My ancestors trace their roots from the African West Coast of present-day Sierra Leone. They share genetic DNA traits with the Mende people who are one of the two largest Sierra Leone ethnic groups. The Mende people account for more than thirty percent of the total Sierra Leone population.
Though years have passed and times have changed, I found out from inquiries from the various family members that my extended family still shares some pertinent social, economic and political traits as our ancestors. Agriculture is still majorly subsistence with much of the efforts directed towards industrial arts. Marriage is still considered an important socio-cultural practice with celibacy viewed as an anomaly. Though the advent of Christianity brought about a reduction in the belief of the traditional religion, the family still practices syncretism with the incorporation of some of the traditional religious practices of Christianity.
Though my family still shares some of the cultural and linguistic traits with the Mende ancestors, relocation diffusion has greatly contributed to the erosion of some of the practices that were previously practiced by the Mende ancestors. Practices such as polygamy are rarely practiced by my family who has utmost belief in monogamy. The changes are as a result of the growing awareness of health implications and dangers that polygamy poses and the challenging economic times.
There are also various cultural complexes that were practiced by the ancestors such as steadfast belief in the traditional medicine and the perception of women as being a weaker sex than men which have been acculturated by my family over time through the various diffusion forms. The modern medical interventions have cast a shed on the traditional medicine options that were previously practiced. Various organizations have also come out to create sensitization on the importance of empowering the girl child, an undertaking that has been closely attributed to the changing traditional beliefs about the girls being less important than the boy child.
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