Three generations of kora players gather for a lesson in Bamako, Mali. In West Africa, the griots or jalis form a hereditary caste. The arts of playing, singing, and reciting history are passed from one generation to the next. Here, grandfather Sidiki Diabate teaches his son Toumani and grandson Mamadou a new song. Diabaté (spelled Jobarteh in Anglophone countries) is a common griot family name. Others include Konte, Suso, Tounkara and Kouyate. Traditionally, last names indicate whether the family consists of musicians, blacksmiths, leather workers or farmers.
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