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Sierra Leone

"Ethnic Groups and their neighborhood Countries"

Sierra Leone, a country rich in culture and history, is home to a diverse population with a myriad of ethnic groups. 

Each of these groups has a unique story of origin, traced back through generations of migration and settlement.

The migration process is an integral part of their identity, and it deeply influences their traditions, from the food they eat to the clothes they wear.Each ethnic group in Sierra Leone has a unique heritage that can be traced back to their roots. This heritage is reflected in their day-to-day practices and cultural traditions. Currently, there are sixteen active ethnic groups in Sierra Leone. Each of these groups contributes to the unique cultural mosaic of the country. They have their distinct languages, customs, and traditions, all of which add to the cultural richness of Sierra Leone. The diversity among these ethnic groups is a testament to the country's rich history of migration and cultural interchange.This diverse cultural heritage is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the people of Sierra Leone, who have managed to preserve their traditions and customs through generations of change and progress.

Sierra Leone

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The Tribes


The Temne have speculated to have come from Futa Jallon which is the present day Guinea. They are the largest of the Sierra Leone population, majority of the temne are Muslim, and a small group of them who converted to Christianity. The Temne are Traditionally Farmers growing rice, cassava and kola nut their cash crops include peanut and tobacco. Some are fishermen artisans and traders. The Temne they are connected with the Republic of Guinea they have introduced most of their unique culture and traditions to Sierra Leone which has passed through the Temne people and then introduced as a culture in Sierra Leone which we now view as a cultural heritage for example Greeting in Guinea are taken very seriously. Whenever you meet someone you have to enquire about their health and that of family before you can say anything else. The temne also view the greeting practice as a priority each time they are encounter which each other they demonstrate greeting in their native language they say it as “Sekeh”(how are you) with the responses of “Tantocrew”(all praise to God) This is to encourage and promote equality among themselves, and also as a sign of respect they have for one an other regardless of age. Guinea are very handy when it comes artifact. They are very crafty and very good at producing stood


and wood carving. No wonder why the temne has such an impressive talent when it comes to artifact and wood caving. The temne woodcarving is homogeneous with that of the carving in Guinea, for example the the wooden helmet mask of the women’s bondo society. Are having questions about the bondo society? In Temne Bondo higher-ranking members are known as digba. The most striking public manifestation of Bondo is the mask called a-Nowo, a black-dyed wooden helmet mask worn with a costume of black raffia and cloth. The process of the bondo society female genital cutting) is the common practice of removing all or part of the female's genitalia for cultural and religious initiation purposes, or as a custom to prepare them for marriage. As far as the Temne is concerned there is a connection from Guinea.


The Loko live on a land of gently rolling coastal plains broken by rocky spurs of the Fouta Djallon highlands. Loko villages are grouped together at the bases of hills, in the open plains, or on the valley floors. Usually, a small group of compact huts makes up a village. These huts are round, with wooden walls and cone-shaped, thatched roofs. In this tropical region, the average temperature is about 82o F. , with


65 to 95 inches of rain falls annually. Baboons, hyenas, and antelope are common in the area, as are snakes and crocodiles. Like most of the tribes in West Africa, the Loko are primarily farmers. Rice, the staple crop, is grown both in the swamps and on the hillsides. Other important crops include manioc, corn, potatoes, peppers, and bananas. In addition, house gardens supply other vegetables, fruits, and nuts for each family. Oil palms flourish in this region of Sierra Leone. The trunks, branches, palms, nuts, and sap of these trees are all used and highly treasured. Soap, wax, wine, oil, and baskets are just some of the items produced from the palms. The Loko are engaged in several crafts, such as basketry, cabinet making, and net making. In addition, they participate in many important ritual festivities and ceremonies throughout the year. Much dancing accompanies these events. The Loko are divided into nine districts, with each being ruled by a chief. Each village in the district is ruled by a headman, who answers to the chief. The Loko are a family-oriented people, and a village is generally made up of a family lineage. The Loko are also said to be open-minded, cooperative, and open to outside influences. Loko society is basically patrilineal, which means that they trace their lineage through the males. Polygyny (having more than one wife) is practiced by many of the men. Before a Loko man marries, he must first pay a bride-price to the girl's parents.


