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The World of the Story

This Land, is above all set in the world of our Native American characters... and not just the physical world they live in but also their conceptual and spiritual world.

This is a world in which everything has spiritual meaning and purpose. Mountains, rocks, rivers, trees... everything has a soul and a spiritual reality.

But this is also a world of hunting, raiding and traditional medicine where death and injury are equally real and ever present.

Although the acquisition of the horse in the early decades of the previous century, has transformed the distances the Coyote can travel for hunting and war, their technology is still based in stone and wood and their social organisation is largely communal and consensual.

Western Europeans have lived in a world that has been dominated by imperialist monarchies and aristocracies for five thousand years and thus Coyote concepts of ownership and hierarchical power would barely be recognisable as such to Euro-American colonisers.

The nomadic lifestyle of the Coyote mean that amassing personal wealth in the form of goods or precious metals, is neither possible nor desirable... how are you going to carry it all? (Hence the use of horses as a sign of wealth - because horses can move themselves when you break camp.)

'Ownership' of land is also inconceivable to the Coyote. The land is the land, it is just there. All creatures have to live and walk on the land; where else could they live and walk? On the clouds?

 

Tribal occupation of territory based on victory in war is a concept familiar to the Coyote and they if forced they will defend their territory against incursions. But the idea of contractual ownership of designated pieces of land by individuals, they simply reject as being a ridiculous idea.

Similarly, they regard large-scale agriculture as a form of sacrilege. Mother Earth has provided naturally and in abundance everything human beings need to live. Resources are all around us. To the Coyote People, the idea of expending time and energy destroying and excluding that natural provision from the land by clearing trees, ploughing the soil, weeding and building fences, simply seems insane. Why work so hard when you can live very comfortably by hunting and gathering what is already  there?

And politically there are no kings, lords or bosses, for the Coyote - not even any 'chiefs', which is a concept Euro-Americans will try to force on them so that the white man can have someone in authority to negotiate with. What the white man never understands is that the so-called 'chiefs' they negotiate with have no authority or 'power' to coerce anyone to do anything..

 

For the Coyote "no man has the right to tell another what to do" and the authority of any individual is directly related to their competency. People will only 'obey' a particular individual if the individuals history of achievments suggests they might be worth listening to.

These concepts have allowed the Coyote people to live in a kind of Arcadia for tens of thousands of years but in the end they will also play a significant part in the destruction of that way of life, as the hierarchical European social system, combined with advanced technology, will lead ultimately to military defeat.

More details and images to help define the world of This Land, can be found on these pages:

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