|In many stories, the Trickster is often a role filled by the Coyote.|
Picture courtesy of wikimedia.org.
Across traditions around the globe, the Trickster is a famous character who plays a central role in many fables, stories, and tales. Rules and norms are usually meaningless to the Trickster, and people, gods, and animals have often been the prey of the Trickster's pranks. However, more often than not, there is a lesson to be learned when the Trickster enters the story, and upon hearing such a story, one is often left contemplating just what that lesson is.
I have recently begun working on a seasonal project, developing a Halloween event for the fall. In some ways, the Trickster is the perfect character from which to draw inspiration for such an event. I am seeking ways to break rules and norms, to make people uncomfortable, and leave them contemplating what they just experienced when they leave the event. In a sense, I am seeking to create an event that embodies the Trickster.
In a seemingly random occurrence, I was picking up some props for the event, and came across an old book by Stith Thompson, called "Tales of the North American Indians." First published in 1929, the book is a collection of folk stories from Native American groups from across the US. Most compelling to me at this point in time, is the fact that chapter three has a selection of 15 stories about the Trickster. I've begun reading them, not so much in search of specific ideas, but more in an effort to find inspiration from the character of the Trickster.