Monday, August 11, 2008

Word of the day: Griot

I have never heard this word before today. Thanks Mechie for the new word.

I love to Google things I don’t know and of course when I read her comment on my other blog, I googled this word.

Griots are West African Story Tellers of family histories of a tribe. Now, when I read that, I thought “I’m mostly East African since my mom is from Ethiopia” But as I read further, the first person on the list of griots on Wikipedia is an Ethiopian man by the name of Ayalew Mesfin. And he seems to be the only Ethiopian listed.

Then I searched for him, and came across Ethiopiques. I’ll be ordering this CD for my mom when I get home.

My search also took me to this website, African American Griots. I never knew this existed. But, I quickly submitted my blog and surname info so I can be listed. As George Geder always says, "Guided by the Ancestors". This is a definite case of that.


  1. How awesome that you found those connections on your search for information on griots!

    At my alma mater, in a student group, we had a program called Griot Groove, which was essentially an open mic where one could tell their personal stories.


  2. No thanks needed - this is who you are, who we {all Genealogists who feel the urge deeply to dig-up family history} are.

    The word "Griot" travels back to Africa, when Griots were appointed to tribes to pass on ancestral stories & lineage. It's all we had before information could be captured by pen & paper. It's at the core of "Oral History" - they are one in the same.

    It's truly a badge of honor, to be the one chosen to hold the keys to your Family history.

    It was your destiny.



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