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Their tradition was passed down through generations. The name jeli means "blood" in Manika language. They were believed to have deep connections to spiritual, social, or political powers. Speech was believed to have power in its capacity to recreate history and relationships.

Despite the authority of griots and the perceived power of their songs, griots are not treated as positively in West Africa as we may imagine. Thomas A.

Hale wrote, "Another [reason for ambivalence towards griots] is an ancient tradition that marks them as a separate people categorized all too simplistically as members of a 'caste', a term that has come under increasing attack as a distortion of the social structure in the region. In the worst case, that difference meant burial for griots in trees rather than in the ground in order to avoid polluting the earth Conrad and Frank Although these traditions are changing, griots and people of griot heritage still find it difficult to marry outside of their social group.

In addition to being singers and social commentators, griots are often skilled instrumentalists. Their instruments include the kora , the khalam or xalam , the goje or n'ko in the Mandinka language , the balafon , and the ngoni. The kora is a long-necked lute -like instrument with 21 strings. The xalam is a variation of the kora, and usually consists of fewer than five strings.

Both have gourd bodies that act as resonator. The ngoni is also similar to these two instruments, with five or six strings. The balafon is a wooden xylophone , while the goje is a stringed instrument played with a bow , much like a fiddle. The khalam is claimed to be the ancestor of the banjo. Another long-necked lute is the ramkie of South Africa.


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Griots also wrote stories that children enjoyed listening to. These stories were passed down to their children. Today, performing is one of the most common functions of a griot. Their range of exposure has widened, and many griots now travel internationally to sing and play the kora or other instruments. Bakari Sumano , head of the Association of Bamako Griots in Mali from to , was an internationally-known advocate for the significance of the griot in West African society.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the West African poets. For the rapper, see Griot rapper. This article's lead section does not adequately summarize key points of its contents. Please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of all important aspects of the article. Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page. March Africa portal Music portal. African Music, A People's Art. Item Information Condition:.

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Griots at War Conflict, Conciliation, and Caste in Mande

Cover has no visible wear, and the dust jacket if applicable is included for hard covers. May be very minimal identifying marks on the inside cover. Very minimal wear and tear. See all condition definitions - opens in a new window or tab Read more about the condition. About this product. Hoffman An extraordinary account of conflict and peacemaking among griots. Shipping and handling.

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leapflelacouschau.ga Hoffman An extraordinary account of conflict and peacemaking amonggriots. The book succeedsmarvelously in conveying the voice of the people who are, in every sense of the word, its subject. For fourdays, thousands of griots from all parts of the Mande world gathered to talk, sing, and make musicin celebration of the opening of the new Hall of Griots and the installation of the recently namedHead Griot.

This unprecedented assembly also marked the end of a deadly two-year conflict foughtwith griot weapons--words, reputations, and sorcery. Hoffman captures griots making speeches,singing songs of praise, and dancing in honor of their restored unity.