Loko people

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Landogo stonemason and carpenter.JPG
A Loko stonemason and carpenter near Gbendembu
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Bombali, Port Loko, Western Area
Islam 70%, Christianity 20%, Indigenous beliefs 10%
Related ethnic groups
Mende, Loma, Gbandi, Kpelle, Zialo, Gola

The Loko (IPA: Lɔkɔ) are one of the indigenous ethnic groups in Sierra Leone. Landogo is used as an endonym for the people and language, but other groups refer to them as Loko. They speak a Southwestern Mande language that is also called Loko. The majority of the Loko people live in the Northern Province of the country, particularly in Bombali District , and around the capital city of Freetown in communities such as Regent. Important regional towns include Tambiama, Kalangba, and Gbendembu, though other groups such as the Mandingo, Fula and Temne peoples live there too.

The Loko belong to the larger group of Mande peoples who live throughout West Africa. The Loko are mostly farmers and hunters. Loko believe that most humanistic and scientific power is passed down through the secret societies, such as the Kpangbani.

The Loko people also utilize practices of the Bondo secret society which aims at gradually but firmly establishing attitudes related to adulthood in girls, discussions on fertility, morality and proper sexual comportment. The society also maintains an interest in the well-being of its members throughout their lives.[2][3][4]

Notable Loko[edit]


  1. ^ "Sierra Leone 2015 Population and Housing Census National Analytical Report" (PDF). Statistics Sierra Leone. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  2. ^ Pemunta, N. V., & Tabenyang, C.-J. (2017). Cultural power, ritual symbolism and human rights violations in Sierra Leone. Cogent Social Sciences, 1–27. https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2017.1295549 Archived 2021-12-28 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Bjälkande, Owolabi; Bjälkander, Owolabi; Leigh, Bailah; Harman, Grace; Bergström, Staffan; Almroth, Lars (2012). "Female Genital Mutilation in Sierra Leone: who are the decision makers?". African Journal of Reproductive Health / La Revue Africaine de la Santé Reproductive. 16 (4): 119–131. ISSN 1118-4841. Archived from the original on 2021-12-28. Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  4. ^ "FMG in Sierra Leone" (PDF). 28TooMany, Registered Charity: No. 1150379. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-12-22. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  • Fyle, C. (2006). Historical Dictionary of Sierra Leone.
  • Babaev, K. (2010). Person Marking in South-West Mande Languages. A Tentative Reconstruction, 1–46.
  • Babaev, K. (2011). On the Origins of Southwest Mande Ethnonyms, 1–3.
  • Hyman, L. M. (1973). Notes on the History of Southwestern Mande. Studies in African linguistics, 4(2).
  • Speed, C. K. (1991). Swears and swearing among Landogo of Sierra Leone: aesthetics, adjudication, and the philosophy of power.