Throughout history, and all over the world, mythology has been developed as a way of explaining the unknown and coping with one’s existence. Why does the sun shine? Well, seemingly, to generations past, something is controlling the universe, so there must be a god in charge of the sun and many other natural phenomenon. During the creation of Native American myths, “there was much in the way of free-range food, but hunting wasn't as easy as getting up in the morning, taking a stroll and shooting a few passing bison with your bow” (Godchecker). Times were tough, “even Plains societies who lived off the prolific buffalo fell under the threat of starvation at times” (Godchecker). Finally, “when herds were found, the people were grateful and …show more content…
The Native American Trickster is usually described as a character that “is a wandering, bawdy, gluttonous, and obscene” (72). The Trickster is “usually male but able to alter his sex at will,” he “may copulate with his daughter or daughter–in-law or send his penis swimming across rivers in search of sexual adventure” (72). He is often characterized as being “selfish, amoral, foolish, destructive, and as his name indicates, given to duping others in his own interest” (72). However, the trickster “is also a culture hero, someone often with godlike power who long, long ago helped to establish the order of the world that we know today” (72). Though, his folly caused him to forget his purpose of ridding the earth of evil entities, he is still a staple in Native American tales. Every tribe has their own version of the trickster! The Winnebego trickster, also known as Wakjankaga, was “sent to instruct or destroy monsters who would be harmful to the people (a mission he foolishly forgets)” (73). He fails his mission because he becomes too consumed with “The people…These who walk on two legs, because he was fascinated by them” and so, “he started to tease them” (77). Consequently, “Whatever he was doing…He forgot about it, and then all over the earth he went traveling” (77). While traveling, Wakjankaga learns a very valuable lesson in mocking nature. He, indignantly, devours a bulb after being warned that it would cause him to defecate. Before long, “he began to break wind”
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I took the Native American IAT and the Age IAT tests. I thought my results would be that I would have some association with Native Americans because I have Native American in my ancestry. My results were that I had little or no association between Native American and American with Foreign and American. I am not sure if I agree with them or not and that maybe from family history. I have no ideal if this method is truly effective and I would try to make sure that I am being considerate about other people's culture when teaching students and interacting with their families. I took away from this test that I learned new things about my thought process.
Throughout the readings of North American myths I noticed many similar themes throughout them. I had expected the closeness of man and nature to be prevalent based on my prior knowledge. What I had not expected, however, was the value of women. In our prior reading for this class, women have been seen as week, ornamental figures. In these North American myths women played a huge role in the creation of the earth as it is. At times the men were even seen as less then the women. For this reflection I will be focusing on the Huron myth of “The Making of the World.”
In American Indian Stories, University of Nebraska Press Lincoln and London edition, the author, Zitkala-Sa, tries to tell stories that depicted life growing up on a reservation. Her stories showed how Native Americans reacted to the white man’s ways of running the land and changing the life of Indians. “Zitkala-Sa was one of the early Indian writers to record tribal legends and tales from oral tradition” (back cover) is a great way to show that the author’s stories were based upon actual events in her life as a Dakota Sioux Indian. This essay will describe and analyze Native American life as described by Zitkala-Sa’s American Indian Stories, it will relate to Native Americans and their interactions with American societies, it will
Kind and selfish, deep and shallow, male and female, and foolish and wise aren’t always words that are associated with each other, quite the opposite in fact. However, when it comes to the trickster tales of Native Americans, each word is associated with the other and describes more or less the same person or animal. To Native American people a trickster affects the world for an infinite number of reasons, including instruction and enjoyment. A trickster, like the name implies, is a cunning deception. A trickster can be a hero. However, at the same time he could introduce death. How is that heroic? Why would a group of people want to remember a person that brings punishments such as death? The function the trickster tales have/ had on
Popular culture has shaped our understanding and perception of Native American culture. From Disney to literature has given the picture of the “blood thirsty savage” of the beginning colonialism in the new world to the “Noble Savage,” a trait painted by non-native the West (Landsman and Lewis 184) and this has influenced many non native perceptions. What many outsiders do not see is the struggle Native American have on day to day bases. Each generation of Native American is on a struggle to keep their traditions alive, but to function in school and ultimately graduate.
“Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.-Native American proverb” This is a Native American proverb that shows how important storytelling and stories are to the Native Americans and their culture. Storytelling was a big way of teaching their lifestyle to their younger generation. Storytelling is very important to the Native American culture because it helps explain their way of life, faith, and helps teach life lessons to the younger generation.
