Coyote and Bear

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, North America, Trickster Pages: 4 (1463 words) Published: September 21, 2005
The Native American tale of "Coyote and Bear", originally translated from oral tradition in nineteen six by G. A. Dorsey in the book The Pawnee, Mythology, Part I, tells us the story of Coyote who accidentally meets Bear, and in order to protect himself from being killed by Bear, starts to make up self praising stories to impress Bear. Eventually, Coyote convinces Bear, but after a few hesitant moves, Bear realizes that Coyote was lying. The tale then, ends up with the murder of Coyote by Bear. The most relevant literary figure used in the tale is the trickster, which is, in the study of folklore, a god, a spirit, or simply a human hero who breaks god´s or nature´s rules, sometimes with bad intention, but usually with final positive effects. Most of the times, these broken rules take the form of tricks. Tricksters can be cunning, or foolish, or both. They are often very funny even though sometimes considered sacred. The present tale is part of the Native American oral tradition of the trickster, which is esthetically simple but considered sacred at the times, in which Coyote represents the figure of survival, who would invent any story to get away from death. Bear represents the nature, and its normal evolution of the species through the predation process. However, being myself aware of the likelihood of the former Native American trickster theory, it is my intention to take the risk and formulate the following new theory of the "Coyote and Bear" tale. The argument of the tale uses the personification of Coyote as the white european colonizers who came, at the beginning, in small numbers fearing the Native Americans, characterized as Bear, and used their white tricky political ways to cheat the original owners of the land and continue their settlements all over the American soil. However, and in correspondence with the outcome of the tale, the natives eventually realized about the fake intentions and killed the europeans. The traditional point of view, and most...
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