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The Anansi Totem is a mystical object that allows the user to tap in to the life force of animals, essentially allowing them to harness their abilities. It is currently owned by Mari McCabe. It was said to have been created by the trickster god Anansi for the warrior Tantu.[1] It is one of five other mystical Zambesi totems presented to the great tribes.[2]

History

The five great Zambesi tribes presented with mystical totems

After the people of Zambesi faced numerous attacks from their neighbours and nature, they prayed for protection. Their prayers were answered as the five great tribes were each presented a mystical totem harnessing a power of each elemental forces. A tribe was presented the Anansi Totem, the totem with the power of spirit.[2] It harnesses the ashe, or lifeforce of the animal kingdom.[3]

After being wielded by her grandmother and mother, the totem was passed down to Amaya Jiwe some time in the 1930s. In the 1940s, Amaya was recruited by Hourman into the Justice Society of America, and used the totem's powers to oppose the Nazis. After Hourman was murdered by Eobard Thawne,[4] she joined the Legends to track down his killer, travelling through time.[3]

During the twentieth century all five totems were presumed lost and forgotten, thanks to colonialism and war.[2] But the Anansi Totem was hidden and, in the early 21st century, Kuasa was chosen as its bearer at the age of four. However, a local warlord raided the village, forcing the few occupants to flee. Kuasa's mother escaped with Kuasa's sister Mari and the totem, ending up in America.[5]

When she was 10, Mari was given the totem by her foster mother, hoping it would help her to discover herself.[1]

Mari taps in to the Anansi Totem

Mari taps into the Totem.

Many years later, Kuasa located Mari and the totem, which she believed was rightfully hers. Mari, with the help of Dr. Macalester, learned to use its powers to defend herself,[1] though her use of superpowers attracted the notice of The Flash and The Arrow.[6]

Kuasa managed to ambush Mari, who had bonded with the totem. Kuasa severed Mari's connection to the totem by letting a spider bite her while she wore it, the spider representing Anansi in her true form. Kuasa then took the totem for herself,[5] but Mari - after communing with animal spirits who told her Kuasa was not the right person to wield it - used the same ritual to reclaim it and return to America.[7]

Powers and abilities

  • Animal spirit empowerment: The Totem allows the user to tap into the ashe or lifeforce of animals through their spirits, gaining unique abilities that relate to the animal called upon.
    • Avatar projections: Through more advanced control of the Totem, one can harness the ashe, manifesting it to produce energy constructs of chosen animals. These manifestations can physically interact with the world, acting as soldiers to aid the summoner.
    • Camouflage: The spirit of the chameleon camouflages the wielder, blending her in with her surroundings to make her practically invisible.[8]
    • Electrokinesis: The spirit of an electric eel grants the wielder the ability of using electricity to protect them from harm.
    • Flight: The spirit of the eagle gives the wielder the ability to fly. Mari had difficulty using this ability until she overcame her fear of heights.[6]
    • Speed swimming: The spirit of a dolphin allows the wielder to swim at inhuman speeds. (this can be granted by any other sea animals that fit the description).
    • Superhuman agility: The spirit of the tiger makes the wielder incredibly agile, able to leap great distances and perform incredible acrobatic feats.
    • Superhuman endurance: The spirit of the armadillo protects the wielder from physical harm.
    • Superhuman hearing: The spirit of the owl enhances the wielder's hearing, allowing her to hear quiet conversations over great distances.
    • Superhuman smelling: The spirit of the wolf allows the wielder to catch a target's scent; they can then detect if they are nearby and track them down.
    • Superhuman speed: The spirit of the cheetah lets the wielder run incredibly fast. When Mari used this power, even the Flash (moving at Mach 1) had a hard time catching her.[8]
    • Superhuman strength: The spirit of the elephant, gorilla, lion, rhinoceros or bull can grant the wielder incredible strength. Amaya used this power frequently, gaining strength enough to easily defeat multiple opponents in unarmed combat.[4] When Mari used it, she was able to tip over water towers and crumble one of The Arrow's arrows in her hand,[1][8] and later challenged Damien Darhk's telekinetic power, as he struggled considerably to just barely repel her.[9]
    • Thermal Insulation: Through the spirit of the seal, the wielder becomes unaffected by freezing temperatures.
    • Underwater breathing: The spirit of the dolphin allows the wielder to breath underwater (or at least hold her breath for an extended period, like a dolphin does).
    • Wall climbing: The spirit of the spider grants the wielder the wall crawling abilities of a spider, defying gravity.

Appearances

Vixen


Arrow

Season 4

DC's Legends of Tomorrow


Trivia

  • Whenever a user taps into the totem's power, the animal chosen briefly appears as an incorporeal or astral projection; it is blue for Amaya, purple for Mari and yellow for Kuasa.

Behind-the-scenes

  • In the DC comics Vixen's necklace, while also created by Anansi is known primarily as Tantu Totem.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Episode 2"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Episode 1"
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Shogun"
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The Justice Society of America"
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Episode 5"
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Episode 4"
  7. "Episode 6"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Episode 1"
  9. "Taken"