The Krio Fula of Sierra Leone
The Krio Fula are of mixed ancestry. They are partially descended from freed African slaves who settled on the coast of Sierra Leone during the first half of the nineteenth century. These freed slaves intermarried with many groups already in the area, such as the Kru, the Mende, the Vai, the Mandinke, the Kissi, and the Europeans. The resulting mixture of cultures and languages eventually produced the Creole race. (Hence the term "Krio" in their name.)
The Fulani (Fula) people settled in the Fouta Djallon region of Sierra Leone nearly three hundred years ago, and mixed with the people of the area. (Hence the term "Fula" in their name.)
What are their lives like?
The Krio Fula are primarily skilled cattle farmers, with their lives depending upon and revolving around the cattle herds. The status of a family can be determined by the size and health of its cattle. The more a man knows about cattle herding, the greater respect he is given by the community.
Herding cattle is usually a male activity; however, the women milk and take care of the cattle. They also tend to the small livestock and poultry, cultivate gardens, and carry containers of milk and cheese to the local markets for sell or trade.
Most Krio Fula also engage in some type of farming. Rice is cultivated in the swamps on the peninsular coast, while millet, peanuts, and other vegetables are grown farther inland.
Krio Fula villages are scattered, but each has a central court and a mosque. Together, these compose a miside (community). Each miside has a headman who handles village affairs and who answers to a chief. The homes of the settled Krio Fula are round with mud walls and thatched roofs that projects over encircling porches. However, nomadic Krio Fula live in simpler structures, since they are so often moving with the herds. These houses have neither walls nor verandahs, and are encircled by cattle corrals.
Daughters remain with their mothers until they marry. However, as soon as a son reaches puberty, he leaves the family compound and lives alone in a nearby compound, usually with some cattle. This new compound will be the home of the son and his future wife.
What are their beliefs?
Some men practice herbal healings, divination, and magic. Fertility is prayed for as an important means of ensuring the supply of future herdsmen and milkmaids.
Meat from the cattle is not eaten by the Krio Fula, except for ceremonial purposes. The "herd owner's feast" is one such ceremony. During this feast, a bull that has served ten seasons is presented, killed, and eaten.
What are their needs?
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
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Bethany World Prayer Center
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