The Native Americans of North America also regard spiders as benevolent, benefiting mankind though their creativity and wisdom. In the myths of the Hopi people, Spider Woman is the goddess who commands the Earth, and who acts as an intermediary between gods and men. Together with the sun god Tawa, it was she who was responsible for moulding the first man and woman out of clay and giving them life. Spiders feature in a few other creation myths, weaving the world from their webs – but they also appear as tricksters.
In African mythology, the spider Anansi is both a creator
and a trickster, a mischievous character that came to be known as Aunt Nancy in the West Indies. In the Caribbean, Anansi is celebrated as a symbol of slave resistance, using his trickery and cunning to turn the tables on his cruel and heartless oppressors.