The Textuality of “Anansesεm”: A Pedagogical and Ideological Resource in Traditional Human Relations among the Akans in Ghana

Peter Arthur, Confidence Gbolo Sanka, Philomena Abaka


“Anansesεm”, far from being just a tradional source of entertainment for the youth in Ghana, as the uninitiated would believe it, is a serious Akan discursive approach to providing the social philosophy that guides their life. This investigation is done using ethnographic and structural analysis approaches that pair characters in “anansesεm” to create a binary or coding system and this system helps to interpret the social ideologies inherent in the text. Through such interpretations, it is seen that the framing of the “anansesεm” text gives us a dual function for Ananse__ an art and a character. The Akans combine both functions as a huge pedagogical and ideological resource for training the youth and for socializing the adults. The paper also unpacks the epistemology of the Akan social order as a function of good thinking on the part of the individual members and this is a prerequisite for a peaceful society.


Anansesεm, Akans, Ghana, Ethnography, Ideology, Pedagogy, Structural Analysis

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