The Origin of Anancy/Nancy Stories

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In Jamaican folk tradition, Anancy is a mischievous spider who is always tricking persons to get what he wants.

Stories about this character have origins in the Akan culture in Africa.  These were transmitted to Jamaica from that continent with the slaves who were transported to Jamaica in the transatlantic slave trade.

After slavery, Anancy stories were told during the nights in the free villages and continued in many households long after that.  Anancy storytelling was accompanied by singing and always ended with the  line, “Jack Mandora me nuh choose none.” This means no blame should be attributed to the listener, storyteller or writer.

Other characters of Anancy stories include Brother Tacoomah, his wife and his son, and animals such as Brother Tiger, Brother Dog and Brother Monkey.

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