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Recent documentation has noted “Kru societies can now be found along the coast of Monrovia, Liberia to Bandama River in Cote d'Ivoire” “Villages maintain their ties based on presumed common descent, reinforced by ceremonial exchanges and gifts”.
The Kru people and their languages, although now many speak English as a second language, are said to be “dominant in the southwest region where the forest zone reaches the coastal lagoons”.
The Grebo name for this social structure was Dakwe, identified by town names.
There the Krus settled in a loosely connected villages based on lineage and living by hunting and subsistence farming.
Breitbonde notes the Kru people were categorized based on their cultural distinctiveness, separate historical or ethnic identities, and social and political autonomy.
This is the possible reason for so many subgroups of the Kru language.
The three groups were less "tribes" than loose federations of clans with common ancestors.
Those migrating from across the Cavalla and down the Atlantic seaboard have their own oral histories and myths centered around the crossing of the dangerous surf waters in canoes.
The Kru people inhabit a homeland in coastal southeastern Liberia and neighboring Cote d`Ivoire (Ivory Coast).
Some Kru have also migrated to the neighboring Sierra Leone to work as fishermen and dockworkers.
Marchese (1989) notes the fact that many of these peoples were recruited as “crew” by European seafarers; “the homonymy with crew is obvious, and is at least one source of the confusion among Europeans that there was a Kru/crew tribe.” Andrew Dalby noted the historical importance of the Kru languages for their position at the crossroads of African-European interaction and wrote that “Kru and associated languages were among the first to be encountered by European voyagers on what was then known as the Pepper Coast, a center of the production and export of Guinea and melegueta pepper; a once staple African seaborne trade”.
The Kru languages are known for some of the most complex tone systems in Africa, rivaled perhaps only by the Omotic languages.