Introduction / History
The Karon are an isolated people living on several islands along the Casamance River straddling the border between Southwest Senegal and The Gambia.
Most of the men are fishermen and farmers, while Karon women tend small gardens to supplement their food supply. Rice is their main staple food, as well as peanuts and millet.
The palm tree is also central to the culture and diet of Karon speakers, They use palm wine for ceremonies; palm oil and fruit in their diet; and palm stalk, branches and leaves for building materials.
The Karon live in mud brick square houses with thatched roofs and are only accessible by boat. Extended families live together in neighborhoods.
Traditionally, every daily activity among the Karon people involves their ancestors: people spill water on the ground for the ancestors before taking a drink; farmers resist improving their agricultural methods for fear of offending them. In reality, the dead control the living. Fears which arise from traditional beliefs need to be addressed.
Karon speakers from both Senegal and The Gambia are working on the translation team, so one of the challenges they still face is the language barrier since the official language in Senegal is French but in The Gambia, it is English. It is also a hindrance that team members may work in Senegal but live in the Gambia, a totally different country.
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