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Where did the Bullom Go? 

Where did the Bullom Go? 

The Contribution of the Bullom to the emergence of Krio Society in Sierra Leone

The most researched area of the history of contemporary Sierra Leone is that of the founding of the Colony of Sierra Leone and the emergence of Sierra Leone’s Krio Society(1) The emphasis in the available evidence derived largely from British archival sources is the much lauded role of the British in the founding of this settlement for freed slaves.(2)  The sources almost exclusively devote attention to those who came to the emergent colony by the effort of the British – those from the Western world, named in the documents as The Black Poor, the Nova Scotians and the Maroons, and those whom the documents refer to as the “Liberated Africans” or the “Recaptives”. The point being emphasized here is that these people had been captured and sold into slavery and the British freed them to become the subjects in this new “Province of Freedom”, the Colony of Sierra Leone.

All of this is very self congratulatory as the first writers on the history of the Colony were mostly Europeans. (3) Most significantly, Christopher Fyfe, who wrote the first major History of Sierra Leone soon after Sierra Leone’s independence in 1961, also wrote a Short History of Sierra Leone published in 1964, that remained the main source of teaching Sierra Leone history in schools into the end of the 1970s (4) Sierra Leoneans who were educated in schools in Sierra Leone throughout the 1960s and 1970s came to believe that this is the way they should understand their country’s history which, it was almost clearly stated, started with the coming of Europeans to the shores of the Peninsula of Sierra Leone.(5) Most Sierra Leoneans have therefore been nurtured with this as their history and older Sierra Leoneans become somewhat hostile when  it is made clear that the history of their country did not start with the founding of the colony of Sierra Leone.

One curious factor as the history of Sierra Leone becomes researched from somewhat different perspectives is the question of the people who were living there before the colony was founded and who receive little or no mention in the records or in the historical analyses that accompanied these records. Those people in the Sierra Leone peninsula by the middle of the eighteenth century were the Bullom peoples. But where did the Bullom go after the founding of the Colony? Did they just evaporate into thin air? The main purpose of this piece therefore is to explore the nature of Bullom society in the peninsula in the period before the colony was established there, and what became of them as the colony found its feet and became expanded into the larger area of present day Sierra Leone. It is here suggested that in the mix of peoples who came to be regarded as Krio by the middle of the nineteenth century,  the emphasis placed on those brought there by the British is misleading. As Krio culture developed largely in the villages surrounding Freetown, the center of the new Colony, there were many more Bullom peoples who became absorbed into the pattern of development that was the main factor in the emergence of Krio society. Since the Bullom outnumbered these newcomers, then it stands to reason that the emergent Krio society included far more Bullom than any other Liberated African group. The concern of the British being to signify what they were creating, the Bullom got left in the cold. Krio people today have therefore come to believe that their ethnicity emerged primarily at least from those who came from Britain and the Americas and the so-called “Liberated Africans”.(6) Let us examine this claim.

Earliest Knowledge about Bullom Societies

Our earliest information about the Bullom who inhabited the entire peninsula of Sierra Leone where the Colony was founded comes from observations of the first Portuguese and later other European voyagers who visited this area starting in the fifteenth century, and from oral histories collected by these Portuguese  dating back at least a century earlier which dealt particularly with the Mani invasion of Bullom country that started about 1450. This invasion was a major event and remained in the minds of the informants, a few of whom participated in the  huge attendant warfare brought by the Mani.(7) Thus a combination of oral sources recorded by the first Portuguese voyagers and their own observations become the window through which we get a glimpse of early Bullom society. Familiarity with the toponymy and anthroponomy  is essential in interpreting this data and the late Paul Hair has contributed immensely to this process.(8)

The Bullom are among the earliest inhabitants of the Upper Guinea Coast for  which we have record. The Bullom language is closely associated with that of the Kissi and Krim, two other ethnic groups presently in Sierra Leone, as well as the Baga and Landuman now found in the neighbouring Republic of Guinea(9) “The Bullom were mentioned in most of the early sources” dating to the fifteenth century when the first Portuguese voyagers got to this part of West Africa.(10). While there were other coastal ethnies in Upper Guinea Coast like the Nalu, Baga, Beafada sharing cultures broadly similar to that of the Bullom, according to Rodney, “the single dominant element along the coast were the Bulloms.”(11) Territory occupied by the Bullom extended southwards from the coastal areas of Guinea Bissau, past and including the Sierra Leone Peninsula, to as far south as the southern fringes of  present day  Sherbro area.(12) Thus the entire coast of Sierra Leone was Bullom territory by the fifteenth century.

