Coyote Song

Encyclopedia Article


One of a set of 17 songs that is performed during the Enemyway ceremony. Coyote is the trickster figure in Navajo cosmologies and is often referred to as First Angry or First Scolder. He is said to have brought witchcraft into the world, which, similar to Coyote himself, has an ambivalent nature that can be used for good or ill. Coyote and his songs, therefore, can be especially effective in restoring balance, harmony, and health, but only if their power is harnessed productively.

The Enemyway is sung in order to protect Navajos from harmful ghosts of slain warriors, or in more contemporary parlance, to protect Navajos from the deleterious effects of non-Native influences.

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"Coyote howl," by Lilla Frerichs is licensed under Public Domain.

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