griot


gri·ot

noun \ˈgrē-ˌō\

Definition of GRIOT

:  any of a class of musician-entertainers of western Africa whose performances include tribal histories and genealogies; broadly :  storyteller

Origin of GRIOT

French
First Known Use: 1820

griot

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

African tribal storyteller. The griot's role was to preserve the genealogies and oral traditions of the tribe. Griots were usually among the oldest men. In places where written language is the prerogative of the few, the place of the griot as cultural guardian is still maintained. In Senegal, for example, the griot—without resorting to fantasy—recites poems or tells stories of warriors, drawing on his own sources of inspiration.

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