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Campbell, John (2006) 'Who are the Luo? Oral tradition and disciplinary practices in history and anthropology.' Journal of African Cultural Studies, 18 (1). pp. 73-87.

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What is oral tradition, and how can it help elucidate the past and understand the relationship between culture, social organization and identity today? It turns out that this question is complicated by the influence of early European narratives that described and defined African society and which have also indelibly marked the methods, assumptions and forms of narrative writing used by contemporary social science. This paper addresses this vexing issue with respect to research on the Luo-speaking peoples of Eastern Africa by examining how anthropologists and historians have approached ‘oral tradition’ and how their approach has influenced the way they write about Luo culture, society and identity.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 13696815
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2007 13:13

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