|| Listen as Lawrence Aripa tells the story of how Coyote received his particular identity and personality. You will also be introduced to many of the other First Peoples who traveled the earth long before there were human peoples.
Part 1 (originally developed as part of "Coyote Legends" video by the Foundation for Water and Energy Education in 1998.)
In the character of Smiyiw - Coyote - are critical examples of what is proper and improper behavior, important mi'yep - "teachings." Coyote is the trickster par excellence, using his great skills of physical prowess, strategy, deception and chicanery to outwit his opponent. Coyote can be a "wise" and noble benefactor, but he can also be the selfish and foolish buffoon.
In many accounts, Coyote exhibits his self-effacing character, helping others as he frees the salmon from the Swallow Sisters at Celilo Falls or rids the land of the Rock Monster, for example. In these instances, Coyote is typically successful in his schemes. But when Coyote is selfish and seeks only rewards for himself, as when he desires the chief’s daughter or hunts more deer than he needs, he fails, duped by his own deception, and is made the "fool."
|Ann Antelope Samuels, ca. 1910 |
Taken as a whole, the various accounts of Coyote thus provide important teachings. When defending one’s family in the face of an enemy or seeking to benefit the other members of one’s family, it is appropriate to be the "Coyote," applying his skills of the strategy, cunning and trickery. But when those same skills are applied against the members of one’s own family or tribe and only self rewards are sought, Coyote’s example only points the way to failure and what is most inappropriate behavior.
|| Listen as Lawrence Aripa continues telling the story of how Coyote received his particular identity and personality. |
Open up your heart and listen carefully. Observe and learn of which particular "Coyote" is revealed in each of the following stories.
© Coeur d'Alene Tribe 2002
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