Sing it high, sing it low, let it come, let it go.
Literature Live is dusting off one of our favorite puppet shows, Anansi and the Golden Box of Stories. This story is an example of a trickster tale from West Africa. Trickster tales began as oral tradition in many cultures and have been passed down from one generation to another for hundreds of years. The stories usually center on a magical hero who uses wily wits to get what he or she wants. The character can take the form of a human, an animal, or other characters, and is often used to teach lessons about the values held in a community.
Raven, originating among the Native Americans of the Northwest Pacific Coast, helps tell stories of how the world of humans came to be. Coyote, a mythological figure for most Native American tribes, has widely contrasting characteristics, and his trickster stories vary dramatically from storyteller to storyteller.
In our tale, Anansi is a human who can change into a spider, allowing him to climb and spin webs. In order to bring stories to earth, he must capture Osebo, the leopard whose teeth are as sharp as knives, Mmboro, the hornet who buzzes and stings, Onini, the snake that swallows people up, and Mmoatia, the fairy who stays unseen like the wind. Quite a daunting task for a tiny arachnid!
Follow the original spiderman on his quest to capture and deliver these four creatures to Nyame, the sky-god, in exchange for stories to share with the people of earth. Anansi and the Golden Box of Stories begins February 2 and runs through April 30.