About This Chapter
Oral Tradition - Chapter Summary
The first stories told by humans were told by word of mouth and passed from generation to generation through oral tradition. This chapter introduces the topic of oral tradition, describing its characteristics and identifying how they affected the development of human storytelling, in addition to looking at oral tradition across two different cultures. Each lesson has a quiz so you can demonstrate what you have learned. Reading and watching the materials in the lessons allows you to cover topics like the following:
- Oral tradition as storytelling and its affect on literature
- History and types of oral tradition, such as the epic, proverbs, and folktales
- Oral tradition across different cultures such as Greek, African, and Native American
- How oral tradition influences cultural development and identity
1. Characteristics of Oral Tradition in World Literature
Before books and writing, cultures passed along their history and heritage through oral storytelling traditions. Many classics of world literature, from 'The Iliad' to 'The Epic of Gilgamesh,' were passed down orally before being written down.
2. Written & Oral Traditions in Africa (500-1800 CE)
This lesson explores the written and oral traditions of pre-modern Africa. It highlights folktales, proverbs, griots and the travelogue known as Rihlah.
3. Native American Oral Tradition: Heritage and Literary Influence
Native American nations have a rich oral tradition of storytelling. In this lesson, we'll explore the heritage and themes of American Indian stories and look at how they influenced later American literature.
4. Oral Tradition of Storytelling: Definition, History & Examples
As old as man himself, the oral tradition of storytelling is a hallmark element of the human experience all over the world. Explore the healing powers of storytelling through a definition, discussion of history, and examples. Then, put your new expertise to the test with a quiz.
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Other chapters within the Humanities 101: Intro to the Humanities course
- Literary Analysis and Movements
- Humanities in the Ancient World
- Humanities in Rome and Late Antiquity (250 CE-550 CE)
- Literature of the Middle Ages
- The Medieval Period in Music
- Art and Architecture of the Middle Ages
- Literature of the Renaissance
- Renaissance Music
- Art & Architecture of the Renaissance & Reformation
- Literature of the Enlightenment
- The Baroque Era in Music
- The Classical Era in Music
- The Romantic Period in Literature
- The Romantic Era in Music
- Literature of the Victorian Era
- Modern Thought and Expression (1800-Present)
- Literary Modernism in the 19th & 20th Centuries
- Modern Music
- World Music
- Prominent American Novelists
- Studying for Humanities 101