Anansi – The Original Spider Man

October 27, 2010

A Halloween Alternative with ANANSI

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 Anasi/Aso hair clips while the boys  work on  Anansi  knapsack  clasps.   Placemats featuring Ananai  are quite inexpensive when you use  recycled/up cycled materials.

Click here to get your Anansi T-shirt

Our Anansi t-shirt featuring Ananse Adinkra symbol

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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2 Responses to “Anansi – The Original Spider Man”

  1. Danielle Haliczer Says:

    I think your “Anansi” is actually “Ananse” from the Ashanti tribe of West Africa, Ghana. Just a few vowel changes and you’ve got it.
    More info in “The Trickster in West Afrrica” – “A Study of Mythical Irony and Sacred Delight” by Robert D. Pelton, but anyway, if they have pictures, please send.

    Regards,

    D

    • Jaelma Says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I appreciate the input. It has been my understanding that the folktale characters name is “Anansi” and the Adinkra symbol is written Ananse
      I will have to do more research in this area! Thanks also for the reference….I will chk into it. Are you an Anansi fan? I love the stories and have had a great time sharing them with the young ppl in my life. I will definitly drop you a note if we get more images! Have a great weekend! –Jaelma

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