A Quick Overview about the Gbandi People

The Gbandi people primarily live in the northern part of Liberia, in Lofa County. The Gbandi language, also known as Gbande and Gbunde, is a Mande language, which makes it part of the Niger-Congo language family. Gbandi has six dialects: Hasala, Hembeh, Lukasa, Wawana, Wulukoha and Tahamba. 

The population is estimated at 107,000 people of which many fled to Guinea during the Liberian civil war. Gbandi people practice Islam and Christianity as well as some traditional beliefs; most of them are traditionalist.

Majority of Gbandi marriages are polygamous, where they hold the belief that the more wives you have, the more respected you are in the community. A typical Gbandi family is male dominant.  Leadership is based on the size of family so a man who has many wives increases his economic ability and prestige. In the marriage, the first wife holds the greatest status, but the last or recent wife is usually the favorite. This is because most of the time the last wife is much younger.


Some notable Liberians from the Gbandi tribe are Chris and Sandy Gbandi. Sandy Gbandi is a soccer player who has played for FC Dallas, Puerto Rico Islanders, and NSC Minnesota Stars. His brother, Chris Gbandi, is a retired football player who is currently the head coach of the Northeastern Huskies men's soccer team.