History & Background

In 1462, a Portuguese explorer named Pedro da Cintra, on approaching the mountainous peninsula, saw the mountains poised like lions and named the place he saw as Serra Lyoa ("Lion Mountains") which later became Sierra Leone. In 1786, "The Province of Freedom" was established by the Abolitionists, including a leading member of the British parliament, William Wilberforce, who founded the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade. The consequences of the anti-slavery movement led to the establishment of the Sierra Leone Colony. Many of the freed slaves were languishing in Canada and England and needed a place to live their new lives. Freetown, now the capital of Sierra Leone, was chosen as the new world for the freed slaves. On April 8, 1787, the first group of freed slaves left for Freetown. Later, other groups—Nova Scotians, maroons, and recaptives—were also settled in Freetown...Learn more

Culture & People

Sierra Leoneans as a rule are extremely polite and manner-conscious. Much attention is given to one's neatness of dress and style of presentation. Courteous and eloquent greetings are a way of life. Elders are especially respected. The "good" host is always a giving host, one who will call any passerby to join in a meal by a wholehearted, "Come, let's eat." A people of generosity...Learn More

The Sierra Leone Web - Discover More

The Sierra Leone web contains many resources reflecting life in Sierra Leone today, and in history...Learn More