Oral Tradion

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The Oral Tradition:Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali

How Can A Historian Use Oral Tradition When Writing History

Oral tradition is a history or a story passed down from generation to generation through word of mouth. The story is usually the history of a civilization or culture.

A griot or Djeli is the oral historian or storyteller. You can tell a griot by its last name. If they have a name like "Kouyate  or "Dioubate , or any name ending with "ate  then you know that person is a griot. There are male and female griots. Male griots tell the family history of the male side and females tell the female side. Griots only marry other griots. When the griot tells the history of a certain family, they use instruments, they sing and dance. It's more like a performance, than just a person telling a story.

Oral tradition is significant in all cultures and societies. The oral tradition tells stories of the past and of how things use to be. Oral tradition also helps to educate the young and to teach important lessons about the past and about life. Since many oral traditions are well put together and are told often without any change, they are as dependable as any history books or as any record

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