Vanishing Worlds

Worldwide social and economic changes such as population growth and land use threaten the diversity of human culture. The pressures of globalisation are accelerating the extinction of whole cultures as well as animals and plants.

Preserving cultural diversity helps us understand ourselves. Languages are not simply words and grammar, but vehicles for the transmission of people’s ideas, cultural knowledge and history.

Without urgent action, oral cultures – cultures without written records – will be lost to us forever.

The Vanishing Worlds Foundation is the primary organisation funding urgent fieldwork to record these cultures before they disappear. Through the World Oral Literature Project, we document, archive and make accessible endangered oral literature, including verbal arts such as ritual texts, curative chants, epic poems, musical genres, folk tales, creation tales, songs, myths, legends and word games; life histories and historical narratives; and practical knowledge of medicinal plants and the natural world. We have established a proven scalable model for action. With your help, we can take action now.

  1. November 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Such work is essential and deserves every support.
    Might it in time be related to some anthropological studies?

  2. sonua
    November 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm


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