Liberia

How a West African elephant tusk connects a Baltimore family to its roots

How a West African elephant tusk connects a Baltimore family to its roots

Guests often miss the three-foot long carved elephant tusk that’s displayed on a side table in the living room of Marie Washington’s Locust Point home.

“They usually go right for the bedazzled turquoise bull’s head,” laughs Washington’s 42-year-old daughter, Jackie, who was given the tusk by her mother 10 years ago but keeps it at her mother’s home.

The tusk, which was hand-carved in a small village in the West African country of Liberia, originally belonged to a woman named Marion who befriended Marie Washington 30 years ago after fleeing the country during its civil war in the early 1990s.

“Her brothers who were part of the rebellion were killed,” says Washington, a...

77°