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

Essay by miryaiUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2006

download word file, 18 pages 3.0

Thomas King's "The One About Coyote Going West" encompasses a Cherokee variant on Native Creation, the role of Coyote, the effect of white people on Natives, and a moral lesson classic to Native mythology. Also prevalent is the clichéd "don't fix it if it ain't broke" idea wherein matters of concern deteriorate when tampered with.

Cherokee are a Native American tribe who mainly live in the southeastern United States and in Oklahoma. They believe that are two classes of the thunder beings, those who live close to the Earth, and those who live in the land of the west beyond the Mississippi and visit the people to bring rains and blessings from the South. They believe that the thunder beings who live close to the Earth's surface can and do harm people at times. The thunder beings are viewed as the most powerful of the servants of the Apportioner (Creator Spirit), and are revered in the first dance of the Green Corn Ceremony held each year, as they are believed to bring rains for a successful corn crop.

(wikipedia) Coyote going west in this story alludes to her creating people, putting her in an elevated place equivalent to a god.

The Cherokee assign a femine personality to spiritual evil, and name her "wi-na-go" in their ancient language They believe that mosquitos were created when she was destroyed in ancient legends. It is also believed that all human disease and suffering originated with the killing of animals for improper purposes, and that each animal killed for pleasure or without proper ceremonies allows a new disease to enter the physical world from the spirit world. It is also believed that the plants, in response to witnessing the suffering in the world, make a medicine to cure each sickness that enters the world...