The aim of this thesis was to explore the oral literature of the island of Cres, which has not been systematically recorded, evaluated and described so far. This thesis takes as its premise that an area's oral literary tradition is passed down from one generation to the next, preserving a form of narrative continuity specifics – in this case, specifics particular to the Cres Island. Transcriptions of the oral traditional culture of the island can be found in various sources. Besides recording the oral tradition of the island of Cres, another important goal was to analyse and describe the oral literary traditions according to motif, theme and genre, with an overview of the context and functions of the collected corpus obtained during the research and the society's attitude towards its own oral traditional culture. In order to carry out the research, the corpus of oral literary texts was self-collected through field research conducted multiple times in 2006, 2013, 2018, and 2019. In addition to the self-collected corpus, the author used recordings already available in numerous published and unpublished sources. The corpus was categorized according to period of collection, genres, themes, and motifs that specific texts discuss, using the general divisions of oral literary materials. Taking into account the social context that affects oral literary communication, attitudes toward tradition, and the roles that oral tradition serves in the community from which it originated, this work also provided a brief history of the island of Cres. In addition to the records I collected myself, I also compiled existing material of oral literature from various sources. The corpus used for this study thus includes 513 stories, 245 poems, and 133 proverbs, for a total of 891 inscriptions. Before 2006, 390 recordings were made, and 501 recordings were produced after 2006. Using the standard categories for oral literary materials, the corpus is divided into categories based on time collected, genre, and themes. The three main categories are oral stories, oral poems and proverbs. Oral narratives are divided into folktales (demonological, etiological, and historical), folk tales about buried treasures, legends, jokes, fortune telling, superstitions, and everyday stories. There were 513 oral tales collected. Before 2006, when the collection of folklore of the island of Cres for this thesis began, 77 recorded tales used for this study were written. Within the corpus of stories, there is the largest number of folktales – 377 of them. Secondly, following in number, 61 legends were compiled. There are also 30 jokes, 16 everyday and funny stories, 10 superstitions and 7 fortune tellings. Among the folktales, the number of demonological folk tales is the largest with 281 narrative. Most of the demonological folklore emerged in recent times (after 2006) – 230 demonological tales have been recorded. A total of 245 oral poems were gathered by the author, of which 193 are included in the older narratives and 52 in the more recent ones. The Tanja Perić-Polonijo categorization is used to categorize poems based on the themes they address, with addition of a few ballads and a few children songs. Proverbs that don't account for a sizable portion of the record are also included in the corpus. There were 133 proverbs that were noted. Thirty-six records existed prior to 2006, and thirteen records were made during the field research. Corpus was described and analysed. The specific features of the recordings and texts were described, as their contemporary function, the vitality of some genres and specific motifs, and finally attitude of the community towards its own verbal culture. The interpretation of the texts gave insight into the existence of different genres of oral literature on Cres, their characteristics, and their representation in older and newer records. Characteristics of the corpus are influenced by elements of culture and the life of local people. Oral literature primarily addresses the community. It represents shared knowledge, experience, and moral values. It must be embraced and accepted by the community as a whole in order for it to survive, and it needs to reflect the worldview of an individual within the community that uses that oral literature. Through various genres and themes, oral literature problematizes the reality of the society in which it was created in the broadest sense of the word. When interpreting verbal traditional culture, it is important to take into account the social context and space in which oral literature functions and the community that imitates it to gain insight into oral literary potential. The oral literature of Cres follows the same currents that are characteristic of oral literature in general. They are connected to the changes in the 20th and 21st centuries when it has lost the functions it had in the years before. Under the influence of the changed habits and needs of modern man, there has been a change in the attitude towards verbal traditional culture, which is still in circulation, but not within the same limits as before. Oral literature is still alive in the oral communication of the island of Cres. Recipients still exist, the functions of oral literature are narrowed, and performances are more modest, but they are still present despite dynamic social changes. The previous situation was researched and it determined that particular segments of the oral literature have taken on different