Liberia Legal System

The legal system in the Republic of Liberia is a dual one, combining elements of both statutory law and customary law:

Statutory Law: The modern sector of Liberia’s legal system is based on Anglo-American Common Law. This system relies on written statutes and legal precedents established by court decisions. It governs various aspects of contemporary legal matters.

Customary Law: For the indigenous people of Liberia, customary law plays a significant role. It is based on unwritten customary practices that have been passed down through generations. Customary law encompasses traditional norms, rituals, and community practices.
Notably, Liberia’s legal framework also includes provisions related to intellectual property and the protection of traditional cultural expressions within its Constitution.

Liberia has adopted two Constitutions since its foundation. The first was the 1847 Constitution which was suspended on April 12, 1980, following the coup d’etat which overthrew the presidency of H. E. William R. Tolbert, Jr.
The second Constitution replaced the Liberia constitution of 1847 which was approved and adopted by a National Referendum on July 3, 1984.

As the fundamental law of the Republic of Liberia, the Constitution defines the structure of the Government of Liberia, the rights and duties of the country’s citizens, its mode of passing laws and specifies the principle of separation and balance of the legislative, executive and judicial powers.

The legislative power is vested in the Legislature, which consists of two separate houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives (Art. 29).
The executive power is vested in the President, who is the Head of State, Head of Government and Commander–in–Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia (Art. 50).
The judicial power is vested in a Supreme Court and subordinated courts (Art. 65).

The Constitution contains provisions concerning intellectual property on the protection of traditional cultural expressions. It protects the right to preserve foster and maintain the positive Liberian culture, values and character (Art. 27. b.).
The Constitution also guarantees the freedom of expression (Art 15. b), the right of private property (Art. 22. a) which can be extended to the intellectual property rights.

“Yei dà bɛ̀ ka dà, nyaa me!” Masktape

“Yei dà bɛ̀ ka dà, nyaa me!”

(Translation: “In the bush, money is hidden, not lost.”)
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“Yei dà bɛ̀ ka dà, nyaa me!” (Translation: “In the bush, money is hidden, not lost.”) Meaning: Wealth may not always be visible or easily accessible, but it can be found or acquired with effort and resourcefulness.


Is the mask the devil?

The idea of Liberian masks being referred to as “devil masks” is a misnomer and is based on a lack of understanding and misinterpretation of the cultural significance of the masks. 

Masks are an important part of many African cultures, and they often represent spirits, ancestors, or other supernatural entities. In Liberia, masks are used in various cultural and religious contexts, including the Camarilla Mask™ societies.

The masks are not intended to represent devils or evil spirits, but rather specific spiritual entities that are revered and respected within their cultural context. The use of masks is often associated with important ceremonies, such as initiations and funerals, and is considered an important part of maintaining cultural identity and tradition.

Unfortunately, due to the history of colonialism and Christianization in Africa, there has been a tendency to demonize traditional African beliefs and practices. This has led to a misinterpretation of the cultural significance of masks and other traditional African art forms, which are often labeled as “primitive” or “evil” by outsiders.

Some Christian traditions have given the devil additional names or titles, such as “Lucifer,” which means “light-bringer” and is derived from a passage in Isaiah 14:12-15, though this passage is widely interpreted as referring to the fall of a Babylonian king rather than the devil.

Why is the mask (מסכה) referred to the people as “the Devil” when the devil has a name?

Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24,27, Mark 1:34, 3:22), The name used for the devil is right in the bible. It is coming from the ancient Babylonian god Baal for “lord” and Zebub meaning “the maggots of a fly”. Also the Mohammedans in the Koran 2:14 and 2:102 mention the name of the devil as Shayaatiynihim ((شزذثش A Plural for the Ashuric/ Syriac (Arabic) Equivalent Shaytaan of the Aramic (Hebrew) Word Satan. When the Preachers and Imaams refer to him as Shaytan or Satan that is what he is: Shay ((قي،- A thing: Tiyn (طين0 – clay- a thing of clay – that is not a name that’s a description of what he is made of.
Mask on the other hand are made of predominantly wood, metal, cowry shells, wooden beads.

In the Quran, the name for the devil is “Iblis.” This name is derived from the Arabic word “أَبْلِيس” (Iblees) which means “despair” or “despondency.”

In conclusion, while the masks of Liberia may be referred to as “devil masks” by some, this is a misnomer that reflects a lack of understanding and cultural sensitivity. It is important to recognize the cultural significance of these masks and to appreciate them within their proper context.

