Native American Trickster Tales

Definition of Trickster


a supernatural figure appearing in various guises and typically engaging in mischievous activities, important in the folklore and mythology of many primitive peoples and usually conceived as a culture hero.

Tricksters are Archetypal Characters

character types that can be found in literary works from different cultures throughout the ages. As incurable practical jokers, they appear frequently in American literature and film - from the coyote in Native American myths to the tricksters of 20th century animated cartoons and beyond.
Captain Jack Sparrow's intro
Bugs Bunny

Definition of Trickster Tale

a type of folk tale (simple story passed orally from one generation to the next) that features an animal or human character who typically engages in deceit, violence and magic. Often, trickster tales are mythic, explaining how some aspect of human nature or the natural world came to be.
The Tortoise and the Hare (Disney 1934)


Think about movies or books in which the villain is more compelling than the hero. What qualities does such a villain typically display? Which of these traits contribute most to his or her appeal? Record your responses in a short paragraph you will turn in.