oral tradition


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oral tradition

the aspects of a society's CULTURE that are passed on by word of mouth. Some societies (see NONLITERATE SOCIETY) may rely solely on this method of documenting their history and GENEALOGY through song, poetry and narrative. In literate societies the oral tradition usually plays an increasingly marginal role in cultural transmission and may often stand in opposition to the dominant forms of representation. Whilst anthropologists have long been interested in folklore and story-telling, sociologists and social historians are now also using this method to document the histories of groups (e.g. women, ethnic minorities and the working class) who have not previously been focused upon in the written tradition. see also ORAL HISTORY.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
Chinnubbie and the Owl: Muscogee (Creek) Stories, Orations, and Oral Traditions. Edited by Matthew Wynn Sivils.
The craft, which has developed from an ancient oral tradition, is practised by soloists, parties and choirs.
Scuderi concludes that Fo 'has succeeded in raising the status of the oral tradition to the level of literary prestige and has helped in redefining the concept of "literature" in that now it must comprehend the oral tradition and performance' (p.
Reviewing the 1993 Canada/France co-production, Agaguk (Shadow of the Wolf, with Jennifer Tilley as an Inuit temptress!), Roger Ebert thought that it did a "splendid job of portraying the grandeur of the scenery, but a spotty job of examining exactly how Eskimos go about surviving in the forbidding winter months." Based on the rock-solid foundation of a legend from a thousands-of-years-old oral tradition, Atanarjuat has no problem meeting Ebert's standard for a good Arctic movie, and hits a much higher mark.
People relied on oral tradition to carry wisdom forward.
And Ulysses itself was informed by Homer's Odyssey, which Joyce presumably read, despite the fact that the blind bard intended it for the oral tradition.
Oral tradition's strength of adapting to the hearer was lost.
In keeping with the oral tradition of our ancestors, Steven Barboza has compiled over 100 fictional and true stories, poems, songs and adages in The African American Book of Values: Classic Moral Stories.
After a brief criticism of the inadequacy of earlier treatments of oral tradition in the Bible, Niditch uses the Parry and Lord method to lay bare the "oral register in the biblical libretto," looking for repetition, formulaic language, and epithet not only in biblical poetry but also in Pentateuchal prose.
It is testified to by family oral tradition, memoirs, literature and historical books.
Among the few performers continuing the oral tradition of epic poetry in the West, the guslari serve as transmitters and interpreters of a repertory of song and epic.
The essays in this collection were given at two gatherings of scholars, held in 1989 and 1990, whose concern with the question of oral tradition had arisen out of earlier discussions of the problem of Gospel origins.