The origins of the Senegalese struggle

The origins of the Senegalese struggle


Called “Laamb in Wolof”, Senegalese wrestling is a very popular traditional and cultural sport in Senegal. Indeed, it brings together a physical, spiritual, cultural and folk dimension.

But what are the origins of this traditional sport?

Originally, at the end of rainy season or full moon nights, when peaches and harvests were plentiful, a party was held with wrestling matches, which fought the warriors of two neighboring villages. It measured the prowess and agility of these warriors from the youngest to the oldest. The Senegalese struggle was taking place in the regions of Casamance, Ziguinchor and Sine-Saloum.

Traditional sport of the Serer peoples? but also Diolas, Sines, Lebous and Wolofs. These battles made it possible to determine the strongest man in the villages. Everyone wanted to know who the champion was, the hero who was going to be the pride of a whole people.

The winning village was rewarded with crops, presents and livestock.

With time, the Senegalese struggle is integrating more and more boxing techniques. It is nicknamed the “fight with strikes” and becomes professional.

Today, the villages do not oppose anymore. These are teams that train their champions to compete in arenas of fine sand where the goal for each wrestler is to drop his partner. Because as you know, the rules of the fight is to get your opponent out of the sandbag circle or make him touch the ground on his four supports or lay him on his back.

Thanks to significant investments, this sport has arrived at an international level and even detracts from football. We can mention the names of great champions like Mohamed N’Dao Tyson, Omar Sakho “Balla Gaye 2 and Yakhya Diop aka Yekini.


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