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Book: Indigenous Religious Traditions in Five Minutes

Chapter: 72. How are Indigenous narratives and oral traditions like “texts?”

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.43187


In the analysis of human cultural production, any collection of symbolically meaningful things can be read as a “text.” But if we are confining the discussion to the stories associated with the deepest meanings of a social system, then both written and oral narratives fulfill the role of “religious” or “sacred” texts. In fact, many of the world’s religions began and continue traditions of oral transmission of stories, so in that way, indigenous narratives are very much like the religious texts we study.

Chapter Contributors

  • Dennis Kelley ( - Kelley266540739) 'University of Missouri, Columbia'