chapter  2
20 Pages

Oral Tradition and Traditional Knowledge

Native Americans, who are close to their traditional beliefs, and people of mainstream America have a different understanding of history, especially when their history involves their relationship with each other. The linear mind primarily depends on archival documents to write history and the other relies on oral tradition to account for the past. Even their definitions of “history” demonstrate their cultural differences. Native Americans stress a sociocultural kinship of relationships, whereas mainstream Americans rely on a factual interpretation of historical events and human deeds recorded in written documents. What is real? And, to whom? The linear thinker is convinced that history is a measurement of the past and that each new event becomes a part of the collective past in chronological order.