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An ethno-linguistic group of Mande origin that inhabit a small number of chiefdoms in the far north or north-east of Sierra Leone and a much larger territory in Guinea. Their name is said to indicate that they were originally 'inhabitants of Jalon' ('Jalon' referring to the mountain area that includes the present Futa Jallon), and that they migrated from there to their present homelands in Guinea and northern Sierra Leone, perhaps as early as the 16th century. The high point of Yalunka military and political power was in the early 1800s when a Yalunka state called Solimana with Falaba as its capital emerged as a regional rival to the Fula (and Muslim) state that an 18th century jihad had brought into being in Futa Jallon. Although successful in maintaining its independence and prosperity against its Fula neighbour for most of the 19th century, it eventually succumbed to attack by Samori's Sofas in the 1880s.

  • C.Magbaily Fyle, The Solima Yalunka Kingdom (Freetown 1979)
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