The griots of west africa. Griots 2019-01-07

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Mali Empire & Griot Traditions

the griots of west africa

Their role is multifaceted: as historians and genealogists, they are the chief repositories of the history of a region, its designated chroniclers. They were preserving some of the lore of the African religions, and turning to the old traditions for guidance and for strength. Among them, one find the most virtuosic of singers and instrumentalists. Each griot carried a stout stick in one hand. Africa is a continent of rhythms.

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The West African Griot

the griots of west africa

Rumors say that it contains relics of the Lion King himself — his Koran, his sword, his scabbard, his bridle …. The evident ease with which and Pharoah Sanders rise in to the challenges of this collection's two none-traditional duets speaks highly of their creative sensitivity, and of Suso's ability as a composer to fashion a kind of musical meeting plays for cultures, a common ground. Once a child is born, preferably a male child, he starts going through the training process working closely with the older griots. Their education and training, exclusively oral, necessitates a lenghty apprenticeship under the direction of a teacher-most often the father, or an uncle. It was believed that in cases where the griots could not heal a person of a certain sickness, the gods had chosen that the person died. When Haley's account was revealed to be only partly true, and partly embellished, reactions tended to be highly emotional. But the number of blues aficionados who have heard about Griots from Charters and others is relatively small.

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The West African Griot

the griots of west africa

The exact role of a griot is multi-faceted, but in general, the work is a service, particularly to the richer members of the community and for those who at least in the traditional sense are considered to be nobility. The life of a griot was solely dedicated to the practice hence he could hardly be involved in daily or social activities. But blues musicians usually won't talk a bout this aspect of their lives very freely, and traditionally, neither do Griots. Historically, there have been strong Griot traditions in Niger and Mali as well. Haley's astonishing adventure became an emotional watershed for many African-Americans, who hoped to heal some of the traumas of the past by reaching out to their ancestors, and by searching for their kinsmen, in present-day Africa. He is nothing of the sort; and if the complexity of the social role played by the griot lends itself to an examination carried out with scientific rigor, it is also possible to identify the griot simply as a minstrel. Their job was to tell stories.

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Keepers of History

the griots of west africa

They are considered to be lesser to men griots but the fact is, they learn the same thing and are taught in the same way even though griottes tend to learn more from women. Since he had first heard the story from his grandmother and later refreshed by his older cousin, he believed that they were griots in their own way until someone put the story to writing. The first kafo are uncircumcised kids who run around the home with the women. Griot, meaning urban storyteller and teacher of history, is referenced by Professor A. After dinner, villagers might hear the sound of a drum or a rattle announcing a story was soon to be told.

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Just who is a Griot in the West African culture and what place do they hold in society?

the griots of west africa

As journeys further into the African countryside, searching out his family, his past and the inspirations for his future, the music reveals more sides of itself, more glimpses of its exemplary craftsmanship and exquisite beauty. The whole ceremony of re-dedication is supervised by the griots. This word is also the title given to griots in areas corresponding to the former Mali Empire. Each period of seven years brings new challenges for young people to overcome. From this he learns that instruments similar to the guitar, banjo and fiddle, which figured prominently in early African-American music-making, have long been traditional among West African Griots. People whispered that the roof would rise from the ground the next morning as if by magic, on the command of the griots. A hush spread through the crowd.

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The centuries

the griots of west africa

The Griot as understood by blues scholars is essentially a musician who sings and plays traditional West African music, often on a banjo- or fiddle-like stringed instrument. Their inherited tradition was passed down through generations. Malian novelist Massa Makan Diabaté was both a descendant and critic of the griot tradition. A whole variety of artists have found meaning in the title which helps them tap into centuries of authentic tradition. As musicians, their presence was traditionally required at all celebrations and rituals. After dinner, villagers might hear the sound of a drum or a rattle announcing a story was soon to be told.

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Gambian Kora Music & Griots

the griots of west africa

When Haley arrived in Africa to do research for his book, he believed he had actually found griots telling his history. A big deal of West African history is credited to the efforts of the griots that have played an integral part in making sure the history is passed from generation to the other, to date. His final novel Allah is not Obliged also prominently features a griot character. Griots form an endogamous caste, meaning that most of them only marry fellow griots and that those who are not griots do not normally perform the same functions that they perform. He finishes with an improvisation on the Djembe.

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The Griot, the Preserver of African Traditions

the griots of west africa

His final novel Allah is not Obliged also prominently features a griot character. Africa, which is believed to be home to the early man, has a rich tradition which dates back millions of years back and is, in most cases, passed orally from one generation to the other. How to become a Griot Traditionally, you had to have been born in a griot family for you to become one. It is necessary to study for many years in order to master the technique of an instrument or to learn all the songs and histories, and master the ensemble work indispensable to the activities of the professional. Some griots are more or less sedentary, and their renown is confined to the limits of their village or territory. For it was the griots who took the Word, joined human speech to the rhythms of the drums and the balafon and the music of the pipes, and later to strings: the single string of the dili bo guitar from which jazz musician Bo Diddley took his name; the three strings of the ngoni — direct ancestor of the banjo; and the twenty-one strings of the cora, the West African harp which ripples like cool water running across pebbles. The first griots trace back to the Malinke Empire in the 7 th century.

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Griots

the griots of west africa

The kora is believed to date back to the 13th century, but really came into its own on the international music scene in the 20th century. Some griots are more or less sedentary, and their renown is confined to the limits of their village or territory. . They are considered to be lesser to men griots but the fact is, they learn the same thing and are taught in the same way even though griottes tend to learn more from women. It is the only town on the road that takes you westwards from Bamako, the capital city of modern Mali, to the frontier of Guinea. That is, there are some formal griot trainings that have been put in place to allow as many people as possible to master the griots arts. They collected around a central fire and settled down to listen.

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