Where do the stories come from?

Here's part of an answer:

Human beings have made stories since ever.

Tree Animal head

Stories are made to entertain, or to explain things in the natural world, or to deal with emotional stuff in people's lives.

Like jokes and urban myths nowadays, the memorable ones survived, but only as long as people remembered them and told somebody else.

When the ancient Greeks began writing some of their myths down, some of their poets complained that this would weaken them; they also predicted people would lose the art of remembering.

Surviving themes often have been adapted into new stories, reassembled, given local twists, but essentially, retold verbally.
Historical context changes but the themes stay, and regularly reappear in films, soaps, books, songs and games. There's good evidence some themes have survived amazingly complete for 10,000 years, maybe more.

Many traditional stories were collected from tellers in the 19th century. Collectors, including the Grimm brothers in Germany, got people such as nursemaids to tell them the tales they told.

Tree with Bison like head

Before that? - Various printed sources, including the cheap "chapbooks" sold by travelling vendors.
There are literary re-tellings, such as Chaucer's 14th century "Canterbury Tales" which drew on earlier printed collections, especially the Decamaron.

Before that?
...and before that?
Luttrell fox and goose

Stories travelled huge distances.
Sailors travel, the Romany people travel, refugees travel, soldiers, traders ... and stories travel with such people. They take root, and tellers add their own local details, based on their own lives, and landscapes and imaginations.

And wherever people have had imagination, they have gone on reworking them and re-telling them. They're are still being collected.

Fox and goose stories probably come from every country where people know foxes and geese!

The Ancient Greek story of King Midas with Donkey's ears turned up both in Wales and Ireland, in each case with horse's ears.
...It's a good story too - I'll tell you if you book me - and the Irish one has a harp in it.

Stories for nowadays?

Good live storytelling can create community. It can promote children's concentration, listening and language, emotional maturity and more. Listening is a social activity, both calming and stimulating.

"The children are used to having stories read to them but to hear them told by a storyteller was a new experience for them and to see an expert at work was a real treat." Teacher Evaluation.

Traditional stories can address many issues, some of them very difficult.

There are liars, cheats, damaged and damaging people, abusive parents, and fears and dangers to face, as well as heroes and heroines, joys and triumphs.
Each listener understands only as many implications as they are ready for, and creates their own pictures in their own mind.
Richard telling another bit of story Stories are widely recognised as a safe way of approaching such issues: some stories are quite tough, but meeting the emotions involved in a story allows the brain to rehearse what might happen when real life delivers tough things.
Good stories are language, and emotion, they're alive and entertaining, and a pathway to somewhere in your imagination.

"Thoroughly enjoyable Different and superb, glad we came to this!"- Audience feedback, Nuneaton Art Gallery & Museum, Feb 2014

The stories are always fresh and alive each time, they aren't scripted.

Traditional Storytelling is never read out from a book.
That's reading aloud, which is often excellent, but is different!

My work telling traditional stories and playing music for schools and museums is mainly in the counties of Northampton, Bedford, Buckingham, Oxford, Leicester, South Lincs, Rutland, Warwick, and Herts.

While most of my work is in schools, I love performing for other audiences too. I travel further afield too. It's always worth asking!

Please Contact me for more details