The Temne Reunion

Amadu Massally, a well-known Sierra Leone cultural activist, recently visited Grenada and held talks with that country’s Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation & Culture and then went to Sierra Leone soon afterwards to meet with the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. Massally found that both governments are enthusiastic about organizing a Temne Reunion in Carriacou.

The Reunion will give Temnes from both countries a chance to meet and share their cultural traditions. The Carriacou Temnes will perform their Big Drum Dance, of course, and take their African guests to the traditional Temne settlement area on their island. They will also give their guests drums and other artifacts for display in Sierra Leone’s National Museum. The Sierra Leone Temnes, for their part, will bring a portrait of Bai Bureh and Temne drums and cultural artifacts for the Carriacou museum. Both sides of the Temne family also have a traditional ceremony – called sara in Sierra Leone and saraka in Carriacou – in which respect and gratitude are shown to the ancestors. A highlight of the Reunion will take place when Temnes from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean express their gratitude to their common ancestors for helping bring their family back together more than 200 years after slavery divided it.