A Little Bit of Lunacy (Weekend Anthropology)

Just a little… The past few days, it seems there’s been a bit of lunacy going around.

I don’t have the energy for much. It’s been kinda noisy around my house lately, and I don’t mean the YELLING LOUDER variety.

“Weekend Anthropology” … I started last Saturday with one, so I thought I’d try another. This is much abbreviated than before though.


“There seems to be a deep instinct in human beings for making everything compulsory that isn’t forbidden.”

R. Heinlein, The Moon’s a Harsh Mistress

Here’s a tale from West Africa. Ananse is the Spider Trickster, Ghana.

Ananse and the pot of wisdom

This is a very old story told when the world was young . It is about how Mr.. Ananse the Sly and greedy one among all the animals in the forest outsmarted himself.

As the story goes, one day Ananse collected all the wisdom in the world and decided to keep it all in a large pot for himself. Now he said “I have all the wisdom of the world for myself. At least that was what he thought being such a greedy person.

Kweku Ananse then tied the pot of wisdom around his neck with a strong vine rope and let the pot hang in front of him. But then he was afraid that someone would find the pot of wisdom and steal it.” What shall I do with my pot of wisdom” He thought and thought and at last he said,” I shall hide the pot on top of the the tallest tree in the forest.” So he searched the forest until he found the tallest tree which happened to be the thorny silk cotton tree and brought the pot of wisdom to the tree. While Ananse was trying to climb the thorny silk cotton tree his son was watching him.” Father,” he said,” “What are you doing” “Well” said Ananse , I have in this clay pot all the wisdom of the world and I am going to hang it on the top of the tallest tree away from everybody , then I will be the wisest in the whole wide world.” “I have an idea.” said his son ” Why not hang the pot behind you instead of in front of you. Then you will be able to climb the tree”. Well the sly one Ananse hung the pot behind him and to his surprise; he was able to climb to the top of the tree with his pot.

Finally Ananse sat on a branch of the tree holding the pot of wisdom. “I thought I had all the wisdom in the world” He thought to himself.

“I thought I had it all in my pot but my own son has wisdom not in my pot.” Then he made a statement that we still use today.” No one-person can have all the wisdom in the world.“On his way down he dropped the pot and it smashed into many pieces and scatted all the wisdom all over the world.

cauldron Pictures, Images and Photos

And, here’s a song…

“No one person can have all the wisdom…” well, even the wiser among us can’t be super wise every single day either. heh.  Be kind to yourself, all y’all.


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  1. Photobucket

    • Edger on July 19, 2009 at 04:36

    The more you give away the more you get?

  2. my signal has been a little wobbly for the past hour or so.

    Guess I shoulda said an opening prayer to Elegua. oops.

  3. And big props for quoting The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, one of my favorite novels.

    • jamess on July 19, 2009 at 05:42

    that African tale, reminded me

    of another such tale, with some seldom heard wisdom,

    of its own.

    The Gods Must Be Crazy


    haven’t seen that Movie in ages,

    it could be worth another look.

    (as with the old Heinlein classics, too)

    thx for the “recalibration check” Lady Libertine

  4. Logging roads are built to extract logs from the forest.  In my case the extraction of logs goes toward that most Satanic of things paper.  The paper that tells you you might own some worthless stock.  A paper that tells you your medical expenses are maybe/sort of covered.  A paper that tells you there might be a job for you.

    But hey, I have driven down these roads and nature takes them back right quick.  The power of water rushing down the mountains eats up man’s creation in a single season.  We are masters of nothing so we definitively don’t have wisdom of the world.

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