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Toebli and area (1 of 16)

Author: DT624

Road by Toebli, looking west. The large tree in the picture stood beside the entrance to the town and was regarded as sacred. If the tree were chopped down, it was believed that the town would suffer. Since the residents were Krahn and therefore, through no fault of their own, associated with the infamous President Doe, and in the wake of the civil war, I have often wondered about the fate of this tree and the people who lived beneath it.

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  1. Rob Carr says:

    I was a PCV in Grand Gedeh 85 to 87. Worked alot in Toebli AKA Toetown. I am trying to recall if that big tree was still there. We did have a faulty borehole in toestown that never worked because locals told us it was too close to a powerful tree so the hole was ju jued. my phots are back in the USA..someday maybe I verify this tree. i had more varieties of bush meat eating in toebli than most GG towns on the main road.


  2. James Kaye says:

    You have indeed raised an interesting question about the people under the cotton tree. Before answering, I’ll like to commend your efforts and thoughtfulness for preserving the history of my people. My people will forever be grateful for the sacrifices you and others made for our education. You are right, the civil war had a devastating impact on the people under the cotton tree simply for being members of the President’s tribe. Besides Principal Collins who died of natural causes prior to the war, many of the elders died in exile in the Ivory Coast (Janitor Zahn Toe included). Zahn’s older brother, Chief Kaye (my father) died in California. I brought him over from the refugee camp in the Ivory Coast in 1993 and he passed away two years later. Though most of the young people in the pictures posted were not connected with the military or any political groups, they were killed in Monrovia during the war (your friend Moses Zahn included). Like many innocent Liberians killed across the country, their crime was being member of what amounted to the wrong tribe (Krahn, Gio/Mano or Mandingo). Besides the people under the cotton tree were also victims of the Ivorian war. For them unlike most of Liberia, they continue to be haunted as Ivory Coast continues to be unstable. The war may physically be over as some will say but the human cost continues. Whatever the case, we can only trust that life can return for our people. Thanks. James Kaye (


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