Vai people of Sierra Leone and Liberia are a group of the larger Mande speaking people and descendants of Mansa Musa of Mali empire who was world’s richest monarch in 14th century and to date. Popular belief is that the Mandinka King sent some of his people to trae and discover the sea. On reaching south, they intermarried with the Gola people thus originating the Vai people. The Vai were also called Gallinas by the Portuguese due to their proximity to the Gallinas river. The term comes from the Portuguese “Rio das Galinhas” (River of Hens), referring to Guinea fowl that were found by its banks in 1461
Sierra Leone traditional monarchies have a unique way of choosing who succeeds the throne. Royal family members present themselves for the throne and the public or reps vote for their choice. They are now called Paramount Chiefs and kingdoms as chiefdoms by the Sierraleone Governments
Kings/Queens of Gallinas Kingdom
- King Siaka Massaquoi
- King Lahai Massaquoi
- King Momulu Massaquoi – Reigned ? – 1938
- Queen Madam Wokie Massaquoi – Reigned 1925 – ?
- King Sylvester Lansana Beveh Massaquoi
- Paramount Chief Madam Wokie Jonjo Massaquoi II of Gallinas – Reigned 2020-
King Momulu Massaquoi
King Arthur Momulu Massaquoi is famously known as the First African diplomat to Modern Europe. Massaquoi’s parents were traditional rulers of separate branches of the Vai ethnic group. His father King Lahai of Gallinas and his mother Queen Bendu Sandemani of N’Jabacca. He served as Liberia’s consul general to Hamburg, Germany and Representative to the League of Nations 1922–1930. He traveled extensively in Europe and visited England during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Returning home, Massaquoi worked as a teacher before being crowned King of the Vai people at age 35. Introducing change and modernization to his realm proved unpopular, and he was ignominiously dethroned. He was also married to President HRW Johnsons granddaughter and daughter of Gabriel Johnson, Mayor of Monrovia, Rachel Johnson in 1915.
- Prince Nathaniel Varney Massaquoi– Liberias politician
- Princess Fatima Massaquoi – Author, Academic
- Prince Al-Haj Massaquoi
- Hans-Jürgen Massaquoi – Afro-German Author
- Fasia Jansen – German political singer-songwriter
Photo ; Charles Lahai Hoffman
Queen Madam Wokie I
Meet Sierra Leones tribal Queen who lived over 100 years old, Queen Madam Wokie Massaquoi was the monarch of Vai people of Sierra Leone (Galinas chiefdom/kingdom)
She reigned from 1925 until her death in 1971 aged over 100 years. Her descendant @maryann.kaikai started a fashion label named Madam wokie that has dressed the who and who of Sierra Leone. Queen Madam Wokie was met by Queen Elizabeth II of UK during her visit to Sierra Leone from 25 November to 1 December 1961, and her husband, Prince Philip
King/Paramount Chief Sylvester Lansana Beveh Massaquoi
Paramount Chief King Sylvester Lansana Beveh Massaquoi
Photo; Vera Viditz-Ward in 1986/Sierra Leone National Museum
Queen/Paramount Chief Madam Wokie Jonjo Massaquoi II
Paramount Chief (Queen) Madam Wokie Jonjo Massaquoi II is the current reigning monarch of Vai people of Sierra Leone under Gallinas kingdom / chiefdom, Punjehun District, Sierra Leone. Madam Wokie Massaquoi II is a descendant of the famous Queen Madam Wokie Massaquoi whom she is named after.
She was crowned in 2020 after a voting exercise involving various royal family members in which she emerged the winner and was presented with the Royal staff by the president of Sierra Leone.
We now have many other chiefdoms connected to the gallinas Massquoi royal lineage
- Paramount Chief Mustapha Jange Massaquoi III of Soro Gbema – 2020 –
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