Published on November 12, 2012 by Casey
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Tribal affiliation: Arikara
Alternate spellings: Scirihts
Also known as: Coyote
Type: Animal spirit, trickster, coyote
Related figures in other tribes: Coyote (Plains)
The coyote deity Chirich is the trickster figure of Arikara mythology. He is clever but reckless, and is forever getting himself and the people around him into trouble, particularly through socially inappropriate behavior like greediness, boastfulness, lying, and chasing women. Like modern cartoon characters, Coyote frequently dies during the course of his adventures and returns randomly to life– it is impossible to truly get rid of that trickster for good. Chirich stories are often humorous in nature, but they can also be cautionary tales about the consequences of bad behavior and the dangers of interacting with irresponsible people.