“An Unique Artwork That Speaks For Itself.”
Coyote & Snake is just one story from an ancient inter-tribal mythology where Coyote is a main character. These stories are from the five tribes of North American Indians that call themselves the [The’ Ge Ha] Kaw, Omaha, Osage, Ponca and Quapaw who are from a common linguistic group of the Central United States.
Most will agree that mythology among America Indians was used as a teaching tool to introduce tribal values at the youngest of ages. But few know that these stories developed with each individual throughout a lifetime. The characters and stories grew more complex as we age. From basic values such as what the tribe thinks a hero, as to what they may think is an antagonist. What are good deeds and what are foolish. Coyote most of the time is one character who seems to teach us what is the wrong way to handle a given situation and there is no better example of this than this story of “Coyote and Snake.”
“The Coyote and the Snake”
- Once upon a time, a snake lay across a well traveled path by all animals.
Pahangadi, wes’a ka u’he kidi zhan, wanitama bthuga u’he ke
a’nange nan te.
- The Coyote came to him and said, “Why don’t you lie further off the path?”
Mikasi aka, “e’ta a’hi bigan,” abiama.
- “If I step over you, you shall die,” said the Coyote.
“Awizhade ti di, tha-t’e ta’nike,” abiama Mikasi aka.
- “This path is not big enough for the both us,” said the Snake.
“U’he ke wetanga azhi,” abiama Wes’a aka.
- “It is you that must go around to the other side,” said the Snake.
“Thi u’thushi manthinga,” abiama wes’a aka.
- The Snake and the Coyote did not agree, and they began to argue.
Wes’a aka Mikasi ethanba, i’e akikitha.
- “Whew!” said the Coyote, “do as I say, move out of the way!”
“Bah!” abiama Mikasi aka, “wi e’gipe, gudiha ga!”
- “It is you, that must leave this path to go to the other side,” said the Snake.
“Thi u’he ke, u’thishan manthinga,” abiama wes’a aka.
- “Well, I shall step over you and you shall die,” said the Coyote.
“Ki, awiansi tamike, ganki, tha-t’e tanike,” abiama Mikasi aka.
- “No,” said the Snake, “when a person steps over me, he usually dies.”
“Ankazhi,” abiama Wes’a aka, “atan niashinga agazha’de
wimikedi, t’e nan.”
- Yes, I will die. Let us see which one has told the truth,” said the Coyote.
“Anhan, wi a’t’e tamike, a’wiwan xti i’e ke e’ganxti ta’te,”
abiama Mikasi aka.
- Then, the Coyote suddenly stepped over the Snake.
Ganki, Mikasi aka, sabazhixti wes’a ke agazhade athai te.
- When he stepped over, the Snake bit him on the foot.
Ganki agazhade athai ti–di, wes’a ka si–te thaxtai te.
- “Aho,” said the Coyote, “you shall die, as I have stepped over you.”
“Aho,” abiama Mikasi aka, “tha t’e ta’nike, a’wigazhide.”
- The Snake replied, “now you shall die.”
Wes’a aka abiama, “itan thi tha t’e ta’nike.”
- Then, the Coyote departed and went on his way.
Ganki, Mikasi aka atha, biama.
- As he went, he said, “Whew! My body feels different. I am fat.”
Atha bidan, “zhuga ke azhi bthin, anshin.”
- The Coyote stretched his neck as far as he could to examine his back.
Mikasi aka, nanka ke kigthi wagazu ki.
- He looked at himself all over, and gave the “scalp-yell” often.
Shi kitanba be, ganki, hu “thahegabazhixti” gaxai te.
- After a while, he was breathing hard with his mouth wide open.
Ganche ki, niute texi, i’te ya’thixa.
- His mouth was dry, so he found a pond to satisfy his thirst.
i’te, bize gan, ne ti–di ni thatan te.
- When he looked into the pond to take a drink,
Ne ti–di ni thatan, ki, kitanbai,
he saw that his face and body was swollen.
inde than ibai ki zhuga shti ibai.
- The Coyote yelled in pain, “the Snake told the truth!”
Mikasi aka ni’e xti hutan, “wes’a ka wike uthai.”
- His entire body was swollen and his skin was tight.
Zhuga ke bthuga ibai.
- The Coyote seated himself in a sheltered place warmed by the sun.
Mikasi, aka u’gthin ki’gaxa, mi i shtide gthin.
