The Bandi

Old Bandi myths refer to a large inland area of water as being the place of origin of the Bandi, and state that they came to Liberia from that point several centuries ago. Their legends would seem to allude to Lake Chad; but Paramount Chief Jallah of the Bandi describes the movement of the Bandi as having been generally southward from some undetermined point far north in what is now…Keep Reading

Toad, Snail and Hornbill

All the animals came together for a feast, and there was eating and dancing and drinking for a whole week. On the last evening of the feast three old men entered the town; and their names were Toad, Snail, and Hornbill. No one had ever seen people like them before, and no one knew where they came from; nor did any one know which of them was the oldest, so…Keep Reading

Why Friday is a Holy Day to Certain Non-Muslims

In the town call Yandohun there lived a Chief called Yargai; and the people of Yandohun were heathens, while their neighbors were devout Muslims, known as Moli Men. The Moli Men kept Friday as their holy day, and on this day they rested from their labors; but the heathens of Yandohun went about their affairs as usual. Now, the father of Chief Yargai had been a wise and worthy man…Keep Reading

How Pride Destroyed a Beggar

Masa was a beggar who had no family or land, he begged food when he could, and when he could not he hired himself to labor in the fields of other men. One day when bearing a heavy bag of cassava to a distant town an overpowering weariness possessed him and he sat to rest beneath a tree. He fell asleep. He slept for seven months, and since he was…Keep Reading

The Power of Thieves and Liars

The Chief Thief and the Prince of Liar lived together in a house, and neither could agree which possessed the greatest power for causing mischief. They decided they would have a competition and Thief set out to do his best, or worst. He entered a prosperous town by night, a town where many rich men lived. He crept into homes, stole money and jewels, carried off chickens and clothes and…Keep Reading

The Man Who Scorned Spirits

Near to a town there was a small area of bush land which, the people said, was the private property of the forest spirits. A man decided he would make his farm on this land, and only laughed when his friends begged him not to. He had no respect for either spirits or the opinions of other people. On the first day he cut some bushes and went home. Next…Keep Reading

How Time Began

This is an interesting myth illustrating the Bandi’s conception of Life and its social problems when the world was very young. Ngala made the world and the moon and the sun. The sun shone all the time, so that there was no night, for Ngala considered that constant light would benefit men and beasts. For every man there was a woman, and all mankind was black. There were no white…Keep Reading

The Origin of Wubomai

Condensed from reports made by Paul Korvah and Mr. S. Atkinson, the sequence of this legend has suffered damage while in transit through many generations and does not explain how a Bandi clan became part of the Loma tribe. In olden times there was a mighty Bandi chief called Fonikgema; he was the richest and most powerful man in all the region of Halipo, and although his family name was…Keep Reading

How Two Rich Maidens Sought a Naked Man

Long ago, beyond the memories of hundred men, there was a rich and powerful chief who had a son. The old chief did not know Ngala, and as he lay dying he saw famine and disease and war break up his powerful chiefdom. The son of the chief found himself with no possessions, and though a proud and valorous son he was obliged to rob and lived by the edge…Keep Reading

How Spider Robbed a Goblin and Cheated Death

During Hungry Season Hare discovered a Goblin’s home in a secret place beyond the forest, and in Goblin’s house were many boxes full of rice. When Goblin was away cunning Hare crept into the house, opened a box, and filled a bag with rice. As he was about to leave a bat flew down from under the roof and said: “Hare, you are stealing Goblin’s rice!” “So I am, said…Keep Reading

The Baby Star Who Visited a Fish

A baby star came down from the heavens one night to bathe in a pond of sweet water. A little fish was swimming about in the pond, looking here and there for things to eat. He was surprised when he found the star bathing in the pond, but he politely greeted the visitor and asked: “O Star, my pond is a small and unimportant pond. Why did you choose to…Keep Reading

The Man Who Sought Riches and Respect

A certain poor hunter searched in the forest for many years trying to find his fortune; but all he found was birds and animals and fruit. He went to a diviner and asked what he must do in order to become rich and well-loved by his people. The diviner said: “Bring a leopard into the village market place, and then report to me.” The hunter went away wondering how this…Keep Reading