SYNOPSIS
THE STORIES in this collection were recorded from the lips of over sixty negro story-tellers in the remote country districts of Jamaica during two visits to the island in the summer of 1919 and the winter of 1921. The role of Anansi, the trickster spider, is akin to the Native American Coyote and the (Southern African) Bantu Hare.
Herein you will find 149 Anansi tales and a further 18 Witticisms. The stories are categorised into ANIMAL STORIES, OLD STORIES (CHIEFLY OF SORCERY), DANCE AND SONG and WITTICISMS. You will find stories as varied in title and content as THE FISH-BASKET, THE STORM, THE KING’S TWO DAUGHTERS, THE GUB-GUB PEAS, SIMON TOOTOOS, THE TREE-WIFE and many, many more unique tales.


In some instances, Martha Warren Beckwith was able to record musical notation to accompany the stories. As such you will find these scattered throughout the book. In this way the original style of the story-telling, which in some instances mingles story, song and dance, is as nearly as possible preserved.
Two influences have dominated story-telling in Jamaica, the first an absorbing interest in the magical effect of song which far surpasses that in the action of the story; the second, the conception of the spider Anansi as the trickster hero among a group of animal figures. “Anansi stories” regularly form the entertainment during wake-nights, and it is difficult not to believe that the vividness with which these animal actors take part in the story springs from the idea that they really represent the dead in the underworld whose spirits have the power, according to the native belief, of taking animal form. In the local culture, magic songs are often used in communicating with the dead, and the obeah-man who sets a ghost upon an enemy often sends it in the form of some animal; hence there are animals which must be carefully handled lest they be something other than they appear. The importance of animal stories is further illustrated by the fact that animal stories form the greater part of this volume.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS
ANIMAL STORIES
Tying Tiger
A The Fish-Basket
B The Storm
Tiger As Substitute
A The King’s Two Daughters
B The Gub-Gub Peas
Tiger As Riding-Horse
Tiger’s Sheep-Skin Suit
Tiger Catching The Sheep-Thief
A The Escape
B The Substitute
C In The House-Top
Tiger’s Breakfast
Eggs And Scorpions
Tiger’s Bone-Hole
The Christening
Eating Tiger’s Guts
A The Tell-Tale
B The Monkeys’ Song
Throwing Away Knives
A Tiger And Anansi
B Sheep And Anansi
Grace Before Meat
A Monkey And Anansi
B Goat And Anansi
Day-Time Trouble
A Rabbit And Anansi
B Rat And Anansi
C Goat And Anansi
New Names
Long-Shirt
Shut Up In The Pot
House In The Air
A Tracking Anansi
B Rabbit And Children Going Up To Heaven
C Duppy’s House In The Air
D Carencro’s[] House With A Key
Goat On The Hill-Side
Dog And Dog-Head
Tacoomah’s Corn-Piece
Anansi And The Tar-Baby
A The Escape From Tiger
B The Substitute
C The Grave
Inside The Cow
Cunnie-More-Than-Father
The Duckano Tree
Food And Cudgel
A The Handsome Packey
B The Knife And Fork
The Riddle
Anansi And Brother Dead
A Brother Dead’s Wife
B Goat And Plantain
Brother Dead And The Brindle Puppy
The Cowitch And Mr Foolman
Dry-Head And Anansi
A Go-Long-Go
B Dry-Head
C Brother Dead
The Yam-Hills
The Law Against Back-Biting
A Duck’s Dream
B Guinea-Chick
C Dry-Head At The Barber’s
Fling-A-Mile
But-But And Anansi
Tumble-Bug And Anansi
Horse And Anansi
Anansi In Monkey Country
A Bunya
B Christen Christen
Curing The Sick
A The Fishes
B The Six Children
Anansi, White-Belly And Fish
Goat’s Escape
A The Rain
B The Dance (1)
B The Dance (2)
Turtle’s Escape
Fire And Anansi
Quit-Quit And Anansi
A Tailors And Fiddlers
B Fiddlers
Spider Marries Monkey’s Daughter
The Chain Of Victims
Why Tumble-Bug Rolls In The Dung
Why John-Crow Has A Bald Head
A The Baptism
B The Dance
Why Dog Is Always Looking
Why Rocks At The River Are Covered With Moss
Why Ground-Dove Complains
Why Hog Is Always Grunting
Why Toad Croaks
Why Woodpecker Bores Wood
Why Crab Is Afraid After Dark
Why Mice Are No Bigger
Rat’s Wedding
Cockroach Stories
A Cock’s Breakfast
B Feigning Sick (1)
B Feigning Sick (2)
C The Drum
Hunter, Guinea-Hen And Fish
Rabbit Stories
A The Tar Baby
B Saying Grace
C Pretending Dead
The Animal Race
A Horse And Turtle
B Pigeon And Parrot
The Fasting Trial (Fragment)
Man Is Stronger

OLD STORIES, CHIEFLY OF SORCERY
The Pea That Made A Fortune
Settling The Father’s Debt
Mr Lenaman’s Corn-Field
Simon Tootoos
The Tree-Wife
Sammy The Comferee
Grandy-Do-An’-Do
A Moses Hendricks, Mandeville
B Julia Gentle, Malvern, Santa Cruz Mountains
Jack And Harry
Pea-Fowl As Messenger
A John Studee
B Contavio
The Barking Puppy
The Singing Bird
A Fine Waiting Boy
B The Golden Cage
Two Sisters
Asoonah
The Greedy Child
A Crossing The River
B The Plantain
Alimoty And Aliminty
The Fish Lover
A Timbo Limbo
B Fish Fish Fish
C Dear Old Juna
Juggin Straw Blue
The Witch And The Grain Of Peas
Bosen Corner
The Three Dogs
A Boy And Witch Woman
B Lucy And Janet
Andrew And His Sisters
The Hunter
A The Bull Turned Courter
B The Cow Turned Woman
Man-Snake As Bridegroom
A The Rescue (1)
A The Rescue (2)
B Snake Swallows The Bride
The Girls Who Married The Devil
A The Devil-Husband
B The Snake-Husband
Bull As Bridegroom
A Nancy
B The Play-Song
C Gracie And Miles
The Two Bulls
Ballinder Bull
Bird Arinto
Tiger Softens His Voice
Hidden Names
A Anansi And Mosquito
B Anansi Plays Baby (1)
B Anansi Plays Baby (2)
B Anansi Plays Baby (3)
Anansi And Mr Able
The King’s Three Daughters
The Dumb Child
The Dumb Wife
Leap, Timber, Leap
A Old Conch
B Grass-Quit (Fragment)
The Boy Fools Anansi
The Water Crayfish

DANCE & SONG
The Fifer
In Come Murray
Tacoomah Makes A Dance
Anansi Makes A Dance
Red Yam
Guzzah Man
Fowl And Pretty Poll
The Cumbolo
John-Crow And Fowl At Court
Wooden Ping-Ping And Cock
Animal Talk

WITTICISMS
Old-Time Fools I, II & III
Duppy Stories IV, V, VI, VII & VIII
Animal Jests IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV
Lies XVI & XVII
Philosophy XVIII

ISBN: 978-1-909302-37-2
URL: http://abelapublishing.com/jamaican-anansi-stories–149-anansi-tales_p26543875.htm

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