Introduction / History
The Krios (Sierra Leone Creole) are descendants of West Indian slaves from the Caribbean (primarily Jamaica) and freed slaves from the United States who landed in Freetown at the beginning of the nineteenth century. They were subjects of the British crown and enjoyed its protection as nationals.
The majority of the Krios are actually returned slaves. They wer returned after the abolition of Slavery by the Brits, curbing the transatlantic slave trade. Because of being returned from slave ships a lot of Krios have a possible Yoruba connection and you will find a lot of Krios with Yoruba names.
Tthe first group were freed slaves from US, who had settled in Nova Scotia but most died when they arrived in Sierra Leone. A few were the Maroons from Jamaica and after a failed uprising were sent to Sierra Leone. Maroons continue to maintain their culture in Sierra Leone.
They speak Krio, a mixture of English and African languages. It also includes other languages, including French and Spanish/Portuguese.
Where Are they Located?
They live mostly in Freetown and surrounding areas as well as Gambia, Guinea, Senegal, United Kingdom and the United States. In the United States they are mostly settled in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, Texas, New York, Georgia, California and North Carolina.
Gambian Creoles are generally a separate group.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Meals are usually based on the day of the week. Foofoo and a type of plasas (leafy vegetable sauce) is often eaten on Saturday. The plasas is made with palm oil except for wet soup (white soup). Other types of plasas: okra dried or fresh, bitter leaf, sawasawa, kreinkrein, shakpa among others. Foofoo is not spicy but the plasas sauce is. Tripe is often used. Sunday dinner is jollof rice and stew or couscous and stew or groundnut soup and white rice, usually with a salad and plantains. Awujoh meals on Friday or to commemorate events are beans, plantain, accara, olele, white sweet potato cooked in palm oil (some can be cooked in oil also, generally a more recent incorporation) Other foods may be cassava leaves and potato leaves.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Most Krios are Christians, though they some also follow traditional beliefs. A very small number of Krios are Muslims--mostly women who marry with other local tribesmen who are Muslims. Aku Rio are Muslim.
What Are Their Needs?
Krios are actually one of the most educated groups in Sierra Leone. It is the result of the unfortunate history with the Brits using them during the colonial era. Either way, education is very important to Krios.
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