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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The best hand is the hand that always gives: Griottes and their profession in Eastern Gambia
Author:Janson, M.ISNI
City of publisher:Leiden
Publisher:Research School CNWS
Geographic term:Gambia
poetry & literature
Abstract:Female bards, or griottes, are a striking feature of West African culture. Their main activity in The Gambia is daaniroo. When they set out for daaniroo, they praise their patrons, and in return they are rewarded with money or goods. This book shows that daaniroo is a highly controversial practice. It is sometimes considered a new development, while at the same time it fits in with the bardic tradition. Some patrons disapprove of daaniroo, yet they are dependent on it to have their prestige confirmed. Reformist scholars regard daaniroo as conflicting with Islam, while the griottes do their best to embed their activities in an Islamic discourse. By exploring how griottes construct and reconstruct their gender, professional, and religious identities in relation to global processes of change - such as the penetration of a capitalist market economy - the dynamics of female 'griotism' are demonstrated.dynamics of female 'griotism' are demonstrated. [Abstract author]