[gree-oh, gree-oh, gree-ot]
- a member of a hereditary caste among the peoples of western Africa whose function is to keep an oral history of the tribe or village and to entertain with stories, poems, songs, dances, etc.
Origin of griot
1955–60; < French, earlier guiriot, perhaps ultimately < Portuguese criado domestic servant, altered in W African coastal creoles
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- (in Western Africa) a member of a caste responsible for maintaining an oral record of tribal history in the form of music, poetry, and storytelling
C20: from French guirot, perhaps from Portuguese criado domestic servant
Word Origin and History for griot
1820, from French griot (17c.), of unknown origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper