History of Bomi County, Home to Liberia's Oldest Tribe.

Formerly known as Vai Town

Bomi County, formerly known as ‘’Vai town’’, is the twelfth most populous statutory county in the Northwestern Region of Liberia. Established in 1984, the County constitutes a local administrative council with four districts (Dewoin, Klay, Mecca and Senjeh District). According to the Liberian Population Census of 2008, Bomi County has a population of 82,036, and its capital, Tubmanburg was named after the 19th and longest serving president of the Republic of Liberia, William Tubman.

The county is predominantly populated by the Gola spoken tribe; however, it has a sizable population of Mandingo and the Vai tribes. Although Christianity is the majority religion in Liberia, in Bomi, the vast majority of its population practiced the Islamic faith.  As the oldest tribe in Liberia, the Gola tribe was one of several tribes that came up with the Sande and Poro society in country.

Bomi is bordered by Grand Cape Mount County to the west, Gbarpolu County to the north, Montserrado County to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Bomi is one of the host counties to former slaves who escaped cruel and inhumane punishments from their slave master from several Caribbean Island countries, such as Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis in 1822.  During the prime mining years of iron ore, Bomi was a prime center for mining this natural resource because of its abundance in the Hills of this region. Regrettably, as with many institutions and infrastructures, the mining operation was eventually destroyed during the first Liberian Civil unrest.

Bomi County is clearly one of the most beautiful places in the country; many of its native believes it’s the prettiest county in the country, with some boasting of its natural beautiful being second to none. One of its many claims to fame is its famous and attractive Blue Lake. Although many outside the county have doubted the existence of this historic blue lake and still doubt the historicity of it, the readers of this article can rest assure that indeed there is a blue lake in Bomi County.  In the 1960’s and 1970’s an iron ore company (Liberian Mining Company)  operated in Bomi Hills, the area now known as Bomi County and left  craters  at the top of the mountain.  After a halt in the company’s operation in 1970, one of the craters surprisingly turned into an eye-catching phenomenon now called the Blue Lake.  With a depth of approximately 300 feet and suspended between surrounding mountains, the reflection from the sun gives the lake its blue hue, thus, the Blue Lake.

With some of Liberia’s oldest traditions, a skyline-blue color lake lying in middle of a cave, quiet valleys and a wavy Atlantic to the south, Bomi County is an idea vacation spot for both locals and tourists, especially if you’re hoping to learn about Liberia and its beginning.

Anna Sherman-KartoComment