Village and Houses, Canoes, Mortar and Pestle, Liberia, 1840s-1850s

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This record was last updated on 27 Jun 2017

Image Reference

Drawings of Western Africa (University of Virginia Library, Special Collections, MSS 14357, no. 18).

Watercolor, crayon, and ink. Captioned “Krootown,” this picture shows nine circular houses with conical thatched roofs extending over the walls (typical of the Kru, Grebo/Glebo, Bassa and other indigenous peoples of Liberia ), and one rectangular house with a pitched roof (probably belonging to an American colonist or missionary); also a sheep or goat (?), two dugout canoes, a wooden mortar and pestle, a water scoop (?), and a rattan basket. A standing figure is carrying two spears; the seated figure is smoking a pipe with a large bowl. A flagpole in the center may be flying the flag of the Maryland in Liberia colony; other drawings show a similar pole (e.g., UVA10, 13, 25). This drawing may depict the area near the Maryland in Liberia colony at Cape Palmas known as “Kru Town” (e.g., John L. Wilson, Western Africa [New York, 1865], p. 100); R. B. Medbery, Memoir of William G. Crocker (Boston, 1848), p. 114. See other image references “UVA” on this site. For background to this and other UVA images, see image reference UVA01.