Dr. Arthur Abraham has taught and researched at universities in Europe, Africa and the United States. Currently Professor of History at Virginia State University, he has been Professor of African Studies and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone, with academic stints at Leiden in Holland, and Long Island and Yale Universities. Dr. Abraham has published extensively, and is the leading authority on the Mende.2003 0-7734-6794-7
This study of the Mende, the largest ethnic group in Sierra Leone, goes back in time to uncover Mende origins, and ends at the beginning of the Colonial period. Drawing from early documentary, oral, anthropological, linguistic and other evidence, the work argues that Mende originated in all probability as a lingua franca sometime in the late 16th century and spread fairly quickly. State formation began in the 17th century, gathering momentum in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Three case studies form the focus of the rest of the book.