Oral Tradition

At the core of the Bard Events is a Myth Telling.  One of our storytellers literally returns to the oral tradition and tells a story.  This moment, this ritual is fundamental.  It keeps us grounded in the wisdom, grounded in the tradition both in terms of process (oral telling) and the content (the myths themselves).

Following the Myth Telling the participants are split into small groups to discuss their ‘take’ on the story.  We believe two things about this step:

  1. Interpretation – the interpretation of the meaning of the story, the analysis of the story is up to participants.   We do not see it as the Bard Team, that it is our role to do this analysis.  We can offer guidance as to how to analyse and share some tools and techniques, but the analysis is up to the group.
  2. Modernity – the interpretation of the story is largely in terms of what it says about modernity.  We side with anthropologists in studying oral traditions (Goody and Vansura) stress that the listener is using the story to reflect on today.  It is not a history lesson but rather a means of cultural analysis.  And, the way we put it, borrowing from McLuhan, ‘the one thing about which the fish knows nothing is water’.  Culture is like water, all around yet very difficult to ascertain.  There is no anti-water or other water to understand and describe.  The story always being of an ‘other world’ enables this contrast.
  3. Myth and Modernity – An Approach to Cultural Analysis – so it is in this context that the Bard Team record the conversations, connections and insights.  What this section of the Bard website is about is the comments made by participants at events.  They are summarised here.
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