Published June 3, 2017
This video was recorded by Stephen Pasinski in the Wonde Community of Tienii Town, Grand Cape Mount County, Liberia, were he is volunteering with the Peace Corps. Vai is spoken by as many as 120,000 people, primarily in the West African nations of Liberia and Sierra Leone. A Niger-Congo language of the Mande family, Vai is somewhat closely related to mother tongues like Mandinka, Soninke, and Bambare, and more distantly so to hundreds of others. Vai is written with both the Latin alphabet and a unique script, which, along with N'Ko, is among the continent's most widely used indigenous alphabets. It remains unrecognized by the governments in Liberia and Sierra Leone.