Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Limba people (Sierra Leone)

Limba people (Sierra Leone)

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Limba people (Sierra Leone)'
Start a new discussion about 'Limba people (Sierra Leone)'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Limba people is a major ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 in the Republic of Sierra Leone. They form the third largest ethnic group in the country, about 8.5% of Sierra Leone's total population (about 566,529 members).

The Limba are Indigenous people
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 of Sierra Leone and speak various dialects of a language largely unrelated to other tribal languages in Sierra Leone. They are primarily found in the Northern Province
Northern Province, Sierra Leone
The Northern Province is one of the four provincial divisions of Sierra Leone. It comprises five Districts and covers an area of 35,936 km² and with a population of 1,718,240 . Its administrative and economic center is Makeni...

, particularly in Bombali District
Bombali District
Bombali District is district in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone. It's capital and largest city is Makeni, which is also the fifth largest city in Sierra Leone and the largest city in the north. The other major towns in the district include Kamakwie, Kamabai, Masingbi and Binkolo...

, Koinadugu
Koinadugu District
Koinadugu District Is a District in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone. It is by far the largest District in Sierra Leone in geographical area. Its capital and largest city is Kabala, which is also one of the main cities in Northern Sierra Leone...

 and Kambia District
Kambia District
Kambia District is a district in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone. Its capital and largest city is Kambia. The other major towns include Morebaya, Kasirie, Kamassassa, Kukuna and Mange. The district has a population estimated at 304,357....

. During Sierra Leone's colonial
Colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

 era thousands of Limbas migrated to the capital city of Freetown
Freetown
Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa. It is a major port city on the Atlantic Ocean located in the Western Area of the country, and had a city proper population of 772,873 at the 2004 census. The city is the economic, financial, and cultural center of...

 and its Western Area. As a result, a significant number of Limbas can be found in Freetown and its surrounding Western Area. During the 16th, 17th, and 18th century, many Limba people were shipped to North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 as slaves.

The Limba are mainly rice farmers, traders and hunters who live in the savannah-woodland region in the Northern Province
Northern Province, Sierra Leone
The Northern Province is one of the four provincial divisions of Sierra Leone. It comprises five Districts and covers an area of 35,936 km² and with a population of 1,718,240 . Its administrative and economic center is Makeni...

 of Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone , officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of and has an estimated population between 5.4 and 6.4...

. They predominate in 7 of Sierra Leone's 149 rural chiefdoms, and their community affairs are dominated by the local paramount chief
Paramount chief
A paramount chief is the highest-level traditional chief or political leader in a regional or local polity or country typically administered politically with a chief-based system. This definition is used occasionally in anthropological and archaeological theory to refer to the rulers of multiple...

s.

History


Members of the Limba tribe believe that they have always lived in Sierra Leone in the Wara Wara mountains and were probably the first rulers of the country. It is believed by some historians that like the Temne
Temne
Temne can refer to:* A West Atlantic language, the Temne language is one of the most widely spoken indigenous languages of Sierra Leone, West Africa...

, they are descendants of a once-powerful tribe coming from Fouta Djallon
Fouta Djallon
Fouta Djallon is a highland region in the centre of Guinea, West Africa. The indigenous name is Fuuta-Jaloo...

 during the 12th century. They were also brilliant scholars and philosophers brought their knowledge of agriculture and trade with them and with that built a society based on this sole ideal: If you work and respect the land properly then you are worthy to enjoy the fruits of your labor. During the colonial era of Sierra Leone, many Limba people were captured and sold at Bunce Island
Bunce Island
Bunce Island is the site of an 18th century British slave castle in the Republic of Sierra Leone in West Africa....

 as slaves to the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 through the Atlantic slave trade. To escape this, many Limba people traveled to the capital city of Freetown and the Western area and as a result, most Limba are located in these places.

