Africa And The Discovery Of America

leo-wiener“Each group on the shores of Senegal has its griots, the Moors as well as the Peuls, the Mandingos as well as the Tukolors; but, as one proceeds southward, this institution is seen to change, the griot by degrees becoming fetishist, he who is in contact with the spirits and who recognizes and furnishes the sorcerers. His action on his compatriots has not by any means lost by this change; on the contrary, the fetishist has greater profit and kills off more easily those whom he dislikes among the idolatrous tribes than the griot in the Moslem conglomerates of Senegambia. Page 106

“Tattooing and cicatrization are universal practices and are recorded from antiquity, but we know them chiefly as a manner of adornment or as a religious practice. In Africa the custom is distinctly one of clan or tribe distinction and, as such, cannot be separated from the Arabic wasm. Delafosse says: “Tattooing of the face by scarification is widely distributed over the High-Senegal-Niger, but is not met with every where. Certain peoples completely reject these mutilations: the Moors, Tuaregs, Peuls, Tukolor, Bozo, Malinke, Fulanke, Birifo, Lobi, Puguli. Among others the scarification’s exist on;y in part of the population or in certain families. Thus, though the Songay are in general not tattooed, some have very long vertical cicatrices on each temple, or upon the brow a long vertical incision, surrounded by a dotted line, from right to left; the Soninke are not tattooed, except the Dyawarea… ”

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