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Southern Frontier HumorNew Approaches$
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Ed Piacentino

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617037689

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617037689.001.0001

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Anancy’s Web/Sut’s Stratagems

Anancy’s Web/Sut’s Stratagems

Humor, Race, and Trickery in Jamaica and the Old Southwest

(p.171) Anancy’s Web/Sut’s Stratagems
Southern Frontier Humor

John Lowe

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines the transnational intersections between the Anancy trickster of Jamaica and his counterpart in southern frontier humor. It shows how the trickster, featured in the Anancy folktales, represent humor, chaos, and ambiguity. Both the Anancy trickster and southern frontier humor exhibit orality, headline liars, are subversive, favor cleverness and the underdog, employ vernacular discourse, and sometimes use reversal (with the trickster being tricked), among other similarities. However, Anancy tales were initially told by slaves whereas antebellum southern humor tales and sketches often feature poor white storytellers. This emphasis on humor, race, and trickery in the Anancy and the Old Southwest continues to have meaning for both Jamaican and American cultures of today.

Keywords:   trickster, Anancy, Jamaica, southern frontier humor, folktales, chaos, slaves, race, trickery, Old Southwest

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