by Father Berard Haike, O.F.M.
“Navajo Coyote Tales is a valuable book for the casual student of Navajo culture, religion, or mythology as well as for the scholar. The tales themselves provide delightful reading in addition to the contribution they make to the available body of Navajo coyote literature, while the introductory analysis and the Navajo language texts provide analytical depth for the scholar.”—American Indian Quarterly
Coyote is easily the most popular character in the stories of Indian tribes from Canada to Mexico. This volume contains seventeen coyote tales collected and translated by Father Berard Haile, O.F.M., more than half a century ago. The original Navajo transcriptions are included, along with notes. The tales show Coyote as a warrior, a shaman, a trickster, a lecher, a thief, a sacrificial victim, and always as the indomitable force of life. He is the paradoxical hero and camp whose adventures inspire laughter or awe, depending upon the shape he takes in a given story. Published as a companion volume to Ekkehart Malotki’s Hopi Coyote Tales, also available from the University of Nebraska Press, Navajo Coyote Tales is a valuable contribution to cross-cultural studies.
In his introduction, Karl W. Luckert considers Coyote mythology in a theoretical and historical framework.