The early history of the Faye family goes back to Lamanic times, however they did not achieved particular fame and notoriety until the 14th century. The Faye family that had ruled the pre-colonial kingdoms of Sine trace descent to Boukar Djillakh Faye (variation: Bougar Birame Faye), an early 14th-century professional wrestler called njom in Serer and patriarch of this patriclan. In the early 14th century, Boukar Djillakh Faye was regarded as one of the best wrestlers in Serer country. The Guelowar princess Lingeer Tening Jom was given to him in marriage. Tening Jom was the niece of Maysa Wali who later became a Maad a Sinig (title for the king of Sine) — ruling from c. 1350–1370. From that marriage, they had several children including Tasse Faye (or Tassé Faye, the first from this family to rule Sine as Maad a Sinig during this era) and Waagaan Tening Jom Faye (the king with at least 24 children including 9 daughters) — one of the better known kings from this family. Dinned into Senegambian and Serer history, the Faye family, like their Joof counterparts are one of few Senegambian families that have a family anthem (boom). The name of their anthem is "Waagaan Koumbassandiane", (proper: Waagaan Kumbasaanjaan) who actually was a medieval king of Sine (Maad a Sinig Waagaan Kumbasaanjaan Faye) reported to be one of the longest reigning kings of Sine and ancestor of this family. This family's anthem forms part of the overture of the Epic of Sanmoon Faye, which relates the history and deeds of Maad a Sinig Sanmoon Faye, the controversial king of Sine who succeeded Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof in 1871. Their family totem is the African warthog (called "ruul a koб" in Serer, variation: "ruul-a-koƥ") — (previously grouped with the boar). In the early part of the Guelowar dynastic period (1350–1969), the Faye paternal dynasty was dominant in Sine, providing many of the Serer kings. However they were eventually overtaken by the Joof family who provided more kings of Sine, even from the 19th century to 1969. Notwithstanding the rivalries between these two patriclans, alliances were formed on certain occasions in order to repulse those they perceived as the greater enemy. One of these medieval alliances was between Maad a Sinig Diessanou Faye and Jaraff Boureh Gnilane Joof (founder of the Royal House of Boureh Gnilane Joof). That historical alliance was brought about when the Muslimmarabout—Mohammadou of Koungo launched jihad in the Sine, threatening the survival of Serer religion in the country. Diessanou Faye, who was on the throne of Sine requested the assistance of the Joof family. Assistance was granted, with the Joof clan led by Boureh Gnilane Joof (son of the warlord king of Laah and conqueror of Baol - Maad Patar Kholleh Joof). The Joof—Faye alliance led to the defeat the Muslim army. For his part in achieving victory, Boureh Gnilane was made Jaraff (equivalent of prime minister) and given the sister of Diessanou Faye (Lingeer Gnilane Faye) in marriage.
Historical battles involving this family
The table below lists some historical battles in Senegambia involving the kings or princes from this patriclan :
This battle was between the people who adhere to the laws of the land against those who use murder and robbery to achieve their goal. It was a battle where the good citizens attempted to take back their country, led by their king and his army.
Maad a Sinig Latsouk Faniame Faye and the good people of Dieghem.
Many members of this family including Mbange Som Faye. Allied with Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof (the Serer forces)
Maba Diakhou Bâ,
Damel-Teigne Lat Jor Ngoneh Latir Jobe
and their Marabout armies
Religion, vendetta and empire building
Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof (Serer ally forces)
This abbreviated genealogy shows the descendants of Boukar Djillakh Faye.
Descendants of Boukar Djillakh Faye
Boukar Djillakh Faye = Lingeer Tening Jom
of Djillakh (Dieghem) │ queen mother
│ │ │ │
Maad a Sinig Tasse FayeMaad a Sinig Waagaan Tening Jom Faye Mabane Faye Lingeer Gnilane Faye
(Maad a Sinig, king of Sine) (king of Sine) (prince of Sine) (princess of Sine)
reigned 1370 │
│ │ │ │ │ │ │
Mba Waagaan Faye Ndougou Waagaan Faye Yakis Waagaan Faye Karabel Waagaan Faye Biram Jakar Waagaan Faye* Ngom Waagaan │
_______________________________________________│ Faye │
__________│ │ │ │ │ │ │
│ │ Khanjang Waagaan Faye Njein Waagaan Faye Lassouk Waagaan Faye Jokel Koly
│ Toma Waagaan Faye Waagaan Faye Mbeggaan
Maad a Sinig Waagaan Kumba Saanjaan Faye
(king of Sine)
* It is his name people cite when they make a short praise to the Faye family, i.e. "Fay Biram" which may signify, "Faye! From the line Biram." For the Joof family, it is the name of Maad a Sinig Niokhobai Mane Nyan Joof they recite, i.e. "Juufa Niokhobai Samba Lingeer" (var. Dioufa Niokhobaye), which means "Joof! The great nobles." These short family poems or proverbs are called lastangol la (or ndakantal) in Serer.
The Faye family's involvement in Serer religion is linked to the Pangool (the Serer saints and ancestral spirits). During the reign of Maad a Sinig Waasila Faye (in the fifteenth century), the Fangool Laga Ndong was canonized king of the Pangool (singular: Fangool). Between c. 1750–1763, the then king of Sine — Maad a Sinig Boukar Tjilas Mahe Soum Joof is reported to have come into conflict with the Fangool Tamba Faye (the "great Fangool of Ndiob").
In Senegambian culture
The Senegalese artist Youssou N'Dour himself of Serer heritage dedicated his 1985 track Wagane Faye to this family. In that song, he recite the genealogy of this family with particularly emphasis on the branch of Waagaan Faye (i.e. Maad a Sinig Waagaan Tening Jom Faye).
