Guinea-Bissau (Republic of Guinea-Bissau; Port. Republica da Guiné-Bissau)
- Susan Hurley-Glowa
(Republic of Guinea-Bissau; Port. Republica da Guiné-Bissau)
Country in West Africa. Located on the coast between Senegal and Guinea, it has a population of 1.5 million (2011 estimate) and an area of 36,125 km.
The Republic of Guinea-Bissau’s population is diverse, consisting of more than 20 ethnic groups descended from Mande, Fula (Fulbe; Fulani) and Senegambian peoples. The main ethnic groups include the Balanta, the Fula, the Manjaca, the Mandinga, and the Papel. The official language is Portuguese, but Kriol (Kriolu, Crioulo), a Portuguese-West African creole language, serves as the primary language of communication between ethnic groups.
Approximately 50% of the population practise indigenous religions including the Balante, Papei, Manjaca, Diola, Bijago, Nalu, and Brame (Burama) peoples. The others, including the Fula, Mande, Beafada (Biafada), and Susu peoples, are Muslim (38% to 45%), or Christian (5% to 13%). Followers of indigenous religions are mostly concentrated along the coast and coastal islands, while the population that now practises Islam is located mostly in the cattle-raising interior....