Have you ever watched a group of young men at the street corner chatting? Observed their gestures as they speak? Listened to the pitch of voice and rate of speech? Have you ever wondered why our men, husbands need to gather at the bar or rumshop every Friday evening? Have you ladies who go to the salon every Saturday for a mani-pedi and a glamorous coiffure listened to and even participated in the talk in the salon? If you have done all of these then you have been watching or participating in storytelling.
Pop story Gimme!
When your husband or wife comes home and tells you what happened at the office during the day, they are storytelling. (Of course many a cheating spouse has had to create a few stories themselves but that is another story for another time) When you recount little incidences that took place during your day, you are storytelling, when the teacher introduces a class to a literary text or the history of Egypt that teacher is storytelling and stories are told to entertain children at parties and other social events.
To get together to talk, to recount stories and experiences is a natural behaviour pattern of Jamaicans. Storytelling is as old as the hills. In the context of our rich Jamaican culture our African ancestors who belonged to an oral society where information was passed on from generation to generation by the spoken word, storytelling was used to pass on the mores of the society to the young generation.
Use your head or Tale
On a lighter note, I remember as a child when you got in trouble and you knew your parents where going to be less than pleased automatically a story would have been created. In school there was always a story to tell, whether it was someone telling a tall
tale about his family or just as a joke on another person.
Storytelling -An Art from the Heart
Storytelling is an engaging way of informing while entertaining, so much so that there is a new word, which has been, coined -EDUTAINMENT – a word that is composed from the two words education and entertainment. There is an art in telling stories which result in them being unforgettable experiences. The Caribbean has over the years seen many spellbinding storytellers such as Jamaicans, Amina Blackwood-Meeks, Jean Small, Adziko Simba and Trinidadian great Paul Keens- Douglas. How could I forget a great Calypsonian storytellers like The Mighty Sparrow and of course the interesting lyrics of many a mento song.
Long live the Story Teller !!!
Like the Griots of Africa, they are a repository of oral tradition. Engaging audiences with devastating wit and wisdom of the ages, our storytellers carry on this African tradition proudly, right here in the Caribbean.