There is little archaeological and anthropological knowledge of a prehistoric and protohistoric character referable to the regions of present-day Sierra Leone. The information on human settlement is also not very precise: the Sherbro, Bullom, Krim and Vai populations were perhaps native to the country, while the Mandingo, Temne and Limba ethnic groups, predominant today, would have penetrated there in chronologically uncertain times, which certain oral traditions place between the century. XIV and XV. The fears gave life to a solid kingdom (King Farima III seems to have converted to Christianity in 1605, taking the name of Dom Felipe de Leão) which reached its apogee with Bai Borea the Great (1630-64). The first contacts between the coastal populations and the Europeans took place between 1461 and 1462 with the Portuguese Pedro de Sintra who baptized that land with the name of “Serra Leão”. This became, from the second half of the century. XVI, destination of English, Dutch, French who practiced the slave trade on a level of open rivalry. Between 1592 and 1630 various English companies with Royal Charter trafficked with the coast of Sierra Leone, also founding stations at Sherbro and Tasso. The latter was attacked and sacked in 1664 by the Dutch admiral M. de Ruyter, while a new English station on the island of Bunche was conquered in 1704 by the French and in 1720 by the Welsh pirate Roberts. Officially withdrawn from those positions in 1728, England decided, after the war against the colonies of North America, to make that territory the settlement of the many thousands of black Americans who had served in the army and had later found asylum as freedmen in Great Britain. The first nuclei started on those coasts, starting from 1787, however, had to fight for a long time against the climate, the hostility of the Temne tribes and the attacks of the French navy. In 1792 Freetown was founded and in 1807, with the Abolition of Trafficking Act approved by the English Parliament, a naval team was deployed on the coasts of Sierra Leone. it became a crown colony on 1 January 1808 in 1921 it was united with Gambia and the Gold Coast (today Ghana) and the territories of West Africa were created. Its borders expanded in the following decades and in 1844 it had with William Fergusson the first governor of African origin. Various agreements defined between 1882 and 1911 the borders with the surrounding French colonial territories and with the Republic of Liberia. The political-administrative organization of Sierra Leone encountered some hostility in the internal regions placed under the English protectorate in 1896: a bloody revolt of the Mandingo in 1898 against the tax on housing (Its borders expanded in the following decades and in 1844 it had with William Fergusson the first governor of African origin. Various agreements defined between 1882 and 1911 the borders with the surrounding French colonial territories and with the Republic of Liberia.
According to thefreegeography, the Mandingo or Mande constitute the largest ethnic group in the country and their customs and traditions vary somewhat from area to area; traditions resist better where the presence of Creoles is less numerous and above all where the influence of Westerners is not yet too strong. In the villages of the interior, clothing can still be traditional: buba and lappa (blouse and skirt) for women, in bright colors, large handkerchiefs wrapped around the head like a turban and tunics for men. Fabrics and tableware are prepared by women. Women have great weight both in the family and in society, a legacy of an ancient matriarchy: the mother is in first place in the education of the children who, after initiation (made by the sect of the demon Poro) pass under the authority of the tribe, freed from the family. Among the most important dances we must remember the buyan, reserved for girls, dressed in long white dresses, the kabadia, the ferenke and the tongojama. Sowing and harvesting are the occasion of feasts, and stone statuettes (mormal) are buried to invoke the protection of heaven. There were many rites, especially in the past, which accompanied birth and death. The body of the deceased was smeared with white clay (the color of mourning) and before the corpse the relatives confessed the wrongs they had done to him in life, invoking for him the peace of the god Ngewo. After the Mandingo, the largest ethnic group is made up of the Temne, among whom there are equally numerous secret societies and Islamism is widespread, as among the Mandingos. The evolution of tribal customs is slow, due to the poor progress made by industrialization in the country, which sees only a small part of the population employed in modern productive sectors. The diet is based on rice, accompanied by any kind of sauce or food.