The Birth of the Twins

(§1 of Sam Blowsnake's Twins Cycle)

Version 1

by Sam Blowsnake


Hočąk-English Interlinear Text


(1) That was a long lodge that was there and it was one with two fireplaces. A man with his wife and and old man who was his father, that many were living there. (2) That man would always go hunting every day.That old man always remained at home with his kin, his daughter-in-law. Very truly did that woman love her father-in-law. (3) So whatever good things she could possibly do for him she would do. That relationship to one another is held in great respect. When the custom is properly observed, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law who are related to one another are not even permitted to look at one another. (4) So at any rate, when they call upon the other to do something, it must be done. Thus it is. In that relationship, they don't even speak directly to one another, they will not speak a single thing. (5) In the course of time, while they were alone, that old man said something. He declared in song,

Daughter-in-law,

thus he had said, but he had spoken it in a different language. Therefore, she did not know what to do. (6) Her embarrassment was great. She built him a fire. She made great flames for him. But again he said it. Again in song he said,

Daughter-in-law,

(7) thus, at least, he was saying, but again she took her packing strap and packed wood. When she returned, he said it again. Again she did this. There she worked on a kettle and did bear ribs for him. She cooked it mixed with sweet corn. Once it was cooked, she gave it to him. (8) Finally, he said it for the fourth time. He said it in the Hočąk language. This time he sang and said,

Daughter-in-law,
I have looked at the center of the lodge,

he said. After that, that woman did this. (9) She undressed. She took off her dress and she lay flat on her back in the center of the lodge. That little old man said, "Daughter-in-law, it is good," he said and (10) He took a knife that he owned and he came toward her. Thus he did, and he slit open her abdomen. The woman to whom he did it was with child. (11) Therefore, he found two little babies in her womb. One of them he wrapped in something and place him next to the rear door. And again the other one he placed there in a hollow at the base of a stump. (12) Then he did it and cut the woman up and put it in a kettle. When it was cooked, he put together broken sticks and ate. He ate her and the soup up entirely. "Hąhą́, this is very good, (13) but very often I have done this in the past to my son. What is he to be but offended? About now he will think seriously about it. I will try to get away somewhere right away," he said. (14) Then he went away somewhere.

In time that man returned from his hunting. Unexpectedly, his lodge was empty. "Hohó, that ugly, evil old man has often done this to me in the past.(15) I wonder why he is not here? What he always said, I am saying, that to have remained would be all right. I too thought she was pregnant." After thinking how it could be, he searched the place. (16) Finally, unexpectedly, he found a little child. Unexpectedly, it was a boy. "Hohó, hoją́, this is something great. This one only will I myself have for a companion," he said (17) and he rejoiced. Thereafter, he quit hunting and only took care of him. He poured a little soup into his mouth. He had quit hunting and only took care of him. (18) He tried to raise him. He grew bigger. Finally, he was walking quickly. Then he said, "My son, we are out of fresh meat. It would be good to eat some fresh meat. I'm going hunting," he said. (19) "You are big. Stay at home," he said. Whenever he left, he would cry out. So he didn't leave. He would keep trying again. He kept doing this way until finally he was able to leave. (20) He made many playthings for him, and made all kinds of arrows. And in the course of time he did this for him. All of his deertails, every one of them, he cooked, then he pulled off the bark of the basswood and (21) tied them to the lodge poles. He could easily reach them. So in playing, there he could still eat them while he would be standing. This he did. As a result he would do that. He would bite off something here and there.

(22) In the course of time this one was always alone. At that time he also used to shoot arrows around the lodge. While he was doing this, unexpectedly, someone was singing, saying,

Hure! hure! ha'ą! ha'ą! Flesh, you alone have a father,
(23) and you are eating only flesh;
But I myself have a little stump for a grandmother,
and only wild beans do I eat.

Unexpectedly, it was a little boy who was saying this. (24) He was his own size."Koté, let's play," he said to him. "Koté Flesh, when does your father usually get home?" he said to him. "He get home only in the evening," he said. Then they played around there. (25) And finally, in the course of time, in the evening they were shooting arrows at a mark. As they did, when he was done with all the arrows, the little boy who had come from elsewhere ran off. He gathered together all the arrows and ran off. (26) He chased after him, but there at this place lay a lake, one which was small. Its water lay where a meteor had landed. There he dove in and disappeared. Thus it was. Then he cried and came home. (27) When he came home and stopped (crying), his father returned. That little boy who had dived into the water said, the one who jumped into the water, "Forget it," he said and he did it. (28) Therefore, this other one had forgotten about it. And when his father got home, he said, "Why are you crying? Your face shows it," he said to him. "Father, the arrows have been lost, (29) that is why I said it." "Why do you cry? I am making some for you. I will make some for you again," he said. Then he made some for him. Again the next morning he went hunting. Immediately, once more he came singing,

