The Culture of Sierra Leone

The people, culture, and history of Sierra Leone is one of a kind.

Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa. It is surrounded by, Liberia, Guinea, and the Atlantic Ocean, unlike other tropical climates surrounded by the Caribbean Sea. Sierra Leone has both savannas and rain forests. It has a tropical island-feel climate.

The flag colors for Sierra Leone are green, white, and blue. Their Independence Day is April 27, 1961. They gained independence from the British and the intense slave trades that took place during the eighteen and nineteen centuries.

They speak more languages, based on different tribes. They speak their own languages Temne, Mende, and Krio. Josephine Sannoh and her family are from Sierra Leone. “My mom speaks Mende and Krio,” said Josephine.

Josephine has been in America for fifteen years and is anxious to go back and see what home is like since she has been gone. “I haven’t been back since I left but I want to though, my mom and brother have been back twice” she said.

Cassava leaves, rice and ginger beer are a normal part of their dishes. They eat chicken, beef, and goat as the meats in the main dishes.

There are many lively traditions and a unique culture. They’re built around dancing, singing and the Christian religion. Sierra Leone’s dominant religion is Pentecostal Christianity. Pentecostal is significant through the Holy Spirit and baptism. This religion supports the Bible and Jesus Christ as the one and only savior.

The religion is very strict on making it a tradition to go to church and pray as a family. In their traditional wear.

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“A family who prays together stays together,” said Josephine.

Different hairstyles and headwraps are also a part of their culture. Braids, twist, and dreadlocks in all lengths, colors, and sizes are done on a day-to-day basis. “I learned by watching my mom and actually doing it on my mom and sister’s hair” said Josephine. Josephine’s mother learned how to do hair in Sierra Leone prior to moving to America. “I learned to do hair when I was like fourteen,” Josephine said.

She taught both of her daughters. Everyone in Josephine’s family knows how to do hair. “It runs in the family,” said Josephine. Josephine and her family still embrace their original culture although they are in the United States.

Photo courtesies of Google Images and Josephine Sannoh

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