Bear Clan Origin Myth
retold by Richard L. Dieterle
The Bear Clan. The Bear Clan (Hųč Hik’ik’árajera) is a large clan of the Lower or Earth Moiety, and in contemporary Wisconsin, it is now the largest clan. The Bear Clan had to be consulted on all matters pertaining to the earth (such as land transfers), just as the Waterspirit Clan was in charge of matters pertaining to water, and the Thunderbird Clan to matters aerial.1 Hence the name Maįnukonuga. Foster observed in his acquaintance with the Hočągara in 1850-51 that
[The] arrogance of the Thunders, however, is retorted back upon them whenever it comes to any dispute as to the disposal or occupancy of land; as the making of treaties to sell land, or even the making choice of camping grounds; when the Earth Totem, the head of which is the Bear Family, will give those of the Thunder Family to understand, that they must stand back and concede to the former the first place and consideration. ... In making treaties the Thunders are the speakers, etc. and are the chief warriors and peace makers; but must consult in treaties for the sale of land with the Bear or Quadruped Family, and the Water Family.2
After the Thunderbird Clan, the Bear Clan was the most important, its prominence owing mainly to its function: members of this clan being called mą́ną́pe, conventionally translated as "soldiers," although their function was rather more like that of police officers. Their role was to execute the commands of the Thunderbird Chief, to ensure proper discipline within the tribe, and to control prisoners taken in war. Only when the Bear Clan chief placed a man on duty, did he assume the clan's special police powers. Inasmuch as his word was law, a soldier was expected to maintain a serious demeanor whenever he exercised authority.3 His basic duty was to patrol the village and prevent crimes and other acts of disorder. When on duty, the mą́ną́pe would carry the namaxinixini, the special scepter of the soldier's office. He would do rounds of the village, singing as he went. Whenever he approached, everyone would fall silent.4 Failure to comply with a soldier's command would result in immediate punishment, which would often take the form of whipping. If, however, the whipping were too severe, then the soldier who performed it would himself be whipped.5 The Bear Clan would also regulate the tribal hunt. They made rules respecting, among other things, when shooting might take place, and the order in which animals might be butchered. Those who disregarded these rules had their bow and arrows confiscated. They would be returned only if violator consented to his punishment. Any repetition of such an offense would result in a Bear clansman breaking his bow and arrow in two.6 Bear clansmen are often called upon to be guards or sergeants-at-arms. They not only guarded the village as a whole, but also supplied guards for trials and councils. At murder trials in particular, it was the duty of Bear clansmen to guard not only the accused, but his lodge, in the event that one of his family might abet his escape. If a murderer was turned over directly to the Bear Clan, they would take him to a member of the victim's family who could then kill him.7 Otherwise, all capital sentences were carried out by the Bear Clan. If a criminal did not win clemency after the intercession of the Thunderbird Chief, he was remanded to the Bear Clan lodge for punishment.8 If something like a field of wild rice was found, or any other thing that should be shared out among everyone, the Bear Clan would supply soldiers to guard it. Anyone who tried to take advantage of the situation for selfish ends would be punished on the spot.
Certain members of the Bear Clan also performed another function. When sickness spread sufficiently through a village, the Thunderbird Chief would be notified, who in turn would say to the chief in the Bear Clan, "My Soldier, I am offering you tobacco, for our people have been stricken with disease." Then certain clansmen, both male and female, were selected to perform a dance under their chief's direction. They went around the village four times, and if a dog crossed their path, they were required to kill it. After the fourth circuit, they reentered the village from where the sun rises. They would visit each sick person in turn, dancing the Soldiers' Dance and laying their hands upon them. When all this had been accomplished, they went to the village chief's lodge where members of his clan had prepared a feast for them. The next day, it was expected that those who fell sick will have been made well.9 For more on this, see Soldier Dance Songs.
During the Bear Clan Feast, which is held when the First Bear Moon becomes visible and again in the spring, the participants must eat everything left handed and in complete silence, not making a sound even while eating soup. When the feast begins, all fires are extinguished so that the rite is conducted in pitch darkness. No meat would be eaten, but only the produce of the earth. The feasters would also eat the favorite foods of the Chief of the Bear Spirits, which is maple sugar and blueberries. [See here for more on this rite]10
The Bear Clan also had a special lodge in which prisoners might be kept and various insignia of office stored. When the Thunderbird Chief was located in the center of the village, the Bear Clan lodge stood directly opposite his. The Bear Clan had several artifacts emblematic of their special social function: their own style of warclub, and hokere’ų, special crooks used in battle. When the clan was performing some duty as a whole, its chief would hold a scepter called a namaxinixini in his hand as a symbol of his authority. The hokere’ų and namaxinixini were stored in the Bear Clan lodge. (For more on the namaxinixini, see the Commentary to Soldier Dance Songs.)
There are four things that people ought not to do in any lodge belonging to a Bear clansman:
1. peep into the lodge,
2. say that it is a nice lodge,
3. sit in the doorway, or
4. make a deep sigh or snort (like a bear).
Should anyone perform such an act in the clansman's lodge, the owner would be compelled to give the offender anything in the lodge that he requested.11
Four clan songs are known:
Hočągara, on the road they are coming,
Hočągara, on the road they are coming;
Hočągara, on the road they are coming,
Hočągara, on the road they are coming.
Speaking Hočąk, they are coming,
Speaking Hočąk, they are coming;
Speaking Hočąk, they are coming,
Speaking Hočąk, they are coming.
Who can be behind?
Who can be behind?
Who can be behind?
Who can be behind?
Who can be above?
Who can be above?
Who can be above?
Who can be above?
When clansmen assemble to be assigned their duties as soldiers they will also sing these songs.12
Members of the Bear Clan have names peculiar to their clan. The following is a list obtained from a number of sources.13 All names are human males unless otherwise stated.
|Ánąčųxétega, Anáčuxĕteka||Big Armful (F, R, M) (as a bear hugging a tree as to climb it)||Mąhomoročą́wįga||She who Looks After the Land (M)|
|Aráčkewįga||Left-handed Woman (M)||Mąhoračĕ́wįga||Woman Traveling Over Land (M)|
|Aská||That which Tastes Good (female) (M)||Maįnukonuga||In Charge of Land (R)|
|Áwasárega||Shut In (F, D) (as a bear in the winter den)||Mąk’éga||She who Digs in the Ground (M)|
|Č’ónąkeč’ṓwįga||Clear Weather Girl (M)||Mą́kŏwĭga||Making a Nest for a Resting Place (M) (name for the fourth born female)|
|Čekinekimináka||She who First Sits Alone (M) (as a weened cub)||Mą́kskaka||White Spot on His Breast (M)|
|Číkĕriga||Keeping House (M) (as a bear does its den)||Manąp’ega, Mąną́pega||Soldier (D, M, L)|
|Či-omąčiga||She who Lives in the Earth Permanently (D)||Manąp’e-hųk’a||Soldier Chief (R)|
|Čiónazįga||Stand in the House (D)||Manąp’exetega (?)||Big Soldier (H)|
|Číwožúga||Fills the Lodge (F, D)||Manąp’éwįga||Soldier Woman (F)|
|Čonąke-hųk’a, Čoną́kehǫka||First Chief (R), Clear Weather Man (M) (clan name for the first born male)||Mąną́pĕhųka||Bear Captain (M)|
|Čonǫ́kewįka||Clear Weather Woman (M)||Mąnápemaníga||Walking Soldier (M)|
|Čoraminąk’a||Sits Blue (R)||Mąną́pĕxonoga||Little Soldier (M)|
|Čuga||Ladle (D)||Mániwarúčga||Eats While He Walks (F, D)|
|Čugáwįga||Ladle Woman (F) (refers to a bear licking its paw)||Mąk’áxga||Dirt (F, D)|
|Čugiga||Spoon (F, D)||Mąkskaga||White Breast (L)|
|Čučúskanašįga||Snapping Twig (M)(dog name)||Mąkskaniginįka||Little White Breast (L) [uncertain]|
