Sierra going great for the ancestors of Sierra Leone,

Sierra Leone is a small independent nation on the coast of western Africa. Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone. The total area of this relatively small country is 71,740 sq km (27,699 sq mi). Guinea bounds Sierra Leone on the north and east, Liberia in the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean on the southwest and west. Archaeological findings show that “the ancestors of the Limbas, the oldest ethnic group in Sierra Leone, the coastal Bullom, Temne, the Mande-speaking people, including Vai, Loko and Mende” (History of Sierra Leone) had inhabited Sierra Leone for at least 2,500 years. The ancestors of these ethnic groups organised themselves in small political factions of independent kingdoms, the power of who rules are checked and balanced by councils. Everything was going great for the ancestors of Sierra Leone, they even had a religion that Muslim traders introduced, Islam. But everything changed when Pedro da Cintra, a Portuguese explorer discovered Sierra Leone. According to Christopher’s article, in 1462 Pedro da Cintra sailed to the coast of western Africa, and found Sierra Leone. This country was named “Serra Lyoa”, meaning lion mountains, by Pedro da Cintra. “Serra Lyoa” eventually became Sierra Leone. Pedro da Cintra mapped present day Freetown. Freetown was established as an important and rest place for traders and explores. According to the “visit Sierra Leone” website, for the next 30 years, sea traders traded swords and household utensils for ivory works. But that quickly changed by the mid 1550’s and slaves replaced these items for a larger price. Even though the Portuguese had control over Sierra Leone, they abolished slavery and their influence disappeared by the 1650’s. The English’s interest in Sierra Leone grew significantly. British traders set up slave ports in present-day Freetown and traded slaves. “Rent and gifts were paid for gold, slaves, beeswax, ivory and cam wood” (Embassy of Sierra Leone).  Britain outlawed the slave trade on 29 March 1807 with the Slave Trade Act 1807. But Sierra Leone was not in good shape and it will take a long time for them to get back on their feet and build a strong independent nation. It is estimated that over 10 million slaves were captured and shipped to the caribbean islands, from Sierra Leone alone.