Information about the earliest Bullom settlements identified comes from a Portuguese functionary named Valentim Fernandes. Writing at the beginning of the sixteenth century, Fernandes identified  settlements named Manguy having about a thousand inhabitants; Maguem with three hundred people, Pinto with two hundred, Bop with 150, and “besides these there were many others of sixty, 40 and 20 inhabitants, and farms where rice is planted” (13)

There was a kingdom identified around present day Sherbro called Bagarabomba, which seemed to mark the southern limits of Bullom territory (14) About the early sixteenth century, Bullom settlements were identified, larger than the ones mentioned by Fernandes. Pacheco Pareira had described a Bullom town a little north of the Scaracies river called Qaynamo, which had between five and six thousand Bulom peoples,(15)

Thus there were Bullom settlements of varying size, dotted along the Upper Guinea Coast. As this area was a riverine region with many rivers, large and small, Bullom territory extended up these rivers “as far inland as one can paddle a canoe” according to Alvares, another early Portuguese visitor (16) In the inner reaches of the estuary of the River Rokel, called the Sierra Leone River by the early Portuguese, a relatively large kingdom named Bengoma (most likely the Bengwema of today) was identified by the early seventeenth century. (17)  A boat culture developed among the early Bullom peoples, culturally linking various Bullom entities. Boats were sometimes taken overland from one river to another, to link settlements for specific visits.

 Political and Cultural Links

One of the most confounding element in the Bullom world of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is the fact that the Bullom were not organized as a single polity.  This was a common element in the area of Upper Guinea, particularly the area of present day Sierra Leone. The Koranko, the Thaimne (18)  were organized in similar ways  by the eighteenth century, although there had been an earlier Thaimne  kingdom described as Banta before that period.(19) The terms, ‘kingdom’ and ‘states’ are rather used by these early European visitors to denote political entities that were not evidently subject to any superior authority. Following Vansina’s characterization, a state is a state, no matter how small it is.(20)  Thus these kingdoms, not being large, came to be described in the literature as ‘stateless’.(21) The distinction is academic as these could still be described as small independent kingdoms. According to Fernandes, the fifteenth century rulers of these kingdoms had largely nominal powers and the role and authority of the ‘nobles’, the big men, were equally important (22)

There were rather shared cultural values that created strong bonds between allies, called upon as necessary. By the end of the sixteenth century, the Portuguese voyagers had begun to use the term ‘Ҫapes” to refer to virtually all of the various ethnies occupying the coastal region from southern Senegal on to the area of present Sherbro territory The cedilla accompanying the ‘C’ was often dropped and the name was rendered as ‘Sapes’. Paul Hair regards ‘sapes’ as a “generic term used by the Portuguese to describe the inhabitants  of this coast…”, extending from the area of Guinea Bissau to the Sherbro area.(23)

Bullom culture was often subsumed in the general description of all of the coastal groups like the Beafada, the Baga, the Nalu and others. Shared cultural values that were common here meant that there was ‘a basic linguistic and cultural unity corresponding to the geographical unit of the “Rivers of the South”, as the Upper Guinea Coast was often described by early geographers (23) The Sapes shared common cultural values relating to the administration of justice and patterns of dress. The  early accounts describe powerful secret societies like the Poro and Simo, very similar and present among the Bullom and other Sapes.(24) These provided unifying elements as neighboring kingdoms always participated in the ceremonies associated with these societies.

The  early Bullom believed in ancestor worship. A 1623 account by the Portuguese visitor, Ruiters, describes this in detail. For the Bullom, it states

When they pray, they place their heads on the ground, and they profess to pray, not to the image standing on the grave, but to the person who lies buried in the earth. They profess and indeed state openly, not only that they do not pray to the image on the grave, but that they pray to their friend who is alive in another world.

