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Traditional Storytelling in South America and Central America

As you can see, I've barely begun to research this continent, so I'd welcome any quotes, reports, resources etc. on the oral traditions and practices of any countries here.

Introduction

“In the South American storytelling tradition it is said that humans are possessed of a hearing that goes beyond the ordinary. This special form is the soul’s way of paying attention and learning. The story makers or cantadoras of old spun tales of mystery and symbolism in order to wake the sleeping soul. They wished to cause it to prick up its ears and listen to the wisdom contained within the telling.”

Jupiter Jones, Magic And Reality in Latin American Literature

“After 15 years of slowly taking root, storytelling is now flourishing in Latin America. According to Argentine anthropologist Adolfo Colombres, the wave is not so much a revival of Latin American narrative traditions, but simply an enthusiasm for oral communication. In countries where few people read, “oral narration strangely enough encourages people to write,” he says. The continent’s storytelling traditions are nevertheless very rich, a mingling of three historically oral societies: the indigenous Indian, the African and to a lesser extent, the local Spanish.”

Asbel López, Weaving magic with the spoken word

Storytelling Traditions in other areas:

Africa
Asia and Middle East
Australasia and Oceania
Europe
North America

On this page:

 

Resources

 

© Tim Sheppard 2003-12. Last updated 19/10/12.

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