Pangool, also spelled as “pangol,” is a term used in the traditional religious beliefs of the Serer people of Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania. The term refers to ancestral spirits that are venerated and believed to have the ability to influence human affairs.

In Serer religion, the pangool are considered intermediaries between the physical world and the supreme deity, Roog (or Rog). They are believed to possess knowledge and power and can be invoked to seek their guidance, protection, and blessings. Each lineage or family within the Serer community has its own set of pangool associated with their specific ancestral line.

The pangool are often believed to be associated with specific natural elements such as forests, rivers, mountains, or animals. They are considered to be benevolent spirits, and rituals and ceremonies are conducted to honor and appease them. Offerings, prayers, and libations are made to seek their assistance and blessings for various aspects of life, including fertility, health, protection, and success in endeavors.

The role of pangool and the practice of ancestral spirit veneration are central to Serer’s religious and cultural life. The beliefs and practices associated with pangool have been passed down through generations and are upheld by traditional priests or religious leaders known as Saltigues.

It’s important to note that while Serer religion and the veneration of pangool remain an integral part of Serer culture, there has been an influence of Islam and Christianity in the region, leading to some syncretism and variations in religious beliefs and practices among the Serer people.

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