Good morning all, I pray you will all have a wonderful and blessed day. Still on a high off representing Jamaica for our Independence and our cultural theme I have decided to share a story sent to me from blogger. It is an Anansi story. While growing up in Jamaica we were always told stories of Bredda Anansi. It was when I became an Adult I realized that these stories came from Ghana. Then after I realized that Anansi is in fact Ghanaian’s Esu, the Yoruba divinity of Justice, he is found in all cultures, and known as the trickster among other things. Please enjoy the story down below and even add your own, and who remember stories of Big Bwoy, please to share!
Jamaica is a small Island with nuff merriment and an extremely beautiful and colorful culture which seems to even transcend beyond who we are as a people (not oonuh gully Queen, caws oonuh put sexual orientation and identity before nationalism choo oonuh waan visa fi fly out!) we create as we grow and even our language gets more colorful by the day, reggae music is awesome and no one does it like us. It was born out of protest and a need to go back to Africa, (well dem now ah dayz people yah doan waan go back caws dem wi tun back black and cake soap nuh sell ah Africa, wuk you Vybz Kratel, and by the way the word that rhymes with wuk is what I want to say!) a need for repatriation, a rejection of slavery and social confines. We as Jamaican people especially the poorer class,( as classism is very present in Jamaica and so is racism, and to make it worse when Jamaicans guh fi prejudice dem prejudice more dan white people, not you AMH, you are one of us and we love you!) needed for others to hear our voice and so Reggae music is protest music.
Protest of inequality, protest for equal rights and Justice, against police brutality, better health care, jobs,not a situation where one person has to know another to be able to get a job, housing, community, schools, against segregation, upper class and lower class divide, crooked Politician, Who remembers the song “Long hair freaky people need not apply, nuh waan nuh ole naaga nuh rastafari”?, songs like these which directly spoke of discrimination and stereotyping.
Those who lived in what is referred to as inner city or those of the garrisons communities had to find solace in song, and it vibrated and reached across the globe, and others heard our music and even better listened to the words and reached back out to us and we became a phenomenal set of people, trend setters who is loved and respected by all, by all mi sey if de oddaz will not admit de love is because of BAD MINE!, It was our voice and artistry which lifted us up through the power of the almighty God, God bless Jamaica!, Oore Yeye Osun who helped us because she is the Orisha who creates and she rules Jamaica through its many beautiful rivers, along with Ogun the Don!
As Africans we came to the island with the drum still beating in our soul, and from Poco, came, Mento, came Ska, came Rock steady came Reggae and now Dance Hall, what a wonderful journey. Tess-an Chin try to come wid dis reggae fusion ting, but it will not hold, Jamaicans needs the drum and the base, it what our ancestors feed off and it is what has kept us whole as Africans, because of that we truly are. It doe matter if you mix with Scottish, Indian, Chiney, Osama Ben Laden, or even George Washinton, we are always Jamaican First, and yuh eyes dem cudda chinky like wow you are an African! Big up yuh self Jamaica and Jamaicans, I will always Love you!
King: Anansi And The Strange Fruit
Once, no rain fell for a very long time, and Anansi couldn’t find anything for himself or his children to eat. There was a place not too far away with a thousand banana trees, but Anansi was afraid to go. Bredda Rat went there two weeks ago to get food and never came back. Bredda Mongoose went there last week to get food and never came back. But now his children were too hungry, and Anansi decided to take a chance and go.
When Anansi got there, he couldn’t believe his luck. Banana trees spread in neat rows as far as he could see. There was enough food to feed his children for a year. But Anansi remembered Bredda Rat and Bredda Mongoose, and thought it might be a trap. So he decided to look around and make sure it was safe.
He came to a clearing with a huge guango tree, and hanging from the tree was a strange fruit. So he went to take a closer look and realized it was a man, swaying in the breeze. Anansi said, “Bredda Man, why you hanging from the tree?” But the man did not answer.
A few hours after that Anansi came to another clearing, this time with a big mahogany tree, and hanging from the tree was another strange fruit. He crawled closer and realized it was a woman. Anansi said, “Sista Woman, why you hanging from the tree?” And the woman looked like she was trying to answer, but only whispers came out. So Anansi climbed the tree and then he heard what the woman was saying: “Mas Fletcher… Mas Fletcher… Mas Fletcher…” And then the woman stopped whispering, her feet swaying gently in the breeze.
Just as it was getting dark, Anansi came to a little shack, and thought maybe he could find a bag to gather up all the bananas he would takehome the next day. When he went inside, all he saw was straw on the ground and a man lying on the straw. He was naked and there were iron shackles around his hands and feet. Anansi said, “Bredda Man, is who tie you up?” And the man said, “Mas Fletcher.” Anansi asked, “Why?” The man answered, “Because we ran away, three of us, and when Mas Fletcher find us, he said if we fight, they would kill our families. But if we surrender and let them hang us, they will make sure our children always have food to eat.”
