Oral Traditions


2016 Recounting myths, stories, songs, riddles, and poems is a favorite pastime in the Andes and Amazonia. More importantly, these practices are a means of communicating community values and beliefs. They play an integral role in socializing children in these societies.

Student Curator Diego Arellano and Instructional Design Librarian Brian Leaf facilitated this series of digital recordings in Quechua, Spanish and English by Luis Morató, Quechua instructor at The Ohio State University. Here, Professor Morató captures the essence of storytelling in Andean society.

Andean and Amazonian storytelling is rich with symbolism and metaphors. It is often multivocal and has non-prescribed interpretive developments that emphasize dynamic context. It relies on intertextuality, drawing on various modes of expression that work in concert to complete the story. Most importantly, as Rosaleen Howard-Malverde (1997) points out, Andean and Amazonian oral traditions are evocative rather than merely descriptive. In other words, they do not just tell a story but also engage with cultural symbols and meaningfully reproduce them in an experiential and emergent way.