Lele people

The Lele, also known as Bashilele or Usilele, are a subgroup of the Kuba people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[1] They traditionally live in the Kasai River region,[2] but since the 1950s many have migrated to Kinshasa.[3] There are currently about 30,000 Lele, of which 26,000 speak the Lele language.[4]


  1. Encyclopedia of African Peoples (Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, Chicago and London, 2000), s.v. Lele (p. 125).
  2. Mary Douglas, The Lele of the Kasai (1963), ch. 1.
  3. Mary Douglas, "Sorcery Accusations Unleashed: The Lele Revisited", in Implicit Meanings (2nd ed., Routledge, 1999), pp. 78-80.
  4. Lele language at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
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