The Epic of Sundiata and the Griots
We tend to assume that most societies have been keeping written records for at least a thousand years. However, many societies did not start using written records until the 14th century. These are known as non-literate societies. You can still find societies like this all around the world. But, even though they did not write down their histories and stories, this did not mean that they had no other ways of recording it and passing it along for future generations. Stories were told and passed on for each generation. This is called an oral tradition.
A great example of this is The Epic of Sundiata, which tells the story of the creation of the Mali Empire. This story has been passed along by storytellers called Griots since the 12th century.
About the author: This piece was written by Saffa Khalil. Saffa works for The Black Curriculum, a social enterprise campaigning for the inclusion of Black British history into the National Curriculum.
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