How Piso Lake Began

In the days of Long Ago there was a certain small watering hole where doves went to bathe, and the Vai people who lived near that place called it Piling See, or Doves’ Hole. More and more doves came to sing and splash, so that the pool became crowded and other holes were made. Every time the Big Rains came the holes would become larger, and at length they were…Keep Reading

How Hare Made a Fool of Leopard

Leopard and Hare each fell in love with lady-Deer, and sought her hand in marriage. Hare was walking with lady-Deer in the forest when Leopard came along; and lady-Deer, who thought Hare was a rather small and unimportant animal, said: “Oh, I see my lover coming.” “Then what of me?” cried Hare. “Do you not love me?” “No,” said lady-Deer, “I do not. Leopard is a gallant and daring animal,…Keep Reading

The Rise and Fall of Zolu Dumah

Gorn is a town in the Vai-Koneh chiefdom of Grand Cape Mount County; and in recent years, within the compass of four life-spans, a man called Zolu Dumah was Chief of the town of Gorn. The task of protecting his people concerned Chief Zolu deeply, for although he had no serious rival and his lands were unmolested, yet hostile spears beyond his borders were as sands on a sandy shore….Keep Reading

The Land Where No Vultures Fly

Two vultures in the east heard of the fertile lands which are Liberia today, and decided they would come and settle here. They flew west and west and further west, over rivers and mountains and plains, and in time they arrived at a town in this country. They sat in a tree at the edge of the town, craning their naked necks to see what manner of people lived below,…Keep Reading

How Dog Came to Live With Man

The animals of the forest agreed to hold a feast, and everyone was invited. Now, Leopard has always been the enemy of Dog, and on this occasion he bitterly objected to the idea of Dog being invited to the feast. “Dog is an eater of dung,” he said. “A wicked and unclean animal. He has no manners, none at all, and will only shame himself if he dines in company…Keep Reading

The Death of Yarn-Mah

A beautiful little girl called Yarn-Mah lived with her mother in a poor village; the village was on a piece of land between swamps and the thick dark forest. Yarn-Mah’s mother became old, and she could no longer paddle her canoe and throw the fishing net as she did in her younger days; so she taught Yarn-Mah how to paddle and how to throw the tummah net so cleverly that…Keep Reading

The Wrath of Sande-Nyana

Three brothers who were hunters lived in a village near Piso Lake, and their names were Khamah, Voanii, and Zuke. Early one morning they went into the forest to hunt, taking spears and a little food, and they walked to a distant part of the forest where they had never been before. Here they found a sacred shrine, long abandoned, and lying within the shrine was a bag of gold….Keep Reading

The Tale of Leopard’s Tail

Leopard delights in eating monkeys, and is forever devising schemes to catch them. One day when he lay in a cool place thinking, he decided to make friends with all the monkeys so that he could quietly eat them one by one. Leopard was growing old, and could no longer climb trees easily. Therefore he went to a large mango tree where the Monkey Chief sat with his wives and…Keep Reading

The Riddle of Four Wives

Once upon a time three poor brothers lived at the edge of a forest in poverty and want. Their land was sour and would not yield a crop, and no animals or fruits could be found inside the forest. One day the youngest brother said: “Let us go to the Chief and ask if he will agree to give us anything we want for five days, and in return we…Keep Reading

How Eagle, Dog, and Otter Wooed a Maiden

Eagle, Dog and Otter fell in love with the same maiden, and begged her mother to decide which one of them should have her. Soon after this the father of the girl disappeared while hunting in the forest; he did not return. The mother of the girl said to the three animals: “Go find my husband, and bring him back to me. The one of you who does this shall…Keep Reading

The Cry of the Sea-Gull

A beautiful maiden called Nya lived in a village by the sea, well loved by all her people and desired by every young man among her people. She also loved her people, and would willingly have married but could not decide which man she loved the most. One day a young man came from the east, riding the sea in a slim canoe and singing a happy song, and although…Keep Reading