The Manada people dominate the savannah and open grasslands of the mainland. They live in small villages and are black skinned with curly black hair. There are three different but related Manada languages, (Peninsula, Northern desert and central plains).

Manada villages are made up of clusters of mud huts with conical thatched roofs. Groups of huts are surrounded by a circular fence. Each village is made up of several of these compounds and is ruled by a council of elders. The men of each village are usually related in the same clan and often practise polygamy. Each village usually has a very large sacred tree which is the centrepiece for religious and communal rituals. Ancestors are usually buried near this tree.

Manada farmers grow millet, peanuts and rice, and herd cattle and goats. Traders export ivory, gold, copper and slaves, and import salt from the desert and luxury goods from the north. Manada society is ruled over by a noble caste of warriors and a lower ranking caste of craftspeople and skilled workers. Under them are the slave caste. There are secret societies with initiation rituals for each caste. The noble caste have warrior societies.

The trader and crafts people caste have a society ruled by Snake Masters. This society regulates trade and mediates disputes between traders from each village. The society meets in secret and is ruled by Masters who always appear masked and anonymous in public. They are usually male sorcerers.


The Western Islands Tuoni