Monday, December 12, 2011


John Alexander Watler- The last of Belize's legendary storytellers. In the tradition of George McKesey, George Gabb and Shirley Ward. 

With Brer Anansi you can't get anymore cultural. He is roots and culture in the truest interpretation of the term. Our enslaved ancestors from West Africa brought their folk here, Anansi with them to the new world. Even the British Colonial masters recognized how important their folk hero was to our forefathers' culture and survival, and when they were allowed to go to school, they included Brer Anansi in all their elementary school reading books (Royal Reader and Caribbean Reader) in Belize, the Caribbean and Guyana. 

Brer Anansi is an integral part of our culture. He helped our forefathers to survive 300 years of British colonial oppression, as a result of which we are here today. But getting out of the yoke British colonial was a painful struggle; our leaders felt that independence had to be won even if it meant abandoning and shunning our own culture, which to a great extent we did.

But now that we're rid of colonialism and have come to know the importance of  our culture, we want back that part where Brer Anansi was king; when he was able to make our ancestors laugh to hide our pain. And who is more aptly relevant to bring it back than John Alexander Watler, Mr. Brer Anansi himself, one to the acknowledge heroes whose efforts helped to keep Brer anansi from annihilated by foreign cultures, who for more than five decades has been telling Brer Anansi stories?

Remember when Brer anansi was stranded on a deserted island and found himself surrounded by score of hungry, starving alligator? Remember when Brer Tiger had a big feast and didn't invite Brer Anansi and how Brer Anansi ended up with the whole feast? Or how about when Brer Anansi struck Brer Toad with a piece of cassava stick and thought he had killed him. Or when Brer Anansi announced that Tiger is his riding horse? How about when Brer Anansi had four cakes, gave them all away and still ended up with two the honest way? 

In Brer Anansi stories John Alexander Watler brings back many of those stories. But unlike others before him, John adds songs, excitement and action to many of his Anansi stories and they will keep you laughing "till yuh belly bus". 

Additionally, "BRER ANANSI STORIES" will refresh memories and tell our children about our past.

Now you can get Mr. Watler CD by visiting his Website at: or call him at 
  773-615-3480  Kriol or English for US$12.00


Aria Lightfoot said...

Wow! I wonder how many of our younger generation can appreciate this. I think I will get me a CD...I remember the funny stories as kids. Pre cable TV!

Jutta Green said...

Words of wisdom through imagination - great! And who wouldn't want to "keep laughing till yuh belly bus."

Terese Akrofi said...

Fantastic! Wish I'd known about the Caribbean Reader when Josh did a folklore book report on Anansi. My daughter Abby is going to do one on Tata Duende. Getting a book called "Tek Mi Noh Tek Mi", a book of Caribbean folklore. Two or three from Belize.