"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."