Senegal’s water teems with fish and provides a significant protein resource for the population. People eat a large quantity of many kinds of fresh, dried or smoked fish. Both traditional small-scale fishing and a more industrialized fishery for export or canneries are practised.

In traditional fishing, fishermen use nets that they make themselves. In the morning, they leave in dugout canoes to cast their nets far from shore. In the evening, they fetch the nets, bringing them back to the beach where they are tugged onto shore (the stationary net technique). Sometimes the net is so full that all the men and boys gather together in the dusk to drag the net onto the beach. Everyone then goes home with fish for the evening meal. But the technique of encircling nets using motorized canoes (two canoes position the net and then by manoeuvring, encircle a school of fish and trap it in the net) is slowly replacing the less profitable stationary nets.

Fishermen are also able to sail the high seas with motorized dugout canoes that can carry more people (up to 15). They follow the migration of the fish.
Senegal’s water teems with fish and provides a significant protein resource for the population. People eat a large quantity of many kinds of fresh, dried or smoked fish. Both traditional small-scale fishing and a more industrialized fishery for export or canneries are practised.

In traditional fishing, fishermen use nets that they make themselves. In the morning, they leave in dugout canoes to cast their nets far from shore. In the evening, they fetch the nets, bringing them back to the beach where they are tugged onto shore (the stationary net technique). Sometimes the net is so full that all the men and boys gather together in the dusk to drag the net onto the beach. Everyone then goes home with fish for the evening meal. But the technique of encircling nets using motorized canoes (two canoes position the net and then by manoeuvring, encircle a school of fish and trap it in the net) is slowly replacing the less profitable stationary nets.

Fishermen are also able to sail the high seas with motorized dugout canoes that can carry more people (up to 15). They follow the migration of the fish.

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Glass Painting

Fishing

Mor Guèye
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily"
c. 1996
© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


The Lower Casamance where the Dyolas live has a reputation, among other things, for its palm wine. Palm wine is an alcoholic beverage obtained by fermenting palm sap (oil or wine palm).

The sap is harvested by cutting into the bark. A deep triangular tap hole is cut with a knife just below where flowers have been cut at the top of the palm tree. A palm leaf funnel is then placed in the tap hole so that the sap will drip into a gourd attached to the palm tree.

The gourd fills up during the night and the next day the harvester climbs the palm tree to empty the gourds into another container or to change the gourds.

The harvester uses a palm-branch-bark rope with twisted and knotted ends to climb the palm tree. Facing the palm tree, he passes the rope around the trunk, ties the two ends together and attaches it around his waist. To climb, he puts both feet on the trunk, raises the rope and heaves himself up by moving his feet towards the top of the tree.

Fresh palm wine is sweet but is usually drunk after it has been fermented. It is an essential ingredient of family and religious celebrations in Dyola.
The Lower Casamance where the Dyolas live has a reputation, among other things, for its palm wine. Palm wine is an alcoholic beverage obtained by fermenting palm sap (oil or wine palm).

The sap is harvested by cutting into the bark. A deep triangular tap hole is cut with a knife just below where flowers have been cut at the top of the palm tree. A palm leaf funnel is then placed in the tap hole so that the sap will drip into a gourd attached to the palm tree.

The gourd fills up during the night and the next day the harvester climbs the palm tree to empty the gourds into another container or to change the gourds.

The harvester uses a palm-branch-bark rope with twisted and knotted ends to climb the palm tree. Facing the palm tree, he passes the rope around the trunk, ties the two ends together and attaches it around his waist. To climb, he puts both feet on the trunk, raises the rope and heaves himself up by moving his feet towards the top of the tree.

Fresh palm wine is sweet but is usually drunk after it has been fermented. It is an essential ingredient of family and religious celebrations in Dyola.

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Glass Painting

The Palm Wine Harvester

Diène Djibril Fall
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily"

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


Wood is the main fuel of daily life. Villagers (men, women and children without exception ) go into the brush outside the village to collect what is needed to prepare meals. Sometimes, wood is bought from the village woodcutter when it cannot be gathered.

Often after a day in the fields, farmers collect wood so as not to come home empty-handed.

Woodcutters go into the brush wearing straw hats and carrying axes crafted by the village blacksmith. Sometimes, they have some unfortunate encounters. This poor woodcutter, on his way home with his bundle of twigs, has encountered a lion, a wild animal commonly found in south and southeast Senegal.

The woodcutter climbs a palm tree to protect himself from the ferocious animal. But beware, another danger threatens him at the top of the tree. What is it? A snake, a reptile that is often found in wooded areas.
Wood is the main fuel of daily life. Villagers (men, women and children without exception ) go into the brush outside the village to collect what is needed to prepare meals. Sometimes, wood is bought from the village woodcutter when it cannot be gathered.

Often after a day in the fields, farmers collect wood so as not to come home empty-handed.

Woodcutters go into the brush wearing straw hats and carrying axes crafted by the village blacksmith. Sometimes, they have some unfortunate encounters. This poor woodcutter, on his way home with his bundle of twigs, has encountered a lion, a wild animal commonly found in south and southeast Senegal.

The woodcutter climbs a palm tree to protect himself from the ferocious animal. But beware, another danger threatens him at the top of the tree. What is it? A snake, a reptile that is often found in wooded areas.

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Glass Painting

The Woodcutter, the Lion and the Snake

Alexis Ngom
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily"
c. 1996
© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


Livestock production is a significant economic activity for the country. It is carried on everywhere by the Peuls, nomadic herders since pre-history it is said (cave paintings from Tassili in the Sahara). The animals that have best adapted to the desert climate of sparse vegetation and long distances are goats, sheep and especially zebus (cattle originally from India with a muscular hump).

The Peuls count their wealth by the number of cattle they own, only leaving them in emergencies. Women sell milk from their cows which they have curdled. (Milk prepared this way, with sugar and water, is served fresh as a welcome in villages in the Senegal Valley.) They also make a liquid butter in a sort of gourd churn or in containers made from goats skins.

Feeding the animals is a major problem and shepherds have to move depending on the available plant life and watering places. They go to the wells to water their animals. In many villages there are still no pumps so both men and women draw water. The container used to raise water from the bottom of the well is often a skin stitched into a tube with an iron band sewn around the top to keep the top of the waterskin open.
Livestock production is a significant economic activity for the country. It is carried on everywhere by the Peuls, nomadic herders since pre-history it is said (cave paintings from Tassili in the Sahara). The animals that have best adapted to the desert climate of sparse vegetation and long distances are goats, sheep and especially zebus (cattle originally from India with a muscular hump).

The Peuls count their wealth by the number of cattle they own, only leaving them in emergencies. Women sell milk from their cows which they have curdled. (Milk prepared this way, with sugar and water, is served fresh as a welcome in villages in the Senegal Valley.) They also make a liquid butter in a sort of gourd churn or in containers made from goats skins.

Feeding the animals is a major problem and shepherds have to move depending on the available plant life and watering places. They go to the wells to water their animals. In many villages there are still no pumps so both men and women draw water. The container used to raise water from the bottom of the well is often a skin stitched into a tube with an iron band sewn around the top to keep the top of the waterskin open.

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Glass Painting

Zebus at the Well

Mor Guèye
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily"
c. 1996
© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • describe elements of life in Senegal, with emphasis on the role of men;
  • describe the colours and patterns utilized by glass painting artists and analyze how these artistic elements relate to the theme communicated through the finished product;
  • describe the role of glass painting in Senegal’s culture.

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