They put gold rings on the dead person’s fingers, articles of iron, copper and tin are all buried with the deceased. For the living friend does all he can to equip his dead friend generously, so that when he arrives in the other world he will be respected and be of good position(25)

This passage has been quoted lengthily to emphasize a cultural value prominent among the Krio peoples, thought to have originally been brought among the Krio by Yoruba Liberated Africans. (26). Since contact with Yorubaland  and the Bullom area was almost non-existent  by the seventeenth century and this cultural value seems well entrenched and readily observable by that time, it is safe to say that this existed in the Sierra Leone Peninsula among the Bullom well before Liberated Africans, mostly Yoruba, got there.

Thus with the boat culture and the similarity of other cultural values Rodney comments that  “Frequest reunions for social, religious and political purposes were held and to reach them the canoe was the means of transport” (27)

Thaimne Influence on the Bullom

Up to the fifteenth century, the Thaimne were regarded as an inland people, identified primarily up the Scarcies River (28).  But trade between the Bullom and the Thaimne had become commonplace so that Thaimne started migrating to the Bullom coast in noticeable numbers. The Thaimne language was therefore becoming common among the Bullom. Since the early Portuguese voyagers, looking for trade sources, identified the Thaimne as an important source, they concentrated more on Thaimne country  up the Scarcies and were followed there by Jesuit missionaries from Portugal.  This developing trade brought more Thaimne to the Bullom territories and the Bullom and Thaimne languages became identifiable to visitors. It is safe to conclude that the Thaimne borrowed cultural institutions like the Poro from the Bullom at this earlier stage. However, Thaimne influence on the Bullom also increased, particularly after the invasion of the Mani.

The Mani Invasions of the Sixteenth Century

Events that were to severely impact the Sierra Leone Peninsula including some areas inland were  the invasions starting about 1540 of the Mani, led by Mandingo elite from the Mali kingdom, but including large numbers of incorporated peoples trained to fight by the Mani leaders and swelling their numbers, giving them a great edge in the advancing conquests towards the Guinea Coast. Walter Rodney has examined these events following information collected by the early Portuguese voyagers from Bullom and Thaimne informants, a few of whom were still alive and remembered the events very well.(29)

Many Bullom settlements were destroyed during these invasions. Equally so, Bullom areas initially conquered by the Mani, particularly around what became Sherbro territory, fell under Mani rule and the subjects were then trained to fight using the unique Mani long bow. Bullom as well as Thaimne now became part of the Mani armies and helped to conquer other Bullom territories further north.

At the end of the conquests that took a few years,  the Mani divided up the territory north and south of the Sierra Leone Peninsula principally into four kingdoms. One of these included Bullom peoples immediately north of the Peninsula. A second kingdom just south of the first, included what had by the sixteenth century become Loko territory centred on the town of Mitombo around what the Portuguese called Port Loko. The third kingdom led by the Mani included parts of the Sierra Leone Peninsula and  further south as far as the Bullom territory close to Sherbro Island. The fourth kingdom was Bullom territory centred on what is now Sherbro Island. The head of this latter kingdom was a Mani leader named Sherabola, a corruption of whose name is now rendered as Sherbro.(30)

Many Sierra Leoneans today have this part of their history confused. The language of the Bullom who became subjects of Sherabola came to be influenced by their Mani rulers so that it came to have slight differences from the Bullom language. More significantly, after the British founded a Colony in the Sierra Leone Peninsula in 1787, a number of  those who were landed there from captured slave ships and called Liberated Africans later moved to live in Sherbro country. This latter developed in lines similar to the Colony, having its own town council, with British influence there as strong as that in the new Colony. A number of Missionary societies operated in Bonthe  which was largely administered as part of the Colony, rather than the Protectorate. In consequence most  people of Bonthe ended up with ‘Christian’, that is Western names(31) The emergent Krio society in the Colony thus came to develop a strong affinity with the Sherbro, and came to describe all areas of Bullom territory which came to constitute the Peninsula villages as Sherbro territory. Thus Solomon Pratt in his Memoires described the  original inhabitants of his home village at Regent as Sherbro(32) and Koso Thomas did the same for the original Bullom inhabitants of York village(33)

Early map makers have only added to the confusion by referring to Bullom territory around what became Sherbro Island as “Bullom Sherbro”, an appellation earlier mentioned in some maps. This led to areas of former Bullom territory as far north as the Bullom Shore being regarded as “Bullom Sherbro” in some accounts (34)

Bullom territory under Mani rule was not entirely denuded by the invasions. Some major settlements remained as some of the Bullom moved to areas further north. As mentioned earlier, the Mani who invaded  did so by incorporating conquered peoples into their armies, training them to fight in the Mani way. Through this, Bullom and Thaimne fighting under Mani leadership became proud of this attachment as they helped the Mani leaders conquer others of similar ethnicity.

