Essay on Iktomi & Anansi

640 Words Jun 24th, 2012 3 Pages
Many civilizations pass down folktales orally as part of their cultural traditions. Iktomi, a Native American tale; and Anansi, a West African tale, are a few of these well-known stories. Even though these tales are from different regions, they are essentially the same. Both revolve around a trickster who is clever, greedy, and supernaturally powerful. Iktomi and Anansi both show that they are very clever characters. Iktomi proves that he is clever in how he catches ducks for his food. He tells the ducks he will teach them how to dance, but they must close their eyes or they will be cursed. Being naïve, the ducks follow his orders, giving Iktomi time to kill a few of them before they realize what is happening. Similarly, Anansi must catch …show more content…
Soon, he became very cold and went to take his blanket back. When he returned to where he left his deer, it had mysteriously disappeared. Iktomi became greedy and wanted both food and warmth. Instead of being satisfied in receiving what he asked for, he convinced himself it was just a coincidence. Another one, of many shared characteristics by Anansi and Iktomi, is they both obtain supernatural powers. Anansi wanted to learn all the stories of the world, but for them to be handed to him, he had to complete three difficult tasks. Unlike anyone else, Anansi was able to complete all three without money or power. Once completed, Anansi was awarded all the stories of the world. As mentioned earlier, Iktomi told the ducks they would be cursed if they opened their eyes when learning to dance. As promised, Iktomi forever cursed the duck who opened its eyes to warn the other ducks they were being slaughtered. Instead of remaining a beautiful duck, Iktomi had the power to change it into an ugly mud duck for the rest of its life. Now that the duck is ugly, it is shunned by the rest of the ducks, just as Iktomi wanted. Both folktales of the tricksters are few of many common stories. These folktales passed down orally are very relative to each other, though they may be from different places. Being clever, greedy and having supernatural powers are only a few of the many similarities between these two…