Oral Tradition

Oral tradition and oral lore is cultural material and tradition transmitted orally from one generation to another. The messages or testimony are verbally transmitted in speech or song and may take the form, for example, of folktales, sayings, ballads, songs, or chants. In this way, it is possible for a society to transmit oral history, oral literature, oral law and other knowledges across generations without a writing system.

A narrower definition of oral tradition is sometimes appropriate. Sociologists might also emphasize a requirement that the material is held in common by a group of people, over several generations, and might distinguish oral tradition from testimony or oral history. In a general sense, "oral tradition" refers to the transmission of cultural material through vocal utterance, and was long held to be a key descriptor of folklore (a criterion no longer rigidly held by all folklorists). As an academic discipline, it refers both to a set of objects of study and a method by which they are studied -- the method may be called variously "oral traditional theory", "the theory of Oral-Formulaic Composition" and the "Parry-Lord theory" (after two of its founders; see below) The study of oral tradition is distinct from the academic discipline of oral history, which is the recording of personal memories and histories of those who experienced historical eras or events. It is also distinct from the study of orality, which can be defined as thought and its verbal expression in societies where the technologies of literacy (especially writing and print) are unfamiliar to most of the population.

Read more about Oral TraditionCriticism and Debates

Other articles related to "oral tradition, oral":

Agrado - Historia De Barrios Y Veredas
... of the municipality of El Agrado is low, only some details are collected from oral tradition ... Barrio San Agustin No exact date of its founding by oral tradition known that it belonged to Rojas Garrido and independence followed the advice of a missionary ... By oral tradition knew his name from a family living in the neighborhood and a native of Manizales suggested this name will be placed on the sector ...
Wooden Leg: A Warrior Who Fought Custer - Suicide Controversy
... that while Wooden Leg's version is corroborated by the oral tradition of other Cheyenne witnesses, notably that of Kate Bighead, a young woman who witnessed the ... Fox in his turn has been criticised for selectively using Indian oral tradition when it suits him, but discarding it as nonsense when he finds it disagreeable ...
Syrian Jews - Traditions and Customs - Liturgy
... order these in bulk, preserving any special usages by oral tradition ... some notes about the specific "minhag Aram Tsoba".) As details of the oral tradition faded from memory, the liturgy in use came ever nearer to the "Livorno" standard ... any specifically Syrian usages to be perpetuated by oral tradition ...
Benin Empire - Oral Tradition
... According to the Edo oral tradition, during the reign of the last Ogiso, his son and heir apparent, Ekaladerhan, was banished from Igodomigodo (modern day "Benin Empire 1180-1897") as a result of one of ... arrival at the Yoruba city of Ife was never known or told as oral history anywhere until revitionists' spin that he changed his name to 'Izoduwa' (which in his ...
Oral Tradition - Criticism and Debates
... The theory of oral tradition encountered early resistance from scholars who perceived it as potentially supporting either one side or another in the ... implications simply described it as "unprovable" Some scholars, mainly outside the field of oral tradition, represent (either dismissively or with approval) this body of ... distort content via uncontextualized transmission, Parry's supporters argue that the theory of oral tradition reveals how oral methods optimized the signal-to-noise ratio and thus improved the ...

Famous quotes containing the words tradition and/or oral:

    If we are related, we shall meet. It was a tradition of the ancient world, that no metamorphosis could hide a god from a god; and there is a Greek verse which runs, “The Gods are to each other not unknown.” Friends also follow the laws of divine necessity; they gravitate to each other, and cannot otherwise.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    We have seen over and over that white male historians in general have tended to dismiss any history they didn’t themselves write, on the grounds that it is unserious, unscholarly, a fad, too “political,” “merely” oral and thus unreliable.
    Adrienne Rich (b. 1929)