(30) Flesh, you have a father,
and you alone are eating only flesh;
But I myself have a little stump for a grandmother,
and only wild beans do I eat,

he said. (31) Again they played there all day long. Now this time they went into the lodge and when they shot an arrow match, they shot at the deertails. And again they ate them while standing. (32) Again when it was evening, they went into the wilderness. Once more they shot arrows at a mark. Again he ran off and he picked up all of the arrows and ran off. (33) He chased him but again he said, "Forget it," he said and diving in, he disappeared into the water. Again he cried and went home. When he arrived at the lodge, after the crying stopped, he father returned. (34) Again he knew of it. "Why are you crying again?" he said. He replied, "I'm telling you, father, that the arrows are lost." In the first place you are crying even though I am making some for you. Why are you crying? (35) I will make you some," he said. He made some more. Thus he had done and again when it was morning, he went hunting. Already he came singing again. What he had said he was still saying that. (36) When he had arrived they spent all day longing playing. When it was evening, he did it again. He took the arrows from him and ran away. He told him to forget it and then he did this. Again he cried and started home. (37) Again after the crying stopped, he came home. Again he knew about the crying. Therefore he said, "My son, why are you crying? You ought not to cry, it is not good. It is not good." (38) The man had an idea about it. Where the deer tails were bitten off, the teeth mark were shown. One set of teeth was small, and one set of teeth was rather large. Therefore, the man knew, (39) but he watched in secret. And then he did it. He hid in the lodge, but because he knew about it, he did not come. Again a second time he went out (40) and stood between the lodge coverings, but again he did not come. He went elsewhere and there a short ways off where there was a large tree, (41) he went and stood on the other side. Again in a little while, he came singing. Yet before he came very near, he said, "Well Flesh, there stands your father behind yonder tree," he said and (42) he ran back. And thus it was. They tried to catch him. It was the man's son. He knew this. His murdered wife had told him. She always said that there might be two of them. (43) When she was pregnant, therefore, he had clear knowledge of it. He also knew it from his singing, and also what he had been doing with his son, and what he had been saying as well. From these reasons he knew very well that it was his son. (44) Therefore, he wished intensely to regain and restore him. He said to his son, "My dear son, when he comes, you take hold of him. I doubt that I will not reach you in time. When you call, I'll run home. (45) Beyond the hill I shall stand waiting. When he has come into the lodge, then you do it," he said to him. In the morning he had already left. A little while afterwards he came singing. (46) Once he had arrived, finally he got him to come inside the lodge. As he was fooling him, he took a very good hold of him. When he called out, he broke loose. Nevertheless, he got there in time. Thus they had captured him inside the lodge. (47) He wiggled but finally gave up. He also told him that he himself was his son and the little boy here also is his brother as well and (48) he told him how it had happened in this way.

He made arrows for them as well as making blankets that were the same for both. And he did this. He blew up two turkey bladders and painted them red, and (49) then made them each wear one (vertically) on their heads. The little boys were always to wears such as headdresses he told them and he put them on them. Finally, in the course of time, when he thought he had acclimated, he went hunting. (50) They went away from home and were shooting arrows around when they used up all of their arrows. Again he ran off and there at a little lake he meant to go in and disappear but he quickly came to the surface. That bladder made him float. (51) "Just for fun, Flesh, I did it wondering just what you would do. Hasn't your father forbidden it?" he said and he came out of the water. Being very wet, as he tried to dry himself off there, their father returned. (52) And again he forbade them. "Do not try to go off someplace else a second time.You live here. You must never go anywhere else." When he had told him, he replied, "." (53) And he did not do it a second time. He was very mischievous. They would really trample down the lodge. The one of flesh could not cope with him. He was really out-classed. (54) This other one was truly very energetic.1


The Birth of the Twins

(§1 of Jasper Blowsnake's Twins Cycle)

Version 2

by Jasper Blowsnake


Jasper Blowsnake

Hočąk-English Interlinear Text


(2) Again he said, "Young woman feels a tingling sensation in the middle of the lodge," he said. The woman did it. She made him a sweat bath. He said, "Young woman, this is not what is meant," he said to her. Again he said, "Young woman feels a tingling sensation in the middle of the lodge." The young woman thought, "What, I wonder, does he mean that I should do for him?" She did something for him. She boiled something. "Now then, that is not the sort of thing that I meant." Here again the old man said, "Young woman feels a tingling sensation in the middle of the lodge." The woman took off her clothes and lay on her back completely naked in the middle of the lodge. "Yes, young woman," he said, "that is what is meant." He took his knife and killed the woman. The old man did it. He opened her stomach and she had two children within her. He took up one and wrapping it with something, (3) he put it in the back of the lodge. And one of them he wrapped in a deerskin and put him in the hollow of a tree in the wilderness. Once she was cooked, he ate her. He ate her up and that old man went away. Finally when the husband of that woman returned, he discovered that his wife had been eaten up for nothing. "What did I ever say to him that he has run away?" he said. The man looked around and found one of the children at the side of the lodge. He found that it was still alive. From that time one he quit hunting and tried to raise his child. After awhile he was able to walk fast, but now when they ran out of fresh meat, and they were in want of meat, he said to his son, (4) "Don't go anywhere. If you go away, you'll get lost." And he said, "Right away, I will return." As soon as he left, he came back. He was packing a deer. And again from then on, he always went hunting in the morning. Now again the parent went hunting, as soon as he went outside, something came singing,

