Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Place Called Puduken

There are about 14 towns in the Nyemonweh Chiefdom of Maryland County, Harper District. According to my guide, Nyema Nevis, Puduken (pop. 550) was built in 1832 and is the least developed town of the Chiefdom because it is the only one separated from Cape Palmas by the ocean. There are no schools there, and those who leave to get an education elsewhere normally do not return. Nyema's own brother left for the USA in 1983 and the family has been trying to trace him ever since. It is a short canoe ride to get to Puduken, where much of the town's livelihood comes from the cassava and eddoes that grow extraordinarily well in the sandy soil. Nyema's father, John Nevis, is the Town Chief of Puduken. Born in 1921, he has lost his eyesight but is still very much in charge and very highly respected. Before the war, he served as Speaker for the Grebo People of Nyemonweh Chiefdom and represented them in audiences with President William V.S. Tubman and President William R. Tolbert. Today, his request on behalf of his Chiefdom, if he could speak to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, is for a bridge to connect Puduken with the mainland so that development will reach his people.

1 comment:

brops said...

As with most of your posts, I enjoyed the one on Puduken - it gave a honest glimpse into ourselves.

Elma, please continue to take us on your road, er, canoe trips. Your pictures open up worlds that though were always there, we're just learning to appreciate.