But the Mani rulers were too few to have  a much stronger impact on Bullom culture other than the creation of larger political units ruled by the Mani that the Bullom had not been accustomed to. This was the major handicap that led to their defeat, for the Bullom had been organized into smaller independent units, culturally linked but not using this cultural links for political capital when faced with the Mani invasions. Otherwise, other than Mani destruction of Bullom skills in ivory carvings and positive influence in methods of iron working, the Mani influence on the Bullom was rather slight. By the end of the sixteenth century, observers could hardly distinguish Mani from Bullom, all of whom along the peninsula were now described by the Portuguese as ‘Sapes’. One Portuguese visitor, Andre Alvares de Almada, wrote in 1616 that “It is difficult to speak of the Manes of Sierra Leone because of their assimilation into the life there. Such genuine Manes about whom one could speak are few and fast disappearing”(35)

By the seventeenth century Bullom territory, now regarded in the literature as ‘Sapes’, had recovered from the Mani invasions but their Bullom identity had become influenced by Thaimne and Mani traditions. But it was predominantly Bullom. The term ‘Sapes’ was now used more commonly by Portuguese visitors to the area, referring to “a varying collection of ethnolinguistic units on the Upper Guinea Coast, apparently only on a geographical basis”. (36)  This ethnolinguistic situation had become more complex by this time, partly due to the new Mani rulers of both the Thaimne and the Bullom, and also to Thaimne expansion into the Sierra Leone Peninsula, largely into Bullom territory. But this Thaimne expansion was now largely under their new Mani rulers who had become largely culturally incorporated into Thaimne culture. By the eighteenth century, Thaimne presence had reached the Peninsula around the village of Robump that the British later named Hastings (37) In fact sources mentioned a Thaimne village that had been largely deserted around the same time that came to be labelled Wellington by the British (38). The term Sapes also included Loko speaking peoples neighboring the Thaimne, now also ruled by Mani overlords. There were also Baga peoples in the general rea around present day Port Loko, the latter name being derived  from Loko ethnicity. Baga, Bullom and Thaimne spoke languages that apparently had some similarities and the visiting Europeans simply lobbed them together.(39) The burial place of Thaimne rulers of Koya was at Robaga, a settlement obviously earlier settled by Baga peoples, to which name the Thaimne added their own ‘ro’ prefix when they came to occupy that settlement.

These groups and a few others like the Landuma, found today outside Sierra Leone in the region of neighbouring Republic of Guinea, had then obviously become generalized into the term Sapes. But the identity of Bullom in many of these settlements was still recognized into the seventeenth century. An area immediately north of the Rokel River estuary, often referred to as the “North Bullom Shore” was settled, apparently after the Mani invasion , by a group of Bullom who came to be called ‘Kafu Bullom’. There is still a contemporary chiefdom in the same place bearing the same name. According to Paul Hair, from an examination of several Portuguese sources, the Bullom by the seventeenth century, still occupied “much of the coast between the Mellakuri River and the Sierra Leone (Rokel) River, as well as the coast South from the Sierra Leone Peninsula to Turner’s Peninsula” (40)

While the visiting Portuguese were more interested in trade with the Thaimne and thus concentrated their interest and descriptions on that ethnicity, they still mentioned some specific Bullom centres. Ruiters, writing in 1623, mentions the Bullom town recorded as Quimamora which he estimated as inhabited by at least five thousand Bullom people, and which seemed to have been known by European visitors about a century earlier. (41) Again, in a letter from the Jesuit Priest Father Barriera who visited this area in 1607, he described a ruler named Fatema as the most powerful ruler of the Bullom. Hair placed Fatema’s domain as being “on the Bullom Shore and its hinterland and extending north along the coast towards the Iles de Los” (42)

A picture is thus here presented of extensive pre-eighteenth century Bullom occupation of the Sierra Leone Peninsula, leading deeply up the Rokel River estuary even up to centres like what became Waterloo and Bengwema. (43)

The New Colony of Sierra Leone

In the late eighteenth century, starting in 1787, the British established the Colony of Sierra Leone, first centred in a site named Granville Town and by 1792 in a Bullom  site renamed Freetown. The concentration was at first to stabilize the new colony in the face of continued slave trading and the hostility of the Thaimne rulers of the peninsula where the colony was located.

