The Principality of Bethio
(also spelled Bequio
) was a small monarchy located for centuries along the lower Senegal River
valley, on the border between modern Mauritania
, in the northeast of Biffeche
. In the 18th Century
it was also called the "Royaume d'Oral". Its capital was at Poum, then moved to N'Dombo, and finally moved to Ross, Senegal in the 19th Century
since then). The original, fertile farmlands of Bethio are in a region just east of the Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary
In the 1720s, the Brak (king) of Oualo (Waalo) was Erim M'Bagnick (Yérim Mbañik) and Béquio Malicouri king of the Royaume d'Oral was his vassal. The latter appears to have been succeeded by Fara Coro.
In the 18th century the most famous "Prince Bethio" was Maalixuri (Malichouri) (Malikhuri Diop ) who was legendary for his cleverness, changes of strategy, and defiance in disputes with the Kingdom of Waalo and with the French at Saint-Louis, Senegal.
Today, Abdoulaye Diop, the current Prince Bethio, lives at Ross-Bethio where he is a Senegalese political leader.
- Barry, Boubacar. Le royaume du Waalo - Le Senegal avant la conquete. Karthala, 1985.
- V. Monteil. Esquisses sénégalaises. Dakar, IFAN, 1966, p. 34-35
The name also appears as Béco
and appears synonymous with the Island of Becos
in the river delta. It has been suggested that this is the island nowadays known as Baba Gueye.