Lisa K. Feder                                                     

Jaliya Crossing Cultures is a book about Lisa Feder's experiences learning the Practices of Wisdom in the culture of the Manding Jalis (griots) through a musical and embodied methodology.

This book is currently under Peer Review. Due for publication in 2021. Read an excerpt!

Jaliya Crossing Cultures

                 a story of Sweetness, Time and Money                      

Jaliya Crossing Cultures

Brief Synopsis


This book brings readers deep into the remarkable culture of jaliya, a musical and verbal art from the Mande region of West Africa. Jaliya is revealed through my experience as an American student and patron of the art over the past twenty years. This culture, which has already been well described in scholarly literature, is presented in a new light, as a cultural practice whose intention is to influence its practitioners to act as members of an enlightened society. Meanwhile, the practice as it currently exists is in a state of transformation. What originated in small-scale farming communities is moving into the cosmopolitan and globalized arena in cities such as Conakry, New York, and Paris. This ancient culture, transmitted through apprenticeship from teacher to student for 800 years, is in peril, and its practitioners question its survival.