Oral tradition

oral traditionsoral cultureoraloral loreoral transmissionfolktaleorallyfolktaleslorefolk tale
Oral tradition, or oral lore, is a form of human communication wherein knowledge, art, ideas and cultural material is received, preserved and transmitted orally from one generation to another.wikipedia
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Oral literature

oralfolk literatureoral tradition
In this way, it is possible for a society to transmit oral history, oral literature, oral law and other knowledge across generations without a writing system, or in parallel to a writing system.
Pre-literate societies, by definition, have no written literature, but may possess rich and varied oral traditions—such as folk epics, folklore, proverbs and folksong—that effectively constitute an oral literature.

Oral history

oral historiesoral historianoral tradition
In this way, it is possible for a society to transmit oral history, oral literature, oral law and other knowledge across generations without a writing system, or in parallel to a writing system. Oral tradition is information, memories and knowledge held in common by a group of people, over many generations, and it is not the same as testimony or oral history.
The term is sometimes used in a more general sense to refer to any information about past events that people who experienced them tell anybody else, but professional historians usually consider this to be oral tradition.

Oral law

oral traditionits traditionJewish oral law
In this way, it is possible for a society to transmit oral history, oral literature, oral law and other knowledge across generations without a writing system, or in parallel to a writing system.
An oral law is a code of conduct in use in a given culture, religion or community application, by which a body of rules of human behaviour is transmitted by oral tradition and effectively respected, or the single rule that is orally transmitted.

Writing system

scriptwriting systemsscripts
In this way, it is possible for a society to transmit oral history, oral literature, oral law and other knowledge across generations without a writing system, or in parallel to a writing system.
The invention of writing systems, which dates back to the beginning of the Bronze Age in the late Neolithic Era of the late 4th millennium BC, enabled the accurate durable recording of human history in a manner that was not prone to the same types of error to which oral history is vulnerable.

Orality

oraloral cultureCopious
Oral tradition is also distinct from the study of orality 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. Perhaps most importantly, the terms and concepts of "orality" and "literacy" came to be replaced with the more useful and apt "traditionality" and "textuality". He would serve as mentor to the Jesuit, Walter Ong (1912–2003), whose interests in cultural history, psychology and rhetoric would result in Orality and Literacy (Methuen, 1980) and the important but less-known Fighting for Life: Contest, Sexuality and Consciousness (Cornell, 1981) These two works articulated the contrasts between cultures defined by primary orality, writing, print, and the secondary orality of the electronic age.
The study of orality is closely allied to the study of oral tradition.

Folklore

folk talefolktalefolk
A folklore is a type of oral tradition, but knowledge other than folklore has been orally transmitted and thus preserved in human history.
These include oral traditions such as tales, proverbs and jokes.

Vedic chant

Vedic chantingVedic hymnsmnemonic techniques
In Asia, the transmission of folklore, mythologies as well as scriptures in ancient India, in different Indian religions, was by oral tradition, preserved with precision with the help of elaborate mnemonic techniques.; Quote: The early Buddhist texts are also generally believed to be of oral tradition, with the first by comparing inconsistencies in the transmitted versions of literature from various oral societies such as the Greek, Serbia and other cultures, then noting that the Vedic literature is too consistent and vast to have been composed and transmitted orally across generations, without being written down.
Such traditions of Vedic chant are often considered the oldest unbroken oral tradition in existence, the fixation of the Vedic texts (samhitas) as preserved dating to roughly the time of Homer (early Iron Age).

Homer

HomericHomeric epicsHomeric poems
Homer's epic poetry, states Michael Gagarin, was largely composed, performed and transmitted orally. Research by Milman Parry and Albert Lord indicates that the verse of the Greek poet Homer has been passed down (at least in the Serbo-Croatian epic tradition) not by rote memorization but by "Oral-formulaic composition".
Most researchers believe that the poems were originally transmitted orally.

Jainism

JainJainsJaina
Religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, for example, have used an oral tradition, in parallel to a writing system, to transmit their canonical scriptures, secular knowledge such as Sushruta Samhita, hymns and mythologies from one generation to the next.
They are believed to have been verbally transmitted by the oral tradition from one generation to the next, much like the ancient Buddhist and Hindu texts.

Buddhism

BuddhistBuddhistsBuddhadharma
Religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, for example, have used an oral tradition, in parallel to a writing system, to transmit their canonical scriptures, secular knowledge such as Sushruta Samhita, hymns and mythologies from one generation to the next.
Buddhism, like all Indian religions, was initially an oral tradition in ancient times.

