Quick Overview about the Dei and Belle people

The Dei/Dey of Liberia

Dei/Dey is an ethnic group in Liberia that can be found in Bomi and Lofa Counties. The Dei, together with the Belle and Mende, is among the smallest ethnic group in Liberia—the Dei, Belle, and Mende each make up approximately 0.5 percent of the total population.

According to history, the Dei were among the third group of people who migrated from the Republic of Ivory Coast due to population pressure caused by mass emigration of tribes from the Western Sudan.

 The Dei group were heavily involved in the slave and salt trade. Living along the coast, the Dei captured other Africans and sold them to the Europeans. Today there are 13,500 Dei living in the world. They are known for their many arts, with the most popular Dei art being their intricately carved wooden masks.


The Belle of Liberia

Belle is an ethnic group in Liberia found mainly in Gbarpolu and Lofa Counties. The Belle, also known as the Kuwaa/Kwa, are part of the Kwa ethnic group. This group is made of seven different indigenous tribes, including Bassa, Dei, Grebo, Krahn, Kru, and Sapo. All seven tribes speak the Kuwaa language.

The Belle is also part of the Kru linguistic group, which includes Bassa, Bella, Dei, Grebo, Krahn, Kru. This group was the third group of tribes who migrated to Liberia from modern-day Cote d'Ivoire.

Today there are approximately 19,000 Belle living in Liberia. They are primarily Christian (65 percent). The rest are traditionalist (34 percent) and Muslim (1 percent).