Old Man Coyote (Crow)

Old Man Coyote (Crow)

Old Man Coyote (Crow)

Old Man Coyote (Crow)

Synopsis

Trickster and transformer, powerful and vulnerable, Coyote is a complex figure in Indian legend. He was often the ultimate example of how not to be: foolish, proud, self-important. The tales in Old Man Coyote were told by the Crow Indians of present-day southeastern Montana. During long winter evenings by the lodge fire, they enjoyed hearing about the only warrior ever to visit the Bird Country, the Little-people who adopted a lost boy, the two-faced tribe that gambled for keeps, the marriage of Worm-face, and the origin of the buffalo. Wandering through these well-spun tales is the irrepressible Old Man Coyote, sometimes scoring a coup, sometimes getting his comeuppance.

Excerpt

Fred W. Voget

Frank B. Linderman Old Man Coyote will appeal to a wide readership of laymen and professionals. It is a delightful and informative introduction to the way the Absaroka or Crow Indian buffalo hunters and warriors viewed the world and their place in it. the myths are drawn from a cosmological legacy shared with the Hidatsa, from whom the Crow separated. the selection ranges over dangerous missions, god-like heroes, personal contests of medicine powers, and the mysterious experiences of human beings with Spirit Persons. Sketches of Crow life by Herbert Morton Stoops enliven the text.

The time following the creation, when the earth was young, was a vital moment in the history of Hidatsa and Crow. "Medicine heroes" descended from the heavens and used their sky medicines to overcome life-destroying monsters reigning on earth. Each of these medicine heroes, children of Sun, was made an "orphan" by the death of his mother.

The image of orphans wielding irresistible medicine powers had great appeal, for it meant that at birth, by virtue of a gift of medicine, a person was predestined for great things. Outstanding chiefs seemed to represent fulfillment of the predestined orphan image. "Lost Boy and the Little People . . ."

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