Griots and Musical Instruments, Sierra Leone, early 1820s

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Image Reference

Alexander Gordon Laing,Travels in the Timannee, Kooranko, and Soolima countries in Western Africa (London, 1825), facing p. 148. (Copy in Library Company of Philadelphia)

Caption, Jelleman of Soolimana (left); Jelleman of Kooranko (right). on right (kooranko) depicts a "griot or minstrel," shown with "a sort of fiddle, the body of which was formed of a calabash, in which two small holes were cut to give it a tone; it had only one string, composed of many twisted horse-hairs, and although he could only bring from it four notes, yet he contrived to vary them so as to produce a pleasing harmony..." (p.148). The author travelled in Sierra Leone in the early 1820s.