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Wolof’s Communication and Culture Essay


How is land organized in the Wolof communities?

Among the Wolof, the land was highly regarded. Thus, it formed the primary reason for slavery in this community. Various scholars have argued that the Wolof had an elaborate economic system with three prerequisites. These included a market for produced commodities, availability of a reliable supply of slaves, and private ownership of land. Agricultural slavery grew and played a significant role in the quest to consolidate autocratic power.

However, the accessibility to slave labor was severely limited. Besides, the demand for slave labor produced commodities was also limited. A baadolo or free peasants had the right to own land. The jambur claimed that they descended from the first occupants of the Wolof communities. In this case, they obtained their privileged position as the administrators of the land. These claims were spread over several villages except a small group of ancient heartlands in the old provinces, which managed to maintain their greater claims till ancient kingdoms were established (Searing 494-496).

Based on the class lecture and Vandewiele’s article, what characterizes parents/children’s relationship in Senegal?

The father and mother play a significant role in the upbringing of children. Fathers teach boys about the moral standards of society. Fathers monitor the behaviors of boys. For example, the boys seek permission from their fathers. On the other hand, mothers play a significant role in monitoring the morality of girls. For instance, girls seek permission from mothers. Girls seek comfort from their fathers, and boys from their mothers. However, girls consult their mothers concerning career guidance. On the other hand, boys seek career guidance from their fathers. Fathers punish the boys while mothers punish the girls.

Mothers are to keep the promises given to their children while fathers are not to forget most of their promises. In most families, children fear their fathers more than their mothers (Vandewiele 173). Therefore, it is evident that fathers are very strict with the boys while educating them and giving their guidance. However, fathers are usually not very strict with the girls. As opposed to this, mothers are very strict when educating and guiding girls, while at the same time, they play little role in developing the morality of the boys (Vandewiele 176).

Describe in detail the political organization of Kɔndɔrɔng?

A challenge of the traditional accounts about the pre-colonial Wolof state was the tendency to separate the dependent groups from the aristocracy, which helped the last ones establish their dominance in society. The former groups were made up of free clients, slaves, and descendants of slaves. On the other hand, aristocrats were comprised of relatively small social groups of families known as “garmi” who were eligible to serve kings and any other highly respectable person in the Wolof community (Searing 476). The Wolof embraced non-democratic aspects in their political governance.

The four primary kingdoms exhibited comparable political structures. They encompassed a dynamic order of political bureaucrats and regional commanders. The commanders were led by a leader whose authority was recognized by his slave warriors. The nobility of officials defined their ranks. The name given to the village head was “borom dekk”. This position was inheritable in the community. It was gained through the “patrilineage”. However, the village notabilities also played a critical role in the selection of the “heir” before the one was appointed a government official. Notably, the village ruler was also a religious leader.

The leader was also known as a seri (marabout). The ruler was responsible for the appointment of his assistants. The assistants were commonly known as the ylimaan or saltig. The saltig’s place was inherited following a certain patrilineage. The saltig had the responsibility of leading the warriors. The imam led the people in religious affairs. Those political arrangements came to an end following the French invasion. The natives were forced to adopt the colonial system established by the French (Advameg par. 2).

In the ‘Kirikou’ cartoon. Identify at least 2 roles for each category of persons (men, women, and children) and relate it to social roles in your community. Highlight similarities and differences

Among the Wolof community, children, men, and women have various roles based on the cultural beliefs of the community. For instance, men are regarded as the breadwinners and providers for the family. They offer their families a symbol of pride by giving their last names. They are also the heads of the households, guardians of religion, and offer protection. On the other hand, women are supposed to be bound in marriage; they should be good mothers to their children, cook well, and perform other household responsibilities for their family. They are to educate their children on good morals, be elegant, and act as advisors to their husbands.

However, there are several differences in the roles of women in western cultures. For instance, among the Wolof, women were required to be virgins before marriage. They were to be meek and submissive to their husbands, which is contrary to western cultures. Men’s roles are more or less similar to western cultures. In this case, the men have the responsibility of protecting their families. They also offered their spouses and children their last names.

Works Cited

Advameg. n.d. . Web.

Searing, James F. “Aristocrats, Slaves, and Peasants: Power and Dependency in the Wolof States, 1700-1850.” The International Journal of African Historical Studies, 21.3 (1988): 475-503. Print.

Vandewiele, Michael. “Wolof adolescents perception of their parents”. The Journal of Psychology, 109(1981): 173-177. Print.

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