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Title :

The Relevance of Oral Traditions in African Historiography in the 21st Century

Authors :

Hysaint Eiguedo-Okoeguale

There are many sources for reconstructing the past especially in reference to African Societies. Some of these sources are oral traditions, written sources, linguistic evidence and archaeological discoveries. This paper focuses on the relevance of oral traditions inthe reconstruction of African past. It argues that other sources have been used to the neglect of oral traditions particularly as demonstrated by the contact with the Europeans. Therefore, historians working on African past must make concerted efforts to deploy oral traditions wherever they exist. The paper argues further that since most African societies were non-literate societies; their oral traditions formed the basis for historical source and as such should be analyzed and interpreted for historical reconstruction. In this connection, historians working on Africa must strive to unravel the roots of the identities and cultures of the various African societies. In order to capture these activities adequately, oral traditions remain significant in the reconstruction of the history of any African society. This is because oral traditions possess a value for African societies in the contemporary world