Africa Film WebMeeting

Message from: Steve Smith (SteveSmith@XC.Org)
About: FW: The Heritage of the Griot

Thu, 4 Feb 1999 08:37:58 -0500

  • Next message: Lyris: "Your confirmation is needed (ok 73905)"
    From: John Badenhorst []

    Just to add to the information, KEITA, (ALSO KNOWN AS "KEITA, FROM =
    EAR") is presented in a simple but effective way and is easily =
    by a general audience. Dani Kouyate won the Paulin Vieyra Merit Award =
    younger directors) in the 1995 M-NET All Africa Film Awards, in

    Xposted from H-AFRLITCINE@H-NET.MSU.EDU =
    Subject: Query: African Literature for Schools

    Not directly as an answer for this query, but as a reminder concerning
    teaching Sundiata for undergraduate and graduate students. There's an
    exellent film by Dani Kouyat=E9 _The Heritage of the Griot_ (Burkina =
    1995, 94 min) which can be used when teaching Sundiata and African oral
    "Keita creates a unique world where the West Africa of the 13th Century
    Sundjata Epic and the West Africa of today co-exist and interpenetrate.
    Director Dani Kouyat=E9 frames his dramatization of the epic within the =
    of Mabo Keita, contemporary boy from Burkina Faso, learning the history =
    his family. During the film, Mabo and his distant ancestor, Sundjata, =
    in parallel quests to understand their destinies, to "know the meaning =
    their names". In so doing, Keita makes the case for an "Afrocentric"
    education, where African tradition, not an imported Western curricula =
    is the
    necessary starting point for African development." "The film recounts =
    only a
    part of the epic, the events surrounding the birth, boyhood and exile =
    Sundjata which correspond to lines 356 to 1647 in the standard =
    Johnson, John William, The Epic of Son-Jara (Sundjata): A West African
    Tradition, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1992."
    I have read the parts of Sundjata (translated in Finnish) with my =
    and we have discussed the significance of griot and oral literature. =
    knowing your own history is a central part of griot tradition, after
    screening the film, the students have been asked to work in pairs and =
    to each others the history of their names (their family) and then =
    some of the stories to the class . They have been ashtonished when
    how little they know about their own roots.
    Mari Maasilta
    University of Tampere

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