Who are the Krios and what Makes Krios Krios in Sierra Leone?
Asks Amadu Bangura (31/10/18)
Krio is a people, a language and a culture. The Krios are Creole people who were the first speakers of the Krio language.
They are a mixture of mainly West African tribes with some British. The four main groups that comprise the Krio people include free ex-slaves from England who chose to return to Africa.
Second, they are free ex-slaves from Nova Scotia who wanted to return to Africa. Three, they are Jamaican Maroons, who ran away rather than be slaves and fought to maintain their freedom.
And four, they are liberated Africans, captured after the British declared slavery illegal, from a myriad of tribes and countries, but recaptured en-route and liberated by the British who took them to Freetown.
These four groups united helped to administer Sierra Leone according to British law, but kept aspects of their respective African cultures. As a result, Krio culture combines traditions and customs of British and many African cultures. This blend created a unique culture of its own.
Krios are an ethnicity, a culture and a language in their own rights. The debate is only whether Krio people make up their own tribe or not. I believe nobody objects to Krio being referred to as an ethnicity.
The point of contention is only with the word 'tribe'. The British used divisive methods to keep us from overpowering them. They separated the Krios from the 'native tribes'. So they conditioned us to use the words 'native' and 'tribe' only on non-Krios, creating the 'us vs them' mentality.
Krio descendants are of course just as native to Sierra Leone as the other ethnic groups because they are all born in Sierra Leone and have been for many generations. So you see, Krios are also natives.
The word 'tribe' is defined as 'a social division, usually defined by blood, marriage or kin. Krios fit the definition of a tribe. So let us accept it and do away with the divisive distinctions.
Courtesy: By Amadu Bangura of Krio Language Forum