World Oral Literature Project

Here is some information I have recently received on the World Oral Literature Project:

I am pleased to announce the launch of the World Oral Literature Project
project and website:

The World Oral Literature Project is an urgent global initiative to
document and make accessible endangered oral literatures before they
disappear without record.

For many communities around the world, the transmission of oral
literature from one generation to the next lies at the heart of cultural
practice. These creative works–which may include ritual texts, curative
chants, epic poems, musical genres, folk tales, creation tales, songs,
myths, legends, word games, life histories or historical narratives–are
increasingly endangered. Globalisation and rapid socio-economic change
exert complex pressures on smaller communities, often eroding expressive
diversity and transforming culture through assimilation to more dominant
ways of life. As vehicles for the transmission of unique cultural
knowledge, local languages encode oral traditions that become threatened
when elders die and livelihoods are disrupted. Of the world’s over 6,000
living languages, around half will cease to be used as spoken
vernaculars by the end of this century.

The World Oral Literature Project has been established to support local
communities and committed fieldworkers engaged in the collection and
preservation of oral literature by providing funding for original
research, alongside training in fieldwork and digital archiving methods.

Please visit our website for more information about our supplemental
grants programme, activities and planned publications.

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