RJ as Coyote

Nick Corduan (nickc@IQUEST.NET)
Tue, 12 Sep 1995 14:24:20 -0500

Is RJ telling us to take him less sersiously? Perhaps, but that doesn't erase
what I agree was a tactless posting from the self-proclaimed God of
Indigenous Peoples.

However, this was not the point of my letter. Rather, I was just thinking
that RJ's taking upon himself the identity of Coyote -- which I feel, BTW, he
meant seriously: that he is playing the role of Coyote for this list -- that
this provides an interesting vehicle for another, more on-topic discussion.

Shamans took gods or spirtis into their bodies -- which is partly akin to the
"posession" so common in Western horror fiction, but not entirely. Other
officiators in traditional ceremony imitated the gods or the high spirits,
dresisng as them and behaving as them. (Some -- e.g. Iliade -- would have us
belive, rightly or wrongly, that all religious rituals are just that:
imitations of the divine.) But is it, as I suspect, a uniquely Western thing
to actually claim the identity of a deity?

In other words, while RJ is merely continuing in a grand Western trend of
using the name of spiritual beings to either describe one-self, raise others'
opinions of one-self, or illustrate one's mental imbalance; would a Native
American ever have uttered a phrase like, "I am Coyote?"


Nick Corduan "...there is as much dignity in tilling
at a field as in writing a poem."
(nickc@iquest.net) --Booker T. Washington