Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The Mende people, who number about 1 million, are found in West Africa, more precisely in the southern and eastern parts of the country known today as Sierra Leone. However, the presence of a small Mende community is also attested in the western part of neighboring Liberia. The Mende oral tradition, as well as linguistic evidence, indicates that the Mende migrated from western Sudan, probably in several waves, between 200 and 1500 AD. Their language is also called Mende (sometimes spelled Mande). Mende cosmology is based on the belief in one Supreme Being and a multiplicity of spirits. The Supreme Being, commonly called Ngewo , is also known by the more ancient name of Leve . Ngewo is thought of as the supreme force and power responsible for the creation of the universe and all that it contains: human beings, animals, plants, medicine, and so on. Although omnipresent in daily ...