|Giseweminąk’a||Sits Quiet (D)||Mąman’wįga||Walks on the Earth (R)|
|Gųziriga||Created One (L)||Mąnąhąpewįga||She who Throws Out Dirt (F, D)|
|Hąbenįka||Little Day (D)||Mąnok’ipiwįga||She for whom the Land is Large Enough (F, D)|
|Hąbirukonuga||In Charge of the Day (R)||Mąnusąk’-himinąk’a||Sits as the Earth Alone (R)|
|Hąbominąga||Sits in the Day (R)||Mąpezirehíga||Mound of Earth Outside an Animal Hole (M) (like the pile of dirt by a bear's den)|
|Hačačĕ́xiwįga||She who is Hard to See (M)||Mąročąwįga||Straight Earth Woman (D)|
|Hagejaminąka, Akéčamįnąka||Sitting Opposite (F, D)||Mąšgotaníga||Three Notches (F, D)|
|Hąhĕ́maniga||Walking at Night (M)||Mąsorekéga||Land Cut in Strips (F, D)|
|Hąheoračewįga||Travels by Night (D)||Mąwaksunčga||Shakes the Earth with His Weight (D)|
|Hąhewįga||Night Woman (D)||Mąwáruga||Muddy (L)|
|Hahi-ačiwįga||Dwelling on a Hillside (D)||Mązanąpįga||Iron Necklace (D)|
|Hak’irijewįga||Comes Back (D)||Mązasąwįga, Mązesąwįga||Whitish Metal Woman (F, D)|
|Hak’iručewįga||Cross Each Other (D)||Mązawįga, Mązewįga||Metal (or Iron) Woman (F, D)|
|Hąp’emaniga||Walks with the Strength of Day (R)||Mązičiga||Iron Lodge (D)|
|Hąpmaniga||Day Walker (D)||Miną́́ka||He who is Seated (M)|
|Harukanaka||Coming Down (M) (as a bear does from a tree)||Móčiwįga||Earth Dwelling Woman (F, D)|
|Hazhoniwįga||Hunts for Berries (D)||Monįga||Hunts around the Earth (R)|
|Hasuwiwį́ga||She who Hunts for Fruit (M)||Moračahówįga||She who Travels About (M)|
|Hĕsíkᵋru’éwįka||Opening a Beehive (M) (female dog name)||Moračáhuga||He who Comes across the Land (M)|
|Himaniwaručga||Eats While He Walks (D)||Moračéga||Travels About (M)|
|Hinugᵋníka||Little Woman (M)||Morajawįga, Moručąwįga||She who Travels the Earth (R) (two names on Radin's list)|
|Hiniguhega||Returning Little One (D)||Mórajega (R, F)||Travels the Earth (L)|
|Hinųkačasképįwįga||Woman who is Pleasant to Look At (F)||Nąčgečéxiwįga||She whose Heart is Difficult (to Get At) (F, D)|
|Hinukhačáiriga||She who Looks In (M)||Nąčgepįga, Nąčkepįga, Nąčkĕ́pįgá||Good Heart (F, D, M, L)|
|Hinųk’hajariga||He who Saw a Woman (D)||Nąčújiwįga||Yellowish Red Hair [see above] (F, D)|
|Hinųkinek’iminąka||Woman Sitting Alone (F, D)||Nąhŭrūhóka||Clan Marks on Tree (M) (name of the fourth born male)|
|Hinųkjópga||Four Women (F, D)||Naį́sawakišiská||Broken Treetop (M)|
|Hinukmorohóčka||She who Looks at the Land (M)||Nąnečųsepwįga||Black Root (D)|
|Hinukrĕ́xirika||Last Year's She-Cub (M)||Nąnuzók’iwįga||She who Bends the Tree by Pulling (F, D)|
|Hinųkwáčaxiwįga||Cross Woman (M)||Nąsąnehíga, Nasanĕ́higa||He who Makes a Tree Whitish by Scratching off the Bark (F, D), White Tree Trunks (M)|
|Hirušį́sga||Dropping the Fat (M)||Nąšgajewįga||She who Plays in a Tree (D)|
|Hįsasáka||Coarse Haired One (M)||Nątísaka||Climbs Rapidly (M)|
|Hočągitega||Speaks Hočąk (D)||Naxárukąwįga||Turn Over Big Rock Woman (M) (dog name)|
|Hočą́kiwįxetega||Big Winnebago Woman (M)||Nąxīxų́noga||Following the Youngest (M) (name of fifth born male)|
|Hǫ́čhǫka||Bear Chief (M)||Naxųxųnonįka||Still Smaller (M) (name for sixth born male)|
|Hǫčsĕ́pka||Black Bear (M)||Nąžujewįga||Red Hair (R) [see below]|
|Hok’awasmaniwįga||Walks in Darkness (D)||Nį-anąžįga||Stands on the Water (D)|
|Hok’awasminąk’a, Okáwasminąka||Sits in Darkness (F, D)||Nį́čĕčĭwoka||Following the Edge of the Water (M) (dog name)|
|Hok’iwaigųwįga||She who Retraces Her Steps (R)||Nįkrĕ́xrĭrīkā||Two Year Old Cub (M) (name for the third born male)|
|Hokerĕų́ga||Indian Flag (M) (the crook carried by the Bear Clan)||Noruxóga||Tree Scraper (F, D)|
|Hokorohiga, Hokórohíga||Rattle [or Sound Made by Dropping Something] (L), He who Makes a Noise (M) (as a bear inside his den)||Noxčuxiga||Breaks up a Tree into Small Pieces (D)|
|Hominak Hónika||Looking for a Place to Sit Down (or Seeking a Resting Place) (M) (third born female)||Piksíka||(Black Oak) Acorn (F)|
|Hotihuga, Hotíhuga||Comes Climbing a Tree (D), Climbing Up (M)||Piminą́ka||Seated in a Good Place (M) (female name – recalls a bear seated in its forest nest)|
|Hųčága||Bearskin (M)||Pųčurusúpka||He who Puckers Up Lips (M) (as when a bear growls)|
|Hųčásąnikiga||One-Armed Bear (M) (left-handed)||Ragųnįnéga||Coveted (F, D)|
|Hųčaxúnuga||Small Bearskin (M)||Reǧóni||Wolf (M) (dog name)|
|Hųčikirúxega||Breeding Bear Woman (M)||Reziwakąčąk’a||Holy Tongue (F, D) (the tongue is the choicest meat at a sacred feast)|
|Hųčorohįga||Chief's Flesh (F)||Rohąminąk’a||Many Sitting (F, D)|
|Hųčgága, Hųčskaga||White Bear (M, L)||Šagep’ahíga||Sharp Claws (F, D)|
|Hų́čhųka||Bear Chief (M)||Sepčoga||Real [Blue] Black (R)|
|Hų́činuka||Bear Woman (M)||Si-ásga, Siáska||Foot Good to the Taste (F, D, M)|
|Hųčká||Bear (M)||Šįsasak’a||Coarse Grained Fat (F, D)|
|Hučkíhiga||Acorn Picker (M) (dog name)||Sičá́giwįga||She Whose Track is Seen (M)|
|Hųčnáčkega||Bear Heart (M)||Skįkiréka||He who is Heavy (M)|
|Hųčnápka||Bear Paw (M) (dog name)||Šųkjąksepga||Black Wolf (L)|
|Hų́čnika||Bear Cub (M)||Wačĕxímaniga||Mean Prowler (M)|
|Hųčóka||Green (Blue) Bear (M)||Wačoginiwįga||Goes Ahead of Them (common to all clans) (R)|
|Hųčsĕ́p||Black Bear (M)||Waixčaírĭga||He who Laughs at One (M) (see Wo-ixjahiriga)|
|Hųčxĕ́tiga||Big Bear (M)||Wak’izanąp’įga, Wakísnap’į́ka||He who has a White Spot under His Throat (D), Shell Necklace (M)|
|Hųčxónonika||Small Bear (M)||Wąkrúčka||Man Eater (F)|
|Hųgačak’íriga||Came Back to See the Children (F, D)||Wamaniga||Walks on the Snow (D)|
|Hųgitega||Prophet (D)||Wamanuk’ega||Habitual Thief (D)|
|Hųj-huréga||Black Bear Coming (F, D)||Wamąksgaga||White Breast (D)|
|Hųjga||Bear (D)||Wamąksgawįga||White Breast Woman (F)|
|Hųjxétega, Hunčxátega||Big Bear (F, D, L)||Wamiakskáwįka||Has a White Spot on Her Breast (M)|
|Hųjxonúga, Hųjxunúga||Little Bear (F, D, R)||Wánapurúka||Tossing up Snow (F)|
|Hujopga||Four Legs (L)||Wąkanąsewįga||Pens up a Male (F, D)|
|Hųkorohiga||The Chief's Flesh (D)||Wąk’hok’isak’a||Semi-Human (D)|
|Hųk’uniga||He who is Made Chief (D)||Wamániga||Walker on Snow (M)|
|Įį́xka||Whining (M) (female)||Wapanaminąga||Sitting in a Thicket (L)|
|Inék’inąjįga||Stands Alone (F, D)||Wapísnap'į́ka||Wearer of shell Gorget (M)|
|Inék’iminąka||Sits Alone (F, D)||Wasąhimaniga||Walks on Melting Snow (D)|
|Iniwąkšika||Stone Man (L)||Wasákaníka||denotes a bear of a certain age, probably two year old (M)|
|Kaǧiga||Crow (L) [clan uncertain]||Wasemak’ąga||Vermillion or Medicine Paint (D)|
|Kaǧinįka||Little Crow (L) [clan uncertain]||Wašįgá||Fat (M) (female name)|
|Kaǧiskaga||White Crow (L)||Wašįgásaka||He who is Fat (M)|
|Kaǧižįkáka||Yellowish Raven (R)||Wašįsxega||Broken Stick (M)|
|Kiséweminęka, Kisĕ́wĕminąka||Still Sitting (F), Sit Down Quietly (M) (as a bear hibernating)||Watoká||a kind of large bear (M) (dog name)|
|Mąbezirehíga, Mąp’ezirehiga||Throws up Yellow Earth (F, D, L)||Watokĭ́wįga||Leave If You Don't Like It (M) (references the short tempers of bears)|
|Mąčgúga||(Rain)bow (M)||Wąwą́kega||He who Whines (M)|
|Mąčgúnašéška||Foot that Breaks the Bow (F)||Wawį́ka||Bear (of a certain age) (M) (female name)|
|Mąčo-išjajiripga||Grizzly with Striped Eyes (D)||Wazíka||Yellowish Nose (F)|
|Mąčóga||Grizzly (F, D)||Wažiga||Yellowish Red (D)|
|Mąčosepka||Black Grizzly (C)||Wo-ixjahiriga, Wóxčahíriga, Woxčahírĭga||Laughing (at His Antics) (F, D), Thought Beautiful by Everyone (M) (like a cub)|
|Mąčosúčga||Red Grizzly (F)||Wohįkšahirega||He at whom They Laugh (D)|
|Mą̮enukánaka||Ground Owner (M)||Woxčomĭ́́nąka||He who Sits in a Ground Hole (M) (like a bear's nest)|
|Mąguwįga||Earth Coming Woman (R)||Wožípga||Short Legged Bear (M)|
Some have said that the Bear and Deer Clans are friends and bury one another's dead. It has even been asserted that the Deer clansmen act as servants in official Bear Clan functions. Nevertheless, the Bear and Wolf Clans have the strongest friendship relations in the tribe, even to the extent, according to some, that they will avenge one another's clansmen. Historically, it is typically the Wolf Clan that buries members of the Bear Clan. When a Bear clansman dies, he is buried with a miniature Bear Clan warbundle, and sometimes with a bow and arrows in hand. Sacramental tobacco is also placed with the body. The facial markings put upon the dead person were designed to make them look ursine and consisted of one charcoal line across the forehead with a red line beneath it. The entire chin was painted red, which was said to be a smile, since Bear clansmen greet death with joy inasmuch as they will soon be reunited with their kinsmen in Spiritland. This is why Bear clansmen should never mourn for their dead.14
