Jamaican Stories

Week 8: African Traditions - Assignments - Reading - Resources - Images

The Christening (Charles Wright, Maroon Town, Cock-pit country)

Reading time: 2 minutes. Word Count: 200 words

This story of the butter shows up in both the Jamaican section and the African section this week! You might also encounter this tale of the butter later in the semester in the story of how "Bre'r Rabbit Nibbles Up The Butter", or the story in the Brothers Grimm about "The Partnership of Cat and Mouse."

Anansi an' Tiger bot' of them fin' one keg of butter. Anansi says to Tiger, "Let us hide it in the bushes." Some days after, Anansi says to Tiger, "I receive a letter for a christening." When he return, Tiger ask him the name of the chile. He says the name is "Top take off." Another week came again. He say receive another letter for another christening. After he come back, Tiger ask him what's the name of the chile again. He says, "Catch in de middle." An' the las' week he went back for another christening. Tiger ask him when he come back what's the name of the chile. He says, "Lick clean."

Now he says, "Tiger, let us go look for this keg of butter." He carried Tiger all over the place walkin' until he get tired, an' when he nearly catch to the place where they hid the butter he said, "Tiger, we are tired, let us go for a sleep,!" An' after Tiger was sleeping, he went to the keg, he took a bit of stick an' he scrape as much as he can get from the keg, an' he wipe a little on Tiger mouth an' he wipe a little at the tail. Then he climb a tall tree now and he make a wonderful alarm that Tiger eat butter until he melt butter!

Questions. Make sure you can answer these questions about what you just read:

  • when did Anansi eat the butter?
  • how did Anansi tease the Tiger about how he was eating the butter?
  • how did Anansi make it look like Tiger had eaten the butter?

Source: Jamaica Anansi Stories by Martha Warren Beckwith (1924). Weblink.

Modern Languages / Anthropology 3043: Folklore & Mythology. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.
Page last updated: October 9, 2004 12:52 PM