Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis


Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Oystein S. LaBianca


This paper examines the relationship of the trickster character to the maintenance of Great Lakes Native American cultural identity by using interviews and literary analysis. The interviews gathered statements from participants about their personal experiences with narrative, and the social context of narrative, within their tribes. The literary analysis examines three stories in the Manabozho cycle: "The theft of fire," "Manabozho and wolf," and "The flood." The themese in these stories fulfill all four of William Bascom's four functions folklore. The hypothesis that narrative is a necessary factor of cultural maintenance has been supported by both the interviews and the literary analysis.

Subject Area

Folklore, Oral tradition, Ojibwa Indians., Potawatomi Indians.