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Griot Moseki/Motshidi

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Ron March Show

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There are three types of initiatory training among my people, as is the case among many Afrikan tribes. The first is 'general rites' as you put it, which youths undergo at about puberty. 11. After that, a handful are selected to be trained as Dingaka (Ngaka - singular; Dingaka - plural). The term, Sangoma, belongs to the Zulu tribe, and is not used among us, but it means the same thing, as you probably know. 12. A second group, much smaller, is then selected at a later stage to be trained as griots. I am a griot - a tribal historian, and not a Ngaka. There are two types of griots. The first is called Moseki, or a 'memorizing' griot, for lack of a better word. Such initiates are trained usually from childhood in certain rites that vastly improve their powers of memory to exceed that of ordinary people. Then they are taught oral history, and memorize it word for word, so they can transmit it to following generations exactly as they received it. The second type of griot is called Motshidi. This word is difficult to translate. But it effectively means 'one who lives with the ancestors'. I am a Motshidi.

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