The First Kissi Trip To Kenya
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Renee Livesay 11-16-2010 4:32 PM
Hi Mr. Kallon,

My son is doing a school project about a book called 'Amistad'. He has to do a report on the Kissi tribe that is portrayed in this book. He is having a very hard time finding information about this tribe. He needs two sources to base his report on. He can find info. on the internet, but he needs a book source and that is where he is running into problems. Do you have any ideas of where he can find info. in a book about the Kissi tribe? Your book would be very helpful but we can not find it in our library or in the bookstore in our town. He has to do a problem solution paper to explain one of the tribes main problems and he has to come up with a plan or idea of how they could have solved it better. Of course this is due by Monday November 22nd!! Yikes!! Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Renee Livesay
and son
Michael Fayia Kallon       12-6-2010 7:02 PM
Hi Renee and Joe:

Location of the Kissi…

Reading my website, you will know that the Kissi are located in three countries: Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. They are all in the same location and divided by the Makona River. The division came through colonial boundaries. Guinea was ruled by the French, and Sierra Leone by the British. As for Liberia, they were never ruled by any colonial power only that the freed slaves that left the United States returned there and settled in the capital city of Monrovia, and on its outskirts, and there they met the original tribes of Liberia. The Kissi are from those neighboring countries, and the roads that go to them are still not paved. They are dusty during the dry season and muddy during the rainy season. These are two seasons in these countries on the west coast of Africa.

History of the Kissi and more...

The Kissi were part of the ancient empires of the western Sudan, only that one of the unique aspects of this tribe is that there is also a tribe in Kenya, East African, called the Kissi. The Kissi are farmers, great astronomers, and they have knowledge of the clock by studying the movement of the sun during the day. They are great reapers, and mysterious hunters. They have both the Sande and the Poro Societies. The Sande Society is mainly for girl and young women, and the Poro Society is for boys and young men. They might have migrated form East Africa and being that they are great warriors, they carved an empire in the middle of what is today - Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea - also the Mano River Countries.

Today, in the three countries - they live in chiefdoms, with the Paramount Chiefs as head and their speakers next to them. They also have section chiefs, and town chiefs. They also have village elder men, or village chiefs.

The Kissi in Guinea speak with a mixture of the Kissi dialect and the French Language. Those in Sierra Leone speak with the Kissi dialect, with a mixture of the British Pidgin English called Creole in Sierra Leone.


After the collapse of the great empires of the Western Sudan, the entire west, east, and central African regions were ruled by kings and warriors, and after which the white men came to Africa, they indulged in slavery and the Kissi were among the tribes who were forcefully taken and marched hundreds of miles in jungles to the coastal areas to be sold into slavery on the coasts the capital city of Freetown, Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, and as far as to coats of Ghana etc... Slavery was practice in those days. The kings in African too had slaves, but they were domestic slaves. They had thought that the white men practiced the form of domestic slavery too - where they kept laborers in homes to work for them and not to treat them like so badly. Amistad then comes into this because the slaves that were taken from the coast of Bonthe Island which is 33 miles from the capital city of Freetown in Sierra Leone, were Kissi, Mende, Temne and others - all tribes of Sierra Leone and were brought to the United States and you saw how it ended by the slaves gaining their freedom in the courts in the United States.


The Kissi main food is rice with a mixture of garden eggs, yams, cassava, and more. They grow rice by burning the farms during the dry season, and after which they clean the bushes, and when the first rains come, they start plowing the soil with hoes. They weave the rice and take out the unwanted grasses in them. They scare birds that come to destroy the rice, and when harvesting time comes, they have wonderful reapers who help to harvest the rice. They keep the rice in the barns, and eat, or sell some in their open markets. The Kissi have large open markets they go to on Sunday to see sell products and to buy ready-made materials exported from overseas and taken to the markets by traders. They are Christians and Muslims.

The Kissi Contribution

The area that the Kissi of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea live is one of the most fertile; and very rich in agriculture. It is in that area that the governments of the three countries get products like cocoa, coffee, and plantains and other edibles that are transported to the capital cities of Monrovia in Liberia, Freetown in Sierra Leone, and to Conakry in Guinea. The Kissi are also great farmers, and the rice and other edibles they grow are also sold to business men and women who transport them to those distant cities. The Kissi weave the best country-cloth that is woven with threads that are spun in tortoise shells by women with cotton. They sell these materials to traders who go to the open Kissi markets, to buy, and sell to other distant places. The Kissi have great psychics, and the best country-doctors who cure all types of illnesses. People go them to be cured of their illnesses too. Today, Kissi land has been uniquely portrayed to be rich in gold and diamonds and thus the Kissi will soon be recognized for the first time on the stage of economic development, and globalization.


Kallon, M. (2005) Idols With Tears. Published the Authorhouse, USA.

Kallon, M. (2010) The Ghosts of Ngaingah. Publsihed by Sierra Leonean Writers series.

