Luawa chiefdom traces its origin to king called Ngobeh Yegovay. Ngobeh is believed to have migrated from present day Libera, and was a member of the Gbandi ethnic group. The Gbandis entered sierra leone quite long before the 19th century. The Lokos, who reside in the north of the country, are descendents of the Gbandis and today called “gbandimbe” by the Limba, who likely lived in the north before the Lokos arrived (Abraham, 2003, pg. 27) He established a village called Gbegelu. He was succeeded by a Kissi warrior named Kailondo. Kailondo was a powerful warrior, for whom the town of Kailahun is named, who conquored much of the surrounding area and held control over it during the mid 19th cenutry (Abraham, 2003, pg. 101). Kailondo is one of the few chiefs about whom colonial officials wrote in any detail. Alldridge, cited in Abraham (2003, pg. 85) wrote “Certainly he was one of the most intelligent chiefs I ever met; powerful and might man of war, but capable of understanding what was for the lasting interest of his people, and universally beloved for miles around.” Alldrige goes on to describe his reputation for being merciful to his enemies. He had in particular various conflicts with Ndawa a great Mende warrior of the time. Stories of the origin of Luawa can be found in Clarke (1957) and Hollins (1929). Kailondo signed a treaty with the British in 1890, which recognized him as ruler of Luawa. Kailondo’s authority collapsed shortly thereafter, as he suffered various attacks from different regions. Hollins (1929) and Clarke (1957) report that Kai died in what is today Guinea, but that his body was eventually moved to Mano Sewalu his birth place. Abraham (2003, pg. 104) reports differing accounts from other sources, and the interesting detail that twelve male slaves were sacrificed and buried with him
The current chief is Mohamed Sama-Kailondo Banya, a Mende elected in 2003. The chief during the war Sama Gbalahun Kailondo Banya died of natural causes in 1996.
Kailondo Banya - This house is the lineage of Kai Londo, and has its headquarters in Mofindor village.
Kpundeh - This house is the lineage of Bokarie Kpundeh, who local historians recall to be the first Paramount Chief to be recognized some years after Kai Londo’s death. They trace their origin to the Gbandi of Liberia as well, and have their headquarters in Luawa Ngiuhun. 48 Colonial records from 1899 also list another chief, Fa Bundu, who was reported to be a successor to Kailondo and fiercely loyal to the colonial government. Later, in 1912, Bokarie Kpundeh is listed as chief, and described as “formerly a bad character, but, having been banished to Koinadugu for three years, has now returned, and shows signs of being a very good chief,” a reference indeed to his loyalty to the government, which likely punished him for rebelliousness during Fa Bundu’s reign. It is unclear which lineage Fa Bundu himself came from
Ngobeh - This ruling house is the lineage of Ngobeh Yegovay, who was believed to be one of the original Gbandi migrants. One of their line took the chieftaincy after Kpundeh’s death in 1915. Their headquarters is Sakima village