Sierra Leone Creole People - History


In 1787, the British helped 400 freed slaves from the United States, Nova Scotia, and Great Britain return to Sierra Leone to settle in what they called the "Province of Freedom." Krio society developed into a mosaic of Liberated Africans (ex-slaves), and itinerant traders. Liberated Africans were themselves a mixed group, including Yoruba, Igbo, Efik, Fante, and other ethnicities. The first Liberated African group to arrive was composed of individuals who had worked as servants in England, as well as blacks who had come to England from the Americas and West Indies, many of whom had served in the British military or escaped from slavery. In 1792, they were joined by Nova Scotians, former slaves who had fought for the British in the American War of Independence and resettled in Nova Scotia. In 1800, the British also deported Maroons, militant escaped slaves from Jamaica, to Sierra Leone. The largest of the groups which formed the Krio community were West Africans of mostly Yoruba descent, who were rescued from slave ships between 1807 and the 1860s.

These numbers were joined by many members of Temne, Limba, Mende, and Loko groups who were already present in Sierra Leone and assimilated into Krio culture.

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