In her book American Indian Stories, Zitkala-Sa's central role as both an activist and writer surfaces, which uniquely combines autobiography and fiction and represents an attempt to merge cultural critique with aesthetic form, especially surrounding such fundamental matters as religion. In the tradition of sentimental, autobiographical fiction, this work addresses keen issues for American Indians' dilemmas with assimilation. In Parts IV and V of "School Days," for example, she vividly describes a little girl's nightmares of paleface devils and delineates her bitterness when her classmate died with an open Bible on her bed. In this groundbreaking scene, she inverts the allegation of Indian religion as superstition by labeling
From as early as the time of the early European settlers, Native Americans have suffered tremendously. Native Americans during the time of the early settlers where treated very badly. Europeans did what they wanted with the Native Americans, and when a group of Native Americans would stand up for themselves, the European would quickly put them down. The Native Americans bow and arrows where no match for the Europeans guns and cannon balls. When the Europeans guns didn’t work for the Europeans, the disease they bought killed the Native Americans even more effectively.
Trickster tales have been an important part of the Native American culture for hundreds of years. Trickster tales are an oral storytelling tradition and are continuously passed down from generation to generation of Native American Indians. American Indians enjoy listening and telling trickster tales because it is a fun and interesting way to tell a story with a valuable lesson. In many tales, the trickster has a name associated with an animal, and a majority of listeners assume they are animals; however, in some tales, characteristics may appear more human-like. Trickster tales allow Native American cultures to use their imagination and thoroughly understand the moral lessons presented in the tales, and therefore may help with one’s
Culture, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is stated as “The integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief and behavior that dpends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations. The customary beliefs, social forms and material traits of a racial, religious or social group. The set shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterizes an institution or organization. The set of values, conventions or social practices associated with a particular field, activity or societal characteristic.” Of these four definitions, I shall be focusing on the second one to discuss what makes up the culture of American Indians.The culture of the various tribes that made up the Native Americans is one of close knit families, highlyspiritual peoples and living together as one with the land they lived on. They believed in spirits, worshiping and honoring them. Some settled into single locations while others were nomadic, but all had a focus on working with the land around them. Because there are so many varying tribes that make up Native
When Europeans first set foot upon the shores of what is now the United States they brought with them a social structure which was fundamentally based around their concept and understanding of Western European Christianity. That the indigenous peoples might already have a thriving civilization, including religious beliefs and practices, that closely paralleled the beliefs and practices of European civilization, was a concept not considered by these early explorers and settlers. This European lack of cultural understanding created tensions, between Native Americans and Europeans, and later between Native Americans and Euro-Americans, that eventually erupted into open warfare and resulted in great bloodshed between cultures. For the Lakota
Like a coin dropped between the cushions of a couch, traditional oral storytelling is a custom fading away in current American culture. For Native Americans, however, the practice of oral storytelling is still a tradition that carries culture and rich history over the course of generations. Three examples of traditional oral stories, “How Men and Women Got Together”, “Coyote’s Rabbit Chase”, and “Corn Mother”, demonstrate key differences in perspectives and values among diverse native tribes in America.
What is a trickster? A trickster typically breaks the creeds of the divine or nature, most of the time this is doomed maliciously, but sometimes with positive results. More frequently than not, the rule-breaking will capture the pattern of tricks, or thievery. Tricksters are generally cunning, foolish, or perhaps both. They are usually very funny even when they are scared. In diverse cultures the trickster and humanizing hero are often merged in one. Tricksters are particular to their own cultures. However, tricksters are naturally bound by undeniable attributes no matter what their religion is or what culture they have come from. It is thought that all of us have some type of trickster within us, whether it may be conscious or
The myths and folklore that we encounter in many cultures appear to have at least one Trickster in the midst. The specific skills of each Trickster varies from cultures, but evidently are important in the creation and development of each culture, “In some... trickster myths, the side effect of its lawlessness is the creation of social order” (Giddens, 31). The Coyote of Native American traditions is often shown as aiding the “Great Spirit” in the world. In opposition to the culture, Greek mythology Hermes is a devious child who captures a tortoise with his lies and creates the first lyre from its shell, but eventually transitions to as the messenger of the gods that relates to Coyote and the “Great Spirit” as he aids the gods by relaying messages. Both Hermes and Coyote have many similarities and differences that make them unique to the culture that believe in them as they depict the theme of duty, the theme of morality as well as gender roles.
Native American literatures embrace the memories of creation stories, the tragic wisdom of native ceremonies, trickster narratives, and the outcome of chance and other occurrences in the most diverse cultures in the world. These distinctive literatures, eminent in both oral performances and in the imagination of written narratives, cannot be discovered in reductive social science translations or altogether understood in the historical constructions of culture in one common name. (Vizenor 1)