Importance Of Caribbean Oral Tradition

867 Words4 Pages
Louise Marshall
HIST 450 – Caribbean Oral Traditions

Why do you think Oral Traditions survived in the Caribbean?? What factors encouraged their survival?? What factors made it difficult for them to survive???

There is an old saying that ‘sense was made before books’. I tried goggling the phase to find the origin of it but came up with nothing. Thus, I will rephrase my statement to say my mother used to always say that ‘sense was made before book’. Her statement was really meant to tell you that you need to have some common sense. This and other quotes or proverbs formed part of the oral history that I was exposed to unknowingly. Caribbean oral tradition is a combination of storytelling, folklore, legend, (fables), music, songs, chants, language and culture. To quote a statement made by Karen Pharis on the importance of oral tradition; “the practice of oral story telling has existed form the time man realized he had the ability to speak. The rationale behind oral tradition was to entertain, inform, instill morals and values in people and perhaps most importantly it was and still is a means for the transfer of culture”. She went out to say that ”Caribbean oral tradition is associated with the “good old day” when people had little to do or nothing better to do than to sit around and tell stories about the old time days” However Caribbean oral tradition goes beyond that. At some level and in some Caribbean countries, oral tradition has been able to
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