Oral Traditions as Embodiments of Knowledge: The Case of the Kasena of North Eastern Ghana

Asangba Reginald Taluah


Before the advent of the European, every existing African community had its own means of education. Like the Kasena, the worldview of most communities is inextricably woven into the fibre of their oral traditions. Kasena oral traditions express beliefs, values, ideas and other socio-cultural negotiations that depict their philosophy of life. Quite apart from the novelty of technique of Kasena oral traditions, they serve as road guides to their endeavours and offer a better understanding of the spiritual and mundane worlds. Oral traditions embody the sense of time, place and identity of the Kasena in this multicultural world. The ways and manner to practice good hygiene and conserve the environment are embodied in proverbs, whereas the code of conduct and several other social negotiations are carried in folktales and puzzles. However, in the wake of globalization and its attendants such as Christianity, formal education and rural-urban migration amongst a host of other factors, the role and purpose of Kasena oral traditions have taken a down turn. This article therefore seeks to bring to the fore the significant role of Kasena oral traditions in transmitting and maintaining indigenous knowledge. It further examines the negative toll globalization has on Kasena oral traditions.


worldview, tradition, Kasena, oral traditions, knowledge.

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