The Bainuk people (also called Banyuk, Banun, Banyun, Bainouk, Bainunk, Banyum, Bagnoun, Banhum, Banyung, Ñuñ, Elomay, or Elunay) are an ethnic group that today lives primarily in Senegal as well as in parts of Gambia and Guinea-Bissau. The Bainuk are believed to have been the first inhabitants of the lower Casamance.
The name Banyun is attributed to the Portuguese, who derived the word from Mandinka and applied it as a collective name for a number of groups settled at strategic sites along waterways, portages, and trade paths between the Gambia and Cacheu rivers.... Possibly Banyun served as a generic term for "trader," much as dyula identifies Mande traders engaged in long-distance commerce (Map 9).
- Clark, Andrew F. and Lucie Colvin Phillips, Historical Dictionary of Senegal (Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press, 1994) p. 73, 179.
- Barry, Boubacar. Senegambia and the Atlantic Salve Trade (Cambridge: University Press, 1998), p. 21