Liberia - Ethnic groups



Liberia Ethnic Groups 1599
Photo by: rook76

Indigenous African tribes constitute 95% of the population. Besides the descendants of the early settlers, Liberia is peopled by about 28 ethnic groups, each with its own language. They are believed to have migrated from the north and east between the 12th and 16th centuries AD , bringing with them elements of Egyptian and Arabian culture, such as the spinning and weaving of cotton and the smelting of iron. Linguistically, the tribes may be divided into three main groups: the Mande people in the north and far west, the Kru tribes (including the Krahn) in the east and southeast, and the Mel in the northwest. The largest groups are the Kpellé, Bassa, Gio, Kru, Grebo, Mano, Krahn, Gola, Gbandi, Loma, Kissi, Vai, and Bella. About 2.5% of the population is Americo-Liberian, descendants of immigrants from the US who had been slaves. There are also two tribes not strictly Liberian: the Mandingo, who are itinerant Muslim traders, and the Fanti fishermen, who come from Ghana and stay a few years at a time in Liberia.

Because of intermarriage and an aggressive national unification program, tribal divisions are rapidly becoming less distinct, especially around the capital. Nevertheless, there is a strong tendency among the indigenous people to preserve their tribal identities.

Of the non-African resident population, the biggest component consists of Lebanese and Syrians.

Also read article about Liberia from Wikipedia

User Contributions:

1
Report this comment as inappropriate
Jul 31, 2010 @ 12:12 pm
Can you tell me anything specific about the culture of the Loma group?
2
Report this comment as inappropriate
Aug 9, 2010 @ 7:07 am
I am Thomas T. Doe, my concern have to with each of the tribal history
of liberia and because I am a student of public Administration with concern in public policy. I have interest in research work.
3
Report this comment as inappropriate
Dec 27, 2010 @ 4:16 pm
I am a student of the United Methodist University, reading Public Administration. I have been told by this website that there are about 28 ethnic groups of Liberia and of the 28 16 are names. I am kindly asking this website or somebody to provide me the balance listing with additional information.
4
Report this comment as inappropriate
May 1, 2011 @ 2:02 am
Please,Idid not want all these I only wanted all of Liberia's ethnic groups.
5
Report this comment as inappropriate
Jun 25, 2011 @ 3:15 pm
I want the people of Liberia to protect their culture.
6
Report this comment as inappropriate
Jul 17, 2011 @ 7:19 pm
YOU NEED TO DO MORE RESEACH ON THIS. THIS IS IN COMPLETE. YOU MAY WANT TO STAT FROM EARLY YEARS.
7
Joe N. Boamie (Uncle Ioe)
Report this comment as inappropriate
Feb 8, 2012 @ 8:08 am
I am Liberian and somehow confused about my country history and need help from all historians.
My concern: Bssically, accoring to historians, Libeeria has 16 tribes (Dan Mano Kru Mandingo, Bassa Grebo Dei Belle Lorma Krahn Kpelle Kissi Gbandi Vai Gbi and Gola}and known as citizens of Liberia. What is the status of the Americo-Liberia and congo? If they are not consider citizens, why are they considered the elite people? If they are citizens, why they are not included as citizens of libeeria in history?
8
amos
Report this comment as inappropriate
Feb 14, 2012 @ 9:09 am
liberia is a rich country but the people of liberia is a promblem we need strenth to make liberia rise when will liberia rise again people are waiting for thaat time to come let us buld this country together donot lose faith in your self the all maty god
9
Amos k. sheriff
Report this comment as inappropriate
Dec 4, 2012 @ 8:08 am
I AM student of AME ZION reading economics/Liberian society. I want to known about the Lorma tribe, their triditional education,marrage,wearing, occupation,salutation,burial,housing,religion,and story telling.
10
Emmanuel Nyumah
Report this comment as inappropriate
Dec 6, 2012 @ 5:17 pm
I am a liberian but am somehow confused about my country,because of some misquoted information about my country. I really want to know what are those Americo-Liberian doing in liberia when they do not have part with liberian ethnic sector,and again why these Americo-Liberian build our streets like they are preparing their room? Sorry,i hope i didn't offend anybody.I want for some historian to give me a comprehensive report about my country issue.If you do have the answer you can write me on facebook @nyumahe@yahoo.com
11
Darryl Thomas
Report this comment as inappropriate
Jan 25, 2013 @ 6:06 am
I am a Liberian studying Public Administration at the Willaim V. S. Tubman University. My concerns are, can somebody list all the 28 ethic groups? I have not heard about the Fanti fishermen been part of the Liberia ethic groups can I get clarity? How they came close to be part of Liberia if they are from Ghana.