After the British Government formally took over control of the colony in 1808, it became a centre for victims captured from slave ships by the British navy in their attempt to stop the slave trade on the West African waters. It is these victims who came to be called ‘Recaptives’ or ‘Liberated Africans’. As the population of the small colony swelled from those landed, it became obvious that these would have to be settled  in areas around Freetown, so that settlements around Freetown emerged, identified in terms of the areas of origin of these ‘Recaptives’.Areas like “Bambara Town’, Portuguese Town, Congo Town, Soldier Town, Fula Town became known around Freetown (44)

 The New villages in Bullom territory

The creation of these new centres came to be part of a grand plan formalized by Charles MacCarthy who became Governor of the Colony in 1814. In what came to be called the Parish Plan, MacCarthy teamed up with the Church missionary Society (CMS) to set up new centres for the expanding population of Recaptives in Bullom villages in the Peninsula, initially giving them CMS missionaries as village heads and developing them strictly  on British principles of Christianity, western education and values. (45)

These Bullom villages were now all given Western names based on some prominent British figure or place. The names of the Bullom villages  were sometimes recorded,  but were largely abandoned in favour of the British names. As these new Recaptives settled alongside the original Bullom inhabitants,  a few of these Bullom names of the villages survived to the present. Notable among these were the Bullom villages of Adonkia and Funkia. where the new settlement came to be known as Goderich, named after the Secretary of State in England.(46)

In most instances, if mentioned, these original villages were simply identified in the records as Bullom villages. The Bullom village of Cabenda was renamed Wilberforce after new Recaptives were settled there (47), What is still today the  fishing village of Tombo apparently retained its name and was described as “an old Bullom village once belonging to the Caulkers”. (48) On the mountains adjoining the cololny the village named Hogbrook was renamed Regent by Governor MacCarthy.(49)

It is undisputed that all of these villages with British names – Gloucester, Leceister, Sussex, Bathurst, Russel, Hamilton, and others – were settled among the Bullom with newly Liberated Africans. Even the earlier group of “settlers” called the Maroons in the literature, over five hundred of them, were settled initially among Bullom peoples on the “Bullom Shore”, the more familiar name for the Bullom north of the estuary of the Rokel River (50)

An indication of the development that resulted is mentioned in the case of the Bullom village called Momini that was settled with disbanded soldiers from 4thWest India Regiment, Africans who had fought for the British and were now being re-settled in Sierra Leone. They were all males and Fyfe comments from the records that “Bulom women flocked in to live with them”.(51) As these ‘new’ settlements adjoined the Bullom ones, there was immediate interaction between original Bullom and the new Africans coming to live there. In fact the Managers appointed to rule the villages controlled both the Bullom of the former settlement as well as the Liberated Africans. Where most of these newcomers were males, they obviously began looking for wives from among the Bullom. Thus the maternal ancestry of most of those who  gravitated under the rule of the British in these formerly Bullom settlements obviously became that of Bullom peoples, a factor never addressed in any of the analyses as there was little interest in such detail.

As officials  of European stock were in short supply to become managers of these Liberated African cum Bullom villages, the Colony administration began to employ Maroons and Liberated Africans to these positions so that ere long most of the villages were headed by these latter. (52)  These were of course those acceptable to the British overlords, who followed principles being demonstrated by the British. Entry into Missionary schools started in these villages carried the requirement of becoming Christian and adopting a ‘Christian’ name, meaning a ‘Western’ name. The spate of name changing therefore applied to all who attended such schools, be they Bullom or Liberated Africans. Within a generation, all of these began to carry the new identity, making Bullom names unfashionable in the new dispensation, just as the Bullom name of their village had literally disappeared.

