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OTHER SCRIPTS: Juuf (or Juf)
OTHER FORMS: Diouf
CONTRIBUTOR: Tamsir on 8/9/2010
Meaning & History
The surname Joof (English spelling in Gambia) whit its derivatives Juuf / Juf (Seereer proper) or Diouf (French spelling in Senegal and Mauritania) is a Senegambian surname found amongst the Seereer people of Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania. It derives from the old Seereer word "Njaf" which is the Seereer name for the African antelope which is also the emblem and totem of this family. Seereer surnames in most cases stems from animals or plants and are spiritual in nature. "Njoofene" or "Njuufeen" (Seereer proper) is the clan name of the Joof family. The antelope is supposed to symbolise grace; strength; hard work; royalty and generosity in this Region's culture. The royal status afforded to this family is evident in the fact that, they have ruled three Senegambian kingdoms for centuries: the Kingdoms of Siin, Saluum and Baol. Two of the earliest known/recorded members of this family are: Ndaah Njemeh Joof (or Ndaah Ndiémé Diouf) - king of Laah c. 1290 and Jegan Joof (or Djigan Diouf) an early ancestor of the Joof family who founded Tukar around the 11th century. Jegan’s brother was Ndick Joof and his son Sosseh Joof.