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

ningákaniak. weaving the story

 

NINGAKANIAK

 

Ningákaniak = That’s the edge or rim of the story, always used at the end of a story; this image seems to be taken from hat [or basket] weaving.

Klamath or Modoc, Oregon, North America; from the unpublished Klamath and Modoc manuscripts of Jeremiah Curtin (1835-1906) Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives, NAA 2348