Obviously there are some undeniable advantages to written history, such as availably, the ability to make copies, accuracy (removing human memory when retelling), etc. However it seems like there's a real prejudice against oral histories, even when it's the only record keeping of a culture.

If we look at Native American culture for example oral storytelling appears to be the main or only way of record keeping in the vast majority of Native American tribes. I realise that many of these stories include metaphors and mysticism, however so does the Bible and it's often looked at in a historical sense to understand the culture and thinking of the Jewish people during the BC years. Despite the mysticism and metaphors in its pages it's often in part considered from a historical perspective. Yet when it comes to Native American culture we seem to consider the writings of white settlers (and the obvious written bias that comes from an outsider to a culture) as more "reliable" than the stories of Native Americans.

I'd just like to hear your thoughts on whether r/history thinks this bias is justified or not, and how this bias may lead to a warped emphasis on certain historical events over others (ex. Eurocentrism).

Source: reddit post


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