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"My name is
They call me
A very long time ago
I won the honor to be the Keeper of
From that day on all stories were called
AnansiStories... or in the old
My AnansiStories are old and new
tales that connect us by way of the
Web of Life."
Copyright 2007 by Michael Auld
|The AnansiStories As Mythology
AnansiStories are part of an ancient mythology that is rooted in West African folklore and concerns the
interaction between divine and semi-divine beings, royalty, humans, animals, plants and seemingly
inanimate objects. These stories continue to provide a moral foundation for the community. Anansi the
Spiderman existed from the time when deities, humans and animals were able to converse with each other.
The book, MYTHOLOGY, The Illustrated Anthology Of World Myth & Storytelling, states that "Myths are the
timeless expression of the imagination -- a continuous creative process of making sense of the universe."
Also, "Myths can be understood as magic mirrors in which the reflection not just of our hopes and fears, but
also those of people from the earliest times can be viewed. Some of these stories are unimaginably old and
almost certainly recounted long before the birth of writing and the dawn of recorded history."
Traditional storytellers did not use the term "trickster" to describe their folkloric heroes. They used local
names for their characters. More recently, tales like the AnansisStories have been placed in the Trickster
Hero genre of mythology. As a trickster, the main character often deceives and exploits his fellow creatures
for his own benefit. "Tricksters will themselves be duped and humbled. And however selfish and course they
are, their antics provoke affectionate laughter, while their quick wits and mystic power inspire awe."