Hure! hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é!
But I have a tree stump for a grandmother,
I eat only ground beans.
But you have a father,
and eat only flesh;
Hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é!

he came saying. He looked at him, but he took off quickly. This one, a very small young boy, had said it. (5) A cute little fellow said it. "Koté Flesh, come here. Let's play around. "Koté, father forbade me to go outside. You come here instead. You may eat," he said to him. "Ho," he said. He came in. They played together there. All day long the clever one said to him, "Koté, if you wish to eat, eat. Here there are eatables. The deer tails they made for him that hung around the side poles of the lodge, this is what he meant. When the father of Flesh was coming, the other one would know of it. He said, "Flesh, let's play outside," he said to him. He persuaded him. They shot arrows off. (6) When the clever one made the last shot, he took the bow and gave a whoop and ran away. He gathered together the arrows, and dove into a bend in the creek there. "Forget it," he said to him, and he did. There, crying, he gave up. He went inside, and finally he came to his father in the lodge. "My dear son, why are you crying?" He said to him, "Father, I lost the arrows, is why I am doing it." He said to him, "Why are you crying now? I will make some more for you." The next morning he went hunting again. As soon as he went, immediately the boy came singing:

Hure! hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é!
But I have a tree stump for a grandmother,
I eat only ground beans.
But you have a father,
and eat only flesh;
Hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é!

"Koté, come here right now and let's play. You will also eat," he said, said Flesh. All day long they played there. He stood eating and (7) in the evening Flesh's father came back. "Karohogi!" when he knew it, "Koté Flesh, we'll go around outside and shoot arrows," he said to him. "Okay," he said. They shot their arrows outside. The clever one gave a shout and took off running. He picked up the arrows and, "Koté, forget it," he said and he dove into the water. After he had passed from there, while he was crying, now he went into the lodge and just then his father returned. "My dear son, why are you crying?" He said to him, "Father, I lost my arrows is why I am doing it." "My dear son, when next you tell me that you have lost your arrows, don't cry. I will make some more for you. Tomorrow I'm going hunting again. (8) Now then, again the boy came singing,

Hure! hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é!
But I have a tree stump for a grandmother,
I eat only ground beans.
But you have a father,
and eat only flesh;
Hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é!

"Koté, come on, we shall play. We will eat." "," he said. When he got there he entered and they played all day long. The clever little boy always ate a lot. Again when the cute one would say, "Let's play outside," "Okay," he would said. They went out. Afterwards, he shot off the arrows towards the water. The boy who came from another place gave a cheer and caused the arrows to be gathered up and said, "Forget it." He dove right into the water. While Flesh cried as he returned to the lodge, his father came back and (9) said, "My dear son, why are you crying?" he said to him. "Father, I lost the arrows is why I am doing it." "My dear son, a person must be coming to you. When you were alone, you never much ate of the deer tail, but you will have eaten up a lot. These are not your teeth." "No father, I'm doing it." And he bit it beside it and his front teeth were narrow. The front teeth of the clever one were very broad. "That is why I said it. When you're alone in the lodge, you never do thus. You go all over the lodge. There are two of you doing it." But only he knew this. (10) "Father, you speak the truth, a little boy would come singing as soon as you left. He may have come and eaten a great deal. When you would come come, he would say to me, 'Let's play outside,' and he took away the arrows, giving a cheer, and he caused them to be gathered up and he dove right into the water. He seems to have said to me, 'Forget it.' And I always forgot it." "My dear son, your mother used to say, 'there must be two of them,' she would say. He is your little brother. In the morning, I will smear myself with charcoal over here in the fire log breaking place." In the morning, at the fire log breaking place, (11) he smeared himself with charcoal and lay there. Immediately, he came singing,

Hure! hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é!
But I have a tree stump for a grandmother,
I eat only ground beans.
But you have a father,
and eat only flesh;
Hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é!

"Koté, come on, we shall play. You will eat also." "," he said. He came and started to go there. "Koté Flesh, what is your father doing there all smeared with charcoal?" He dove right back into the water. "Hohó," said the parent, "I'll hide between the lodge. When he comes and enters the lodge, catch him. Don't let go of him." Again he came saying, he came singing,

Hure! hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é!
But I have a tree stump for a grandmother,
I eat only ground beans.
But you have a father,
and eat only flesh;
Hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é!

"Koté, come on, we shall play. You will also eat." "Okay," he said. He came and started to go there. "Koté Flesh, your father is hiding between the lodge," he said. (12) He dove right back into the water. "Hohó," said the parent, "I'll be in the stump of a tree in the clearing there. Catch him. Do it," he said. He hid in the stump of a tree in the clearing. Then the boy who had the butt of a tree for a grandmother, came along singing,

Hure! hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é!
But I have a tree stump for a grandmother,
I eat only ground beans.
But you have a father,
and eat only flesh;
Hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é!

