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Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear

clueless don 29 Sep 09 - 09:35 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Sep 09 - 03:32 PM
katlaughing 29 Sep 09 - 04:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Sep 09 - 04:39 PM
katlaughing 29 Sep 09 - 05:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Sep 09 - 05:20 PM
Monique 29 Sep 09 - 07:43 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Sep 09 - 09:31 PM
semi-submersible 30 Sep 09 - 12:58 AM
Monique 30 Sep 09 - 03:55 AM
clueless don 30 Sep 09 - 08:44 AM
Bob the Postman 01 Oct 09 - 08:17 AM
Bob the Postman 01 Oct 09 - 08:20 AM
clueless don 01 Oct 09 - 09:17 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Oct 09 - 03:02 PM
Bob the Postman 01 Oct 09 - 09:35 PM
Uly 02 Oct 09 - 01:39 AM
Bob the Postman 02 Oct 09 - 08:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Oct 09 - 08:09 PM
katlaughing 03 Oct 09 - 12:25 AM
Uly 03 Oct 09 - 10:41 AM
Bob the Postman 03 Oct 09 - 12:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Oct 09 - 02:26 PM
Barbara 03 Oct 09 - 07:54 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: clueless don
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 09:35 AM

My family and I are looking for sources of a Native American tale about Coyote and Bear. Basically, Coyote and Bear have some land together, and decide to cooperate. At the beginning of the first season, Coyote says "I will take everything above the ground, and you can have everything below the ground." So Bear plants potatoes. Next season, Coyote says "This time, I will take everything below the ground, and you can have everything above the ground." So Bear plants corn. We were able to find one version of this story online, though it differs in some aspects from what I have just described.

However, we think we recall hearing versions where at the beginning of the third season, Coyote says something like "This time, I will take what is on top and what is on the bottom, and you can have what is in the middle." So Bear plants celery, or some similar stalk crop.

Does anyone have any other sources, online or print, for versions of this story?

Don


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 03:32 PM

There are several Native American tales, form different tribes, and not related except possibly by trickster content.
Among the Siksika of Alberta, Coyote steals a hide bag from bear. Among the Shoshone, they have a tale about the bear killing coyote. In another tale, bear and coyote compare vomit to see what had been eaten.
Then there are the tales made up by white authors, purporting to be authentic American Indian stories.

The Jour. American Folklore has tales from several tribes. Where did your story come from? That would make it earier to check the articles.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 04:27 PM

At Sacred Texts Archives, you'll THIS ONE which is a Pueblo version and includes more with a lake and fish.

Here is the main page for what they have of Native American in general. Looks like a good site to roam around in!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 04:39 PM

The one linked by katlaughing is from a collection by Charles Lummis, authentic tales he collected from New Mexico pueblos.

Thanks for the link.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 05:10 PM

Neat site, isn't it?!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 05:20 PM

Checking Abebooks, I find good reprint copies of Lummis, "Pueblo Indian Folk Tales," for $5 or so. I used to have a copy when I was young.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Monique
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 07:43 PM

We have a story with a goat and a wolf in Southwest France with the same plot at the beginning, but here is a page with LOTS of Native American legends.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 09:31 PM

The site linked by Monique has some very good material, but also some that is not.
The legend of Kokopeli is recent. Kokopeli, the flute-playing humpback, is based on a petroglyph, and speculations of both whites and southwestern Indians as to its meaning. It seems to be Anasazi, which is the Navajo name for the people who once lived in the villages, now ruins, in their region. These were early pueblo peoples, who moved as climate and enemies forced them to, and now live in villages in New Mexico, Arizona and elsewhere.
Although the Hopi have two flute societies, neither had 'Kokopeli' stories, and there is no kokopeli kachina.
The story, and jewelry and pictures based on the hump-back figure, have become money makers for both southwest Indians and white store keepers.
The southwestern pueblo tales of Lummis and Benedict are mostly valid, but their informants were not above creating new stories or embellishing old ones.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Be
From: semi-submersible
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 12:58 AM

I believe I read something similar to the final part of the Lummis/sacred-texts story, in my grandmother's old Manitoba reader. I don't think the farming was in it, though there may have been other tricks involving fishing or hunting. It was Fox advising Bear on ice fishing in that version. "Pull your tail up very fast, so you don't lose all the fishes." Fox leaves, while Bear waits patiently as the ice freezes around his tail. At last, Bear springs up, with such a jerk that his long tail breaks right off, leaving only the stub he has today.

