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Parent category: mouth

Oral culture and visual culture existed before written culture. [Jun 2006]

Speech related: gossip - tale - speech - tradition - folklore

Oral culture is by definition dematerialized, it's all the things you carry in your head, and that's it.--Kodwo Eshun

Oral culture

Oral tradition or oral culture is a way of transmitting history, literature or law from one generation to the next in a civilization without a writing system. An example that combined aspects of oral literature and oral history, before eventually being set down in writing, is the Homeric epic poetry of the Iliad and the Odyssey. In a general sense, "oral tradition" refers to the transmission of cultural material by means other than written records, 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 method and the objects studied by the method. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_tradition [Jun 2006]

Oral history

Oral history is an account of something passed down by word of mouth from one generation to another. Oral history is considered by some historians to be an unreliable source for the study of history. However, other historians consider it to be a valid means for preserving and transmitting history. Experience within literate cultures indicates that each time anyone reconstructs a memory, there are changes in the memory, but the core of the story is usually retained. Over time, however, minor changes can accumulate until the story becomes unrecognizable.

A person within a literate culture thus has presuppositions that may falsely affect his judgment of the validity of oral history within preliterate cultures. In these cultures children are usually selected and specially trained for the role of historian, and develop extraordinary memory skills known as eidetic or photographic memory. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_history [Jun 2006]

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