Gola people

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People of the Gola tribe
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Liberia 278,000
 Sierra Leone 26,000
Gola, English, Krio
Christianity , Islam
Related ethnic groups
Kissi, Sherbro, Temne, Baga, Limba, Loko, Kpelle, Mende, Vai, Gbandi, Loma

The Gola or Gula are a tribal people living in western/northwestern Liberia and Eastern Sierra Leone. Their leader is called Gola Bear. The Gola language is an isolate within the Niger–Congo language family; in 1991 it was spoken by 200,000 people. As of 2015, it is spoken by about 278,000 people.

Charles Taylor, who ruled Liberia between 1997 and 2003, is of mixed Gola and Americo-Liberian ancestry.[1]

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia's president, is of mixed Gola, Kru and German ancestry.[2][3]

The name Gola is a possible source for the name of the Gullah, a people of African origin living on the islands and coastal regions of Georgia and South Carolina, in the southeastern United States.

Sande and Poro[edit]

Gola women of Liberia
Sowei mask. In Gola and Kpelle it is known as "Zoegbe". Zoe-Gbay
Helmet Mask (Gbetu) with Raffia Costume Brooklyn Museum
Women from the Gola tribe. 1907

Gola and the Vai people were the 1st people to come up with Poro and Sande societies and it spread to the Kpelle, Mende and much more.

Gola Names[edit]

Gola names are very distinctive and similar to the Vai, Mende and Kpelle. Some male Gola names are Ciafa, Seh/Sei, Tarweh, Momolu/Momo, Kayme, Sekou, Ansa, Baimba, Bonokai, Lamie (popular among Vai and Kpelle), Kaijaah, Varney, Varfee, Jallah, Kanneh, Kengbe, Gbessi/Gbessay, Kemokai, Pese, Karmo, Gbotoe, Konowa, Buyamah/Boimah (Popular among the Vai),Kpanna,Lumah (Kpelle and Loma), and Jahn.

Some female names are Fatu (popular among Vai, Mende, and Kpelle), Jebbeh (Vai and Mende), Miata, Hawa, Musu, Jandi/Jandae, Jumah, Kemah/Kaymah, Gbessi/Gbessay, Jenneh, Cianna, Maima (Vai and Kpelle), Famatta, Fatumatta (Fula and Malinke), Bendu, Jabateh, Nyanae, Kula, Kumba (Kissi and Loma), Siah, Tenneh (Vai, Mende and Kpelle), Mabasi, Wokie, Weyatta,Yattah, Kpannah, Tatu/Tartu, Somo, Jartu, Fofannah, Zoe, Massa,Yassa, Ciatta,Lorpu, and Somah

Names that Gola and Vai people give their twins are often Konah, Sando, and Zinnah. They are both boy and girl names.