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Meet the trickster - a crafty creature or being who disrupts the order of things and often humiliates others and even himself in the process. Whether a coyote or rabbit, raccoon or raven, tricksters use cunning to get food, steal precious possessions, or simply cause mischief.

This graphic anthology of trickster tales features more than 20 traditional tales in comic form.

 

 

Key Ideas and Details - Common Elements

Trickster features stories from many different Native American nations, from many different regions and times. Despite this, many share certain characteristics and characters. For example, many tales star a coyote. Can you find three other trends from across the stories in this book? Why do you think these stories have these things in common?

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas - the Folktale Tradition

Throughout history, people passed down lessons and the history of their culture through stories that they told aloud. Listen to one or more of the storytellers featured on this website, so you can hear how these tales might have been told in times past.

Now make up a trickster-style tale of your own to explain something you've seen going wrong in your own life. Did a car break down? Was there a large storm that caused damage? Tell your trickster tale to someone else, or share in a group, mimicking the style and suspense you heard the master storytellers use.

Vocabulary Acquisition and Usage - How Do You Know the Meaning?

Many of the stories in Trickster were written by Native American authors, and as a result, there are many that have non-English words and names in them. Some are clearly identified, some are not. See if you can find these words in the book, and find out what they mean. Explain how you came to this guess.

  • Aquinnah ("Moshup's Bridge")
  • 'awa ("Puapualenalena - Wizard Dog of Waipi'o Valley")
  • azban ("Azban and the Crayfish")
  • chinook ("The Bear Who Stole the Chinook")
  • chuckfi ("Giddy Up, Wolfie")
  • deq ("Raven the Trickster")
  • espun ("Espun and Grandfa
  • Hensci ("Rabbit and the Tug of War")
  • ipu ("Puapualenalena - Wizard Dog of Waipi'o Valley")
  • Kiha-pu ("Puapualenalena - Wizard Dog of Waipi'o Valley")
  • Klallams ("The Wolf and the Mink")
  • Mauna Kea ("Puapualenalena - Wizard Dog of Waipi'o Valley")
  • Nashoba-Tek ("Giddy Up, Wolfie")
  • Noepe ("Moshup's Bridge")
  • sagamore ("Azban and the Crayfish")
  • 'uhane ("Puapualenalena - Wizard Dog of Waipi'o Valley")
  • uku ("Puapualenalena - Wizard Dog of Waipi'o Valley")
  • wigwam ("Waynaboozhoo and the Geese")

Supplemental Videos