Storytelling is a means for sharing and interpreting experiences that predates writing. Stories are universal in that they can bridge cultural, religious, linguistic, and age-related divides.

Storytelling | © kodomut | Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

In this section you will find short stories and folk tales from around the world. Many of the tales are very old and have been passed down from one generation of storytellers to another. Several have common roots and may resemble tales told in one or more spiritual traditions. Oral tradition in indigenous communities differs somewhat from more modern forms of storytelling in that the stories are told not only for entertainment, but for teaching values or universal truths. A theme may not belong to one specific story, but be found with minor variation in many different stories.

While the recognised role of storyteller is that of entertainer, teacher, problem-solver and builder of community, we often forget about the role of the storylistener. In many cultures, storylisteners may ask questions, add details and even influence the direction of the story. The storylisteners are not just passive recipients but actors who assume collective responsibility with the storyteller for the outcome the tale. Their involvement frees them to imagine new perspectives, potentially turning the event into a transformative and empathetic experience for the whole community.

When known, the author of each tale is cited and the source attributed.