Serer religion

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The star Yoonir, symbol of the Universe in Serer cosmology. Commonly known as Sirius.

Serer religion, or a ƭat Roog (in Serer, meaning "the way of the Divine" or "path of God") is the original religious beliefs, practices and teachings of the Serer people. The Serer people believe in a universal supreme deity called Roog (or Rog). Among the Cangin languages whose speakers are ethnically Serer, the supreme creator god is referred to by many other names such as Koox (or Kooh, following its pronunciation), Kopé Tiatie Cac, Kokh Kox, etc. The Serer religion is one of the Traditional African religions and the religious beliefs encompass ancient chants and poems, veneration and offerings to deities and the pangool (ancestral spirits), initiation rites, medicine, cosmology and priesthood through the Saltigue (or Saltigi, the Serer priestly class).

The Serer people are found in Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania. The name "Serer" is also spelled Seereer, Sereer or Sérère.


  • In deed the Serer religious expression of the encounter with the sacred or accession to the level of possession is not pathological expression of a reaction to class oppression. Rather the traditional energy of the Serer religion breaks through and perverts the Catholic liturgy but to a different end than is problematized by Clement. It is explained and known by emic members of Senegalese society that the Serer culture is one of the cultural universes that have survived in its integrity in Senegal, despite all the waves of other cultures.
  • Adultery is an acceptable ground for divorce among the Serer and is taken very seriously, Married women guilt of adultery have their hair unplaited, denying them the hairstyle worn by married women to connote their status. An adulterer, male or female, must ask forgiveness of his or her spouse in front of the king or chief, and is not unheard of for them to commit suicide rather than face that humiliation. Although the Serer religion emphasizes reconciliation and punishment of a wrongdoing spouse over divorce, divorce is an option.
  • What is more interesting in terms of the religion of the Serer is that, their burial rites were the same as those of the ancient kings of Ghana and Egypt. The deceased, after an elaborate ceremony, was buried in luxury depending on what was available, laid on a bed, and around him were placed all the usual domestic and ordinary materials, tools, and objects with which he was familiar during life and maybe a rooster to awaken him.
  • Keep on [going] and preserve what is left of Seereer culture and religion. You will be lonely in this field but just keep on because the truth must come out.
    • Thiaw, Laye Issa, Obituary of Professor Issa Laye Thiaw [in] the Seereer Resource Cemtre and Seereer Radio. Published: 11th September 2017) [1]


  • Dupire, Marguerite, "Sagesse sereer: Essais sur la pensée sereer ndut", KARTHALA Editions (1994), p 54, ISBN 2865374874
  • Ndiaye, Ousmane Sémou, "Diversité et unicité sérères : l’exemple de la région de Thiès", [in] Éthiopiques, no 54, vol. 7, 2e semestre (1991) [2]
  • Diouf, Babacar Sédikh, "Le Sérère, Paganism Polythéiste ou Religion Monothéiste" [in] Camara, Fatou Kiné (PhD) & Seck, Abdourahmane (PhD), "Secularity and Freedom of Religion in Senegal: Between a Constitutional Rock and a Hard Reality", p 860-61 (PDF - p. 2-3), 3/2010 [3]
  • Pollock, Griselda, Turvey-Sauron, Victoria, "The Sacred and the Feminine: Imagination and Sexual Difference" p.92, I.B.Tauris (2007), ISBN 9781845115210 [4]
  • Galvan, Dennis C., "The State Must Be Our Master of Fire: How Peasants Craft Culturally Sustainable Development in Senegal", p.53, University of California Press (2004), ISBN: 9780520929425 [5]
  • Emery, Robert E., "Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia", p.52, SAGE Publications (2013), ISBN 9781452274430 [6]
  • Asante, Molefi Kete; Mazama, Ama; "Encyclopedia of African Religion", SAGE Publications (2008), ISBN 9781506317861
  • Thiaw, Laye Issa, Obituary of Professor Issa Laye Thiaw [in] the Seereer Resource Cemtre and Seereer Radio. Published: 11th September 2017) [7]
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