Voices of vanishing worlds
"The World Oral Literature Project has recently been established to support the collection of oral literature by funding, training and working with local communities and fieldworkers who are engaged in documentation projects. 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 expressions may be ritual texts, curative chants, epic poems, folk tales, songs, word games, life histories or historical narratives. However, globalisation and socioeconomic change exert complex pressures on smaller communities, eroding expressive diversity and transforming culture through assimilation to moredominant ways of life. Of the world’s 6,000 natural languages, as many as half will probably not survive for another generation. As vehicles for the transmission of unique cultural knowledge, languages are repositories of oral traditions that become threatened when elders die and livelihoods are disrupted ..."