Langscape, Volume II, Issue 10 | Terralingua -Breaking the Language Barrier: a Biocultural Approach to Documenting Oral Literature. | Translatology |

This issue was created by Langscape Editor, Ortixia Dilts, Terralingua, and Dr. George Appell, from the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Reasearch as our guest editor.
The issue is set in two parts. In part one, we present articles and stories submitted by Terralingua members from Africa, Mexico, the Caribbean, the Pacific and Canada. Part two, is based on a case study by Dr. Appell on the methods he has developed over 50 years in documenting oral literature.
Below is an excerpt from Dr. Appell’s Editorial:
Oral literature is the repository of the critical knowledge and philosophy for non-literate societies and serves as a vehicle for artistic creativity of great value and beauty. This literature through narrative, poetry, song, dance, myths and fables, and texts for religious rituals provides a portrait of the meaning of life as experienced by the society at its particular time and place with their existential challenges. It encapsulates the traditional knowledge, beliefs and values about the environment and the nature of the society itself. It arises in response to the universal aesthetic impulse to provide narratives that explain the nature of life and human response to challenges. It retains knowledge to be passed on to succeeding generations. It contains the history of the society and its experiences. Thus in various forms this oral literature portrays the society’s belief systems and makes sense of life. It provides a guide to human behavior and how to live one’s life. With the arrival of literacy, the core of this literature and its art rapidly disappears.

Oral Literature is also the repository of the artistic expression in a society. And thus its beauty resonates across cultural boundaries.

Via Charles Tiayon