The Original Spider Man was Black

A hero of many folk tales in West Africa and the Caribbean is this person who is both spider & man. When things are going well he is a man but in times of danger he becomes a spider. This creature likes to trick the other animals and get the better of those who are much bigger than himself. He may be greedy and selfish but he is also very funny. He is a hero because he bought the gift of telling stories to his people.

In the past and still in rural areas of Ghana today, the tales are told around the fire to entertain and teach the values of the society. Storytelling is an active exchange in which the audience participates with responses and songs.

Many Ghanaians today are born in urban areas and not as likely to hear these stories from their elders. However, such tales have been recorded and published in books and pamphlets for children and adults. Every Ghanaian elementary student reads about this character and may get to act out a story as a way to learn about Ghana’s rich cultural heritage.

Q: Can you name this character?