The oral tradition in ancient Mexico consisted of the transmission of knowledge from one generation to another through advice, stories or legends. In some rural areas, it is still customary to sit at the door of the house or attend the village kiosk to listen to the stories that grandparents tell, many of them are stories told by their grandparents.
Stories, stories, songs, speeches, prayers, sermons are some of the basic forms that constitute the so-called oral tradition. In indigenous languages, both in Mexico and North America, these oral productions can be considered similar, in general, in terms of their form and function although they have their own characteristics and objectives. It is an almost obvious observation to say that oral tradition is different from written tradition.
The study of verbal art focuses on identifying stylistic resources used in oral texts such as: types of verses, rhetorical patterns, parallels, particles, organization in lines and their marking mechanisms such as intonation contours and pauses. That is, the structural conventions that are used in the composition of textual production.
The various components of the oral tradition are special speech events and all have marks or resort to mechanisms that distance them from everyday speech. The need to differentiate from the usual way of speaking is systematic and also to mark the language at its different levels. Intonation, pauses at the paralinguistic level; phonetic alterations, word substitutions, special vocabulary, particular suffixing at the lexical level; changes in time, appearance, reduplication at the grammatical level; the parallelism, the inclusion of particles and the formulaic structures at the discursive level.
The emperors of native peoples also used oral expression to narrate to the people their exploits their triumphs and the plans they had as leaders of their community.
The field "traditions and oral expressions" encompasses an immense variety of spoken forms, such as proverbs, riddles, stories, children's songs, legends, myths, songs and epic poems, spells, prayers, psalms, songs, dramatic performances, etc. Oral traditions and expressions serve to transmit knowledge, cultural and social values, and a collective memory. They are essential to keep cultures alive.