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Iktomi and the Boulder

Iktomi and the Boulder

Iktomi and the Boulder

Iktomi is actually the trapdoor spider, which camouflages small holes in the ground so that its prey will fall in and the spider can easily capture it.

Trapdoor spider

Trapdoor spider (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Notice the difference between the beliefs of nomadic gatherers and hunters, like the plains people and the settled horticultural peoples like the various Pueblo nations of the America Southwest who wove cloth, and for whom Spider Grandmother wove the world

Interesting parallels in the Eastern Hemisphere are Anansi, the West African trickster (surely much older than farming and cloth there?) and Ariadne, the Greek patroness of weavers—and originally a spider.

In Iktomi and the Boulder, Iktomi, a Plains Indian trickster, attempts to defeat a boulder with the assistance of some bats. The story explains why the Great Plains are covered with small stones.

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Posted in Africa, Animal Deities, North America, Spiders.

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  1. Lawrance M. Bernabo says

    Paul Goble begins his stories of Iktomi the trickster “Iktomi and the Boulder” is the first in a series of stories about the trickster of the Lakota retold and illustrated by Paul Goble. Iktomi (pronounced “eek-toe-me”) is the hero, so to speak, of a series of humorous stories. The trickster is a universal character in North American myths and legends, known by different names in different parts of the country. The common denominator is that Iktomi is always trying to get the better of others, but usually ends up being the one who looks foolish.

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