The Balanta people are found mainly in Guinea Bissau, although they may be found in areas of Senegal as well, particularly in the Casamance. Their heartland is north of the Geba River, an area rich in elephants, beeswax, and coveted hides. The people are intelligent and dedicated agrarians, growing lots of foods, including rice and peanuts. In many ways, their religious ideas and cultural ideas have been impacted by the historical, political, and economic upheavals of the region.

Although the Balanta are found in the coastal regions of West Africa, they are said to have migrated from the East, possibly from the Nile Valley region of East Africa. Their oral narratives and their commercial history have established them as significant players in the development of ...

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