Coyote is the most common trickster figure among the tribes of the Southwest (though in some
communities, the same stories attributed to Coyote instead feature Fox as the hero, as many
Mexican folktales do.)
In Southwestern traditions, Coyote is sometimes helpful to humans,
but at other times his impetuous and foolish behavior causes trouble for everyone around him.
Frequently he is killed through his own recklessness, but always comes back to life afterwards.
Like other legendary beings of the Southwest, Coyote is sometimes described as having human form,
and other times animal form. Even when he has the form of a man, stories of the Southwest
often derive humor from Coyote's behavior resembling a dog's (eating and sniffing at excrement,
trying to mate with his family members, howling at inappropriate times, etc.)