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 (grē-ō′, grē′ō, grē′ŏt)
A storyteller in western Africa who perpetuates the oral tradition and history of a village or family.

[French, alteration of guiriot, perhaps ultimately from Portuguese criado, domestic servant, from Latin creātus, one brought up or trained, from past participle of creāre, to produce, bring up; see create.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈɡriːəʊ; ɡriːˈɒt)
(Anthropology & Ethnology) (in Western Africa) a member of a caste responsible for maintaining an oral record of tribal history in the form of music, poetry, and storytelling
[C20: from French guirot, perhaps from Portuguese criado domestic servant]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(griˈoʊ, ˈgri oʊ, ˈgri ɒt)

a member of a hereditary caste among the peoples of W Africa whose main function is to keep an oral history of the tribe or village.
[1955–60; < French, earlier guiriot, perhaps ultimately < Portuguese criado domestic servant]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.griot - a storyteller in West Africa; perpetuates the oral traditions of a family or village
narrator, storyteller, teller - someone who tells a story
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Another photo of a pair of griots, one holding a boom box and the other a ngoni (an instrument made of goatskin and a dried calabash), extends the cross-cultural vibe that percolates throughout these portraits.
L'engouement croissant du continent africain pour [beaucoup moins que] sa [beaucoup plus grand que] musique, contemporaine, innovante et desormais bien loin des cliches des griots, redonne des couleurs a une industrie touchee de plein fouet par le piratage et la chute des ventes de disques.
Cet article complexifie les mythes d'origine vehicules dans le monde qui tantot associent le hip hop aux traditions des griots d'Afrique de l'Ouest, tantot soulignent la resonance mondiale de ses racines dans les cites urbaines aux Etats-Unis.
Jazz Griots: Music as History in the 1960s African American Poem, by Jean-Philippe Marcoux.
Trio Da Kali come from a heritage of distinguished griots - the caste of specialist African musical artisans.
Ainsi, il a non seulement epluche les versions publiees de l'epopee et les enregistrements des griots, mais il a egalement conduit lui-meme des entretiens aupres des griots et traditionnistes de Segou et de sa region.
'Tzenni' in Noura's Hassaniya language translates as "to circulate", "to spin", "to turn", the name for a whirling dance performed to the music of Moorish griots, often under khaima tents, thrown up for street gatherings in the towns and out across the wide deserts of Mauritania.
"[Ancient] Griots would accompany kings into battle to record their deeds and sing their praises, so they were brave, they were militant.
The headliner and only act tonight at the Ivory Coast-born reggae star's Radio Libre nightclub is Ami Kouyate, an up-and-coming singer from a renowned family of griots -- the musicians, poets and storytellers who are the keepers of west Africa's oral history.
Griots, or storytellers, have been instrumental in preserving African cultural values and belief systems over the centuries.
Griots and drummers in Africa used to gather under the baobab tree to pass on tradition and culture to the younger generation through recitation and narration.