The old Canadian readers contained several North American folktales, maybe from the Maritimes. (For instance, Glooscap getting the birds to dance in a circle with eyes shut, chanting "Whoever peeks will have red eyes." Suspicious, Grebe peeks, and seeing their host silently wringing necks of unsuspecting dancers, raises the alarm. Grebe's eyes are still red.) So, that Fox & Bear story, if traditional, could be an eastern version.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Monique
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 03:55 AM

A version of the Fox advising Bear on ice fishing also exists in Western tradition but it's a fox and a wolf in the 12th and 13th centuries Reynard cycle


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: clueless don
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 08:44 AM

Thank you to everyone who responded!

It is possible that the "you can have what is in the middle" chapter of the tale is a later add-on to the older story.

Thanks for the Lummis reference, I will look into it.

Don


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 08:17 AM

I think the attribution of this tale to a North American aboriginal source is bogus because there was little or no pre-contact agriculture in those parts of the continent where Coyote was the main trickster. The story sounds African to me.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 08:20 AM

Bingo! Found this by googling ANANSI SHARE CROP LAND.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: clueless don
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 09:17 AM

Thank you for the link, Bob. We will consider your idea of an alternate source for the story.

Don


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 03:02 PM

Agriculture in the pueblo Southwest goes back 4000 years. Meso-Americans raised corn which reached the southwest about 500 B. C., and spread to eastern North America some 2000 years ago.

By 2000 years ago, they were developing varieies suited to their climatic conditions.
Multicrop agriculture- based on corn, beans and squash, but with a variety of other plants- was well-established by AD 1000. Cotton reached the Southwest from Mexico about 300 BC.

The animal stories developed independently in many regions, including South, Meso and North America, as well in cultures around the world.

The spread of pre-contact agriculture is well-documented by archaeological investigations.

Hunt, R. D., 1987, Indian Agriculture in America, Prehistory to the Present, Univ. Kansas Press.
Matson, R. G., 1991, The Origins of Southwestern Agriculture, Univ. Arizona Press.
Wills, W. H., 1988, Early Prehistoric Agriculture in the American Southwest, School of American Research Press, Santa Fe.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 09:35 PM

Right you are, Q. With my dangerously little learning, I had thought that Coyote confined himself to more northerly hunter-gatherer regions like the Great Basin and the Interior Plateau. A little searching along the lines of HOPI APACHE COYOTE TALE soon showed me how wrong I was.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Uly
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 01:39 AM

There's a picture book version of the story that we have, Tops and Bottoms.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 08:06 PM

For god's sake, don't anyone try googling TOPS AND BOTTOMS.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 08:09 PM

I can imagine what that would turn up.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 12:25 AM

I remember a childhood story about Native Americans in New England burying a fish under each corn plant and teaching the Pilgrims to do so for better crops. I have also seen a coyote, myself,in Connecticut!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Uly
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 10:41 AM

LOL. Actually, I just did try with safesearch TOTALLY OFF. It's the first result.

Tops and bottoms picture book gets solely the results I want as well.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 12:42 PM

Well I'm still reeling from what I encountered searching JACK AND JENNY in connection with the recent "mountain jack" thread.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 02:26 PM

OUTtv- Tops and Bottoms, an original series, an improv comedy show featuring the best in queer improvisors...

Sex documentary- Chistine Richey's "Tops and Bottoms"- In 1994, the Canadian film industry acquired international notoriety...

OK, OK, I couldn't help it. I'm fairly sure the picture book by Janet Stevens about the lazy bear is innocuous. The title makes one wonder.....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Native American tale - Coyote and Bear
From: Barbara
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 07:54 PM

Uhm, 'tops' and 'bottoms' is how people define themselves in the BDSM world. That and 'switches' if you go both ways. Replaced S and M or Dom and Sub in the vocabulary. If you wanted to know.
Blessings,
Barbara


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