Kpelle love poem
Ioɔɔ-kɔ̂ɔŋ káa mɛ̆lɛ-mɛlɛisu
Gráa a ná mɛni-pɔlɔ kpîŋ
Kɛ́lɛ, maafíla ma kpɛni sêi á lâŋ
Gélee nɔ́ ká ŋí "Iwɛli káa mâ"!
→ Poem the mirror ←
A mande language
Love poem translated into kpelle. Kpelle (guerze) a mande language of southern Guinea and Liberia. Kpelle is the Niger-Congolese language of the kpelle people (about 1 million speakers).
The kpelles were first in Sudan, before settling in Liberia, and then for a part of them to settle in Guinea. They traditionally practiced slash-and-burn agriculture (rice), and were divided into villages, whose chiefs descended from the first founders. Their filiation was patrilineal, and they weree divided into clans and patrilocal lineages, gathered in chiefdoms. They were characterized by their institutions of poro and sande, which were secret societies respectively masculine and feminine, to which each people was initiated. These societies had the function of counterbalancing, the political power, educating adolescents, and creating solidarity links.