The spider is the fount and origin of all stories

ANANSESEM02_HN

 

Ohinto anansesem nkyere Ntikuma.

No one tells stories to Ntikuma.

Anansesem. Lit. “words about the spider”, but this is the term used for any story whatever, even one in which the spider does not appear in any way.

Ntikuma. The spider’s child. As the spider is the fount and origin of all stories, the son, Ntikuma, would be supposed to know every story in the world, having heard them from his father. The saying is used in the sense of “I know all about that, tell me something I do not know”.

Ashanti, West Africa; R. S. Rattray, Ashanti Proverbs (the primitive ethics of a savage people), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1916, nº 183, pp. 75-76