Chidi Anene, Chinonyerem Njoku


The traditional African mode of education is the oral tradition which involves collective testimonies and recollection of the past inherited from earlier generations. It is believed that that because most African societies have oral, non-literary traditions, they have been able to develop complex and striking webs of eyewitness account, folklore, stories, proverbs, idioms, legends and myths for all imaginable circumstances; African myths therefore form the ideals and beliefs of cultural practices. As important as this oral tradition is, it has continued to be a reservoir of inexhaustible wisdom where Africans learn about their origin, history, culture and religion; about meaning and reality of life; about morals, norms and survival techniques. Such is the beauty of oral tradition whose narrative the Igbo oral traditional historians are embedded as a link between the past and the present and future existence of the people as well as serving the purpose of the intellectual historians in the ivory tower. Indeed, the traditional Igbo oral historians mediates between town and gown for the survival of our cherished past. In the light of above, this discourse is examined under the following themes: the nature and mode of indigenous education; importance of oral history in the contemporary times, community oral historians as professional historians, and lastly, the role of community oral historians as reservoirs and curators of indigenous historical scholarship and concluding remarks.

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