There exist several versions of the Bear Clan Origin Myth:
Version 1. The spirits met at a long lodge in the east to discuss populating the earth. Earthmaker wished to put a particular bear on earth, but it was already headed that way on its own initiative. When the bear appeared, the winds stopped and the day stood still. As the bear walked towards the Creation Council, a great nimbus of lightning formed over his head. Before the lodge of the council stood a sapling. Unexpectedly, a storm suddenly struck out of nowhere, and a great lightning bolt consumed the tree. There stood the bear, and beside him materialized the Spirit of War (Wonáǧire Wąkšik?). They greeted each other as friends. This is why Bear clansmen have two sides to their bodies: one is the repository of war powers and the other is the dwelling place of the powers of chieftainship. The Bear clansmen from the beginning walked on two legs, but initially they were completely covered with fur. In time, as they traversed the earth, they lost their fur. Those with whom they traveled would kill and eat a bear from time to time, but the Bear people would always abstain. However, one day a Bear clansman joined in the feast. When this was reported to the Bear Chief, he declared for all time that because "we have eaten ourselves," the Bear Clan shall henceforth participate with the other clans in feasts.15
Version 2a. There were four spirit bears the youngest of whom came walking across the ocean. When he got near the shore he suddenly turned into a raven and flew onto the littoral. Because he became a raven, the Bear Clan now has the name Kaǧijįkága ("Yellowish Raven"). Some say that it was in the form of foam that he came to shore and that is why the Bear clansmen have so much life. Then he changed back, and because he changed twice he is one of the greatest of the Bear people. When he walked on the shore at Red Banks he first saw a Wolf clansman and they went together to a lodge each of whose four doors opened onto one of the cardinal points. When they entered the lodge they sat opposite one another. This is why they are friends and call each other, "my opposite."16
Version 2b. "John Johnson says that the people that originated from the raven are the present Menominie tribe, and that they originated after the bear people."17
Version 3. Ten brothers left their parents and walked across the ocean, headed for the great clan meeting at Red Banks. As they approached the shore, four waves were formed and out of each wave a raven (kaǧi) flew up. When the ravens landed on the shore, suddenly they each became a bear. Those four, because they had changed themselves twice, were the most powerful. As they walked along they saw the tracks [inset] of the Wolf clansmen, so they said, "Our friends have gone by." When they went into the assembly lodge, they sat opposite the Wolf people. This is why the Wolf and Bear Clans bury each other.
"The bears should paint their faces with charcoal from burnt basswood, and red paint. The face should be painted red and black alternately in stripes crossways or black on the upper half and the mouth and chin red. Women are painted with a red spot on their cheeks with charcoal in the center. The first male child should be called, tto n Ke AoK K (Čonąkehųka, Chief Blue Back); the second boy should be called, A Ae m ni K (Hąhemanįga, Walks as the Night); the third boy should be called, Aott a rA niKi K (Hųčasanįka, One Armed Bear); the fourth boy should be called, m n le wi so K (Mąnąpewiruka, Boss of Soldiers)."18
Version 4. In the beginning there were no humans since Earthmaker had created only animals. In a great council held with all the animals, Earthmaker announced that some of them would be chosen to become human. It was decided that one animal of each of twelve kinds was to be chosen along with his wife. When it came time to name the Soldier, he picked the youngest of the bears. This bear's oldest brother has black hair, the second oldest is dark red, and the third of the brothers has blue (čo) hair. Each was a chief in his spirit village. Then, on the appointed day, the youngest bear and his wife emerged out of the earth to the north of Green Bay. It was a perfect day. As they went to the place of rendezvous, they heard them say in the distance, "Here come the Soldiers!" With each step they made footprints of luminescent blue like Daylight itself. Thus they have a name, Hąbamanina, "He Who Walks with the Day." As they walked, those who followed him became hungry, so he told them that they could hunt. Now he sent those hunters ahead so that they might have just the right food waiting for them when they camped. That night they made offerings of this food along with red feathers and tobacco for the three brothers that he left behind. He did this because they asked to be remembered of him. When they started again the next day they saw tracks on the ground, and said, "Our friends must have come by." When their friends saw the tracks of the Soldiers, they said the same thing. The Soldiers arrived at last at a great lodge where they met the other chosen animals. They wished to start a fire, but none of them save the Thunder Clan could make one, so that clan was made chief. They called upon the Waterspirits to be chief of the lower division; of the third division, the Soldiers were to be chiefs. They were in charge of discipline. This is the origin of the Bear Clan, who are Soldiers.19
Version 5. After he created all other things, Earthmaker created a man and woman in the south, and he appointed them to be in charge of part of the Day (that is, Life). To the man, he gave charge of all the creatures upon the earth and in the sky. This man came north from below, and as he came forth a great host of creatures followed after him. The other clans had already gathered at the place of rendezvous, and when they saw them come, they said, "Make room! Our Soldiers have arrived." Then the Soldier spoke to them and said, "What Earthmaker created me for, I am here to do. I will protect and make sacred all the cleared land upon which your village stands; and if you call upon your Soldiers to combat sickness, you shall be made well." For four days the weather was good and no wind blew from any direction. In such wise was the Soldier in charge of things and circling above him were birds of prey sharp in their talons. After four days the clans left for their homes. To this day the Bear is still in command of the people.20
Version 6. There was a hill in the south near a spring of white water. The hill and the waters shook mightily and he who lived in the hill came forth preceded by his attendants. There were eleven men there, and they told him to look about the fields and meadows. So he sent four of his attendants and there they found ripened fruit in abundance, even nuts and beans. However, they returned and excitedly reported to the leader, "Unexpectedly, we came across the footprints of human beings." So the leader told them to make a wider circuit in their explorations and when they did so, they soon found those they sought. It had been the Wolves who made the footprints, and being thus discovered, they said, "It is our friends who have come upon us." The Bears replied, "Friends, let us never disobey one another's words," and for their part the Wolves declared, "It shall always be thus." And they pledged to one another that when anyone among them should die, his opposite would put him in the earth so that his soul would not be set upon by evil spirit insects. Thus the Bears and Wolves are friends, and even avenge the murder of one another's clansmen. After shaking hands, the Wolves departed to their home, and the Bears returned south. When the Bears came back to this earth again, they spread out all over the land seeking every kind of ripe fruit. Thus they do to this day.21
Hočąk-English Interlinear Text
(1) Earthmaker he made it (the cosmos). Thus it was taught that Earthmaker did in this way, and so the story began. The story has reached us. Also in this way he made us, and so the story began. "We are to get ready to counsel together." It was the one on the side where it grows cold (the north) who said it. He was one who the Creator also created in the way he created us. There were four brothers, the eldest was named "Black"; the second, "Red," as he was a red one; the third was a blue/green (čo) one; the fourth, who was the youngest and last, was a white one.
