History Of The Ancient Kissi Tribe – Tradition, Religion And Culture

The Kissi tribe is a group of people residing in the tropical forest of Guinea, a West Africa country as well as Sierra Leone and Liberia, known widely by their skills in weaving baskets and are mostly blacksmiths and farmers.

The Kissi people have their language; Kissi – a Niger-Congo language family. They are rich in mineral resources like iron ore, gold, bauxite and they use an iron currency called ‘Kisi Penny’.

The Kissi tribes although have partly accepted foreign religion like Christianity and Islamic but the majority of them still practice their traditional religion especially the worship of carved masks, stones, and ancestors using them as the mediator between them and their god.

They are said to go always on charm as protection against evil forces. Sorcery and witchcraft is a common practice by the Kissi people while their religious heads have access to communicate with the spirits through hypnosis and trances. They hold cows to high esteem as it’s not just for meat nor leather purposes but it’s also a sacrificial animal to them.

In 1892, a warrior leader, Kissi Kaba Keita fought hard during the French conquest to resist the foreigners from taking over their land, he fought hard but was overpowered by the French force and he had to give in and subjected himself willingly to the French government before he was appointed the Chief of the Northern Kissi territory. In the long run, his relationship with the French was not peaceful so he was killed in Siguiri.

The Kissi people have belief that before anyone becomes complete he or she must undergo a purification ritual rite called Biriye after reaching puberty before they are being seen as adults and they would take up responsibilities.

While their men are good hunters and fishermen, their women go to the market for trading, harvesting, and raising chickens. Their young girls assist the women especially in cooking while their boys take the cattle out for grazing.

They are mostly farmers growing crops like pepper, beans, tomatoes, cotton, corn and so on which they consume and also take to the market for sales.