The Mende people are the second largest ethnic group in Sierra Leone, after the Temne. The Mende make up 31% of Sierra Leone's total population or 1,932,015 members. The Southern and Eastern Provinces of Sierra Leone, (collectively known as the South-East or South-Eastern Sierra Leone) is largely populated by the Mende people, with the exception of Kono District (a cosmopolitan settlement, but primarily inhabited by the Kono people). The Mende belong to a larger group of Mande peoples who live throughout West Africa. The Mende are mostly farmers and hunters. The Mende are divided into two groups: The halemo are members of the hale or secret societies and kpowa are people who have never been initiated into the hale. The Mende believe that all humanistic and scientific power is passed down through the secret societies.
Contributions by Sittaconde, 220.127.116.11, and 18.104.22.168.