These posts aim to increase interest in Liberia’s storehouse of oral literature which, although undeniably rich, is often overlooked by students of African oral traditions. Most of the tales in this collection were taken from “Legends of Liberia.”
That mimeographed collection was published sometime in the 1960s by Peter Pinney, a native of New Zealand. It received limited circulation in its original form. A second edition, released by the Society of Liberian Authors in 1973 with few editorial changes, focused renewed and wider attention to these tales.
It is hoped that this website will bring these delightful stories to the eyes, ears and hearts of many more, especially the thousands of Liberian children uprooted and exiled by decades of violence.
In keeping with a tradition among Liberianists that emphasized ethnic differences over commonalities, each chapter in Pinney’s book consisted of tales drawn from one ethnic group or “tribe.”
Elsewhere on this website, you will find tales organized by genres and other patterns that run through these stories. These patterns transcend linguistic and even national boundaries.