/gree oh", gree"oh, gree"ot/, n.a member of a hereditary caste among the peoples of western Africa whose function is to keep an oral history of the tribe or village and to entertain with stories, poems, songs, dances, etc.[1955-60; < F, earlier guiriot, perh. ult. < Pg criado domestic servant, altered in W African coastal creoles]
* * *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 griotwithout resorting to fantasyrecites poems or tells stories of warriors, drawing on his own sources of inspiration.
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