Jamaican Stories

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

Christen Christen (Adolphus Iron, Claremont, St. Ann)

Reading time: 3 minutes. Word Count: 300 words

Here you will see Anansi for the last time, and he is playing a new trick you haven't seen before. This time he's decided to become a Christian preacher, going forth to Monkey country to convert the monkeys. What do you think is going to happen? Things go pretty good for Anansi in the first Monkey country... but not in the second one.

One time hard time ketch Brar Nansi. Him couldn't get not'ing to eat. Him trabble away to Monkey country fe go preach. When him ketch deh, him say, "Well, frien's, I come here to chris'en, but I chris'en wid a large oben." De Monkey, dem glad fe hear. Dem jump an' buil' up de oben. Anansi say, "You mus' pack it wid wood an' light it wid fire. When it well hot, me will go in first, an' when you hear me say, 'Chris'en,' you mus' open de door." De Monkey, dem agree.

De oben buil', de oben light, Anansi go in. Anansi holler, "Chris'en!" Dem open de door. Anansi jump out, dem begin jump in. When de las' monkey jump in, Anansi shet de door. Monkey begin holler, "Chris'en! chris'en!" Anansi say, 'No chris'en yet!" When Anansi t'ink dem a well roas', him open de door. One scorch-side one jump out an' run fe de odder Monkey country an' tell all wha' done.

Anansi stan' deh till him eat off de whole ob de roas' one dem. Him trabble again till him ketch de odder Monkey country. All was prepare to meet him. De scorch-sided one meet him first. Anansi say, 'Brar, I t'ink I know you!" De Monkey said, 'No, sah, a de firs' me an' you buck up!" Anansi say, "Well, I come here to chris'en, but I chris'en wid an oben." De Monkey, dem buil' up de oben quicker yet. Anansi say, "I will go in firs'; when you hear I say, 'Chris'n!' you open de do'." All de Monkey say yes. When Anansi feel de fire, him holler, "Chris'n, chris'n, chris'n!" De Monkey say, "No chris'n yet!," An' dey let Anansi stay all roas' till he burst!

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

  • how did Anansi get the monkeys to go into the fire?
  • what did Anansi do when the monkeys shouted "Chris'n Chris'n"?
  • what happened when Anansi shouted "Chris'n Chris'n"?

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