The Temne people, native to Sierra Leone, are one of the two dominating ethnic groups representing 30% of the population, along with the Mende, who represent another 30% of Sierra Leone. The Temnes migrated from Northern Africa during the 1300s and early 1400s in order to become a part of trade networks on the Atlantic Coast.
In 1898, the Temnes fought a war led by Bai Bureh, a cheiftain, against Bristish settlers because of the imposed "Hut Tax" which placed a tax on each Temne family based on the size of the hut they lived in. The practice, much like the taxes that enraged colonists in America, led to two separate uprisings, one among the Temne, the other among the Mende.
Today the Temnes are mostly Muslims who interweave Islamic beliefs with traditional African practices. They fish, farm, and/or trade. Like most Sierra Leoneans, they are for the most part fluent both in their ethnic language and in Krio, the lingua france in Sierra Leone.
The Temne language is a tonal language.