The Mandingo constitute about 2.4% of Sierra Leone's population. The Mandingo are over 99% Muslim, adherents to the Sunni tradition of Islam. Islam has become the basis of their religious and cultural practices. The Mandingo are well known for their conservative Islamic tradition.Most Sierra Leonean Mandingo are the direct descendants of Mandinka settlers from Guinea, who settled in the north and eastern part of Sierra Leone, beginning in the late 1870s to the 1890s under the rule of prominent Mandinka Muslim cleric Samori Ture. Also later a significantly large population of Mandinka from Guinea migrated and settled in Eastern Sierra Leone and Northern Sierra Leone in the early to mid 20th century. The Mandingo people of Sierra Leone have a very close friendly and allied relationship with their neighbors the Mandingo people of Guinea.The Mandingo and the Fula began arriving in Sierra Leone in the seventeenth century. The first immigrants were mostly traders and Islamic teachers. the Mandingo came mainly from the Sankaran region in Guinea while the Fula came from Futa Jallon.Most Mandinka live in family compounds in traditional rural villages and are fairly autonomous. They are led by a chief and group of elders. The linguistic culture is rich in tradition, music, and spiritual ritual. Their women might be thought to be Fula hypothetically because they look like the Fula people, and came from the same origin which is Guinea.


The Mende are believed to be the decedent of the mane, this is the second largest ethic group in Sierra Leone. They originally occupied the Liberian hunter land. The mane later began moving from Liberia into Sierra Leone peacefully. Majority of the Mende are Muslim with a large Christian minority group. The Mende are mostly hunters and farmers majority of their population are found in Bo, kenema, Kailahun and Moyamba. The great Sengbe Pieh was part of the Mende ethnic group. The Mende are divided into five clans: the Kpa-Mende, who are predominantly in the Moyamba district to the south; the Golah-Mende, who inhabit the Gola forest between Kenema and Pujehun districts into Liberia; Sewa-Mende, who settled along the Sewa River; the Vai-Mende, who are also in Liberia and the Pujehun district. In Liberia they have their secrets society called the Poro society this secret society was for men introduced by the Mende people. It is sometimes referred to as a hunting society and only males are admitted. The Mende who came from Liberia introduce the the same secret society in Sierra Leone which is now present today as one of our inherited culture in Sierra Leone.They live a mainly agrarian lifestyle growing rice, their most important crop, and yams for subsistence. The Mende also cultivate cash crops that supplement their economy, such as cocoa and coffee.


The third largest ethno-linguistic group in Sierra Leone who today occupy a wishbone-shaped territory in the north-west of the country. They have no traditions of migration and appear to have been settled in the interior of Sierra Leone as early as the 16th century.They are mostly rice farmers, palm wine brewers, and stone builders.the Limba tribe believe that they have always lived in what is now part of modern day Sierra Leone, the Wara Wara Mountains, and they were probably the first rulers of that region. Some historians support the above claim that the Limba were already living in Sierra Leone pre-colonial times.


The Fula people, often described as the Fulani, are regarded as the world's largest nomadic group: about 20 million people dispersed across Western Africa.

They reside mostly in Nigeria, Mali, Guinea, Cameroon, Senegal, and Niger. The Sierra Leonean Fula are traditionally a nomadic, pastoralist, trading people, herding cattle, goats and sheep across the vast dry hinterlands of their domain, keeping somewhat separate from the local agricultural populations. Many of the large

shopping centers in Sierra Leone are owned and run by the Fula community.Freetown, the Fula are mostly immigrants from Fuuta Jalon in Guinea and Senegal. They are

