General Paper 4
27 October 2014
Sierra Leone, a small West African country, is bordered by Guinea and Liberia, and is a relatively new country. It was declared independent in 1961, after starting out as a small abolitionist settlement in 1787. In 1991, Sierra Leone broke out into civil war, a ruthless one between the people and it’s government. The war ended in 2002 after intervention from the
UN, and since then Sierra Leone’s economy has slowly been recovering with a GP growth of
47% a year. Sierra Leone is a culturally diverse country. The country’s official language is English, and it is a presidential constitutional republic. The population of Sierra Leone is 6.2 million people, and due to its, for the most part, underdeveloped state, the life expectancy of an average Sierra
Leonean is only about 4850 years.
Sierra Leone’s government promotes religious freedom, and the country’s major religion is Islam, with about
4,059,000 Muslim people. Many people of
Sierra Leone honor and respect their ancestors with different traditions. For example, at weddings, ceremonies, funerals, and other traditional celebrations, a small portion of rice is offered to the families ancestors to honor and remember them. Another tradition to honor one’s ancestors is the pouring of liquor in their honor in all corners of the house. Some
Muslims in Sierra Leone honor their dead by serving traditional lehweh at a burial ceremony,.
This is a ball of rice flour mixed with water and sugar, with a kola nut on the top. In Things Fall
Apart, we learned that kola nuts are highly symbolic in Niger. This is true also in Sierra Leone, and the nuts are often
Canfield 2 associated with welcomings, ceremonies, initiations, and religious rites. The Sierra Leonean economy is based off of the export of cash crops such as peanuts, palm oil, tobacco, cocoa, and coffee. The smuggling of diamonds has also become a dominant part of the economy.
Sierra Leonean diamonds are carried across national borders where they are sold to the marketers as "Liberian" or "Guinean". Rice is also very important to the economy and people of Sierra Leone; “A Sierra Leonean will often say, without any exaggeration, ‘If I haven't eaten