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A Saucy Town? Regional Histories Of Conflict, Collusion, And Commerce In The Making Of A Southeastern Liberian Polity

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Chapter Summary

Liberia was settled during the nineteenth century by freed blacks, mainly from America, whose power was broken by a coup in 1980. Sharing languages and cultures with their neighbours in today's western Ivory Coast, the peoples of the region helped to shape the Liberian state. This chapter outlines the making of a polity, Sasstown, in Grand Kru County, southeastern Liberia, a region with common linguistic and cultural affinities, and common coastal histories, extending eastwards into Cote d'Ivoire, conventionally to the Bandama River. A couple of linguistic islands, Dey and Belle, still further west, presumably attest to a former extension of Kru language speakers confronted earlier by the West Atlantic/Mel and Mande speakers who developed communities around them. Transport had become a massive problem of the southeast, hampering attempts to develop local cash crops.

Keywords: America; Kru language; nineteenth century; Sasstown; southeastern Liberia



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