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oral tradition

a community's cultural and historical traditions passed down by word of mouth or example from one generation to another without written instruction. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Encyclopedia Article for oral tradition

the lore (traditional knowledge and beliefs) of cultures having no written language. It is transmitted by word of mouth and consists, as does written literature, of both prose and verse narratives, poems and songs, myths, dramas, rituals, proverbs, riddles, and the like. Nearly all known peoples, now or in the past, have produced it.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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