The Sierra Leone Web

Telling Time in Kono
By Peter C. Andersen

[6:00-7:00 a.m.] Dawn. The sun has not yet risen. (See also the end of the list.)

soma tee kena
[8:00-8:30 a.m.] The sun is bright and warm.

tee tε
[Noon] The sun is in the middle.

tee kun tε
[Noon] The sun is in the middle of the head.

tee a kanda fea ma
[Noon] "San dn ikwa pan tu." The sun has divided the sky into two equal halves.

tee kכ kaima
[2:00-2:30 p.m.] "San dn balans." The sun has "tilted" out of the centre of the sky.

tee munda
[3:30-4:00 p.m.] "San dכn tכn." The sun has turned toward its downward course.

tee siia kכngכ a
[4:00-6:00 p.m.] "San sidכn na hil." The sun is resting on the hill.

tee bea ma
[7:00-8:00 p.m.] "San fכdכn." Sunset.

boo a finε ma
[8:00-8:30 p.m.] "Dak de na di han." There is darkness in your hand. Dusk.

fitii ma
[8:30-9:00 p.m.] Evening deepens, but you can still see a little way.

[10:00-11:00 p.m.] Night.

su tε
[Midnight] "Midul nεt." Th middle of the night.

saiima pimbi
[4:00-5:00 a.m.] Morning darkness.

banda כ kadama
[6:00 a.m.] "Do klin." Dawn.

[6:00-7:00 a.m.] Same as banda כ kadama and sכsoma.

Kono Cosmology
By Peter C. Andersen

The points of light seen in the sky at night are called in Kono "tכmbכaka." Both the stars above and the fireflies in the long grasses blow are given the same name: "stalait" in Krio. According to Kono tradition, stars are only fireflies that have flown too high.

Venus, the Evening Star, is called "kau a too musu," — "the moon's jealous wife," because she accompanies him through the sky. Several days before the new moon, the star appears alone, looking for him.

When the moon fails to show up as usual at 8:00 p.m. and instead delays its appearance until 11:30, people say "nyanguma a kau daun," or "the cat has eaten the moon." When it comes out at the late  hour of 12:00 to 1:00 a.m., they say "kau a kama gboo sii ia ta — "the moon has put elephant skin over the fire." Since elephant skin takes a long time to cook, the moon has an excuse to be late. When the moon appears during the day, people say "kau ambεnda an fe teea"— "the moon and the sun have met."