Yandé Codou Sène, the late Serer Diva, sings the deeds of Maad a Sinig Waasila Faye in her song Moon and that of Maad a Sinig Sanmoon Faye (also called Salmon Faye) from her 1997 album (Night Sky in Sine Saloum) — Salmon Fay, which she sang in a cappella.
Serer personalities with the surname Faye or Fay
Lingeer Gnilane Faye, she is the mother of Maad a Sinig Njaak Faye (from her first marriage) as well as the mother Maad a Sinig Ama Joof Gnilane Faye Joof (from her second marriage to the warlord Sandigue Ndiob Niokhobaye Joof). This queen mother was highly involved in the political affairs of Sine. The Battle of Ndoffène was a family crisis for Lingeer Gnilane, because it involved her second husband from the family Joof fighting for the succession of their youngest son (Ama Joof) against her eldest son Njaak Faye who was the king of Sine. Maad a Sinig Njaak Faye was defeated and killed in that battle.
Maad a Sinig Sanmoon Faye (var: Sanoumon Faye, sometimes called Salmon Faye) – reigned 1871–1878 A controversial king regarded as a great warrior king, but also viewed by his notables as a wicked king. When his notables headed by the Farba—Mbar Yandé Ndiaye Faye(his general) called his nephew Semou Maak Joof (the future king of Sine whom Sanmoon previously defeated and driven out of Sine) to help them defeat Maad a Sinig Sanmoon Faye, he sought French protection and practically ceded to the French the sovereignty of Sine, though he never kept to the terms of the treaty. There was little support from the French. It was during and after his reign that the Kingdom of Sine was ravaged with dynastic struggles, where the kings succeeded one another at an astounding rate.
Farba Mbar Yandé Ndiaye Faye, the general and commander of the Sine army during the reign of Maad a Sinig Sanmoon Faye. He wrote a letter to the French in 1876 relaying the cruelty of the king of Sine.
Waly Faye (1933 - 1997), General of the senior army corps commander of the national gendarmerie and director of military justice. Grand Chancellor of the National Order of the lion
^ abcdKlein, Martin A, Islam and Imperialism in Senegal: Sine-Saloum, 1847–1914, Edinburgh University Press, 1968, p. XV
^ abCrétois, Léonce, Becker, Charles "Le vocabulaire sereer de la faune", (Editor: Charles Becker), Centre de linguistique appliquée de Dakar (1983), p iv.
^Muséum national d'histoire naturelle (France) Laboratoire d'ethnobotanique et d'ethnozoologie, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (France), "Journal d'agriculture traditionnelle et de botanique appliquée: JATBA., Volumes 32–33", Laboratoire d'ethnobotanique et d'ethnozoologie, Muséum national d'histoire naturelle (1985), p 233
^ abcLamoise, LE P., "Grammaire de la langue sérère avec des exemples et des exercises renfermant des documents très utiles", Imprimerie de la Mission (1873)
^Waagaan / Wagane Tening Jom Faye is also spelled Wagane Tening Diom Faye (following its French spelling in Senegal). The names of his children are also spelled: Mba Wagane, Ndougou Wagane, Yakis Wagane, Karabel Wagane, Biram Diakher Wagane, Ngom Wagane, Toma Wagane, Khandiang Wagane, Ndiène Wagane and Lassouk Wagane (see Diouf, p 707(p 5). See also:
Sarr (page 22) for the name variations : Yakisse Wagane, Dougou-Dougou Wagane, Khandiang Wagane, Diokel Wagane and Koly Mbégane Wagane. The names Diokel and Koly are not provided by Niokhobaye Diouf.
^Diouf, Niokhobaye, "Chronique du royaume du Sine", Suivie de notes sur les traditions orales et les sources écrites concernant le royaume du Sine par Charles Becker et Victor Martin. (1972). Bulletin de l'Ifan, Tome 34, Série B, n° 4, (1972). pp 723 (p 14)
^ abSarr, Benjamin Sombel, "Sorcellerie et univers religieux chrétien en Afrique", l'Harmattan (2008), p 19, ISBN2296059163
^Diouf, Niokhobaye. "Chronique du royaume du Sine." Suivie de notes sur les traditions orales et les sources écrites concernant le royaume du Sine par Charles Becker et Victor Martin. (1972). Bulletin de l'Ifan, Tome 34, Série B, n° 4, (1972). pp 722–732 (pp 14
^(in French) "CARNET DE ROUTE – DIAKHAO Dans la cour des Bour Sine" [in] Setal net  (Retrieved 15 August 2012)
Diouf, Niokhobaye. "Chronique du royaume du Sine", Suivie de notes sur les traditions orales et les sources écrites concernant le royaume du Sine par Charles Becker et Victor Martin. (1972). Bulletin de l'Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire, Tome 34, Série B, n° 4, (1972)
Lamoise, LE P., "Grammaire de la langue sérère avec des exemples et des exercises renfermant des documents très utiles", Imprimerie de la Mission (1873)
Muséum national d'histoire naturelle (France). Laboratoire d'ethnobotanique et d'ethnozoologie, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (France), "Journal d'agriculture traditionnelle et de botanique appliquée: JATBA., Volumes 32–33", Laboratoire d'ethnobotanique et d'ethnozoologie, Muséum national d'histoire naturelle (1985), p 233
"L’EPOPEE DE SANMOON FAY", [in] Éthiopiques n°54 revue semestrielle de culture négro-africaine, Nouvelle série volume 7 2e semestre 1991 (in French) (Retrieved 14 August 2012)
Fata Ndiaye, "La saga du peuple sérère et l'Histoire du Sine", in Éthiopiques revue, numéro 54, vol. 7, 2e semestre 1991 (in French)