Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ashanti Trickster: Anansi Tries To Steal All The Wisdom In The World

A long time ago, Anansi the spider, had all the wisdom in the world stored in a huge pot. Nyame, the sky god, had given it to him. Anansi had been instructed to share it with everyone. Every day, Anansi looked in the pot, and learned different things. The pot was full of wonderful ideas and skills. Anansi greedily thought, "I will not share the treasure of knowledge with everyone. I will keep all the wisdom for myself." So, Anansi decided to hide the wisdom on top of a tall tree. He took some vines and made some strong string and tied it firmly around the pot, leaving one end free. He then tied the loose end around his waist so that the pot hung in front of him. He then started to climb the tree. He struggled as he climbed because the pot of wisdom kept getting in his way, bumping against his tummy.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Chinua Achebe injects a Trickster in "Things Fall Apart"

Jabuti the tortoise
I was recalling writers who have used trickster stories within their stories, when it occurred to me that Chinua Achebe's most famous novel, Things Fall Apart, contains the very tortoise who cracked his shell, only the story is told differently compared to the wedding one I posted a few weeks ago. An Igbo variation perhaps, which is why the variety of trickster stories across languages and cultures interest me greatly, and how they continue to feature in modern storytelling/writing or as independent oral narratives.