Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Anancy Traveller Description

Anancy’s role as the trickster within folklore gives the perception of a villain. However, the reality of Anancy Traveller, and pretty much the root of all Anancy tales, is quite the opposite. Using his cunning to achieve his goal while stepping on a few toes during the process. Anancy moves to correct the wrongs of the ignorant and oppressive, and guide those who are downtrodden to a better place, usually using whatever tactic will get the job done, but never killing anyone. Fighting fire with fire.

With this in mind, Anancy Traveller focuses on the Spiderman travelling to other lands, most of the time on foot, through time and space. With his feminine aspect portrayed as one of his best friends, Caribbea (the Caribbean Sea), which reflects the Spiderman's love and respect for the ocean.

Anancy Traveller conjures up images of a pirate, a rebel sailing daily from the shores of the ghetto in Greenwich Farm, Kingston. Fighting the greedy rulers and dictators where ever they may be, is Anancy's task. However, some journeys are ones of self-discovery, where knowledge and wisdom is imparted to him.

Anancy’s physical description is not mentioned in much detail, only that he is a Spiderman.
So I’ve decided to take descriptive behavioral attributes from those who interact with him.

In Guess is what? Anancy is asked who he is. “’Who you is?’ ‘Spider and man, natural self,’ Anancy say. Same time, Caribbea catch Anancy with a sweet wave inside him mind, and say to him, ‘No, Anancy! You is more than that. You is man and woman tie up into spider shape.’” (Anancy Traveller, Guess is what, Anancy? P44). Anancy doesn’t accept this answer, but Caribbea persists and assures him that she knows this to be true. Caribbea represents the woman that is tangled up with Anancy, the ocean, the watery feminine aspect of the Spiderman.

Anancy is a word derived from the Ashanti people in Ghana meaning, spider, so I would envisage Anancy coming from the Ghanaian stock of stolen African’s in Jamaica. In Two Elizabeth Turn Into One, Anancy visits the Maroon Colonel in the Accompong village where two iconic Jamaican’s are discussed, Nanny and Cudjoe. Nanny hailed from Ghana, Tall slender structure, and Cudjoe from the Congo interior, short and stocky. So Anancy should be tall and slender or lanky even.

Two Elizabeth Turn Into One also describes Anancy’s love of stealing things especially things he gets to keep. “’ I mean, I could use a place like this to hide plenty things,’ Anancy say. He laugh Kya-Kya. ‘Not those belongings and things you like taking off you animal friends them, Spiderman! I know all about those gold rings, silver chain, platinum clasps, ivory comb, crocus bag o’ yam, pot o’ dumpling, potato, coffee, and such like, you know.’ The Colonel laugh loud, loud. ” (Anancy Traveller, Two Elizabeth Turn Into One, Anancy? P73). Anancy the trickster is also the thief, two attributes that go hand-in-hand. Especially when it comes to shiny jewelry and copious amounts of food to fill his belly.

 In many of the tales, Anancy is perceived as a keen observer, who is always filling his eyes, “Anancy just sitting there swallowing everything with him eye.” (Anancy Traveller, Middle passage, p12). Meaning eyes are all seeing, very large.

Anancy as a traveler has a set goal, and only by traveling can he accomplish this goal. In the Tall White Wall and New City, Anancy expresses a longing for a special destination. "For ages, he set him heart and mind on a place that got peace, equalness, total sharing, and harmony years, and convince himself he going find that place and live in it." (Anancy Traveller, Tall White Wall and New City, p57). Anancy is that trickster at the cross roads guiding people to a heavenly utopia. This statement proves that no matter the means Anancy uses to achieve his goals the end result is salvation for all man and woman kind.  

My Anancy will be based in contemporary Kingston, Jamaica, coming out of the grass roots ghettos of Greenwich Farm."When Anancy reach back to Kingston and stroll into Greenwich Farm where he figuring he might as well settle down for the night". "Friday morning come, and Anancy leave Greenwich Farm and go back to the old man". "Friday night, and Anancy in Greenwich Farm. The water flinging shadows, as usual". " Anancy lay down in a canoe that close by the part o' the beach he always like. Is the place where the water-view straight and open. Nothing in the way. The feeling Anancy get is that if he want he could just walk right into the water without looking, which is a feeling that pleasure him sweet, from the time he make Greenwich Farm a rest place after the first travels that Caribbea send him on."(Anancy Traveller, World in Jeopardy, p178, 179, 181).
A Hustler type, street wise traveler who believes he knows it all, but never forgetting he is a mystical being of man woman and spider in one. With piracy on his mind, Anancy is ready to put one over on the greedy oppressors who over tax, over work and mistreat their people.

I will be looking at the art of Manga's One Piece, Marvel's Spiderman, Venom and Carnage. George Lucas's General Grievous from Star Wars, The Wrath of Asura, Doctor Teeth the spider from Sesame Street, Disney villains, Spiders in general, Jamaicans along with necessary fashions and Persian Cats.

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