"Koté, come on, we shall play. You will eat," he said to him. "Ho," he said. He started to come, but he suddenly saw him. "Flesh, I see your father standing beyond there invisible." He dove right into the water. "Hohó," said the parent, "thus I'll go over the hill. Shout when you catch him." And again he came. He came singing,

Hure! hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é!
But I have a tree stump for a grandmother,
I eat only ground beans.
But you have a father,
and eat only flesh;
Hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é! hure! hure-é-é!

"Koté, come on, we shall play," he said to him. When he came, the father caught him. (13) When he shouted to him, he came back. Eventually, they tied him up. Two bladders were painted, and in the morning he tied one apiece to the boys' heads and this is why they were always on their heads. They played outside from morning to evening. "Flesh, let's play." They shot their arrows towards the water, the one who had a tree-butt for a grandmother came with a cheer and he gathered up the arrows and dove right into the water. He came floating back up. "Korá Flesh, I fooled you. You thought it really was," he said. When they finally got back to the lodge their father had arrived. "My sons, it is good that you are at the lodge," he told them. (14) Since then they would always be there.2


The Birth of the Twins

(§1 of Amelia Susman's Twins Cycle)

Version 3

collected by Sam Blowsnake


Hočąk-English Interlinear Text


This version was contained in a notebook labeled "Texts by Sam Blowsnake." However, this version is very different from Sam Blowsnake's (here given as Version 1), which Radin published in connection with the Twins Cycle.

The pagination is irregular because of intervening pages of lexical notes which are here omitted.


(7) There was a village. The chief was there in the center of the village with ten children. One was a girl. So that girl, the chief's woman, was the princess (yųgįwį). In the course of time there was a man who went with this young woman. Her father did not like him and her mother also did not like him. (9) Thus was the man who went with her, but they did not say anything. Perhaps he did it for nothing, they thought. Perhaps she would not marry him, they thought. They kept doing it. Finally, they were married. Then the parents of this girl didn't like it. (11) Her father told her, "My dear girl, you have a husband. It must not be that you should be at home. You have to live somewhere. Thus it must be." Then this girl said, "Thus I will do. I will live somewhere. I am going way off somewhere and there I will be because you don't like us. (13) So I will not live around the village. So I will not be seen again."

(15) Then she went with her husband way off somewhere. There were lots of places to bed down and there they made their home. There they lived. And this woman handled all the fruits of the earth and they made lots of them to save them and they would use them for the upcoming winter. For this they made them. The man hunted animals and (17) after he killed the animals, he brought them back. Then the woman dried the meat and tanned the hides and made buckskin moccasins and then she would spread the different animals out and she would make clothing from them. She used to do that all the time. (19) And after awhile, this woman was going to have a child. Thus it was. When it was time, she was all alone and by herself with no one to help her save only her husband. And when she gave birth, there were two of them. And having injured herself, she died. (21) And this is the way the man thought, "Even if my wife did die, I cannot bring up both these little children," he thought. Then he did it. He took one of these little children and (22) wrapped it in buckskin and put him under a fallen tree. And the other he usually gave soup. Finally, he kept getting bigger.

(23) And he did this — even though he had more than enough to eat, he went out to hunt something. He soon returned. When he came back the child was doing well. For that reason he was pleased. And they kept doing that. After awhile he learned to talk and was able to play. And he did this — he cooked a lot of deer tails well done. (24) He tied them up with basswood bark and on the lodge poles he caused them to be tied here and there. Then he told him, "My dear son, this is what you are going to eat when you get hungry." (26) And thus he used to do. While his father was out hunting, he could eat anytime he wanted. And again in time he made a bow for him. And he taught him. He shot the arrows well. (27) And thus he always did. He was always shooting his bow inside the lodge. And again he said, "My dear son, keep inside the lodge, do not go outside." He made one arrow go in a certain trajectory outside. (28) And he went out and looked for it there exactly where he had made it go in its trajectory. He did not find it. (29) There a little boy stood. And he took the arrow. "Give me my arrow, it's mine." Then the little boy said, "I found the arrow. So it's mine." Then he said, "K'oté, let's go inside. (30) We'll play inside the lodge. We'll eat too." Then he went inside with him, inside the lodge. And he said, "K'oté, eat. (31) This is what I eat," he said. And when this boy ate, he ate a lot. Then they played a lot. They messed up the rug. And while they were doing that, this boy said, "K'oté, your father is starting back." (32) He said that and ran out. Then he came back to peep in and he said, "Forget it," and ran away somewhere. (33) Then he came back. He said, "My dear son, I didn't think you would do this sort of thing. You completely spoiled the rugs with your feet," he said to him. And this little boy said, "I really did play hard," he said. (34) Then the next morning this man went out to hunt something. Then he came there, the small boy came. And again they really played all day long. They still kept on eating in any case. (35) Once again the boy said, "Your father is coming," he said and he went out at a run and said, "Forget," he said, and ran off somewhere. (36) Again he said, "My dear son, why have you disturbed the rugs so much with your feet? You probably did not stand alone in doing this." And he said, "I did it alone." (37) When he went out to hunt something again, once more the small boy came by right away. And again they played all day long. And he said, "Your father is coming back," he said and he went out at a run. Then that man returned. And he said, "My dear son, look," he said. (38) "When the deer tails are eaten, one set of teeth is coarse and one is fine and small. Look at this — (39) you yourself did these, the teeth that are small and fine. These are coarse. Someone else did these." And that little boy said, "Father, you're right. And for some time, as soon as you went out hunting, a little boy always comes by. (40) And whenever he leaves, he always says, 'Forget it,' he always says. Then when you come home, I forget everything." (41) Then he told him everything about what they did. And this man said, "Hąhą́'ą, I already know. That was your brother," he told him. "When I set out in the morning, I will hide a little ways off. You will hold him," he said. And in the morning he left.

(42) He hid himself a short distance away. The little boy came and said, "K'oté, your father is hiding over there," he said. And as that man did that, he would always see him. (43) Then he did this. He made something to put above his son. He made well crafted bladders and painted them and they were funny looking. He made two of them. And before he got ready to go, he put them on him. He tied it on. He said to him, (44) "Son, tell him that he will like your headdress. Tell him that I have two of them and he can use one. And when you do put it on him, tie it so that you do it very strongly," he said to him. (45) Then he went out hunting. Immediately, the little boy had already arrived. And when he saw the headdress, it seemed beautiful to him. "You're wearing a pretty one," he said. If you want one of them, I have two," he said to him. (46) "I'll do that. I like it, so we can wear one each," he said. Then the other one took it and he put it on him. He tied it to him very strongly. (47) Then after awhile the boy said, "Your father is coming back," he said and left running. He arrived running and he tried to get back by diving in the water. After he did, he failed. (48) Because he used that headdress as a balloon, he failed to submerge. Again he tried to dive, but he kept floating up. Finally, his father arrived. He came back running and caught the little boy, taking him back to the lodge. (49) Then he said to him, "My dear son, you are my son and I am your father," he said to him. And he said to them, "You two are brothers," he said to them. (50) "The one who was your mother died when you were born," he said to them. "And we live here. And you will always live here together with us from now on," he said to him. (52) And after they got that way, from that time on both boys liked it when everybody was here together in the lodge.3


Commentary. "packed wood" — this is a frequently used depiction of the crescent moon (1, 2, 3), the dark portion being the large bundle of wood on her back. This image is even found in Europe. "Very common in Europe are the legends according to which a boy stealing wood at night is sucked up by the full Moon with his bunch of fire wood on his shoulder."4

"broken sticks" — apparently used as utensils, although the word is often applied to the broken sticks used to kindle a cooking fire.

"in the hollow of a tree" — the Hočąk is nąhúičopoǧéja (< nąhúič, "tree-stump"; hopox, "hole"; éja, "in"). So this is really a hole in a stump.

"he blew up two turkey bladders" — another element that we see for the first time, but not the last, is the role of the turkey. Its feathers give the arrow the ability to out-fly any bird in creation. It is the turkey bladder that has a role to play in this worak. The problem is that a turkey seems to have no bladder. By "bladder" (texra) is meant some other organ that can be inflated. Elsewhere, including the other variants above, the bladder is not specified as being that of a turkey. An actual bladder is a hollow organ of the lower part of the body that collects water. In this respect it is rather like the stump, being wet and full of corruption. Like the turkey feathers turned into the wings of an arrow, the turkey "bladder" experiences a like inversion when it is made into a headdress. It becomes transposed to the symbolic Upper World: water is replaced by air, and it is turned upside down and placed at the top of the body. Now the bladder, rather than processing water, stands opposed to it. It ensures that Ghost cannot return to his favorite element, but must remain content to embrace his real identity. Connected to this thinking is the Medicine Rite, in which the neophyte is shot "dead" with a shell launched from a bladder full of air contained inside the skin of an animal, often the aquatic otter. He later arises reborn into the Medicine Lodge. The bladder allows Ghost to unite with Flesh, where flesh is just another version of the water that Ghost loves to make his home. When the ghost is able to escape the flesh and dwell in water, the flesh dies. The contents of the bladders is not ordinary air, but is the breath (ni) of their own father. A secondary meaning of ni is "life," so both Ghost and Flesh are born together and made to stay that way through the life breath given to them by their father. It is not surprising that in one variant that it is a placenta that is thus inflated, showing that it is through the placenta that the father's life was passed onto them.

In the turkey's martial display before a rival or mate, he himself becomes a veritable giant bladder, as Jordan tells us, "... the body is inflated with air, which, with the drooping wings, spread tail, and ruffled feathers, gives the bird the appearance of a big ball. Having blown himself up to the full capacity of his skin, the gobbler suddenly releases the air, making a puff exactly as if a person, having inflated the cheeks to their full capacity, suddenly opens the mouth. As the puff is given, the bird steps quickly forward four or five paces, dragging the ends of the stiff wing feather along the ground, making a rasping sound; he throws forward his chest, and, gradually contracting the muscles, forces the air from his body with a low, rumbling boom, the feathers resuming their normal position as the air is expelled."5

"red" — this dynamic color has special meaning in connection to the turkey. In that context, it becomes the color of virility. The turkey tom is by its nature a very pugnacious animal.6 When a turkey displays in a sexual context or against rivals, its head becomes engorged with blood, and turns a vivid red.7 Needless to say, when a turkey sees red it sets him off even more than el torro. It was observed early on that, "The antipathy this Fowl hath against a red colour, so as to be much moved and provoked at the sight thereof, is a very strange and admirable."8 A gentleman in Illinois had great success in hunting wild turkeys by simply tying a red scarf to a domestic gobbler and watching the maddened charging turkeys explode through the brush into full view.9 In XIXᵀᴴ century New Hampshire a woman wearing a red dress was attacked by a number of turkeys, one of which desisted only once it was shot dead.10 Turkeys may even be "driven" by tacking a red flag to the end of a stick and having them follow it.11

"the parents of this girl didn't like it" — this is the only one of the Twin Cycle versions that connects in some way with the myths surrounding Bluehorn. The story told in Bluehorn's Nephews is that the future father of the Twins was a domineering warrior who claimed brides by intimidation, so that the parents of his brides disliked him heartily. Bluehorn (the Evening Star) was the brother of the woman that this brave was demanding as his wife. Bluehorn, being more powerful still, intimidated this brave so that he treated his wives with deference.

"it must not be that you should be at home" — under ordinary circumstances, there is a transition period in which the young husband does "son-in-law service." For a time, often up to the birth of the first child, the couple lives at the wife's house while the husband spends his time hunting for his in-laws and new family. When this period is over, the young couple returns to the husband's village where they live in their own lodge.

General Remarks. Elsewhere the Twins are said to be the offspring of the sun (see Children of the Sun), so in the present story their father ought to be Sun. The moon, elsewhere explicitly identified as the mother of the Twins, is at her fullest when she is most distant (in opposition) to the sun. When the moon draws closer to the sun, she is diminished or "eaten up" little by little. The Hočągara, like other peoples, think of the waning of the moon as her being eaten by other spirits (see Black and White Moons). So the evil spirits eventually dismember, cook, and eat the moon completely, as we see represented in this story. The cooking reflects the fact that the moon seems to disappear into the sun. The grandfather, who is either Herešgúnina himself or a composite of the evil spirits, invites his daughter-in-law to the center of the lodge because that is where the fireplace is situated, the fire being a substitute image for the sun. Her stripping at the center of the lodge is another image of lunar waning as the moon approaches the "fire" of the sun. In other stories the Evil Spirit is not Herešgúnina, but Morning Star, the doppelgänger of the Twins' uncle, Evening Star (= Red Star = Bluehorn). Herešgúnina and Morning Star may have become identified, or at least made counterparts, through the Judeo-Christian Lucifer, who is both Satan and the Morning Star. In some stories, the Hočąk Lucifer sucks so hard on his pipe that he draws Evening Star right into the fire. He then beheads his opponent. This is very similar to the action taking place in the present story, and may reflect the conjunction of Evening Star with the sun. Since Morning Star is said to be "closer to the sun," he plays the dominant role ajacent to the fire.

Stump is usually called "Ghost" or "Little Ghost," as the spiritual complement to his brother Flesh. In world mythology, the spirits of the deceased are often associated with water, the natural home of Ghost. More than one waiką (cp. The Were-fish, The Spirit of Maple Bluff, Lake Wąkšikhomįgra (Mendota): the Origin of Its Name) associates a stump with a water-dwelling spirit. A stump is the lower trunk of a tree, a remnant produced by the death and collapse of the tree. It is produced, therefore, by decay and corruption. The only reason why a stump exists at all is that its root structure remains anchored to it long after the upper tree has disappeared. Thus a stump is something that was once in communication with the Upper World, but now is only in touch with the Lower World. Immediately we can grasp the relevance of this concept to the human condition: the soul is a thing from the Upper World that descends to the Lower World to conjoin itself with the wet and corruptible body of mortals, who are doomed to suffer the progress of corruption that leads to the death of the body and release of the soul as ghost. Trees originate the same way: their seeds fall from the arboreal world above down to the moist and corrupted earth, where they sink their roots into the Lower World before rising again to the Upper World in their maturity. These images help us to understand why Ghost lives in a crater lake. The meteor falls from above, and like a seed, it too plants itself into the earth. The crater, which fills with water like a stump, is a remnant of something that originated in the Upper World, but now exists only as that which is in contact with the Lower World. The meteor is wojiją, "that which becomes a luminary," becoming that author par excellance of both generation and corruption, the sun, (grand-)father of Ghost and Flesh alike.

When Ghost meets Flesh for the first time, he focuses mainly on their differences in diet. Upon what has Flesh dined? Before he met Ghost, Flesh was fed on meat, but as we later learn, it was not fresh meat. Preserved meat in those times was jerky, a meat hung in the air on racks to dry out in the sun. The meat belongs to the Upper World of the dry and cured. This is what the flesh craves to unite with itself: the gift of the sun from the air of the Upper World. The meat must die to ascend to this Upper World, but then will return once again to the Lower World to be united with flesh when it is eaten. Jerky is the uncorrupted, soul-like, twin counterpart to corruptible flesh which seeks to unite with it. Dried meat, including smoked meat (fire substituting for the sun again), is the culinary counterpart to the soul. What is the culinary counterpart to the flesh with which the soul unites? We are told that it is the bean. The stems of beans, like stumps, are hollow; and as the ancient Greeks appreciated, the stems of the bean plant have no nodes.12 This means that the bean is the only seed organ that has a direct pathway to the earth throughout its existence. This was appreciated by the ancient Pythagoreans who held that "[bean plants] serve as a support and ladder for the souls [of men] when, full of vigor, they return to the light of the day from the dwellings of Hades."13 While the Hočągara believe in metempsychosis like the Pythagoreans, they believe that the souls of those who return to live on earth again do so from the heaven of Earthmaker. The shared point of view is that the bean is in special communication with the earth and the Lower World generally. That beans look like sex organs was also appreciated by the Pythagoreans.14 The beans themselves resemble testes, and the pod looks like a phallus. The Pythagoreans also associated the bean pod with the female sex organ.15 We are told that Ghost eats beans because his grandmother is a stump. The stump too is like both the male and female generative organs. It is an open hollow receptacle like the female vagina, and like the male organ it is a short version of a limb at whose root is water. Some of the differences between the food of Flesh and that of Ghost can be tabulated:

Flesh's Food: Ghost's Food:
high low
dry wet
cured wild (natural)
inert like generative organs
Direct communication with
the Upper World
Direct communication with
the Lower World

As a supplement to this dietary contrast, we have the shared role of the boiled deer tails. The tail of an animal is a kind of stump limb, although it is not a generative organ. The limbs of deer are of special symbolic importance: they represent the four directions. Especially given the fact that the deer tale is hung up or suspended, the added "limb" would then represent the fifth and sixth directions: up and down, and the respective "quarters" of the Upper and Lower Worlds. This is the special continuum shared by both Flesh and Ghost: at death the flesh enters the Lower World and the ghost-spirit enters the Upper World. The deer tail moderates between the food of Ghost and that of Flesh. The deer tail is neither high nor low, being hung up at just the height of the boy's mouths. The deer tail is boiled (wet), but hung up to dry. As cooked meat, it is neither raw nor cured by the sun, and although it is like a generative organ, it is inert and incorruptible. It is hung up inside the lodge, so that it mediates between the Upper World and the Lower World. It is along the up-down axis that communication exists between these two worlds — it is the axis along which the soul and flesh communicate with one another, and the world of spirits above communicates with the realm of mortals below.


Comparative Material. The closely related Ioway have a very similar story that starts out on the "Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head" model. "One time a family went out hunting. They camped by themselves in the woods, and while the man ranged the forest hunting for game, the woman, who was pregnant, stayed at home and kept house for him. One day while her husband was absent a man came to visit her. At first she paid no attention to the stranger, and would not even look at him. The man sat down opposite her and did everything to attract her attention; finally, as he was possessed of magic power, he caused a fire to spring up behind her. 'Oh my, there is a fire behind you!' he exclaimed, but the woman reached behind her and put it out with her hands without looking up or speaking. When her husband came home she told him about her strange visitor, and he said, 'You did well. This man has evil power over women. Do not pay any attention to him, and after the fourth visit he will cease to annoy you.' Each day thereafter the stranger visited her and tried in the same manner to frighten the woman with fire, but each time she made him go away without paying him the slightest attention. On the fourth and last day, after the man had left the lodge, the woman could not resist the temptation to see him before he vanished forever, so she peeped through a crack to see what manner of being he was. Although his back was turned, for he was going away, she saw that he had two faces, one in front and one in the back of his head, and that he had long sharp bones like daggers projecting from his elbows. He was Sharp Elbows (Itopa'hi). The being saw the woman with his rear face, and laughed and said 'I knew you would finally look.' He retraced his steps and stabbed her to death with his sharp elbows and went away leaving her lying there on the floor of the lodge. When her husband returned he found her lying there still, but upon examination of her body he found her babies were still alive, so he cut her open and took them out. They were twin brothers, and, as he could not raise them both, he kept only one. The other he placed on an old log where the mice came and found him. The one whom the father kept he raised until he was a small boy. One day when this boy, who was named Dore was playing alone while his father was off hunting, his lost brother the mouse boy, who was named Wahre'dua came to the lodge and sang in a low voice:

Dore, you've got a father and you eat only dried meat,
Dore haha, Dore.
Dore, you've got a father and you eat only dried meat,
Dore haha, Dore'

I've got a grandmother and I eat only wild beans,
Dore haha, Dore.