(2) "Our younger brother, how will it be?" This one (said), "I myself say that I am not equal to the task, thus do I believe. My temperament does not approach being equal to the task. Try to say something, as they are about to have a gathering. Try to say something." And, "O elder brother, you have spoken truly, and I too am thus. There I am not equal to the task of finishing this, my dear elder brother, I am not fit." "All right, our dear elder brother, you have told us to finish this, but for this sort of thing I am not equal to the task; (3) only our younger brother, he alone is clever, our dear elder brother, I believe that it is only our younger brother who is the one." "All right, our younger brother, he will be the one. Truly have you spoken, our younger brother alone is fit for the task. The announcement of the coming gathering has already been made. We shall council over it right away, in our younger brother we will find refuge, only our younger brother, he alone will be strong in his mind." "Truly you have spoken. He will go on to the earth, but we will be obliged to remain here and take care of our home. (4) The younger brother, when he speaks, that way is how it will be. Thus it will be. Earthmaker ordained that they should gather together and the lives that we have shall be lived there. Our younger brother will do it. Younger brother, you will be going, so we will ask you to remember us. When you arrive on earth, you will be going along and if you obtain one of the little offerings, send some back to us. When you start out going, you will go in the guise of Light-and-Life (Hąp). (5) Light-and-Life you will take with you when you appear. Now it is his [to do]. You have companions. You have those who travel. You will do it. You will take care to name everyone who is now with you. And when you start going out, after you have arrived at the gathering place, you will name the dog names. Now you will go forth in holiness (wákąčąk)." (6) And he was the last to start.
"This one, the first one, his name this will be it: the name for the oldest, the first, if he is a man, a male, they will call him by the name, 'Very Black', they will address him. And they will call the second one 'Yellowish Red.' The third oldest they shall call by the name 'Blue Bear.' The name of the fourth oldest they shall call 'White Bear.' When there is a girl, they call her by the name, 'She who Walks in Darkness.' And the next one they call 'Daylight as She Walks.' And the next one they call 'She who Thrusts Herself within a Lodge.' (7) And the next one they call 'Visible Footprint Woman,' they call her. And again, in owning a dog, if they wish to keep him, they call him 'Bringer of Fresh Meat.' Yet again, one they style 'Two Bears,' they call him, if they keep him. And again when doing it for a female dog, they style her 'Haksiga (Third Born Female),' they call her. Yet again, a bitch, once they decide to keep it, they style it 'Yellowish Red Female,' they call it, and in this way they will do it," he said.
They started to go to the gathering place. They began to talk. They [at the gathering place] heard them: (8) "Our soldiers are coming. Their speech is audible." In time one landed with a leap. "Our friends have arrived," they said. And they arrived. They arrived at the gathering place. When he got there, they arrived. The Waterspirit Clan had arrived first; the Bird Clan had arrived; the Bear Clan had arrived; the whole group of relatives gathered together, and they made a lodge. They made a great lodge. (9) They finished the lodge and they said — to those who were first to arrive, the Waterspirit Clan — they were addressed, "Chief among our kin, how will we proceed? Try to light a fire!" "Hohó, hohó, hagagasgéžą, I cannot do it. I am unable. One among us will do it." They were told that he could not do it. They said, "The one who could start the fire, that one would become chief." Thus they said. They tried to do it. The Thunderbird Clan of the Bird Clan, they could do it. (10) They said that they could start the fire, and so they are the chief. They became glad and the relatives distributed the fire around. And everyone placed the fire it is said. Thus it was at the Creation Council. Everything they were to create, they got done. They were to (ritually) serve the village. The Thunderbird Clan, it was put in charge of the village. They made for him a lodge, they put him in charge, and they obeyed whatever he would say. They said of him, "By this means we got here," they would say to him, and thus they would obey their chief and [this is why] they said it.
(11) When they were to eat, whatever food they brought back, they would look for it themselves. They say that they began to take the food back with them, and the Bear Clan made a rule for themselves: it would make for itself a feast as an offering. For him they give just one kettle, it is a shallow kettle, they say.22
Hočąk Syllabic Text with an English Interlinear Translation
(88) This is the Bear Clan. There a male sat, where there was a large spring. When he saw his body, it was very blue, standing like the blue of the day. Again, he became bigger. As the day stood illuminating, his body was truly that way itself. From the blue of the sky, the day illuminated his body. And he was called by the name "Blue Chief." (89) Then he sat down. When he looked to his side, here were twelve men. Then the earth began to quake. This one's coming out was the reason why it had done so. Blue Bear named this other one, calling him "Earth Shaker" (Mąixgą́hika), he named him. Again, when the earth began to do a lot, much happened. It rumbled. He also shook the earth. (90) And so he named him "Earth Quaker" (Mąwaksųčka), he called him. So the third time it was the same way. Now then, it was more than before. It trembled even up to the day itself. And all those things that were not solid came up from the bottom to the top. There he scattered about every kind of fruit. So when he named him, he called him, "Gives Forth Fruit as He Walks" (Haz-hiwenįmąnįga), he called him. (91) And again, for a fourth time, it began to roar. It was quite something. It trembled even up to the day. Then he emerged. So he called him by the name, "Makes the Day Tremble" (Hąbixgą́higa). He did this way with all of them. So on that account, everyone there was named all of these names.
And he said – it was said to Blue Chief – "Hąhą́, all these things you have done, you and your friends. Thus it is," he said. It was Earthmaker who had said this. (92) There Earthmaker talked to Blue Chief. Something was taught to Blue Chief. Then they came towards the place at which all the clans were to meet, Red Banks. As they came, any leaves that had spiny edges became human; and any trees that had prickers on them, became human; any birds with sharp claws, if they can claw anything, these also became human; (93) and any snakes with sharp teeth, these also became human. So those who walk upon the light went above, and if they went on the ground, it would not be good for bad spirits to cross their path. The earth trembled. Then they went there. They got to the place at which they were to go. Then they said, "My friends, the seats over here are reserved for those who have been called," they said. (94) Blue Bear said, "My friends, we did not come here to do this. We will not sit down. We were not intended for this by Earthmaker. For as long as the earth exists, thus we will take care of you. If the earth nearby is given out, we will take care of it. (95) We will not let any bad spirits enter within. And the seats that were offered, will remain as they are," he said. So if the clans were to gather, they would join them, and if they returned there and fetched him, Blue Bear would also return there. The others remaining would be upon the face of the earth. (96) Therefore, it is the Bear Clan who are the soldiers. And so there is the origin of the Bear Clan. Therefore, when a bear is killed on earth, they do not mind it. Therefore, they don't mind killing one of the bears of the earth, in fact, if one of them was to kill one of these bears, he would laugh, and feel good about it. If one of their own dies, they do not weep, they will laugh. If one of them dies, he is going home. (97) If someone died, they would paint his jaws red for him. This he did in order to inscribe a laugh on his face, since this is what he should do. If a bear is killed, he returns to Blue Bear. Therefore, it is the same with the Bear Clan as well. So they also called this the story of the Bear Clan. Thus they did.
