Coyote is one of the most infamous of the Native American deities, known to dozens of tribes across the plains of Southern USA by names such as Chirich, Ma’ii, Isily and Ja’mul among others. While he has the appearance of a coyote, he does embody many human characteristics such as talking or walking upright. He is generally described as a trickster god, and stories about him involve many mischievous deeds such as telling the world’s first lie, impersonating the Creator, or stealing fire from the gods to give to mankind (a feat shared by Prometheus in Greek legends). However, these tales vary widely from tribe to tribe, and some instead consider him to be a cultural hero who teaches and helps them.
Raven is a cultural hero of many Native American societies in the Pacific Northwest region, and goes by countless names and titles. Stories of his activities vary significantly from tribe to tribe, though there are common themes of him as either creator or trickster – or both – with magical talents and the ability to shapeshift. He is often considered a complex reflection of one’s self and, despite being benevolent in general, his curiosities and selfishness regularly get the better of him. While some clans believe it was Raven who brought the Earth into being, others credit him with releasing light, fresh water, fire and even humans into the world. An interesting note, however, is that the legends tend to show his creativity through stealing or consequences rather than intent, and more than one involves the accidental death of another deity. As such, the Raven myths usually teach one how to live a good life by revealing the cost of bad actions. Xhuuya is his personal name in Haida mythology, while Yaahl is the literal word for raven.