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Conversation with Bacar FALL, fisherman in Hann, President of the landing site

Our impressions: Survival and vitality of the sacred, unconsciously maintained by the fishing community

Bacar FALL is a fisherman and the president of the Economic Interest Group (EIG) for the management of the landing site of Hann-Pêcheurs.

As part of the present Mare Nostrum mission, which focuses on the "sacred" and how the fishermen themselves are living it, we spoke with him.

The key elements of our conversation with this fisherman can be summarised in three points.


  • First, he placed great emphasis on the fact that the practices of the sacred have changed in form with the constraints of the current environment, in which the fishing community lives. This is due to the fact that urbanisation not allow certain practices anymore, due to promiscuity and population pressure, which affect the intimacy between humans and nature.


  • Then he acknowledged that the Islamisation of fishing communities, which has much impact on the animist practices, is a recent phenomenon as far as the peoples of the Sea are concerned.


  • Finally, he is convinced that the animist practices are not only under threat of disappearing with the new generations, present and future, but that in the current environment, these practices are actually now the past. He puts it down to the influence of the Islamisation of his community, who banished all practices combining a monotheistic religion with animism.

This last point is one of the elements, which attracted most of our attention, especially when we compare this with on-going practices in the community of Hann-Pêcheurs.


Hann has many mosques, just like many other communities - showing that Islam is the dominant religion.

Yet, the fact that pirogues are full of talismans for the safety of fishermen and their property indicates a belief in supernatural forces that control their well being and safety, which is still rooted in the fisherfolk's minds.

In addition to these practices, one needs to add the spending by fishermen on consultations with marabouts, who are supposed to bless their trip.

View a short video of part of the conversation with him.