Definition of Mende in US English:



  • 1A member of a people inhabiting Sierra Leone in West Africa.

    • ‘Led by Bai Farama, the Temnes attacked the Susus, Limbas and Mende, as well as the Portuguese and created a strong state along the trade route from Port Loko to the Sudan and Niger.’
    • ‘Anyone concerned with African history, non-Western art, masking, or personal adornment - even those without a tremendous familiarity with the work of the Mende and their neighbors - will be engaged by this selection.’
    • ‘For example, among the Mende of Sierra Leone, boys must be initiated into the Poro Society before they are recognized as adults.’
    • ‘The label for the chief's staff and the Sowei mask discuss how the Luba and Mende still use identical or similar works for this purpose.’
    • ‘Arnold Rubin noted that the abstract, austere, and additive style of the Ijo offers a striking contrast to the smoother, more naturalistic styles found among the Mende, Dan, and Guro-Baule which surround the Kru complex.’
  • 2The language of the Mende.

    • ‘But this means that we should expect that dozens of other Black English words had been traced to, say, Bambara, Mende, Twi, Yoruba, Efik, Umbundu, and so on.’
    • ‘In fact, if there any one African language that we could even begin to treat as ‘black Americans' native tongue,’ it is Mende of Sierra Leone.’
    • ‘Krio, Mende and Temne are widely spoken, with Krio being the lingua franca.’
    • ‘The first is the Mande language group, which resembles Mandinka in structure, and includes Mende, Susu, Yalunka, Koranko, Kono, and Vai.’
    • ‘A Mende friend of mine who assisted Ferme at the time declared years later-with both admiration and surprise-that this American woman named Mariane could indeed speak Mende.’


  • Relating to the Mende or their language.

    • ‘Farmer-Paellmann has found out that she originated from the Mende tribe in Sierra Leone, and now can ‘meet people who share my genetic makeup’.’
    • ‘Similarly, the Mende rice cultivators in Sierra Leone live from the forest but do not see themselves as standing over it, either to exploit or to conserve it.’
    • ‘Here the author makes a significant contribution to earlier scholarship regarding influential women in Mende society through her gendered discussion of the kpako, or ‘Big Person.’’
    • ‘Perhaps one could make a good argument that a Mende sowei mask used in female initiation rites belonged in this section, but the Yoruba epa mask was less convincing.’
    • ‘The elaborately carved rows or monumental crowns admired in the wooden sculptures of the Mende or Yoruba people in West Africa mirror the hairstyles worn today.’


The name in Mende.