|The Artist and Shamanism
Stolpe's use of Coyote is especially pertinent because of the role Coyote necessarily plays to a people with a most sensible, rational, and human view of the world. Consider if a world must be viewed as a whole, a bunch of parts interdependently connected -- each part serving the other -
- how unpractical it is to view the parts of it as separate and disconnected. The shamanic world is one in which energy (power-knowledge) is flexible, quixotic, neutral, good, bad, has its own will and is generally available to all -- if one knows the rules. Thus, no one is all good, all bad, but all things are potentially useful. There is a philosophical foundation for extraordinary creative thrust in these philosophies.
So Coyote is after power, he is lascivious, scatological, tricky, selfish, mean -- yet he creates life, saves the people, rescues the helpless, establishes order out of chaos, but ultimately tells us that it is normal not to be perfect and that it is normal to reach for the stars andoccasionally fall on your ass.
Lowell John Bean, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology
California State University at Hayward
Images & Myths
Daniel Owen Stolpe
Coyote Suite I & II