Esu…the trickster owner of the cross roads, thresholds and market places, ”one is never finished telling the power of Esu”, Sacrifices are always offered to him before divinations. He has the prime responsibility for the passage of a new life from the invisible world to the world of men. Esu is the mediator between God and men. In Yoruba Land his shrines can be found at the entrances of compounds at, the market places and at the cross roads. He stands at the transcendent center of life. He is Owner of the Earth, a position given to him by God. It is Esus actions that stirs up all human trouble. He tricks men into offending God and all other dietys, but this only provides the dietys with sacrifices… without Esu they would starve. He is superior to all others in cunning and without him there would be no World, he is the World Police and creates trouble so that man can know and understand himself therefore respecting God. He is closest to God and he is both feared and respected…..Esu/Legba/Elegba/Elegbara…..Bredda Anancy in Jamaica, who came along with us through the middle passage from Ghana with the captured Ashantis. Every Jamaican grew up hearing Anancy Stories…..enjoy this one.
Esu (Eshu) in Jamaican folk lore
COCKROACH AN FOWL
Once upon a time, Cockroach was a very good music man an everybody whey have dance always want Bredda cockroach fi play fi dem. Well, bredda Anancy wid him usual cunning self guh ask Cockroach fi mek him, Anancy, tun Cockroach manager.
Hear Anancy,”Bredda can Cockroach, mi wi look afta yuh an si to it dat not a soul can tief yuh but miself, of course yuh know, Bredda Cockroach, dat me hooden rob yuh! so jus leave everting to me an mi wi fix yuh up”,
Well po Cockroach neva ave nuh sense fi nutten else but music, soh him mek Anancy manage him. Anytime people gwine keep dance, Anancy guh an charge dem a big price fi Cockroach play, an him get half a de pay in advance. Him tek dat fi himself, an gi de music man de odda half afta him done play. Sometime Anancy hodda tek mos a de money, an tell Cockroach seh de people dem neva mek nuh money an deh beg him fi si wid dem. It gwan and gwan suh till one New Year’s Eve Bredda Fowl an Sista fowl have a dance an get Cockroach fi play fi dem.
now dem days, drum was de ongle dance music, an dem did haffi put Cockroach in a de drum fi mek him play sweet, das why anancy cudds tief him soh much. Well, de New Year’s Eve Bredda Cockroach guh ina de drum an start fi play an sing…
me secret, yerry de drum deh guh,tookoo-tum,tookooma-tum
yerry drum, oh me secret, yerry bell deh guh ring ding ding
yerry de bell o!!
see yah!!, de music sweet, yuh see!, All de fowl dem start yanga and merrenge roun de room. Everybody dida enjoy dem self. Wen de fuss tune done, Bredda Fowl an Sista Fowl bring nuff drinks an tings fi eat come fi Anancy fi him an de music man. Anancy nyam off everyting an neva gi Cockroach a chenk. Cockroach play ova an ova an all de time de fowls bring tings fi him eat an Anancy neva gi him none. Po Cockroach play an sing suh till him start get hungry an tiad. Him seh to anancy, “Lawd Bredda Anancy,mi deh ded fi hungry si if yuh can get lickle sinting fi mi eat nuh?”
Anancy seh “cho Bredda Roach, yuh too craven man! yuh nuh see sey de country deh suffa from food shortage? shame pon yuh, man, fi quarrel ova food inna dese days” Bredda Cockroach sey, “mi nah quarrel Bredda Nancy, but mi nago able fi sing much longer ef mi nuh het sinting fi eat.”
Po Cockroach start paly an sing again, him cudda ongly knock softly an yuh cudda hardly hear him voice. Sista Fowl se “cluck-cluck, cluck-cluck, de music nuh good at all.” Bra Fowl sey, Coocooruuucoruuu, mek we beat up de music man an him manager!” Anancy sey “Lawd a massi Bredda Cockroach! yuh mean yuh gwine mek mi feel shame? Play loudah man!” but all Bra Cockroach try him did too hungry and weak, an not a soun cudden come from him troat. De fowl dem get bex an sey dem gwine beat anancy suh till him sawf. Suh Anancy open de drum an trow out po Cockroach ina fowl yard and de fowl dem gadda roun an nyam Cockroach.
An from dat day till teday, anywhey a fowl si an Cockroach him mek afta him.
Is Anancy fault……. Jack mandora, mi nuh choose none……..
This story was taken from Miss Lou’s Anancy story book
“Without retaliation evils would one day become extinct from the world”……..Yoruba Proverb