Kru people

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Kru woman, 1906

The Kru are an ethnic group who live in interior of Liberia. Small minority of Kru also live in Southern Sierra Leone close to the border with Liberia. Their history is one marked by a strong sense of ethnicity and resistance to occupation. In 1856 when part of Liberia was still known as the independent Republic of Maryland, the Kru along with the Grebo resisted Maryland settlers' efforts to control their trade. They were also infamous amongst early European slave raiders as being especially averse to capture.

They are distinct from the Krumen (sometimes called Kru), a subgroup of the Grebo who live along the coast.

Their reputation was such that their value as slaves was less than that of other African peoples, because they would so frequently attempt to escape or to take their own lives upon being captured.[1]

The Kru are one of the many ethnic groups in Liberia, comprising 7% of the population. It is also one of the main languages spoken. The Kru are one of the three main indigenous group players in Liberia's socio-political activities along with the Krahn and Mano people.

Notable ethnic Krus include former soccer star George Weah and Christian Evangelist Samuel Morris who was originally known as Kaboo.[2] Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is of mixed Kru, Gola, and German ancestry.[3][4] Mary Broh, the current mayor of Monrovia, is of mixed Kru and Bassa ancestry.

Kru People[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Johnston, Harry, and Johnston, Harry Hamilton and Stapf, Otto. Liberia. 1906, page 110
  2. ^ "BBC News, Profile: George Weah". BBC News. 2005-11-11. Retrieved 2012-12-23. 
  3. ^ Kramer, Reed (2008-05-14). "Reed Kramer, "Liberia: Showered With Enthusiasm, Liberia's President-Elect Receives High-Level Reception in Washington",, 11 December 2005". Retrieved 2012-12-23. 
  4. ^ "Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf". Retrieved 2012-12-23. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Baldwin, Lindley, Samuel Morris: Men of Faith Series, Bethany House Publishers, 1942;
  • Behrens, Christine Les Kroumen de la Côte Occidentale d'Afrique, Bordeaux: Centre d'Etudes de Géographie Tropicale, 1974;
  • Brooks, George, The Kru Mariner in the Nineteenth Century: A Historical Compendium, Newark,Del., 1972 (Liberian Studies Monograph Series no.1);
  • Davis, Ronald, Ethnohistorical Studies on the Kru Coast, Newark, Del., 1976 (Liberian Studies Monograph Series no.5);
  • Fraenkel, Merran, Tribe and Class in Monrovia, New York-London: OUP, 1964;
  • Mekeel, Scudder, "Social Administration of the Kru: A Preliminary Survey", Africa 10 (1937) 75-96; 11 (460-68);
  • Massing, Andreas W., The Economic Anthropology of the Kru, Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1980 (Studien zur Kulturkunde 55);
  • Massing, Andreas W., Kru, in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History, vol.2, 306-309, New York, 2007;
  • Schwartz, Alfred, Peuplement Autochthone et Immigration dans le Sud-Ouest Ivoirien, Abidjan: ORSTOM, 1973;
  • Tauxier, Louis, Les Kroomen de la Forêt de Côte d'Ivoire, Paris: Larose, 1935;
  • Zetterström, Kjell, Ethnographic Survey of Southeastern Liberia: Preliminary Report on the Kru, Robertsport: Centre of African Culture, 1969