Culture


The Limba consider themselves to be a mountain people and have at points in their history found themselves pushed into the mountains particularly during the periods of Susu
Susu people
The Soso are a major Mande ethnic group living primarily in Guinea. Smaller communities are also located in the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone, Senegal and Mali. The Susu are descendants of the thirteenth century Mali Empire...

 expansionism. Historically, they also had to fight off incursions from the Fula
Fula people
Fula people or Fulani or Fulbe are an ethnic group spread over many countries, predominantly in West Africa, but found also in Central Africa and Sudanese North Africa...

 and the Mandingo. The Limba take pride in their unique language which differs from the other languages spoken in Sierra Leone. As a result, Limbas strive to be very articulate with their vocabulary as a way of sticking out among the rest. They are mostly rice farmers, palm wine brewers and stone builders. They have names similar to the Temne people. They also have a past and current interest in politics, for example Siaka Stevens
Siaka Stevens
Siaka Probyn Stevens was the 3rd prime minister of Sierra Leone from 1967–1971 and the 1st president of Sierra Leone from 1971–1985. Stevens is generally criticised for dictatorial methods of government in which many of his political opponents were executed, as well as for mismanaging...

 as the first president of Sierra Leone from 1971-1985, Christian Alusine Karamara-Taylor as a founding member of the All People's Congress
All People's Congress
The All People's Congress is one of the two major political parties in Sierra Leone, the other is the Sierra Leone People's Party . The party was founded in 1960 by Pa Mucktarru Kallay, Allieu Badarr Koroma,Alhaji Sheik Gibril Sesay C A Kamara-Taylor, S A T Koroma and Abu Bakarr S Bangura...

 and Paolo Conteh, the current Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP). According to folklore, Limbas make excellent political leaders because they are descendants of the original rulers of Sierra Leone. The Limba's main sport of interest is soccer which is quite common amongst nations in West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

. Some popular Limba soccer players are Lamin Conteh and Saidu Tibati Kanu. The Limba have a spiritual home called Kakoia and they believe all Limbas return to the mountain through the town beyond a "door" through the rock. They also have a folklore about spirits called Krifi but information about this is limited.

Christianity


The Limba in the southern province are mostly influenced by Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and the Limba in the Northern Province are most influenced by Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. Portuguese Christian missionary efforts began before the Protestant Reformation but had no lasting effects on the Temne. The Protestant presence accompanied the founding of Freetown in the late eighteenth century; Church Missionary Society representatives were active up the Rokel River and elsewhere in Temne country throughout the nineteenth century. In the 1890s the Soudna Mission was the first American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 mission in the Temne area; American Wesleyans and the Evangelical United Brethren subsequently joined the field. Today, 65% of Limba are followers of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

.

Islam


The Limba in the Northern Province are somewhat influenced by Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 contacts probably go back several centuries, and fifteenth-century Portuguese were cognizant of Muslim peoples. Early traders, holy men, and warrior
Warrior
A warrior is a person skilled in combat or warfare, especially within the context of a tribal or clan-based society that recognizes a separate warrior class.-Warrior classes in tribal culture:...

s brought Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 into the Temne area from the north by the Susu
Susu people
The Soso are a major Mande ethnic group living primarily in Guinea. Smaller communities are also located in the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone, Senegal and Mali. The Susu are descendants of the thirteenth century Mali Empire...

 and northeast by the Fula
Fula people
Fula people or Fulani or Fulbe are an ethnic group spread over many countries, predominantly in West Africa, but found also in Central Africa and Sudanese North Africa...

 and Mandinka
Mandinka people
The Mandinka, Malinke are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa with an estimated population of eleven million ....

. Through the nineteenth century, as the volume of trade grew, Muslim influences increased; in the late twentieth century a significant proportion of Temne claim to be Muslim converts.

Although 30% of Limba have converted to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, they still practice their traditional religion, as well.

Politicians

  • Almamy Suluku
    Almamy Suluku
    Almamy Suluku was a powerful Limba ruler from Sierra Leone who maintained his independence as long as possible through brilliant political strategy.-Early life:...

    , powerful Limba ruler who maintained his independence as long as possible through brilliant political strategy during colonial era. (Kamabai - Northern Province)
  • Siaka Stevens
    Siaka Stevens
    Siaka Probyn Stevens was the 3rd prime minister of Sierra Leone from 1967–1971 and the 1st president of Sierra Leone from 1971–1985. Stevens is generally criticised for dictatorial methods of government in which many of his political opponents were executed, as well as for mismanaging...

