World Mythology 201
12th October, 2014
The Tricksters of Light and Fire
Trickster tales can express culture and can also be folklores from beliefs. These stories tell us how the tricksters behaved and in most cases convey a lesson or moral. A trickster is a character who does not follow rules and tricks others for their benefit. They can be animals, humans, or other characters. They can also be good or bad, clever or unintelligent, tough or fragile, caring or cruel, and so on. Tricksters are often untrustworthy trouble makers who try to manipulate others to get what they want. Through contrasting tales, Anansi, Coyote and Raven, all had similarities and differences revolved around the role of the Trickster as light or fire giver.Anansi was the spider who provided light. Many could see him as greedy, sneaky, and not having a sense of right and wrong. He is also known as a culture hero and many times tumbles into trouble. In some ways he shows compassion and intelligences. He is admired for having victories over those who are larger and stronger than him, but never really gains moral approval. He can be smart but then often shows his clumsiness. Sometimes he helps other creatures but only for his advantages. This tale is about Anansi falling into a hole, and also getting eaten by a fish. Then each of his six sons work together to get him out and save him. On Anansi’s way home he finds a beam of light and plans to give it to one of his sons. When he cannot figure out which son to give it two he hands it off to Nyame, the God of all things, and Nyame decides to take it up into the sky where everyone can see it. More often than not Coyote is a trickster, but in many instances is different. Coyote has many heroic attributes like alteration, traveling, high deeds, and authority. He also is known for changing landscapes, and also getting ahold of many things sacred. Even when Coyote could have been defeated his...
Cited: "Anansi The Spider (1972)." Vimeo. Web. 08 Oct. 2014.
Erdoes, Richard, and Alfonso Ortiz. American Indian Trickster Tales. New York: Viking, 1998. 6-9. Print."Northern Exposure - Christmas - The Raven Pageant." YouTube. Web. 08 Oct. 2014.
Thury, Eva M., and Margaret Klopfle Devinney. Introduction to Mythology: Contemporary Approaches to Classical and World Myths. New York: Oxford UP, 2005. Print.
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