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Your Questions About Anansi the Spider

Mary asks…

Anansi presentation suggestions?

Im doing a project on an african myth. My group choose the anansi spider. We don’t know how to make the presentation exciting and we can’t seem to find any interesting myths with the anansi spider in them….PLEASE HELP!!!

admin answers:


In some beliefs, Anansi created the sun, stars and the moon, as well as teaching mankind the skills involved in agriculture.

Another story tells of how Anansi tried to hoard all of the world‘s wisdom in a calabash. In the end he realizes the futility of trying to keep all the wisdom to himself, and released it. Anansi originated from Ghana-the eve part.

Most cultures that have Anansi folktales also have the story of how Anansi became King of All Stories, not just his own. In the original Ashanti version of this story, Anansi approaches Nyame, the Sky God, with the request that he be named King of All Stories.

Nyame then tells Anansi that if he can catch The Jaguar With Teeth Like Daggers, The Hornets Who Sting Like Fire, and The Fairy Whom Men Never See, he will be King of Stories. Anansi agrees, despite Nyame’s doubt that he can do it.

Anansi then tricks the jaguar, who intends to eat him, into playing a game that allows Anansi to tie him up. He tricks the hornets by pretending that it is raining, and telling them to hide in a calabash. He tricks the fairy with the gum/tar baby trick told below.

He then takes them to Nyame and becomes King of All Stories. Other versions, notably Caribbean variations, of this story involve Anansi getting Snake for Lion/Tiger.

The one of the few times Anansi himself was tricked, was when he tried to fight a tar baby after trying to steal food, but became stuck to it instead. The “tar-baby” tale appears in a variety of ethnic African folklore contexts. It is best known from the Brer Rabbit version, found in the Uncle Remus stories. These were derived from African-American folktales in the Southern United States. Ultimately this version was adapted and used in the 1946 live-action/animated Walt Disney movie Song of the South.

Many Anansi stories deal with him attempting to trick people into allowing him to steal food or money, or something else that could turn a profit, only for the trick itself to backfire upon Anansi.

There animated videos of Anansi tales on YouTube, and there are many children’s books and stories about Anansi.

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