Coyote is not a metaphor: On decolonizing, (re)claiming and (re)naming Coyote

Coyote is not a metaphor: On decolonizing, (re)claiming and (re)naming Coyote

Cutcha Risling Baldy
University of California, Davis

Abstract

This article examines Indigenous oral traditions as methodologies for decolonization by extending Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang’s (2012) settler moves to innocence to include “colonial parallelism.” This article also looks at how western attempts at colonial parallelism have resulted in Coyote First Person being compared to and identified with “trickster” characters and argues that drawing this colonial parallelism of Coyote First Person as part of a universal trickster archetype renders Coyote First Person as a metaphor and erases how Coyote First Person actually builds and supports Indigenous ideas about the world and unsettles western ideas about the world. Ultimately this article asks readers to consider that, as we engage with Coyote First Person as a philosopher and philosophy of decolonization discourse, we should consider how the (re)naming of Coyote, rather than Coyote First Person or the given Indigenous language name, speaks to our theoretical standpoint.

Keywords:

oral history; decolonization; literature; Coyote; trickster; revitalization

Baldy-C-R_2015_Coyote is not a metaphor-On decolonizing reclaiming and renaming Coyote