Looking for Primary Source Spider Tales

by Dan Stout

I get a good portion of my web traffic from people looking for info about the legendary Congolese giant spider-- the J'ba Fofi. I can't say as I'm too shocked by that, since it's a story that so fascinated me that when I started writing a blog, most everything that came out was somehow related back to it.

Most of what I know of the legend comes from secondary sources, where someone has put together a summary of the different stories, usually with a line like, "For centuries there have been legends..." or "Many natives say...". For some time I've been wondering if there's any collections of the folklore and legends of the Baka people, and the Congo area in general. I'd love to see exactly what the original legnds were, whether Anansi, some variation, or something else all together.

Does anyone out there have any recommendations for such spider-oriented folklore or urban legends? If so, drop a note in the comments section!

   (As an aside, the best summation of secondary sources is easily Terrence Aym's article, "Possibility of the Existence of the Congolese Giant Spider". It's a great starting point for reading up on our large & legendary eight-legged friends. )

by Dan Stout