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Index / Peoples / Blacks /
Wolof




Young Wolof woman. Gambia.
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Young Wolof woman. Gambia.

Mid 19th century Queen of Walo, a Wollof kingdom in Senegal.
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Mid 19th century Queen of Walo, a Wollof kingdom in Senegal.

People of Senegal, Gambia and Mauritania, counting in total between 4 and 4.5 million. The Wolof represent the largest ethnic group of Senegal.
In Mauritania they represent a minority of some 350,000 (2009 estimate), corresponding to about 10.0% of the population (population figures are estimates and it is possible that the Wolof population is considerably larger). Wolof live in the coastal southern regions, beginning in the region of Rosso and following the river Senegal to the Atlantic coast.
Wolof speak the Wolof language which is close to Pulaar, another language spoken in Mauritania. Wolof was recognized as a national language in 1991, together with Soninke and Pulaar.
Practically all Wolof are Muslims, and although Sunni, their religious identities are mainly linked to Sufi brotherhoods. Polygamy is widely practiced among the Wolof.
Their main economic activities are farming and trading.




By Tore Kjeilen