Prayer to the Masks Literary Heritage & History

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Senegal's literary and artistic traditions are connected to the rich heritage of the great African empires of the pre-colonial past, to Islamic culture, and to the oral cultures of the several peoples that occupy its different regions. In his poetry, Senghor refers to the rituals and beliefs associated with masks and other forms of traditional art, to the dance, and to troubadour storytelling accompanied by a wide variety of instruments and drums. Yet the legacy of colonialism also strongly marked this native heritage with the influence of French language and culture. The French colonial administrations placed a particular emphasis on the educational system as a way of spreading the French language and civilization into its colonial territories. Thus, when Senghor entered the French schools, he would have found himself taught the history of a country which he had not even visited, while learning that Africans were...

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This section contains 282 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Prayer to the Masks Study Guide
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Prayer to the Masks from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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