People and Cultures of the 

Kingdom of Biffeche


Cultural Practices of the Biffeche

There are unique cultural practices that have developed in Biffeche. Some are from ancient times, some were brought to Biffeche in the resettlement of the Sérér-Ndut people in the last century, and others derived more recently from the advent of having an American King.

The three religions practiced in Biffeche are Islam, Roman Catholic Christianity and traditionalist religions combining elements of Fula, Sérér, and Wolof Pangool and Great White Leopard beliefs and practices. The majority of the population in the whole Kingdom are Muslims.  Savoigne is the heart of the Christian population.  However, even in Savoigne the majority of the population is Muslim.  The followers of the traditional religion are scattered universally throughout the Kingdom.  There is a mosque and a small but distinguished school of Islamic studies at the capital, M'Boubene (generally revered as a "holy Islamic city" or "Madinat Islamiah" by Muslims), and there are a church and mosque at Savoigne and Savoigne-Pionniers (respectivement). In Savoigne there are Christian shrines to the Virgin Mary (the revered Maryam to Muslims), and a most striking bronze statue of the Cross, Orb Mondiale and Crown of Thorns. The beautiful Centre Saint Blaise at Savoigne is headquarters of the missionary work of the Roman Catholic church.

There is official recognition and respect for all the religions of Biffeche, equally. The Kingdom has both Muslim and Christian Orders of Knighthood and the traditional religion and "pangool" are not neglected.

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All of the architecture in the

Kingdom of Biffeche is

completely authentic. 

Certain beliefs and practices are considered private to the groups involved and are not widely disclosed. The "griot" (hereditary minstrel and historical orator) is used in certain Biffeche festivals, including those of the Biffeche Americans. The griot may get involved in certain other things. Importance is given to certain songs and certain kinds of drums and music.

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Crown Prince Christopher with

the famous Saint-Louis

carving of one of Senegal's

most revered holy men,

Amadou Bamba, founder of

the Mouride Brotherhood

Among legends there is the great Njawoor Ciss, a noble Sérér-Ndut warrior of past times who still returns to help (and sometimes to chastise) his people. There is the Great White Leopard, who moves mysteriously at night and occasionally intercedes in the affairs of the Biffeche people. Lately, some unusual practices surround the tomb of the late King Edward I who was known in America for his vast wisdom. His advocacy with the Almighty has been invoked seeking that wisdom, cures, etc.

When a great personage visits Biffeche (like a King, a Duke, or the Presidents of Mauritanie or Sénégal), a bull is killed in honor, and a great feast on the beef is held. Traditional Biffeche drums are played, and hereditary traditional minstrels may sing the praises of the visitor. A Great Drum of Biffeche (an enormous drum made from a hollowed-out Baobab tree section) is mentioned but has not been seen or used to honor visitors in recent years.

When a new King arrives, a Royal Fan Bearer fans Him with a symbolic fan made of river reeds, to cool Him. But when the American Edward I was made King by long-distance investiture in 1963, the ancient West African message of a packet of sacred royal seeds was sent to Him by mail, conferring the Kingship of Biffeche upon Him, along with the investiture documents.

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King Ronald meets with some

of his Chefs de Village and Aide de Camp.

Every major village in Biffeche has a Chef de Village recognized by the King. Visitors always visit the Chef before visiting anyone else in the village, and bring Him the customary presents: dates for the Muslim chefs, dates and kola nuts for the Christian chefs, for the Chef of Grand Leopard Villages the only customary present is gold and this must be given.  It is also hoped that visitors will remember small trinkets for the village children as toys are almost unknown in this part of Africa. Visitors get their passports stamped with a "Marque de Visite" of the Kingdom. If the King is present, He is met with a slight bow, with no further special ritual after that. He is first addressed as "Your Majesty," later just as "Bour" (a Sérér-Ndut and Wolof word pronounced Boooorr) or with the French "Roi". Chefs de Village are addressed as "Chef-de-Village," "Chef," or by their aristocratic titles, if any. No important business is discussed without the assent of the Chef de Village.

Although the Biffeche people believe in hard work, we also believe in enjoying ourselves immensely, and, when we can afford it, we have splendid parties and festivals with dances, drumming, food and other acts. We are the envy of all West Africa in these affairs, and to see our women dance is a sight.

Biffeche is the only place in the world where the leaf-shaped Royal Chair is made. It is made from a special grove of river reeds, is saddle or hyperbola shaped, and is sat on unlike any other chair. The King's own Royal Chair is held sacred, but slightly smaller copies may be commissioned and purchased in Savoigne. (More conventional thrones of Biffeche are also kept for the Court in America, Scotland, Germany and Sweden.) For decoration and memento, small reed replicas of the Royal Chair may also be found in Savoigne.

Cultural Practices continued

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