GE CLST M71CW Lecture 6: Oral Histories

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General Education Clusters
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Rensel, M.A.; Le Goff, A.G.; Panofsky, A.L.

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Oral HIstories Oral histories are considered evidence but not necessarily weighed as important as scientific evidence Earlier there was a misconception that oral histories are not reliable Every clan has their respective history that cannot be disregarded In recent decades, archaeology has recognized that oral traditions contribute to our understanding of the past It is not easy to weave together the science and the oral traditions but it can be done The western beliefs holds that if something is not written down, its not reliable But that is not accurate Even written records undergo change and misinterpretations owing to translations Why is it important to incorporate oral histories into archaeological datasets? We see the perspective of an archaeologist and native americans with respect to corn Archaeologist Corn led to them being sedentary It led to an increase in population and consequential social reorganization They acknowledged that corn was difficult to grow but did not incorporate the people into the equation. It was rather abstract Natives Corn farming changed the lives of people in the south west Corn is a part of their identity To them, corn represented humility and acceptance of the superior force of Nature It connects them with land Corn had a higher value that what archaeology would suggest (mere food) The paradigm of corn became a part of the culture and was not like normal farming paradigms
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