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Br’er Rabbit and the Tar Baby – American literature

By |2017-08-14T11:16:41+00:00August 14th, 2017|Literature, North America|

Br'er Rabbit and the Tar Baby This is a story about Br'er Rabbit and Br'er Fox. Br'er Fox was sick and tired of Bre'r Rabbit tricking him. He decided to settle Br'er Rabbit for good. Br'er Fox took some sticky black tar and some turpentine and he shaped it into a Tar Baby - a [...]

Br’er Rabbit takes a ride – American literature

By |2017-08-14T10:16:42+00:00August 14th, 2017|Literature, North America|

Br'er Fox This is a story about Br'er Rabbit and his enemy Br'er Fox. Well, after that story with the Tar Baby got around, the girls were all laughing at Br'er Rabbit. Br'er Rabbit got mad with the girls laughing at him, but he still looked cool, and he said, "Oh, that isn't anything. My daddy used [...]

How Br’er Rabbit lost his tail – American literature

By |2017-08-14T10:13:05+00:00August 14th, 2017|Literature, North America|

Br'er Rabbit and his tail This is a story about Br'er Rabbit. So one day in late fall, Br'er Rabbit was hopping down the dirt road and wagging his great big bushy tail. Br'er Rabbit was very proud of his fine tail. Now, you may say, rabbits don't have great big bushy tails! They [...]

Br’er Rabbit stories – American literature

By |2017-08-14T10:06:30+00:00August 14th, 2017|History|

The printing press of the Cherokee Advocate in the 1800s Br'er Rabbit is short for "Brother Rabbit". He's a rabbit who sometimes tricks people and sometimes gets tricked. Br'er Rabbit is a lot like like the African Anansi the Spider. He's also like the rabbit in earlier Creek and Cherokee stories. Some of his stories [...]

Early Cherokee language and stories

By |2018-04-07T17:05:42+00:00August 10th, 2017|Literature, Native American|

Cherokee statues from Etowah (now northern Georgia) Cherokee is part of a group of Iroquois languages. Before the Spanish conquered the Cherokee, the Cherokee people didn't use writing. But they told many stories about themselves and their gods. During the evenings, or at religious ceremonies, people sat around the fire together. Cherokee story-tellers told stories that entertained people. [...]

Rustem swims away – a story in the Shahnameh

By |2018-04-07T17:04:30+00:00July 26th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

The Devil carries Rostem Like Odysseus or Anansi, Monkey or Br'er Rabbit, the Iranian hero Rustem was a trickster. He uses quick thinking to get out of this fix: Once when he was sleeping alone outside on the ground next to his horse Rukush, Rustem was trapped by the Devil, and the Devil started to carry him away. Rustem [...]

Arabic language and literature

By |2018-04-08T01:10:49+00:00July 25th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

Sabataean writing Arabic is in the Semitic language group. Semitic languages seems to have gotten started before the beginning of writing, somewhere near modern Syria. They spread from there through Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan down to the Arabian peninsula. Because the Arabian peninsula was more isolated, people there kept speaking an older version of the language. [...]

Who is Hermes? Ancient Greek god

By |2018-04-23T08:41:56+00:00July 13th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|

This statue by Praxiteles shows Hermes playing with the infant Dionysos(300s BC) Hermes is a god of boundaries, borders and edges. Because of this, he's also in charge of things that cross borders, like messages or travelers. He is the messenger of the Greek gods; his father, Zeus, often sends Hermes to earth when [...]

Xenia – guests and hosts in ancient Greece

By |2018-04-23T10:13:16+00:00July 12th, 2017|Greeks, People|

Kidnapping Helen of Troy (from Pompeii) In ancient Greece, xenia meant "the way you treat strangers or foreigners". It comes from a very old Proto-Indo-European (Yamnaya) word that means "stranger" but also "guest" and "host" and "foreigner" and sometimes "enemy". Do those words all seem very different to you? That's the point they're [...]

Anansi and the Wisdom of the World

By |2018-04-13T13:06:54+00:00May 21st, 2017|Africa, Literature|

Djenne clay pot from medieval West Africa Long long ago people didn't know anything. They didn't know how to plant crops, or how to weave clothes, or how to make iron tools. And the god Nyame up in the sky had all the wisdom of the world. He kept all the wisdom stored [...]