The figure of the coyote holds a variety of meanings for Native Americans. In Native American storytelling, the role of a coyote in a story helps to communicate a particular lesson about life to listeners. Native Americans also look to the behavior of the coyote in nature as a guide on how to lead a life of balance and happiness.
A Coyote Helps Teach a Lesson, explains that a coyote in a Native American story may be symbolic of, among other things, a, "wanderer, a thief, a clown, or a survivor." In other words, a coyote can represent any of the many personality characteristics that exist within every human being. The information further explains that these Native American stories that feature coyotes "mirror our own lives." Our strengths, failures, short-comings, hopes and desires are all revealed in these Native American stories that are told to teach a lesson, or sometimes just to entertain listeners.
The Coyote's Role as a Teacher, reveals that the particular behaviors of a coyote in nature show us how to practice wisdom in our own lives. For example, a coyote is known to have only one mate in its lifetime. If we take our cue from the coyote, as the information indicates, we will learn that loyalty in our relationships leads to an existence full of contentment. The coyote also sets the example of patience. The aforementioned information explains that when a coyote hunts, it stalks a rodent or a small bird very slowly and waits until it sees the perfect moment to attack. If we follow the example of the coyote, we will learn to practice patience and move toward a goal only at the most optimal time.
If you'd like to learn more about the tradition and significance of the coyote in Native American culture, please visit:
The Coyote as Instructor: Read this unique list of principles concerning how to lead a life of significance, taught by means of the Native American coyote.
The Symbolic Coyote: Learn about the symbolism of the coyote in Native American culture.
The Many Faces of the Coyote in Native American Culture: A list of the many conflicting roles a coyote plays in Native American tradition.
A Coyote in Navajo Indian Tradition: Read about the coyote, its various meanings and omens from the perspective of the Navajo Indians.
Myths in Native American Tradition: Learn about the human qualities represented by coyotes in Native American myth.
Native American Coyote Stories: Read some samples of Native American stories and poems featuring coyotes.
In Native American culture, coyotes are far more than just clueless animals wandering through the environment. If a coyote is used in a Native American story, you can be sure it is there to teach the listeners a lesson, and that the story will be rich in symbolism.