The Kpelle people (also known as the Guerze, Kpwesi, Kpessi, Gerse, Mpessi, Berlu, Gbelle, Bere, Gbalin, Gizima, or Buni) are located primarily in an area of central Liberia extending into Guinea. They speak the Kpelle language, which belongs to the Mande language family. Despite their yearly heavy rainfalls and rough land, the Kpelle survive mostly on their staple crop of rice. Culturally the Kpelle take a functional approach to life; they are organized under several paramount chiefs who serve as mediators for the public, preserve order and settle disputes. Their local economy surrounds trade with local tribes. The Kpelle tribe does have a king. Jr. Kofi moved to America in the year 1997 at the end of the civil war.