Essay on Summary Of ' Coyote And Buffalo ' By Mourning Dove

1275 Words Sep 13th, 2016 6 Pages
Some people may envision a child being told a story before bed when they hear the term storytelling, but in Native American culture it means so much more. Their stories come in many forms, from complete nonfiction to stories about others in the community to more abstract poems. The stories also almost always have some purpose, whether it be to help a fellow person in grief or entertain an audience. For Native Americans storytelling is incorporated into everyday life, and integrates learning lessons about their past, their beliefs, nature, and just moral lessons. A lot of Native American stories teach wisdom and values, one such story is called “Coyote and Buffalo”, retold by Mourning dove. In this folktale, a coyote, which is an example of a trickster archetype, is knocking around the skull of a fallen buffalo and severely disrespecting it. The buffalo rises back from the dead and tries to kill coyote for disrespecting him, which teaches the audience to not disrespect the dead. As the story goes on the coyote gets a cattle from buffalo that can supply him with food forever, he just has to cut off fat and rub ash on the wound. Eventually he gets sick of eating fat and decides to kill it, against buffalo’s warning. Not only did he get no food from his kill, but buffalo makes sure no buffalo ever go where he was again. This teaches to not be greedy and heed other’s warnings and directions. Folktales like these can hold plentiful lessons about what and what not to do. Another…

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