21 May, 2008

Countryman Encyclopaedia Project

Is the Andean oral tradition defined by its orality or does it imply a diversity of factors which are maintained in the relationship between society and nature?


The study of oral traditions from the beginnings of the Andean rural population allows a better understanding of the process of transferral of knowledge.  By establishing the role played by the natural context (time, environment, referential subject-elements, participants, variations, etc) in the oral tradition, methodological routes would become evident which could be incorporated into pedagogical approaches.

There can be no leaves without roots
The community is both the start and end point.  In 1981, the Rural Libraries of Cajamarca wrote down the stories of our communities, compiled them in books and then published them to be given back to the communities.  “It is not enough to just read and write, we must produce our own books”.  In 1986 the Countryman Encyclopaedia Project was founded and together community members gave rise to the series We the Cajamarquinos: 20 volumes in which they describe the lives of those who were and those who continue to be.  Identity and dignity form part of the process to strip away the glitz that always surrounded the book as an instrument of power.  “Now, we not only read, we also write”.  And life continues.   
  

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