Trickster  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a god, goddess, spirit, human, or anthropomorphic animal who plays pranks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and norms of behaviour.

While the trickster crosses various cultural traditions, there are significant differences between tricksters in the traditions of many Indigenous peoples and those in the Euro-American tradition:

"Many native traditions held clowns and tricksters as essential to any contact with the sacred. People could not pray until they had laughed, because laughter opens and frees from rigid preconception. Humans had to have tricksters within the most sacred ceremonies for fear that they forget the sacred comes through upset, reversal, surprise. The trickster in most native traditions is essential to creation, to birth".--Byrd Gibbens

Native tricksters should not be confused with the Euro-American fictional picaro. One of the most important distinctions is that "we can see in the Native American trickster an openness to life's multiplicity and paradoxes largely missing in the modern Euro-American moral tradition".

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Trickster" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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