Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Molefi Kete Asante
Ananse is the name given to an Akan character who has become famous throughout Africa because of his insight, intelligence, and wisdom. One finds the names Ananse, Aunt Nancy, Anancy, Hapanzi, and Nanzi used for Ananse as well. He is one of the most important figures in the pantheon of cultural icons among West Africans. In actuality, Ananse is the functional aspect of the almighty creator Nyame and therefore may be seen to carry out the will of Nyame on Earth. He is able to perform many duties that are often attributed to Nyame. Thus, Ananse can cause rain to come, flowers to blossom, and maize to grow; he can prevent disasters from occurring to the villagers. Along with his wife, Aso, Ananse can change form and may be depicted as a human, although his normal form is a spider. According to the Asante people, who are part of the ...