Although I do not believe that the “number three” requirement should limit the classification of a story as a folktale, such a requirement for classifications does elicit several questions. Why the focus on the use of the number three? What does the number three represent?
(1+2) > 3: The Presence of the Number Three in Folktales
By: K. Sean Buvala
As storytelling has moved from its perceived position of folk art to more mainstream recognition, the inevitable attempts to classify, catalog, and define it have become more ambitious. Storytelling is now a subject one can “take” for college credit. Although I believe that learning storytelling in a focused environment is overall a positive area of growth for storytelling, along with these classroom opportunities comes the need to create and memorize definitions of the characteristics of different types of stories.
For many storytellers, educators, and folklorists, the classification of a “folktale” requires that it include some reference to the number or sets of three. Such stories as “Three Blind Mice,” “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” and “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” are common examples of the titles and subjects of basic folktales reflecting this concept. Although I do not believe that the classification of a story as a folktale should be limited by the “number three” requirement, such a requirement for classifications does elicit several questions. Why the focus on the use of the number three? What does the number three represent?
Continue reading “Two Plus One is Greater than Three: The Presence of the Number 3 in Fairytales and Folklore”
Storytelling Saves the Day.
Since the mid-1980s or so, Sean Buvala has been connected to the art of storytelling. He started working with the art form when a group of 13-year-old students were just a bit homicidal (comically, but you never know) during some of Sean’s classes. Working with a story out of pure desperation, he converted those kids from budding criminals (not really, but maybe) to practitioners of the fine art of storytelling. Well, that is how he remembers it.
Storytelling. Publishing. Communication.
Sean tells stories that range from simple fable to complex personal tales. He’s most at home telling stories the audience doesn’t expect but probably needs. You’ll find him most immersed in “inappropriate folktales appropriately told.” He works with adult audiences in a variety of settings. Most of his work these days is as the publisher at “The Small-Tooth-Dog Publishing Group LLC” in Arizona, where he’s helping new authors speak their stories in person and print.
Sean has been presenting and storytelling “on the road” for decades. He’s traveled to perform and present workshops in most of the United States and to hundreds of organizations in those states. His audiences have ranged from just a few people gathered in a living room to several thousand teens and adults. Both national organizations and local groups have experienced Sean as a teller and workshop leader.
Sean’s experience also involves training and design for the telecommunication and hospitality industry. He is especially good for the entrepreneurial and start-up communities. He’s done customer service instruction/team development for companies ranging from government to faith-based organizations to major corporations.
Visit his website at seantells.com.