Bullom Dispersal

As the Sierra Leone Colony expanded to include these villages, Bullom peoples moved around, some of them leaving their original villages to blend first with the Thaimne, many of whom now lived in the peninsula area and who were the political rulers of the colony who were negotiated with as the British obtained the use of land to found the new colony. Bullom elements also blended with the Liberated Africans in Freetown proper as they sought menial job opportunities in  the colony, competing with the Liberated Africans. In the process the Bullom further spread their culture among the colony peoples. It is recorded that “Bulom women introduced the Bundo Society at Wellington and Hastings and persuaded women to join or send their daughters. Male circumcision also continued”. (53)

Christopher Fyfe records, in characteristic prejudice, the inevitable interaction between Yoruba culture of the Recaptives, and Bullom culture, plus the new Christian dispensation, in these words:

Thus in this Christian community the godly were often affronted by drumming and dancing, drunken wakes, thinly veiled pre-Christian practices, incompatible with the standard of propriety to which respectable members of society gave homage. (54)


It is all of these influences that came together to render what came to be called Krio society by the mid nineteenth century. While we do not have reliable numbers to quantify the presence of Bullom peoples vis-à-vis Liberated Africans in the emerging scene in the Sierra Leone colony in the first half of the nineteenth century, the picture that does emerge from this analysis should present a different image of Krio history than has hitherto been represented. If there were Bullom people already living in all of these ‘new’ villages surrounding Freetown, there is every reason to believe that Bullom outnumbered Liberated Africans in these settlements and would have been, at least culturally, a significant influence on the developing society. While the more obvious indicators were the new names of the villages and their inhabitants, the Christian veneer in their new found status, Krio people should not be deluded into thinking that the only significant influence in their emergent culture were those of the British and the Yoruba. The Bullom heritage, hitherto disregarded by historians, should be reinstated, even though the Bullom language is almost extinct in Sierra Leone today.