part of a larger diaspora in Sierra Leone that includes the Koinadugu District, Tonkolili District, Bombali District, Kailahun District, and Pujehun District in the Sierra Leone inte- rior.As Muslims, the Fula observe the standard Islamic religious practices. They pray five times a day, learn to recite the holy scriptures (Qur'an, or Koran ) by heart, and give alms to the needy. For one month each year (Ramadan) they fast in the daytime. And at least once in their lifetime, they make a pilgrimage (hajj) to the Islamic holy land in Mecca. The most important duty is to declare one's true faith in Islam and believe that Muhammad was a prophet sent by Allah (God)In Guinea the Fula has their custom an tradition especially when it comes to marriage they do not do marriages outside their tribe this is an aspect of keeping the wealth within the family. This same system are been introduced in Sierra Leone the Fula do not do marriage outside their tribe. It was later change due to the trend and civilization of the country, now few can be married for happiness and the individual the chose to be with regardless of ethnicity. In Guinea music and art are part of daily life. Work music is sung and played on drums and flutes. Court music (drumming, horns, flutes) and praise-singing are popular in towns, especially during festivals. and other prominent individuals. Religious singers may cite Islamic scripture. This has been a


culture in Sierra Leone for the Fula people during each and every festival there is music and some reading of Islamic scripture(Quran). In their spare time, Fulani women make handicrafts including engraved gourds, weavings, knitting, and baskets. Fulani men are less involved in the production of crafts such as pottery, iron-working, and dyeing.


he Krios (Sierra Leone Creole) are descendants of West Indian slaves from the Caribbean (primarily Jamaica) and freed slaves from the United States who landed in Freetown at the beginning of the nineteenth century. They were subjects of the British crown and enjoyed its protection as nationals.The Krio people of Sierra Leone are partly descended from former enslaved Africans who fought for the British in the American War of Independence, in exchange for promises of freedom.The Krio language is an offshoot of the languages and variations of English brought by the Nova Scotian Settlers from North America, Maroons from Jamaica, and the numerous liberated African slaves who settled in Sierra Leone.One of the first ethnic groups to become educated according to Western traditions, they have traditionally been appointed to positions in the civil service, beginning during the colonial years. They continue to be influential in the civil service. The Creoles are Christians.Today, Krios make up about 2% of Sierra Leone's population. They have their own distinctive identity, though British influence remains strong. The Krio language, spoken by most people in Sierra Leone, is based on English, along with various African languages.The nasal consonant is deleted and


the vowel is nasalized. Krio also has three diphthongs: /ai/, /au/, and /ɔi/. Krio is also a tone language (likely another influence of West African languages) and makes contrastive use of tone in words of both African and English origins.Creoles observe dating and marriage customs that reflect their westernized and broader West African cultural retentions. Creole wedding ceremonies involve the gej or put stop – an elaborate Shakespearean performance in which the hand of the bride is asked for, following the appearance of several 'roses'. Among the gifts presented by the future groom's representatives are a calabash, some kola nuts, various domestic items a wife would use (such as needles and some thread), but also a Bible, a ring, and some money. Creole traditional wedding attire is a morning suit or lounge suit for the bridegroom and the women wear the traditional white wedding dress. Creoles marry in church weddings and in the Victorian and Edwardian era, relatives sought out and introduced prospective suitors from desirable families to their kin seeking a spouse. When a suitor has been chosen by the prospective groom or bride, traditionally the groom's parents set a "put stop" day. After this day, the girl is expected to no longer entertain other suitors. On the evening before the wedding, the groom's friends treat him to "bachelor's eve," a rowdy last fling before marriage.


The Kono people are the descendants of Mali-Guinean migrants who are said to have moved to Sierra Leone and settled in what is now Kono District in the mid-16th century, however there is archaeological evidence of settlement in Kono District as far back as 2200 B.C.Kono history claims that the Kono were once a powerful people in Mali and Guinea. The Kono migrated to Sierra Leone as peaceful hunters. The tribe was split during partitioning of Africa by European colonists and part of the tribe still exists in neighbouring Guinea. Attacks from the related Mende people forced the Kono to seek refuge in the Koranko territory to the north, where they were allowed to farm the land. The Mende eventually moved further south, and the Kono returned to their own land in the east.The Kono are primarily farmers and in some areas, alluvial diamond miners. They grow rice, cassava, corn, beans, groundnuts, sweet potato, peppers, cassava leaf, greens, potato leaf etc. as their main crops, along with banana, pineapple and plantain, and cash crops such as cocoa, coffee and kola nut. They live in towns and villages and travel daily to their surrounding farm lands to work. They are a polite and hospitable people and even allow strangers to lodge with them or their chiefs. The size of rural Kono villages varies from several houses to nearly one hundred dwellings. Kono District also contains the city of Koidu / Sefadu and several small towns. Kono houses were at one


