Today, stories are an intrinsic part of our societies and culture. Movies, books, music, news media, religions, architecture and painting, you name it, and the influence of storytelling is to be seen in all aspects of our life. Defining our values, desires, dreams and, as well as our prejudices and hatreds, don’t you want to know how it all began? Well, the history of Storytelling is the prime focus of this article. Traditionally, the oral stories have been handed over from generation to generation. Read on to know everything about the origins of storytelling.
The storytelling history is quite ancient, lost in the mist of time. Nobody knows when the first story was actually told. Did it happen in the gloomy recess of a cave around a flickering fire told by a primitive hunter? Well, we may never know. But it is believed that origin of storytelling may have come across as an excuse for failure. Perhaps stories were used long time ago to calm the fears or doubts of a family. As families grouped with other families and formed clans, the storyteller, who was good at telling heroic events or other important events of the tribe began to reach position of respect and power. People found them interesting and began to listen to them. The priest, the judge and the ruler were perhaps the earliest to use this art effectively in the history of storytelling. Storytelling days were considered important.
Before man learned to write, he had to rely on his memory to learn anything. For this he had to b a good listener. A good story teller was always respected. He could easily find an audience, eager to devour every exciting bit of information in their stories. These stories were also shared with others in far away lands, when people traveled. The stories traveled with them. And when they returned home, they brought with them exciting new tales of exotic places and people.
The oldest surviving tale in the storytelling history is the epic, Gilgamesh, relating to the deeds of a famous Sumerian king. The earliest known record in the origin of storytelling can be found in the Egypt, when the sons of Cheops entertained their father with stories.
The history of storytelling reveals that the stories came in all variety. Myths, legends of all kinds, fairy tales, trickster stories, fables, ghost tales, hero stories, and epic adventures, these stories were told, retold. Passing down from generations, these stories reflect the wisdom and knowledge of early people. There are stories often used to explain important but often confusing events and disasters in nature at those early times. For example - fire, storms, thunder, floods, tidal waves, lightening etc; It was common for people to believe in the stories of gods, which bound them to a common heritage and beliefs.
In fact, it is believed by most historians and psychologists that storytelling is one of the many things that define and bind our humanity. Humans are perhaps the only animals that create and tell stories.