The birds, the trees, the snakes, all have soldiers. (98) Some of the little birds which are dangerous, these are the soldiers. And among the snakes that are dangerous, these are the soldiers. And if they are trees that have sharp parts, all those having thorns, they are soldiers. Among animals of all kinds, if there are some who are more dangerous, these are soldiers. (99) Therefore, whatever he is, to whatever clan he belongs, there they are soldiers yet. Therefore, they say this. They say that those who are doing this anywhere are soldiers. Whoever gets mad, and he is one of these, the reason that he does this is because he has a soldier nature. Whoever, if he applies force, can hurt someone, they say that such a nature was placed in him. If they had said this, that this or that clan never does anything wrong, then all of them would have been blameless. (100) They say that whatever they belong to, the meanest are therefore of this kind. This is not good anywhere. The Indians are always acting this way.23
Version 9 (fragmentary). "Supposed to have originated from bear-spirit. There were four bear spirits, the youngest being the first to come upon the earth, the other three following according to age. They became human at Green Bay, called by Indians Red-Bank on shores of Lake Michigan. When they started, they came singing. There were four songs —
Song of the Youngest:
|Winnebagoes —||Where are you from?||He!|
They supposed that God made them."24
Version 10 by Eli Rasdell (fragmentary). "Winnebagoes originated on shores of Lake Michigan, Red Bank near Green Bay. There were 22 men who hollowed out a hill and lived there. ..."25
from the collection of W. C. McKern
(33) This is how it was in the old days. There were four bears. They came on a nice clear day. It is said that they were created at Red Banks. The first bear was named Kunúga. He was a red bear. The name of the second bear was Heną́ga. He was a green bear. The name of the third bear was Hagága. He was a yellow bear. The name of the fourth bear was Naxíga. He was a white bear. The trail led along the shore of the lake. Afterwards came the wolf band and saw the tracks of the bear on the trail before them. "These are our friends," they said, "let us go down to see them." They followed the tracks of the bears. The trail led away from the lake into the thick woods. There in the woods they found the bears. To them they said, "We are friends of your generation." So they talked together. "Let us be friendly," said the wolves, "whatever you ask of us, that we will do." Then the bears said, "That is good. Whatever you ask of us, that will we do also. After we lose one (through death), we will help one another in burying the dead. If we do this, no worm or vermin will disturb the body." The bears also said, "You see how we are colored differently. That is how we shall paint the forehead and the chin of the dead. Three different colors on the forehead (red, white, and green) and blue on the chin. That way it will be good."
So they said, the bears, "We are going to find some place on the earth where we can rest. This, our friend, is going to be buried. We must find (34) a place in which to bury him. Whenever we die, our friends the wolves will bury us. Let someone talk to the dead. We will also sing to him."
"Before we go away," said the bears, "let us show how this our generation shall live." Then the bears placed the rainbow in the sky. "There are our colors," they said. "This will bring our generation good luck. So shall they live long in the land. We shall build our houses like the rainbow. In that shape shall we make them. That will bring us good luck. That will lengthen our days."26
from the collection of W. C. McKern
(37) In this way we were created. First came the four bears. Each bear was colored differently than the others. The first bear was named Kunúga. He was a red bear. The second bear was named Heną́ga, and he was a green bear. The name of the third bear was Hagága, the yellow bear. The fourth bear was named Naxíga, and he was a white bear. And they talked together, and said, "In this way shall we live, we of this genealogy, from this time on." So they went on until they came to the Red Banks. That is where the Thunder Band came and sat perched on the limbs of a white oak tree. Then the leader of the Thunder Band said to the bears, "Fix for us a place that we may come down from this tree and live on the earth." It was then that they saw a rainbow. The leader of the Bear Band then pointed to the rainbow. Then he said, speaking to the Thunder Band, "You should always live under that rainbow. We shall always help you people." Then the bears fixed a place on the earth so that the Thunder Band could come down and live there. It was a mound which they made for the Thunder people to live on. Then the bears made a mound upon which they themselves might live. "Now we shall live with you and take care of you people for all time," they said to the Thunder Band. "Who are you people?" inquired the leader of the Thunder Band. "You should call us Čónąke, that will be our name," said the bears.
Then the bears left that place and went through the woods. By the banks of a river they went. Then four wolves came that way. They saw the bear tracks on the sand bar. "These are the tracks of our friends," said the Wolf Band, "let us follow them." (38) At last they came to the place where the bears were resting. "Well, we are your friends," said the wolves. "Yes," said the bears, "Let us be friendly." Then the wolf leader said, "As long as we live, if you ask us to do a favor for you, we shall do it." "Good," said the bear leader, "that's the way we shall do. When either of us asks a favor of the other, it shall be done. This is the way our children shall do after we are gone. They should never refuse to serve each other in this way." This was the agreement of friendship between the bears and the wolves when they first came to this world. "This will give us strength," they said, "so that we and our grandchildren shall have health and long lives. And one of our children will leave us some day. When this one dies, you wolves will take care of us. So we shall take care of each other. We will handle each other's dead, so that the ghosts will not be harmed. That is how it will be, so that worms and vermin will not molest the body. "Yes," said the wolf leader, "that is how it will be. We shall bury your dead and you shall bury our dead."
Then the bear leader pointed to the rainbow. Then he said, "Those are our colors, the four colors of the bears. You see how we have these colors on us. That is how we shall paint the forehead and chin of one of our children when we lose him (at death). Place three different colors on the forehead and paint the chin with blue earth. So shall our child will be known to his relatives (the departed). In this way it shall be done by our grandchildren. We are going to fix or place on the earth where we can bury this one. This, our friend, is going to be buried. Whenever we die, our friends, the wolves, will bury us. Now let the leader talk to this dead man. Then we shall (39) sing to him."
"This is how we shall live," said the bear leader. "This is how our grandchildren shall live after us. Look at the rainbow. There are our colors. This will bring us all good luck. In this way we shall live out our lives in full. We shall live under the rainbow. That will be the shape of our houses. So we shall have health and long lives."27
Commentary. On Version 2. "came walking across the ocean" — one of the reasons why the original bears of the Bear Clan came walking on water is the symbolic import of water itself. Water, as a fluid element, represents chaos and disorder. The Bear Clan, as the clan of mą́ną́pe, "soldiers, police," represents the force of authority and order. Therefore, they stand above the element of disorder — they have mastered it and are not swallowed up in it as are ordinary beings.
"Kaǧijįkága" — this is derived from the original MS where it is given in syllabic script as K xi di K K, and J. O. Dorsey who records the name Kaǧižiñkáka, "Yellowish Crow." It was incorrectly given by Radin (in Winnebago Tribe) as Kakižigaga.
"raven" — the Hočąk word for ravens is Kaǧi, the name which they give to the Menominee tribe. For the connection between bears, ravens, and the Menominee, see The Hočąk Arrival Myth.
On Version 3. "One Armed Bear" — the Hočąk is hųč-a-sanįk-ka, where hųč means "bear", a means "arm", and sanįk means "opposite side" (with -ka being a definite article indicating a personal name). So the name really means, "Opposite Side Arm Bear" or "Left-Armed Bear", a reference to the digits of bear paws which have the appearance of being switched, the right hand looking like a left, and vice-versa.
On Version 7. "the north" — "the side where it grows cold" (sanįk sinioguregi), refers to the north, although Radin has "south." Cf. James Owen Dorsey's (sinihósuéča), "at the north." Radin apparently thought that the eldest bear, here said to be Black, actually resided in the south, and that it was he who was speaking. However, while Black probably is to be identified with the south, it is not clear that he is the first to speak.
"Yellowish Red" — the Hočąk is Waziga, where zi denotes colors running from yellow through tints of brown. Wa-zi-ga means "the yellow-brown thing." The choice of "Yellowish Red" is merely to bring it into line with its prototype, Red Bear. The four kinds of bears referred to in this color scheme are the Black Bear, Brown Bear, Grizzly Bear, and Polar Bear. The four subclans of the Bear Clan are called after these bears.
"Bringer of Fresh Meat (Watogega)" — literally, "Fresh Meat." Presumably this refers to the virtue of the dog in tracking down game; however, it might refer to its role as a sacrifice in certain feasts, although this seems unlikely.
"soldiers" — the Bear Clan, because they perform the police function, are called mą́ną́pe, conventionally translated as "soldiers."
"their speech is audible" — this may be an allusion to the meaning of the name Hočąk — "Great Voice."
