Gio Tribe: People of Africa
Location: Northeastern Liberia and in Ivory Coast, Africa
Language: Mande language that has many different accents.
Types of Art:
History: Centuries ago the
Gio migrated from present-day Guinea and Mali into their current locations
in Liberia and Ivory Coast.
Economy: The Gio are primarily farmers, annually clearing the forest land to grow their crops. They cultivate staple crops such as rice, cassava, and sweet potatoes. They also grow cash crops such as cocoa, coffee, and rubber. Women are given a small plot of ground on which to grow their own vegetables to use in the households or to sell in the market. Greens are gathered from domestic and wild plants in the forest. Palm oil is extracted from the many wild palm oil trees and then used for such things as fuel and cooking.
Political Systems: Gio villages are divided into quarters, each housing an extended family or lineage. Each quarter is headed by a "quarter chief," who is chosen either for being the oldest male in the family or for having the most aggressive personality. Although the village or town chief administers authority over the whole village, the real power comes from the council of elders who assist the chief in all decisions.
Religion: The Gio believe in a supreme god who created the universe and everything in it. They do not believe that man can reach this god; thus, they do not worship him. Instead, a spiritual power called Du acts as mediator between the people and the supreme god. Du is said to really be the spirit located in each person. The Gio believe in reincarnation, in which the Du, or spirit, of a person can pass into another person or even an animal after death.