Milman Parry

ParryParry, Milman
Research by Milman Parry and Albert Lord indicates that the verse of the Greek poet Homer has been passed down (at least in the Serbo-Croatian epic tradition) not by rote memorization but by "Oral-formulaic composition".
Milman Parry (June 23, 1902 – December 3, 1935) was an American scholar of epic poetry and the founder of the discipline of oral tradition.

Quran

Qur'anKoranQur’an
Supplementing the Quran with explanations for some cryptic Quranic narratives, and rulings that also provide the basis for sharia (Islamic) law (in most denominations of Islam), are Hadith — oral and written traditions believed to describe words and actions of Muhammad.

Rigveda

Rig VedaRigvedicRig-Veda
That these methods have been effective, is testified to by the preservation of the most ancient Indian religious text, the ''ca. 1500 BCE).
The Padapatha and the Pratisakhya anchor the text's true meaning, and the fixed text was preserved with unparalleled fidelity for more than a millennium by oral tradition alone.

Vedas

VedicVedaVedic literature
For example, the śrutis of Hinduism called the Vedas, the oldest of which trace back to the second millennium BCE.
Transmission of texts in the Vedic period was by oral tradition, preserved with precision with the help of elaborate mnemonic techniques.

Brothers Grimm

The Brothers GrimmGrimmGrimm brothers
in the work of the Serb scholar Vuk Stefanović Karadžić (1787–1864), a contemporary and friend of the Brothers Grimm.
They attended the University of Marburg where they began a lifelong dedication to researching the early history of German language and literature, including German folktales.

John Miles Foley

In advance of Ong's synthesis, John Miles Foley began a series of papers based on his own fieldwork on South Slavic oral genres, emphasizing the dynamics of performers and audiences.
John Miles Foley (January 22, 1947 – May 3, 2012) was a scholar of comparative oral tradition, particularly medieval and Old English literature, Homer and Serbian epic.

Tradition

traditionaltraditionscustom
Perhaps most importantly, the terms and concepts of "orality" and "literacy" came to be replaced with the more useful and apt "traditionality" and "textuality".
The stories thus preserved are also referred to as tradition, or as part of an oral tradition.

Oral-formulaic composition

formulaParry/Lord thesisformulaic phrasing
Research by Milman Parry and Albert Lord indicates that the verse of the Greek poet Homer has been passed down (at least in the Serbo-Croatian epic tradition) not by rote memorization but by "Oral-formulaic composition".

Chinese whispers

telephonebroken telephoneChinese whisper
A much more general dismissal of the theory and its implications simply described it as "unprovable" Some scholars, mainly outside the field of oral tradition, represent (either dismissively or with approval) this body of theoretical work as reducing the great epics to children's party games like "telephone" or "Chinese whispers".
It is often invoked as a metaphor for cumulative error, especially the inaccuracies as rumours or gossip spread, or, more generally, for the unreliability of human recollection or even oral traditions.

Epic poetry

epic poemepicepics
A much more general dismissal of the theory and its implications simply described it as "unprovable" Some scholars, mainly outside the field of oral tradition, represent (either dismissively or with approval) this body of theoretical work as reducing the great epics to children's party games like "telephone" or "Chinese whispers". Very large units would be defined (The Indo-European Return Song) and areas outside of military epic would come under investigation: women's song, riddles and other genres.
Oral tradition was used alongside written scriptures to communicate and facilitate the spread of culture.

Oral Tradition (journal)

Oral TraditionOral Tradition Journal
Oral Tradition is a peer-reviewed academic journal established in 1986 by John Miles Foley covering studies in oral tradition and related fields.

Walter J. Ong

Walter OngWalter Ong, S.J.Ong, Walter J.
He would serve as mentor to the Jesuit, Walter Ong (1912–2003), whose interests in cultural history, psychology and rhetoric would result in Orality and Literacy (Methuen, 1980) and the important but less-known Fighting for Life: Contest, Sexuality and Consciousness (Cornell, 1981) These two works articulated the contrasts between cultures defined by primary orality, writing, print, and the secondary orality of the electronic age.
Taken together, these three essays make up a coherent approach to the study of written literature against the background of oral tradition.

Hinduism

HinduHindusHindu culture
Religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, for example, have used an oral tradition, in parallel to a writing system, to transmit their canonical scriptures, secular knowledge such as Sushruta Samhita, hymns and mythologies from one generation to the next.

Sushruta Samhita

SushrutaSusruta SamhitaSuśruta-saṃhitā
Religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, for example, have used an oral tradition, in parallel to a writing system, to transmit their canonical scriptures, secular knowledge such as Sushruta Samhita, hymns and mythologies from one generation to the next.

Testimony

testifytestifiedtestimonies
Oral tradition is information, memories and knowledge held in common by a group of people, over many generations, and it is not the same as testimony or oral history.