Essay by ValsinatUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, October 2003

download word file, 33 pages 3.4

Table of Contents

History -2-

Government -8-


*Years in review 1996, 1997, and 1998: World Affairs -11-


*Selected economic and financial indicators -18-

*Growth of Output & Growth of Consumption and Investment -19-


*Gambia River -20-

*The Land -22-

*Climate -22-

Culture & Faith-23-

*Language -23-

*Religion -23-

*Major holidays -24-

*Rites of passage -25-

*Interpersonal relations -26-

*Family life -26-

*Clothing -28-

*Food -28-

*Education -30-


*Folklore -32-

*Cultural heritage -33-

*Folk Art, Crafts, and Hobbies -34-




The Gambia is a small (4,000 square miles or 11,295 sq. km) country in West Africa. It is surrounded by Senegal on all sides, except on the Atlantic coast, and for this reason the two countries have a lot of ethnic and cultural ties. In contrast to Senegal, a former French colony, the Gambia was colonized by Britain and gained its independence on February 18, 1965.

Serer, Serahule, Jola, Fula, Mandinka and Wolof language groupings could be found in the place we now call the Gambia at various periods during the pre-colonial times. Some of these language groups had kings who established different states. There were no big Mandinka, Wollof, Fula, Jola, Serer, Serahule speaking kingdoms, which involved only the members of each language grouping. Fulas, Serahules, etc, could be found in settlements where the predominant language was Mandinka.

Different kings who spoke Mandinka, Wolof, etc. established different states on the north and south banks of the river. Even though the inhabitants of some of these states spoke the same language, they were loyal to the states and not their tribal origins. This was why the King of Niumi did not hesitate to hire 700 Serahule speaking soldiers in the 1840s to contain rebellion in his kingdom. This was why the King of Upper Niani...