Anansi couldn’t believe his luck once again. Now he wouldn’t even have to carry the bananas back home. All he had to do was hang off the ground and play dead, and Mas Fletcher would feed his children forever. What a trick! Then Anansi looked beside the naked man and saw the bones of Bredda Rat and Bredda Mongoose. But the man didn’t look dangerous or even angry, so Anansi wasn’t afraid. He said to the man, “Where is Mas Fletcher?” Before he could answer, the door to the shack flew open, and a fat man stood there with a lantern in his hand. Anansi knew right away it was Mas Fletcher.
The fat man said, “Cudjoe, you should never have run away.” Anansi looked around for a piece of string or rope, but there was nothing in the room except straw. Then Anansi saw a loose thread dangling from Mas Fletcher’s silk shirt, and knew what to do. He crawled up Mas Fletcher’s pant leg, up his sleeve, and tied the loose thread to his own bottom. Just as he was about to jump, the naked man shouted, “Mas Fletcher! Mas Fletcher! There’s a spider on you shirt, and if it bite you, it will kill you!” And Mas Fletcher tried to hit Anansi, but Anansi scrambled to the middle of the fat man’s back, where Mas Fletcher couldn’t reach him.
Then the naked man said, “Give me the lantern, Mas Fletcher. I will kill the spider for you.” And because Mas Fletcher did not want to be bitten, he handed over the lantern. Then Cudjoe hit Mas Fletcher hard on the back of his head with the lantern, and the fat man fell to the ground, and the lantern smashed and ignited the straw. And Cudjoe grabbed the keys from the fat man’s belt and unshackled himself. Anansi could feel the heat of the flames and was afraid, but there was nowhere to go. Cudjoe looked at Anansi and held out his dark-skinned hand. “Come, Kwaku Anansi,” he said, “let us two tricksters escape into the night.” And Anansi climbed onto Cudjoe’s hand and they left the shack burning bright orange.
That is why to this day, Cudjoe’s descendants are free. And that is also why, if you look in a tree, you will see Anansi hanging from a silk thread, playing dead to get food for his children.
Here is Another
Anansi and Bredda Lion
Bredda Lion had a new bad habit that he felt was his right an privilege, being the most feared in the village. He developed the biggest belch in the whole village. Every time he ate and went to sleep at night, he would belch really loud all night and wake up the rest of the village.
Anancy loved to sleep. Next to food sleep was the next thing he loved in the whole world. Since Lion had developed this habit he has not gotten one night’s sleep. Last night was the worst. Lion had belched every hour on the hour, since 8 pm that night. Anancy’s eyes were blood shot red and he was angry.
He visited Bredda Rabbit and Bredda Snake to see how they were holding up. “Bredda Rabbit, how yuh doing man?” asked Anancy, as he approached Bredda Rabbit outside his home.
“Mi doing just fine.” replied Bredda Rabbit.
“Yuh getting any sleep since Lion start dem big belchin?” asked Bredda Anancy.
“Yeah man, nuff sleep since mi buy dem ear muffs whey Bredda Snake tell me bout down a shop.” he replied.
“Ear muffs!” Anancy exclamated.
“Yes dem block out every sound, whey yuh nuh go buy some?” Bredda Rabbit explained.
“Is true.” Anancy replied.
So he set off down to Mr. Lee’s shop and bought him some ear muffs.
That night around 7:45 pm he put on the ear muffs and went to bed.
A large “Buuuurrrrrrrrrrp” sound awoke Anancy.
“But wait,” he thought to himself “dem ear muffs nah work.” You see, his spider senses were just as sensitive as his ears and could pick up the sound. The others in the village did not have this type of sense so the earmuff worked for them. So again Anancy had a sleepless night.
The next morning he was very angry. He was so angry he walked over to Bredda Lion’s home to talk to him.
Anancy pleaded “Bredda Lion, Mi a beg yuh please stop de all nite belching. Mi cyaan get nuh sleep a nite.”
“Yuh mad Anancy? A mi run tings in dis village, an mi will stop when mi feel like.” Bredda Lion replied.
“But how yuh so bad mind. Nobady cyaan sleep wid all dat noise yuh a mek.” said Anancy.
“Is ongle yuh cyaan sleep. No one else is complaining.” replied Bredda Lion.
Anancy was getting really upset.
“Mind yuh belch out all the food you eat for the day while you sleeping.” Anancy said in anger.
“Nuh mek me dead wid laff. Mi neva hear nuttin go suh before in my life. Gwan yuh way, Anancy” Bredda Lion replied with a big smile.
At that very moment Anancy had a plan. He secretly started to follow Bredda Lion for the whole day, watching what he was eating. He took a big bag with some containers with him. Every meal that Bredda Lion had, he collected some of the same thing in a container.
That night at 8:00pm, Bredda Anancy snuck into Bredda Lion’s house under the bed. He waited to hear the first burp.
He snuck from under the bed and quietly placed a mixture of all the meals beside Bredda Lion’s mouth.
Bredda Lion had a sensitive nose. The smell of the food mixture awoke him. He jumped out of the bed and screamed, “Lawd have mercy, all de food me eat come right back up. Whey me ago do? If this continue me will not be able to full mi stomach. I know what I will do. I will eat this mixture.” So he ate the food and went back to sleep.
