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Kuranko in Sierra Leone


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Kuranko in Sierra Leone map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
420,000 Kuranko Ethnic Religions 3.00 % 0.00 %   

Kuranko in Sierra Leone

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Introduction / History
The Kuranko, also known as the Koranko, are a branch of the Malinke tribe that immigrated into Sierra Leone from Guinea. The Kuranko, therefore, occupy a large section in both northern Sierra Leone and southern Guinea. Within this geographical region, different dialects, as well as distinct social groupings, can be found.

The different groups each have their own chiefs, traditions, and heritage. Some are hunters, some are warriors, some are traders. Some are pagan, while others follow Islamic belief. Tribal mixing and cultural mixing characterize Kuranko history.

The Kuranko occupy a mountainous region within the northeastern Sierra Leone highlands, extending into Guinea. This region lacks adequate road systems and is not easily accessible, leaving the Kuranko socially isolated. This may explain why most have held on to their traditional culture and religion.

What are their lives like?
The Kuranko are primarily farmers. Rice is the main crop cultivated, and the money made from it barely covers the expenses of the family. Supplementary crops include corn, cotton, potato, pumpkin, and indigo. Each household also owns fruit trees around the village, which produce bananas, papaya, coconuts, and other fruits.

Groundnuts are eaten by the Kuranko, but the highest source of protein comes from fish. Fishing is usually done by the women, who use skilled and innovative methods for securing their catch. Chickens are kept by every family, and are used for gifts.

Childhood for a boy or girl lasts until puberty. At this time, a ritual purification ceremony, called a biriye, ushers them into adulthood.

An adult is expected to show honor and respect for the customs of the Kuranko past. This may be demonstrated by joining various cult associations. The Gbansogoron ("cheek piercers") use self-inflicted pain as a way of showing bravery. The Segere is a women's cult that supports the rights of women.

Today, schooling has become a symbolic replacement for the cult system and initiation rituals. As literacy and educational opportunities increase, perhaps the power of the cult societies will decrease.

What are their beliefs?
Less than one-third of the Kuranko in Sierra Leone are Muslim. The majority of the remaining Kuranko follow their traditional ethnic religion.

The Kuranko sometimes think of "the wild" as opposite to village life, and they use animal metaphors to identify evildoers. Someone without faith is likened to a dog; one who steals is as a monkey; and a traitor is as a snake. The Kuranko believe that certain people can change into animals to harm others. Certain animals, such as the vulture, the bat, and the black cat symbolize witchcraft.

The Kuranko believe that in the forests, the rivers, and the mountains live quasi-human beings known as Nyenne. These are "bush spirits," who are believed to influence Kuranko life in different ways.

The Nyenne are rarely seen but are somewhat feared. They are thought to live in the bush near the villages, and are said to live as humans: in houses with their families. A Kuranko will make a sacrifice to one of these Nyenne when clearing land for his farm. It is believed that the Nyenne can make women barren, cause insanity, and cause farming accidents. The Kuranko also believe that they can be friendly, bringing good fortune.

What are their needs?
The Kuranko have the New Testament available to them. Unfortunately, however, only a small percentage of the Kuranko has become Christian.

There is a strong need for further evangelization into this socially isolated region.

Prayer is the first step toward seeing the Kuranko reached with the Gospel.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to missions agencies focusing on the Kurankos.
* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth additional laborers to the Kuranko of Sierra Leone.
* Pray that God will give the Kuranko believers boldness to share Christ with their own people.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will break up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Pray that Christian radio broadcasts and evangelical literature will be made available to the Korankos.
* Pray for the effective use of the Jesus film in the Kuranko language.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth strong local churches among the Kurankos.

View Kuranko in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-02-19
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-02-27
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Country: Sierra Leone
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, West and Central
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Northern province: Kabala area.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Kuranko
People Name General: Kuranko
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 105445
Joshua Project People ID: 12872
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 420,000
Population all Countries: 532,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Malinke
People Name General: Kuranko
Ethnic Code: NAB63g
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Kuranko
Language Code (ISO): knk    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity3.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions67.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam30.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent10.00 %
Protestant60.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic30.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1899-1911
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 2007-2008
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Kuranko
Mobile AppDownload Audio Bible app as APK File fro ...
Text / Printed MatterOnline Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Kuranko in Sierra Leone

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Malinke     Africa, West and Central    
      Kuranko Sierra Leone    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Kuranko in Sierra Leone          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Kuranko  
    All Religions                              

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