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Gabrielinp Coyote Stories

Coyote was a major figure in Gabrielino mythology, storytelling and astronomy. The constellation we now call The Pleiades was designated as the Sky Coyote for both the Gabrielino and the Chumash. When portrayed in oral literature of the Gabrielino, Coyote carries on his western Native American role of being the trickster whose mischief often leads to not only his own suffering, but also to the suffering of The People. While some stories picture Coyote as ill intentioned, others reveal that his greed and envy often lead to his making choices that had negative results that he had not actually envisioned.

The tellers of these stories, as in many tribal villages, were specially trained bards who carried on the history and mythology of the tribe through elaborate and evocative retellings of stories passed down from previous generations. The listening to the stories was an important educational opportunity for the residents, and was also a source of enjoyment, wonder, and ethical boundary determination. The storytellers memorized the tales word for word, adding new stories as current events occurred and quickly became part of the historical oral record.

Coyote and Rabbit

Coyote and Beetle

Coyote and the Six Sisters