Author Archives: Dr. Fred P.M. van der Kraaij

Liberia’s national symbols (cont’d)

On May 31, I raised the question ‘Liberia’s national symbols – what happened to the national debate?’. Now, a month later, I must confess that I am inclined to answer this question with the tentative conclusion: ‘Liberians are not interested’. … Continue reading

Posted in Abeodu Bowen Jones, Americo-Liberians, Ashmun, Bassa Cove, Buchanan, Decoration Day, Elwood Dunn, Flag Day, Independence Day, Independence Day Orator, James Monroe, JJ Roberts Day, Liberia, Liberia Colony, Liberian History, Liberian Studies Journal, Maryland in Africa, Matilda Newport, Matilda Newport Day, Mechlin, Mississippi in Africa, Monrovia, National Anthem, National flag, National Motto, National Seal, National Symbols, New Georgia, Pioneer's Day, Randall, Sakui W.G. Malakpa, Svend Holsoe, Tipoteh, Virginia, William R. Tolbert Jr. | Leave a comment

Liberia’s national symbols – What happened to the national debate?

Dr. Elwood Dunn was the 2012 National Independence Day Orator and challenged the government and people of Liberia to rethink and debate the appropriateness of the national symbols, notably the nation’s seal, motto and flag. As we all know, the … Continue reading

Posted in Americo-Liberians, Civil War(s) Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Elwood Dunn, Governance Commission, Independence Day Orator, JJ Roberts, Liberian History, National flag, National Motto, National Seal, National Symbols, Pepper Coast, Tipoteh, Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC), Vision 2030 | Leave a comment

Annual Message on the State of the Republic – Jan. 26, 2015

ANNUAL MESSAGE ON THE STATE OF THE REPUBLIC To the Fourth Session of the 53rd National Legislature of the Republic of Liberia, Consolidating For Continuity By: Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf President of the Republic of Liberia (As Delivered) Mr. … Continue reading

Posted in . Jabaru Carlon, 2015 Annual Message, agriculture, Amos Sawyer, Ban Ki-Moon, Benin, Bismarck Kuyon, Charles Gyude Bryant, civil society organizations, Corruption, diamonds, Ebola, ECOWAS, education, elections, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, FDI, forestry, gender, Ghana, girls, gold, Goodluck Jonathan, governance, Governance Commission, Guinea Conakry, health, Health Sector, human resources, Human Rights, IGNU, infrastructure, iron ore, Jim Yong Kim, Liberia, Liberia Education, Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Liberian Economy, Liberianization, Mali, Margaret Chan, Mount Coffee Hydroelectric plant, natural resources, Niger, Nigeria, Nkosanzana Dlamini Zuma, NOCAL, Official Development Assistance (ODA), oil, Palava Hut, peace, press freedom, public debt, public expenditures, public revenues, public sector, Public Sector Investment Plan (PSIP), Reconciliation, rubber, Sierra Leone, UNMEER, UNMIL, Vision 2030, Willis D. Knuckles -, youth | Leave a comment

Ebola in Liberia: More than a Health Crisis

It all started with two Ebola cases in Foya, Lofa County. It was on March 17 of this year that the Ebola virus entered Liberia from Guinea. The reaction of the government of Liberia on the arrival of the virus was … Continue reading

Posted in 2013/2014 National Budget, Amos Sawyer, April 12 1980, Corruption, curfew, Debt relief, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Doctors without Borders, Ebola, Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, FDI, Foya, Governance Commission, Guinea Conakry, Health Sector, Liberia, Liberian Diaspora, Liberian Economy, Lofa County, Médicins sans Frontières (MSF), Monrovia, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Shacki Kamara, Sierra Leone, State of Emergency, Sudan, Uganda, United Nations (UN), US - Africa Leaders Summit, West Point, Westpoint | Leave a comment

