Tag Archives: Oral Tradition

Where do we go from here?

Does technology ever get to you? When is enough, enough?

Last night while I was flipping from a basketball game, to a news show, and a Roman movie, I have seen several times, all of a sudden it was too much. Of course I waited until the game was over (it was a close one); I had heard all of the rhetoric on the news before; and, of course, I knew how the movie was going to end (but I watched it to the end anyway). Suddenly, I leaned back and pushed the “off” button – Silence. Wow, it had been so noisy, and then it became quiet. I could hear the dog breathing, the wind was blowing outside, and I took a sigh of relief or was it detachment?

I talked recently about “oral tradition”- Indian folklore or stories handed down from one generation to the next. How did the story remain consistent? Haven’t you heard a story and somehow added in a few tidbits and made it more interesting? Today we have the internet, books written, a lot of media ways to preserve a story. But how did family members from generation to generation keep it all straight? I am sure they couldn’t and didn’t, not sure. But that isn’t a concern at this point in my story.

Some years ago I was a teacher for 5thand 6th graders in our Vacation Bible School. We were learning about Paul’s journeys in the Bible. He wrote letters to the various churches he visited and that is what we have today in the Bible. (I am not preaching here by the way).

My point here is, I did an experiment with the kids. I set up a tape recorder in a cave-like setting. (I was thinking of the movie “Planet of the Apes” at the time, where they found an old book in a cave. (Do I have the right movie?) Anyway, I recorded a futuristic story somewhat about the movie and finding this book. Each student could only listen to the previous recording and then record the story the way they interpreted it. By the end of all the recordings, there was a lot of blah, blah, blah! No sense to the story at all.

So what do we learn from this? The “oral tradition” stories had to be carefully articulated so as not to lose its meaning.

State of Kansas Seal

Today is “Kansas Day

Kansas became a state 154 years ago – January 29, 1861. I am thinking of all the history passed down since then. Was it recorded correctly?

Seal of Kansas