Liberian Culture

Liberia is located in West Africa and is about the size of the state of Tennessee.  It is a country home to lush rainforests, tropical birds, and beaches with ample surfing opportunities. Indigenous ethnic groups make up nearly all of Liberia’s population, the largest being Kpelle (20 percent). Liberians are generally positive and friendly with a relaxed sense of time. Schedules are considered less important than building relationships.

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Liberian People and Community

In rural areas, it is common for extended family members to live in a group of nearby homes. Traditionally, aunts or uncles are considered mothers or fathers in the absence of parents, and cousins are treated as siblings. Many rural families are polygamous.

Urban families usually consist of a husband, a wife, and children. Both parents typically have jobs outside the home. Families tend to be patriarchal. Fathers lead the home, while mothers are usually responsible for household chores. Women and girls are responsible for child rearing and preparing meals, while men and boys are responsible for household repairs and farm work.


Rice is the most popular staple in Liberia. Fufu (a paste made from lightly ground cassava), gaygba (a thicker, cassava-based paste), plantains, potatoes, and eddoes (a tuber similar to the potato) are also customary. Vegetables such as bitter ball (a tropical vegetable with a bitter taste), kitilly (a smaller tropical vegetable), okra, eggplant, and tomato are commonly eaten. On the coast, fish and other seafood are popular. It is common to eat goat or bushmeat such as squirrel, opossum, raccoon, and red deer.

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