Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pineapple Girl

Child turning back into pineapple
Inspired by, but NOT claiming to be an authentic representation of, the "Pineapple Child" folktale from the Ga people of Ghana. (This is the second illustration in a series inspired by folklore about plant material transmuting into human form.)

One version of the folktale is retold in West African Folktales (collected and translated by Jack Berry) as "Adene and the Pineapple Child."

An old woman counsels a childless couple to pick a talking pineapple and take it home. Three days later, the pineapple transforms into a beautiful baby girl, whom the couple adopts.

The parents raise the child with love and care. All is well until one day the child is left at home while her father and mother are at the farm. Adene, an older girl who lives with the family, taunts the child about her non-human origins.

Deeply hurt, the girl decides to return to "the land of the pineapples." Her father, on realizing what is happening, pursues after his departing daughter, but just before he reaches her, she returns to her old place on the pineapple plant.
The Ashanti ethnic group of Ghana also has folklore about a pineapple child, which has been retold by Peggy Appiah in The Pineapple Child and Other Tales from Ashanti.

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