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Reply To: Why Not Dance?” with mythologist Catherine Svehla, Ph.D.”


Hi Sunbug,

thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, especially the story of those dances. I can feel the trickster energy there— I’d say a blend of the playful, crazy, and potentially disastrous, and all for and in the moment:). Nanobozo!

I’ll have to look into the female tricksters that you suggest. A female pirate sounds interesting. After I posted to Stephen, I realized that I forgot to answer that part of his question. I agree that there are likely  female tricksters in the legendary stories but the definitions and biases get in the way.

One thing that I wonder about is the need to attribute gravitas and culture hero status to trickster. Do European derived/outsider scholars feel a need (perhaps unconscious) to “redeem” the trickster by saying, “well, he also did this good thing?”

In the case of coyote and raven, for example– I’ve only dipped a toe into Native American perspectives but I find emphasis on the foolishness and bad example and humor. More of a “oh well, there he goes again” and shrug your shoulders, attitude.

I also expect contemporary spinners of the old myth material will reveal female tricksters to us in ways that are both old and new:).

warmly, Catherine