The Diola (also called Jola) are an African people found in the area of Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau. It is believed that the Diola migrated to the Casamance region of Senegal during the 11th and 12th centuries in an effort to escape the increasing Islamic jihads. Man de-speaking (Dioula) and Fula-speaking people followed the Diola to the region. Diola are not to be confused with the Dioula or Doula people; these are separate and distinct people.

Unlike some of their neighbors, the Diola do not have a hierarchal system of governance. There are no djeles, nobles, or kings. The Diola do not have a class system that divides people by leather workers, farmers, iron workers, and so forth. Indeed they have created a community based on ...

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