Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Adisa A. Alkebulan
The oral tradition, also termed oral literature or orature , refers to a wide body of oral discourse encompassing every subject and in every type of expression created by a people. The oral tradition is an art form that can be analyzed in accordance with an approved and recognized set of traditional standards. The nature of the African oral tradition is drawn from African belief systems and traditions. Consequently, African orature conforms to a specific African style of speech making. The oral tradition is the complex corpus of verbal or spoken art created for the purpose of remembering the past based on the people's ideas, beliefs, symbols, assumptions, attitudes, and sentiments. There are three main categories of orature—literary, historical, and erudite. The literary includes poetic genres, divination poems, and songs. It also includes proverbs, parables, and incantations. The historical includes narratives based on myths, legends, and historical plays or ...