Djembe & Mande Music Page/African Links
(last revision 03/07/99)

Jaliya: The Griot Tradition


About Griots: Paul Oliver
"Paul Oliver has written several books on West African musics and blues, and has been influential in documenting the multivalent connections between African and American forms of musical expression. His 1970 book Savannah Syncopators: African retentions in the blues (Briarcliff Manor, NY:Stein and Day) is difficult to find and I've therefore made an extract from his discussion of griots --the clearest statement I know of the complexity surrounding who griots are, what they do, and how they fit (or fitted) into traditional societies."

This is an elegantly designed gallery of black and white photographs of Malian jelis. The photos are by Olivier Gresset, a Swiss photographer, who has a deep love and understanding of the music of Malian. The text is in French, but Gresset's photos speak a universal language and capture the power and beauty of Malian music in all its regal drama. This gallery contains photos of Kasse Mady Diabate, Toumani Diabate, Ami Koita, Tata Bambo Kouyate, Oumou Sangare and others.

Jali Kunda
This is promotional page for the Jali Kunda CD.  In additional to material relating directly to the CD, it contains some interesting photos and interviews.

Jali Music of the Manding Empire by Maamuudu Joob 
This page is a section of the Sahel Technogies web site. It contains a good introduction to the Mande peoples, the jalis and their music. It also includes a short review of Toumani Diabate's "Djelika".

Kora Jaliya
This is an excellent site devoted to the kora. It contains information on the social role of role of jalis, the construction of kora, tunings, playing techniques, etc.

Kora Music of the Manding Jalis (Griots)
Read about the musical heritage of the Jalis, and see a virtual or
photographic tour of the exhibit which took place at the Oscar A.
Siliverman Undergraduate Library during Black History Month.

Sundiata An Epic of Old Mali by D.T. Niane
Enjoy different illustrated versions of the Sundiata epic, rewritten and
illustrated by children of the William G. Enloe Gifted and Talented Magnet High School. The loading of the page might be a bit slow, due to the pictures, but it's worth waiting for.

What is a griot?
This site contains a short discussion of the social role of griot.  At the bottom of the page you'll find a link to two other interesting pages: The Legend of Sundiata and Mali: Empire of Empires