Meaning of griot in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɡriːəʊ/


  • A member of a class of travelling poets, musicians, and storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa.

    ‘Our poets and storytellers are the modern-day griots who speak the history and carry on the culture with dazzling tongue.’
    • ‘In addition to the storytelling and music provided by the griots, the Malinke like to listen to the radio.’
    • ‘Neal also recalls that the role of the blues singer is not unlike that of the griot in traditional African societies.’
    • ‘Singing, dancing, and praise-songs, performed by griots (both male and female), are central to the celebration of births, marriages, and holidays.’
    • ‘Few people in the west seemed to know much about the many functions of the griot, and I thought this may be a way of deepening the understanding of African literature.’


French, earlier guiriot, perhaps from Portuguese criado.