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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Misunderstandings Arising from the Use of the Term 'Creole' in the Literature on Sierra Leone
Authors:Skinner, David E.ISNI
Harrell-Bond, Barbara E.ISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Sierra Leone
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External links:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1158865
Abstract:Contrary to popular and scholarly assumptions that by the 1840s in Sierra Leone a unified and self-conscious westernized and christianized community had emerged which identified itself as Creole, evidence shows that the population had many different ethnic origins and religious affiliations. The term Creole only came into occasional use in the Sierra Leone press at the end of the 19th century. Descriptions of 'Creole society' have been based upon impressions of the culture of the present-day highly educated elite and not on a comprehensive study of all groups who are descendants of the Liberated African communities. 'Creole' intellectuals, especially in the 1950s, sought to emphasize social unity and a common culture in order to protect their privileged position. What is the evidence of the existence of a 'Creole' community, with what cultural characteristics? Other problems: the intrusion of the European tendency to equate social evolution with western concepts of civilization; the uncritical reliance by social scientists on ideas of historians. Ref., notes, French summary.