Griot Jam Session at L’Engouement – Senegal Travel Diary #7

A griot is a song maker and storyteller. This was an impromptu performance that happened last night and we got it out live.

*On some of the links provided I might make a commission if you purchase something by clicking through my link. This creates no additional cost for you.

We’re at the 10th Edition of the Festival Rythmes et Formes du Monde, a performance art, music and dance show happening at the Art Hotels of Sobo Bade and L’Engouement in Toubab Dialaw, Senegal.


What are griots and where do they come from?

Griots are traditional West African storytellers, poets, and musicians. They have a long history dating back to ancient West African societies, and are believed to be the descendants of the first professional poets and musicians in West Africa.

What is the role of griots in West African culture?

Griots play a vital role in preserving the oral history and traditions of West African cultures. They act as the keepers of genealogies and historical events and use their storytelling, poetry, and music to pass on these stories from generation to generation. They also serve as advisers to kings and leaders, and are often called upon to resolve disputes and mediate conflicts.

How do griots acquire and pass on their knowledge?

Griots acquire their knowledge through a process of apprenticeship, where they learn from older, more experienced griots. The tradition is often passed down through families. They memorize historical events, genealogies, and traditional stories, which they then pass on to the next generation through their storytelling, poetry, and music.

What is the significance of the griot’s instrument, the kora?

The kora is a stringed instrument that is traditionally played by griots. It has 21 strings and is played by plucking the strings with the thumb and index finger. The kora is considered to be a symbol of the griot’s role in preserving West African culture and tradition, and is often used in ceremonies and celebrations.

Are there still griots in West Africa today?

Yes, the tradition of griots is still alive and well in West Africa today. However, their role and influence have evolved over time, and they continue to adapt to the changing cultural and social landscape. Many griots now also perform on stages and in festivals, sharing their art and knowledge with a wider audience.

Team Hazard

Old, fat and disabled and traveling the world anyway. Join Trina and Tim as they wander around the planet bringing you honest stories about the people and places they encounter.

View all posts

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join Me!


Follow Me

Free E-Book!

How to Save Money for Travel –

on Almost ANY Budget! 

Free eBook - Cover shot

Click HERE

to get your FREE e-book.