On Version 8. "standing like the blue of the day (hąbera čora jera)" — a reference to the ritual name of the Bear Clan, Čónąke (čo-nąk-ge), "the sort who sit [in the] blue [sky]" (see below).
"twelve men" — these represent the twelve clans: (1) Thunderbird, (2) Eagle, (3) Pigeon, (4) Hawk, (5) Buffalo, (6) Bear, (7) Wolf, (8) Elk, (9) Deer, (10) Waterspirit, (11) Snake, and (12) Fish.
"the day" — the deity that we call "Sun" is really better called "Day." The sun is hąp-wi-ra, "the luminary of the day," where hąp is, "day, light." Day rolls a copper wheel through the sky, an obvious representation of the solar disk. So Day is more akin to Apollo than to Helios. Certain members of the Bear Clan were thought to be able to "hold the day," which meant, that they were able to make the days free of rain for a period of time. This is part of the connection of the Bear Clan to Day. Day or Light is the substance of the blue sky, although the physical dome itself is identified with Bladder.
"all of them" — it may be appreciated that there are now five primordial bears. The usual list is of precisely four, corresponding to each of the four sub-clans of the Bear Clan. In the common scheme, Blue Bear is chief of the grizzly bears, and may be blue or gray, reflecting the two basic colors of the day. His direction is the east. Today, the chief sub-clan is the White Bear Subclan, whose direction is the north. They map out onto the cardinal direction in this way:
However, this story gives supreme importance to Blue Bear, who is the first among them, and even bears the title "chief" in one of his names.
The key to understanding this second scheme is the name given to the third bear. Weather patterns in the upper Midwest tend from west to east, so the giver of fruit should lie in the west, as is the case in the first diagram. However, temporally, there is a more profound reason. The north is clearly associated with winter, making the sequence from east > north > west > south, equivalent to, vernal equinox > summer solstice > autumnal equinox > winter solstice. This associates the west with autumn, the time when the maize crop ripens. The only space left for Blue Bear is the center, the position of the chief. This makes it clear that Blue Bear once held a higher status than in the present scheme (first diagram). His sub-clan today exercises the priestly function, and their altars are placed on the top of hills. They may once have practiced their religious rites atop artificial hills.
"we will take care of you" — the Bear Clan exercises the police function which defends the social order and protects people from crime.
"we will take care of it" — the Bear Clan was in charge of the earth, and any disposition of land had to be conducted through them.
"soldiers" — this is the conventional translation of mą́ną́pe, which more precisely means "police." However, the mą́ną́pera think of themselves as the warriors par excellance.
"they do not mind it" — soldiers, by their nature, kill their own kind (other soldiers), and in this case, they are killing those of the tribe of their progenitors, which are therefore also of their own kind.
"he returns to Blue Bear" — this means that Blue Bear is the ruler of the spirit village of the Bear Spirits. He would therefore control the birth and death of bears, that is, the transmigration of their souls to and from Spiritland.
"the same with the Bear Clan" — this is a bit of a surprise. In the first diagram above, it is Red Bear who sits in the west who is in charge of the dead; but here, things are reversed, and Blue Bear rules not only over the village of the Spirit Bears, but the spirit village of the Bear Clan. This would explain why the Blue Bear Subclan held the priestly offices, since their progenitor rules in the Other World.
"this is not good anywhere" — this statement shows the effect of preaching against Indian warfare. The ancient view was that warfare was essential for men, and that the strong have a taste for it.
"the Indians are always acting this way" — a reference to the constant (wintertime) warfare, to which the U. S. government (rather hypocritically) wished to put an end.
On Version 11. "Kunúga" — the names Kunúga, Heną́ga, Hagága, and Naxíga are birth order names given to the first, second, third, and fourth sons respectively.
"green" — this translates the word čo, which denotes a color that spans the spectrum from green through blue. This bear is usually called "Blue Bear."
"yellow bear" — elsewhere he is said to be Black Bear. The color yellow is denoted by the word zi (ri), which also is used to refer to both orange and brown.
On Version 12. "mound" — the ancestors of the Hočągara have been identified by some as those who have created the effigy mounds now extant in their territory. However, it is more likely that this refers to the elevated platform on which the lodge of a chief rested even in more in recent times, remains of which are often mistaken for effigy mounds.
"Čónąke" — this is an old name for the Bear Clan. It is from čo, "blue, green"; and nąké, "the back of the human body"; however, it has a charming ambiguity, since it can also be analysed as čo-nąk-ge, "the sort that sits in the blue," a reference to the sky. The earth is green-backed, and it is also blue-backed when the dome of the sky is considered. Sometimes the back of a black bear may give off a bluish sheen, which may indicate that the clan was once the Black Bear Clan. In addition to this blue character, the coats of black bears also come in other colors: reddish, white ("spirit bears"), brown (= yellow, as zi means, "yellow, orange, brown").
"ghosts" — the word for ghosts is wanąǧí, which also means "corpse." It is the latter for which they are expressing concern.
"blue earth" — in Hočąk, "blue earth" is mą-čo, but mąčó is also the word that denotes the grizzly bear. The chief of the grizzlies is Blue Bear (the same as Green Bear).
Comparative Material. On the creative power of the sea foam mentioned in Version 2, compare the Greek myth of the birth of Aphrodite, who was said to have spontaneously emerged from this substance.28 It is paradigmatically interstitial: neither wet nor dry, solid nor vapor nor liquid, etc. It is the interstitial aspect of the bear's spirituality that is expressed in the prohibition against sitting in the doorway of a Bear clansmen's lodge.
Links: Bear, Day, Bear Spirits, Black Bear, Blue Bear, Red Bear, White Bear, The Creation Council, Were-Grizzlies and Other Man-Bears, Kaǧi, Bird Spirits, Wonáǧire Wąkšik, Earthmaker, Disease Giver, Thunderbirds, Waterspirits.
Stories: about (the origins of) the Hočąk clans: Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, Bird Clan Origin Myth, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Story of the Thunder Names, Eagle Clan Origin Myth, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Pigeon Clan Origins, Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth, Buffalo Clan Origin Myth, The Elk Clan Origin Myth, Deer Clan Origin Myth, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Snake Clan Origins, Fish Clan Origins; about the origins of Bear clansmen: Fourth Universe; mentioning the Wolf Clan: Wolf Clan Origin Myth, The Gray Wolf Origin Myth, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, Little Priest's Game, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 3), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth; mentioning (spirit) bears (other than were-bears): White Bear, Blue Bear, Black Bear, Red Bear, The Shaggy Man, Bear Offers Himself as Food, Hare Visits His Grandfather Bear, Grandmother Packs the Bear Meat, The Spotted Grizzly Man, Hare Establishes Bear Hunting, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Redhorn's Sons, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, The Messengers of Hare, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Hočąk Migration Myth, Red Man, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, Lifting Up the Bear Heads, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, The Two Boys, Creation of the World (v. 5), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Brown Squirrel, Snowshoe Strings, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, East Enters the Medicine Lodge, Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, The Spider's Eyes, Little Priest's Game, Little Priest, How He went out as a Soldier, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Trickster's Tail, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Warbundle Maker, cf. Fourth Universe; featuring Bear as a character: Hare Visits His Grandfather Bear, Bear Offers Himself as Food, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, The Hočąk Migration Myth, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, Hare Establishes Bear Hunting, Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, The Woman Who Fought the Bear; mentioning Red Bear: Brass and Red Bear Boy, The Spotted Grizzly Man, The Journey to Spiritland, The Creation of the World, Red Bear; mentioning kaǧi (crows & ravens): Kaǧiga and Lone Man, The Hočąk Arrival Myth, The Spider's Eyes, The Old Man and the Giants, Turtle's Warparty, The Shaggy Man, Trickster's Tail, The Healing Blessing, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Ocean Duck; about the Creation Council: Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Tobacco Origin Myth, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Elk Clan Origin Myth, Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth, Buffalo Clan Origin Myth, Deer Clan Origin Myth, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Origin of the Winnebago Chief, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Snake Clan Origins; mentioning Earthmaker: The Creation of the World, The Creation of Man, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Lost Blanket, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna, The First Snakes, Tobacco Origin Myth, The Creation Council, The Gray Wolf Origin Myth, The Journey to Spiritland, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Seven Maidens, The Descent of the Drum, Thunder Cloud Marries Again, The Spider's Eyes, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Fourth Universe, Šųgepaga, The Fatal House, The Twin Sisters, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Elk Clan Origin Myth, Deer Clan Origin Myth, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, The Masaxe War, The Two Children, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Petition to Earthmaker, The Gift of Shooting, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Stone Heart, The Wild Rose, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Lame Friend, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed, The Hočąk Migration Myth, The Necessity for Death, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, The War among the Animals, Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, Blue Mounds, Lost Lake, The Hočągara Migrate South, The Spirit of Gambling, Turtle and the Giant, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Bird Origin Myth, Black and White Moons, Redhorn's Sons, Holy Song, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, Death Enters the World, Man and His Three Dogs, Trickster Concludes His Mission, Story of the Thunder Names, The Origins of the Milky Way, Trickster and the Dancers, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, East Enters the Medicine Lodge, The Creation of Evil, The Blessing of Kerexųsaka, Song to Earthmaker, The Blessing of the Bow; mentioning red feathers (as an offering to the spirits): The Red Feather, Big Thunder Teaches Čap’ósgaga the Warpath, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, The Elk's Skull, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, The Nightspirits