Clowns and tricksters are well-kwn figures in cultures throughout the world. In Western culture the clown conjures up images of carnivals and foolish characters in face paint. In n-Western cultures, clowns hold privileged status in religious ceremonies and origin myths. Tricksters on the other hand are identified as disobedient, obscene, disrespectful, funny, powerful, paradoxical characters in almost every culture in which they are found. This encyclopedia surveys, from a cross-cultural perspective, the similarities and differences between clowns and tricksters in world cultures. It presents each character in the context of the culture in which he or she is found.
K'mberly Chr'sten K'mberly A. Chr'sten 's adjunct 'nstructor 'n the Rel'g'ous Stud'es Department at Ar'zona State Un'vers'ty. She 's also a doctoral cand'date 'n the Rel'g'ous Stud'es Department at the Un'vers'ty of Colorado, Boulder. Sam G'll Sam D. G'll 's Professor of Rel'g'ous Stud'es at the Un'vers'ty of Colorado, Boulder.