Lebou


Lebou

The Lebou (Lébou) are an ethnic group of Senegal, West Africa, living on the peninsula of Cap-Vert. The Lebou are primarily a fishing community, but they have a substantial business in construction supplies. They speak Wolof. Their political and spiritual capital is at Yoff, just north of Dakar. They have a religious sect and theocracy, the Layene, headquartered there.

The traditional date of the founding of Yoff is 1430. Although they were conquered by the Kingdoms of Jolof (Diolof) and Cayor, and later the French in the 19th century, and were incorporated into modern Senegal, since 1815 they have had a special legal autonomy as a special kind of "theocratic republic".

Lebou society empahasizes piety and respect for elders. Lebou families include not only living people but also associated ancestral spirits. The Lebou are noted for their public exorcism dances and rituals, often attended by tourists.

In addition to Yoff, other Lebou centres are nearby Ouakam and Ngor.


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