the story of folk tales

Components of tale-telling

          There are five major components of tale-telling

          1. Tale tellers. These are persons who have particular skills and styles for telling stories because he/she will make the stories even more exciting. Each tale teller may memorize tales’ content in different ways. They may also be interested in different details. Some tellers who like telling stories briefly normally memorize major content and skip some parts of the story. On the contrary, those who are interested in more details would extensively describe the story. Hence, the same tale may have different details and content.

          2. Tale body. The body of tale is considered as a substance or content of the story that would be delivered to listeners. As aforementioned, there are various types of tales with different lengths and contents. As such, there may be different stories for the same tale known as different “version”. Prakong Nimmanhemin (2000, p.38) explained “version” as:
“Version is a common word used for describing the same folk tales that are collected from different locations or collected from the same tellers but at different period of times. A tale collected from one teller or collected at one occasion is regarded as one version of that tale”.

          3. Tale audiences. The tale audiences (listeners) or bearers may be slightly different from other message receivers because tale audiences are more interested in the story and try to participate in such as asking questions, protesting, or supporting the tale’s substances. Interactions between tellers and audiences create an excellent atmosphere and more fun of tale-telling. The folklore categorize tale audiences into two types (Siraporn Thitathan, 1980, pp.22-23), which includes:
          3.1. Passive bearers tradition. This refers to those who like listening to tale-telling. They can remember the story but cannot tell the story.
          3.2. Active bearers tradition. This refers to those who has talent of tale-telling. When they have listened to tales told by others, they can precisely remember the stories and lively tell that story to others. They also have attractive styles of tale-telling. This group of audience has important roles in transferring and distributing tales.

          4. Purposes of tale-telling. Most objectives of tale-telling are mainly for entertainment. Meanwhile, there can be other purposes which depend on the tellers. With the same tale, the tellers may have different purposes which can be summarized as follows.
          1. For entertainment and relaxation during free times.
          2. For teaching purposes such as fables.
          3. For educational purposes such as tales of locations and natural phenomena.
          4. For religious propagation such as the Ramayana and tales of Gods, etc.

          5. Occasions of tale-telling. Tales can be told in almost all occasions including during the traditional ceremonies, religious rites, or when working together such as farming, cotton harvesting, basketry, embroidery, preparations for traditional ceremonies, and during traveling, etc. Tales are also told on the occasions that people are not able to go anywhere freely such as, for example, in the cool or raining season. Tale-tellers are normally priests or monks who like to include teachings into the tale’s content. It can be observed that nighttime is the most appropriate for telling tales because people have already finished their daily works and gathered for relaxation. There can be a variety of tales stories but they are normally changed to ghost stories when late at night.
Among the aforementioned components of tale-telling, tale-teller is the component that has most influence on changes of the tale’s content. Hence, tales that have been spread to various places have been inevitably changed according to changes of tellers.


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