“The Coyote and the Buffalo”a trickster tale retold by Mourning DoveDO NOW: Define a villain.What characteristics doesa villain have to have to beconsidered a villain? Whatactions do they need totake? Are there anyexamples of sympatheticvillains (villains you feelsorry for)? Describe.
Read the notable quote in the corner of page 42. What does Mourning Dove mean by what she says? After reading her biography, what do you think her purpose or mission is?
Trickster Tales• Feature an animal or humancharacter that engages in deceit,violence or magic•Tricksters are mythic and explainhow some aspects of human naturecame to be•Some trickster tales are about weak people or tiny animalsoutwitting their stronger enemies
Setting takes place in the distant pastor a timeless place. desertjungle forest
There is usually a problem anda solution to the problem."Coyote takes water from the Frog people...because it is not right that one people have all thewater."
Trickster Characters in Different Cultures:Greek: Eris (goddess of chaos), Hermes (god of thieves andtravelers), Prometheus (stole fire from the gods and gave itto humans) Eris is partly responsible for the Trojan war. Hermes played tricks on the gods and mortals; ally of the Greeks in the Trojan war and “bringer of luck” to the soldiers.
Nordic: Loki – sometimes assists the gods, sometimes hinders; shape-shifter; his murder of Baldr bring about the end of the world. Father of Hel (goddess of the underworld), Fenrir (a wolf beast), and the Midgard serpent.
Native American: coyote, raven (also associated with battle anddeath), fox, Iktomi the spiderWest Africa: Anansi the spider Many of Aesop’s Fables deal with trickster animal characters, such as the story of the “Fox and the Grapes”
Characteristics of Tricksters are Contradictory •Foolish and clever •Greedy and helpful •Immoral and moral •Creative and destructiveThink of a movie or book where the villain is morecompelling than the hero. What qualities does such a villaindisplay? Which of these traits contribute most to his/herappeal?
What is the difference between being mischievous and being evil? Why do these trickster characters appeal to so many cultures? Why are they likeable and unlikeable at the same time?
Coyote and the Buffalo What does the Coyote find in the second paragraph? How does he respond? What do you think about his actions and motivation?
What do you think about Buffalo Bull and hisactions? Does he seem justified and reasonable ?
What trickster qualities does theCoyote exhibit in the story? Explain. •Desecrates the dead body of his enemies (immoral) •Calls on his helper spirit to grow some trees in his way to climb (magic) •Convinces Buffalo to le him smoke before he dies (clever) •Gives the Buffalo new horns (creator, generous) •Kills the cow (greedy, destroyer)
H ave you ever tried to talk your way out of a difficult situation? Did it work? How does this experience help you understand how the Coyote feels?How does the Coyote use his wilesto try to maniupulate Buffalo Bull?•Calls him “friend” and “uncle”•Offers to share his pipe•Makes new horns
What does Coyote receive from Buffalo Bull in return for the horns? Will he listen to the restrictions associated with the gift?He is greedyand selfish;lives by hisown rules.
W hat happens when the Coyote breaks the rules and eats attempts to eat the marrow bones? Is he able to enjoy his meal? W hat lesson may this be trying to teach the reader?How would you characterize the old woman? Who does she remindyou of? She is a trickster. Flatters the coyote to get his marrow-fat. Calls him “brave warrior” and “great chief” that should not do woman’s work.
Which do you think is more of a villain, the old woman or the Coyote? Why?What are some lessons thisstory teaches? Both the oldwoman and the Coyote useflattery to deceive. Whatmessage about flattery is thestory conveying?
Stories give the reader insight into the culture that they come from. What did you learn about: The traits and qualities the Okanogan admire and disapprove ofWarrior culture (leaders displaced by stronger ones) – Buffalo.Favored tricksters and taught their children the benefits of lies indifficult situations. Respected intellect and cunning. Okanogan rituals and religious beliefs Smoking pipes, spirit helpers – both assist and scold Coyote (a guiding force in life), reincarnation – Buffalo Bull comes back from the dead Traditional role of womenWomen did the cooking and housekeeping – old woman’s comments
What do you have in common with Native Americans?
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