Kru People: An African Tribe That Refused to Be Captured into Enslavement

7 Posted by - June 4, 2018 - LATEST POSTS

The Kru people are an African tribe of coastal southeastern Liberia and neighboring Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast).   The tribe is known for sailing. Many of the Kru people also migrated to neighboring areas such Sierra Leone to look for work as fishermen and dockworkers. The Kru along with the Grebo resisted Maryland settlers’ efforts to control their trade. They were also infamous amongst early European enslavers as being especially opposed to capture.

There were about 24 subgroups with dialectal and cultural differences. Their political organization was traditionally un-centralized, each subgroup inhabiting a number of autonomous towns. It was believed that the Kru people were viewed as less valuable during the Transatlantic slave trafficking because they would not allow themselves to be captured by Europeans they would often take their own lives first, or fight viciously to avoid being taken away.

The Kru people engaged in migrant labor, seafaring and migrant working. They settled as far as fareast as Cameroon and west as Freetown and Cape Verde. They had exceptional canoeing skills in treacherous surf waters and were well-known for it by the 1700’s when they served on British merchant and warships. Although the natives were in many respects similar in type and tribe, every village was an independent state; there was also very little intercommunication.

The tribe is one of the many ethnic groups in Liberia, they comprise about 7 percent of the population. It is also one of the main languages spoken. By the late 20th century there were probably more Kru outside tribal territory than within. The largest single Kru community in the late 20th century was in Monrovia. Notable ethnic Krus include former soccer star George Weah and Christian Evangelist Samuel Morris who was originally known as Kaboo.  Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is of mixed Kru, Gola, and German ancestry.




  • […] source: […]

  • […] surfing the strong ocean currents brought upon much recognition which later afforded them work on British merchant and warships in the 1700s. Currently the Kru account for 7% of the Liberian […]

  • Daniel w Grekan October 6, 2016 - 7:55 pm Reply

    yes still great and will always be

  • Julius Saykay July 16, 2017 - 4:56 pm Reply

    And We Will Never Let Anyone Pull Us By The Nose Like Dogs

  • Reginald NA'IIM Nickpee September 30, 2017 - 1:07 pm Reply

    Proud and independent people

  • Increase October 1, 2017 - 7:08 am Reply

    I am thinking about changing my name to Kru

  • Ldawud October 4, 2017 - 1:57 pm Reply

    This story is from the 1700’s. I wonder how they are doing now 2017. They have good work history.

    • julest1 July 22, 2018 - 4:30 pm Reply

      We are still here in Liberia Ivory Coast Nigeria Sierra Leone and all over Africa.

  • julest1 December 1, 2017 - 8:39 pm Reply

    I am Kru I live in America trying to learn about my parents tribe, what religion than the ancient kru people practice.

    • Mike July 23, 2019 - 3:35 pm Reply

      Have you learned anyatging since? Religion ancient kru practices?

  • Pentee February 20, 2018 - 5:29 am Reply

    I am a full kru. I was born in Sierra Leone. My mother and father are both kru. We are a proud people. We saw the European first way back in the 14th century. We are not only found in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast. Our people were found in the sea port areas of England, Wales and Scotland. descendants of those early sea men are still around, but have lost their identities. For example my grandfather was living in Swansea Wales in the 1880s before returning back to Sierra Leone in 1905 to marry my grandmother. He spent 20 years living in Swansea. Kru seamen even made their way to South Africa.

  • kamisese57 June 10, 2018 - 10:16 am Reply

    Following the abolition of slavery in British Guiana in 1838, due to shortage of labour, the British went to West Africa and recruited Kru labourers. Hence the Kru entered British Guiana as free men.

  • Morris Nyenator July 3, 2018 - 5:16 pm Reply

    I am very grateful to have gathered details information about my tribe. Awesome!

  • Colin Peters August 23, 2018 - 8:35 am Reply

    I live in Cape town South Africa, I did some research and found that my great grand father “Thomas Peters” was also from Liberia. I can only assume that it was not his real name, due to the fact that they were used as crew men for the British Royal Navy. Some of them remained in Simonstown after the Royal Navy left Simonstown in the late 1800s .

  • T. Othello Zuah November 22, 2018 - 10:08 am Reply

    I am very proud of the Kru People of protecting themselves form being slaves under another person. These people always stand their grands.
    One thing I know about them is that, they do not like advantage.
    I have a girl friend who does not like for people to take advantage of her.

    I am both Bass and Mano. But love the ways of the Kru People.

  • Nimeneh Nyankoon December 17, 2018 - 9:33 am Reply

    I am a 100% Kru man and I have no regret being 100%. I’ll like to know more about my tribe.

  • Nimeneh Nyankoon December 17, 2018 - 9:36 am Reply

    I am a 100% Kru man and I have no regret being a 100%.

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