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Unformatted text preview: Samantha Williams AFST4245 02/13/2011 Role of the Jelí in Mande Society The Jelí or Griots in Mande Society are known as the Bards- or lyrical poets of the sphere in which they occupy. The Jelí are positioned on the level of the Nyamakala, or the working class citizens of Mande Society. The Nyamakala are mostly regarded as the means of production for the rest of Mande Society, however the Jelí occupy a very exclusive niche. They are the storytellers, historians and musicians of society, passing down information orally as well as singing and acting it out. There are three Fields of Jelí specialty; Kuma (Speech), Donkili (Melodies and Lyrics) and Maninka/Mandinka (Musical Instruments). Out of all Mande Society, the Jelí alone have the right to play the Kora, the Bala and the Koni. The Kora is a harp with twenty-one strings, the Bala is a wooden xylophone and the Koni is a plucked lute of which many varieties exist. The Jelí are an integral part of society, with many responsibilities and much many varieties exist....
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