Biffeche or Bifeche is an area of Senegal centred on the town of Savoigne, some 20 miles north-east of the major coastal city of Saint-Louis.

Low-lying and largely flat, the region has Fula,[1] Serer-Ndut, Wolof and Moor ethnic groups engaged in pasturing animals (mainly the Fulas) and irrigation-based agriculture. Savoigne is the region's largest town, twinned with La Ferté Macé; its SOCAS tomato-paste factory imports and dilutes tomato paste for re-shipment within Senegal. The population is primarily Muslim, but also contains Catholics and animists. The Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary is located to the north.

Early European accounts used the word for a different location, describing a medium-sized island (Isle de Bifeche) in the delta of the Senegal River in West Africa, some two miles upstream from the island of N'Dar on which Saint-Louis was founded. The Penny Cyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge described the island in 1843 as being "entirely covered with wood, and in the wet season a great portion of them is laid under water." [1]

Currently, the river marks this section of the border between Mauritania and Senegal. The island can perhaps most easily be seen on the map [2] with one of its main towns Maka [3] clearly marked. A contemporary map can be found at [4] - this map shows N'Dar under its older French name of Isle St. Louis and the Pointe de isle de Bifeche is also visible. On the island is written Emboulan which appears to be a European variant of a local town name MBoubene. It can also be just seen at the extreme top of Senegal in 1753.

In the 17th century a chief known as the Petit Brak or Little King ruled over a region known variously as Biffeche or Gangueul with capital at Maka. The Grand Brak or Big King ruled the kingdom of Waalo, whose capital was originally at Diourbel. The area was nearly depopulated by repeated slaving raids by Moors from the north. At times, the Petit Brak was tributary to Waalo, at other times allied with Bethio. In the 1720s, the Brak of Waalo was Erim M'Bagnick and Béquio Malicouri, king of the Royaume d'Oral (Bethio), was his vassal.




  • Barry, Boubacar. Le royaume du Waalo - Le Senegal avant la conquete. Karthala, 1985.
  • Becker, Charles and Martin, Victor. Journal Historique et Suitte du Journal Historique (1729-1731) 39.2 (1977): 223-289. [5]
  • Cultru, Prosper. Premier voyage du Sieur de la Courbe.... Paris: Larose, 1913.
  • Encylopedie, dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, par une société de gens de lettres, mis en ordre et publié par Mr. * * *, tome quinzieme. Neufchastel, France: Samuel Faulche, 1765. Facsimile page
  • Knight, Charles. The Penny Cyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, Vol. XXI. London, 1843: 231. Public domain copy
  • Labat, Jean-Baptiste. Nouvelle Relation de l’Afrique occidentale. Paris: Cavelier, 1727. t. 2, p. 174.
  • Thésée, Françoise. Actes du colloque de Nantes, tome I. 1988. 223-245. [6].
  • Thilmans, Guy. Bull. Les planches sénégalaises et mauritaniennes des “Atlas Vingboons” , G. IFAN, B. t. 37.1 (1975): 106-109.


  1. ^ In French: Peul or Peulh; in Fula: Fulɓe.

Historical maps

  • Cours de la rivière de Sanaga ou Sénégal depuis son embouchure jusqu'à l'île de Bilbas / Suite du cours de la rivière de Sénégal depuis l'isle de Bilbas jusqu'au sault du Rocherde Govina / levé par un ingénieur francois, 1718. Online at BNF
  • Carte de la rivière du Sénégal depuis la Barre jusqu'au Panier Foule des petites rivières et marigots qui en dérivent avec les noms des villages qui sont au bord, fait au Sénégal, 1720. Online at BNF
  • Anville, Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon, Carte manuscrite de la côte d'Afrique aux environs de Gorée et de la rivière du Sénégal depuis Cagneux jusqu'à son embouchure. 1724. Online at BNF

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Biffeche — Biffeche. Biffeche oder Bifeche ist ein kleines Königreich im Nordwesten des Senegal an der Grenze zu Mauretanien. Dessen Zentrum ist Savoigne, das etwa 30 Kilometer nordöstlich der größeren Küstenstadt Saint Louis liegt. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Biffeche — L île de Bifeche sur une carte de 1728 illustrant la Nouvelle relation de l Afrique occidentale de Jean Baptiste Labat Biffeche (Bifeche) est, dès le XVIIe siècle, le nom pour une île de taille moyenne (Isle de Bifeche) dans le delta du… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Brak (African kings) — Brak (or Braque) was the title of the kings of the kingdoms of Waalo (or Oualo) and Biffeche on the Senegal River in Senegal and Mauritania in West Africa until the 19th century. The main Brak was the king of the Kingdom of Waalo with capital at… …   Wikipedia

  • Brak — (oder Braque) war der Titel der Könige des Reiches Waalo (oder Oualo) und Biffeche am Senegal in Senegal und Mauretanien in Westafrika während des 19. Jahrhunderts. Der Haupt Brak war der König von Waalo mit der Hauptstadt Diourbel nördlich des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Serer language — language name=Serer familycolor=Niger Congo states=Senegal, the Gambia, Mauritania region=West Africa speakers=3.2 million (mother tongue) 3.5 million (second language) fam2=Atlantic Congo fam3=Atlantic fam4=Northern fam4=Senegambian agency= iso1 …   Wikipedia

  • Maka — may refer to: Maka people, of Cameroon Maká, a native American people from Paraguay Lepidium meyenii, a vegetable of the Andes Makaa language, of Cameroon Maka, Biffeche, capital of the kingdom of Biffeche in pre colonial Senegal Maka (satrapy),… …   Wikipedia

  • Brack — Brak Brak (ou brack ou braque) était le titre porté par des souverains du Waalo et de Biffeche (Sénégal) jusqu au XIXe siècle. Sommaire 1 Étymologie 2 Histoire 3 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Brak — (ou brack ou braque) était le titre porté par des souverains du Waalo et de Biffeche (Sénégal) jusqu au XIXe siècle. Sommaire 1 Étymologie 2 Histoire 3 Liste de braks du Waalo …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sénégal River — The Sénégal River is a 1790 km long river in West Africa, that forms the border between Senegal and Mauritania. It was called Bambotus by Pliny the Elder (from Phoenician behemoth for hippopotamus) and Nias by Claudius Ptolemy. It was visited by… …   Wikipedia

  • Bethio — The Principality of Bethio (also spelled Bequio, Bekio, Bitio, Bétio or Beetyo) was a small monarchy located for centuries along the lower Senegal River valley, on the border between modern Mauritania and Senegal, in the northeast of Biffeche. In …   Wikipedia

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