African Encounters with Domesticity

By Karen Tranberg Hansen | Go to book overview

Notes
1.
Liberia was founded by the American Colonization Society as a refuge for "free people of color" in the United States and became independent in 1847. The descendents of the settlers were long known in the literature as Americo-Liberians. Recently, Dunn and Tarr ( 1988) have suggested the term repatriate to designate this group. For more on Liberian history, see Staudenraus 1961; Shick 1980; Liebenow 1987; and Dunn and Tarr 1988, among others.
2.
The term "Glebo" refers to a population of roughly 10,000 people who belong, patrilineally, to a series of some thirteen coastal communities between Fishtown Point and the Cavalla River. The Glebo speak one of the many dialects of Grebo, a Kwa language shared by a number of southeastern groups. Although "Grebo" is used by the Liberian government as an ethnic category, Grebo speakers do not recognize a common identity or political unity as such. Fieldwork in Cape Palmas for fifteen months in 1982-1983 was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and a Hannum Warner Alumnae Travel Grant from Mount Holyoke College.
3.
"Traditional" male dress for the Glebo consists, today as in the past, of a long-sleeved white shirt, tie, dark suit coat, and bowler hat from the waist up and, from the waist down, a wrap-around cloth or "lappa."
4.
See Carter and Mends-Cole, 1982, for education statistics.
5.
This new, polarized ethnicity has been manifest most recently in the tragic civil war that has engulfed Liberia since January of 1990.

Bibliography

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1984. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, trans. Richard Nice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Brooks, George E. 1972. The Kru Mariner in the Nineteenth Century. Newark, Del.: Liberian Studies Monograph Series, No. 1.

Brown, David. 1982. "On the Category Civilized in Liberia and Elsewhere". Journal of Modern African Studies 20:287-303.

Carter, Jeanette, and Joyce Mends-Cole. 1982. Liberian Women: Their Role in Food Production and Their Educational and Legal Status. Monrovia: USAID/ University of Liberia, Profile of Liberian Women in Development Project.

Cott, Nancy. 1977. "The Bonds of Womanhood: Women's Sphere in New England", 1780- 1835. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Dunn, D. Elwood, and Bryon S. Tarr. 1988. Liberia: A National Polity in Transition. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press.

Fraenkel, Merran. 1964. Tribe and Class in Monrovia. London: Oxford University Press.

-----. 1966. "Social Change on the Kru Coast of Liberia". Africa 36:154-172.

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