Sunday, May 15, 2011
That time Again -- Myths for Monday -ANANCY
Over the last two years, I have dedicated this week in May to the celebration of Afrocolombian heritage. WHY? Because May 21st is the Día de la Afrocolombianidad. The day Colombia celebrates the end of slavery there in 1851. If you are interested in seeing my collection of previous posts, click here:
Otherwise, enjoy this week's focus on AFROCOLOMBIANOS. Starting with an AFROCOLOMBIAN myth, from San Andrés and Santa Catalina.
ANANCY the SPIDER
The Myth of ANANSI the spider originated in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Togo among the Ashante people, and it was people of this area that brought the story to the Americas. It is actually many different stories and there are many similarities between the Africa stories and their Colombian counterparts.
Here is a Colombian version of "Tiger Stories"
Once upon a time, all the the animals of the jungle gathered together to tell each other their stories of adventure. Each one would take his turn to tell what amazing thing he had dome that day. Unfortunately, poor Anancy had nothing to tell. Crestfallen, she asked, "Why do they call this storytelling, 'Tiger stories?' I think they should call this event after me. Wouldn't it sound better -- Anancy stories!"
Upon hearing this all of the animals began to laugh. The Tiger laughed so hard that the trees shook. The parrot laughed so hard that the branch he was sitting on broke. But, suddenly, all of the animals turned to the tiger and said, "Give Anancy a chance. Let's call them Anancy's Stories."
Tiger responded, "Nothing in this life is given for free, Anancy. If you want them to be called Anacy's stories, then bring me brother Serpent trapped on a stick. And from that moment on, this event will be called Anancy's Stories."
Despite all the animals predictions of failure, Anancy, through a series of events, returns victorious.
"Look, look everyone. Here comes Anancy with the snake tied to a stick." And, from that day forward, the Tiger -- good to his word-- called it Anancy's Stories.
The amazing thing is that despite at least 200 years, thousands of miles, and a change of language, the story is remarkably similar to the African version of the same story. So, go out to your local library and get an Ananzi story book this week. Then, read it to your Colombianito/a/os/as in celebration of Afrocolombian week in Colombia.
There is a group that tells the stories on stage. You can see their You tube page here (in Spanish):