Spiders in West Africa

West Africa is the home of Anansi, a folk hero, who is both spider and man.

Spiders in West Africa

"The wisdom of the spider is greater than that of all of the world together." A traditional saying from the Akam people of West Africa

Anansi stories

Anansi is a trickster, a provider of wisdom and a keeper of stories. His role is both light hearted and profound, often providing the link between people and the supreme being.

One of the stories is about Anansi's involvement in the creation of the world. Anansi was ordered by the sky god to spin the fabric from which people would be made. Anansi then acted as the messenger between people and gods. Through Anansi's skill as a messenger the sky god gave people day and night, rain and wind.

In another story, Anansi put all wisdom in a pot to keep it safe But the pot was so big he couldn't carry it. When his son wisely suggested that he put the pot on his back, Anansi realised that all wisdom wasn't in the pot. In a fit of temper he tipped the wisdom out of the pot. Now wisdom is available to all people.


Ondine Evans , Web Researcher/Editor
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