(1) An important figure in many West African cultures is the griot, a storyteller who entertains and serves the community as a sort of living history book. (2) Renowned for their narrative skills and extraordinary memories, griots can recount the history of a tribe or family to suit a particular occasion. (3) During a marriage ceremony a griot may tell a centuries-old story of the wedding of one of the groom’s ancestors, recalling such details as the gifts given and the clothing worn by the bride. (4) Traditional weddings among the Urhobo people of West Africa begin with a formal presentation of gifts to the family of the bride. (5) Although griots are nowadays thought of primarily as entertainers, in the past they served important political functions. (6) As trained speakers, griots were natural ambassadors.(7) Their skill with language has enabled them to resolve feuds between neighboring tribes or arrange marriages between members of important families. (8) Their knowledge of history, in addition, made griots invaluable counselors to kings or tribal chieftains. (9) Knowing how things were done in the past, they were able to offer sage advice on how to proceed as similar situations arose in the present. (10) Moreover, they could in times of crisis inspire the chieftain with “praise songs” that recounted great deeds of his ancestors or commented on the chieftain’s own positive qualities. (11) Griots also served as spiritual advisors to the community at large. (12) They brought people together and helped them live in harmony. (13) A griot could foster social cohesion by recounting tales of their common history or by offering advice and inspiration.
In context, which of the following revisions to sentence 7 (reproduced below) is most needed?Their skill with language has enabled them to resolve feuds between neighboring tribes or arrange marriages between members of important families.
(A) Inserting “Nevertheless,” at the beginning of the sentence
(B) Changing “Their” to “This” and “them” to “the ambassadors”
(C) Deleting “has”
(D) Changing “or” to “and also”
(E) Inserting “to” immediately before “arrange”
Choice (C) is correct. The second paragraph of the passage (sentences 5-10) is about the “important political functions” griots served “in the past.” Throughout the paragraph the author uses the past tense to describe the roles griots—“nowadays thought of primarily as entertainers”—once played. Sentence 6 indicates that griots “were natural ambassadors”; sentence 9 notes that they “were able to offer sage advice,” and so on. In contrast, sentence 7 uses the present perfect verb phrase “has enabled,” which suggests that griots continue “to resolve feuds…or arrange marriages” in the present—information that contradicts sentence 5. The first part of the verb phrase “has enabled” should be deleted to create the simple past tense verb “enabled.”