The Njuup tradition is a conservative Serer style of music rooted in the Ndut initiation rite (a rite of passage that young Serers must go through once in their lifetime as commanded by the Serer religion).[3]


The history of Njuup derives from the Ndut classical teachings.[3] Young Serer boys in the Ndut (nest) were required to compose religious songs during their circumcision rite of passage in order to take their minds off the pending circumcision operation, develop their artistic skills and spirituality. These songs are Serer religious in nature.[6] The Njuup tradition is the progenitor of Mbalax[1][2] and for a long part of its history has remained within the confines of the Ndut. Unlike the Mbalax which is a party music, the Njuup tradition is religious, and it was not until some prominent Senegalese artists such Youssou N'Dour (himself of Serer heritage[1]) began to incorporate it in their early works thereby giving birth to the Mbalax music.[3][1][2] All Mbalax artists are strongly influenced by the Njuup tradition. There are also other Senegambian artists who sing the purest form of Njuup in the Serer language, some of these include Rémi Jegaan Dioh,[4][7] the late Serer diva - Yandé Codou Sène, etc.[8]


The Serer religion especially the veneration of certain Serer Pangool influenced the religious songs sang in the Ndut[6] such as the Njuup, which in turn influenced the Mbalax and Senegalese artists who specializes in Mbalax i.e. Mbaye Dieye Faye, Youssou N'Dour, Thione Seck, etc.[4][3]

See also


  1. Sturman, Janet, The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture, SAGE Publications (2019), p. 1926 ISBN 9781483317748 (Retrieved 13 July 2019)
  2. Connolly, Sean, Senegal, Bradt Travel Guides (2009), p. 27, ISBN 9781784776206 (Retrieved 13 July 2019)
  3. (in English) The Culture trip : "Youssou N'Dour: An Unlikely Politician" (Retrieved : 28 June 2012)
  4. (in French) Ferloo "Rémi Jegaan Dioh : Sur un air culturel et cultuel " Archived 2012-05-13 at the Wayback Machine (Retrieved : 28 June 2012)
  5. (in French) Gravrand, Henry, "La civilisation seereer - Pangool, vol. 2, Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines du Senegal (1990), pp 48-49, ISBN 2723610551
  6. (in French) Gravrand, Henry Le Ndut dans « L'héritage spirituel sereer : valuer traditionnelle d'hier, d'aujourd'hui et de demain » [in] Éthiopiques n° 31
  7. (in French) All Africa "Sénégal: Rémi Diégane Dioh présente samedi son CD dédié à Senghor"
  8. (in French) All Africa "Sénégal: Commémoration du dixième anniversaire du décès de Senghor - Les héritiers de Yandé Codou Sène et de Julien Jouga assurent les partitions"

Further reading

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