Published September 26, 2019
This video was recorded by Tom in Sinoe County, Liberia. Sapo, also known as Sarpo, and sometimes as Southern Krahn, is spoken primarily in eastern Liberia in the counties of Grand Gedeh and Sinoe. There are roughly six dialects: Juarzon, Kabade, Nomopo, Putu, Sinkon, and Waya. Sapo is one of seven Guere-Krahn languages that comprise a dialect continuum, meaning that neighboring varieties are highly similar and often mutually intelligible, while those more distant from one another bear greater distinctions. The Sapo people who speak the Sapo language belong to a larger ethnic group that goes by many names: Krahn, Wee, Guéré, Sapo, and Wobe. The variety of naming most likely stems from Western contact with this group. Sapo is spoken by around 36,000 people. It is a Guere-Krahn Kru language within the Atlantic-Congo branch of the Niger-Congo language family.