The Serer-Laalaa or Laalaa are part of the Serer ethnic group of Senegambia (Senegal and the Gambia). They live in Laa (var : Lâ), the Léhar Region, which comprises eighteen villages north of Thies and whose inhabitants are Serer-Laalaa. Although the people are ethnically Serer, their language Laalaa (or Lehar) is not a dialect of the Serer-Sine language, but—like Saafi, Noon, Ndut and Palor, one of the Cangin languages.[1]


Other namesEdit

Serer-Lehar, Serer-Lehaar, Serer-Laalaa, Serer-Laal, Serer-Lala, Laalaa or just Serer.


Their language, Laalaa or Lehar, is one of the Cangin languages, closely related to the Noon and Saafi languages, and more distantly related to Serer proper.[2]

They are people who once practiced agro-pastoral activities. Nowadays, agricultural activities predominate their lives. Livestock has been virtually decimated by repeated droughts in the late 1990s. The Laalaa have a younger generation of many intellectuals, a typical Serer traite.[3][4]


The number of speakers of their language is 12,000 in Senegal excluding the Gambia where they are also present.[5] As part of the Serer ethnic group, they collectively make up the third largest ethnic group in Senegal numbering over 1.8 million.[6] The Laalaa (also called Léhar) are mostly found in the north of Thies around the villages of Pambaal, Bargaro and Duuña.[7]

They have about 18 villages namely: Baam, Bapat, Bargaro, Besi, Bicoona, Duuñë, Gogona, Haak, Jalkin, Jëëfuñ, Joy, Kaadaan, Kii, Kolobaan, Pambal, Sowaaboon, Tuuba and Yindën. The Laalaa are also found outside the region of Thies. A large Laalaa community migrated between 1984 and 1986 to Saal Ngeen in the Tambacounda Region.[8]



They practice the Serer religion which involves ancestor veneration, covering all dimensions of life, death and space.[9][10] Some Serer-Laalaas are Christians or Muslims whose conversion is very recent (like most Serer converts to Islam[11]).[11] Both the Christian and Muslim groups mix it with the old Serer religion whilst the Ultra orthodox follow orthodox Serer religion.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Papa Oumar Fall. Language classification: "Sereer dialects" or "cangin languages", African Linguistics Congress WOCAL6 , Cologne 2009
  2. ^ Guillaume Segerer & Florian Lionnet 2010. "'Isolates' in 'Atlantic'" Archived 2012-03-31 at the Wayback Machine. Language Isolates in Africa workshop, Lyon, Dec. 4
  3. ^ Manirakiza Elvis. "L'impact de la croissance et de l'inégalité sur l'évolution de la pauvreté au Sénégal." Université de Sherbrooke. 2009. ISBN 0-494-42990-9
  4. ^ Gilles Blanchet. "Élites et changements en Afrique et au Sénégal." 1983
  5. ^ Figure as of 2007
  6. ^ Agence Nationale de la Statistique et de la Démographie
  7. ^ Papa Oumar Fall. Contribution to phonology Laalaa (Talking Bargaro) , Master Thesis, UCAD, Dakar, 2004-2005
  8. ^ Papa Oumar Fall. Pronouns laalaa , DEA, UCAD, Dakar, 2006.
  9. ^ Thiaw, Issa Laye, "La Religiosite de Seereer, Avant et pendant leur Islamisation", Ethiopiques no: 54, Revue semestrielle de Culture Négro-Africaine. Nouvelle série, volume 7, 2e Semestre 1991
  10. ^ Gravrand, Henry, "La Civilisation Sereer - Pangool", Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines du Senegal, 1990, p 9, ISBN 2-7236-1055-1
  11. ^ a b Abbey, M T Rosalie Akouele. Customary Law and Slavery in West Africa. Trafford Publishing, 2011. ISBN 1-4269-7117-6, p 481-482[self-published source]


  • Gambian Studies No. 17. “People of the Gambia. I. The Wolof. With notes on the Serer and Lebou” By David P. Gamble & Linda K. Salmon with Alhaji Hassan Njie. San Francisco 1985
  • Senegambian Ethnic Groups: Common Origins and Cultural Affinities Factors and Forces of National Unity, Peace and Stability. By Alhaji Ebou Momar Taal. 2010
  • Elisa Daggs. All Africa: All its political entities of independent or other status. Hasting House, 1970. ISBN 0-8038-0336-2, ISBN 978-0-8038-0336-7