A trickster may trick others simply for their amusement, they could be a physically weak character trying to survive in a dangerous world, or they could even be a personification of the chaos that the world needs to function. Buddhist stories, however, cast the fox as an evil agent of possession. (1993). Tricksters are often mischievous troublemakers who try to manipulate others to get what they want. Japan’s Kitsune is a trickster fox renowned for his mischievous metamorphic abilities. Updates? Black Friday Sale! By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Thus the most unlikely candidate passes the trials and receives the prize. Two books about him are: Zorro and Quwi: Tales of a trickster guinea pig by Rebecca Hickox and Love and Roast Chicken: a trickster tale from the Andes Mountains by Barbara Knutson. The Chaco people of Colombia and Panama tell tales of Fox; like Coyote, he is always bested. Simultaneously an omniscient creator and an innocent fool, a malicious destroyer and a childlike prankster, the trickster-hero serves as a sort of folkloric scapegoat onto which are projected the fears, failures, and unattained ideals of the source culture. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. However, African trickster tales usually centre upon a particular victim, such as Hyena, Lion, or Elephant, while Brer Rabbit tales, like their Native American counterparts, tend to revisit the same cast of characters repeatedly. Trickster stories may be told for amusement as well as on serious or sacred occasions. Often the trickster serves as a transformer and culture hero who creates order out of chaos. Examples include the false bridegroom, whose boasting exposes him as an impostor; the eye juggler, who plays ball with his eyes and finally loses them; contests between creatures with inimitable skills, as when Beaver invites Porcupine to swim and Porcupine invites Beaver to climb; and cases where guile ill-serves its perpetrator, as when Coyote tricks Skunk and eats him but neglects to anticipate the digestive effects of this scheme. The Brer Rabbit tales share many features of traditional African trickster stories: the trickster is an underdog, smaller in stature and strength than his opponents (thus gaining the audience’s sympathy) but much cleverer and always well in control of the situation. Masks are the weapons of the trickster: he creates illusions, bringing the real world and the world of illusion into temporary, shimmering proximity,…, The figure of an antagonistic trickster or demiurge that has a somewhat ethical component may be the result of diffusion and is rather rare in such cultures as those of the Khoisan and the indigenous peoples of Australia and North America.…, …slaves selected for special celebration trickster figures, most notably Brer Rabbit, because of their facility in combating stronger antagonists through wit, guile, and the skillful adoption of deceptive masks.…. Whereas Hare is a common trickster of northern, eastern, and southern Africa, the trickster of West Africa is Spider (Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone) or Tortoise (the Igbo and Yoruba people of Nigeria). Like most story archetypes, the have a few common characteristics that are shared between most trickster tales. In the Amazon the trickster’s dual nature is embodied by the Twins: one brother whose tricks always end badly and another who builds order and harmony from the ensuing chaos. Here is a really short Trickster Tale just to give you an example of one.
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