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  • ISBN: 9780253334589
  • ISBN10: 0253334586

Griots and Griottes Masters of Words and Music

by Thomas A. Hale

  • List Price: $35.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Indiana Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 03/01/1999
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Description: On May 17, 1967, the American writer Alex Haley went to Juffure, a village in The Gambia, where he met a griot, or jali, who recounted a story about Haley's forebears in Africa. Haley incorporated some of this information in his novel, Roots, which became one of TV's most-watched miniseries, and which led to an explosion of interest in genealogy. Roots II, a sequel, showed how Haley researched his book. American viewers were introduced to a Mandinka jali in the person of Alhaji Bai Konte, who played the role of the village elder who related to Haley the story of Kunta Kinte.

Griots and Griottes is the first comprehensive portrait of the world of this venerable and uniquely African profession. More than mere storytellers, griots embody multiple roles and functions, including that of genealogist, historian, spokesperson, diplomat, musician, teacher, warrior, praise singer, master of ceremonies, and advisor.

Thomas Hale addresses issues such as the nature of the verbal and musical art created by griots, the role of female griottes, how griots and griottes fit into their societies, and what their future might be in Africa and the rest of the world. Having had contacts with griots from 1964 to the present day, Hale presents some of his field work from Niger, Mali, Senegal, and the Gambia as well as the result of his research in archives and libraries in Europe and North America. Along with interviews with over 100 of these traditional storytellers, Hale summarizes accounts by travelers, explorers, and colonial administrators to create a vibrant picture of the extraordinary activities carried out by griots and griottes, whose function has no real equivalent outside Africa.

The bookincludes lists of names and phone numbers of griots in the United States, lists of films, videos, and sound recordings featuring griots, and a bibliography. Griots and Griottes offers a thoroughly researched, highly readable account of these magical wordsmiths and performers.

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Montana Book Company
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8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall. 410 pp. Tightly bound. There is a bump to the back corner. Text is free of markings. No ownership markings.
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Powell's Books
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AardBooks
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410pp. Rem line bottom edge. Couple 1/2" tears at DJ corners.
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Kenneth Mallory, ABAA
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xiv, 391pp+ index. Very good hardback in a very good dustjacket.
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Firecreek Books
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Caliban Book Shop
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1998. First edition. Hardcover, 8vo. in green cloth, with dust jacket. 410pp,
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Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 432 p. Contains: Illustrations.
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