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 [14. New Names.]


14. New Names.

The trick to save a mother in time of famine from a mutual agreement of sacrifice to hunger, has a great vogue in Jamaica. I got two versions, and Pamela Smith tells it as "Parrot, Tiger and Anancy," 52-54.

Compare: Dayrell, 86-90; Dennett, 85; Harris, Nights, 233-236; 237-241; Fortier, 109; Parsons, Andros Island, 116-117; JAFL 30:230-231.

Only in the Jamaica versions and in Parsons does the trick consist in teaching a hidden name. In P. Smith, after saving his mother by teaching her the new name, Anansi hides her in a tree and the story follows 17a. Dayrell, and Harris 237-241, tell the tree story. In Dennet, she is hidden in a cave, where she is discovered by treachery and killed. In Harris 233-236, Wolf's mother is taken first to market and sold, and Rabbit tricks Wolf out of horses, wagon and provisions by the familiar device of burying the tails; but the story is incomplete, as it does not explain how Anansi got out of the bargain. In Fortier, the two mothers are tied, one with a rope, the other with a cob-web, and one mother escapes. The tying trick precedes the tail-burying in Parson's Portuguese version, JAFL 30:230-231.

In Chatelain, 141-145, four brothers-in-law refuse food to their brother's wife because she does not know their names. A bird sings them to her as follows:

    Listen, I will tell thee;
(One is) Tumba Sekundu;
(One Is) Tumba Sekundu Muna;
(One is) Tumba Kaulu;
(One is) Tumba Kaulu Muna.

For the hidden name theme which forms the basis of this story, see note to number 69.

Next: Note 15. Long Shirt.