Monday, February 8, 2016

Matthew Rimmer, Journal #4: Research Topic of Major Tribes and Ethnic Groups in Sierra Leone

Matthew Rimmer
English 1109 10:30-12:30
Journal Four
            For my research topic I looked up information on the major tribes and ethnic groups in Sierra Leone. The two tribes that I will be discussing are the Temne tribe and the Mende tribe of Sierra Leone. The points that I will be covering on these two tribes will be information on their history, their village structuring, and their economy system.

A Map of Sierra Leone Showing the Tribes and Ethnic Groups along with their Locations and Size
The Temne Tribe
            History: The Temne tribe is one of the two largest groups in Sierra Leone. The Temne’s migration to present day Sierra Leone began in Israel. From Israel the Temne migrated to Ethiopia. The Temne then migrated to the Mali Empire. From the Mali Empire the Temne migrated to the Jalunkandu Empire (later known as Fouta Jallon). Finally, the Temne migrated to Sierra Leone.
            Village Structuring: The Temne villages varied in shape and size. However, the Chief’s hut would be the largest. The traditional Temne huts were round in shape with varying diameters. The walls had a stick frame that was covered in plastered mud; the roof was made of wooden poles connected by vines covered by grass thatching. There was land for farming and a walled fortress for residence in times of emergencies. Villages would be connected by secret paths that only the locals knew of.
            Economy: Temne made their livings by farming. The Temne are predominately rice farmers and planted secondary crops like peanuts, cassava, etc. There were fruit trees which provided other sources of food. They also relied on hunting and fishing. Many villagers possessed a second skill set to make supplementary income. vings by farming vided other sources of food. econdary crops. nnected by secret paths that only the locals kn
The Mende Tribe
            History: The Mende tribe is the other of the two largest groups in Sierra Leone. Warfare had gotten the Mende captured and put into slavery. They were purchased by Portuguese slavers and shipped to Havana, Cuba. From there were shipped to sugar plantations owners. On the way the broke free from their bondages and rebelled. They told the crew to return them to Africa, but the crew moved up the U.S. The ship was intercepted by a U.S. coastal rig. The Mende were freed and returned to their homes.
            Village Structuring: The Mende villages varied in shape and size. Villages were made in sections. The huts were built close together behind a stockade. This was done in favor of the possibility of attacks. Huts were either rounded or rectangular. Round huts were one story but the rectangular huts had two or three rooms with a veranda. The huts were strongly built of wattle with mud daub and a palm thatch roof.
            Economy: Mende made their living by farming and gardening. They would farm on land out away from their homes while they gardened around them. The Mende were also predominately rice farmers. They also planted secondary crops such as cassava, yams, sesame, and millet. There were markets in which families would sell their excess food. They also relied on fishing and hunting.
            The history of these two tribes is different. However, the way they function is similar while also having differences. Both the Temne and the Mende have a similar way in how they set up villages but they also have differences. They both live on farming but they do not farm all of the same things. So in conclusion this is just a little of the vast information on these two tribes.
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  1. I like how you showed maps that give us an image of how close or far away the tribes are from each other.

  2. The map is really helpful to see each tribe in their own location. I surely did enjoy reading all the information you gave us.

  3. I like how you went in depth with the two major tribes.


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