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 Form 4 Oral Literature Revision Questions

Revision Questions on Oral Literature - Lesson 1
1. Define the term oral literature.
2. Identify three main genres/ categories/forms/types/ kinds/ classes of oral literature
3. State eight (8) types/ subgenres/ sub-categories/ subclasses of oral narratives.

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Answer Text:
Define the term oral literature.

Oral literature is Spoken, acted and performed art whose transmission/ presentation/media is by word of mouth.

Identify three main genres/ categories/forms/types/ kinds/ classes of oral literature.

Oral narratives
Short forms
Oral songs/ poems

State eight (8) types/ subgenres/ sub-categories/ subclasses of oral narratives.
Legends
Myths
Dilemma
Aetiological/ Explanatory/
Why stories (tales)
Trickster narratives/ tales/ stories
Ogre/ monster narratives
Fables
Parables

State all short forms in oral literature:
Proverbs
Riddles
Tongue twisters.
Puns
Jokes
Idioms

State at least 5 key characteristics of the 8 subgenres/ sub-categories of oral narratives.
a) Legends:
They are historical.
Based on community hero/ heroine.
Hero/ heroine have supernatural powers/ abilities.
True in nature.
Hero/ heroine usually sacrifices a lot on behalf of the community.
Have a moral lesson.
b) Myths:
Are sacred/ religious.
Tell about origin of a community; certain beliefs and
customs.
There is reference to superhuman being/ Involve superhuman being.
Based on history of a community.
c) Dilemma tales/ narratives:
Protagonist has to make a tough choice.
None of the choice is easy to make.
Protagonist usually regrets the choice made.
Always ends with a question.
Have a moral lesson.
d) Aetiological/ Explanatory narratives:
Explain the origin of natural phenomena/ occurrences.
Explain why things are the way they are.
Deal with the question: Why?
Heavily rely on the cultural background of the community.
Have a moral lesson.
e) Trickster narratives/ tales/ stories
Involve treachery/ deceit/ cunning; trickster tricks another, dupe is tricked.
Involve small versus big animals.
Small animals are usually intelligent and cunning.
Big animals are usually mighty but gullible and foolish.
Test brain (intelligence) versus brawn (strength/ power)
Small animals always trick the big animals.
Have moral lesson.
f) Ogre or monster narratives
Involve interaction between ogres/ monsters and human beings.
Involve creatures from human imagination and fantasy (unreality).
Creatures have the ability turn themselves into human forms.
Creatures always take advantage of the vulnerable/ weak in the society.
Monsters/ ogres are pursued/ hunted by heroes/ heroines.
Teach a moral lesson.
g) Fables
Involve animal characters.
The animal characters give human qualities and attributes (traits) – personified.
Derived from particular backgrounds.
Politely teach social norms/
standards/ rules.
Teach a moral lesson.
h) Parables
Have a religious allusion/ reference.
Used to teach a moral lesson..
Are a form of education.
Use human characters


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