Senegal (Fr. République du Sénégal)
- Eric Charry
(Fr. République du Sénégal)
Country in West Africa. It has an area of 196,190 km² and a population of 9·49 million (2000 estimate), approximately 92% of whom are Muslim. The Senegal river defines the northern boundary with Mauritania and eastern border with Mali. The Gambia river defines the country of the same name, which cuts through the middle of Senegal (fig.1). The region south of The Gambia, called Casamance, is lush compared to the dry north. Senegal has undergone strong Islamic influence via its northern region in the Sahel, and early, prolonged European contact via its western border along the Atlantic coastline. The hereditary professional musician, oral historian and praise-singer (Griot) is prominent in the socially differentiated societies of the Wolof, Haalpulaaren (Tukulor, Toucouleur, FulBe or Fulani) and Mandinka. Senegal is well known for its drumming and dance traditions, especially the Wolof sabar ensemble, its Mandinka kora players and its wealth of urban popular music groups....