The European Union delegation to Liberia has begun the distribution of the book “Legends of Liberia,” a compilation of stories based on the cultural practices of earlier Liberians, their gods and goddess, heroes and heroines, and their tribal origins. The distribution, which has been ongoing for about two weeks now, has so far been donated to the libraries of all universities, community colleges, rural teacher training institutes and the teachers’ colleges of Liberia, public libraries, reading centers and many key institutions and renowned Liberian education and cultural icons.
The book has wide potential application in the education and cultural fields and can be used in so many different ways: in teacher training and classroom teaching, reading fairs and activities with young children, youth animation, theater and play, music production, just to name a few.
According to EU delegation head Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, the coming of this book is an effort to contribute to preserving the tradition of storytelling in Liberia, and to pass it on to future generations because culture and traditions are the foundations of any country’s identity. “We have brought this book back to life because it belongs to the Liberian people and the country’s cultural heritage should be preserved and promoted. Language, culture, and traditions are the foundations of a country’s cultural identity and the orally transmitted stories from the sixteen tribes of Liberia deserve to be remembered for many generations,” the ambassador said.
The book, originally compiled upon the request of President W.V.S Tubman by Peter Pinney, an Australian explorer who traveled across Liberia in the 1950s, was missing in action due to the county’s 14-year of civil war. “Legends of Liberia” retells and brings back to life lost, unique, and classic legends of Liberia. 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) told in the book, there are other good short stories that are not so well-known.