Again Anancy put some more food by his mouth. And again Lion woke up and ate the food.
This continued four times. On the fourth time he put food by his mouth, Anancy snuck out of Bredda Lion’s bedroom window. He crawled under the cellar to listen.
Bredda Lion ate the food but this time did not go back to sleep.
“Lawd mi belly a hat mi. Mi nuh know ef I can continue this belching business, cah mi cyaan sleep.” Bredda Lion whispered under his breath. He had eaten so much food that he was in pain. He was unable to go back to sleep.
Anancy smiled and walked back home.
This is why lions eat big meals but less frequently. Jack Mandora, mi tell yuh no lie.
Here is Another
Kweku Anansi and His New Wife
Traditionally, Kweku Anansi is seen as a trickster. The word ‘Anansi’ means spider in Akan, but the character is sometimes portrayed as a man. Folk stories of Anansi originated from the Ashanti tribe in Ghana and have been passed down from generation to generation.
One day, Kweku Anansi went to God to complain that his wife was nothing more than an extra mouth to feed. He also complained that she was eating his share of the food at home. God asked Anansi, ‘What would you like me to do about this problem?’
‘God, please give me a wife with no mouth upon her face,’ replied Anansi.
God looked upon Anansi with bemusement as Anansi never failed to surprise God with his strange reasoning and outlandish plans.
‘Okay,’ said God. ‘Come the morning I shall give you a new wife with no mouth upon her face.’
Anansi was so excited that he went straight to the supermarket to buy yams and plantains for the next day. ‘Finally,’ thought the greedy man, ‘all of the food that I buy will be for me alone to eat!’
Waking up to a beautiful sunny morning, Anansi saw his new wife in the kitchen preparing breakfast. The wife turned and acknowledged her husband with a silent nod, then continued with her breakfast preparations before the stove.
Anansi could not believe that he was lucky enough to have a new wife, one who would cook only for him and eat nothing herself. And he could not believe that he had gotten away with asking for such a wife from God!
Several days passed and things seemed to be going very well… until Anansi went to check on the food supplies in the kitchen. The greedy man was very surprised to discover that most of his food had disappeared. Anansi knew that he could eat a great deal of food, but had he really eaten four bags of rice, six yams, and three plantains in such a short time? He was very puzzled because he was supposed to be the only one eating the food, especially as his new wife didn’t even have a mouth with which to eat.
And so Anansi decided to find out. Over the next few weeks he kept a very close eye on the kitchen. But no matter how closely he looked, he could find nothing unusual at all. His wife cooked every meal only for him. Anansi just did not understand why he still had to buy twice as much food each week. Where was it all going?
Anansi knew that he liked to eat his wife’s cooking, but even he could not finish so much food in such a short time, could he?
One night, Anansi woke up to drink some water as he was very thirsty. It was then that he heard a rumbling noise in the house and quickly went to check on his wife. But when he entered her room he discovered that she was not in her bed. So then he crept towards the kitchen and peered through the open door.
Anansi could not believe his eyes as he stood still in the kitchen doorway. There, sitting on a stool at the table, was his new wife. And she was eating a big bowl of food! He watched in amazement as she scooped up the boiled rice and yams, lifted up her right arm, and put the food into a mouth that was hidden in her armpit!
Anansi was very shocked to see such a thing. He thought to himself, ‘So this is where all of my food has been going. My wife has a secret mouth in her armpit and she has been stealing food during the night! What a mean trick!’
The next morning, Anansi took his wife back to God and demanded to know why she had a mouth hidden in her armpit.
God answered, ‘You asked for a wife with “no mouth upon her face.” And so I gave you a wife with a mouth under her arm. You did not ask for a wife with no mouth at all.’
Anansi felt humiliated and tricked, but God had no sympathy for the greedy man. God said to him, ‘You had a devoted and loving wife, Anansi. But because of your greed and selfishness you thought you would be clever and demand a new wife from me. I am showing you that I am much wiser than you, and I hope you have learnt a lesson here. Greed and selfishness have no place in life.’
Anansi felt ashamed by his greed and begged God to return his old wife to him because he had indeed learned a valuable lesson. From that day on, Anansi was determined to be a better man and not be so selfish. And who knows, perhaps he would even try to be more generous with his food.
Ẹni tí ò rí nǹkan wò, ló ńwo ti ẹniẹlẹ́ni. /
It’s a person with no issue to attend to, who meddles in those of others……Yoruba Proverb!
[Mind your own business. Don’t meddle; respect other people’s privacy.]
All religions are valid as long as it teaches peace and love….Obara Meji!
There are no disappointments in life, only lessons learned….Obara Meji!
Obara Meji is a spiritualist, Ifa-Orisa practitioner, and teacher of metaphysics. Since 2011 she has used her online platform to share her personal experiences to those seeking answers about spirituality. Her teachings will expand into short stories, novels, and public speaking to continue her mission of bringing enlightenment to the world.