- He coiled himself as far as possible, just like a snake does.
Kigthibuta gthin, wes’a ma ga’xe naninte.
- It was there that he fell into a deep sleep and never awoke, he died.
E’di zhant’e ikithazhi-te abiama.
- It was because of this event between the Coyote and the Snake,
I’utha e’ditan, Mikasi–Wes’a u’thai,
they say, that when snakes bite four-legged animals,
abiama, atan wes’a aka wa’nita zhibe duba athin ma,
their entire bodies swell and they die.
zhuga iba nan, ganki t’e nan, abiama.
- End of story.
What’s in the artwork….
This Plaque is made of a composite cementitious material called GFRC or Glass Filled Reinforced Concrete. It was first developed in Russia in the 1930’s and didn’t reach Americans until about the 1980’s. You really can’t call it concrete as its chemical structure has been modified so its strength is closer to granite than concrete and far more stronger than marble. Because its molecular structure has been reinforced with fiber glass it will not crack over time.
Only 100 Limited Editions of Coyote & Snake are available now, if you are interested, contact us though the blog on this page or email.
CONTACT US: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the artist…
Dan C. Jones is a former Chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, his name in his Ponca language is SaSuWeh the name he signs to all his works. He was appointed by Governor, Brad Henry of Oklahoma as Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission. As a Writer, has been a contributing columnist for “Indian Country Today Media Network” an American Indian news Provider with the largest circulation in America among American Indians.
He is one of a few American Indians to be a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA) in Hollywood, CA. He has worked for the Walt Disney Co. as an Imagineer. Won many awards as a filmmaker for films he has produced for the Smithsonian, NBC, TBS. and the Children’s Television Workshop; Sesame Street; as well as the Screen Actors Guild to promote Indian Actors. He is also a published author and a Bronze Sculptor and a mold maker. As a panelist at Comcast in November of 2012 speaking on diversity on American Television he raised the question “Why don’t we see American Indians on television?”
Among his honors is the Muse Award, presented by the National Association of American Museums for his work for the Smithsonian Institution’s, National Museum of the American Indian; He produced and wrote the museum’s first promotional fund raiser video the “Untitled” work was a finalist in the New York Film Festival in 1993 also has received the Telly and the Golden Eagle Awards as well as Best Industrial, American Indian Film Festival; First Place, Oklahoma State Arts Council; and Best of Show, Red Earth’s American Indian Video Competition, In 2002, Jones directed, produced and created a four-hour visual presentation on the ABC Studio’s Astro-tron above Times Square in New York City, to honor American Indian Grammy Nominees.
March of 2005, New Mexico published his book of poetry titled “Blood of Our Earth” the book is illustrated by internationally known Comanche artist Ranch Hood.
He Produced “The World of American Indian Dance” a documentary that aired on NBC. His insight on the subject explores the historical impact of Indian Dance on the US/Indian Relationship and the inter-tribal spread of certain dances as a spiritual phenomenon. It was the first television program on a major network to be produced solely by American Indians.
He is currently building the Memorial to the music legend Merle Haggard in Muskogee Oklahoma. As a Bronze and Stone artist his works speak for themselves as well as his many talents.
7 thoughts on “THE COYOTE AND THE SNAKE”
SaSuWeh – Stephan here – we trod the same path many years ago for a while in Boulder; your wife taught me how to make Indian fry-bread, and I showed you some French butchery skills – we sweat lodged, and danced … I remember you often, and smile
Its been along time Sephan, but i’d never forget you and I hope you are doing well, were ever on this Earth you maybe.
Would, you be interested to star in our film?
And you are who?
You must be magic to know I am a frustrated actor trapped in this artist brain.
Hello SaSuWeh, another long lost friend from Boulder around 1980, I am Markus Schliessler, then newly arrived from Germany. You gave me that wonderful book with poems. Traveling thru Utah right now, I searched you and here you are! So nice to know that you are living full life! I created a nature community in Costa Rica and would love to invite you to come visit if you want! Peace, Markus
Markus, How wonderful to hear from you! And at such a time that I have been thinking of visiting Costa Rica. Amazing how life works! So yes lets be in touch as soon as you find the time, I live and work in my home here with my tribe in Oklahoma, so I make my schedule and will be available to talk to you whenever. My email is email@example.com and when you write me, I will give you my other contact information (cell). I’ll also send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and see if that reached you. Can’t wait to talk soon Markus, Dan (SaSuWeh)