Coyote Boy: an Original Trickster Story

Bear Spirit PressSKU: 9781771152730

Author:
Deron Ahsén:nase Douglas
Grade Levels:
Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight
Nation:
Iroquois, Mohawk
Book Type:
Paperback
Publisher:
Indigenous Education Press
Copyright Data:
2015

Price:
Sale price$25.00

Description

Coyote Boy: an Original Trickster Story by Mohawk artist and author Deron Ahsén:nase Douglas is a unique approach to storytelling. In this original account the author draws on the Trickster traditions of other First Nations and Native American storytelling. Using Trickster characters such as Nanabush, Coyote, Raven, Iktomi, or the Trickster, Douglas creates a dream-like ambience where a Mohawk boy meets up with Coyote. The boy's family has just travelled from Kahnawake, Quebec to a very small town in southern Ontario. The boy's father no longer works on high steel in Manhattan; instead his Dad has found an office job in the new town and attends night school. Gone are the boy's extended family and friends. Now the small family enjoys the summer evenings watching the fireflies flit about. One night the boy apparently dreams about meeting a coyote outside his home. Coyote greets the boy in Mohawk with the familiar She:kon (hello). The two fall into conversation about the night and how the land had changed. They discussed how many children and adults no longer listen to the heartbeat of Mother Earth. Children and adults no longer appreciated the animals and the earth's natural environment. The summer changed to fall and finally the snow came. The boy had not seen Coyote for many months but one night Coyote appears to the boy again. This time Coyote leads the boy through snowbanks, and fog and brought the boy to a magnificent evergreen tree on a hill. The tree grew many feet into the night sky. Coyote told the boy to take the tree home for his parents' Christmas celebrations. The boy explained that the tree was much too tall to transport home. So Coyote magically shrinks the large tree. Even then the boy was reminded of the Great Tree of Peace and explained to Coyote the tree was not his to take. Coyote had tried to trick the boy but the boy remained true to his parents' teachings. The boy leaves Coyote and finds himself back in his warm bedroom falling asleep. Now the boy knows he will see Coyote again and next time the boy will be aware of Coyote's true nature - being a Trickster. The author includes additional information about the nature of Tricksters and how the Haudenosaunee do not have this character in their traditional legends. Also included are brief accounts of the Mohawk Creation Story; Three Brave Hunters and the Great Bear; explanation of Mohawk language terms used in the story; and background about the Iroquois Confederacy. This is a remarkable approach to original storytelling from a Mohawk artist and author. The oil on canvas images capture the mood of the story and its often dream-like state of the Mohawk boy and his new acquaintance Coyote. Highly recommended.

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