A Toubab pronounced too-bab is the generic name for a white person
in West and Central Africa. It is not a derogatory term of address and is more especially used in The Gambia
In the two major languages of the region, Toubab is the Wolof word
and Toubabo is Mandinka.
Depending on which you wish to believe .. the name Toubab has many suggested derivations, amongst which are: A corruption of the Arab word "Tabib" meaning doctor, or "Toub" in
the Wolof language, "Tubi" in Mandinka .. meaning 'to convert' .. as the early doctors and missionaries during colonial times, were whites coming from Europe. Some also say that it is derived from the two bob ( two shilling )
coin of pre-decimalisation UK currency, when Gambia was a British Colony.
However, the most likely earliest derivation is from the Wolof word for Europe "Tougal". Logically in the same way that Wolof means the people of
Jollof .. Toubab means the people of Tougal.
This Website contains travellers
tales of one such Toubab, formerly based in the United Kingdom, but fortunate to be able to regularly travel to the countries of West Africa and other less well known areas of the world, in pursuit of his interest in African
Trade Beads and foreign cultures.
Within the text are many beautiful photographs,
references and links to the actual beads, curios and other 'treasures' found en route whilst I was learning all about the African ways of life, ways and types of travel and its Trade Bead history.
Hopefully the following pages will entertain you .. possibly bring back fond memories of places you have also
visited or inform you about other areas of the world which you may not have seen. Maybe it will promote some further interest and give you the impetus to make that journey and see those sights that you have always wanted to ..
further enriching your own life.
Welcome to you all .. enjoy !