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Coyote and Halloween - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Coyote and Halloween
I was watching a snippet about people complaining about Halloween costumes being offensive.  Well yes, Halloween costumes often are in poor taste.  That's the point  of the holiday: it's a "backwards night."  Most cultures have a time allotted to shenanigans, as a way of blowing off steam.  It's a safety valve.  We need it so that people don't ossify, don't act like jackasses all the time, and get some practice in what boundaries are by backing over them.

Suddenly it occurred to me that tribal cultures have the same thing in a slightly different form.  They have Coyote, or some other Trickster figure, who usually has his own rituals and/or holy days when everything is crazy.  The whole point to Coyote is that he breaks the rules, does offensive and foolish things, and shows everyone what happens  as a result.  Usually it's a big mess.  But occasionally it makes something awesome.  That's the nature of chaos.

These two things are equally true.

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3 comments or Leave a comment
From: rhodielady_47 Date: October 29th, 2018 05:50 am (UTC) (Link)

Love this Journal Entry!

How else do you teach the local children about the why's behind what's considered "right" and "wrong" in your culture if you don't have a written language than by telling interesting stories that make everyone laugh and wince at the same time?

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 29th, 2018 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Love this Journal Entry!

And Coyote is raunchy. If you think a Pocahontas costume is rude, wait until you hear the ones about Coyote and his magic turds or Coyote taking off his penis or the one where death is permanent because he tried to put out a fire by pissing on it. Those are all real legends.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: October 29th, 2018 07:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Love this Journal Entry!

Every culture determines what's "clean" and what's "raunchy".
The native American tribes probably howled with laughter when those tales were told around the camp fires.
3 comments or Leave a comment