the Griot This paper is dedicated to the almost forgotten by his own, and unknown from most of the rest of the world. It is so natural to have a bit of knowledge about the ancient Greek philosophers, or theater in general in the western world. This remark can be made in both the western and the southern hemisphere, but when it comes to the griot, the general question is: who is that? This is not a surprise to me since even Microsoft word auto correct tried to alert me of an unknown word as soon as I typed it. So let’s start by shedding some light on who this individual called griot if a man or griotte if a woman is. One location on the map for their origin would the western part of the African map. The cast of griots was founded and developed in the midst of the eighteen century, a time frame when writing was solemnly used in the religious field. For the griot or griotte was the holder of the oral tradition. Griots are called DJELI in Mande country also known as Mali, and GUEWEL in Senegal. One important element about the griot caste is that no one becomes a griot through special training just as we study theater to become actors, a griot is born, not made. The becoming of griot is through the bloodline. The initiation to the techniques start at a very young age, and done by the elders in a length of seven years. Griots do get married only within their own caste, as a way to maintain the balance and the secrecy of the information obtained during training. Many events have led to the slow death of the griot glorious days. It is clear that that in the “actual West African Diaspora narration, a postmodernist and decentered narration has replaced the unified and conservative voice of the traditional griot”. (akoma, Indiana University press). This sends us to the question of the origins of this slow death of the prevalence of the griot. According to many writers, this slow death is related to the treatment the griot received from his/her entourage. Sory camara in his book titled “Gens de la parole” backs the idea that the griot life was not all glamour but shame and misery. Another group of writers attribute the dying of the griots to the meeting between western and African culture and the pressure and slavery and colonization, here represented by Chinua Achebe writer of things fall apart. After exploring the arguments of each group with prominent writers, I will come with a syntax that suggests that the reason of the diminishing rate of griots is related to the adherence rule, which is to say that if anybody could have access to the training of being griot; the survival rate would have been much higher. In order to make things much more understandable, let’s first go the state of empires during the eighteenth century, especially the one of the Mandingue. There was in existence a system which was counterbalancing the traditional life style: it was the system of status: acquired status and lost status by conquest. Back then war was a tool which was giving opportunity to anyone to come to power, but also to fall in slavery, or even die from the enemy. This ongoing warfare atmosphere was at the core of the creation of heroes from different origins. The slaves could become the war leaders and ministers in the royal court. Slaves had more chances to become leaders compared to nobles. This is why slaves were the ones who made possible the expansion of the Mandingue Empire. So the warfare state in a sense was putting an infinite interruption to the traditional distribution of status. it remains some truth in the fact that many other individuals found their path to power through the success they earn in trading, which in turn made them rich and capable of having a saying in the process of filling new political and social positions. During these perpetual changes, a caste remain an observer and a judge, this is the caste of griots. The griots were having different roles. For instance some of them were
parents, mysterious birth, and orphanage (Mphande 73).” Sundiata is an epic that takes many of these themes in a story about a young man that embarks on a journey and hits many obstacles along the way.
Sundiata is told from the point of view of the griot who is the storyteller. He tells the story of a king named Maghan Kon Fatta, who was told that he will have a great ruler of a son, if he marries an ugly woman, Sogolon. The two conceive Sundiata. In his child, Sundiata, faces two big obstacles. The…
The Republic of Senegal is a small country located In West Africa. Senegal covers 76,000 square miles and has an estimated population of about 13 million. The climate is tropical with two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The major industries in the country are fishing, sugar cane, peanuts, and mining. Senegal is a former French Colony. France took control of Senegal in 1677. Senegal was granted independence from France in 1960. The official language of Senegal is French. Most Senegalese…
As a result of their advantageous location at the crossroads of western and central
the Songhai have traditionally prospered from caravan trade
● Songhai society traditionally was highly structured, comprising a king and nobility, free
commoners, artisans, griots (bards and chroniclers), and slaves
● In the songhai empire slavery was very common, and they were mainly there to farm for the
● Slaves were treated lower than the peasants in the Songhai empire
● After Sonni Ali, a great leader of the Songhai empire…
let’s move on.
The roots of hip hop are found in African-American music and ultimately African music. The “griots” of West Africa are a group of traveling singers and poets who are part of an oral tradition dating back hundreds of years. Their vocal style is similar to that of rappers. The African-American traditions, the dozens, and jazz poetry are all descended from the griots. In addition, musical 'comedy' acts such as Rudy Ray Moore and Blowfly are considered by some to be the original…
2.01- Three significant achievements of the Mesopotamian civilization were the wheel, the first writing system, cuneiform, and the Ziggurat. These achievements were important because that way they could communicate and transport to different locations and so that they could have a place to pray to their gods.
2.02- The difference between a monarchy and an oligarchy is when a monarchy is a form of government in which the people are led by one ruler, usually a king, who takes…
Chapter 3 Section 1 & Chapter 3 Section 2
1. What’s unusual about Mt. Kilimanjaro?
• Mt. Kilimanjaro towers 19,340 feet over northeastern Tanzania yet because of the
mountains great height, its summit is covered with snow all year round.
2. How many countries are there in Africa?
• 54 countries
3. Define escarpments.
• steep cliffs
4. Define cataracts.
• large waterfalls and rapids
5. What are Africa’s rivers used for?
• The rivers in africa provide fish, water for irrigation…
29 August 2014
Apply Big Ideas
Have you ever wondered how old the bedtime story your parents or grandparents read you was? The story could be a lot older than you would imagine and it could be in a different form. Our ancestors have had a huge impact on our religions we believe today and on many African religions also. It is just that some people do not realize how big the impact of our ancestors really are.
In How Stories Come to Earth a wise…
the wet season, and farming season. AND causes a low life expectancy, and also makes it difficult for Europeans to live in Africa, and move beyond the coast, so it decreases the ability of them to gain a lot of governmental power over the areas.
-pass down stories from generation to generation
-professional story tellers
-african languages a lot of the time didn’t have writing systems, so they were mainly dependent of oral traditions and stories.
Mongols military strategies
Japan’s reforms of 646
Religion in Japan
Spread of Islam (how?)
Trading in Africa
Contact with the outside world
There will be some passages that you will read and analyze (like previous tests)
There are more “big concepts” that pull some information together. If you have read all the chapters and taken good notes (book and class) you should be…
the known Islamic world as well as many non-Muslim lands.
12. Matrilineal-of or based on kinship with the mother or the female line.
13. Patrilineal-of, relating to, or based on relationship to the father or descent through the male line.
14. Griot-a member of a class of traveling poets, musicians, and storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa.
15. Dowry-property or money brought by a bride to her husband on their marriage.
16. Marco Polo-Polo: Venetian traveler…