Loma people

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The Loma
LomaGirl.jpg
Total population
309,000[citation needed]
Regions with significant populations
 Guinea 144,000 [1]
 Liberia 165,000 [2]
Languages
Loma
Religion
Loma religion, Christianity 20%
Related ethnic groups
Mende, Loko, Gbandi, Kpelle, Zialo, Gola

The Loma people, sometimes called Loghoma, Looma, Lorma or Toma, are a West African ethnic group living primarily in the northern mountainous, sparsely populated regions of Guinea and Liberia.[3][4] Their population was estimated at 330,000 in the two countries in 2010.[5] They are closely related to the Mende people.[4]

The Loma speak a language in the Southwestern branch of the Mande languages, belonging to the Niger-Congo family of languages. The language is similar to the Kpelle, Mende, Gola, Vai, and Bandi languages.[3] The Loma refer to their language as Löömàgòòi [lɔːmàɡòːi] or Löghömàgòòi [lɔɣɔmàɡòːi]).[3] The Loma people, led by Wido Zobo and assisted by a Loma weaver named Moriba, developed a writing script for their language in the 1930s.[5] This writing script contains at least 185 characters.[6]

The Malinke, Konyaka, and Kissi refer to the Loma as Toma.[1][3] Loma refer to themselves as Löömàgìtì (IPA: [lɔːmàɡìtì], or Löghömagiti [lɔɣɔmaɡiti] in Guinea).[3] They have retained their Traditional Religion, and resisted the Islamic jihads. The Loma people called the religious conflict with Mandinka people as a historic 'rolling war'.[7]

The Loma people are notable for their large wooden masks that merge syncretic animal and human motifs. These masks have been a part of their Poro secret rites of passage. The largest masks are about six feet high, contain feather decorations and believed by Loma to have forest spirits.[8]

The Loma people farm rice, but in shifting farms. They are exogamous people, with patrilineal social organization in matters related to inheritance, succession and lineage affiliations with one-marriage rule. Joint families, or virilocal communities are common, wherein families of brothers settle close to each other.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lewis, M. Paul, ed. (2009). "Toma". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. SIL International. 
  2. ^ Lewis, M. Paul, ed. (2009). "Loma". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. SIL International. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Leopold, Robert Selig (1991). "2". Prescriptive Alliance and Ritual Collaboration in Loma Society (Thesis). Indiana University. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. 
  4. ^ a b Anthony Appiah; Henry Louis Gates (2010). Encyclopedia of Africa. Oxford University Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-19-533770-9. 
  5. ^ a b Frank Sherman (2010). Liberia: The Land, Its People, History and Culture. New Africa Press. pp. 211–212. ISBN 978-9987-16-025-9. 
  6. ^ Anthony Appiah; Henry Louis Gates (2010). Encyclopedia of Africa. Oxford University Press. p. 552. ISBN 978-0-19-533770-9. 
  7. ^ Christian K. Højbjerg (2010), Victims And Heroes: Manding Historical Imagination In A Conflict-Ridden Border Region (Liberia-Guinea), in The Powerful Presence of the Past, Brill Academic, ISBN 978-9004191402, pages 273-294
  8. ^ Ayodeji Olukoju (2006). Culture and Customs of Liberia. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 61–62. ISBN 978-0-313-33291-3. 
  9. ^ Currens, Gerald E. (1972). "The Loma Avunculate: An Exercise in the Utility of Two Models". Ethnology. University of Pittsburgh Press. 11 (2): 111. doi:10.2307/3773294. 

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