Trickster God Creator Essay

1871 words - 7 pages

Tricksters appear in the mythology and folklore of many cultures around the world. Although the power and relative divinity of each Trickster varies from tradition to tradition, Tricksters have important roles in the creation, development, and sometimes destruction, of each culture. The Coyote of Native North American traditions is often depicted as assisting the “Great Mystery” or “Great Spirit” in the creating and populating of the world (Leeming). In the Greek myths Hermes is initially a sly infant who captures a tortoise with his untruths and fashions the first lyre from its shell, but eventually transitions to a place amongst the Olympic pantheon as the messenger of the gods. In the Norse myths of the Scandinavian countries, Loki is a mischievous nuisance, nonetheless responsible for the creation of many of the other gods' most identifiable possessions, but also the driving force behind the prophesied apocalypse, Ragnarok. Tricksters are more than thieves and mischief makers. As Lewis Hyde says in his introduction to the book Trickster Makes This World, “When he lies and steals, it isn't so much to get away with something or get rich as to disturb the established categories of truth and property and, by so doing, open the road to possible new worlds” (13).
While the Greek and Roman myths are some of the most widely taught, it is perhaps the Tricksters of Native North American tradition that are most recognizable in the modern age. Leeming and Page, in their book The Mythology of Native North America, suggest that no other region is “so trickster-oriented as Native North America” (47), and thus many native cultures have a Trickster along with the oft-present shaman, whether it be Coyote, Raven, Hare, or Spider. Perhaps the most – ironically – recognizable Trickster of North America is Coyote, the master of imitation and disguise. Coyote is sometimes purely self-concerned, such as in the Sioux story of “Coyote, Iktome, and the Rock” (Leeming 50-2), providing the subject for cautionary morality tales. He is also often the victim of his own pride, such as his attempt to stay awake by propping open his eyes in order to be the first to arrive at Spirit Chief's lodge at dawn and receive a new name. Coyote falls asleep anyway, retains his name, and creates a permanent slant in his eyes (Dove 17-26). At other times, however, Coyote is selfless and miraculous.
In the tale of “Montezuma and Coyote in Canoes,” from the Papago tradition of Arizona, after the Great Mystery has made the earth, and people have been made to populate it, led by Montezuma, Coyote comes to the great leader of men and instructs the chief to build a canoe. Montezuma doesn't understand why he would need a canoe, but before long a flood of Biblical magnitude washes away the land, and only Coyote and Montezuma survive to lead the new people the Great Mystery creates to repopulate (Leeming 110-11). It would seem easier to allow even the chief to perish in the flood if Coyote really...

Find Another Essay On Trickster-God-Creator

Coyote in Native Mythology: Thomas King's "The One About Coyote Going West"

4575 words - 18 pages up the whole world. For her, the worst consequences come out of the best intentions.Both a creator of order out of chaos and a destroyer of order that represses creative energies, an animal being and a spiritual force, Coyote is contradictory and ambiguous. He is also a survivor who uses his wits and instincts to adapt to the changing times. He still appears in many guises in modern Native American literature, sometimes as the trickster

The 1940 Disney Movie Pinocchio and Native American Literature

1571 words - 6 pages elements of Native American literature. The Blue Fairy known for creating life in the character for Pinocchio, and giving him the ability and opportunity to be a real boy. In Native American literature, this character is referred to as a deity. According to Danchevskaya's research on Native American mythology, a deity is “a Creator who is responsible for the creation of the world...that teaches culture, proper behavior, and provides substance to

In the Beginning - Creation Stories from Around the World

5222 words - 21 pages wulbari the creator. In the beginning wulbari was god and he hovered 4-5 feet over the earth, which caused problems because people kept running in to him. So he raised him self miles into the sky were no one could touch him. Then he made the animals his guards and a spider named Ananse their captain. Ananse is a trickster who could fool any one; he once brought god 100 men. He started boasting that he had more sense then god. When wulbari herd of


1408 words - 6 pages , Prometheus was said to have stolen the fire from Zeus. Later, Prometheus would pay for this. He was also considered to be a "supreme trickster", 'creator of mankind', a "master craftsman", and a "forethinker" or a predictor of the future. Zeus, the king of all the gods who had been tricked by Prometheus to accept the fat and bones as the traditional future sacrifices he commanded to man, later took the fire given to man by Prometheus and hid it in

Applying Author Intent and Influence to James O’Barr’s The Crow

4077 words - 16 pages Creator; sometimes this conflict is not meant to happen, but sometimes Crow will act in open defiance of the Creator. In the oral tradition of the Jews, God wants to take the spirits He has created and give them a shape or image, yet these spirits refuse to cooperate until Crow creates the pleasurable activity known as sex. In essence, Crow is a symbol of love, pleasure, and life, yet it is also a force or pain, death, and disorder. These powers

