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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also known as Vu, Kono, Terebendiula, Gallinas), a people living in the northwestern region of the Republic of Liberia along the border with Sierra Leone, and also in northern Sierra Leone at the headwaters of the Bum River (where the Vai call themselves the Kono). Total population, approximately 400,000 (1967 estimate).

The Vai language belongs to the northern subgroup of the Mande language family. In the 19th century a special syllabic writing system existed among the Vai. Their chief occupations are farming (cassava, yams, and millet) and gathering the fruit of the African oil palm. Seasonal migratory work on rubber and coffee plantations is widespread among the Vai.


Klingenheben, A. “The Vai Script.” Africa, 1933, vol. 6, no. 2.
Klingenheben, A. “The Vai Script.” Africa, 1934, vol. 7, no. 1.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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