Paul Julien in Liberia in 1932 – Part II

Today starts in the National Museum in Monrovia an exhibition portraying  Paul Julien and his work. Paul Julien was a Dutch photographer and amateur-anthropologist, who travelled in the interior of Liberia in 1932. He wrote many books on his travels in … Continue reading

Posted in Alhaji Kromah, Americo-Liberians, Andrea Stultiens, Barclay, Campfires along the equator, Christy Report, Daily Observer, Dutch Eyes, Firestone, Hendruk Muller, Kampvuren langs de evenaar, Kenneth Best, Kru, League of Nations, Leopard men, Liberia, Liberian History, Monrovia, Moratorium Act, National Museum Monrovia, Netherlands Foto Museum Rotterdam, OAC, Oost Afrikaansche Compagnie, Ordinary Liberians, Paul Julien, Poro Society, President Charles King, President Charles King resignation, President Edwin Barclay, Ritual Killings, Sasstown, Slavery Scandal, Vice President Allen Yancy, Vice President Allen Yancy resignation | Leave a comment

The Dutch photographer and anthropologist Paul Julien in Liberia, 1932

The Dutch Paul Julien (1901-2001) had a PhD in Chemistry and worked as a chemistry teacher in the Netherlands. He frequently travelled to Africa, walked through the forests of West and Central Africa and did anthropological work and research. Between 1926 … Continue reading

Posted in Andrea Stultiens, Campfires along the equator, Graham Greene, Journey without Maps, Kampvuren langs de evenaar, Liberian History, Monrovia, Paul Julien, Sierra Leone | Leave a comment

The mystery of the Kru or Grebo rings – Part II

In my April 7 post I drew attention to the lost history of the Kru or Grebo rings that originate from eastern Liberia and, probably, from the adjacent western region of Ivory Coast though no such cases have ever been … Continue reading

Posted in Abe Guenther, Barclayville, Culture, George Schwab, Grand Cess Territory, Grebo, Grebo rings, Horatio Bridge, Ivory Coast, Kru, Kru Coast, Kru money, Kru rings, Liberia, Liberian History, Liberian Studies Journal, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ritual Killings, Ronald Davis, Sasstown, Scott Shepperd, Siegman, Sven Holsoe, The Liberian Journal | Leave a comment

April 12, 1980 : A Personal Account and View

On April 12, 1980 I woke up by the sound of automatic gunfire. It must have been around  6 AM. I was staying with a friend who lived in the Sherman Compound, in Congo Town, then one of Monrovia’s outskirts. My … Continue reading

Posted in 1980 execution South Beach Monrovia, April 12 1980, Charles Taylor, Comprehensive Peace Agreement CPA 2003, Corruption, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia, Liberian History, Monrovia, Monrovia South Beach, NPFL, Prince Y. Johnson, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Thomas Quiwonkpa, Tom Woewiyu, True Whig Party, William R. Tolbert Jr. | Leave a comment

The mystery of the Kru or Grebo rings – Part I

The Kru speaking peoples of eastern Liberia The official number of tribes in Liberia is 16 but an estimated 31 different languages are spoken in the country. They usually are subdivided into three language groups: the West Atlantic or Mel … Continue reading

Posted in Africulture, Barclayville, Culture, Grand Cess Territory, Grebo, Grebo rings, Horatio Bridge, Krahn, Kru, Kru Coast, Kru money, Kru rings, Language groups, Liberia, Liberian Studies Journal, Malagueta Coast, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Pepper Coast, Portugal, Portuguese traders, Ritual Killings, Ronald Davis, Sapo, Siegman, Sven Holsoe, Vai | Leave a comment

The 1983 Planning and Development Atlas – a forgotten document?

By accident – I should rather say sheer luck – I recently acquired a beautiful copy of a Planning and Development Atlas that was prepared and published by the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs (MPEA) in 1983. The Atlas was … Continue reading

Posted in 1962 Census, 1974 Census, 1984 Census, 2008 National Population and Housing Census, Liberia, Liberian History, Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, Planning and Development Atlas 1983 | Leave a comment