time round constructions made of mud, clay, and thatch. Although some of these houses still exist today, most are now rectangular and made of adobe blocks or cement with corrugated zinc sheet roofing. The rectangular houses have verandas where the women cook and others can enjoy the shade. After sunset, in the open compounds (courtyards) of the villages, the entire village may sing. The people dance in a single-file circle to the beat of drums. Each person develops his own individual steps and movements in an attempt to stand out in the crowd. The Kono year is divided into a rainy season and a dry season. Late dry season (March–April) is the time for preparation and clearing of farms and the rainy season is a time for farming. Families leave their homes early in the morning, walk to their farms, and return home at dusk. Cooking, bathing, and other household chores are done at the farms by most of the women, while the men and other women perform the agricultural tasks. After the rice harvest, the heavy agricultural work is finished, giving way to the dry season. Most people remain in town every day during the dry season since many social events take place at that time of year. During this period, young boys are initiated into the Poro society, and young girls, into the Bondo or Sande society. These societies teach youth the Kono culture and traditions. Training for these organisations bridges the gap between childhood and adult life. The dry season is also a time when much courting and many marriages take place. A man's wealth used to be determined by the number of wives he could support. Most men had more than one wife, and those men with many wives were shown the greatest respect and honour. Nowadays many men have only one wife although polygamy is still widely practised. During the dry season, women organise fishing expeditions and older men and women may be found outdoors weaving traditional country cloth.Most Konos practice Islam or Christianity. Some practice traditional religion as well. Konos invoke and pray to their ancestors and other spirits for protection, health, guidance and good fortune. They believe the ancestors are present during every activity, including eating, sleeping, and important events. Some Kono are also superstitious and use curses, omens, charms, and magic in their daily lives The Kono people also utilize practices of the Bondo secret society which aims at gradually but firmly establishing attitudes related to adulthood in girls, discussions on fertility, morality and proper sexual comportment. The society also maintains an interest in the well-being of its members throughout their lives


According to The Peoples of Africa, Kissi tradition considers that before the seventeenth century they inhabited the Upper Niger region. Supposedly they lived south of the Futa Jallon until the Yalunka people expelled them. After 1600, they migrated westward, expelling the Limbas in their march, but were under constant threat from the Kurankos Although many Kissi have converted to Christianity, most of them continue to practice their traditional ethnic religion. Ancestor worship or


praying to deceased relatives is a common practice among the Kissi. The Kissi believe that ancestral spirits act as mediators between them and the creator, god. Small stone statues are used to represent the spirits. They are worshipped and offered sacrifices by the village headmen. Many carved soapstone figures and heads were produced by the Kissi people in the past prior to colonial contact with the Europeans. It is not clear why they were made; some scholars argue that they form part of ancestor worship while others say they may represent gods to increase agricultural yields. A large number can be seen in the British Museum's collection.The Kissi are primarily farmers. Rice, their staple crop, is grown on most hillsides and in low, swampy areas. Other crops include peanuts, cotton, corn, bananas, potatoes, and melons. Beans, tomatoes, onions, and peppers are grown in small vegetable gardens, and coffee raised as a cash crop. Most of the farmers also raise some livestock.Agricultural work, such as sowing, weeding, and harvesting, is shared equally by the men and women. Additional responsibilities for the men include hunting, fishing, and clearing land. The women's duties involve caring for the small vegetable gardens, tending to the chickens, trading in the local markets, and doing some fishing. Boys tend to livestock, which is usually cattle and goats. Cows are considered valuable animals, not for their milk, but as religious sacrifices.


