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Anansi

Anansi folk tales originated in Ghana, West Africa. Parents have used the humorous stories to teach their children life lessons for many, many generations. Today we can find Anansi, his wife Aso and their children, happily tucked into the memories of folks all across the African Diaspora. From Ghana, to the Caribbean, to the South Eastern US, you will get a wide smile and pleasant reminiscing eyes upon the mention of the humorous trickster named Anansi.

During the fall months of October and November, we see many exhibitions and inclusion of spiders. This is in part because spiders become more active and visible to us. It is also a great time to re-tell and celebrate the adventures of the original Spiderman – Anansi! Many people today are looking to find alternatives to scary, shadow filled Halloween parties. An Anansi celebration can provide families with a fun and healthy alternative that even includes stories that teach life lessons.

There are many activities that you can include in an Anansi celebration. My first suggestion is to obtain a book of Anansi stories. This will allow you to choose several Anansi folk tales to read and enjoy during the celebration. The stories are easy to read and share, and they offer plenty of room for embellishment. You can keep the celebration a simple family affair or invite friends and extended family to join in the fun.

Including a karamu (feast) will make your celebration extra special. Because the Tricky spider is known throughout the African Diaspora, there are a wide range of foods you can include. Black Beans with rice (Anansi LOVES beans), sweet potato biscuits, and gumbo are just a few yummy ideas that come to mind. On the sweeter side of things, you can help the kids to create Anansi cupcake pops, design spider web cupcakes or cookies. Of course the focus should be on the FUN so be sure to use all the creativity you can muster!

Crafting might also be a great way to celebrate the tricky little arachnid. Girls can create an Anansi/Aso hair clips while the boys work on Anansi knapsack clasps. Placemats featuring Anansi are quite inexpensive when you use recycled/up cycled materials.

Last but not least be sure to take loads of pictures to remember all the beautiful smiles this little spider will bring you. Be sure to share them with us via email or face book! His antics are a really fun way to spend one evening this fall.


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