Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Easier - Since people began to communicate with each other, "Tell me a story" has been a request of both children and adults. Storytelling is one person telling others of something. The story can be of a real event or it can be made up. Storytelling is often a part of our everyday conversations.

Harder - Storytelling is one of the earliest forms of folkart. Storytelling probably first consisted of simple chants that praised the dawn, expressed the joy of being alive, and were used to ease the drudgery and boredom of laborious tasks. Later the storyteller became the community entertainer by combining their stories with poetry, music, and dance. The storyteller also evolved into the group historian. This was the beginning of professional storytelling.

Storytelling during the Middle Ages was expanded into the art of the traveling troubadour, who journeyed across the land. They were welcomed in castle, court, and market place. They gathered the news, conveyed the best tales, and were expected to know the favorites in each region. The invention of moveable type and the development of the print publishing business led to reading replacing listening, and the decline of storytelling.

In recent decades, there has been a renewed interest in the art of storytelling. Professional storytellers tour the United States and Canada. Likewise storytelling conferences and festivals abound and attract a wide audience. In formal storytelling today, the teller prepares a story to present to their listeners. Some storytellers tell stories from their own imagination. Other stories have been gathered, sometimes adapted from books and other storytellers. Folklore stories such as myths, epics, legends, and fables continue to be favorites.

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