Senegal Culture and Religion

By | November 8, 2021

According to COMPUTERGEES, Senegal is a republic located in West Africa. Its official name is République du SenegalRepublic of Senegal. It is bordered to the north by Mauritania, to the east by Mali, to the south by the Republic of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The Gambia, a small and very narrow country, which stretches along the Gambia River, is an enclave located in the southern part of Senegal. A former French colony, the country achieved its full independence on June 20, 1960. The total area of the republic is 196,722 km² and its capital is Dakar.



Senegal is also famous for its talented artisans who can be found in the main markets of the country, creating and selling their crafts. The Blacksmiths constitute the socio-professional group that makes tools, jewelry, and other products, using steel, iron, gold and other metals. If Senegalese society had followed a normal path of socio-economic development, blacksmiths could today be a metallurgical industry in Senegal. Shoemakers deal with the processing of animal skins. Making shoes, harnesses and other materials from animal skins.


Senegal’s gastronomy is famous in nearby countries. Its main ingredient is: rice (Yassa) that is prepared in many ways. There are other accompaniments with cereals (usually millet). Its coastal position (Atlantic Ocean) makes fish a frequent ingredient in dishes. One of the national dishes of Senegal is the Tiéboudienne (fish accompanied by legumes and rice). The dishes with rice are so varied that they are called Yassa au poulet (rice with chicken), Yassa au poisson (it is rice together with fish), and so on.


Senegal is a country rich in musical values. On a large number of occasions they gather around the “griots” (bearers of the country’s music and tradition) clapping their hands and moving their hips to a rhythm that delights the public. Each ethnic group has its own music and instruments.

The main musical genre is called the ” Sabar “, which is accompanied by dancing. In fact, most of the country’s musical traditions are based on dance; in the sense that they are composed to dance. The other types of music are ” Nguel ” and ” Wango “. The popular musical instruments of the country are the different types of drums such as ” Neunde “, ” Tiol “, ” Jembe “, ” Calabash ” and ” Riti “. Apart from these there is a xylophone like instrument called ” Balafons “.


The Senegalese population is predominantly Muslim; It is 84% ​​according to the sources, but Christians (especially Catholics) are also present in 6%, and it is also practiced mainly in the southeast of the country, but it frequently coexists with other religions.

Senegal is known for its religious tolerance. It is not uncommon to find members of the same family belonging to different religions. Interfaith marriages are numerous. Christian festivals are also celebrated and respected by the different Muslim brotherhoods and other communities.


The Xaadir (Qadiriyya) are an Orthodox brotherhood. It is the oldest. It was founded by the Sufi mystic Abd al Qadir al-Jilani in the 12th century. It came to Senegal throughout the 18th century.

The Murides are one of the most important brotherhoods. His disciples, also called “talibés”, are easily recognized by their colored habit and rasta hairstyle. Its religious center is in Touba, where one of the largest mosques in Africa is located. The founder is the marabout Ahmadou Bamba (1853 – 1927).

The Tidjanes are another great brotherhood. Their holy city is Tivaouane. Kaolak is also an important city, since there is settled the marabout Baye Niass, who spreads a peaceful indoctrination. The first propagandist was Oumar Tall, who tried to wage a holy war (1852 – 1864) against the French.

The Layènes are a brotherhood that follows the precepts of Islam, and that sings at each beginning of the prayers and praises to Allah. Its founder was Seydina Limammou Laye.


The followers of Christianity are mainly found in Casamance, in the Sérère country, and in the main cities such as Dakar and Saint-Louis. They make their pilgrimage to Popenguine. The Cathedral of Dakar was built at the beginning of the twentieth century by Father Daniel Brottier, founder of orphanages. Senegal is represented in the Vatican by a cardinal, an archbishopric and a bishopric.

It is also worth mentioning that there are missionaries and several congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses (The Watchtower) in the country.

Other beliefs

Animists are respected because they keep ancestral beliefs. Senegalese more or less practice these ancient beliefs, in small thanks or demands for protection, pouring water or milk at the foot of a tree, usually a baobab (the house of the spirits).

Senegal Culture