The Sherbro people are a native people of Sierra Leone, who speak the Sherbro language; they make up 1.9% of Sierra Leone's population or 134,606. The Sherbro are found primarily in their homeland in Bonthe District, where they make up 40% of the population, in coastal areas of Moyamba District, and in the Western Area of Sierra Leone, particularly in Freetown. During pre-colonial days, the Sherbro were one of the most dominant ethnic group in Sierra Leone, but in the early 21st century, the Sherbro comprise a small minority in the nation.The Sherbro are primarily fisherman and farmers, and they are predominantly found in Bonthe District. The Sherbro are virtually all Christians, and their paramount chiefs had a history of intermarriage with British colonists and traders.Many Sherbro assimilate as Krio, as they share the Christian faith and Western names. According to Anaïs Ménard, the only Sierra Leonean ethnic group whose culture is similar (in terms of its embrace of Western culture) are Westernized members of the Sherbro people. Because some of the Sherbro interacted with Portuguese and English traders and intermarried with them in the mid-fifteenth to eighteenth centuries (producing Afro-European clans such as the Sherbro Tuckers and Sherbro Caulkers), some of the Sherbro have a more westernized culture than that of other Sierra Leone ethnic groups. As Creoles settled in places such as Bonthe for trading and missionary purposes, the Creoles intermarried with their allies the Sherbros from as far back as the 18th century. However, since the independence of Sierra Leone, all ethnic groups in Sierra Leone have been inter-marrying increasingly.


The Koranko speak the Kuranko language (or Koranko), a dialect of the Mande branch of the Niger–Congo language family.[5] The Kuranko are nominally an Islamic people, but many people in this isolated area still follow traditional religious


beliefs, identifying as Muslim without adhering to all the strict protocols of that religion. The Kuranko speak a language similar to the Manding languages, and their language can be understood by their neighbours and close allies the Mandinka and the Susu people.The Kuranko occupy a mountainous region within the northeastern Sierra Leone highlands, extending into Guinea. This region lacks adequate road systems and is not easily accessible, leaving the Kuranko socially isolated. This may explain why most Kuranko have held on to their traditional culture and religion.Men in the Kuranko culture undergo various initiation rituals on reaching puberty, becoming members of a secretive "club" when they do so.[9] The initiation consists of a circumcision, training sessions, and the right to wear certain articles of clothing.[9] Once initiated, men are free to marry, paying a bride price to the family of the chosen woman.[9] The Kuranko are polygamous, and some men have more than one wife.The kuranko people also utilize practices of the Bondo secret society which aims at gradually but firmly establishing attitudes related to adulthood in girls, discussions on fertility, morality and proper sexual comportment. The society also maintains an interest in the well-being of its members throughout their lives.The Kuranko are primarily a hunting and trading people, with these activities exceeding farming as their primary employment.[8] Since their origins were in the savanna lands, they have taken active measures to preserve their habitat as this type, including setting fires as part of the hunting process, to ensure that large plant life and woodland does not dominate.[8] As the Kuranko have moved south over time, so they have maintained this savanna and burning lifestyle, leading to a gradual southward moving of the limit of the savanna lands. (This narrative is limited to the Mansa Kama era. However, the Kuranko history goes beyond the Kama, who was a newcomer to the scene at that time. this story needs to be told from the real Kuranko history perspective.)


The Susu are descendants of their Manding ancestors who lived in the mountainous Mali-Guinea border.They are said to have originally been a section of the Soninke people that migrated out of Wagadou and were initially a clan of blacksmiths who displayed their clear intentions to object converting to Islam. In the twelfth century, when Ancient Ghana was in decline, they migrated south and established a capital city of Soso in the mountainous region of Koulikoro. The Susu were once ruled by Sumanguru Kanté, but after that, they were ruled by the thirteenth century Mali Empire. In the fifteenth century, they migrated west to the Fouta Djallon plateau of Guinea, as the Mali empire disintegrated.The close familiarity with the Yalunka people suggest a hypothesis that they were once members of the same group


