Essay on Native American Trickster Stories

Essay by MccaddenSucksUniversity, Bachelor's August 2004

download word file, 2 pages 4.5 1 reviews

Lee A. Zito

The Native American Trickster stories were definitely not what I expected them to be. I expected something along the lines of Aesop's Fables, but these particular trickster stories were somewhat different from the usual trickster tale I was taught in grade school. The stories to our culture are very immature, vulgar, and immoral. But I could see the same story being played out on an episode of The Simpson's, or Beavis and Butthead.

For the Native Americans these stories were a form of orally told entertainment. As obscene as they get, the Native Americans found them quite amusing. For instance, in The Winnebago Trickster Cycle the main character has a run in with a strange talking bulb. The bulb says if he is eaten he will make the person who has eaten him defecate. The main character ignores this warning and proceeds to eat the bulb.

He ends up letting loose wind as he walks, until his gas becomes so violent he is actually flying up into the air.

During this description I couldn't help but be amazed that the Native Americans found this appropriate enough to discuss for entertainment. It made me realize that even though settlers thought them of as barbarians, they were actually ahead of their time. This sort of entertainment is acceptable and profitable in our society today. Most television shows utilize the immature humor and successfully captivate audiences.

Another occurrence from the Winnebago Trickster Cycle I found to be shocking was when the Trickster pretends to be a woman. He not only throws on a dress and struts like a woman, he actually creates a vulva out of elk's liver. He then proceeds to create breasts for himself out of elk's kidneys. He also is able to get pregnant.