Please make a donation to support our cause.

Thank you.

Payment Info:

Bank: Barclays
S/c: 20-49-81
A/c: 30723150

IBAN: GB37 BARC 2049             8130 7231 50


About Us

History of the Kono People

Total Population
489,444 - 7.6% of Sierra Leone's Population
Regions with significant populations
Eastern Province (Particularly in Kono District)
210,470 - 46% of Kono District population
Kono Language
Christianity, Islam, indegenous religions

The Kono People

The Kono people (pronounced koh noh) is a major ethnic group in Sierra Leone at about 7.6% of the country's total population. Their homeland is the diamond-rich Kono District in south-eastern Sierra Leone. They form by far the single largest ethnic group in the district at about 52% of the population. The Kono are primarily diamond miners.

The Kono people speak the Kono language as their first language and is the most widely spoken language in many parts of Kono District. Many youth from the Kono ethnic group use the Krio language as the primary language of communication with other Sierra Leonean ethnic groups. Unlike many other Sierra Leonean ethnic groups, the Kono people rarely travel outside eastern Sierra leone, as a result only few Konos are found in the capital Freetown and in northern Sierra Leone.


The Kono people are the descendants of Guinean migrants who move to Sierra Leone and settle in what is now Kono District in the mid 19th centuray to escape the harsh conditions in Guinea. Kono history claims that the Kono were once a powerful people in Mali and Guinea. Over three hundred years ago, the Kono immigrated to Sierra Leone as peaceful hunters. The tribe was split during partitioning of Africa by European colonists and part of the tribe still exists in neighbouring Guinea

Attacks from the related Mende people forced the Kono to seek refuge in the Koranko territory to the north, where they were allowed to farm the land. The Mende eventually moved further south, and the Kono returned to their own land in the south-east.

Economy and Culture

The Kono are primarily farmers and in some areas, alluvial diamond miners. They grow rice, cassava, corn, and beans as their main crops. They live in towns and villages and travel daily to their surrounding farm lands to work. They are a polite and hospitable people and even allow strangers to lodge with them or their chiefs.

The size of rural Kono villages varies from several houses to nearly one hundred dwellings. Kono houses were at one time round constructions made of mud, clay, and thatch. Although some of these houses still exist today, those recently built are rectangular and made of adobe blocks. The rectangular houses have verandas where the women cook and others can enjoy the shade.

After sunset, in the open compounds (courtyards) of the villages, the entire village may sing. The people dance in a single file circle to the beat of drums. Each person develops his own individual steps and movements in an attempt to stand out in the crowd.

The Kono year is divided into a rainy season and a dry season. The rainy season is a time for farming. Families leave their homes early in the morning, walk to their farms,or mining site and return home at dusk. Cooking, bathing, and other household chores are done at the farms by most of the women, while the men and other women perform the agricultural or mining tasks.

After the rice harvest, the heavy agricultural work is finished, giving way to the dry season. Most people remain in town every day during the dry season since many social events take place at that time of year. During this period, young boys are initiated into the Poro society, and young girls, into the Bondo or Sande society. These societies teach youth the Kono culture and habits. Training for these organisations bridges the gap between childhood and adult life.

The dry season is also a time when much courting and many marriages take place. A man's wealth used to be determined by the number of wives he could support. Most men had more than one wife, and those men with many wives were shown the greatest respect and honour. Nowadays most men have only one wife. Also during the dry season, women organise fishing expeditions and older men may be found outdoors weaving.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Retrieved from:

Kono After The AFRC Retreat, Sierra Leone, 1998

(Part 1 of 2)

(Part 2 of 2)




Apply to become a
KDDA UK Member:


Read the latest news
from Sierra Leone:


Latest Articles:

Solving Identity Crisis through Language Lessons.
by Tamba Gborie

KDDA: The Way Forward.
by Dingiswayo Nyandemo

Read Previous Articles

Latest Event

KDDA UK Summer Outing to Ramsgate (9th Jul 2016)

Many thanks to all who were present at this fun and well attended event.

View Photos
Previous Event

KDDA UK Black Tie Dinner & Dance (4th Apr 2015)

Many thanks to all who were present at this well attended, eventful occasion.

View Photos
KDDA Annual Dance, Jan 2012... KDDA Annual Dance, Jan 2012... KDDA Annual Dance, Jan 2012...
KDDA Trip to Margate, July 2010... KDDA Trip to Margate, July 2010... KDDA Trip to Margate, July 2010...
KDDA Annual Dance, Jan 2012... KDDA Annual Dance, Jan 2012... KDDA Annual Dance, Jan 2012...
KDDA Trip to Margate, July 2010... KDDA Trip to Margate, July 2010... KDDA Trip to Margate, July 2010...


For the latest news & updates subscribe to our free newsletter: