Bird Clan Origin Myth

narrated by J. W.

translation based on the partial interlinear text of Paul Radin

The Bird Clan. The Bird Clan (Wanįk Hikikárajera) is in reality four clans: the Thunderbird, Eagle, Warrior (or Hawk), and Pigeon. These four clans now form the Upper (or Sky) Moiety, one of two basic divisions of society, the other being the Lower (or Earth) Moiety (see Moiety Origin Myth). Dorsey believed that the four were taken together as a clan because in earlier times they had literally been a clan. Radin, however, doubts this.1 The matter is not easily settled. Supporting Dorsey's position is the fact that among the closely related Missouria there was also a Bird Clan with four subdivisions bearing a reasonable resemblance to that of the Hocągara. Among the Hocągara these four descent groups retain a unity by constituting a moiety. Elsewhere among the closely related Chiwere (the Ioway, Oto, and Missouria), the moieties show wildly divergent clan membership, which strongly suggests that moieties have been rather fluid over the years. Just how long has that period been? According to linguistic studies, the Hocągara, Ioway, Oto, and Missouria formed one tribe with one language ca. 1500 AD. So in 1850, their mutual separation had spanned 350 years.2 However, despite the divergence in moiety formation, the clans of the four tribes remain in a fairly straightforward alignment, as can be seen from this table:3

Proto-tribe Hocągara Missouria Oto Ioway
Bird Clan(s):
Thunderbird Thunderbird Thunderbird "Thunderbird, Eagle, etc." Eagle & Thunderbird
Eagle Eagle Eagle
Hawk or Owl Hawk Hawk Hoot Owl Owl
Pigeon Pigeon
Small Bird (Mó-mi) Pigeon
Other Clans:
Black Bear Bear Black Bear Black Bear Black Bear
Wolf Wolf (no data) Second Bear (who howl like wolves) Wolf
Buffalo Buffalo (no data) Buffalo Buffalo
Elk Elk-Deer Elk Elk Elk
Beaver Waterspirit (no data) Beaver Beaver
Snake Snake-Fish (no data) Snake Snake

The Proto-Winnebago-Chiwere show interesting convergences with the clan system of the Quapah. In the Oto foundation stories collected by Whitman, the Elk Clan has prominent mention, although it is omitted from the list made up by Dorsey. Also, Whitman's myths speak of two Bear Clans, the second of which howl like wolves when someone of the other clan dies.4 The closeness of the Hocąk Bear and Wolf Clans is well known, suggesting that the Oto Second Bear Clan replaced or evolved from a Wolf Clan (thereby matching the Ioway and Hocągara). The Hocąk Deer and Fish Clans were probably subclans of the Elk and Snake respectively. These clans remain very close to one another even today. The Elk Clan in all of these tribes had the function of waiters, especially in ritual and for the chiefs. The Hocąk Waterspirit Clan has a Beaver subclan,5 and many clan names make reference to the beaver (1, 2). Both the Oto and Ioway show a strong association between the Thunderbird and Eagle Clans. This was once the situation among the Hocągara as well, as is seen in a diagram of the relationship between the members of the Bird Clan in its creation myth:

Apparently the strong association between the Thunderbird and Eagle (sub)clans has obtained since ca. 1500. The Hawk and Owl are similar birds, one is strongly associated with the day, and the other with the night. The owl has highly negative associations among the Hocągara, and no trace of it exists in the Bird Clan myths except as a negative force. Nevertheless, the Hawk Clan, also known functionally as the Warrior Clan, has a very dark reputation, including the practice of cannibalism. All the tribes agree as to the existence of a Pigeon Clan except the Missouria, who have a similar Small Bird Clan (or subclan). The Hocąk myths usually portray the founders of these clans as brothers, the kind of relationship expected among the progenitors of subclans. Subclans typically number four so that each of them can be correlated with one of the four quarters. Therefore, there is some evidence that the Bird Clan was once just that, and that its subclans became powerful enough to claim the status of full clans in their own right while retaining their former clan association at the higher level of moiety.

The Bird Clan has special clan names that it gives to its members:6

Ahu-awįga Raises Her Wing (R)
Ahu-iserecga Long Wings (R)
Ahu-ižipga Short Winged (R)
Ahuco Blue (Green) Wing (R)
Ahucowįga Green (Blue) Wing (D)
Ahugijinewįga Young Bird that Sheds Its First Feathers as It Flaps Its Wings (D)
Ahugip'arawįga Spreads Her Wings (said of a young bird just learning to fly) (D)
Ahugišiniwįga Shining Wings (R)
Ahumanip'aga He who Hits the Ground with His Wings (refers to a cloud) (D)
Ahup'ahiga Sharp Wing (said of a thundercloud) (D)
Ahuperewįga Transparently Clear Wings (D)
Ahuru-ąga He who Raises His Wings (the edges of a cloud) (D)
Ahusak'a Strikes His Wings (D)
Ahusgawįga White Wing (D)
Ahusururewįga Slow Wing (D)
Ahúserecga Long Wings (as a far extended cloud, clouds being the plumage of the Thunderbirds) (D, R-p)
Atejirehiga He who Sets the Prairie Grass on Fire Suddenly (as the lightning) (D)
Cacga Wind Person (D)
Cąphak'irucewįga Lightning Crossing Itself (D)
Cąpžigewįga Lightens Again (D)
Cašgegúwįga Oak Woman (R-p)
Cašgoguga Oak Tree (R)
Cąt'įminąk'a Sitting in Sight (D)
Cexohąphiga Lightens the Highland Marsh (D)
Ci-ohąphiga He who Lightens up the Lodge (D)
Ciwaižega He who Makes One Abandon the Lodge and Flee (D)
Ciwįgúga Making the Sound Ciwį (R-p)
Ciwįjik'erehiga Comes Making the Sound Ciwį (R, R-p)
Conimánįga Walks First (R, R-p)
Coniražireka He who is the First One Named (D)
Coraminąk'a Sits Blue (Green) (R)
Hajacexiwįga Difficult to be Seen (D)
Hajare She who Has Been Seen (D)
Hanąjatažirewįga He who is Seen by All (R)
Hąp' Hi'inohiga He who Misses the Day (probably refers to the dark clouds eclipsing the day sky) (D)
Hąp'ok'guwįga Owl Returning Hither (D)
Hąpcek'a New Day (D)
Heghenįga Young Swan (R)
Hicaxšepcoga Green (Blue) Eagle (D)
Hicaxšepewįga Eagle Woman (D)
Hicaxšepsepga Black Eagle (D)
Hišja Kererejąga Hawk Face (D)
Hiwecoga Green (Blue) Tail (D)
Hiwicažąkega Forked-Tail Hawk (D)
Hocąt'įwįga Audible Voice (D)
Hocųcųwįga Fishes in Several Places (D)
Hohąbmaniwįga Walks in the Light (D)
Hohąp'guga Returning Light (D)
Hohąpjik'ega Light that Comes Hither Regularly (D)
Hohąpjik'erega Light Flashes Suddenly (D)
Hok'awas Darkness (R)
Hokorohiga He who Makes a Noise by Dragging Something (D)
Hopįga Good Voice (D)
Horucerega He who has Eaten Fish (D)
Hųgit'ega Speaks as a Chief (R)
Hųk'nąk'awairega Chief of whom They are Afraid (D)
Ijanikwahiga He who Makes Them Shriek with Fright (D)
Jibinik'a Short Person (common to all clans) (D)
Jąberewįga Lightning that Goes (D)
Jąberášanącąt'įwįga She who is Only a Flash of Lightning (R-p)
Jąbwakšą́kšąga Flashes in Every Directioin (R-p)
Jąperašanącąt'įwįga Lightning Visible Only Once (D)
Jąpguhiga Lightning that Returns (D)
Jąphak'iwaresga Forked Lightning (D)
Jąphaniwįga He who Makes? or Accompanies? Lightning (D)
Jąpherega He who is? Lightning (D)
Jąphik'išgąga He who Makes Moving? Lightning (D)
Jąpjega Standing Lightning (D)
Jąpjikerewįga Lightning that Flashes Suddenly (D)
Jąpjirehíga Streak of Lightning (R, R-p)
Jąpkšąkšąga Zigzag Lightning or Lighting Circling and Recoiling (D)
K'aǧihicąk'a Changing Crow (D)
K'aǧinųp'aga Two Crows (D)
K'aǧižįk'aga Yellowish Crow (D)
K'eracosepga Black Sky (the firmament) (R)
K'onihéga He who Thunders (R, R-p)
K'onihéwįga She who Thunders (R-p)
Kerejųsepga Black Hawk (R)
Ki'zahųgewįga Fighting Chief (D)
Koxmanįga Walking and Making the Sound Kóx (R)
Mainjacinąk'a He who Sits having Come Hither to the Earth (D)
Mancgunąšišga Breaks a Bow with His Feet (D)
Manihitajega Strong Walker (D)
Maįjijewįga She who Alights upon the Ground (R-p)
Maįjijéga He who Alights upon the Ground (R-p)
Mą'emanįga Walking Storm (D, R-p)
Mągiksuncwįga She who Shakes the Earth (R-p)
Mągík'suncga Shakes the Earth (R, R-p)
Mąhinųp'aga Two Knives (D)
Mąhojąpga He who Flashes on the Earth (R)
Mąjijega Comes on the Ground (R)
Mąk'iksuncga He who Shakes the Earth by Striking (D)
Mąk'uhojąpga He who Flashes under the Earth (R)
Mąnąksuncga He who Makes the Earth Shake by Walking (D, R-p)
Mąnąksunjewįga She who Makes the Earth Shake by Walking (D, R-p)
Mąojąguwįga Coming Back Near the Ground (D)
Mąsuziwįga Yellow Arrow Point (D)
Mąšjąixgąwįga Makes an Effort in Moving (D)
Mąšjąmáníwįga Mightily Walking Woman (R-p)
Mąšjąmánįga Mightily Walking (R, R-p)
Mąšųcowįga Green (Blue) Quill Feathers (D)
Mąšųginoga Flaps and Shakes His Feathers (R)
Mąšųp'įwįga Beautiful Quill Feather (D)
Mąšųsepga Black Quill Feathers (D)
Mąšųsgawįga White Quill Feathers (D)
Mątajehimaniga He who Walks on the Wind (D)
Mąxek'iga He who Dries the Ground (D)
Mąxicopga Four Clouds (D)
Mąxik'ok'iwaharecga Overlapping Clouds (D)
Mąxik'ušenąžįk'a Reaches the Sky Standing (D)
Mąxik'ušinąžįk'a He who Stands Beyond the Sky (D)
Mąxip'asewįga Cloud Point (D)
Mąxipįwįga Beautiful Cloud (D)
Mąxirukanagą Master of the Clouds (D)
Mąxiruzuga He who Makes the Clouds have Rays before Them (R)
Mąxisepga Black Cloud (D, R)
Mąxisgaxetega Big White Cloud (R)
Mąxišucga Red Cloud (D)
Mąxiwiwak'anjąk'a Sacred Cloud (D)
Mąxixoruxucga He who Flashes under the Earth (R)
Mąxíwimànįga He who Walks in the Clouds (R, R-p)
Mąąšocga He who Raises a Dust on the Earth (D)
Ną́jijega He who Alights on the Tree (R, R-p)
Ną́jijewįga She who Alights on the Tree (R, R-p)
Nąįnek'iga Lone Tree (R)
Nąisawagišišga He who Breaks a Treetop by Hitting It (D)
Nąisawarucga He who Eats a Treetop (D)
Nąk'awairege He whom They Fear to See (D)
Nąmące K'urusga He who has Taken His Warclub (D)
Nąmącenąk'ik'awairega He of whose Warclub They are Afraid (D)
Nąnawahiguga He who Brings Up a Stick in His Mouth (R)
Nąnazógega Bends the Tree Down (R)
Nąnazógewįga She who Bends the Tree Down (R, R-p)
Nąnažožopk'ega Swallow (D)
Nąojįwįga He who Strikes a Tree (D)
Nąsgežawįga Real Tree Woman (R)
Nąwąhuga He who Comes Singing (D)
Nąxekiga Withered Tree (blasted by lightning) (D)
Nąxiksewahiga He who Scares Someone (D)
Ninohąphiga He who Makes the Water Shine (D)
Nixihucgewįga Drizzling Woman (D)
Nižuga Rain Man (D)
Nižumaníwįga Walking Rain Woman (D, R-p)
Nižumániga Walking Rain (R-p)
Nižuxocga Gray Rain (D)
Nižuxocgewį́ga Drizzling Rain Woman (R-p)
Nocąpga Lightning in the Tree (D)
Nojǫpga He who Strikes a Tree (R-p)
Nójįga He who Hits a Tree (R-p)
Nojíwįga She who Hits a Tree (R-p)
Noroxoga He who Scratches Trees (R)
Nųngikisumaniga Hails as He Walks (R)
Nuwąk K'iriga He who Comes Back Running (D)
P'ecawįga Crane Woman (D)
P'ecga Fire Person (D)
P'eckerega He who has a Fireplace (R)
P'ecta-ehiga Fire Starter (R)
P'ecąruhiga Crane Rib (D)
Raš Cąt'įwįga Audible Name (D)
Rek'uhuhiga South Wind (D)
Rucgenįk'a Little Pigeon (D)
Sakewarucga He who Eats Raw Flesh (D)
Si-ok'uruspįga Leaving Good Footprints (D)
Sinšawacoga Tail (D)
Sąjamanįga Grizzled Walking Person (D)
Šojega He who Kindles the Fire (D)
T'a-aninąk'a Kept Aflying? (D)
T'ąguhiwįga He who Returns Flying (D)
Wacirukonąga Judge of the Contest (D)
Wągejarega Belongs to the Upper Regions (R)
Wągejáhuga He who Comes from Above (R, R-p)
Wągejáhuwįga She who Comes from Above (R-p)
Wągerucga Man Eater (D)
Wągwáxop'iniga Spirit Man (R-p)
Wahok'ega The Marksman (D)
Wak'ąja Giw'įxga Whirling Thunderbird (D)
Wak'ąja Hajagip'iwįga Thunderbird that Likes to be Seen (D)
Wak'ąja Yųgiwįga Thunder Queen (D)
Wak'ąja Šišiga Bad Thunderbird (D)
Wak'ąjacoga Green (Blue) Thunderbird (D)
Wak'ąjagipeniga Young Thunderbird Waiting (D)
Wak'ąjaguwįga Returning Thunderbird (D)
Wak'ąjan'įgen'įk'a Very Small Thunderbird (D)
Wak'ąjap'įga Good Thunderbird (D)
Wak'ąjaxega Yellowish Thunderbird (D)
Wak'ąjaxiguhiga Thunderbird Returning Smoke (D)
Wak'ąjaxunuga Small Thunderbird (D)
Wak'ąjáconiga First Thunderbird (R-p)
Wák'ąjaconiw'įga First Thunderbird Woman (D, R-p)
Wak'ąjága Thunderbird (D, R-p)
Wak'ąjámaniga Walking Thunderbird (R, R-p)
Wak'ąjásebįga Black Thunderbird Woman (R-p)
Wak'ąjásepga Black Thunderbird (D, R-p)
Wak'ąjáskaga White Thunderbird (R-p)
Wak'ąjáskawįga White Thunderbird Woman (R-p)
Wak'ąjáw'įga Thunderbird Woman (R-p)
Wakš'emaniw'įga He who Walks Killing (D)
Wąkwaxopiniga Spirit Man (R)
Wani-ak'axiga Crow Hankering for Flesh (D)
Wanįkcąwįga Changing Bird (D)
Wap'akonąk'maniga The Great Dreadful One that Walks (D)
Warucexiga He who Makes (the Grass) Rusty-Yellow by Eating (D)
Warujáxega Comes Making a Noise, or Crashing Thunder (R, R-p)
Wasuhimaniga Walking Hail (D)
Wáxop'iniwįga Spirit Woman (R-p)
Wazika Pine (D)
Wį?anasega He who Pens up Ducks (D)
Wip'amąkerew'įga Rainbow (D)
Wiragošgew'įga Star Woman (D)
Wojįguhiga He who Returns and Strikes (D)
Wonąǧirehunga Warrior Chief (D)
Wotįwįga She who Strikes (D)
Xawįánǫzogewįga She who Bends the Brush (R-p)
Xawįánązogiga He who Bends the Brush (R)
Xigúga Comes in the Mist (R, R-p)
Ximánįga Walking in the Mist (R, R-p)
Xora Hunga Bald Eagle Chief (D)
Xora Šucewįga Red Bald Eagle (D)
Xorap'aga Bald Eagle Head (D)

Concerning a clan feast, Radin has this to say: "The chief feast, or, as it may now properly be called, the feast of the bird clans, is generally given once a year sometimes in late spring. It was also given on certain other occasions for specific purposes. At the present time it is given by the members of the Thunderbird clan and the prevalence of the appellation "chief feast" would seem to indicate that it was at all times the feast of the Thunderbird clan. We ought then to expect to find clan feasts of the other members of the wągeregi [Upper Moiety] division, namely, of the Warrior, Eagle, and Pigeon clans. No such feasts are given to-day, however, and the members of these latter three clans always speak of the chief or bird feast as their specific clan feasts. As such it is also regarded by the members of the mąnegi [Earth Moiety] division."7 If anything, this is strong evidence for all four of the present Bird Clans having once formed a single clan.

What follows is the text of the Bird Clan Origin Myth.

Bird Clan Origin Myth

Hocąk-English Interlinear Text

The first third of this story is said to be missing (in a note at the top of the first page of the manuscript).

[Reconstruction of the missing 1 1/2 pages — There was a village. It was a Hocąk village. It was near a lake. At some distance from this village a boy lived with his uncle and aunt. Across the lake lay the village of another tribe. With this tribe they were frequently at war. One day this tribe took the young nephew prisoner and carried him back to their village across the lake. Sometime later, a Hocąk warleader led a large warparty against this village, sacking the whole of it. Then ...]

(1) [...] the Hocągara killed them. There they killed the men. They burned them all up, and some of the remaining women who were pregnant they also caused to be burned to death. And in like manner all the children and all the old men they killed and burned up. They took a boy there from a family with no other children. They asked for that boy. "What is this? Is it a boy? Bring him here," they said. They stripped the boy naked. They grabbed his penis from behind, and pulling it back, showed him this way in public. They said, "He is a little girl." They did not kill this boy. "Where they burned up the people, they will find none of that long leg at the post," they said to him.

Wherever they burned people, there up to the present time they would often find wampum. (2) There also they would often find ear-bobs and Indian calico. At the fireplace where they burn the people the grass does not grow. A very sandy spot it is, and there they took many people prisoner. They found them and took them home.

A man said, "They're going home with me." He said to his wife, "Mąséǧįwiga, four days from now I will return at a spring. Wait for me there," he said. That woman waited there, and four lights arrived. They told that man, "You will go home, you said. When are you going?" they said. There he said, "When she comes up, then I will go back," he said. They laughed at him. He was saying that he was not going to be able to go home because they had tied him up. They laughed at him. "When the sun begins to go up, then I will go back. (3) My old woman is waiting for me at the spring. I am convinced that she must be there," he said to them. Then they laughed at him for a long time. [His feet] were very tightly tied together. He moved in very small steps. He was going along there when they lost sight of him. He was not there. "Go look for him. He must be something," one of them said. "He's gone home," they said. They went and looked for him. He had gone more than half way. As he was going along, there a bear was walking on the water. One of them said, "He's gone." Everyone looked on the other side where he landed (hagíajinąki). They looked at the tracks. As they went, they saw the tracks. There the bear tracks went through running.

And later after that, the other tribe when they met together, there that other tribe was suffering from acute starvation. They had not killed the young man. They found the man and took him home with them. There they found for him the hicųšgé (nephew) Wakšánihegaga (The One who Said Turn Back). There he asked for him, so they told him. (4) They called his name. They had taken him prisoner. "You ran away across the lake. You went home. We saw your back. When we got here, you came with the bear track," they said. "We like to eat one bear apiece. You can take your nephew back," they said to him. "My old woman will get our nephew back easily," he said.

Very early in the morning he picked up his arrows and went out. Not far from the camp the children used to play on a mound. There he did this: he stamped down on the top of that mound. When a bear came out there, there he shot him with an arrow right under the left arm. There he killed it. And wherever they had his nephew, there he went. "Give me back my nephew now. Over there is a bear," he said to them. They gave him back. They went after the bear by the lake. (5) Unexpectedly, near the lodge was a mound where the children used to play. There he had killed a bear. Some of them thought he was wonderfully holy. "He is holy (wak'ącáñk)," they said.

It was near there that they almost made a mistake. There the Thunderbird Clan (Wakąja Hikikárejera) was almost ended. They took the young man back. From him the Bird Clan (Wanįk Hikikárejera) takes its origin. It was almost at an end, it is said.

That's all.8

Commentary. they said, "He is a little girl" — turning a prisoner into a de facto woman is seen in both the origin myth of the berdache, and one of the stories about the near annihilation of the Hocąk nation. In the present context, a male whose penis disappears so that his sex is not apparent recalls the fact that the penises of birds are contained within a sheath that makes them invisible under ordinary circumstances. Thus the treatment of the boy makes him bird-like as well. When the man is tied up and attempts to leave, he leaves "small tracks" as if his legs were tied tightly together. This too is a characteristic of flying birds, who unlike mammals, have very short strides.

Concerning the name Mąséǧįwiga, this is probably a Bird Clan name, meaning, "She who Makes Noise with an Ax," a reference to the launching of lightning by the Thunderbirds, which is sometimes said to be done with their warclubs. Compare the name, Nąmącenąk'ik'awairega, "He of Whose Warclub They are Afraid," and Nąmące K'urusga, "He Who has Taken His Warclub."9

"there a bear was walking on the water" — in some versions of the Bear Clan Origin Myth, the primordial Bear clansmen come as bears walking on the waters (see 1, 2), hence the Bear Clan name Nį-anąjįga, "Stands on the Water." The man said he would rendezvous with his wife at a spring. Judging from the tracks, he rendezvoused with a bear. Thus his wife would seem to have turned into a bear, despite her Bird Clan name. He says that he wife will be instrumental in reclaiming their nephew, after which he mysteriously produces and kills a bear. Clearly his wife had given him supernatural help.

he landed (hagíajinąki) — this word is a compound, hagi-híajinąki, from hagi, "there," and hiąjinąk, "to land." Inasmuch as his feet were bound, this makes an obvious reference to flying. Clearly, he flew over the lake and landed on the other side.

Wakšánihegaga — this appears to be from wa-, "the one who," kša, "to turn back," and probably anihega, "that saying," the latter in the sense of "the thing that had been said." Radin renders the name, "the-one-who-turned-back," but it is probably better rendered as, "He who Said to Turn Back."

hicųšgé — the term refers to a sister's son (nephew) or to the son of a son or daughter (grandson). When the other tribe had taken him prisoner, it was apparently for the purpose of adopting him rather than burning him. His uncle is also said to be a young man, sometimes called hocįcį́nįk ("boy"), and other times called uañk = wąk ("man"). Therefore, the hicųšgé must be a nephew and not a grandson.

"there the Thunderbird Clan was almost ended. ... from him the Bird Clan takes its origin" — this implies that the Bird Clan derives from the Thunderbird Clan, since he is at once the founder of the Thunderbird Clan and the Bird Clan of which it is a member.

Summary of the Story. This seems to be the only interpretation that works:— The Hocągara rub out a village of another tribe except for their women and one boy. They symbolically make this boy into a woman. They do not realize that this is a missing nephew of one of their own tribe. They do not take him with them, but leave him behind. At the burning place, people would sometimes go to collect things of value. Near there, the other tribe took a Hocąk prisoner who was with his wife. He was the boy's uncle. Four days later he attempted to leave even though his legs are tied. When he reached the other side of the lake by flying, he rendezvoused with a bear, whom we must assume is his wife. He was recaptured by the other tribe, but they spared him. There he asked for his nephew. They get him for him. However, they asked that they be given a bear apiece to eat, since they are starving. He produces a bear in a way only a holy person could, so they gave him back his nephew. He was taken back among the Hocągara, where he became the progenitor of the Bird Clan. Thus the Hocągara themselves almost brought this clan to an end by mistake.

Links: Bear Spirits, Bird Spirits.

Stories: about the union of the two moieties: Moiety Origin Myth, Hocąk Clans Origin Myth; mentioning the Thunderbird Clan: Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Hocąk Clans Origin Myth, Origin of the Hocąk Chief, Eagle Clan Origin Myth, Pigeon Clan Origins, The Creation Council, Waruǧábᵉra, The Greedy Woman, Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth, Wolf Clan Origin Myth (v. 5), The Thunderbird; about (the origins of) the Hocąk clans: Hocąk Clans 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, Bear 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 Bird Spirits: Crane and His Brothers, The King Bird, Bird Origin Myth, Wears White Feather on His Head, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Thunderbird, Owl Goes Hunting, The Boy Who Became a Robin, Partridge's Older Brother, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Foolish Hunter, Ocean Duck, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Quail Hunter, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Hocąk Arrival Myth, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Trickster and the Geese, Holy One and His Brother (kaǧi, woodpeckers, hawks), Porcupine and His Brothers (Ocean Sucker), Turtle's Warparty (Thunderbirds, eagles, kaǧi, pelicans, sparrows), Kaǧiga and Lone Man (kaǧi), The Old Man and the Giants (kaǧi, bluebirds), The Bungling Host (snipe, woodpecker), The Red Feather, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Waruǧábᵉra, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Black and White Moons, The Markings on the Moon, The Creation Council, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna (chicken hawk), Hare Acquires His Arrows, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing (black hawk, owl), Heną́ga and Star Girl (black hawk), The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth (black hawk, kaǧi), Worúxega (eagle), The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men (eagle), The Gift of Shooting (eagle), Hocąk Clans Origin Myth, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, The Hocąk Migration Myth, Blue Jay, The Baldness of the Buzzard, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster (buzzards), The Shaggy Man (kaǧi), The Healing Blessing (kaǧi), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (kaǧi), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Įcorúšika and His Brothers (Loon), Great Walker's Medicine (loon), Roaster (woodsplitter), The Spirit of Gambling, The Big Stone (a partridge), Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, The Story of the Medicine Rite (loons, cranes, turkeys), The Fleetfooted Man, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4) — see also Thunderbirds; mentioning Thunderbirds: The Thunderbird, Waruǧábᵉra, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Traveler and the Thunderbird War, The Boulders of Devil's Lake, Thunderbird and White Horse, Bluehorn's Nephews, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed (vv. 1, 2), The Man who was a Reincarnated Thunderbird, The Thunder Charm, The Lost Blanket, The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Story of the Thunder Names, The Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Eagle Clan Origin Myth, Pigeon Clan Origins, Adventures of Redhorn's Sons, Brave Man, Ocean Duck, Turtle's Warparty, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Quail Hunter, Heną́ga and Star Girl, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, Redhorn's Sons, The Dipper, The Stone that Became a Frog, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, The Warbundle of the Eight Generations, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Origin of the Hocąk Chief, The Spirit of Gambling, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Black Otter's Warpath, Aracgéga's Blessings, Kunu's Warpath, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, The Glory of the Morning, The Nightspirits Bless Ciwoit’éhiga, The Green Waterspirit of the Wisconsin Dells, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Big Stone, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Song to Earthmaker, The Origins of the Milky Way; mentioning (spirit) bears (other than were-bears): White Bear, Blue Bear, Black Bear, Red Bear, Bear Clan Origin Myth, 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, Hocąk Clans Origin Myth, The Messengers of Hare, The Hocąk 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; mentioning shells: The Gift of Shooting, The Markings on the Moon, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men, Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Wild Rose, Young Man Gambles Often (wampum), Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2) (wampum), Wolves and Humans (oyster), The Lost Child, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (v. 2), Turtle's Warparty, The Lost Blanket (mussel), The Annihilation of the Hocągara I, Hare Visits the Bodiless Heads (crab); mentioning wampum: The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, Young Man Gambles Often, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), Little Human Head, Turtle and the Giant, Snowshoe Strings, The Chief of the Heroka, The Markings on the Moon, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (v. 2), The Blessing of Kerexųsaka, Black Otter's Warpath (bone-bead belt); 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, Bear Clan Origin Myth (v. 12), 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; mentioning springs: Trail Spring, Vita Spring, Merrill Springs, Big Spring and White Clay Spring, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Bear Clan Origin Myth, vv. 6, 8, 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 Nannyberry Picker, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, The Two Boys, Waruǧábᵉra, Wazųka, The Man Who Fell from the Sky, Turtle and the Witches.

