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This article refers to oral history within the 
phisqhasuyu - Journal of Peruvian Studies 
mainly - categories of the academia wikia.

Students of oral history in Europe and in the Andean countries all have a rich tradition to call upon.

Europe / Britain Edit

In Northern Europe - and especially Britain, Denmark and Sweden - the epic poem "Beowulf" often opens the study of literature. Beowulf recounts events (part fact, part fiction) which in all probability took place in the sixth and seventh centuries when peoples from (e.g. the area which is now Denmark / Frisian Islands . . ) were settling the eastern areas of England following the earlier retreat of the Romans. The earliest surviving document in which the oral epic poem had been written down is from the early eleventh century (some 400 years after the events). It appears to have been transcribed in East Anglia, Britain and was written in the Early-English language - the first such written document in that language which survives. In Britain there are earlier documents but they were written in Latin and not in "English".


The history of the story of Beowulf spans the transition from oral accounts to a written document. See: http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/~beowulf/main.html

The Andean countries Edit

The earliest surviving "document" is arguably the quipu discovered at the archaeological site of Caral, north of Lima, Peru. It is more than 4000 years old (see Caral in minkapedia). However this quipu is not decoded. Some progress is being made in decoding later quipukuna and there are early accounts of a quipukamayoc "reading" poetry from the chords of a quipu (Brotherston quoting Garcilaso de la Vega). However it is not until the sixteenth century that the oral history and traditions come to be written down in recognisable script - mainly in the Spanish of the day, but also in vernacular languages: Quechua, Aymara, Puquina . . . , using Roman alphabets. One of the best known documents in Quechua is the Huarochiri manuscript.

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