How Anansi taught people to farm - a story from West Africa
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How Anansi taught us to farm

Hoeing in Uganda
Women hoeing fields (Uganda)

In the beginning, people didn't know how to farm. They had to get their food from the wild, hunting it and gathering it. At that time only Porcupine had a hoe. Only Porcupine knew how to farm. But Anansi and his children went to live with Kotoko, the Porcupine, for a while. Anansi and his children watched Kotoko the Porcupine use his hoe. They saw how Porcupine hoed his field. Now when Porcupine went home to eat his lunch, he hid his hoe. But Anansi found the hoe and took it; he took it away and used it. That is how people got hoes.

You might want to compare this African story to the Greek story of Demeter or the Mayan story of Maize Mountain.

More stories about Anansi

Bibliography and further reading:



Xhosa
!Kung
Yoruba
Swahili
African languages and literature
Ancient Africa
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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