Serer

What stories do you know from other religions?

We will be looking at stories from African religions in this topic.

The Serer religion is the original religious beliefs, practices, and teachings of the Serer people of Senegal in West Africa. The Serer religion believes in a universal supreme deity called Roog (or Rog).The Serer people have many gods, goddesses and Pangool (the Serer saints and ancestral spirits represented by snakes), but one supreme deity and creator called Roog (or Koox in the Cangin languages).

Task 1: Read the Serer creation myth

Task 2: List the similarities between the Serer creation story and the Christian creation story.

Task 3: Look at the images below and explain how the are related to the Serer creation myth.

The Serer creation myth is the traditional creation myth of the Serer people of Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania.  

The creation myth of the Serer people is intricately linked to the first trees created on Planet Earth by Roog. Earth’s formation began with a swamp. 

The Earth was not formed until long after the creation of the first three worlds: the waters of the underworld; the air which included the higher world (i.e. the sun, the moon and the stars) and earth. Roog is the creator and fashioner of the Universe and everything in it. 

The creation is based on a mythical cosmic egg and the principles of chaos. The Universe and everything in it were created by Roog (or Koox among the Cangin), and the creation of Planet Earth was a result of a swamp which the first tree grew within.​

In Serer mythology, there is a relationship between trees and the serpent. In the Serer religion, the reincarnation of souls is a strongly held belief. When the dead leave the world of the living, their souls or “double” transforms into an animal, usually a snake, hence why it is taboo in Serer culture to kill snakes. The snake and the egg are both important parts of the story.

Task 4: List all the things that these two elements (egg and serpent) can represent and also in what other stories they appear.

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