Introduction

Anansi, a term used by the Ashanti people, is a synonym for “spider.” The definition of “nan” is “to spin.” Kwaku Anansi is a demigod from African folklore. He is regarded as the spirit of all storytelling knowledge and frequently assumes the form of a spider. Additionally, he is among the most significant figures in West African and Caribbean culture. This excerpt is a narrative from Anansi that discusses the phenomena of how his name came to be associated with the whole entity of stories.

The Price For Stories

The world didn’t have any stories previously. All belonged to Nyame, the Sky God. Anansi went to Nyame and inquired about the cost of purchasing the stories. Nyame imposed a massive cost. Anansi had to bring back the Mmoboro Hornets, Onini the python, and Osebo the leopard, according to his three demands. Anansi started the process of capturing them. 

Cunning, Inventive, And Clever Anansi

He started by going after the hornets. While shouting out that it was pouring, Anansi loaded a calabash with water and spilled it over the nest and himself. When the hornets agreed to enter the empty calabash, he advised that they do so, and when they did, he immediately narrowed the gap. He gave them away to Nyame. He then carried a large bamboo pole and some sturdy vines to the python’s dwelling. Speaking to himself, he recalled the argument he had with his wife about whether Onini was taller or shorter than the bamboo.  To gain a clearer picture, Onini offered to lay alongside the bamboo pole. It was challenging to get a good sense of the python’s exact length since he had difficulty straightening up perfectly. He grew shorter at one end as he extended at the other. On Anansi’s advice, the python so consented to be tethered to the pole. He was fully bound when Anansi carried him to Nyame. 

Anansi constructed a large hole in the dirt to trap the leopard. Anansi offered to help as the leopard fell into the hole. Anansi dug a large hole in the ground to trap the leopard. Anansi offered to rescue the leopard with a thick rope when he slipped into the hole. He tied the tall tree in place after bending it so that its top was over the hole. Then he lowered the other end of a rope that was attached to the tree into the hole. He instructed that Osebo fasten the rope to his tail. Once it was tightly tied, Anansi  used his knife to cut the second rope, which was able to keep the tree from bowing to the ground. Osebo was pulled out of the hole by the tree as it snapped back into place.

With his head hanging in the air, the leopard twisted and turned. Anansi then used his weapons to murder him as he hung in this position. The leopard’s corpse was then taken by him and brought to Nyame, the Sky God. Great warriors and leaders had attempted to pay the price for his stories, but they have failed, said Nyame. So  he shared the tales with Anansi. Every story from then onwards was Anansi’s. 

The narrative demonstrates the existence of two different types of people: those who play tricks on others and those who get played. If we are not smart enough, we will be taken advantage of by the shrewder bunch. And because of this, people in some regions of Africa like telling stories and hearing them.