-IN THIS EPISODE-
Dr. Karim Traore, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Associate Director of the African Studies Institute at the University of Georgia, discusses the epic of Sundiata, Mande caste system, the role of the griot, as well as various aspects of the hunters’ guild and hunters’ epics in modern society.
Produced by Adam Klein
Engineered by Lucas McAuliffe in Athens, GA
Edited by Seth Samuel
Original music from the album Dugu Wolo by Lassine Kouyate.
Excerpts from Sidiki Diabaté and Dejlimady Sissoko performing the epic of Sundiata at the South Bank Centre in London, 1987, as part of the “Music of the Royal Courts” program included.
Bilal ibn Rabah, or Bilali- former slave and first muezzin servant of the prophet Muhammad said to be the ancestor of the Mande people
djeli / griot– West African oral historian, praise singer, storyteller, bard, and musician
horon- noble caste
nyama / nyamakalaw – middle caste segment of population consisting of various skilled technicians such as blacksmiths, griots, leather workers, etc.
Senenkunya (jo banchi, or joking cousins)- societal device by which members of various ethnic groups, castes, and specific familial relationships relate through playful communication in order to alleviate potential tensions and conflict. Classic examples include the manner in which farmers and cattle keepers interact as well as the communication between a brother and sister-in-law. A detailed paper on this phenomenon may be found here.