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Most Krios were and still are, Christians. Consequently, Christian tenets and principles were adhered to. I doubt whether there was any child of our day who did not hear "Spare the rod and spoil the child" or "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it", just before being punished for some misdemeanour.

Naming of children is a very important aspect of Krio family life. All Krios who are Christians have Christian names. Invariably, these were not names taken from the Bible, although many of them were, but names that belonged to English people. Whenever a Krio family condescended to give their child an African name, it was never a name that was typical to Sierra Leone but one that was typically Nigerian and of Yoruba or, to a lesser extent, of Ibo origin.

Attending church service on Sunday mornings was a must, except if one was too ill to go or something had happened that made it impossible to go. I grew up as a Methodist and our family attended Wesley Church at what was then Trelawney Street (now Lamina Sankoh Street). We also attended Buxton Church at Charles Street once in a while. This is the church my mother had attended before she got married. As Christian Krio children, our every move (especially that of us girls), was carefully monitored. This was to ensure that we did not go astray and end up being influenced by the wrong friends. We were encouraged to take friends home but someone who was loud or could not comport himself or herself properly, especially in the presence of adults, was not encouraged to visit a second time.

Our parents were very particular about what we wore at all times. Whether rich or poor, the Krios had clothes to wear to church, clothes for going out on weekdays and, of course, clothes that were only worn at home. The ‘church clothes’ sometimes doubled up as party clothes or clothes to wear to formal occasions.

Most Krios, especially the educated ones, were largely influenced by the British expatriates who came out to work. This was clearly seen in the dress codes they observed. School uniforms were a typical example of the way in which British culture was transferred lock, stock and barrel to Freetown and, later, the provinces. Children attending the missionary schools wore uniforms that were very similar to those worn by children in England. Despite our hot climate, boys and men wore the suits that British men wore to go to school and to church. Boys did not start wearing long trousers until they were in their teens. Before that they wore the same Eton collars, shorts, hose and heavy shoes worn by their counterparts in Britain. Women and girls wore hats to church as a must and the styles of dresses they wore originated from England. This contrasted sharply with the traditional styles of lappa and docket worn by non-Krio women.

To be continued......

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