Read about the KISSI tribe of Liberia and their way of life. The African story.

My journey of knowing know Africa still continues. Today it was a stop over with the KISSI tribe. Is never too late to know your roots. Our history helps direct our future. Keep calm, relax and learn.

The Gola and Kissi people are originally from modern-day Ivory Coast.The northern dialect of Kissi is spoken in Guinea and Sierra Leone. It often uses loanwords from the Malinke and the Mende language .Kissi (or Kisi) is a Mel language of West Africa, closely related to Temne of Sierra Leone. There are two dialects, northern and southern. Kissi Language Sample: Gbaŋgbaŋ – Name of a river in Kissidougou Gbaala – Outdoor kitchen Maagbana – A city taxi Gbɛŋgbɔ – A stool.The southern dialect is spoken in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The two dialects are notably different, but are closely related,  thats the beauty of African culture. In Guinea, the main places Kissi is spoken are the cities of Kissidougou and Guéckédou and their préfectures.”Thank you” in the Kissi language is realized as “barika” around Kissidougou and “balika” south of Guéckédou. Definite and indefinite articles do not exist in Kissi, so “muɛi” means “the knife” as well as “a knife”.Kissi Language: Yɔŋgu ya muɛi. / k’ya muɛi. – Give me a/the knife. yɔŋgu ya muɛi bɛndɛi. / k’ya muɛi bɛndɛi. – Give me the big knife.

The Kissi are well-known for making baskets and weaving on vertical looms. In past times The Kissi were also famous for their iron working skills, as the country and its neighbours have rich deposits of iron. The Kissi are primarily farmers. Rice, their staple crop, is grown on most hillsides and in low, swampy areas. Kissi smiths produced the famous “Kissi penny”, an iron money that was used widely in West and even Central Africa. Kissi Money.

“Kissi Penny”Image.

Kissi FiguresImage.

The Kissi have been known as a hard-working people. They are very age-oriented, dominated and led by the chief and the elderly people.Each Kissi village is compact, containing no more than about 150 people. There are 176,000 Kissi People in Liberia. The Kissi ceremony biriye, “cleanses” the child and ushers him into adulthood. Afterwards, they are expected to take adult responsibilities.To the Kissi, a child is thought of as dirty and impure. Therefore, when a boy or girl reaches puberty, a purification ritual is held. Other Kissi crops include peanuts, cotton, corn, bananas, potatoes, and melons. Beans, tomatoes, onions, and peppers.

Notable Liberians from the Kissi ethnic group include: Joseph Boakai (Vice President of Liberia)  Image.

Although many Kissi have converted to Christianity, most of them continue to practice their traditional ethnic religion, ancestor worship.The Kissi believe that ancestral spirits act as mediators between them and the creator god. The cultural Kissi constantly live in fear of the supernatural. They wear charms to protect themselves from the evil spirits. Agricultural work for the Kissi are sowing, weeding, and harvesting, is shared equally by the men and women. The Kissi live in small, self-governing villages that are tucked inside groves of mango or kola trees.

A special thanks to @Liberia_1847 giving giving such insightful facts. Please if you want to learn more about Liberia please follow them on twitter and on facebook.

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15 thoughts on “Read about the KISSI tribe of Liberia and their way of life. The African story.

  1. Thanks very much for telling us about the kissi tribe. Are there kissi people still in Ivory Coast? What is the meaning of kissi? And where Liberian kissi heal from?

  2. Thank so much for letting me know that kissi were from Ivory Coast. All I know about the Kissi people is they are from East Africa. Kenya and Congo. I will love to read more about the Kissis in Ivory Coast if possible. Because I am a Kissi by tribe. 100 Percent Mum Kissi and Dad Kissi.

  3. I am Kisii from Kenya. I have always tried to find a correlation between Kissi of West Africa and Kisii of Kenya. Economic and social activities are very similar. The superstitious nature is also similar. I wish I had some information about the languages but then watching Leonardo DiCarprio’s Blood Diamond whose setting is supposed to be Sierra Leone, I heard a general shout to a boy, TUKAMA! The boy knelt down. In Kenya, we say TUKAMA or TUGAMA to mean kneel down!! I still have a lot of questions whose answers are still a conundrum. Thanks for the resourceful article.

  4. iam a kisii from kenya i want a kisii friend west africa we compare notes
    evans

  5. I am a kissi from Liberia, but residents of Philadelphia pa.USA. my first time learning that the kissi people are from ivory coast. Even in school I never knew that. I may want to learn more about this. I’m Stephen Tamba.Liberty. my email address is. teeyah64@gmail.com.

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