Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Alki: Coyote and Raven Talk

Totem Poles at Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, by Peter Graham. Use permitted under CC 2.0G License

Coyote: Yes we did!

Raven: What did you do?

Coyote: We've done it!

Raven: What have you done?

Coyote: Change is at hand!

Raven: Change to what?

Coyote: We fought the rich!

Raven: You fought for what?

Coyote: We stood up to the special interests!

Raven: Which ones?

Coyote: A new bright era has dawned!

Raven: A bright era for whom?

Coyote: The future looks bright.

Raven: Bright for what?

Pioneer Square, 1907. Public domain, author unknown.

I would recommend Mourning Doves "Coyote Stories" for a traditional Plateau Indian characterization of the character of Coyote. I've read the book myself and loved it. I don't know of a single excellent source like this for Raven, being something I was more raised with, but this site seems to have some reasonable content. Professor Nichols site from Pittsburgh State University also seems to have some solid coyote background.

Al-ki is a traditional Salish statement of skepticism.


Derek said...

I appreciate the Raven's intellectualism and the Coyote's enthusiasm, but i do think the Coyote is being a bit hasty and foolish. Perhaps, however, the Coyote is too "insecure" (as a coyote..?) to remain calm and answer the Raven's questions or provide any sort of further detail or thought on his exclamations. Though the Raven appears wise b/c of his apparent consideration of things, he too might be considered functionally foolish if he does not act out his wisdom.. for "wisdom is proved right by her actions". But perhaps both creatures can begin to understand each other.. perhaps they can act in love, bearing each others burdens. perhaps they can be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.

Jeremy Janson said...

Love it Derek! Thank you so much for leaving your thoughts. Yes, listening and reaching out really could make a world of difference for this situation of "Perhaps. Maybe. Someday." (The closest English translation of the Salish word "Alki")

Simone Prado said...

oLÁ! Passei por aqui e me detive nesse texto. Na verdade, mais pela foto. Esse totem está belíssimo!!!. Sobre o texto, "Histórias Do Coiote" eu não conhecia, mas despertou-me o interesse advindo do que você escreveu. Achei seus textos intensos e, ao mesmo tempo, inteligentes também.
Um grande abraço,
Simone Prado

Simone Prado said...

Achei interessante também quando li o seu perfil que você se importa e pretende explorar vários ângulos dos conhecimentos, de um assunto específico na intenção de "transmitir a verdade". Mas, o que vem de fato ser a "verdade", se pensarmos bem? Não seria o conhecimento um imenso rio de "mãos duplas"??
Um abração!!!
Estou gostando muito de estar por aqui.

Jeremy Janson said...

Thank you so much for stopping by Simone! Yes, those totem poles are really beautiful, they're a great part of the art where I grew up. The myths also, they say so much, I love every one of them. I'm really glad it awoke an interest in you, and that you could enjoy what I had to say even past this language barrier. The very question "what is truth?" is the reason why it must be explored from many angles, because there truly is no single effable answer. In some ways a huge river of knowledge is the best way to explain it, but in some ways it is the interconnections and relationships between the different aspects of truth that make it all the more broad, which is what mathematics studies (I think.)

Simone thank you again so much for both stopping by and leaving this great comment. It really does make my day whenever someone reads this blog, and I just looked at your blog to and it too is one I would reccomend for all of my readers.