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They established fishing and migrant worker settlements along the coast as far east as Cameroon and as far west as Freetown and Cape Verde.Their skill with canoes in the treacherous surf waters was already world renowned by the 1700s, when they served on British merchant and war ships, and even established small settlements in Liverpool and in the Americas.

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Nevertheless, the Kru people rely on the forest for farming supplemented by hunting for their livelihood.Overall, in 2010, Kru and associated languages were spoken by 95 percent of the approximate 3.5 million people in Liberia.The three groups were less "tribes" than loose federations of clans with common ancestors.Each Dako, as the clans were called, could encompass several different chiefdoms and be related by blood or history to other Dako.Their reputation was such that their value as slaves was less than that of other African peoples, because they would so frequently attempt to escape or to take their own lives upon being captured.

Linguists use the name Kru to refer to a linguistic group within the larger larger Niger-Congo language family.The legend has it that they migrated from the sea to their current habitats.Historians, These Kwa-speaking, related but distinct cultures were all lumped together under the collective term "Kru", a corruption of the original "Krao" by Europeans with whom they traded as far back as the fifteenth century.The Kru along with the Grebo resisted Maryland settlers' efforts to control their trade.They were also infamous amongst early European slave raiders as being especially averse to capture.Although they lived along the coast, the Krus refused to take part in Trans-Atlantic slave trade and they fought viciously against slave trader who made attempts to capture a Kru.