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Serers

SERERS, a Negroid people, living in Senegambia. They are of the same stock as the Wolof, and in some parts form communities with them. Elsewhere they have mixed with the Mandingo, to which race belong most of their ruling families. The country of the pure Serers lies between the Gambia and Salum rivers to the south of Cape Verde. In this domain of nearly 5000 sq. m. the tribe has two main divisions, the None Serers and the Sine Serers. The Serers are an extraordinarily tall race, even excelling in height their kinsfolk, the Wolof. Men of 6 ft. 6 in., with muscular development in proportion, are by no means rare. They are less black than the Wolof and have features more purely negroid with coarser lips and heavier jaws. Many Serers are nominally Mahommedans, but natureworship is still prevalent. Their two chief gods are Takhar, god of justice, and Tiurakh, god of wealth, who are worshipped at the foot of trees. Snakes, too, have their cult, and formerly living animals were sacrificed to them. A belief in transmigration, as shown by their funeral customs, is general among the Serers. They are an honest and industrious people, but are very heavy drinkers.

S&RES, SERROS or SIROS, chief town of a sanjak in the vilayet of Salonica, European Turkey, on Lake Takhino, a navigable expansion of the river Karasu or Struma (ancient Strymon), 43 m. by rail N.E. of Salonica. Pop. (1905) about 30,000, of whom about half are Bulgarians (one-third of them being Mussulmans), nearly one-fourth Greeks, about one-seventh Turks and the remainder Jews. S6res is built in a district so fertile as to bear among the Turks the name of Altin Ovassi, or Golden Plain, and so thickly studded with villages as to appear, when seen from the outliers of Rhodope on the north, like a great city with extensive gardens. It is the seat of a Greek archbishop and patriarch. It consists of the old town, Varosh, situated at the foot and on the slope of the hill crowned by the old castle, and of the new town built in the European fashion on the plain, and forming the commercial centre. The principal buildings are the Greek archiepiscopal palace, the Greek cathedral, restored since the great fire of 1879, by which it was robbed of its magnificent mosaics and woodwork, the Greek gymnasium and hospital (the former built of marble), the richly endowed Eski Jami mosque, and the ruins of the once no less flourishing Ahmed Pasha or Hagia Sophia mosque, whose revenues were formerly derived from the Crimea. On a hill above the town are the ruins of a fortress described in a Greek inscription as a " tower built by Helen in the mountainous region. " S6res is the headquarters of the Turkish wool trade, and has also manufactures of cloth and carpets. There is a large trade in rice and cereals, and the other exports include tobacco and hides.

Se>es is the ancient Seris, Sirae or Sirrhae, mentioned by Herodotus in connexion with Xerxes's retreat, and by Livy as the place where Aemilius Paulus received a deputation from Perseus. In the 14th century, when Stephen Dushan of Servia assumed the title emperor of Servia, he chose Sirrhae as his capital; and it remained in the hands of the Servians till its capture by Sultan Murad II. (1421-1451).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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