The griots’ role has traditionally been to preserve the genealogies, historical narratives, and oral traditions of their people; praise songs are also part of the griot’s repertoire. Many griots play the kora, a long-necked harp lute with 21 strings.
Who was responsible for telling the stories that kept West African culture and traditions alive?
Griots originated in the 13th century in the Mande empire of Mali. For centuries, they have told and retold the history of the empire, keeping their stories and traditions alive.
How were West African traditions preserved and passed?
Long before the Mande had written histories, griots preserved the memory of the past. Every village had its own griot. The griot memorized all the important events that occurred there. Griots could recite everything from births, deaths, and marriages, to battles, hunts, and the successions of kings.
What is the name of people who passed down oral traditions in West Africa?
In many parts of Africa, griot was the name given to people who pass down oral traditions. In fact, most African communities had their own griot. Sort of like record keepers, these griots would tell tales, speak proverbs and even sing songs to pass down the traditions of their cultures.
What is the role of griots in western Africa?
A griot is a West African storyteller, singer, musician, and oral historian. … The griot keeps records of all the births, deaths, marriages through the generations of the village or family. Master of the oral traditions, the griot plays a key role in west African society.
Who preserve and pass on the oral tradition?
2. Who preserve and pass on the oral tradition? Both the elder people and the young people preserve and pass on the oral tradition in the sense that it is the elder people who transmit the knowledge and it is the young people who have to receive it.
What role does oral tradition play in our culture?
Oral traditions and expressions are used to pass on knowledge, cultural and social values and collective memory. They play a crucial part in keeping cultures alive. … Because they are passed on by word of mouth, oral traditions and expressions often vary significantly in their telling.
What is oral tradition of Africa?
African oral tradition involves both the material that is spoken—the oral art—and the setting in which it is spoken. Although very old, oral tradition remains alive and meaningful for many Africans. Performers and audiences have adapted oral tradition, adding new content and making use of new communications tools.
Who was Mali founded by?
Established by King Sundiata Keita, the kingdom united several smaller, Malinké Kingdoms near the Upper Niger River. Protected by a well-trained, imperial army and benefiting from being in the middle of trade routes, Mali expanded its territory, influence, and culture over the course of four centuries.
How did oral tradition start?
Historical Background. The study of oral traditions began in the nineteenth century with the Serbian scholar Vuk Stefanović Karadžić (1787–1864), of peasant origins. … The work of Karadzic and Radlov provided models for the work of Milman Parry (1902–1935), creator of the oral-formulaic theory.
Which African empire developed the city of Timbuktu?
It became part of the Mali Empire early in the 14th century. In the first half of the 15th century, the Tuareg tribes took control of the city for a short period until the expanding Songhai Empire absorbed the city in 1468. A Moroccan army defeated the Songhai in 1591 and made Timbuktu, rather than Gao, their capital.
What are West African storytellers called?
griot, Mande jeli or jali, Wolof gewel, West African troubadour-historian. The griot profession is hereditary and has long been a part of West African culture. … In addition to serving as the primary storytellers of their people, griots have also served as advisers and diplomats.
Which continent was responsible for the colonization of Africa?
Europe saw the colonization of Africa as an opportunity to acquire a surplus population, thus settler colonies were created. With this invasion, many European countries saw Africa as being available to their disposal.
What does the term oral tradition mean?
oral tradition, also called orality, the first and still most widespread mode of human communication. Far more than “just talking,” oral tradition refers to a dynamic and highly diverse oral-aural medium for evolving, storing, and transmitting knowledge, art, and ideas.
How do West African written and oral traditions influence life today?
How do West African written and oral traditions influence life today? The writings tells us about the heritage and culture. Modern writers us the stories for inspiration. … West African music has influenced gospel, jazz, blues, rock and roll, and rap.
Why is oral tradition an important historical source?
Oral Tradition facilitates a better understanding of history. Oral tradition is a source of historical material. In writing history, there are various sources of materials available at the disposal of the Historian. … Thus, a sense of history and tradition has always been part of the African way of life.