The Kissi were, like the Gola, one of the first people to settle in Liberia. Their language belongs to what is known as the West Atlantic Group, part of a larger classification of ‘class-languages’ which stretches from Lake Chad to the Senegal river.
The Kissi are a muscular and thickset people, proud and stubborn as well as being accomplished fighters.
Paramount Chief Quirmolu states that when the Kissi came south from the Sudan they found a people called the Kono occupying a fertile tract of forest and cultivated fields. They went to war with the Konos, invaded their land and drove a wedge through the center of that group, splitting it in two.
One half of the Konos was forced west into Sierra Leone, where they are today; the other half fled to the northeast into French Guinea.
It has been suggested that the Konos were in fact a Kissi advance-guard who, having been sent south on reconnaissance to find new land, settled here without bothering to send word back to their people, and married the women of neighboring peoples.