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Senegalese wrestling is a type of folk wrestling traditionally performed by the Serer people and now a national sport in Senegal and parts of The Gambia, and is part of a larger West African form of traditional wrestling.
This form of traditional wrestling, is also known as “Laamb” in Wolof; a centuries-old sport in Sénégal. In terms of form, it is very similar to the Greco-Roman style of wrestling; however, it is very typical of traditional, African wrestling.
There are two forms of Laamb: the first allows the wrestlers to strike each other with their bare hands, which can be painful; the second is more acrobatic, and hitting is not permitted. When a wrestler’s back touches the ground, the bout is over; he has lost.
Laamb is as much a spiritual activity as it is physical; and wrestlers engage in various rites and rituals preparatory to fighting. No wrestler, regardless of his strength, physical, or technical abilities, will ever dare to enter the ring, much less fight, without his “marabout” or without participating in his own pre-match ceremony.
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