Bless Jobenągiwįxka, Great Walker's Medicine, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Twins Visit Their Father's Village, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, The Waterspirit of Rock River, The Were-fish (v. 1), Disease Giver; mentioning white oaks: Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2); mentioning basswood: The Children of the Sun, Redhorn's Father, The Big Stone, The Fox-Hočąk War, Hare Burns His Buttocks, The King Bird, Hare Kills Wildcat, Turtle's Warparty, The Birth of the Twins, The Messengers of Hare, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb; mentioning the Menominee: Origin of the Name "Winnebago" (Menominee), The Hočąk Arrival Myth, The Fox-Hočąk War, First Contact, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I (v. 2), Annihilation of the Hočągara II, The Two Children, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Gatschet's Hočank hit’e (Extracts ...), Introduction; about the relationship between the Menominee and the Hočągara: Origin of the Name "Winnebago" (Menominee), The Hočąk Arrival Myth; mentioning sacred (artificial) mounds: The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (v. 1), The First Fox and Sauk War, Buffalo Clan Origin Myth, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Mijistéga and the Sauks, Traveler and the Thunderbird War (v. 5), Little Priest’s Game, The Story of How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, The Resurrection of the Chief’s Daughter, Bird Clan Origin Myth; mentioning feasts: Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (Chief Feast), The Creation Council (Eagle Feast), Hawk Clan Origin Myth (Eagle Feast), Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth (Waterspirit Feast), A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga (Mąką́wohą, Waną́čĕrehí), The Woman Who Fought the Bear (Bear Feast), Grandfather's Two Families (Bear Feast), Wolf Clan Origin Myth (Wolf Feast), Buffalo Clan Origin Myth (Buffalo Feast), The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits (Buffalo Feast), Buffalo Dance Origin Myth (Buffalo Feast), Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle (Buffalo Feast), The Blessing of Šokeboka (Feast to the Buffalo Tail), Snake Clan Origins (Snake Feast), Blessing of the Yellow Snake Chief (Snake Feast), Rattlesnake Ledge (Snake Feast), The Thunderbird (for the granting of a war weapon), Turtle's Warparty (War Weapons Feast, Warpath Feast), Porcupine and His Brothers (War Weapons Feast), Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega) (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), Big Thunder Teaches Čap’ósgaga the Warpath (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), White Thunder's Warpath (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Fox-Hočąk War (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), Šųgepaga (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (Warbundle Feast, Warpath Feast), Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth (Warpath Feast), Kunu's Warpath (Warpath Feast), Trickster's Warpath (Warpath Feast), The Masaxe War (Warpath Feast), Redhorn's Sons (Warpath Feast, Fast-Breaking Feast), The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits (Fast-Breaking Feast), The Chief of the Heroka (Sick Offering Feast), The Dipper (Sick Offering Feast, Warclub Feast), The Four Slumbers Origin Myth (Four Slumbers Feast), The Journey to Spiritland (Four Slumbers Feast), The First Snakes (Snake Feast), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse (unspecified), Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts (unnamed); mentioning springs: Trail Spring, Vita Spring, Merrill Springs, Big Spring and White Clay Spring, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, Bluehorn's Nephews, Blue Mounds, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Lost Child, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Wild Rose, The Omahas who turned into Snakes, The Two Brothers, Snowshoe Strings, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Mulberry Picker, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, The Two Boys, Waruǧápara, Wazųka, The Man Who Fell from the Sky, Turtle and the Witches; mentioning the Ocean Sea (Te Ją): Trickster's Adventures in the Ocean, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (v. 1), Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Trickster and the Children, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, Wears White Feather on His Head, White Wolf, How the Thunders Met the Nights (Mąznį’ąbᵋra), Wolf Clan Origin Myth (v. 2), Redhorn's Sons, Grandfather's Two Families, Sun and the Big Eater, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4), The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father (sea), The Dipper (sea), The Thunderbird (a very wide river), Wojijé, The Twins Get into Hot Water (v. 1), Redhorn's Father, Trickster Concludes His Mission, Berdache Origin Myth, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Morning Star and His Friend, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed; set at Red Banks (Mógašúč): The Creation Council, Annihilation of the Hočągara II, The Great Lodge, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (vv. 1, 2, 3, 5), The Winnebago Fort, Blue Bear, Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth, The Hočąk Arrival Myth, The Creation of Man (v. 10), Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Pigeon Clan Origins (fr. 1), Eagle Clan Origin Myth, Elk Clan Origin Myth (v. 1), Deer Clan Origin Myth (v. 1), Buffalo Clan Origin Myth, Blessing of the Yellow Snake Chief, Šųgepaga, Gatschet's Hočank hit’e ("St. Peet", "Hočąk Origins"), The Shell Anklets Origin Myth (v. 1), The Seven Maidens, First Contact, Big Thunder Teaches Čap’ósgaga the Warpath; set at Green Bay, "Within Lake" (Te Rok): Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (vv. 1, 2, 3), Story of the Thunder Names, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Deer Clan Origin Myth (v. 1), The Seven Maidens, Ioway & Missouria Origins, Blessing of the Yellow Snake Chief, Great Walker's Warpath, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I (v. 2), The Fox-Hočąk War (v. 2), The Creation Council, First Contact, Gatschet's Hočank hit’e.
Themes: somatic dualism: The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, Disease Giver, The Chief of the Heroka, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Red Man, The Forked Man, The Man with Two Heads; the youngest offspring is superior: The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Young Man Gambles Often, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Twins Cycle, The Two Boys, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Children of the Sun, The Creation of the World (v. 12), The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, How the Thunders Met the Nights, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Sun and the Big Eater, Buffalo Clan Origin Myth, Snake Clan Origins, South Enters the Medicine Lodge, Snake Clan Origins, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth; four brothers, each of whom founded a Hočąk clan, are associated with a different color: Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Eagle Clan Origin Myth., Pigeon Clan Origins; a class sorts into the four colors: blue, white, red, and black: Hare Kills Flint, Pigeon Clan Origins, Bear Spirits, Eagle Clan Origin Myth; a group of spirit animals sort into four different colors: The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, The Gray Wolf Origin Myth, The Old Man and His Four Dogs; red as a symbolic color: The Journey to Spiritland (hill, willows, reeds, smoke, stones, haze), The Gottschall Head (mouth), The Chief of the Heroka (clouds, side of Forked Man), The Red Man (face, sky, body, hill), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse (neck, nose, painted stone), Redhorn's Father (leggings, stone sphere, hair), The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father (hair, body paint, arrows), Wears White Feather on His Head (man), The Birth of the Twins (turkey bladder headdresses), The Two Boys (elk bladder headdresses), Trickster and the Mothers (sky), Rich Man, Boy, and Horse (sky), The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits (Buffalo Spirit), Bluehorn Rescues His Sister (buffalo head), Wazųka (buffalo head headdress), The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth (horn), The Brown Squirrel (protruding horn), Hawk Clan Origin Myth (funerary paint), Deer Clan Origin Myth (funerary paint), Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (stick at grave), Pigeon Clan Origins (Thunderbird lightning), Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks (eyes), Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (scalp, woman's hair), The Race for the Chief's Daughter (hair), The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy (hair), Redhorn Contests the Giants (hair), Redhorn's Sons (hair), The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle (hair), A Wife for Knowledge (hair), Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle (hair), The Hočągara Contest the Giants (hair of Giantess), A Man and His Three Dogs (wolf hair), The Red Feather (plumage), The Man who was Blessed by the Sun (body of Sun), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (body of the Warrior Clan Chief), Red Bear, Eagle Clan Origin Myth (eagle), The Shell Anklets Origin Myth (Waterspirit armpits), The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty (Waterspirits), The Roaster (body paint), The Man who Defied Disease Giver (red spot on forehead), The Wild Rose (rose), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (warclub), Įčorúšika and His Brothers (ax & packing strap), Hare Kills Flint (flint), The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head (edges of flint knives), The Mulberry Picker (leggings), The Seduction of Redhorn's Son (cloth), Yųgiwi (blanket); clan names arise from incidents attendant upon the founding of the clan by its Animal Spirit progenitors: Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (v. 1), Story of the Thunder Names, Eagle Clan Origin Myth, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Deer Clan Origin Myth, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, vv. 1, 4, Snake Clan Origins; bear people eating with their left hands: The Woman Who Fought the Bear, Hare Visits His Grandfather Bear; walking on water: Bird Clan Origin Myth, How the Thunders Met the Nights, Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Chief of the Heroka, Redhorn's Sons; having the power to control the winds and/or the weather: Deer Clan Origin Myth, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Blue Bear, The Gray Wolf Origin Myth, The Chief of the Heroka, East Enters the Medicine Lodge (v. 2), East Shakes the Messenger, South Seizes the Messenger, The Dipper; Proto-Hočągara arrive at Red Banks in the form of ravens: Hočąk Arrival Myth; the clan progenitors generate waves of water as they arrive on earth: Wolf Clan Origin Myth (v. 2); friendship between wolves and bears: Wolf Clan Origin Myth; an animal spirit transforms himself from one kind of animal into another: The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse (Thunderbird > horse), White Wolf (wolf > dog), A Man and His Three Dogs (wolf > dog), The Dog that became a Panther, The Were-fish (raccoon > fish), Lake Wąkšikhomįgra (Mendota): the Origin of Its Name (raccoon > fish), The Spirit of Maple Bluff (raccoon > fish), The Spirit of Maple Bluff (raccoon > fish); death viewed in positive terms: The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Necessity for Death, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Death Enters the World.