in the Fouta Djallon, separated by Fula invaders, and that the Susu moved southward absorbing other people in the process.The Susu people were traditionally animis The Susu live with their extended family. Polygyny is an accepted practice since Islamic law allows men to have as many as four wives. This is not always practiced because having multiple wives requires more means than most men have. The men provide for their families by working the rice fields, fishing, or engaging in trade. The women cook the food and take care of the children. They often engage in small commerce, usually of vegetables they have raised in their garden. Often women will have their room or hut next to their husband's lodging where they will stay with their children.Over 99% of Susu are Muslim, and Islam dominates their religious culture and practices. Most Islamic holidays are observed, the most important being the celebration that follows Ramadan (a month of prayer and fasting). The Susu people, like other Manding-speaking peoples, have a caste system regionally referred to by terms such as Nyamakala, Naxamala and Galabbolalauba. According to David Conrad and Barbara Frank, the terms and social categories in this caste-based social stratification system of Susu people shows cases of borrowing from Arabic only, but the likelihood is that these terms are linked to Latin, Greek or Aramaic.The artisans among the Susu people, such as smiths, carpenters, musicians, and bards (Yeliba), jewelers, and leatherworkers, are separate castes. The Susu people believe that these castes have descended from the medieval era slaves.The Susu castes are not limited to Guinea, but are found in other regions where Susu people live, such as in Sierra Leone where too they are linked to the historic slavery system that existed in the region, states Daniel Harmon.The Susu castes in the regional Muslim communities were prevalent and recorded by sociologists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.Some Susu combine their Islamic faith with traditional beliefs, such as the existence of spirits who inhabit certain areas, and the belief in sorcerers who have the power to change into animals, cast evil spells on people, or heal people from certain ailments.The Susu people also utilize practices of the Bondo secret society which aims at gradually but firmly establishing attitudes related to adulthood in girls, discussions on fertility, morality and proper sexual comportment. The society also maintains an interest in the well-being of its members throughout their lives.The Susu are primarily farmers, with rice and millet being their two principal crops. Mangoes, pineapples, and coconuts are also grown. The Susu are also known as skilled traders and blacksmiths.The women make various kinds of palm oil from palm nuts. Ancient Susu houses were typically made of either mud or cement blocks, depending on the resources available.

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The Yalunka people originated in the mountainous Koulikoro along the Niger River valley.According to Susu oral tradition, they Identify the Yalunka with the medieval Sosso Empire of Soumaoro Kanté.The earliest evidence suggests that sometime around the eleventh century, the Yalunka people arrived in the hilly plateau region of the Futa Jallon in Guinea, since the disintegration of the Sosso Empire.The Yalunka people were agricultural animists and among the first settlers in Jallonkadu, the former name in what eventually became Futa Jallon. At first, the Yalunka accepted Islam. After the seventeenth century, Islamic theocracies supported by the Fula people began a period of Fula dominance and their version of Islam in the region traditionally occupied by the Yalunka. The Yalunka people, along with the Susu people, then renounced Islam. The Fula people and their leaders, such as Karamokho Alfa and Ibrahima Sori, launched a series of jihads targeted against the Yalunka in the eighteenth century. The Yalunka were defeated, subdued, and returned to Islam in 1778.The jihads contributed immensely to the Solima Yalunka state's creation in Guinea and Sierra Leone's northeastern boundary in the nineteenth century.In the time of the Yalunka's desolation, Almamy Samori Touré collaborated with the Fulani, French, and Toucouleur allies, to exploit and oppress the Yalunka people, In the process Samori Touré sold many Yalunka captives to the Fulani and Europeans. The Yalunka people were considered strongly "pagan" and violently anti-Muslim.The Yalunka are predominantly Muslim and are considered devout. At the same time, they have retained many pre-Islamic beliefs and practices, combining the two in a syncretic way. One of their traditional practice is Barinkiina, which involves making sacrifices in memory of their ancestors to gain power. They also make sacrifices for Suxurena and Nyinanna, or nature spirits, to gain powers.The New Testament was


