West African Cultural Diversity. Read & fill in 3 Frayer models from pages 84-89: Answer the following questions after your reading & notes are complete: What might be the benefits and challenges of having people in an area speak many different languages?
Timbuktu was a very urban area, with specialized jobs for inhabitants.
Timbuktu was twice the size of London in the early Middle Ages.
rules for life
a written language and
more efficient trade to Mali & the entire area.
What are some things Ghana is famous for having or doing?
Trade via what 2 forms:
Major trade items:
Special trade system:
Camel caravans & boats on Niger river
Gold, ivory, tools & slaves
Silent barter system which eliminates need to speak many languages to accomplish trade!
In Ghana, it’s a matriarchal system—sister of king provides next heir!
Who becomes next king?
In West Africa, written history is something new. African history was written in European languages during the colonial era beginning in the late 1800s and has been around in Arabic for several centuries before that. Societies in the Sahel and Savanna regions of West Africa have long kept their own history, in their own languages, orally, in the form of epics. Imagine relying on someone's memory to hold your people's history. In many parts of West Africa, this job is carried out by the griot.
Griots — masters of words and music, Tom Hale calls them in his book, Griots and Griottes — have been around for a millennium. Over time, the griots' function has changed as society evolved. Once, the male griots and female griottes were historians, genealogists, advisers to nobility, entertainers, messengers, praise singers — the list goes on. Today, they perform on television and radio and record CDs. Many are popular singers who reinterpret traditional songs, giving new meaning to old words — "time binding," Hale calls it. As performers, griots and griottes are in great demand, not only for ceremonies and parties in West Africa, where they have traditionally appeared, but all around the world. Here in the United States, they tour universities to give insight into West African culture.
The griot profession is inherited, passed on from one generation to the next. "Griots are very different from the rest of society — almost a different ethnic group," says Hale. They are both feared and respected by people in West Africa for their wisdom and talent with words. They can sing your praises, but they can also sing your doom.
In return for their services, griots receive gifts. There is no set fee.They never know what they will get. Sometimes a few coins, sometimes a blanket, sometimes much more. In one reported case, a wealthy admirer gave the Malian griotteKandiaKouyaté a small airplane so that she could fly directly to his airstrip whenever he wanted to hear the praise song she had written for him.
Good griots must have remarkable memories and be ever ready to recite or sing long histories, genealogies, and praise songs. They must also be musically talented. Hale describes their training as comparable to that of receiving a doctoral degree. To become a griot you must learn genealogies and histories, but not just the words, also the music. You can't separate the musical art from the vocal art without losing the overall effect. Griots often play a 21-stringed instrument called a kora. The kora is described as a bridge-harp with two rows of strings, one on either side of the meter-long neck, and a body made of a calabash. The sound of the kora has no American equivalent, and is as unusual as its structure.
What would you predict is the role of women in African Storytelling & History?
Sidikou-Morton, a native of Niger, came to Penn State to do her doctoral thesis on women singers in Niger, Senegal, and Gambia. "The West has said that African women never had a voice. They think that African women never had a voice because they never wrote it down," says Sidikou-Morton. She has been working to write down the songs of griottes and other female singers of West Africa because the people who know these songs are disappearing. "I want my children to know," she says. And she wants to show to the world the voice of African women.
"In African literature, orality is still the most important form of literature on the continent," Sidikou-Morton says, "because it is not everyone who can understand and read French and English. If you compare the oral literature here to the literature of other women in other cultures, you will see similarities. They are saying the same things about what it is like to be a woman, to be a human being.”
Wedding Day Advice for the Bride from a Storytelling & History?Griotte:
Griottes traditionally sing at ceremonies, celebrations, and special occasions. When a woman is to be married, griottes sing to her to prepare her for her new life. They sing to prepare her for the trouble she may encounter in the new marriage, and to reassure her that if it gets too bad, she can come home.
Stop crying, bride. Stop crying and listen to me. If your mother-in-law abuses you, Just cry, but don't say anything. If your sisters or brothers-in-law abuse you, Just cry but don't say anything. If your husband's mother abuses you, Just cry, but don't say anything, But leaving your house is not a crime.
Travel Channel Video
Humanitarian reasons? Industrial Revolution? Other…
John Newton was a son of a ship captain and earned a living from the slave trade. He came to believe that the slave trade was abominable & worked to ban slavery in Great Britain. He put his feelings of regret & his hope for forgiveness into the words of his hymn Amazing Grace, which begins:
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)That sav’d a wretch like me!I once was lost, but now am found,Was blind, but now I see.
Nigeria Storytelling & History?
Complete 3 Frayer Models from p. 136-141
Answer the following questions after your reading & notes are complete: