An analysis of the african history of oral traditions

An appreciation of the value of the oral tradition threads its path between extremes and occasional controversy. The tradition is a venerable one: The Theory of Oral Composition: Except for native terms, or some locution phrased in Negro-French, which was set down as given in order not to interrupt the flow of translation, we wrote in English.

Other Europeans—traders and missionaries in particular—worked with Africans to make profits and save souls.

This period continues into the 19th century, when European explorations, presaging the future colonial conquest, offer fuller accounts. The colonial period is one during which the volume of recorded information increases dramatically; it also aims at wider coverage.

In the 19th century, groups of settler farmers sought to subjugate African farmers, and seize their land and labor. His taxonomy of the forms of the oral tradition is as fundamental as that of Linnaeus in biology. These stories, traditions, and proverbs are not static, but are often altered upon each transmission barring the overall meaning remains intact.

In this way, the past and the present are blended: How can one include or acknowledge the musical accompaniment, if any? Each text was recited in a number of ways, to ensure that the different methods of recitation acted as a cross check on the other.

Alexis Kagame apparently profited from a change in royal regimes around the previous king had been hostile to the Belgians to assemble a treasury of traditional and dynastic poetry; his texts have a greater claim to accuracy than some, for the royal poets were rewarded for memorizing and preserving poems composed by their ancestors.

A feature common to the three categories defined so far is that they do not reliably represent the oral tradition, in whatever form, for a simple reason: It is important that the precious value of these oral traditions are realized and due importance given to them before they get irreversibly lost in the wake of globalized world of Television, internet, video games and the generations X, Y and Z.

An Analysis of African Oral Traditions

These latter, though often influenced by Europe and Asia, nevertheless occur within the context of the oral traditions. The situation is certain to improve, as African institutions become stronger.

In the modern era, the loop between published information and the literate representatives of the oral tradition is strong and must be recognized.

The methodology of oral tradition now conditions a large variety of studies, not only in folkloreliterature and literacybut in philosophy[60] communication theory[61] Semiotics[62] and including a very broad and continually expanding variety of languages and ethnic groups, [63] [64] [65] [66] [67] and perhaps most conspicuously in biblical studies[68] in which Werner Kelber has been especially prominent.

For contemporary researchers, the use of oral tradition is a principal tool in reconstructing precolonial history and culture. They are focused on the immediate present of the travel, although they also report traditions of the past as they encounter them, and occasionally forms of literature.

Sometimes the songs represent the stories of great tragedies or great happenings and can provide important clues to those interesting in deciphering its historical essence.

This is how Haley described his experience, "The old griot had talked for nearly two hours up to then.

Oral tradition

These reports are mostly those of outsiders offering hearsay with greater or lesser comprehension and reliability. Fables, on the other hand are narrations of events often with a moral overtone.

The most significant areas of theoretical development at present may be the construction of systematic hermeneutics [77] [78] [79] and aesthetics [80] [81] specific to oral traditions.

The accuracy of their report on the oral tradition may be questioned, but the influence of their publications is undeniable. Mamadi Aissa Kaba Diakite in Nioro Mali provided a series of versions of local history covering the period from the empire of Wagadu down to the time of al-Hajj Umar Tal, derived from oral tradition, to a succession of French writers: Contest, Sexuality and Consciousness Cornell, [33] These two works articulated the contrasts between cultures defined by primary oralitywriting, print, and the secondary orality of the electronic age.

Mention was made above of the historians using Arabic who documented the traditions of the kingdoms of the Sahel starting in the 16th century. The transcription and presentation offer further challenges: Flowing through this potent emotional grid is a variety of ideas that have the look of antiquity and ancestral sanction.

To these accounts by outsiders can be added a second set of written accounts composed locally, in a variety of languages and contexts. When genealogies do not fit all the facts, alternate genealogies exist.

The African History of Oral Traditions essay

We could use more studies presenting the repertory and biography of skilled narrators. There is no accepted standard for crediting sources. The Oral Performance in Africa Storytellers in the African oral tradition do what storytellers in all cultures and in all times have done: The era of the smartphone has made the documentation and creation of oral tradition almost too easy.

She might have gone further, to note the transactional nature of the genealogical discussions among the Tiv: The 19th century is the era of European explorers significantly, they were often military officers who traveled to the interior parts of Africa.

In the process of doing so, they distill the essences of human experiences, shaping them into memorable, easily retrievable images of broad applicability with an extraordinary potential for eliciting emotional responses.

Like all oral traditions, they may also contain information that need to be filtered, but usually because of their popularity among the masses and the large pool of information available therein, they can be corroborated more easily, and are more likely to pertain to real people and their historical past.Folktales and proverbs are both examples of African oral traditions.

Oral Traditions as Sources

A folktale is a tale passed down through a people group that is usually based on superstition. They are usually used to teach. An Analysis of African Oral Traditions. In Africa, such oral traditions have attracted the attention of historians and their analysis is gradually helping discovery of an African history that has been hitherto undiscovered.

FORMS OF ORAL TRADITION. African Diaspora, Medical History, Oral Traditions, Religious History Religion and healing are useful scholarly constructs in summarizing, consolidating, and interpreting a myriad of details from the historic African-Atlantic experience.

The movie is an analysis of the African history of oral traditions. These oral traditions were commonly passed from generation to another through the word of mouth. Putting it in action is an attempt to have a permanent source of literature to future generations.

Oral Traditions

The oral traditions of African societies were thriving for centuries before the introduction of literary traditions. These latter, though often influenced by Europe and Asia, nevertheless occur within the context of the oral traditions. Jan Vansina’s book, Oral Tradition, was hailed internationally as a pioneering work in the field of killarney10mile.comally published in French, it was translated into English, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, and Hungarian.

Reviewers were unanimous in their praise of Vansina’s success in subjecting oral traditions to intense functional analysis.

An analysis of the african history of oral traditions
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