The Kingdom of Jolof (French: Djolof or Diolof), also known as Wolof and Wollof, was a West African rump state located in what is today the nation of Senegal. For nearly two hundred years, the Serer rulers of the Jolof Empire collected tribute from vassal kings states who voluntarily agreed to the confederacy.[1] At the Battle of Danki, the Buurba Jolof was defeated by the lord of Kayor resulting in the rapid disintegration of the empire. Jolof survived as a meager state, unable to prosper from the Atlantic trade between its former vassal territories and the Portuguese.

Jolof Kingdom

Common languagesWolof
Animism, Islam (19th Century)
Emperor (Buur-ba Jolof) 
• 1549-1566
al-Buri Penda
• 1875-1890
Alboury N'Diaye
Historical eraEarly Modern Period
• Established
• Conquest by Imamate of Futa Jallon
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Wolof Empire
Imamate of Futa Jallon


Mauretanian promiseEdit

In 1670, wandering Muslim clerics from Mauretania stirred up a rebellion against the Wolof people by a ruse. They promised to show the Wolof how to produce millet without the labor of planting. During the ensuing rebellion, the Mauretanians invaded, killed the rulers of Waalo and Kayor and defeated the burba Jolof. However, when the Mauretanians could not deliver on their promise, the Wolof restored their rulers and drove the invaders out. This claim is questionable because most rural Wolofs are great farmers who produce millet and other crops.[2] To believe that the Wolof would have fallen for such tactic is most unlikely.[improper synthesis?] The Mauretanians still remained a problem, however; and Waalo in particular suffered from their constant raids.[3]

Baol and KayorEdit

In 1686, Baol split from Kayor under the teny (king) Lat Sukabe Fall. The burba Jolof used this as an excuse to try and hem in his crumbling empire and invaded Kayor. Sukabe, fearing for his own security, invaded Kayor and killed the burba Jolof in battle. He then annexed Kayor creating a union of the two states that would last until his death in 1702. Thereafter, the two states would be ruled by his sons. By the late 18th century, Kayor was pre-eminent again and annexed Baol while inflicting serious defeats on the Muslim al-Mami of Futa Toro in 1786.[3]


Around 1875, Ahmadu Shaykhu of the Imamate of Futa Jallon took his jihad to Djolof. The empire was more or less annexed until 1890. From then on, it was absorbed into the French colony administered from Dakar. The state was formally extinguished in 1900.[citation needed] Ahamdu Shaykou was from Fouta Toro, precisely from Wourou Madiyou.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  • Ogot, Bethwell A. (1999). General History of Africa V: Africa from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-06700-2.


  1. ^ Mwakikagile, Godfrey Ethnic Diversity and Integration in the Gambia
  2. ^ Levinson, David (1998). Ethnic Groups Worldwide: a Ready Reference Handbook. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 162. ISBN 9781573560191.
  3. ^ a b Stride, G.T. & C. Ifeka: "Peoples and Empires of West Africa: West Africa in History 1000-1800" page 24. Nelson, 1971