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  • Writer's pictureTouty

All About Griots by Touty

Hi everyone,

This is Touty from Teranga Market, so happy to be here again. Today I want to share a little about griots.

Griots are people who sing and praise others for their glory and how they came along with their lives and their lineage. They are people who inherit memories of their ancestors and sing and praise parents and grandparents by telling about their victories.

The griots of nowadays are seen in naming ceremonies, weddings, sport tournaments, parties, and many kinds of other events. Griots are commonly known as “The Guewels” in Wolof. It is a tribe in west Africa originated from Senegal.

When a griot performs, in exchange, they are honored with money, houses, cars and gold based on how rich the person they are praising is. The griot will also dance and play drums to add the spice of the ceremony and entertain the guests. Griots are very skilled because they are taught from childhood by their parents who take them along when attending events so that when they grow up they take over from them.

I have experienced griots since childhood, both in The Gambia and Senegal. I grew up with them and I know a lot about them, if not everything. Griots have instruments that they commonly use for their songs which are called bongo (top photo), tama (middle photo), and sabar (bottom photo) in Wolof. Each instrument has different sounds and ways of using them. Guewels are also very good cooks and they are hired to cook at every event.

I am so happy to talk about that experience with you.

See you soon in my next blog post!

Much love,

Tuti Nikelle

When you shop Teranga Market:

- you support full and part-time jobs for two women in Senegal

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- 100% of the profits support additional benefits such as healthcare and professional development

You also cheer on an international collective of women whose work is fueled by friendship and cultural exchange. Together, we can end the cycle of poverty, one bookmark at a time.

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