Baba the Storyteller

Middle school chapel, French B, and all high school French classes hosted a special visitor, Baba the Storyteller.
Baba shared his expertise as a griot, an oral historian in the West African tradition that dates back to the 13th century. Though he was not born in West Africa, Baba has been embraced by the griot community and shared with our students the wisdom he has gained from their traditions, meaningful stories, joyful songs, and life lessons.

Baba explained that a griot would call the people of the village together at the end of a work day with a song. Once gathered, the griot would share the news of the day, culminating with villagers singing and dancing. He gave a rendition of an 800-year West African song, accompanying himself on a kora, a stringed instrument fashioned out of a hollowed-out gourd and covered with cowhide on one side with strings made of a fishing line. This instrument was used to tell the history of West African peoples in the bardic tradition from family lineage to wars fought.

French B students are currently conducting independent research projects on French-speaking Africa, and in their class, Baba shared his perspectives on many of their topics.

We can't wait to have Baba visit with our students again!

Click here to watch the video.
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