    , president of Sierra Leone from 1971-1985
  • Joseph Saidu Momoh
    Joseph Saidu Momoh
    Major General Joseph Saidu Momoh was the President of Sierra Leone from November, 1985 to April 29, 1992.- Biography :...

    , president of Sierra Leone from 1985-1992
  • Christian Alusine Kamara-Taylor
    Christian Alusine Kamara-Taylor
    Christian Alusine Kamara-Taylor Popular known as C.A. was a Sierra Leonean politician and one of the founding members of the All People's Congress , along with Siaka Stevens and Sorie Ibrahim Koroma. He served as Sierra Leone's Minister of Finance from 1971 to 1975. He became Minister of Interior...

    , Sierra Leonean politician and one of the founding members * Johnny Paul Koroma
    Johnny Paul Koroma
    Johnny Paul Koroma was the Head of State of Sierra Leone from May 1997 to February 1998.-Youth and Education :Koroma grew up in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. However, he was born in Tombodu, Kono District, in eastern Sierra Leone to Limba parents. He is from the same ethnic group as...

    , Head of State of Sierra Leone from May 1997 to February 1998
  • Brima Acha Kamara
    Brima Acha Kamara
    - Mr. Francis Alieu Munu :- Mr. Francis Alieu Munu was appointed to his post on Friday 20th August 2010. Before his appointment, he was in- charge of Crime Services....

    , the current Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP).
  • Alfred Paolo Conteh
    Paolo Conteh
    Alfred Paolo Conteh is a retired Major in the The Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces and the current Defense Minister of Sierra Leone. He is also the nephew of former President of Sierra Leone, Joseph Saidu Momoh....

    , Current Sierra Leone's Minister of Defence
  • Birch Conteh, former Sierra Leone minister of Mines
  • Dauda Sulaiman Kamara, current Sierra Leone's minister of Internal Affairs Minister and Rural Developmentof
  • Kamfelafoncil Moaten

, current Sierra Leone minister of Agriculture
  • Moses Musa Sesay
    Moses Musa Sesay
    Moses Sesay is the current Mayor of the City of Makeni in the Bombali district of Northern Sierra Leone.Mr Sesay is the sixth of eleven children born to Edward Sallu Sesay and 'Tha' Kadiatu Sesay presently residents at the Azzolini Highway, Magbente Junction; in the outskirts of the City of...

    , Current mayor of Makeni
  • Jongopie Stevens, current Sierra Leone's ambassador to Austria and son of former Sierra Leone's president Siaka Stevens
  • Kandeh Baba Conteh
    Kandeh Baba Conteh
    Dr. Kandeh Baba Conteh is a Sierra Leonean politician and political scientist. He is the leader of the Peace and Liberation Party . He is a member of parliament, substituting Johnny Paul Koroma who died in 2003....

    , Sierra Leonean politician and leader of the Peace and Liberation Party
    Peace and Liberation Party
    The Peace and Liberation Party is a political party in Sierra Leone.At the last elections, 14 May 2002, the party won 3.6% of popular votes and 2 out of 112 seats. Its candidate at the presidential elections, Johnny Paul Koroma won 3.0% of the vote...

     (PLP)
  • Kondeh Yapoh Conteh, Member of Parliament for Constituency of Kamabai
  • Alhaji Kandeh Saio Sama Sesay, Limba tribal head ,Western Area (1975-1987)

Notable people

  • Lamin Conteh, footballer
  • Abdul Thompson Conteh
    Abdul Thompson Conteh
    Abdul Thompson Conteh is a former Sierra Leonean football striker.-Career:Conteh played three seasons in Major League Soccer, with San Jose Earthquakes in 2000 and D.C. United in 2001 and 2002. He scored a total 15 goals in league play...

    , footballer
  • Kewullay Conteh
    Kewullay Conteh
    Kewullay Conteh is a Sierra Leonean footballer currently playing for Serie B side Piacenza. He is also a first choice defender for the Leone Stars, Sierra Leone national football team...

    , footballer
  • Saidu Tibati Kanu, footballer
  • Bockarie Stevens, diplomat

External links