Br"er Rabbit /ˈ b r ɛər/ (Brother Rabbit), also spelled Bre"r Rabbit or Brer Rabbit or Bruh Rabbit, is a central figure as Uncle Remus tells stories of the Southern United States. Br"er Rabbit is a trickster who succeeds by his wits rather than by brawn, provoking authority figures and bending social mores as he sees fit. The Walt Disney Company later adapted this character for its 1946 animated motion picture Song of the South.
In one tale, Br"er Fox constructs a doll out of a lump of tar and dresses it with some clothes. When Br"er Rabbit comes along he addresses the Tar-Baby amiably, but receives no response. Br"er Rabbit becomes offended by what he perceives as the Tar-Baby"s lack of manners, punches it, and in doing so becomes stuck. The more Br"er Rabbit punches and kicks the tar "baby" out of rage, the more he gets stuck. When Br"er Fox reveals himself, the helpless but cunning Br"er Rabbit pleads, "please, Br"er Fox, don"t fling me in dat brier-patch," prompting Fox to do exactly that. As rabbits are at home in thickets, the resourceful Br"er Rabbit uses the thorns and briers to escape. The story was originally published in Harper"s Weekly by Robert Roosevelt; years later Joel Chandler Harris included his version of the tale in his Uncle Remus stories.
The Br"er Rabbit stories can be traced back to trickster figures in Africa, particularly the hare that figures prominently in the storytelling traditions in West, Central, and Southern Africa. These tales continue to be part of the traditional folklore of numerous peoples throughout those regions. In the Akan traditions of West Africa, the trickster is usually the spider Anansi, though the plots in his tales are often identical with those of stories of Br"er Rabbit. However, Anansi does encounter a tricky rabbit called "Adanko" (Asante-Twi to mean "Hare") in some stories. The Jamaican character with the same name "Brer Rabbit", is an adaptation of the Ananse stories of the Akan people.
Some scholars have suggested that in his American incarnation,