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1001 Stories Collection

Anansi and Chameleon

1001 anansiandthechameleon
Added on 25th June 2020

Oral tradition African folktale

Africa Animals
1001 , Audio , Text

An Anansi the spider story of trickery and revenge.

Story

Anansi has become very full of himself and the sky god is not happy with him. To punish him the sky god sends rain to fall on Chameleon’s crops but not on Anansi’s. Anansi tricks both the chief of the village and Chameleon to get Chameleon’s field for himself but the sky god isn’t going to let Anansi get away with it.

Why we chose it

Children love trickster stories and this is a story full of tricks.

Where it came from

Anansi is a spider who sometimes acts and looks like a man and is loved for his trickery and skill with words. The Anansi folk tales are thought to have originated with the Ashanti people in Ghana, for whom the word anansi means ‘spider’ and all fables are known as anansesem or ‘spider tales’.

Where it went next

The stories, which are often about small but plucky Anansi outwitting more powerful creatures, spread with slaves to the Caribbean and southern United States, and are now loved across the world.

Still popular in oral storytelling traditions, Anansi increasingly appears in books, films, games and songs.

Associated stories

Anansi is a trickster character. Trickster stories are found all over the world. Foxes, like Reynard the Fox, are frequently tricksters in European stories. In North America coyote is often a trickster and appears in a number of stories - How Coyote Stole Fire is in our collection. Other tricksters include Loki the Norse god and Til Eulenspiegel, hero of a number of German folk tales.

Added on 25th June 2020

Oral tradition African folktale

Africa Animals
1001 , Audio , Text

Story Resources

  • Anansi and Chameleon story text PDF (37.196 KB)
    Download