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Oral traditions refers to the history handed down by word of mouth from one generation to another. It is usually done by talking and listening usually to elders who are believed to be more knowledgeable about past events. The following are the disadvantages of oral tradition;

1.Can easily be lost if someone who knows the data dies.In many societies it is the elderly who have the information which is passed over from generation to generation, in case the elder dies it means the information he/she had has disappeared with that person.

2.Language barrier.As oral tradition involves the passing down of history by use of the word of mouth, the problem of a language barrier is a big hindrance. For example, a person who might have valuable information might be using a language the historian does not understand this therefore will limit the process of communication.

3.Cannot stand on its own. Poems, stories, jokes etc. do not tell history directly they simply contain valuable information of how people produced and reproduced themselves leaving out the important aspects of the historical touch. It therefore gives the historian a hard time to supplement and analyse the given informationcritically.

4.Their reliability is rather problematic. It is impossible to judge how much is true history and how much only folklore fiction, legends and myth. This can be evidenced in the stories that are told to young children for example stories of the hare, the lion and many others. Therefore, it is difficult to distinguish what is the fact and what is imaginary.

5.Conscientiousness of that person. Is he/she transmitting them the way he heard them or he corrected them for some purpose or other. It is very difficult to understand if someone is telling you the event as he was told or is he adding in other information.

6.Variation in language. In some instances different languages might have similar words but with differing meanings. This will therefore result confusion on the side of the historian or researcher as some of the information might be lost.

7.Most of narrations are centered on people of status in society. Kings, chiefs, queens are often talked about in such stories, there is often little consideration about the masses.

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