Thursday, September 16, 2010

Anansi and Kisander

In Jamaican folklore, there are a large handful of stories that are about Anansi. He is a half man, half spider. When things are ok he is a man, and when things get bad he turns into a spider. Usually when he is a spider he is shown with a mans head.

In the story of Kisander, Anansi and his friend Mouse (Also Mouse Atoo, and Moss Moss) walk by the cat Kisander's house, and see the special tree she has. In the story it is called a Dokanoo tree, which I believe is a slang name for it. I think the real name of the tree is a Black Sapote. They grow fruits that when mixed with honey or something else sweet, they taste very similar to pudding. (The book never mentioned exactly what kind of tree it really is). Kisander digs a moat around the tree and fills it with water to help the fruit grow much sweeter.

Kisander is very protective of her tree and doesn't like to share the fruit, so one night Anansi and Mouse decide to steal some while the cat is asleep. But while cutting some fruit down Kisander wakes, and comes outside to see what is going on. Anansi tries to hid behind a leaf while Mouse runs away (At the end of the tale Anansi gets away but with no fruit, and Kisander is unaware that anyone tried to steal anything).

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