The Trickster’s Transformation – from Africa to America
Keywords:African-American literature, African myths, the trickster
AbstractOne of the most favorite characters in many African myths and folk tales is definitely a trickster. As a part of the African cultural heritage, the trickster has an important place in the cultures of many African nations. He is an entertainer, teacher, judge and a sage. Many comic aspects of life are brought together through the trickster, as well as serious social processes. He rewards and punishes. He is a deity and an ordinary man, if not an animal. During the Middle Passage Era he goes along with his suffering people to the New World. New circumstances require him to change and assume new forms. He has to be a rebel and a protector of his people due to slavery and violation of human rights. So, from comical spider and monkey back in Africa, we now have new characters such as Railroad Bill, Brother John, Br’er Rabbit and many hoodoo doctors. African oral tradition is transformed and becomes the basis for African-American literature.
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