The Krahn people, like so many African tribes, had special schools when their children approached adulthood. What happened at the schools was a secret that nobody ever shared with any foreigner. The girls went to a mysterious location in the bush and receive whatever training the elders believed was necessary for adulthood.
I didn't see girls who finished Krahn bush school very often. In my two years in Zwedru, I think I saw this three times. So, when I was at the market place and saw this girl, I raced home to grab my camera. I didn't care how much I had to beg, plead, pay or grovel. I was going to get some photos.
As it turned out, the girl was just as happy to get her photo taken as I was to take the picture. It was the people around us who insisted that I paid her. Well, I reached into my pocket and emptied all the money I had into her hand. It was only about 25 cents but she was delighted. I was too!
When I returned to Liberia 25 years later to paint murals with Ebola survivors, I had a mission to locate this woman. Most likely, she now had a daughter about this age. I wanted to give her a copy of the portrait and get a photo of her holding my drawing. It didn't happen. She wasn't located until after I returned home. But, she has been found. When I return to Liberia, it is still a photo that I want to take.
Continue on to Africa Image 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 or back to the Portraits Home Page.