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Kweku Tsin is a Star... || Reading Notes: West African Folktales Part B


Or, well, his friends are at least...

  • In The Moon and the Stars, while Anansi is present in the story, his role is actually very minor and what few actions he does take give no indication of his trickster nature. 
    • Kweku Tsin is, instead, the main focus and hero of the story. 
    • When Kweku Tsin and his friends are rewarded at the end of the story, even Anansi is rewarded (in a way) by being made into the moon. This happens despite his past and his trickster/selfish ways?
    • Though, as was mentioned at some point, this may be a slight against Anansi as Kweku Tsin was made into the sun, and, quite literally, he would always outshine his father.
  • The story of the tortoise also interested me for one key reason.
    • The tortoise Klo only made the mistake of drinking a little too much of the strong wine. 
    • He didn't try to weasel out of his duty and even struggled as hard as he could to complete his task. But he still failed and even died because of it.
    • Even after he was brought back to life, it's almost like he was punished for this failure by the addition of his shell. 
    • But did he really do something so wrong as to deserve that punishment?
  • While the stories in the first half of the reading almost all include Anansi as a pivotal character, the latter half only includes two that even mention Anansi.
    • He's important in Elephant and Wren but, as I said above, he's barely more than mentioned in The and Moon and the Stars
    • Are these all still supposed to be the "Spider Tales"?
  • The explanation for how mushrooms first grew doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
    • Do mushrooms look like linen? 
    • The mushrooms are linen?
    • Also, why do the two brothers actually manage to get off scot-free for passing their debt on to others?
      • Maybe, if I rewrote this story, I would change this so they get their comeuppance.  
  • Also, if I do something with the story of Anansi, I think I would want to try to do it in the style of Mr. Nancy from American Gods. Great show. Their version of Anansi is very interesting. 
Anansi and the Moon



Photo Credits:
Anansi and the Moon

Bibliography:
Unit: West African Folktales
By: William H. Barker and Cecilia Sinclair
Illustrations: Cecilia Sinclair

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