Gola(redirected from GOLE)
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(Gula), a people living in the western part of Liberia between the St. Paul and Mano rivers and in the border regions of Sierra Leone. Population is more than 150,000 in Liberia and more than 10,000 in Sierra Leone (1967, estimate). The Golas are subdivided into the Dengola, Toldie, Mana gobla, and other tribes. The Gola language belongs to the Western Bantoid group of languages. Most of the Golas have preserved their ancient traditional beliefs, and a small number of them are Muslims. The chief occupations are farming (rice, manioc) and the gathering of bananas and the fruit of the African oil palm.
According to W.L. D’Azevedo’s 1973 study of traditional artists in African societies, a particular relationship exists between craftwork, dreams, and spirit beings among the Gola artists of Liberia, whose inspiration occurs during the dream experience and is supported by a very special relationship with a tutelary spirit. Singers, musicians, woodcarvers, and some weavers are referred to as dreamers. They all have a personal spirit inspirer, to whom their works are attributed and with whom they have a relationship of friendship, which molds their work as well as their personality and their behavior.