translated into the Yalunka language by Pioneer Bible Translators's current president, Yalunka people commonly practice polygyny. Arranged marriages are their traditional practice, and they follow the Islamic law that a man may have up to four living wives. The first wife has seniority and authority over the wives he marries later.[28] The husband, according to Bankole Taylor, "has complete control over his wives and is responsible for feeding and clothing them.The Yalunka society is patriarchal, consisting of households headed by a man, his wife or wives, and their unmarried children.Extended households form a compound, which may consist of two or more married men from the same father and their families, each living in a separate hut.The Yalunka people also utilize practices of the Bondo secret society which aims at gradually but firmly establishing attitudes related to adulthood in girls, discussions on fertility, morality and proper sexual comportment. The society also maintains an interest in the well-being of its members throughout their lives.The Yalunka are primarily subsistence farmers, with rice and millet being their staple crops. Peanuts, sweet potatoes, maize, and beans are also grown. Chickens, herds of cattle, and flocks of sheep and goats are kept. Goats and cattle provide milk as a food source, which is used directly and processed for cheese and other products. This livestock, such as goats and cattle, is significant as a marker of wealth and because they serve as bride-price payments. The boy's family gives animals to the girl's family before the marriage takes place—these animals are used as a means of economic exchange.Among the Yalunka, herding is done by the children. The women milk the cattle and help the men in some of the agricultural work.The Yalunka live in larger settlements established since the eighteenth century. The Yalunka region is mixed savannah and forest. The country is hilly, and most of it is 1,000 to 2,000 feet above sea level. Most Yalunka settlements are located in the valleys between the hills. Since the 1950s, many Yalunka have migrated to cities to find work.


 The Kru, Kroo, Krou or Kuru are a West African ethnic group who are indigenous to western Ivory Coast and eastern Liberia. They migrated and settled along various points of the West African coast, notably Freetown, Sierra Leone, but also the Ivorian and Nigerian coasts.[1][better source needed] The Kru people are a large ethnic group that is made up of several sub-ethnic groups in Liberia and Ivory Coast. These tribes include Bété, Bassa, Krumen, Guéré, Grebo, Klao, Dida, Krahn people and, Jabo people. The Kru people were more valuable as traders and sailors on slave ships than as slave labor. To ensure their status as “freemen,” they initiated the practice of tattooing their foreheads and the bridge of their nose with indigo dye to distinguish them from slave laborPart of the Grebo people were called Krumen and hired as free sailors on European ships, initially engaged in the slave trade, and then when that ended in the coastal trade in goods. The Krumen were famous for their skills in navigating and sailing the Atlantic and the homophony with crewmen was noted. Their maritime expertise evolved along the west coast of Africa where they made a living as fishermen and traders. Knowing the in-shore waters of the western coast of Africa, and having nautical experience, they were employed as sailors, navigators and interpreters aboard slave ships, as well as American and British warships used against the slave tradeThe Kru history is one marked by a strong sense of ethnicity and resistance to occupation. In 1856 when part of Liberia was still known as the independent


The Vai people speak the Vai language, which is one of the Mande languages. The Sierra Leonean Vai are predominantly found in Pujehun District around the Liberian border. Many Sierra Leonean villages that border Liberia are populated by the Vai. In total, only about 1200 Vai live in Sierra Leonemany aspects, the Vai are a unique African ethnicity. Many believe[who?] that the region inhabited by the Vai is the original home of the Poro, a male secret society known throughout West Africa. The Vai are also quite musical.They play many instruments and perform dances on special occasions.The Vai have three types of schooling. The first and most important is the bush school, where the children learn traditional Vai socialization skills, important survival skills, and other traits of village life for four to five years. Second is the English school; some Vai children attend English schools to learn the English language. Finally, there are the Quranic schools, where Vai children are taught the Arabic language under the guidance of the local Muslim religious leader.Most Vai make their living by farming the fertile land. Rice is their staple crop and can be cultivated with other vegetables on upland plots of cleared land. In addition to rice, crops such as cotton, corn, pumpkins, bananas, ginger, coffee, and cocoa are raised.


The Vai also gather various nuts and berries from the forests. The palm tree is an important commodity to the Vai. Nuts, butter, wine, fuel, soap, and baskets are among its many derivative

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