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Culture and Heritage

Culture and Heritage

The National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) is the body charged to promote and develop Gambian Culture includingnational languages, the creative and performing arts, monuments and relics, research and documentation, science and indigenous technology, and sports and recreation. To find out more about the activities of the NCAC

Gambia's main indigenous groups have a highly stratified society wherein status is determined by birth. At the top of the social heap are traditional noble and warrior families, followed by the farmers,traders and persons of caste - blacksmiths, leather workers, wood workers, weavers and griots (GREE-oh). Griots are lowest of the castes but are highly respected, as they are in charge of passing on the oral traditions and are usually the only ones who can recite the family or village history.Slaves occupied the lowest rung of the social ladder, and and although slavery is now long gone, many descendants of former slaves still work as tenant farmers for the masters of old.

The overwhelming majority of Gambia's population is Muslim , although many practitioners combine their faith with traditional animist beliefs. It's not uncommon to see Gambians wearing a small leather pouch around their neck, arm or wrist; called gris-gris (pronounce 'gree-gree'), these amulets are thought to ward off evil or bring good luck. Devout Muslims sometimes hedge their bets by keeping a small verse from the Quran inside.

Great importance is placed on greetings. Wolof and Mandinka people, for example, greet one another with a ritual that lasts up to half a minute starting with the traditional Islamic greetings salaam aliekum and Aliekum asalaam the answers - which are almost always that things are fine, even for people on death's door - are often followed with Al hamdul' lillah('Thanks be to God.') In the larger cities, traditional greetings sometimes give way to shorter versions in French or English, but they're never forgotten. If you learn a few stock greetings in the local lingo, you're bound to be a big hit with the locals.('Peace be with you,' 'And peace be with you.') This is followed by several more questions about the other's family, home life, village, health etc.

ONLINE REGISTRATION OF THE 12TH EDITION OF ROOTS HOME COMMING FESTIVAL 2016

THE GAMBIA 12TH EDITION OF ROOTS HOMECOMING FESTIVAL 2016 IS SCHEDULE FOR FRIDAY 6TH - FRIDAY 13TH 2016

Interested participants wishing to attend the 2016 Roots Festival  can reigister and also access the Official Roots Programme on The Gambia Roots website; www.rootsgambia.gm Read more about ONLINE REGISTRATION OF THE 12TH EDITION OF ROOTS HOME COMMING FESTIVAL 2016

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