Tékpwfárí Stíx Él Rá

Reclaiming the African Spiritual System

In observing those adorned with the Camarilla Mask™ 16 Tribes® Necklace, one can sense the resonance of an era when Africa was imbued with the true essence of the African Spirit

The 33° Degrees of Freemasonry

Imagine a young cadet, eager to learn about the origins of Freemasonry, requesting a list of the Afrotropical roots of the esteemed 33rd degree. It’s as if a novice pilot, hungry for knowledge, asks for a detailed breakdown of the aerodynamics behind a daring air maneuver.

Just like a skilled aviator must be aware of the forces at play in the skies, so too must a Masonic scholar be aware of the historical and cultural underpinnings of their craft. And just as a daring pilot must be meticulous in their preparation, so too must a cadet be diligent in their studies.

  1. Entered Apprentice: Introduces the candidate to the basic principles of Freemasonry and its rituals.
  2. Fellowcraft: Teaches the candidate about the moral and ethical values of Freemasonry and their application to daily life.
  3. Master Mason: Conveys the symbolic meanings of Masonic rituals and further emphasizes the importance of moral values.
  4. Secret Master: Focuses on the importance of secrecy and confidentiality in Masonic traditions.
  5. Perfect Master: Emphasizes the importance of humility and self-improvement in Masonic philosophy.
  6. Intimate Secretary: Explores the importance of communication and trust between Masonic brothers.
  7. Provost and Judge: Teaches the importance of justice and fairness in society and in Masonic traditions.
  8. Intendant of the Building: Emphasizes the importance of building and construction as a metaphor for self-improvement.
  9. Elect of Nine: Focuses on the importance of leadership and decision-making skills in Masonic and personal life.
  10. Elect of Fifteen: Teaches about the importance of personal sacrifice and dedication to the Masonic community.
  11. Sublime Elect of Twelve: Explores the symbolic meaning of the number twelve and its importance in Masonic traditions.
  12. Grand Master Architect: Teaches about the importance of planning and organization in personal and Masonic life.
  13. Royal Arch of Solomon: Explores the history and symbolism of King Solomon and his temple.
  14. Grand Elect, Perfect, and Sublime Mason: Focuses on the importance of self-discipline and self-control in Masonic and personal life.
  15. Knight of the East or Sword: Explores the history and symbolism of the East and the sword as they relate to Masonic traditions.
  16. Prince of Jerusalem: Emphasizes the importance of charity and philanthropy in Masonic and personal life.
  17. Knight of the East and West: Explores the symbolism of the sun rising in the East and setting in the West.
  18. Sovereign Prince of Rose Croix of Heredom: Focuses on the importance of spiritual and moral development in Masonic philosophy.
  19. Grand Pontiff: Teaches about the importance of faith and devotion in personal and Masonic life.
  20. Master ad Vitam: Emphasizes the importance of lifelong learning and personal growth in Masonic and personal life.
  21. Patriarch Noachite: Explores the symbolism of the flood and the importance of redemption in Masonic philosophy.
  22. Prince of Libanus: Focuses on the importance of nature and the natural world in Masonic philosophy.
  23. Chief of the Tabernacle: Teaches about the importance of reverence and respect for sacred spaces.
  24. Prince of the Tabernacle: Explores the symbolism of the tabernacle and its significance in Masonic traditions.
  25. Knight of the Brazen Serpent: Focuses on the importance of healing and renewal in Masonic philosophy.
  26. Prince of Mercy: Teaches about the importance of compassion and mercy in Masonic and personal life.
  27. Commander of the Temple: Explores the history and symbolism of the Knights Templar.
  28. Knight of the Sun: Focuses on the symbolism of the sun and its importance in Masonic philosophy.
  29. Knight of St. Andrew: Explores the history and symbolism of St. Andrew and his role in Masonic traditions.
  30. Knight Kadosh: Teaches about the importance of justice and righteousness in Masonic and personal life.
  31. Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander: Emphasizes the importance of discipline and obedience in Masonic philosophy

Just as the skies are divided into layers and regions, so too is the world of Masonry divided into different “houses” or sections, each with its own unique characteristics and teachings. The 33 degrees of Masonry belong to the Scottish Rite, an appendant body that can be likened to a separate air traffic control tower.

Within the Scottish Rite, there are three distinct “houses”: the Lodge of Perfection, the Council of Princes of Jerusalem, and the Chapter of Rose Croix. Each house can be thought of as a different altitude, with its own set of challenges and perspectives.