Since the beginning of civilization, mythology and religion have existed as an explanation to the unexplainable. The Nez Perce tale, Coyote Finishes His Work , talks about the spirit, Coyote, and his work on earth up to the point where he met the Great Spirit. The works of Coyote, and the message left behind by the Great Spirit, parallel those by beings of other mythologies and religions. Each one involves an archetypical figure who acts as a supreme deity, and another which teaches and aids humankind. These stories share the same basic structure and in some form they involve the redemption of the character or others.
Webster’s dictionary defines redemption as, “The process of freeing from distress or harm.” The message left behind by the Great Spirit tells us that,” Coyote and He will return with the spirits of the dead when earth is old and requires change. When they do return things will be made right and there will be no Other Side Camp. All the people will live together. And earth will return the first shape.” The Other Side Camp represents the Continents and people east of America. We know the Europeans inflicted tremendous atrocities against the Native Americans, and as a result Native Americans exist in very small numbers today. The return of Coyote and Great Spirit will literally be the rise of the Native Americans which Coyote created.
Archetypical figures matching the characteristics of Coyote and the Great Spirit of the Nez Perce tradition are found in many religions, cultures, and mythos. For example, Coyote is depicted as settling and educating the Native Americans around earth. Coyote is also depicted as a wanderer that was capable of many miracles. He was even able to be resurrected when killed. The Great Spirit is shown as deity or the highest spirit to the Nez Perce. The Bible, the Quran, and parables of Buddhism, describe archetypes which mirror, Coyote Finishes His Work but with different characters. Jesus the Christ, Muhammad, and...
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