folktales The stories that folks tell are often unbelievable. They are fun to listen to even if you wonder if the story teller is actually believes what they are saying. But if they did it would make for a better story anyway. They give you that passion and energy that makes story telling a wonderful experience. What is lacking in the modern world is the knowledge of folktales. I do not know any of the folktales that belong to my family and it is a struggle to find out the various ones. Folktales speak to the collective conscious of a particular group. The knowledge that is hidden within the story will often help the listener navigate their everyday life. You can see the pattern of thinking within the stories and the consequences of the particular actions. This is why they are important that the older generation are venerated and given positions where they can serve the next generation. They are the keepers of the story and can help to shape the young generations character into something strong and responsible. Functioning as such keeps them healthy, purposeful and alive. But that is not the world we live in anymore as you can see from the number of senior citizens who are generally cast out of their families or stricken with illness. But you can create that in one’s own family. When everyone is engage in the business of family, then you can start to see where each individual genius lies and the unit functions as a whole. Generally the grandparents will pass on their knowledge of history, lessons they learned from life, and tall tales they tell to their wide eyed listening audience. I didn't grow up with such grandparents and I know some are way to surly to be that charming but it is where they function best and when I’m old and grey and I've got my little grand progeny around me, I hope I to scare them with my cackle.

The Griot


I’m fascinated by the griot. In a digital world one doesn't often get the chance to be graced by a story teller. You may find a one man play in the park sometime and perhaps there will be a story teller and historian in the occasional drumming circle but it isn't apart of modern digital society.

In a world where the oral tradition reigned supreme, some of the best stories are locked inside of the head of a griot. They are able to recite an accurate history of events that surround their people and have the ability to entertain as well as educate.

A griot also known as jeli is a West Afrakan historian, storyteller, praise singer, poet and/or musician. They are more than a story teller and often act as adviser to the royal council.  Most villages within Afraka have their own griot who kept the record of the events and histories of their people.

They form a unique and powerful caste though an endogamous system.  Endogamy is the practice of only marrying within a specific ethnic group, class, or social group.

For some people not being able to verify the stores of the griot make it difficult to trust but that usually the problem of folks who belong to a different culture.

Maybe it’s the vibration of their words that make them so unique or maybe they are just a spiritual class of people that need to be able to survive.   This is why they generally marry within their caste system.  This gift is passed down from generation to generation and so are the stories and so are the healing remedies that they are privy to.

Within different families, it is the grandparents that preserve the history of the family by relating it to the children. They tend to be open to story and legacy.