Reality and Illusion in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Reality, Appearance and Deception

896 words - 4 pages Reality and Illusion in Hamlet   Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, begins with the appearance of a ghost, an apparition, possibly a hallucination. Thus, from the beginning, Shakespeare presents the air of uncertainty, of the unnatural, which drives the action of the play and develops in the protagonist as a struggle to clarify what only seems to be absolute and what is actually reality. Hamlet's mind, therefore, becomes the central force of the

Sub-plots in Hamlet

1118 words - 4 pages Sub-plots in Hamlet   There are many things that critics say make Hamlet a "Great Work," one of which is the way that Shakespeare masterfully incorporates so many sub-plots into the story, and ties them all into the main plot of Hamlet’s revenge of his father’s murder. By the end of Act I, not only is the main plot identified, but many other sub-plots are introduced. Among the sub-plots are trust in the Ghost of King Hamlet, Fortinbras, and

Hamlet as Victim and Hero

1301 words - 5 pages and feelings jump around throughout this group of lines, which also demonstrates a nervous anger. He remembers how "excellent a king" his father was and how "loving [he was] to [Hamlet's] mother" (Hamlet Prince 71). Hamlet described his father's love towards his mother as "Hyperion to a satyr," in line one hundred forty (Hamlet Prince 71). Hyperion was the sun god of the Greeks who was very bright and beautiful (Who's Who 124). Webster's New

Essay on Light and Dark in Antigone

1188 words - 5 pages Use of Light and Dark in Antigone   The "Golden Age" of Greece is noted for its many contributions to the creative world, especially in its development of the play. These performances strived to emphasize Greek morals, and were produced principally for this purpose. Antigone, by Sophocles, is typical. The moral focused on in Antigone is the conflict between physis (nature) and nomos (law), with physis ultimately presiding over nomos

charant Creon as the Main Character of Antigone

1231 words - 5 pages Creon as the Main Character of Antigone   Throughout the Greek play Antigone by Sophocles, there exists a dispute as to who should receive the designation of main character. Antigone, the daughter of the cursed King Oedipus, as well as Creon, stately king of Thebes, both appear as the key figures in this historic play. I believe that Creon, king of Thebes, should be considered the main character in this work of Greek theater. Three

Free Macbeth Essays: Sleep and Sleeplessness

525 words - 2 pages The Sleep and Sleeplessness Motif in Macbeth We have consciences that function to tell us the difference between right and wrong. If we have clear consciences, we usually possess the ability to sleep. But when our consciences are full of guilt, we experience a state of sleeplessness. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the sleep and sleeplessness motif to represent Macbeth's and Lady Macbeth's consciences and the effect Macbeth's conscience has on

Similar Essays

Mythology Essay

873 words - 3 pages Egyptians believed in the concept of life after death. Both Egyptian mythology and Greek mythology have a ‘father-creator’ god, a ‘trickster’ god, and a ‘love’ goddess. While the duties of these roles are divided up differently among each set of gods, comparable gods are easily discernable. Within these myths, the ‘father-creator’ gods have the most in common. The Greek god Zeus and the Egyptian god Amen-Re display parallel qualities. These

Indian Tribes Essay

717 words - 3 pages predisposition to overpower the command and authority of the chief God. A trickster personality who savors mocking people is included. Earth was made by an associate God for His adopted daughter to have for herself, her husband, and his family (Creation Stories Comparison and Contrast. (n.d.)). In the Dakota story, Wakantanka, was a master creator who is known as the chief God and a great spirit, responsible for creating all other Gods. The Gods created

Cherokee Archetypes Compared To Us Arechtypes.

1136 words - 5 pages ."( Skibyak) The Cherokees, a Native American tribe had many legends and myths that explained some of the archetypes in their culture. The archetypes in this paper were: The "Grim Reaper", The Trickster, The Creator, The Hero, and The Earth Mother.Among the Cherokee the most dreaded spirit was the Raven Mocker, much like the Grim Reaper in American society. "The Raven Mocker then eats the heart of the victim. This act will add the number of days or

Native American Literature Essay

1801 words - 7 pages mythological and literary figure, plays tricks and pranks on unsuspecting victims. Native Americans believed him to be an evil spirit, a benevolent deity, a mortal and a god, a creator and destroyer, and a hero and a villain. "The Winnebago Trickster Cycle," which explains his actions before war, shows his wickedness and evil behavior. He invited guests to dinner and disappeared, only to be found having sexual intercourse with a woman. After