Bassa Village Liberia

Bassa Village Liberia

The Bassa people are a West African ethnic group primarily native to Liberia. They form settled farmers who grow yam, cassava, eddoes, and plantain. They are lineage-linked independent clans who live in villages.

The forest belt in West Africa that covers large swathes of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria has always been populated by a large number of ethnic groups. In Liberia, there are at least sixteen ethnic groups, each belonging to one of three major language groupings.

The southeastern Kru linguistic group comprises Kru, Bassa, Grebo, Krahn, and Dei. Kru (Klao) live along the southern coast bordering Cote d’Ivoire. According to their oral tradition, Kru migrated from the north-east to the coast of West Africa in the sixteenth century and became fishermen and sailors. Kru political organization was traditionally decentralized, each subgroup inhabiting a number of autonomous towns. Rural Kru engages in fishing and rice and cassava production but their region, crisscrossed with rivers, has seen little development and many young Kru have migrated to Monrovia. Bassa has its own writing system, called ‘Bassa’ or ‘Vah,’ which was developed around 1900. They practice Christianity and indigenous religions. Together with Dei they settled early on in Monrovia and became assimilated into the settler economy as artisans, clerks, and domestic servants. Grebo lives along the coast in Eastern Liberia, on both sides of the Cavall River, which serves as a border between Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. The Grebo migrated to Liberia during the sixteenth century. They lacked strong central structures; village ties were primary rather than clan affiliation. They were subject to a twenty-year campaign of subjugation by the Americo-Liberian-dominated government. The ethnic kin of the Krahn in Liberia is known as the Wee in Côte d’Ivoire. Krahn lives in Nimba, Grand Gedeh, and Sinoe Counties, along the border with Côte d’Ivoire. The Krahn has historically been disparaged as ‘uncivilized’ by both the ruling Americo-Liberians and members of the larger indigenous ethnic groups. When Doe took power in 1980, Krahn, in particular, those from Doe’s own village became more dominant. Krahn (Wee) from Côte d’Ivoire made up the Executive Mansion Guard. In 1990, during the civil war, Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) attacked Krahn civilians in Nimba County and elsewhere as they moved through the country, especially in Grand Gedeh County, and many fled to Côte d’ Ivoire. The small Dei group lives in Montserrado County near the coast and Monrovia, primarily between the Lofa and St. Paul rivers. Dei was among the first to come into contact with the settler immigrants, settling in Monrovia early on and becoming assimilated like the Bassa. Kuwaa is a Kruan-speaking people who live in Lofa County. In the past, Liberian government officials have referred to them as Belle, a name that has disparaging connotations.

Check out Elizabeth Village and resort

Situated overlooking the beautiful and serene Benson River, the Resort boasts rustic mud chalets with tree beds, rock walked baths and Liberian style interior designs. The resort offers a beautiful pool bar, open-air dining, fishing, canoeing, river swimming, hiking, bird watching, and cultural excursions. A perfect location for group retreats, family reunions, and a Romantic setting.

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