American Indian languages * American Indian culture * Native American genealogy

Native American Legends: Trickster Rabbit (Jistu)

Name: Trickster Rabbit
Tribal affiliation: Cherokee, Creek, Alabama, Yuchi
Native names: Jistu, Jisdu, Tsisdu, Chisdu, Tsistu; Cokfi, Chokfi, Chukfi; Cufe, Chufi; Tcetkana, Chetkana
Pronunciation: jeese-doo (Cherokee), choke-fee (Alabama), chook-fee (Choctaw/Chickasaw), chuf-ih (Creek), chet-kah-nah (Biloxi)
Type: Animal spirit, trickster, rabbits

Rabbit is the trickster figure in many Southeastern Indian tribes. The Rabbit Trickster is generally a light-hearted character who does not engage in serious wrongdoing and features in many children's stories; however, like most tricksters, he is prone to humorously inappropriate behavior, particularly gluttony, carelessness, and an overinflated ego. In the folklore of some Southeastern tribes, it was Rabbit who stole fire and brought it to the people.

Trickster Rabbit Stories

*Why the Possum's Tail is Bare * Why The Opossum's Tail Is Bare:
    Cherokee legend about Jisdu the Rabbit playing a trick on Possum.
How The Deer Got His Horns:
    Cherokee legend about Deer winning antlers from the trickster Rabbit.
*How The Rabbit Stole The Otter's Coat:
    Cherokee legend about Jistu masquerading as Otter.
*The Rabbit Goes Duck Hunting:
    Cherokee tale about Trickster Rabbit unsuccessfully imitating Otter.
*Rabbit and Big Man-Eater * The Adventures of Rabbit and Big Man Eater * Rabbit and Big Man-Eater * Rabbit Kills Big Man-Eater:
    Alabama stories about Chokfi the Rabbit using trickery to defeat a man-eating monster.
*How Rabbit Stole Mountain-Lion's Teeth:
    Caddo legend about Rabbit tricking Mountain-Lion.
*Rabbit and the Dancing Turkeys:
    Caddo legend about the Rabbit trickster helping Wildcat to fool some gullible turkeys.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
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Rabbit Goes Duck Hunting * How Rabbit Lost His Tail * Rabbit and the Wolves * Rabbit and the Well:
    A series of Cherokee legends about Ji-Stu the Rabbit getting into and out of trouble.
*Myths and Folktales of the Alabama-Coushatta Indians of Texas:
    Good collection of Alabama-Coushatta legends.
Southeastern Native American Legends:
    Traditional stories of the Alabama and other Southeast tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Cherokee mythology
 Cherokee tribe
 Alabama stories
 Muskogee Creek
 South Carolina Native Americans
 Southeastern Indians
 Algonquian definition



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