Mauritania: Moorish epic T’heydinn

The T’heydinn epic encompasses dozens of poems in the Hassaniya language lauding the glorious feats of Moorish emirs and sultans and preserving the collective memory of society. Sung by griots and accompanied by traditional stringed instruments such as the lute, harp and kettledrum, the poems are passed down from father to son, with young griots first learning the instrumental skills before being initiated into the poetic tradition. Performances are occasions for regional tribal and family reunions, strengthening social ties and promoting social peace and mutual assistance.

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