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Jolof Empire Sovereigns

Updated October 13, 2008

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In pre-colonial Africa, great and wealthy Kingdoms and Empires emerged in West Africa, dating from 1000 B.C.E. Some of those kingdoms are listed as among the greatest of their time:
Ghana: 100 B.C.E. to 1200 C.E.
Mali: 1200 C.E. to 1500 CE.
Songhay: 1350 C.E. to 1600 C.E.
Jolof: 1600 C.E. 1900 C.E.


In Africa, the matriarchal system is the foundation of the imperial social organization, from Ancient Egypt to the pre-colonial Mandingo Empires. Jolof Empire was ruled by an hereditary Emperor. The royal lineage was matrilineal as were all precedent West African monarchies. The Emperor's sister provided the heir to the throne.

The Queen Mother is so important that, every Emperor and King carry their mothers' names as middle names. This matriarchal concept has been the standard of naming ceremonies in the society. That is why most men have their mothers'middle name, meaning: You are the son of your mother!

Women do not have to give up their last names when they get married, since their family names are as important as the men's names. The royal and noble families were endogamous, with cousins marrying each other to keep the blood line intact.

In contrast, there has never been proven of the existence of matriarchy in Caucasian or Arab cultures. Here, the foundation of the social organization is based on patriarchy, an exclusively male dominant society, where women have practically no rights. The patriarch Arab kings were more like pirates and blood-thirsty warriors fighting for the control of rare oasis and harsh desert land.

Jolof Empire Chronology

1000 - Jolof Empire founded
1875 - 1890 merged into a federation with the Songhay Empire of Ahmadu Shaykhu as vassal kingdom, thus becoming the greatest Empire in Africa, expanding from the Mediterranea to the Gulf of Guinea and stretching between the Nile and the Niger Rivers.
1890 - 1895 renamed Western Sudan by "explorers"
1895 - 1902 invaded by France and transformed into "French Colony of West Africa".
1902 - 1960 divided into 18 state-nations
1960 - 1975 reunited as the "Economic Communities of West African States", within the African Union.

Sovereign Rulers (title Buur-ba Jolof)

Ndaw/Ndao/Ndow Royal Family

1570 - 1576 Alboury Saar Ndaw
1719 - 1752 Birayam Madjiguen Ndaw
1753 - 1760 Lat Kodu Madjiguen Ndaw

By O. Ndiaye Leyti, Historian
(Goree Island Historical Museum, senegal,1966)


1- Ndene Ndiaye Marone Ndaw (1639-1645)
2- Biram Khouredia Tiek Ndaw (1732-1734)
3- Ndene Ndiaye Bigue Ndaw (1734-1753)
4- Sandene Codou Bigue Ndaw (1767-1769)
5- Sandene Codou Fall Ndaw (1778-1787)
6- Bale Ndoungou Khouredia Ndaw (1823-1851)
7- Ndene Ndienoum Ndaw (1899-1902)

By Abdou Boury Ba, Historian
(Goree Island Historical Museum, Senegal, 1976)

Njay/Ndiaye Royal Family

1770 - 1805 Mba Kumpaas Njay
1805 - 1838 Mba Buuri-Ñabu Njay
1838 - 1838 Birayamb Kumba-Gey Njay
1838 - 1851 Al-Buuri Tam Njay
1851 - 1853 Baka-Kodu Biige Fakontè Njay
1853 - 1855 Birayamb Aram Xurèja Njay
1855 - Biram Pènda Kumba-Ngwi Njay
1855 - Mbani-Paate Kumba-Ngwi Njay
1855 - Lat Kodu Ma-Jigeñ Peya Faal Malik Njay
1855 - Birayamb Ma-Jigeñ Peya Faal Malik Njay
1855 - Al-Buuri Peya Biram Njay
1855 - 1858 Bakan Tam Yaago Njay
1858 - 1862 Taanor Fatim Jeng (regent)
1862 - 1871 Bakan Tam Xaari Jaloor Njay
1875 - May 1890 Al-Buuri Sènabu Njay
3 Jun 1890 - 1895 Samba Laobe Pènda Njay
3 Nov 1895 - 1900 Buuna Al-Buuri Ma-Jigeñ Njay


... Kayor founded as vassal kingdom of Jolof
1549 - Kayor independent
1555 - 1874 Kayor and Bawol merged into a federation
1868 - 1871 invaded by France and transformed into "French Colony of West Africa"
Sovereign Rulers (title Dammel)

Faal/Fall Royal Family

1790 - 1809 Amari Ngone Ndèla Kumba Faal
1809 - 1832 Biram Fatma Cub Faal
1832 - 1855 Maysa Tènde Jor Samba Faal
1855 - 1859 Birima Ngone Latir Faal
1859 - 1861 M

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