Also known as the Kafo of Voices, the jaseliwu are a class of historians, musicians, and storytellers, whose role it is to guard their people’s history and to advise, entertain, and educate the rest of the population.
Relationship with other Kafoka
The jaseli’s role is to care for their community, meaning that many jaseliwu provide their services (whether that constitutes giving advice, mediating social exchanges, planning events, educating children, or providing musical entertainment) to members of all kafonu.
The highest profile jaseliwu work closely with powerful manga koronu, serving as their advisors, confidants, and mouthpieces.
Attire & Adornment
Most jaseliwu wear long robes that cover most of their bodies. Unlike koronu, they don’t have to worry about mobility, allowing them to indulge in dangling jewelry and many layers of fabric if they like. Where koronu advertise their worth by showing their muscles, jaseliwu advertise their worth with the quality and intricacy of their robes and jewelry (the idea being that, in traditional times, a manga koro would spend generously on finery for a valued jaseli).
The official jaseli symbol is the abstracted double-headed drum. Other symbols include the karanyang and the ngoni’s neck.
In traditional Yammanka society, jaseliwu were only allowed to intermarry with their own or finawu. With inter-kafo marriage laws loosened or abolished in the modern age, most jaseliwu still opt to keep their bloodlines pure and marry within their kafo.
Terms of Address
- Jaseli a polite address for a member of the jaseli kafo
- Jali a prefix for a member of the jaseli kafo, similar to the English ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms.’
- jaliden a diminutive address for a young member of the jaseli kafo
- Jalike a respectful address for a male member of the jaseli kafo, roughly equivalent to the English ‘Sir.’
- Jaliyaa a respectful address for a female member of the jaseli kafo, roughly equivalent to the English ‘Ma’am.’