n Journal for Contemporary History - Expanding the nature of oral history : examples from the Namoha Battle, Qwa-Qwa, 1950

Volume 31, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



Every family and every place has a history of its own, one that can contributedetailed knowledge to the study of wider historical themes. Every individual, in oneway or the other, plays or has played a part in moulding a society. Therefore, onecannot fully understand what really happened during a particular event if thosepeople who witnessed that event and other related milestones are ignored. Oralhistory methodology provides the necessary tools to record the eyewitness accountsof a particular occurrence. This article looks closely at the nature of oral history,highlighting its definition, importance and how it relates to other forms of historicalinquiry. Its value in the writing of history and what distinguishes it from otherforms of historical enquiry are also dealt with. This article argues that another wayof finding out about the past is to simply talk to people, collecting memories andexperiences of their own lives, of the people known to them and of the events theywitnessed or in which they participated.

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