The European Union delegation has done another great thing that the government of Liberia has failed to do. This time around, it is the collection of the country’s legends to promote her cultural heritage for future generations.
The book, Legends of Liberia, previously written by Peter Pinney, was missing in action due to the county’s 14-year of civil war. But the coming of the second edition retells and brings back to life lost, unique, and classic legends of Liberia.
First of all, the book is a must read that every Liberia child should get a hold of. From the first page to the last, each story provides detailed information or narration, most especially when it comes to the history of the tribe, which makes it a standout among any book that talks about legends from Liberia or about Liberia.
Apart from the tribal histories (legends) being told in the book, there are other good short stories that are not so well-known. Moreover, Legends of Liberia comes with inspiring messages that pass on visions, values, feelings and memories in enjoyable and entertaining ways.
The book also comes at a time when almost all the legends are the point of being lost, since they are not taught in schools anymore. Against this background, it is now time that the government through the Ministry of Education starts teaching this book in our primary and secondary schools.
This will be a very important step to reawaken the country’s lost and fast decaying cultures, since legends are models for a way of life and teaching of values.
Legends form a fundamental part of every human culture. Cultures are built on them. And once this book starts to be taught in schools, students will start to understand and participate in the culture/s to which they belong.
This can only happen when they firstly learn about the stories that culture is built around. Take this for example, religions are taught in schools because they heavily influence culture, which passes down important values and practices.
This can be done with Legends of Liberia, which is particularly helpful when it comes to restoring the country’s cultures. The book will also inspire creative thinking and writing among students. The teaching of Legends of Liberia will not only prove beneficial to students of all ages, but will also bring them in contact with the cultures of the tribes of Liberia.
And if Liberian legends are taught in schools, they will also increase students’ appreciation for literature and the arts by understanding their important roles in and values to society.
Furthermore, once government allows this book to be used in schools, students will start to think critically about modern culture and analyzing the traces of ancient legends, their moral values and benefits.
Legends of Liberia, the second edition, which is a compilation of ancient legends, are based on the cultural practices of the early peoples of Liberia, about their gods and goddess, heroes and heroines, settlers and tribal origins.
According to Legends of Liberia, for example, the Mano tribe came to Liberia through Lormia who, on his way from Sudan in search of fertile land, fought and conquered many towns. He also captured slaves along the way, including the Ge, who later became Gio, who much later became the race of the Gio and Mano.
And the nickname Gbezohn for modern day Grand Bassa County means ‘stagnant and odorous,’ and came as a result of people dumping trash into a small stream, which subsequently smelled like the dirt poured into it.
The moral of the Gbezohn story could be dirt affects people.
Moreover, each legend featured in the book has a moral message through the story that teaches the good, bad and ugly of early Liberian life.
No matter what, the government should do everything possible to make this book form part of the national curriculum. Legends of Liberia makes for a very interesting topic of study.