Native American Indian Animal Spirits: Trickster Coyote

Published on November 18, 2012 by Casey

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Trickster Coyote
Trickster Coyote

Native American Indian Animal Spirits: Trickster Coyote

Name: Coyote the Trickster (Southwest)

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Tribal affiliation: Apache, Navajo

Native names: Ma’ii, Ma’yee, Mai, Mbai, Mba’, Ba’ts’oosee, Ma’ch’ose, Mba’ts’oose

Type: Animal spirits, trickster, coyote

Related figures in other tribes: Coyote (West Coast), Coyote (Plains), Chirich (Arikara), Jamul (Achumawi) 

Coyote is the most common trickster figure among the tribes of the Southwest (though in some communities, the same stories attributed to Coyote instead feature Fox as the hero, as many Mexican folktales do.) In Southwestern traditions, Coyote is sometimes helpful to humans, but at other times his impetuous and foolish behavior causes trouble for everyone around him. Frequently he is killed through his own recklessness, but always comes back to life afterwards. Like other legendary beings of the Southwest, Coyote is sometimes described as having human form, and other times animal form. Even when he has the form of a man, stories of the Southwest often derive humor from Coyote’s behavior resembling a dog’s (eating and sniffing at excrement, trying to mate with his family members, howling at inappropriate times, etc.)

Source: native-languages

NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged
Based on the collective work of NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com, © 2014 Native American Encyclopedia.
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NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com, "Native American Indian Animal Spirits: Trickster Coyote" in NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Source location: Native American Encyclopedia http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/native-american-indian-animal-spirits-trickster-coyote/. Available: http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com. Accessed: September 20, 2014.

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@ article {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com2014,
    title = {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged},
    month = Sep,
    day = 20,
    year = 2014,
    url = {http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/native-american-indian-animal-spirits-trickster-coyote/},
}
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