functional features with time. It turned out that some themes and motifs changed their genres according to the functions that they gain or lose and according to their meaning in the social milieu they are performed in. Some genres of oral literature have a more prominent and relevant function in modern society and they appear to be more adaptable to the context of living, preserving, and producing the local identity of Cres and its cultural representation. The thesis consists of seven consecutive chapters with the literature references in the end, a list of graphics, a list of narrators, and recordings of oral literature that the interpretation of this thesis is based on. The introductory chapter describes some of the basic terms that will be discussed in the paper – oral literature, tradition, culture, traditional culture. Contemporary trends concerning the functioning of oral literature in modern times in general, as well as on the island of Cres, are described. The method of finding the tellers and the telling situations are described in the second chapter, Methodology and theoretical settings of the research, which also provides definitions of the fundamental theoretical concepts of this work, including culture, tradition and traditional culture, verbal traditional culture, cultural heritage, and identity. An overview of Croatian oral literature research history and a review of the research on Cres are provided in the chapter on the overview of existing research. In keeping with the process of reawakening national consciousness and the then-dominant interest in oral literary heritage in Europe, Croatia's interest in traditional culture and oral literature grew stronger in the 19th century. Resonance of Ilyrism is felt in Istra, Primorje, and Kvarner islands and local enthusiasts worked on assembling the oral literature recordings and narratives. Over the century there has been a vast array of incentives for collecting literature materials. The fourth chapter provides a geographical and historical overview of Cres Island. Its location was crucial for the island's social structure as well as for the island's economic, historical, and transportation infrastructure. Frequent geopolitical shifts, poor economic conditions, and deteriorated environmental conditions that Cres was exposed to throughout history had an impact on the island’s traditional culture and the community's attitude toward it, which is another topic of research in this thesis with an emphasis on oral literature. The fifth chapter, "Analysis of the thematic and motivic features of the corpus", is divided into several components. In it, the collected corpus is classified and analysed. First, the stories that make up the largest part of the collected corpus were analysed. The stories are divided into folk stories (demonological, historical, and etiological), legends, jokes, superstitions, divination, jokes, and everyday and humorous stories. Then follows an analysis of the poems, which are divided according to the topic discussed, based on Tanja PerićPolonijo's classification. The last and smallest part of the corpus consists of proverbs. The sixth chapter is divided into two parts. In this chapter it is mainly spoken about the functions of oral literature on Cres Island, the cultural identity of the inhabitants, and their attitude towards their own verbal traditional culture as well as its adaptation to the changes of the context it is developed in. While interpreting the verbal traditional culture it is significant to take into account the surrounding social context and the area where the oral literature obtains, and the community that will inherit this literature to get a sense of the future potential. In the Conclusion, the last chapter of the thesis, final observations are made regarding the current environment in which oral literature is created, adjustments to its role, and its persistence and continuing importance in oral communication. The research for this thesis led to the conclusion that verbal traditional culture had lost some of its prior functions but gained some new ones that were better suited to the needs of modern man. The literature's structure and themes were influenced by alterations in human behaviour and tailored to the requirements of the contemporary Cres population. The amount of Cres' oral literature currently in circulation has decreased, and the contexts in which it is employed have also altered. Some themes and genres are more relevant and deeply ingrained in contemporary culture. These are the ones that have effectively changed and kept on meeting the community's needs. The conclusions of the field research showed that oral literature is still being performed. Verbal folklore today reflects certain aspects of Cres Island culture. In the framework of living, preserving, and developing the local identity of the island of Cres and the cultural representation of the island, several genres of oral literature serve a more significant purpose in modern society. It shows how the community continues to preserve and pass along particular oral literary genres and topics. The community also identifies itself with the part of the oral literature heritage that serves the needs within literature and outside the literal narrative, although diminished usage of oral literature in the identity of the inhabitants is clearly visible. Although many of the narratives are definitely lost, a vast literary opus remains present.