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Opinions Sun, 20 Oct 2013

Is Asanteman Getting Weaker

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Comment: Ashantis, Are the kwaku Ananses

Author:
Ahoofe Adofo
Date:
2013-10-20 13:47:43
Comment to:
Re: Is Asanteman Getting Weaker

Anansi
.
Anansi the trickster is a West African god. He often takes the shape of a spider and is considered to be the god of all knowledge of stories. He is also one of the most important characters of West African and Caribbean folklore.
He is also known as Ananse, Kwaku Ananse, and Anancy; and in the southern United States he has evolved into Aunt Nancy. He is a spider, but often acts and appears as a man.
The Anansi tales are believed to have originated in the Ashanti people in Ghana. (The word Anansi is Akan and means, simply, spider.) They later spread to other Akan groups and then to theWest Indies, Suriname, and the Netherlands Antilles. On Curaçao, Aruba, and Bonaire he is known as Nanzi, and his wife as Shi Maria.

Stories[edit]
Anansi tales are some of the best-known in West Africa[1] The stories made up an exclusively oral tradition, and indeed Ananse himself was synonymous with skill and wisdom in speech.[2] It was as remembered and told tales that they crossed to the Caribbean and other parts of the New World with captives via the Atlantic slave trade.[3] In the Caribbean Anansi is often celebrated as a symbol of slave resistance and survival. Anansi is able to turn the table on his powerful oppressors using his cunning and trickery, a model of behaviour utilised by slaves to gain the upper-hand within the confines of the plantation power structure. Anansi is also believed to have played a multi-functional role in slaves’ lives, as well as inspiring strategies of resistance the tales enabled slaves to establish a sense of continuity with their African past and offered them the means to transform and assert their identity within the boundaries of captivity. As historian Lawrence W. Levine argues in Black Culture and Consciousness, slaves in the New World devoted “the structure and message of their tales to the compulsions and needs of their present situation” (1977, 90).[4]
Stories of Anansi became such a prominent and familiar part of Ashanti oral culture that the word Anansesem—"spider tales"—came to embrace all kinds of fables. One of the few studies that examines the role of Anansi folktales among the Ashanti of Ghana is R.S. Rattray’s Akan-Ashanti Folk-Tales (1930).

The tales in Rattray’s collection were recorded directly from Ashanti oral storytelling sessions and published in both English and Twi.[4]Peggy Appiah, who collected Anansi tales in Ghana and published many books of his stories, wrote: "So well known is he that he has given his name to the whole rich tradition of tales on which so many Ghanaian children are brought up – anansesem – or spider tales."[5] Elsewhere they have other names, for instanceAnanse-Tori in Suriname, Nansi in Guyana, and Kuent'i Nanzi in Curaçao.
In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphic animal who plays tricks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and conventional behavior.

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The trickster deity breaks the rules of the gods or nature, sometimes maliciously (for example, Loki) but usually with ultimately positive effects (though the trickster's initial intentions may have been either positive or negative). Often, the bending/breaking of rules takes the form of tricks (e.g.Eris) or thievery. Tricksters can be cunning or foolish or both; they are often funny even when considered sacred or performing important cultural tasks

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Ahoofe Adofo on Oct 20, 2013 13:47
Ashantis, Are the kwaku Ananses