Which culture uses this allusion to begin tales, "when Coyote was a man"?

And the answer: Native American.  
Photo credit: public domain. 

In Native American folklore, coyotes are powerful, transformative mythological figures. They’re often the revered heroes who teach and help humans, but sometimes they are an anti-hero or an unwise trickster—in some coyote tales, they’re a combination of all three archetypes at once. The word itself has Native American origins from the word coyotl, which the Spanish altered to coyote.

Did you know?

November is Native American Heritage Month! In 1990, Congress and President George H. W. Bush passed a joint resolution designating the month of November as the first National American Indian Heritage Month (also known as Native American Indian Month). This commemorative month aims to provide a platform for Native people in the United States to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, and ways of life, as well as to bring to light the injustices which affect Native communities today.

Since 1916, the American government has sought to recognize the significant cultural and social heritage of Indigenous peoples across the continent. Yet, the first advocates for Native American recognition were not elected officials— they were Indigenous Tribe members, Chiefs, and community leaders who were themselves forced to fight for more accurate representation and a legacy to leave their children. Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, NY and a deeply influential actor on the movement for Native American recognition. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the “First Americans,” and for three years they adopted such a day. Then, in 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association met in Lawrence, Kansas, and formally approved a plan concerning “American Indian Day,” as it was known then.

True fact!

Some of the world’s most important crops—including corn, beans, squash, potatoes, and tomatoes—were originally cultivated by Native Americans! Longstanding agricultural practices and development over centuries meant that by the time European colonists arrived in North America, Native Americans had been growing these crops for nearly ten thousand years. In fact, it’s estimated that as much as 60 percent of the global food supply is based on crops that originated in North America.

Learn more about Native American Heritage Month and how to get involved here.

Question of the Day Mobile App


Learn something new everyday. Get the Question of the Day delivered to your inbox each day!

You've successfully subscribed to Question of the Day
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Question of the Day
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.