Sierra Leonean Culture

Sierra Leone is located in West Africa, covering an area about the size of South Carolina. Known as West Africa’s beach destination, Sierra Leone is home to stunning white sands and untouched rainforests. The capital, Freetown, commands one of the world’s largest natural harbors.

In Sierra Leone, education is cherished as the key to a better way of life. While there is no firm social hierarchy, members of a local chief’s family tend are typically treated with great respect, as are the educated or wealthy.

Host a Sierra Leonean Student in the U.S.

Sierra Leonean People and Community

In Sierra Leone, aunts may be addressed as mother, and cousins are called brother or sister. Three to five generations may reside on a family compound. In situations where there is more than one wife living on a compound, wives usually share tasks and raising children. The average woman births five children over the course of her lifetime. Men may also help with raising children. Recently, efforts have been made to improve the social standing of women in Sierra Leone through gender-equality laws, international advocacy, and education.

Language and Communication Styles

People of Sierra Leone

English is the official language in Sierra Leone and is used in government, but only educated Sierra Leoneans speak it. Krio, a combination of primarily English, Yoruba, and other African languages, is the common language.

Food in Sierra Leone

Food of Sierra Leone

Common crops in Sierra Leone include cassava and sweet potatoes, supplemented by tea, sugar, salt, and canned goods. Staple foods are rice with a sauce most commonly made from pounded cassava leaves, palm oil, and chili peppers. The Sierra Leonean diet also consists of groundnuts, beans, fish, chicken, and goat. Sierra Leone has an abundance of bananas, plantains, pineapples, star fruit, breadfruit, papaya, oranges, grapefruit, mangoes, and coconuts.

Additional Resources