Themes: making the enemy "play with fire": The Fox-Hocąk War, Redhorn's Sons, The Adventures of Redhorn's Sons, The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse; a male survives execution by assuming the attributes of a female: Annihilation of the Hocągara II, Berdache Origin Myth, The Big Stone (inverse: male/female); someone is abducted and led off into captivity: The Captive Boys, A Man's Revenge, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Lost Child, Wears White Feather on His Head, Įcorúšika and His Brothers, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Bladder and His Brothers, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Black Otter's Warpath, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Green Man, Brave Man, The Chief of the Heroka, Šųgepaga, Hare Gets Swallowed, Hare Acquires His Arrows, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, Wolves and Humans, The Woman Who Became an Ant, Thunderbird and White Horse, Heną́ga and Star Girl, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Traveler and the Thunderbird War (v. 5), The Boy who Flew, Testing the Slave; walking on water: Bear Clan Origin Myth (v. 3), How the Thunders Met the Nights, Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Chief of the Heroka, Redhorn's Sons; hunters track an animal that turns out to be a spirit being: Lake Wąkšikhomįgra (Mendota): the Origin of Its Name (raccoon), The Spirit of Maple Bluff (raccoon), The Were-fish (raccoon), The Wild Rose (wolf), The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter (deer); starvation: The Brown Squirrel, White Wolf, The Red Man, The Old Man and His Four Dogs, A Man and His Three Dogs, Sun and the Big Eater, Kaǧiga and Lone Man, The Shaggy Man, The Bungling Host, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, Jarrot and His Friends Saved from Starvation; a man kills a game animal by simply striking the knoll (or stump) in which it is hiding: Redhorn's Father, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Trickster and the Children, Snowshoe Strings; one of the Hocąk (sub)clans originated from another tribe: Snake Clan Origins, Pigeon Clan Origins, Fish Clan Origins, Fourth Universe; a Hocąk (sub)clan was founded by a single foreign man: Fourth Universe.


1 Rev. James Owen Dorsey, Siouan Sociology. 15th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1893-1894 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1897) 270-271.

2 James Warren Springer and Stanley R. Witkowski, "Siouan Historical Linguistics and Oneota Archaeology," in Guy E. Gibbon, ed., Oneota Studies (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Publications in Anthropology, #1) 69-83 (p. 74).

3 James Owen Dorsey, "The Social Organization of the Siouan Tribes," The Journal of American Folk-Lore, 4, #14 (Jul. - Sep., 1891) and #15 (Oct. - Dec., 1891): 257-266, 331-342 [340].

4 William Whitman, "Origin Legends of the Oto," Journal of American Folk-Lore, 51 (1938): 173-205.

5 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 336.

6 The names were taken from the following sources:

(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).

(R) Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 173-177.

(R-p) Paul Radin, Personal Reminiscences of a Winnebago Indian, Journal of American Folk-Lore, 26, #102 (1913): 293-318. The names are given on pp. 300-303.

7 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 270.

8 J. W., Untitled, in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Notebook 72, Story 51: 1-5.

9 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 174.