Tourism and culture
La Source aux Lamantins adjoins the UNESCO Sambadia Rôneraie. It is a place of observation of the nature, a place of dream for the ornithologists, the observers of stars and the botanists. We offer canoe trips along mangrove hemmed bolongs, hiking or horse riding in the forest with guides trained in collaboration with IUCN, fishermen can be accompanied by instructors who will show them the best corners!
The story of Senegal
The Senegal is named after a misunderstanding: fishermen laying their nets along the beach near their boats, probably Portuguese, were asked: “What’s that?” The answer: “Our canoe.” In Wolof: “Se nu gaal.” Geologically the country is a sedimentary plateau that underwent a major tectonic episode in the continental drift, demonstrated in the dormant volcano Les Marmelles, the cliffs of Thies, and the foothills of the Fouta Djallon, in eastern Senegal. The Gulf Stream gives the Cap-Vert peninsula a very cool and comfortable climate from November to May, a valuable asset for tourism.
The story of the village
The village of Djilor (“I chose” in Serer) was founded in the 16th century by prince Djidiack Selbé Faye, son of Birame Dhiarhère, the king of Sine, or Bour Sine. His mystical powers were proven when he won a battle—with the aid of only seven men—against the marabout of Kandicounda (the eponymous village in what is now Gambia), who wanted to Islamicize the Sine. The Bour power, Hama Diouf, did not give him the promised reward, part of the kingdom, and forced him into exile in the Saloum, first to Djilor Djonick, under the protection of King Ballé N’Dao, better known as Ballé Ndougou. So Djidiack used his mystical powers to “stop the rain” in the royal kingdom, as predicted by the saltigués (“oracles”), upon a request from the king, who offered him the place of his choice in exchange.
Djilor was founded in 1530. Djidiack was still alive but had disappeared, telling his children: “I’ll be there: you will find my shoes and hat, and you will do libations in honor of me and my descendants.” One day Djidiack’s children found his shoes and hat near a ficus tree in N’Gane, and since then libateurs, or sacuurs, are appointed to carry out libations in honor of Djidiack every Monday and Thursday.
Léopold Sédar Senghor
t is in Djilor that Léopold Sédar Senghor, the “poet president,” spent his childhood. In addition to its historical significance, the village is still a good place to see traditional rural life as it is still lived by local fishermen and farmers, if you plan to stay several days in the Sine Saloum.
Now listen to some poems by Léopold Sédar Senghor…
The tales of Leuk-le-lièvre
No African night without the tales, said by the ancients who use the latter to draw lessons from the past day! This tradition has been lost since the advent of television and it is a pity! At La Source aux Lamantins, we do not want to lose the forgotten knowledges, that is why we have restored the magic of the tale on the whole site by putting characters, fixed under glass and books inspired by "La belle histoire de Leuk-le-lièvre» created by Ls Senghor and A. Sadji.
To listen to the tales of Leuk-le-lièvre:
Passed down from mother to daughter, the recipes for Senegalese cuisine are an important part of a young woman’s education. Do you know why the yaboy is full of bones? Yaboy was the best and most beautiful fish, but he was arrogant and boasted of his popularity, so he was punished by being given many little bones and therefore often discarded on the beaches. Here we travel through the Senegalese traditional dishes.
Each year before the winter harvest, the Serer celebrate Miss, a collective hunting ritual around Djilor. At dawn the men leave donned in camouflage (made from foliage and tattoos) with their dogs. They spend all day hunting by setting fire to the brush to draw out the game. Returning to the village at nightfall, they are greeted by the women, children, and elders, who wait at the edge of the village singing and beating tom-toms. On their arrival to the outskirts of the village they must tap their sticks, make a wish, and take a leaf of the sacred tree, and this leaf will be mixed with the seeds and presented to the champion. After which they are served dishes prepared by the women of their family, including cakes, nougat, and sugared drinks.
Later, after jovial commentary and jokes about the men’s hunt, the whole village makes a procession and then sings initiation songs on the village square. Dancers then point out that the earth is feminine and needs to be fertilized, followed by a speech by the sathiour, who pours libations in the sanctuary of Djidiack Selbé Faye with the Diaraf, or village chief, before everyone goes home to eat mboum or nebeday. The takings from the hunt are shared by all of the village families, and bark taken from the sacred tree is mixed with the seeds at planting.
When you attend a party, it is fashionable to offer a “little something” for the children, such as fruit, donuts, or even couscous. If you stay with friends, they will prepare yobal for you upon your departure. At La Source aux Lamantins, we offer a yobal to our guests every Sunday.
In the Senegalese tradition the Kilifeu, or head of household, moves only rarely. From time to time and during certain holidays, especially Tamkharit, or the Islamic New Year, it is fashionable to send him couscous dishes prepared in his honor. This yekeul must be beautiful and good. Girls from family are sent with assorted dishes accompanied by the most beautiful table linens. It is also a way to share religious holidays with relatives and friends who do not have the same faith, contributing to social cohesion and interreligious dialogue. The hostess who receives the yekeul should then clean the dishes and fill them with a symbolic “gift” and give “Pass”. A small amount of money for the girl on her return home.