Marcel Griaule

Also found in: Wikipedia.

Griaule, Marcel


Born May 16, 1898, in Aisy-sur-Armançon, in the department of Yonne; died Feb. 22, 1956, in Paris. French ethnologist. Professor of the University of Paris (from 1942). Secretary general of the Society of Af-ricanists.

An organizer of five expeditions to Africa, Griaule devoted his main studies to the spiritual culture and archaeology of the peoples of West Africa. These works expressed strong antiracist sentiments. However, while demanding respect for African civilization, Griaule reduced its essence to religious beliefs and mythology and actually advocated the preservation of those archaic elements of African culture that hinder the development of a new Africa.


Les Flambeurs d’hommes. Paris, 1934.
Masques dogons. Paris, 1938.
Dieu d’eau. Entretiens avec Ogotemmêli. Paris, 1948.
“Fouilles dans le région du Tchad.” Journal de la Société desAfricanistes, 1948, vol. 18; 1950, vol. 20. (With J. P. Lebeuf.)
Méthode de l’ethnographie. Paris, 1957.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Mais le chapitre devoile aussi nombres d'episodes inapercus des historiens sur la vie du Musee et la succession de Rivet, revoque en novembre 1940, oh les agissements de Marcel Griaule apparaissent en toute clarte.
The show will unfold from the newly expanded Palais de Tokyo to neighboring institutions along La Colline des Musees, with an approach to cultural transnationalism inspired by twentieth-century ethnographers Marcel Mauss, Michel Leiris, and Marcel Griaule.
The museum has drawn upon and extended the work of Louis Deplagnes in the early years of the twentieth century, and Marcel Griaule in the 1930S, who both dedicated many years in attempting to uncover some of the mysteries that still surround the Dogon's origins, their beliefs and rituals.
The ethnologist Marcel Griaule, who led the 1933 Dakar-Djibouti exhibition that traversed Africa from Senegal to Ethiopia conducting field research in 15 countries, lists 68 types of Dogon Kanaga mask in his 1938 thesis.
It is therefore easy to understand why the French surrealist writer Michel Leiris was keen to participate in the expedition from Dakar to Djibouti, led by his friend, the ethnographer Marcel Griaule.
See especially Minotaure 2 (1933), a special issue of this Surrealist journal edited by Marcel Griaule, and dedicated to the ethnographic Mission Dakar-Djibouti of 1931-1933.
Trained as a civil engineer in Paris in the late '30s, Rouch was a regular at the then newly founded Cinematheque Francaise housed in the Musee de I'Homme, where he began studying anthropology with Marcel Griaule during the war.
There is, of course, no reason to deny the early ethnologists our respect for the systems of thought they discovered; I'm thinking, for example, of Marcel Griaule, and his reconstitution of Dogon cosmology.