Griots were West African storytellers. They were important to the West African society because they were able to pass down stories to other generations. Back then, West Africa didn't have much written records of important things that happened in their history. Many people wanted to know about their ancestors and where they came from, so they depended on griots to tell them stories like that. I think without griots, people in West Africa didn't know much. But how would they know if the stories that griots tell are factual? Well, I'm not sure about that but I know I'll try to figure it out soon. Griots also went along on pilgrimmages, so that is another type of story they could share with their younger generations. I think griots were also highly respected since they were able to tell about stories from the past.