No, the video is from Senegal and features the Serer dance, not virgin Muslim Arab girls in slavery!

Claim

These are not bags of potatoes but virgin African girls covered in burqas from head to toe, who are being made slaves and sold openly in the market. Imagine, if this is happening today in the twenty-first century, then what would have happened a thousand years ago?

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Explanation

In the 39-second video that has gone viral, several people are seen sitting on the ground and wearing white clothing while others are standing by and taking in the scene. This post is shared with a claim stating, “These are not bags of potatoes but virgin African girls covered in burqas from head to toe, who are being made slaves and sold openly in the market.” You can view a similar post from 2023 here.

What’s the truth?

When we started analyzing the viral video with all the keyframes it led us to a YouTube video showing similar visuals published in 2017. The video was titled “Ndut Dance Demonstration by Doudou Maï and Bakary Ndiaye.” Its description box added that the dance demonstration was held in the village square.

What’s Ndut?

Nudut is both a rite of passage and a religious education mandated by Sererism that every Serer (an ethnic group present in Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania) must undergo once in a lifetime.

The name Ndut comes from the language of the Ndut tribe, a subgroup of the Serer tribe. In religious terms it means nest. It is the site of a sanctuary, a place where Serel boys board in preparation for circumcision. These boys are called njuli (novices). The word njuli comes from the Serer word juul (variation: juu), which means a small boy’s penis.

Serel religion and culture prohibits circumcision (female genital mutilation) of Serel girls. Only Seral boys are circumcised. Sera girls receive initiation through njam or dam (gums tattoo). Preparation for entry begins early in childhood. Boys are often circumcised at the age of 13. However, it is not uncommon for people to be circumcised between the ages of 19 and 26. Similarly, Serrell girls are initiated between the ages of 11 and 18.

After a few weeks, usually three months, the initiates complete their rites of passage and return home. The NDUT will catch fire. Children receive presents from their families. In pre-colonial times, boys danced before King Sele and the rest of the royal family, who rewarded them with gifts for their bravery.

When we searched further we found another YouTube video published by NDINDY FALL TV dated December 2022 showing the same dance rituals carried by the Serer community can be seen here. The video was captioned “Ndoutt of Djilasse: first images with nearly 600 ndiouli.”

All of this reveals and validates that the widely shared video depicts a customary ritual known as “Ndut,” which is carried out by the Serer people, a Senegalese ethnic group that is also present in the Gambia and Mauritania.

Conclusion:

We thus conclude that the widely circulated claim that the video depicts virgin African girls, covered from head to toe in burqas, being sold openly in the market as slaves is false. In actuality, the video depicts the Serer ethnic group’s Ndut Dance Demonstration.

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Indu Meenakshi

Indu Meenakshi is a former Microbiologist-turned-journalist, works as a Sub-Editor at YouTurn. She additionally holds Master’s in Management and English Literature. As a fact-checker, her job entails actively dispelling false information found online, exposing fake news, and raising public awareness.
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