Sibanor:- An extension of Niumi Sikka
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Today we are in Foni Bintang Karanai at the community of Sibanor. This settlement even though might not have much to offer in our history has earned it self pride for becoming one of the most influential communities in the land of Foni as it is a major play in the politics of the district its founds itself in.
it is situated some 100 kilometers away from Banjul and is right in the heart of Foni Bintang Karanai electoral district.Please read to uncover the historical rite of passage of this community.
Our exploration into the history of Sibanor reveals some
astonishing facts about the source and nature of the name of the
community.Sources revealed that
the name of the community is derived from a Jola word, Ebanorei (plural
Sibanoras).The word, a noun is
the name of a small beautiful bird that is often spotted at sea.
The community is said to acquire this name because when the founder was granted the land for settlement, he was asked to settle along the valley where this Ebanorei is often found. Local inhabitants therefore refer to the community Sibanor meaning a place of the ‘Ebanorei’ bird.
The foundation pillars of the settlement were laid by one
Mankamang Saho, a man believed to have migrated from the Niumi zone of the
North Bank Region of the country at a village called Sikka.
according to sources was a simple traditional farmer who during the planting
season does cross the river to plough a grass land in Foni and do return back
to Niumi at the end of every farming season; knowing little that the farmland
would one day become his home. After years of hard work on the farmland,
Mankamang began to build interest in transforming the land into a settlement
conducive for human habitation.
During that period our sources revealed, the farmland was
the reserve land of a nearby settlement-Manyina and Mankamang upon realization
of this decided to launch a formal request to the elders of the settlement of
Manyina to grant him the land to establish a settlement.
He was however told that
even though the land belongs to Manyina, it is allocated to somebody who at the
time resides in a distant settlement called Kayumo.
With determination and resilience, Mankamang trekked to Kayumo to extend his request and permission was given for a go ahead. He was however told to settle along the valley of the river, a site often visited by a river bird known in Jola as ‘Ebanorei’.
When Mankamang completed the preliminary works for the
founding of the settlement, sources say, he consulted his marabous to ascertain
what the gods have destined for his new settlement and he was told that the
settlement can only become productive and developed only when a person who
trades in handcrafts settles on the land.
This made Mankamang toured the area
in search of someone whose occupation is handcraft, a journey that took him to
Bintang, the parent village of the area to convince the elders of the Badjie
who was a blacksmith to keep him company in the new home After years of
settlement, the family of Mankamang decided to return him to his native village
Sikka in Niumi but, sources revealed that this return did not last long, he
returned to take ownership of his settlement and ensure its expansion and
Aborigines and expansion
As we earlier stated, the community of Sibanor was founded
by one Mankamang Saho who hailed from Niumi Sikka. He however started
settlement with the Badjie who he brought from Bintang on the advice of his
Sources further say that the Sanneh Family also from the village of Bintang
joined the founder in the early days of settlement. These made the three
families become the aborigines of the community. The families of the trio up
till today claim authority over the lands of the settlement and have a lion
share of the issues in the community.
As the settlement began to grow, people began migrating from left right and center to join the aboriginal founders in the company of the new home. Today, the community of Sibanor is divided into five wards (kabilos) namely, Suma Kunda, Alamuta Kunda, Tema Suu, Mansaring Suu and Medina. Sources noted that the kabilos symbolize the aborigines of the community as it was carved randomly when the community expanded.
The community of Sibanor just like any other traditional
African community is trading in that tradition lineage line of authority, which
demands that authority be passed on from generations to generation with the same
ancestryor common bond. As such,
the founding Saho, the Badjie and Sanneh had the seat of alkaloship rotating among
them because they are accredited as the aborigines of the community.
Though, how one becomes analikalo is the sole decision of the elders of the aboriginal families. Over the years however, the alksloship of Sibanor is placed under the custody of the Ceesay due to unavoidable circumstances beyond the community’s control.
It is obvious that no traditional African society exists
with out a traditional ideology which revolves around believe in sprits,
deities and the like. The community of Sibanor was also premised on such
traditional African practices.
Our sources pointed out that the society was stratified on age grades, collective communal work was also valued and initiation rituals for both men and women were conduct in the community. Sources also stated that the women of the community had a highly honoured ritual site called Fankaliya where they converged to pray to the gods and ancestors to overcome their plight.
Author: Gibairu Janneh