On my journey of knowing Africa and telling the story the African way, I will be sharing with you the history and the life of the KPELLE people of LIBERIA. Africa is not what and how you think it is. Africa has culture, history and a story to tell. Get closer and hear our story ….
The Kpelle people are also known as the Guerze, Kpwesi, Kpessi, Gerse, Mpessi, Berlu, Gbelle, Bere, Gbalin, Gizima, or Buni. They are located primarily in an area of central Liberia
They speak the Kpelle language, which belongs to the Mande language family. It is estimated that there are 760,000 Kpelle Speakers in Liberia. The Kpelle is a large ethnic group of the West African nation of Liberia and are also an important ethnic group also in southern Guinea. Kpelle Language: Kunâŋ gáa ŋele sui, Tɔɔ ku iláai siɣe a maa waa. – The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want.
Despite their yearly heavy rainfalls and rough land, the Kpelle survive mostly on their staple crop of rice. The Kpelle have paramount chiefs who serve as mediators for the public preserve order and settle disputes. Kpelle Village not too far from Saint John River.
The Kpelle tribes’ local economy surrounds trade with local tribes. Because of their hard work, the Kpelle are major food suppliers of the capital city, Monrovia as well as other major cities. Traditionally, the Kpelle have been farmers with rice as the main crop. The Kpelle peoples eat rice as their primary staple. It is supplemented by cassava, vegetables, and fruits. The Kpelle tribes cash crops include rice, peanuts, sugarcane, and kola nuts they also enjoy fufu and various soups and sauces.
The incredible Oprah Winfery
has DNA conformation that she is from the Kpelle Tribe of Liberia. If you never knew, now you know.
The Kpelle also used to trade with the Muslim Vai and Mandingo who lived in small numbers in the country and reside nearby. Every Kpelle tribe used to have a government recognized chief who oversaw their own interests as well as the interests of the society. The Kpelle lived in North Sudan during the sixteenth century before fleeing to other parts of northern West Africa what is Mali. Kpelle are also still located in Mali and still maintaining their heritage. Kpelle People inhabit parts of Bong, Nimba, Lofa, and Monserredo Counties (Greater Monrovia District). Traditionally, a Kpelle family consists of a man, his wives and his children. The household has been the usual farming unit. They are very lovely and hardworking.
KPELLE tribe in pictures.
Kpelle Girls doing a traditional Girls dance.
Kpelle Farmer and his sons.
Kpelle woman and the Kpelle tribe masquerade dancer.
Kpelle Girls in Bong County fishing with Nets in a shallow river.
Kpelle Woman’s Choir.
Kpelle women celebrating the initiation of other Kpelle females in the Porro Society.(which looks similar like the Dipo, a puberty rite perform but the krobo people of Ghana.)
Kpelle Men performing cultural music.
Kpelle women harvesting rice
Kpelle woman beating palm nuts.
Kpelle mask Kpelle Children helping to build a hut!
Typical Kpelle Hut in a Kpelle Village. You will love this hut.
Kpelle Children Participating in Cultural dancing.
Please if you haven’t checked your DNA yet, kindly do so, for Oprah Winfrey might be your sister. These are the lovely history and the life of the Kpelle people. Next time you visit Liberia, please meet and Kpelle. If you haven’t, then you are missing alot. There are alot to learn. The people of Africa share similar culture in a way or the other stay turned for the next tribe. It could be yours.
I thank @Liberia_1847 allowing me use their pictures and story to share with the world.
Follow them on twitter: @Liberia_1847
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