Ruth Finnegan (1992)wrote on oral traditions, that:

“In the context of oral history Finnegan defines oral tradition as strictly speaking…those recollections of the past that are commonly or universally known in a given culture…[and] have been handed down for at least a few generations’

‘Oral tradition’ sometimes means any kind
of unwritten tradition (including physical monuments, religious statues or church frescoes), sometimes only tradition(s) enunciated or transmitted through words (thus excluding and contrasting with the previous examples)

Particular emphasis is laid on the recent interdisciplinary work
on performance, on the processes involved in the creation and analysis of texts, and on related ethical issues

the kinds of topics discussed are relevant to current anthropological work on, for example, memory, the
emotions, artistic expression and individual creativity


Finnegan, Ruth.1992.Oral Traditions and the Verbal Arts, a Guide to Research Practices, ASA Research Methods, Anthony Good (ed)Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005,USA and Canada by Routledge