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Mende(mäNd), city (1990 pop. 12,667), capital of Lozère dept., S France, on the Lot River. Mende is a tourist resort. It was originally a small Gallo-Roman city that became an episcopal see in the 5th cent. Bishops ruled the town until 1306, when they were forced to cede a portion of it to Philip IV. During the Wars of Religion (1562–98) the city was often sacked. Points of interest include a 14th-century bridge over the Lot River, a 14th-century Gothic cathedral, and an 18th-century town hall.
a people living in Sierra Leone, between the Jong and Moa rivers, as well as in the border regions of Liberia. The Mende number about 1 million (1970, estimate); their language belongs to the southern group of the Mande language family. The majority of the Mende retain their local traditional beliefs; some are Christians or Muslims. The principal occupations of the Mende are tropical agriculture (yams, peanuts) and the collection of the fruit of the oil palm.