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Iktómi the Trickster

Iktómi (Ik-to-mi) comes to us from the Plains, Southwestern, and Western American Indian groups. Iktómi has spider-like characteristics and features.

From Lakota legend, Iktómi is the firstborn son of Iŋyaŋ (the rock) who was initially named Skáŋ.

American Indian culture recognized Iktómi as both a spider and a spider-like man. He was born full-grown from an egg and was the size of an ordinary human. He has a big round body like a spider, with slender arms and legs and powerful hands and feet. He dresses in clothes made of buckskin and raccoon.

The Lakota believe that Iktómi is a trickster and does things backward. His clownish ways cause the people to laugh at him, but he is also a sly and cunning man and a teacher.

American Indian culture boasts many stories about Iktómi, the trickster. The Lakota almost always have Coyote – šuŋgmánitu in their stories as well. In most stories, Iktómi comes out on top because he is so wise, cunning, and sly. Because of these characteristics, sometimes he outsmarts himself, and the Coyote comes out on top.

As a spider-like man, Iktómi, the trickster, possesses mysterious, supernatural powers, both good and bad. He might predict something, and if he senses that the people have doubts about his prediction, he makes it come true.