I hope this might help../ and please call incase you may more help...

God bless...

Michael Fayia Kallon
New York City/USA

Fayah 1-18-2011 11:12 AM
Falloh Fayia ,Veh la wa loon? Ah cho kendeh? I saw you mentioned briefly that there were kisiis in Kenya which is very true.
Some five years back I started to make a research as to whether they were really related to the west african kissis and even talked to a professor of the kisii or gusii tribe in kenya on the phone. I asked him to say some things in the kisii language and even though the language sounded similar to the west african kissi language, there were no common words having the same meaning . I was disappointed cuz a lots of friends from Liberia have previously stated that they have heard "Kenyan Peace Keepers " speak kissi with Liberians during the Liberian civil war, I found evidence to the contrary. They professor and I came up with many theories , that the kissi in west africa had been modified after mixing with so many tribes along the route from Kenya to what is now West Africa ( part of West Africa where the kissis are presently). We suggested DNA test that might "burst" the myth. It would be interesting to make a follow up on this. I would be glad to give you the professor's contact details should you find this interesting for furthur research.

Wa kendeh ( be good)

Falloh Fayah
Fayia 1-18-2011 8:57 PM
Hi Fayia,

I will be glad to have that contact and to undertake a DNA trip to Kenya. Please forward me the information.

Have a prosperous New Year..

Your brother,

Michael Fayia Kallon
MWAMBI James O. 10-4-2011 01:41 AM
Hi Fayia,

I am getting interested here.

A friend of mine opened this web for me after I mentioned to him that I'm Kisii (here spelt Kissi) from Kenya.

I read all you had written with a keen interest. Over 90% of what you said about the lifestyle of that tribe in West Africa happens to be similar to that of my tribe in Kenya.

Now here is the tricky part: Do you know the language of that tribe so we could compare notes? Or better still; Could you be knowing anybody from that tribe in West Africa with whom you can link me so we can try to tocommunicate using our 'common' language?

I am just so interested.

matthew 2-18-2012 4:53 PM
we kissi we like to eat spicy my pepole my pa is fayiah just like you 3rd born. The dua can swallow people
joseph james fayah 5-10-2012 10:33 AM
hi, bro long time no hearing.
its yr little brother ABEBULAI S KENNEH
Daniel Solee 6-5-2012 10:33 AM
Hello to the brother from Kenya, I am from Liberia (Kissi Tribe). I have also been very interested in traveling to Kenya personally meet the kissi tribesmen from that country. It's very interesting what you said about the differences in the way we speak kissi. I travel to Guinea and Freetown, and I was shock that their kissi words were different from that of my country (Liberia). However, I am very happy to know about other kissi tribes in Kenya. I really want to hear how that tribe sound like.
Sahr Kpayah 8-15-2012 3:10 PM
Greetings to all brothers and Sisters on this forum,

I am a Kissi man from Sierra Leone breed by kissi man and Woman who in turn were kissis from time in memorial.

As Brother Kallon Wrote, the kissis are in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and all live in the region, a vast area of land which is occupied by this unique tribes men and women. Their empire is separated by artificial boundaries created by formal colonial masters in an effort to share the West African region.

However, This tribe is a very peaceful tribe who has defile this artificial separation and continue to co-habit with each other in the three countries, maintain the same culture in terms of family, relationship, food, language off course, and hospitality wise.

The Kissis are very accommodating and full of empathy to the point were they may be mistaken for weakness or fear. On the Contrary, they are brave worriers who fear nothing once provoked and push to their limit.The expression "mei mei la va" from a kissi man means 'whatever the outcome' and is often repeated by the kissi when he or she is determine to pursue a case as is now been said with "Yenga Issue".

I have not met any kissi from Kenya yet but will be very much glad to meet and interact with any. I am ardent as well to search for the answers raised regarding the connection of these kisss from Kenya and the the West Africa.

I will like to know how the kissi in Kenya name their Children in kissi. Naming things can be unique and is attached often with ethnicity/culture. For example, the kissi names in West Africa show the position and sex at birth. Without any further questioning, I will tell your rank at birth as you tell me your given kissi name. Example Sahr in Kissi means a first male child in the Family, Tamba a second male child in a family, Fayia, is a third male child in the family etc. Sia, Kumba, and Finda are the names given to the first, second, and the Third female children in the family respectively.

Is this the same pattern the kissi in Kenya follow. I really will like to meet with someone, a kissi from Kenya to compare some way of life. It would be grate to find differences and similarities.

As for brother Kallon, I am glad with your effort and pray that nothing stand in the way as you together with other kissis stand to raise awareness of the people, tribe in West Africa who have not been known in public.

Victor Sahr Kpayah (Australia)
Victor Kpaya 8-22-2012 6:48 PM

My brother Victor,
I am planning a trip to Kenya in a few years to visit the Kissi Chiefdom in that country. It is something we can work on.

Your brother,
Michael Fayia Kallon
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