About the People
Numbering nearly a million, the Susu are primarily farmers. Rice and millet are their two principal crops. They also grow mangoes, pineapples, and coconuts. Children are expected to help with a large amount of the work.
The Susu are descendants of the thirteenth-century Mali Empire. They moved to Guinea after 1725 when the Fulani attempted to dominate them and managed to convert them to Islam. Today, many Susu are traders and experts in leather and metal crafts. They also fish and mine salt.
Susu houses are generally quite large in order to accommodate extended families. They are built of either mud or cement blocks, depending on what’s available. In the rural areas, roofs are usually still made of thatch. Most cooking is done over open fires.
About the Project
Extended family is important to the Susu. Polygamy is allowed under Islamic law, but only some can afford to practice it. Although the Susu value good relationships, they tend to squabble with their neighbors, especially over money or property. Therefore, each village usually has a “wise man” as well as an elected or appointed leader to help resolve conflicts.
Friday meetings at the mosques are important social events for most Susu. The Susu are 85 percent Muslim, and Islam dominates their religious culture and practices. The New Testament is available in their language.
- Population: 1 million
- Language: Susu
- Religion: Islam