Thanks,

D. Thomas
12
Jusiowlee
Report this comment as inappropriate
Feb 3, 2013 @ 3:15 pm
Hey everybody, can anyone help me to obtain the photo of Bismarck L. Kuyon, former Interim President of liberia (Aug. 18 1993 – Nov. 13 1993). I'm designing a web page of Liberia leaders(Presidents, Vice Presidents and Interim Presidents);Bismarck L. Kuyon is the only person, who photo I can't find on the internet. I searched Yahoo and Google images sites, and could not find his photo. Please email me his photo at jusiowlee@yahoo.com, if you can, or send me a web link to the photo. If you know him, kindly ask him to email me his photo.
There is no photo of him on major web site; the only Interim president without a photo easily to be found.
13
gayflor kennedy
Report this comment as inappropriate
Mar 27, 2013 @ 9:09 am
I am a Liberian,I feed the mandingo ethnic group are not from Liberia. Because my history tells me that the mandingo ethnic group came to Liberia as a trader, and because of the good way of some ethnic group, so they desided to help them by given them a place to be. And because of that they started haveing intermarries with mainly the Loma, Kpelle, and other ethnic group. Than lately in the 1980 President SAMUEL DOE desided to make the mandingo citizen of Liberia.
14
Luoseae Zoetay
Report this comment as inappropriate
Mar 29, 2013 @ 9:09 am
Please tell me the stepts in traditional wedding (marriage) among the Dan (Gio) People in Liberia and Yakuba in Ivory Coast. How does the parents of girl get to know the boyfriend and his parents or people, engage, wed and move into their own home as a family ? What role do the parents pplay in the entire process?
Similar knowledge or information on the Lorma, Bassa, Mano and Krahn will be highly appreciated.
15
H. Morris Jusufu Sr.
Report this comment as inappropriate
Apr 20, 2013 @ 6:06 am
am a retiree and want to research on my own tribe, the Dei tribe. i also have a rich history of my people and is willing to contribute pls let me know if it will mean much.
16
Ben Kolako
Report this comment as inappropriate
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:06 am
Could you please provide me information on the history, culture and marriage of the gbandi tribe of Liberia
17
Jefferson thmas
Report this comment as inappropriate
Jun 30, 2013 @ 7:07 am
thanks for these few informations, i think i can do my work from it . keep it up.
18
Cindy b
Report this comment as inappropriate
Jul 15, 2013 @ 2:14 pm
Hi. Looking for someone from Liberia that would like to speak at a book club discussing their country
19
Jimmy Tamba
Report this comment as inappropriate
Jul 15, 2013 @ 9:21 pm
My name is Jimmy Tamba,student of state university (UL) studing public Adminstration. I do really want to know about our country natural resources wheather bringing development,improving our living standard??? As we all know about our great country interms of minerals! I can't see changes in my belovely county.
20
Emmanuel Harris
Report this comment as inappropriate
Nov 11, 2013 @ 11:23 pm
I am a student of the university of Liberia.My concern has to do with the kpelle tribe, I want to know about their history,where they came from and how they got here. Their tradition and way of marriage.
21
Bendu
Report this comment as inappropriate
Dec 16, 2013 @ 6:06 am
I would like to know about the Gbandi tribe of Liberia. Their origin, type of marriages, religion and burial of the Gbandi tribe. I am also interested in the socialization of the tribe, their occupation/professional as well as the food of the tribe
22
S.S.Jackson Morris
Report this comment as inappropriate
Dec 20, 2013 @ 11:23 pm
I M A STUDENT OF HISTORY STUDYING IN THE USA AND A NATIVE OF LIBERIA,BUT THE HISTORY GIVEN ON THIS WEB SITE THAT THE MANDIGO SPEAKING PEOPLE OF LIBERIA ARE NOT CITIZEN IS UNTRUE. KING SAO BOSO WAS PART OF THE DUCOR CONFERENCE THAT GIVE BIRTH TO WHAT IS KNOWN TODAY AS LIBERIA. MORE OVER I M A KISSI FROM FOYA,LOFA COUNTY,OUR PARENTS CAME FROM KAYEN NOT FROM EGYPT, IS THE KISSI SPEAKING PEOPLE THAT INTRODUCE THE USE OF MONEY AND THE SPINNING OF COTTON. THE MONEY IS KNOWN AS KISSI MONEY IN LIBERIAN HISTORY, IS A LONG ROUND METAL.
23
Report this comment as inappropriate
Jan 6, 2014 @ 1:01 am
I am a student of the university of Liberia studying sociology and anthropology. I wanted more information on the lorma tribe.
24
Lisa
Report this comment as inappropriate
Jan 29, 2014 @ 8:08 am
I am Student Lisa Lumeh studying Mass Comm. at the AMEUniversity in Liberia. I need information about the Kru Culture and their Marriage unfold.
25
Robert W. Jarwleh
Report this comment as inappropriate
Mar 26, 2014 @ 8:08 am
Thanks for the information provided on the ethnic groups of Liberia. However, I want to know the difference between an ethnic group and a tribe. Are you saying Liberia has more than 16 tribes or that a tribe is bigger than an ethnic group? I still have yet to know the National Identity of my tribe 'Sarpo Tribe' which some historians refer to as Sarpo Krahn for the Sarpo people( Putu) in Grand Gedeh County and Krahn Bush Kru for those in Sinoe County.

