Ku-Jopleh

 The Deity (God) of the Kru tribes

 

Ku-Jopleh was the deity (god) of the Kru tribes. He lived in a cave on the heights of “Mount Jidiah” (Gedeh). As an oracle, Ku-Jopleh was powerful and possessed unnatural wisdom, which is why the Kru tribes along the coast worshipped him and sought his counsel in times of need; he was particularly venerated by the Sasstown Krus.

The Sasstown Krus originally lived inland at a place called Boe-boe-jle. When the Sasstown Krus decided to relocate and settle on the coast, Ku-Jopleh was the one who chose the site for the new town to be built. No one was allowed to communicate with Ku-Jopleh except the main family of Sasstown, the Gbao-Wynpo. After the settlement, Sasstown Krus continued to worship Ku-Jopleh with admirable zeal. Krus from different towns came with gifts to seek advice on affairs of great importance.

According to traditionalists, Ku-Jopleh had no use for the gifts that were brought to him because he was not human. However, this didn’t stop the Krus, who found the counsels and decisions of Ku-Jopleh infallible, from bringing more gifts to him. In matters of war, farming, trade and marriage, the Krus would do nothing without consulting Ku-Jopleh; the oracle even appointed the leaders of that tribe. During this period, the Gbao-Wynpo family took possession of all gifts that were brought to Ku-Jopleh.

Today, the Gbao-Wynpo families are long gone, and Ku-Jopleh is no longer consulted by the Krus. However, he is still very much respected among the Krus. Currently, there is a man in Sasstown who blows on a hollow elephant's tusk, letting out sad, hollow-sounding notes in praise of Ku-Jopleh. This horn is only blown when storms arise and lightning crackles across the sky, for thunder is thought to be his angry voice, and the melancholy notes of the horn beg him to rest in peace

Reference:

Liberia History and Culture (Oral Traditions)

Anna Sherman-KartoComment