The Griot

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.

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