Storytelling has captivated our imagination since time immemorial. Our first records of this powerful kind of narrative were found when our ancestors lived in caves. We now know that their walls bore the first forms of storytelling and that the purpose of them was to help the storyteller remember the story. The Mayas, Incas and Aztecs carried out this form of narrative throughout their history. We have found painted symbols from the Australian Aborigines proving that they, too, participated heavily in storytelling. Many ancient cultures show signs of telling stories to their young, to their people, and even though it was for the most part carried out in a rudimentary way with only a combination of the oral part with gestures and expressions, it played an important role in their lives. Later when we got into music and art, storytelling began to grow into, to be told like an oral narrative mixed with composition and painting, the latter turning into Petroglyph and Pictographs which developed into the archaeological Rock Art; the former, as time went by, triggered off a kind of jigging, movement of the body, which eventually turned into dancing. As dances spread with storytelling, the world of this new kind of narrative took on an original dimension. Performance became a part of storytelling as it grew on us.
This way of communication has intrigued us and will always do so as human beings. We love to communicate and storytelling is one of the most important ways to carry it out.
This art form would become a part of our human nature, and as it spread from culture to culture, we began to put these stories in the form of writing and soon started to record them. Storytelling was now history for us as it entered the world of filming. We could now watch this form of narrative with all its combination on the screen.
That traditional way of telling stories, passing it down from generation to generation by way of memory, would now witness a big change and give way to the world of the televised media and its method of communicating. However, storytelling didn’t stop there. It found ways and means to grow into groups, clubs and certain sectors that used it to practice many of its traditional forms such as telling fairy tales, mythology, folktales, fables and legends. Many families are still enjoying storytelling and together with a lot of schools they’ll continue using storytelling as a medium of learning. A lot of countries today that have a high rate of illiteracy rely heavily on storytelling not only as a means to entertain but also as a way of learning for many of their people.
A lot of storytelling organizations have gotten together to carry out festivals where several storytellers’ works are featured and a winner is celebrated. They do so now on a yearly basis as a lot of countries participate in the organization and planning of these festivals. The NSN and the ISC are two of the most prominent organizers of these events as they go out of their way to help storytellers on a worldwide basis get resources to take part in them. This art form will continue moving forward as these celebrations steer it toward the future. A lot of stories are kept alive this way because they’re being told over and over again. Some of them date back as far as Aesop’s fables and seem to have no sign of ever leaving us. Certainly it is because they’re so enriching in style and content. They’re even helping us today in advertising by building customer loyalty. We use them to help resolve conflicts, face challenges, and they’re currently shaping our future by transforming emotional problems and issues into anecdotes or stories so that we can use them to manage complex situations.
We at Wade Hilton from Jamaica have decided to spread the word about storytelling and help make it reach even greater heights. It is an art form that is a part of human history. It has developed with us in a natural way and because of its illustrative and memorable characteristics it will continue to help us create a stronger bond among ourselves as societies, communities, towns, countries and humans. Let us know what you think about this wonderful piece of narrative, this art form that has been with us for such a long time. We can’t wait to hear from you as we try harder to make this natural phenomenon continue playing an important role in our way of life. Storytelling will always be around and will most definitely grow bigger.
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