Quotidian 2 (December 2010)Flora Illes; Theo Meder: Anansi comes to Holland
Anansi in the Netherlands

To refer to this article use this url: http://www.quotidian.nl/vol02/nr01/a02


The last level of our analysis of the contemporary Anansi stories concerns the rituals, that is to say the conventional collective activities that are being considered essential within a particular culture to shape and maintain the social order.


Image 9: Rituals. Drawing by Noni Lichtveld (1997, 93).

Due to the presence of rituals in the folktales, they are constantly relived during narration and passed on to the next generations. Examples of such rituals are, of course, the feasts in the narrative corpus, like birthdays, family visits, and the large Caribbean carnivals. Anansi and his friends are always ready to join in, and in a great many of the stories, a cheerful, colourful world is conjured up, which includes attributes such as food, drink, music, dance and song. Besides celebrating, the ritual of being together at table is the main activity for maintaining group cohesion (image 9). In the drawings, we often see Anansi’s family, dressed in traditional Surinamese clothing, sitting at the table with a dish in front of them. The role played by the food in the images refers to the gastronomy and the elaborate dishes of the Creoles that are an integral part of their cultural identity.