Kingdom of Koya or Koya Temne or
Temne Kingdom (1505-1896) was a pre-colonial
African state in the north of present-day Sierra Leone. Its capital was at Cape Mount in what is now
The kingdom was founded by the Temne
ethnic group in or around 1505 by migrants from the north seeking
trade with the coastal Portuguese
in the south.
The kingdom was ruled by a king called a Bai
. The sub-kingdoms within the state were
ruled by nobles titled "Gbana". The Koya Kingdom kept and maintained
diplomatic relations with the British
and French in the 18th
Children of Temne nobles
were allowed to seek western educations abroad. Koya also traded
with Islamic states to its north and had Muslims
within its borders.
's reign (1775-1793) the Koya
kingdom signed a treaty, which made it possible for the
establishment of British colony on the peninsula of Sierra Leone in
Koya participated in the trans-atlantic slave trade
sources state that such commerce was much more privatized than in
other kingdoms. Subjects of Koya traded in slaves on the coast even
against the wishes of the state at times.
From 1801 to 1807, Koya fought a war with British colonists and the
. Koya lost the northern shoreline of Sierra
Leone to the British and Port Loko to the Susu.
However, they remained a power
in the region. In 1815, the Temne fought another war with the Susu
and regained the port. In 1841
, the Temne
defeated the Loko tribe of Kasona on the Mabaole River
dispersing many of the people.
in response to a British bombardment, the kingdom expelled the
Church Missionary Society
missionaries operating at Magbela in 1860.
The kingdom became a British protectorate August 31, 1896 after
which the Koya kings lost virtually all power. Revolts of the Temne
and Mende in 1898 were fierce but futile. The British would govern
the area of the former kingdom until 1961.