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The Kingdom of Saloum in Senegal is a traditional kingdom which was founded in the late 15th century by the "Gelwaar" or nobles from the Kingdom of Gaabu to the south. The ancient and present capital of the Kingdom of Saloum is the city of Kahone.


Saloum includes flat, swampy tideland areas inland from the Saloum River delta. In recent years large areas of mangrove growth have been destroyed. There was a flourishing industry of salt-manufacture at the salt flats along the delta. Originally, Saloum extended south to the north banks of the Gambia River.

The population is overrun by the Serer. During the Gelwaar Dynasty from the 15th century to the present, over 100 kings have been enthroned. Saloum had control, for a time, of the Kingdom of Baol. Although the kingdom won some major battles againt the French, the French also won battles against the Serers. The kings continued to hold their traditional court in Kahone, but the city was eclipsed commercially by neighboring Kaolack.

Its economic base was groundnut trade, exporting large quantities of nuts to Europe.[1]

Saloum, just like it's sister Serer Kingdom Sineis known for its many ancient burial mounds or "tumuli" containing the graves of kings and others. Also, the kingdom has numerous mysterious stone circles whose functions and history are unknown.

Ethnically, the Saloum kingdom has always been Serer, but gradually the Wolof have settled in. The Serer-Sine and Wolof languages are both widely spoken in Saloum.


See also

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