Sierra Leone’s Yelibas are oral historians with Mande origins. They record and preserve stories about paramount chiefs through song and spoken word.
In the latest episode of the Make Sierra Leone Famous Podcast: “Yelibas in a Koinadugu King’s Court,” Vickie Remoe is in conversation with Medo Kuyateh and Alpha Kandeh, Yeliba Praise Singers from the court of King Alie Balansama Marah III of Koinadugu District, Northern Province, Sierra Leone.
Here are the 5 things we learned about Yelibas from Episode 2 of the podcast.
- Yelibas are oral historians.
- Yeliba is a family profession passed on from father to son.
- A Yeliba singer may not retire from the court of a ruling king unless the crown is no longer in that ruling house.
- It takes 3 months to harvest, dry, and make a balangi
- Yelibas believe that the first balangi was made by a spirit
To learn more about the Yelibas of Sierra Leone, check out the Make Sierra Leone Famous podcast now available on Itunes and Spotify. Click here to listen the full episode and don’t forget to subscribe.