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What do West African oral traditions preserve?

Question:

What do West African oral traditions preserve?

Storytelling:

Writing down stories and histories is a relatively recent invention in the long history of humankind. Storytellers, who passed down stories from one generation to the next, were an important member of many cultures.

Answer and Explanation:

West African oral traditions preserve the history of the people, their origin tales and religious beliefs. Storytellers serve the purpose of reinforcing group identity and belief systems and provide people with a history of where they come from and who they are.

In West Africa, a storyteller called a griot employs a number of techniques including poems, folktales, wise sayings, and music, to convey to the people their heritage. Griots are like living encyclopedias that have memorized stories and histories that have come down to them through the ages.


Learn more about this topic:

Oral Tradition of Storytelling: Definition, History & Examples

from SAT Literature: Help and Review

Chapter 9 / Lesson 13
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