History & Us

Photo courtesy of Paul Julien collection in 1932

The Sossobala

A sacred symbol of freedom and identity of the Mande community, the Sossobala is a wooden xylophone or balafon, that is being played on occasions such as weddings, child naming ceremonies and festivals.

A Page from History Remembering Slavery: Mapoo’s Journey from Slavery to Freedom

On March 14 the United Nations commemorates a case of extreme wickedness meted out by one group to another. This evil was the transatlantic slave trade which lasted from 1514 to 1866. Approximately 10.8 million Africans were forcibly transported to the New World—i.e., North America, South America, and the West Indies or Caribbean. The original number was 12.5 million. But 1.7 million of the captives perished during the horrifying three-to-eight week voyage across the Atlantic Ocean as a result of diseases and hardship.

William V.S. Tubman’s Legacy:

Tomorrow, November 29 will be observed as national holiday in memory of the late President William V.S. Tubman, thus far the longest serving President of this country. The day was set aside by an Act of the 3rd Session of the 42nd National Legislature, declaring November 29 each year as a national holiday to pay homage to the late Tubman. As the nation observes this day, there would be many reflections on the life of this former leader of this country. Usually on this day, the younger generation in Monrovia, observed it with beach-parties.

Some of President William V.S. Tubman’ Accomplishments

When Tubman became President of Liberia in 1944, there were several Departments (now Ministries) in existence.  They included the four   principal ones: State Department, Justice Department, Treasury Department Interior Department. 

He also established the Department of Public Works, now Ministry of Public Works, as well as the Bureau of Mines, which later became the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy.



Paul Julien (1901-2001) was an anthropologist from the Netherlands who traveled through Liberia in 1932. Andrea Stultiens (1974) is a photographer and researcher from the Netherlands. As part of her PhD-research she tries to connect the past that was documented by Paul Julien to the past as remembered in Liberia and the way it is connected to the present. Julien’s photographs are part of the collection of the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam.


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