SENEGALESE WRESTLING (Njom in Serer , Lutte sénégalaise or simply
Lutte avec frappe in French , Laamb in Wolof , Siɲɛta in Bambara )
is a type of folk wrestling traditionally performed by the Serer
people and now a national sport in
* 1 History * 2 Goal * 3 Training * 4 Media * 5 Etymology * 6 Champions * 7 References * 8 Bibliography * 9 External links
It takes its root from the wrestling tradition of the
Serer people -
formally a preparatory exercise for war among the warrior classes
depending on the technique. In Serer tradition, wrestling is divided
into different techniques with mbapate being one of them. It was also
an initiation rite among the Serers, the word Njom derives from the
Serer principle of Jom (from
Serer religion ), meaning heart or honour
Serer language . The Jom principle covers a huge range of
values and beliefs including economic, ecological, personal and social
values. Wrestling stems from the branch of personal values of the Jom
principle. One of the oldest known and recorded wrestler in
Senegambia was Boukar Djilak Faye (a Serer) who lived in the 14th
century in the
Kingdom of Sine . He was the ancestor of the Faye
Paternal Dynasty of Sine and
Transcending ethnic groups, the sport enjoys the status of national sport. Traditionally, young men also used to fight as a distraction, to court wives, prove their manliness, and bring honor to their villages. Usually each wrestler (called mbër) performed a particular dance (called a bàkk) before the start of the combat.
Today it is very popular in the country as an indication of male athletic strength and ability. Presently, wrestling is arranged by business-promoters who offer prizes for the winners.
Champion wrestler Yékini (Yakhya Diop)
One of the main objectives is to throw the opponent to the ground by lifting him up and over, usually outside a given area.
A "false lion" (simb) dancer who participates in the ceremony prior to matches
Senegalese wrestlers train extremely hard and may perform press ups and various difficult physical exercises throughout the day to build up their strength. However while they believe strength is important they also believe that there is an element of luck in the winner, and may perform rituals before a match to increase their chances. Common to Senegalese wrestlers is rubbing a foot on a stone or rubbing themselves with lotions or oils to increase "good luck".
In April 2008 a BBC documentary entitled Last Man Standing covered
the lives of a group of British and American hopefuls at a boot camp
Laamb is the Wolof word for wrestling which is borrowed from Serer Fara-Lamb Siin. The Serer word for wrestling is njom which derives from the Serer word jom (heart or honour).
Since the 1950s, Senegalese Wrestling, like its counterparts in other areas of West Africa, has become a major spectator sport and cultural event. The champions of traditional wrestling events are celebrities in Senegal, with fighters such as Yékini (Yakhya Diop), Tyson (Mohamed Ndao), and Bombardier (Serigne Ousmane Dia) the best known.
* ^ For example, see the Nigerian variant: Jolijn Geels. Niger. Bradt London and Globe Pequot New York (2006). ISBN 1-84162-152-8 pp.77-8. * ^ Government of Senegal: COMITE NATIONAL DE GESTION DE LA LUTTE. * ^ Senghor, Léopold Sédar , Brunel, Pierre , Poésie complète, CNRS éditions, 2007, p 425, ISBN 2-271-06604-2 * ^ Tang, Patricia, Masters of the sabar: Wolof griot percussionists of Senegal, p144. Temple University Press, 2007. ISBN 1-59213-420-3 * ^ A B (in French) Gravrand, Henry : "L’HERITAGE SPIRITUEL SEREER : VALEUR TRADITIONNELLE D’HIER, D’AUJOURD’HUI ET DE DEMAIN" Ethiopiques, numéro 31, révue socialiste de culture négro-africaine, 3e trimestre 1982 * ^ Gravrand, Henry, La Civilisation Sereer, Pangool. Les Nouvelles Edition Africaines. 1990, p 40 * ^ Diouf, Niokhobaye. "Chronique du royaume du Sine." Suivie de notes sur les traditions orales et les sources écrites concernant le royaume du Sine par Charles Becker et Victor Martin. (1972). Bulletin de l'Ifan, Tome 34, Série B, n° 4, p 4(p 706), (1972)
* ^ Ciid means poetry in Serer, it can also mean the reincarnated or the dead who seek to reincarnate in Serer religion . Two chapters are devoted to this by Faye see:
* Faye, Louis Diène , Mort et Naissance Le Monde Sereer, Les Nouvelles Edition Africaines (1983), p 34, ISBN 2-7236-0868-9
* ^ Faye, Louis Diène, Mort et Naissance Le Monde Sereer, Les Nouvelles Edition Africaines (1983), p 34, ISBN 2-7236-0868-9 .
* Not to be confused with the Paar - the chief Serer griot who used to beat the tam-tam (there are different kinds of tam-tams in Serer; each one has their purpose and the special occasions they should be used) when an important person dies (see page 22).
* ^ "Nelson Mandela: Latter day saint - Prospect Magazine". Retrieved 1 March 2015. * ^ "Youssou N\'Dour: An Unlikely Politician". Retrieved 1 March 2015. * ^ (in French) Agence de Presse Sénégalaise (APS) "Rémi Diégane Dioh présente samedi son CD dédié à Senghor" * ^ "The Official Home Page of the Republic of Sénégal". Retrieved 1 March 2015. * ^ "Rambax catches the rhythm of wrestling". MIT News. 13 April 2005. Retrieved 1 March 2015. * ^ www.bbc.co.uk * ^ Faye, Louis Diène, Mort et Naissance Le Monde Sereer, Les Nouvelles Edition Africaines (1983), p 34, ISBN 2-7236-0868-9 . * ^ Gravrand, Henry : "L’HERITAGE SPIRITUEL SEREER : VALEUR TRADITIONNELLE D’HIER, D’AUJOURD’HUI ET DE DEMAIN" Ethiopiques, numéro 31, révue socialiste de culture négro-africaine, 3e trimestre 1982 * ^ Glbal timoto (video) and snippits) * ^ For example, see this article on the private life of Yekini, LUTTE TRADITIONNELLE - 15e ANNIVERSAIRE DE YEKINI : Mbagnick, digne fils de Mohamed Ndiaye Robert Diouf, Le Soleil , 3 March 2008.
* Senghor, Léopold Sédar , Brunel, Pierre, "Poésie complète," CNRS édi