Songs. Bladder, Song about the Older Brother (v. 2), Bladder, Song about the Older Brother (v. 3), Buffalo Dance Songs, Clan Songs, Bear Clan, Clan Songs, Bear Clan, Song for Returning, Clan Songs, Bear Clan, Song for Starting Out, Clan Song, Bear Clan, Song of the Youngest, Clan Songs, Buffalo Clan, Clan Songs, Buffalo Clan, The Four Songs of Hojanoka, Clan Songs—Deer Clan, Clan Songs—Wolf Clan, Clan Songs—Wonáǧire Wąkšik Clan, The Crawfish's Song, Duck Song, Farewell Songs, The Four Services Songs, Grandfather Sparrow's Rain Songs, Grizzly Bear Songs, Hare's Song to Grasshopper, Hare's Song to the Wągepanįgera, Hare's Song to Wildcat, Hawk's Song, Heroka Songs, Holy Song, Holy Song II, Little Fox's Death Song, Little Fox's Death Song (for the Warpath), Little Fox's Tail Song, Love Song I (female), Love Song II (female), Love Song III (female), The Mouse Song, Nightspirit Songs, The Quail's Song, Redman's Song, Slow Song of the Heroka, Soldier Dance Songs, Song for Calling the Buffalo, Song from the Water, Song from the Water (King Bird), The Song of Bluehorn's Sister, Hočąk Text — The Song of Sun Caught in a Net, The Song of the Boy Transformed into a Robin, Song of the Frog to Hare, Song of the Thunder Nestlings, The Song of Trickster's Baby, Song to Earthmaker, The Song to the Elephant, The Sun's Song to Hare, Three Warrior Songs, Turtle's Call for a Warparty (v. 1), Turtle's Call for a Warparty (v. 2), Turtle's Four Death Dance Songs, Twins, Ghost's Song (v. 1), Twins, Ghost's Song (v. 2), Twins, Ghost's Song (The Two Brothers), Twins, the Songs of Ghost and Flesh, Twins, Song of the Father-in-Law, Victory Song, Wailing Song, Warrior Song about Mąčosepka, What a Turtle Sang in His Sleep, Wolf-Teasing Song of the Deer Spirits. Songs in the McKern collection: Waking Songs (27, 55, 56, 57, 58) War Song: The Black Grizzly (312), War Song: Dream Song (312), War Song: White Cloud (313), James’ Horse (313), Little Priest Songs (309), Little Priest's Song (316), Chipmunk Game Song (73), Patriotic Songs from World War I (105, 106, 175), Grave Site Song: "Coming Down the Path" (45), Songs of the Stick Ceremony (53).
1 Oliver LaMère, "Clan Organization of the Winnebago," Publications of the Nebraska State Historical Society, 19 (1919): 86-94 . Oliver LaMère was a member of the Bear Clan.
2 Thomas Foster, Foster's Indian Record and Historical Data (Washington, D. C.: 1876-1877) vol. 1, #1, p. 4, col. 4.
3 Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 ) 177-179.
4 LaMère, "Clan Organization of the Winnebago," 89-90.
5 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 177-179.
6 LaMère, "Clan Organization of the Winnebago," 89-90.
7 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe.
8 LaMère, "Clan Organization of the Winnebago," 90.
9 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 177-179.
10 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 180; "How the Old Woman Fought the Bears Who Came to Kill the Women Who Had Taken Part in a Feast During their Menstrual Period," in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3881 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Library, ca. 1912) Winnebago I, #7f: 1-17. The first part of this story is also told in Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 253-254.
11 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 177-179.
12 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 187.
13 Key to the sources:
(C) Natalie Curtis Burlin, The Indians' Book: an Offering by the American Indians of Indian Lore, Musical and Narrative, to Form a Record of the Songs and Legends of Their Race (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1907).
(D) Rev. James Owen Dorsey, "Winnebago Gentes, including Personal Names Belonging to each Gens" (National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution: T.D., 1878-79?), cat. #4800 DORSEY PAPERS, Winnebago (319).
(F) Thomas Foster, Foster's Indian Record and Historical Data (Washington, D. C.: 1876-1877) vol. 1, #1: p. 4, coll. 3-4.
(H) Reverend Elmer C. Hamley, Monapacataca (Green Lake: 1933).
(L) Nancy Oestreich Lurie, "A Check List of Treaty Signers by Clan Affiliation," Journal of the Wisconsin Indians Research Institute, 2, #1 (June, 1966): 50-73.
(M) W. C. McKern, Winnebago Notebook (Milwaukee: Milwaukee Public Museum, 1927).
(R) Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 188-189.
14 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 179-180.
15 Walter Funmaker, The Winnebago Black Bear Subclan: a Defended Culture (Ph.D. Thesis, University of Minnesota: December, 1986 [MnU-D 86-361]]) 56-57. Informant: One Who Wins of the Winnebago Bear Clan.
16 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 181. Informant: a member of the Bear Clan. Part of the original text (it was told in English) is found in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3862 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Winnebago I, #3: 72. The unidentified informant says, "from my mother, told to her by her uncle."
17 Radin, Notebooks, Winnebago I, #3: 71.
18 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 181-182. David Laury (told by his grandson), in Radin, Notebooks, Winnebago I, #3: 84-85. Informant: the father of the informant for version 2a.
19 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 182-183. Informant: a member of the Bear Clan.
20 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 183. Informant: a member of the Bear Clan.
21 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 183-184. Informant: a member of the Bear Clan.
22 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 184-186. The Hočąk text comes from "The Bear Clan Feast. Part I, The Origin Legend," in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3868 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Winnebago III, #7: 1-6. This is the same as Paul Radin, "Bear Feast," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Notebook 24: 1-11. Informant: a member of the Bear Clan. This version is tied to the origin myth of the Bear Clan Feast which is related in The Woman Who Fought the Bear.
23 Paul Radin, "Hųj Hikikarajra," Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3897 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Winnebago V, #24: 88-100 (Hočąk syllabic text only, first pagination series), 88-100 (English handwritten translation, second pagination series). Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 186-187. His informant was a member of the Thunderbird Clan.
24 Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3881 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Winnebago I, #7a: 89.
25 Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3881 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Winnebago I, #7a: 91.
26 W. C. McKern, Winnebago Notebook (Milwaukee: Milwaukee Public Museum, 1927) 34-35.
27 McKern, Winnebago Notebook, 37-39.
28 Hesiod, Theogony 88; Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite 2.5; Carl Kerényi, The Gods of the Greeks (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1979 ) 69.