This image represents the Kru or Grebo Ring and is called a Dwin or "Gods of Water!" As stated by Dr. Fred P.M. van der Kraaji in the link above "The origin of these artifacts is not known with certainty, except for the fact that they were made and used among the Kru and the Grebo in southeastern Liberia. According to Siegmann, the Kru and Grebo believe these objects to be living creatures that can be found in creeks, rivers and lagoons. They call them ‘tien’,‘nitien’ or ‘Dwin’ meaning water spirits or ‘Gods of Water’. A variety of powers are attributed to them including the ability to stop wars, found villages, heal the sick and guarantee fertility. They are also capable [of catching] people crossing these streams. The Kru and Grebo believe that the ‘tien’ live in the water but can be caught and brought to town where they may be enjoined to serve as protectors or guardians (Siegmann, 1977, p. 82)."
We at Yei Kaalu Memorial Hospital take the opportunity to use this traditional artifact as a current symbol or metaphor to depict our healing ways; and to apply this cultural metaphor with modern day medical science while, at the same time, acknowledge our history and culture. In the West, we have sacrificed our sense of belonging and identify to attain vast knowledge based on technology. In Liberia, we are in need of these technologies, but still have our sense of community and identity; a connectedness to the earth our mother. Perhaps at Yei Kaalu we can incorporate both so as to be a shining example to the world indicating balance and harmony within ourselves, our community, our surroundings and environment.
Future blogs will keep our volunteers and donors informed of our progress. We invite your feedback so as to help create a global community reflected at a local level without sacrificing these precious universal values as we explore the 21st century together in balanced knowledge!
We are in need of financial aid to finish construction of our hospital. This will cost at least another $50,000 US. We will need medical equipment and medicines. Our blogs will keep you posted on our progress as we serve the people of Liberia - a country torn out of the womb of America.
Thank you in advance for your kind and generous donations, especially during the recent terrible events in Houston. If we could, we would help and perhaps, someday we can return the favor! Our prayers are with you Houston USA!