  1. There is still a lengthy discussion of the origin of the term; Krio. Recently Ian Hancock, a linguist familiar with research on this subject concluded on the origin of the term Krio. (Ian Hancock, The Origin of the term ‘Krio’. Journal of Sierra Leone Studies, V, 3, 2016) While I agree with his rejection of the conclusion of Fyle and Jones in the Krio-English Dictionary (Oxford, 1980) about the linguistic conclusion supporting the African origin of the term, I find his own ‘opinion’ that the term used in the context of Sierra Leone history ‘probably has a multiple origin both European and African unsupported by extant historical evidence. (cf. C. Magbaily Fyle, “Nationalism Should Trump Ethnicity: The Krio Saga in Sierra Leone’s History”.Weave, Research in Sierra Leone Studies, (RISLS) 5, 1, 2013
  2. The best known histories on this issue are Christopher Fyfe’s A History of Sierra Leone (London, Oxford 1962); Leo Spitzer, The Creoles of Sierra Leone: Responses to Colonialism 1870-1945. Madison, Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin Press, 1974; John Peterson, Province of Freedom: A History of Sierra Leone 1787-1870. Evanston, Il, Northwestern University Press, 1969); Akintola Wyse, The Krio of Sierra Leone: An Interpretive History London, Hurst, and Freetown, Okrafo Smart & Co, 1989. Gibril Cole, The Krio of West Africa ( Athens, Ohio. Ohio University Press 2013.
  3. A notable exception is A,B. Sibthorpe’s History of Sierra Leone, published in 1836)
  4. Fyfe, A Short History of Sierra Leone. London, Longmans, 1962.The History of Sierra Leone: A Concise Introduction by C. Magbaily Fyle (London, Evans), appeared in 1981
  5. See Paul Hair’s claim that “the history of the Guinea Coast begins with the Accession of the region in the fifteenth century to…written sources” (cf. “Sources on early Sierra Leone (12) The Livro of the ‘Santiago’ 1526” Africana Research Bulletin, Fourah Bay College. VIII, 1, 1977 p.28
  6. Discussions with Krio elders who claim to be historians strongly support what was represented by Akintola Wyse in his The Krio of Sierra Leone: An Interpretive History ( Freetown, W.D Okrafo Smart & Co, 1989.) Wyse states, “The Krio descendants of the early Settlers and the Liberated Africans…”. (p.7)
  7. Walter Rodney, History of the Upper Guinea Coast (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1970) is still the best analysis of this event based on the Portugeuse sources.
  8. See, for example Paul Hair’s presentation of Andre Donelha’s An Account of Sierra Leone and the Rivers of Guinea of Cape Verde (1625). Lisboa, Junta De Investigaçöes, Cientificas Do Ultramar, 1977 The Portuguese version of this text was jointly presented with Avelino Teixeira Da Mota. (hereinafter, Donelha, Sierra Leone)
  9. Rodney, Upper Guinea Coast, chap 1
  10. Donhela, Sierra Leone, p.247.
  11. ibid
  12. Donhela, Sierra Leone, 247 The Sherbro are a Bullom people, later identified as Sherbro after the Mani invasion of the 1550s
  13. Reproduced in A.P. Kup, A History of Sierra Leone 1400-1787. Cambridge University Press, 1961
  14. E.H. Hair, “Sources on Early Sierra Leone (9) Barriera’s Account of the Coast of Guinee, 1606”. Africana Research Bulletin, (ARB) Fourah Bay College, VII, 1, 1976
  15. E.H. Hair, “Soures on Early Sierra Leone (4) Ruiters 1623)” ARB, V,3,1975.
  16. Recorded in Rodney, Upper Guinea Coast, p.17
  17. Donhela, Sierra Leone, 25
  18. Thaimne is the term used by that ethnicity when speaking their language. Obviously, the earliest Europeans who recorded this ethnicity in writing heard differently and thus the appellation, ‘Temne’ has survived as the name of this ethnicity. Cf D. Dalby, “Banta and Mabanta”. Sierra Leone Studies
  19. See ‘Banta” in C. Magbaily Fyle, Historical Dictionary of Sierra Leone New Edition Lanham, Maryland Scarecrow Press, 2006 p. 16. Also A. G. Laing, Travels in Western Africa. London, Longmans, 1825
  20. Vansina. “A Comparison of African Kingdoms” Africa, XXXII, 4, 1962
  21. Rodney, Upper Guinea Coast, pp. 28-9
  22. 22, Rodney, Upper Guinea Coast, p.30
  23. E.H. Hair, “Sources on Early Sierra Leone (9): Barreira’s Account of Coast of Guinea, 1606”, ARB Vii, 1, 1976, p,70
  24. Rodney, Upper Guinea Coast, p66
  25. P,E.H.Hair, “Sources on Early Sierra Leone (4): Ruiters 1623” ARB V,3, 1975 pp. 65-66.
  26. See, A. Wyse and C. Magbaily Fyle, “Kriodom: A Maligned Culture” Journal of the Historical Society of Sierra Leone (JHSSL) 3, 1&2, 1979
  27. Rodney, Upper Guinea Coast,16
  28. Donhela, Sierra Leone, p 24
  29. Rodney, Upper Guinea Coast, chapter 2
  30. Ibid, p.53
  31. See Fyfe, History, p.544 for example.
  32. A.J. Pratt, Memoires
  33. Koso-Thomas, The Winding Road. Freetown, Nyakon, 2008
  34. McCulloch, Peoples of Sierra Leone (1964)
  35. Quoted in Rodney, Upper Guinea,55. When speaking in their own language, the Thaimne refer to the Mende as ‘Meni’, reminiscent of their first contacts with the Mani who invaded this area.
  36. Donhela, Sierra Leone, p.259
  37. Fyfe, History p.136
  38. Ethnolinguistic Continuity on the Guinea Coast”, Journal of African History, 8,
  39. Quote from notes in Donhela,Sierra Leone, p.247
  40. E.H. Hair, “Sources on Early Sierra Leone(4): Ruiters (1623)”. ARB, V, 3, 1975 p. 69
  41. E.H. Hair, “Sources on Early Sierra Leone(7):Barreira’s Letter of 9.3.1607”. ARB VI,2, 1976 p. 69
  42. Donhela, Sierra Leone, 253
  43. See Michael Banton, West African City: A Study of Tribal Life in Freetown. London, Oxford University Press, 1957
  44. This Parish Plan has been elaborately analyzed. For an example, see J. Peterson, Province of Freedom,77ff
  45. Fyfe, History, 18
  46. Ibid, p. 128
  47. Ibid p.209
  48. Ibid, p. 128. See also V.S. W. Okrafo=Smart, Okrafo: Over a Century in the lives of a liberated African family, 1816=1930. Nottingham, Palm Tree Publishers UK 2006
  49. Fyfe, History, pp. 80-8151. Ibid, p. 136
  50. Ibid, p.209
  51. Ibid, p.294
  52. Ibid

Cecil Magbailey Fyle

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