Agnam-Goly is a Sahelian village in north-eastern Senegal with a population of 3,143 inhabitants. The village is located in the Matam Region on the bank of the Senegal River, approximately 630 kilometers (390 miles) to the northeast of Dakar, the capital city of Senegal.
The Agnam-Goly village belongs to the rural community and to the district of Agnam Civol, in the Matam Department of the Matam Region. The village is located between the Walo, a clayey, flood-prone area, to the north and the Dieri, formed by sand dunes studded with rocks, to the south.
Professor Oumar Kane of the Cheikh Anta Diop University, a Fouta-Toro specialist, describes the importance of water in this region, which draws much of its resources from flood-based agriculture:
"From Duumga to Mbaan, the low floodplain spreads as far as the eye can see, extending over 50 kilometers. This explains the dense concentration of jeejegol villages between Duumga and Hoorefoonde: Ɓokijawe, Dabia, Koɓvillo, Cilon, Kaaƴe-Pawe, Ɓaarga, Tulel-Calle, Godo, Siwol, Wuro-Siree, Coɗay, Goli, Wuro-Molo, Liiduɓe, Asnde Balla, Njaakir, Hooƴo, etc."
Agnam-Goly was founded by the Thioye family well before the year 1529. The Thioye began to inhabit caves in the Dieri to the south of the village, over 12 meters (40 feet) above the ground. These caves, protected from the elements by large rocks, can still be visited today. The early inhabitants of Agnam-Goly left behind a mosque surrounded by a stone wall before moving north to the Walo, which is the site used by the village today for agriculture and fishing.
At first, the village consisted of a single hearth surrounded by huts, each of which housed one family. This arrangement served to strengthen family ties and encourage solidarity between neighbors. These early structures, some of which are still standing, are located in the center of the modern village of Agnam-Goly.
The village contains six traditional quarters, each with its own prominent family: Diobé-Barrobé, Saarbé, Salsalbé, Gaadiobé, Koundiobé and Sinthiou.
When Fouta was conquered by Koli Teŋella in the sixteenth century, Agnam-Goly – like the other Agnam villages – was already a fair-sized town. As Oumar Kane notes:
“The West Booseya extends from Hoorefoonde to Bokijawe. This is a stretch of village communities, some of which are true towns : the Aañam [Wuro-Moolo, Goli, Liiduɓe, Coɗay, Wuro-Sira, Siwol, Godo, Tulel-Calle, Ɓaarga], the large grouping of Cilon, Daabia Odeeji, Kobillo, Gudduɗe-Joobbe and Gudduɗe Ndueetɗe, Ɓokijawe.”
The Seasonal Village of Ndoussoudji
Ndoussoudji is an extension of the village that is located in the dieri, 35 kilometers (21 miles) from Agnam-Goly. Approximately ten families go there in wagons during the wet season to cultivate the land and graze their livestock. Ndoussoudji has now become a small village, with a large well and herds of livestock. The buildings there are made of baked earth thatched with dry grass, except for the mosque which is built in cement. The water tower ensures a supply of potable water for the village.