Guinea; The Land of the Susu People
History Of The Susu People
The history of the Susu people began in 900BC, these set of Africans migrated from Northern Africa. They began settling in the Western area of Africa what is now called Guinea (do not confuse with Guinea-Bissau). Today there are over 2.2 Million of them living in Guinea, Sierra-leone, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau. They majorly speak French, Susu and English languages. The Susu civilization reached its height in the 13th century, soon the battled with various empires before the Mali Empire seized and ruled the land. 200 years later, when the Mali Empire began to fall, they moved west to Guinea.
"Guinea" means woman in Susu language, it is unsure if this is as a result of the geographic area or because the community had more women ruling, nevertheless that was the foundation for the country's name. Soon after moving, they began to build houses and a community for themselves. The Susu houses were commonly made out of available resources; either mud or cement.
Religion and culture of the Guinea People
Over 99% of Susu are Muslim, so their culture is predominate with Islam religious practices. Though most of its inhabitants are Muslims, the Islamic law that allows men to have many wives is not always practised. This is because the Susu people already live with a large extended family. The men provide for the family by working as farmers while the women cook and raise children. This mundane livelihood means limited resources for the men hence they do not practise polygamy because; more wives, more needs.
A Susu man weaving a Ngoni musical instrument
Some Susu people even combine their Islamic faith with traditional beliefs, such as the existence of spirits who inhabit certain areas. The belief in sorcerers who have the power to change into animals, cast evil spells on people, or heal people from certain ailments. Today the Susu make up about 20% of Guinea's population. Guinea is the world's second-largest bauxite producing nation. The country is known to have one-quarter of the world's bauxite reserves, as well as more than 1.8 billion metric tons of high-quality iron ore. Guinea is also famous for its large deposits of gold, uranium, and diamonds.