Where the history of The Gambia comes to life...
Lamin says, "our history is disappearing and our traditional languages are not written languages but spoken only. We have no central record of historical events and the culture of past generations is being lost. It's important we don't let that happen, our culture is too important".
The history of the area known as Gunjur has been narrated by our forefathers and passed from one generation to the next.
This oral history tells us that the first people known to have settled in this area were Bianunkas surname Sanyang of the Biyaro tribe. They settled near a small lagoon close to the Atlantic Ocean called Bolong Fenyo which is now protected by the community as a wild life reserve. The lagoon was believed to be an object of worship and it said that they used to sacrifice a man to the lagoon every year. The Sanyangs still have extensive land holdings in the area of the original settlement.
The second clan which settled this huge territory, but a different location were the Darboe’s. This clan was believed to be more powerful than the Biyaro neighborhood, and were settled somewhere around what is known today as Senga forest. They used to worship idols at a place close to their dwelling place known as Sebindinto, the practice which is still done by the Darboe’s today. They believe that if you ask the idols for anything your request will be answered and now on special days people come from all over Gambia to join them in their worship. As said earlier, because of their power, they hold authority over the extensive land, and called their settlement Amesang, named after the head of their clan who led them to this place. The last clans to arrive were the Touray’s and Sahos led by a man known as Ma Tora Touray (Sheik Ousman Touray). History tells us that this Islamic saint dreamt of a place of blessings where he would settle, where his progeny and followers would prosper and multiply. He set off from his birthplace in Mali with his family and many followers searching for the place. When he finally arrived near the Darboe’s village of Ameseng he saw things he had seen in his visions. Ma Tora Touray met with the Darboe’s who granted him permission to settle. He named his new settlent Gunjur after his native village in Mali.
The Touray’s practiced their Islamic faith and soon the recitation of the Quran began to attract the Darboe’s children who were not believers of Islam. Gradually even their elders grew interested and were later converted to Islam by Ma Tora. Eventually, the Darboe’s joined Ma Tora living in Gunjur because of their interest in Islam and inter marriage started, the village became one of the three biggest villages in The Gambia which is why it became the district headquarters of Kombo South. In this way, the new settlement of Gunjur grew and became the dominant settlement in the area. The Darboe’s were made the village heads of Gunjur. They in turn accepted the Tourays as imams due to their knowledge of the Quran. Later the Jannehs arrived at the invitation of the Sahos. As the Sahos were charged with the apportioning of things belonging to or affecting the village, the Jannehs had to help their hosts with this responsibility.
Monday to Thursday - 9 AM to 6 PM
Friday - 9 AM to 1-30 PM & 3 PM to 6 PM
Saturday - 9 AM to 1 PM
Sunday - 9 AM to 6 PM
Gunjur, Kombo South, The Gambia
Phone: 00220 6436637