A Guide to Oral Tradition as Documentation

Guidelines for the Recognition and Approval of Oral Tradition in the Arts and Sciences

These are the guidelines for using oral tradition in Ansteorra as set by the Society MOAS in 2022

  1. Above all, be courteous, respectful, and mindful of cultural sensitivities. Some of the cultures whose arts and sciences we are interested in recreating are present in our contemporary world and may have regulations and/or traditions within their culture regarding how, when, and by whom some of their arts and sciences may be demonstrated, performed, or used.
  2. Provenance, specifying when and where information was collected, ideally including from whom and by whom. Citing “an old story”, “legend”, “mythology”, or “folktale” without specific provenance is not acceptable documentation.
  3. Evidence of oral tradition for that culture prior to the 17th Century. Consider the reputation of the source. Was the source known for accuracy, or for exaggeration?
  4. Consider context. Is this information intended as an historical list of leaders, events, procedures, or items, or is it intended as an allegorical story? Consider the context of the original audience. Has the information been passed down through generations of
    tribal elders, or is it an uncorroborated story relayed only by a modern person?
  5. Consistency with any known archeological record(s), or possibly corroborated by traditions of neighboring peoples, and consistency with any existing academic approaches to oral tradition