Hope to hearing from you.
26
Mark S. Dennis
Report this comment as inappropriate
Oct 7, 2014 @ 7:07 am
Well, I'm Mark Dennis a Liberian, Student of the University of Liberia
one thing I want to also to Liberian people and the world is that all tribes in Liberia came from different part of Africa and migrated to the Land now call Liberia.
I see no reason why other tribes are not considering other tribe as Liberian citizens. If you read the history of Liberia, you will get to understand that the Mandingo Fula were here before other tribes came.
27
Sidiki
Report this comment as inappropriate
Jan 23, 2015 @ 6:06 am
Liberia history will not be correct if we are not ready to says the true about the country. R
28
Zanda K. Kosee
Report this comment as inappropriate
Apr 8, 2015 @ 10:10 am
I am a student at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Cuttington University, Suakoko, Bong County/Liberia, reading Peace and Development Studies with special emphasis in Economics.
My concern have to do with the sixteen tribes of Liberia. I really want to know which county each tribe belong to in Liberia?
29
T-Nicolas Trobin Barclay
Report this comment as inappropriate
Oct 10, 2015 @ 1:13 pm
I am a Liberian and student @ the BWI. My concern has to do with the kpelle tribe, I want to know about their history,where they came from and how they got here. Their tradition and way of marriage, and again I really want to know which county they belong to in Liberia?
30
Dearest Meme Tawah Kotio
Report this comment as inappropriate
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:05 am
I am Student Dearest Meme kotio, I will like to know about the Kissi tribe in Liberia.
31
Amara Sirleaf
Report this comment as inappropriate
Jul 6, 2016 @ 6:18 pm
How do you compare the fanti tribe of Ghana to the Mandingo?I think you should go back read and research more.
32
Andrew Varnery Goll
Report this comment as inappropriate
Nov 3, 2017 @ 3:15 pm
I am a Liberian, my parents from Lofa County in Liberia. I Could like to know the line between the ritual of mandingo marital ceremony verses the Kpelleh, Kraha and Gio transitional occasion along with their norms and folkways associated?
33
mayson Railey
Report this comment as inappropriate
Dec 7, 2017 @ 4:04 am
i want to know more about the bassa tribe, and by what cause the fanti become part of Liberia?
34
Joshua S.K. Goaneh
Report this comment as inappropriate
Mar 26, 2018 @ 8:08 am
I want to find out some thing from Liberia Historians as to weather there was any Ethnic group (s) in Liberia before and during the writing of Liberia history that the Name is not indicated in our History? If YES, can our Country Liberia Lawmakers and Historians have it indicated into our history so that our Children including us will not continuing to
35
Report this comment as inappropriate
Apr 23, 2018 @ 4:16 pm
I believed that we the Goal people are the first tribal group to come in Liberia. Our ancestors carry on numerous works for present day Liberia so I think we should be applause for that. I am simply speaking of our public figures such as King Zulu Duma, Charles Taylor and, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. We were the first to bring about poro and sande society in Liberia, it is all about training both our boys and girls how to be a good husbands and wives.
36
Emmanuel Quaye
Report this comment as inappropriate
May 27, 2018 @ 3:03 am
I am a student from the Starz College and a computer science instructor from the Lord's Chosen International School, i want to the significance o the Ducor Conference in Liberia History?
37
Anita keita
Report this comment as inappropriate
Oct 21, 2018 @ 3:03 am
I am a student from the United Methodist university and i want to know more about the diverse ethnic groups of Liberia and settlers plus their contribution
38
Eric B Ben
Report this comment as inappropriate
Nov 4, 2018 @ 1:13 pm
I'm a student, reading computer at the YMCA of Liberia, I find it difficult to know the Bassa tribe, in which I part of, history on the internet. Can this wep site help get actual information.
39
Lansana A.Sannoh
Report this comment as inappropriate
Nov 6, 2018 @ 10:10 am
All those that are referred to mandingo people not citizen of Liberia are confusing there self,because if you read your Liberian history,kpelle,lorma,kissi,mano,gio there forefathers migrated from Guinea.Krahn ,kru ,sarpo are from Ivory coast.All tribes in Liberia migrated from some where no one came from the sky to fall on to Liberia.let us stop talking about all these negative comments and find solutions for our country betterment.
40
Aloyxius K. Sodone
Report this comment as inappropriate
Nov 7, 2018 @ 8:08 am
I'm a student of the AME University I need a brief history of the kru tribe of Liberia, as it relate to their funeral ceremonies, marriages, where they migrated from and their cultural nature
41
Daoda A. Siryon
Report this comment as inappropriate
Nov 10, 2018 @ 12:00 am
I'm a student of the AME University I need a brief history of the kru tribe of Liberia, as it relate to their funeral ceremonies, marriages, where they migrated from and their cultural nature

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA