Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Journal 6, Kayla Frea

Journal 6 , Major tribes and ethnic groups in Sierra Leone: Temne, Mende         
The term Mende refers to both the name of the people but also the language. Occupying the southern-eastern part of Sierra Leone, but also a small group is in Liberia. The group’s land falls right in the path of the rain belt in the West Africa. There are fertile hills and coastal areas, with plains and swaps. The Mende tribe accounts for about one-third of the population of Sierra Leone. In 1931 the Mende tribe consisted of about 572,678 people. By 1992, the population was estimated to be 1.5 million. The cultural and linguistic traits are evidence that the Mende are descendants of the Mali Empire. The Mende territory has increased from wars. War, raids and subjugation, and enslavement of other people has led the Mende to assimilate other groups such as Sherbro and the Vai. “Mendenization” is defined as Mende cultural expansion and domination, the settlements spread into trading areas. Jobs in the tribe consist of hunting, fishing, and agriculture, especially in the small groups that then became villages and towns. There is a chiefdom consist of sections, with each section made up of a group of villages and towns. There was always a possibility of attack so they placed houses close together behind a stockade. (

Map of Sierra Leone, with areas where the tribes occupy.
The Temne group contains about 1.6 million members in the central and northwestern Sierra Leone. They speak the language of Temne. The jobs consist mainly of farms, in rice, supplemented by peanuts, cotton, cassava, and millet. Their cash crops are palm kernels and kola nuts. The layout of a Temen settlement would be a central meeting house, surrounded by circles of mud-and-wattle houses with thatched roofs. The settlement is divided into independent chiefdoms, and each is governed by a paramount chief. Each chiefdom is divided and governed by subchiefs and that contains one of more villages. The village is under authority of a headman, a descendant of the village founder, now is an elected official. (


  1. Thanks for including the map! that is a great visual layout to help understand the tribes and help understand ALWG when Beah talks about the different tribes and languages. Even it being one of the poorest countries in the world I think it is neat that they have gone up in population in the Menda tribe at least.

  2. To me this is really interesting, and the map really helps to see just how who is where in each part of Sierra Leone.

  3. I think this is very helpful in terms of our book because it helps us get a better understanding of the main character and where he comes from.


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