Kissi people

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Total population
Regions with significant populations
  • 420,000 - in [1]
  • 176,000 - in [2]
  • 125,000 - in [3]
Kissi, English, French, Krio
Christianity 85%, African indigenous religion 10%, Islam 5%
Related ethnic groups
Temne, Baga, Sherbro, Gola

The Kissi people are an ethnic group living in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. They speak the Kissi language, which is a Niger–Congo language. They are well known for making baskets and weaving on vertical looms. In past times they were also famous for their iron working skills, as the country and its neighbors possess rich deposits of iron. Kissi smiths produced the famous "Kissi penny", an iron money that was used widely in West and even Central Africa.


The Kissi are primarily farmers. Rice, their staple crop, is grown on most hillsides and in low, swampy areas. Other crops include peanuts, cotton, corn, bananas, potatoes, and melons. Beans, tomatoes, onions, and peppers are grown in small vegetable gardens, and coffee is raised as a cash crop. Most of the farmers also raise some livestock.

Agricultural work, such as sowing, weeding, and harvesting, is shared equally by the men and women. Additional responsibilities for the men include hunting, fishing, and clearing land. The women's duties involve caring for the small vegetable gardens, tending to the chickens, trading in the local markets, and doing some fishing. Boys tend to the livestock, which are usually cattle and goats. Cows are considered very valuable animals, not for their milk, but as religious sacrifices.

Other Languages
català: Kissi
Deutsch: Kissi (Volk)
español: Kissi
Esperanto: Kisioj
français: Kissi (peuple)
italiano: Kissi
日本語: キッシ族
português: Quissis
русский: Кисси (народ)
suomi: Kissit