IADN : International Association for the Development of Ndianda Corporation

( Senegal ) United for Ndianda


Ndianda is a small village populated by different ethnic groups, which primarily include the Serers and Wolofs. Most of these individuals are Muslims or Christians.Each family celebrates social events according to their own ethnic and religious customs.

Families tend to be large and more than three generations can share the same home.Generally, the father or the oldest person is the “chief” of the family.  His role consists in making decisions, resolving problems, regulating conflicts and representing the family during important events of the village life (baptisms, marriages, funerals, etc.)

Mutual respect is an important value in the community because it promotes the development of good relationships, good manners, but above all, it preserves honor and cohesion in the family.

Women wear a pagne, a colorful cotton cloth that can be used as a wrap, a headtie, a skirt or a sling. It is worn either sewn together "ndobin”, as a cloth “ndokett”, as a blouse “taille-bass”, or as a flowing wide sleeved robe. Men often wear the sabador with large pants “mbapp” in Serer or “thiaya” with “grandboubou”, a wide shirt.

Styles and types of fabric change for different functions and events.  For example, women wear the unique Batin uniform after a wedding ritual. Men often wear the ndut or the Njuliuniform to prepare for an initiation ceremony (from adolescence to adulthood). During special occasions for young men and women alike, traditional clothing is worn, though it is increasingly less common. Because of the great diversity in clothing choices, traditional clothing is often worn only by wrestlers during traditional wrestling ceremonies.

Some designs of traditional dresses have become less popular over time.  Traditional garb such as “a paang”, “a laat” and “nguemb”, which were typically worn after a harvest or during meetings, are now worn less frequently.

Each ethnic group has their own traditional dance.  Serers practice four types of dance: “Ngeul”, “Riti”, “Mbayidd”, “a Maagn,” all to the rhythm of drums and singing. The Wolofs generally dance the “Sabar.” These two groups share their dances in the same social events and enjoy learning each others' traditional dances. The “griots” play percussion instruments, which are made from special hallow tree trunks and goat skin.

The “Laobés” devote themselves to the artisanship of wood, the design and fabrication of wooden gourds called “o rone”, chairs, mortar, pestles and other household items.

The blacksmiths “Paal’o tafakh” in Serer or “Teugg” in Wolof are specialists of metal and sometimes pottery. They make domestic utensils like pots, bowls, canaries, censers for “thiouraye”, flower pots, etc. There are also blacksmiths who make and repair agricultural tools like hilars, hoes, craft machines and other tools.

In conclusion, despite the rural exodus, urban migration, and the influence of globalization, the importance of family and traditional life still remains an integral part of the culture and of everyday life.



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