"Folklore is an echo of the past, but at the same time it is also the vigorous voice of the present...Folklore has been, and continues to be, a reflection and a weapon of class conflict."
From "Russian Folklore," by Y.M. Sokolov. Sokolov discusses the history of folklore in Russia, and how, even though we may not know how a certain tale was created, it obviously had an author at some point, and is wrong to think of it as being composed by the people as a whole. Yet, each individual teller does lend their own interpretation, so that "every 'bearer' of folklore...is at the same time, to a considerable degree, their creator and author."
Also, fun fact-in Russia, often each trade-fishing, lumbering, etc.-would employ a "narrator," someone specially trained in the telling of stories, to entertain while the other employees were working. These narrators would receive pay equivalent to those doing the labor. Speaks a lot to the importance of storytelling, although an "impractical" thing, but one of those aspects of human nature that make the practical necessities all the more bearable...
Image from The Black Apple