane himself received his name from the mouth of Maysa Wali (king of Sine).
Sylviane Diouf states that "Each vassal kingdom—Walo, Takrur, Kayor, Baol, Sine, Salum, Wuli, and Niani—recognized the hegemony of Jolof and paid tribute."
CONTACT WITH EUROPE
After an initially hostile start, peaceful trade relations were
established between the
Despite internal feuds, the
BATTLE OF DANKI AND DISINTEGRATION
Kayor successfully broke from the
* ^ A B C D E F G H I J K L M Fage, J. D. ; Oliver, Roland , eds.
(1975). The Cambridge History of Africa. Cambridge University Press.
ISBN 9780521209816 .
* ^ A B C Searing, James (2003). West African Slavery and Atlantic
* ^ Ogot, Bethwell A. (1999). General History of Africa V: Africa from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 136. ISBN 0-520-06700-2 . * ^ Diouf, Niokhobaye; Becker, Charles; Martin, Victor (1972). "Chronique du royaume du Sine par suivie de Notes sur les traditions orales et les sources écrites concernant le royaume du Sine". Bulletin de l'Ifan , Série B (in French). 34 (4): 706. * ^ Diouf, Sylviane (1998). Servants of Allah: African Muslims enslaved in the Americas. New York University Press. p. 19. ISBN 081472082X .
* Ogot, Bethwell A. (1999). General History of Africa V: Africa from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 512 Pages. ISBN 0-520-06700-2 .
* List of rulers of Jolof * Kingdom of Sine * Kingdom of Saloum * Kingdom of Baol * Kingdom of Jolof * Cayor Kingdom * History of Senegal * History of the Gambia * Serer people * Wolof people * Mali Empire
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