When the man came home that night, Dore said to him, 'Father, this boy comes when you are gone and sings to me.' 'Oh, that is your missing brother, I couldn't save you both, so I threw him into an old log, and I guess the mice must have raised him.' Every day the lost brother came and played with Dore. He was strange and wild in his ways, like some animal. He had a good nose, and was able to smell out the enemy. Each day when he arrived he would be very suspicious. 'Maybe our father is here,' he would say to Dore. Then Dore would turn everything upside down to show his mouse brother that there was no one there. Each night Wahre'dua could smell his father coming and would run off to his home in the log before the man got there. Each time when he ran away Wahre'dua would say to Dore, 'Forget.' so that his brother would not remember to tell his father that he had been there playing so wildly. One time Wahre'dua forgot to say 'Forget' and Dore remembered and told his father about his daily visitor. 'Good,' said the father. 'Tomorrow try to coax him to stay.' But Wahre'dua refused and ran off home as usual. The next day the father hid himself. He said to Dore, 'When your brother comes today, play with him for awhile, then say to him, Look for lice in my hair. When he has finished, it will be your turn to louse him; and when you do so, wrap his scalp lock around your finger. When you have a good hold, call for me.' Dore did as he was told, and Wahre'dua was unable to escape when his father ran up. His father cut off Wahre'dua's scalp lock, and from that time on the mouse boy had no longer the power to escape."16

The Sauk version is intermediate between the Ioway and the Hočąk. A man and a woman lived alone. One day the man told his wife that someone would come that looked just like him, but she was not to listen to him. Then the man finally came, and said all kinds of things to her, but she just ignored him, so he left. He returned every day for three days, but each time she would not so much as look at him. However, on the fourth day, as he was leaving, she looked at him. He had a second face on the back of his head, and when he saw that he was noticed, he turned back. He then shot her dead with an arrow. He cut her open and found that she had twins inside, but as her husband was coming back, he beat a hasty retreat. The husband found the twins at the tragic scene, and decided he would keep them. However, the smaller one looked weak, so he decided that he would get rid of him, and placed him in the forest under a log. In time the surviving twin was big enough to take care of the lodge when his father was out hunting. One day he heard another child singing:

Lonlay's got a father,
And he eats meat;
But I eat only wild beans,
Because I have a grandmother.

This was the boy who had been thrown away. He had been raised by an old rat who had dragged him into its nest. This boy would come and play with his brother every day, and they would make a mess out of the lodge. Then at the end of the day, he would return to his grandmother the rat to sleep in her den. When the father came home he noticed the mess. One day when he asked his son if he had been playing with someone, the boy said, "Yes, a boy comes here singing:

Lonlay's got a father,
And he eats meat;
But I eat only wild beans,
Because I have a grandmother.

The father said, "The next time that you see him, grab his scalp lock and call me." The next day when the other boy showed up, he wouldn't enter the lodge, since he had a premonition that the father was nearby. Only after a good deal of coaxing did he come in, but as soon as he did, his brother seized him by his scalp lock. He called for his father, and the man came running. When he got there, he cut off the boy's scalp lock. Then the father explained who he was and about the murder of their mother, and how the captured boy must now stay with his brother. So it was, and in time they grew bigger.17 [the next episode of this story]

The neighboring Menominee also know this story. A man and his wife lived alone. The man went out hunting, and while he was gone a Mowäki Giant attacked and killed his wife. The Giant ripped out the innards of the woman and placed them in a tree stump. When the man came back he discovered what had happened. He found the stump containing his wife's innards, and there he saw a baby. He fished the child out and raised him. He called him "Wahi." After Wahi had grown old enough to have a bow and arrow, his father went out hunting. Not long afterwards, a tiny boy showed up at the lodge. The two boys spent the day playing, but late in the day the stranger would leave. He went back to the hollow stump where his mother's innards were, and there he resided. Mice lived there as well, and it was they who had raised him. They were grateful to his mother as she had always left them something from the head of the deer that they could use in their nest. Because of this the boy was named "Wahinákweakit" ("Thick Hair and the Top Part of a Deer's Head"). When the father returned, he noticed the near his son's tracks were tiny prints belonging to someone else. So he asked his son about them. Wahi then told his father all about the mysterious boy who came out to play when he was out hunting.18

The Hidatsa have a really interesting parallel story about the birth of the Twins, that combines something of the Bluehorn version with the present story. Charred Body and his sister lived alone. One day he went out hunting and warned his sister that if anyone showed up at the lodge not to let them in. When he was gone someone asked to come in and the sister forgot the warning of her brother and let the stranger in the door. He was a monster without a head and a large mouth running from shoulder to shoulder. He demanded to eat the fat of the stomach and that it must be served on the stomach of a pregnant woman. So the sister laid down on her back and when he put the hot fat on her stomach, she screamed and died, but as she died twins were born. The monster took one of them and tossed him in the center of the lodge and said, "Let this one be a slave to the lodge." Then he took the other one and cast him in a spring, saying, "Let the spring take this one." After Charred Body came home, he buried his sister. Then he heard a tiny voice say, "Brother [= uncle], give me something to eat." Charred Body found a small child by the lodge wall. Not long after, Charred Body's brother Coyote showed up. He performed a magical rite that transformed the boy into a lad of 18 years of age, and because the spring boy was his twin, he underwent the same transformation. Whenever the two brothers went out hunting, Spring Boy would come out to play with his brother Lodge Boy. Spring Boy was of a darker complexion and shorter height than his brother. One day the uncles came back and noticed that the buffalo tongues that they had strung up and been eaten in a large quantity, so they wondered if there were not two boys eating them. When they looked, they saw that the bite marks on some of them did not match the teeth of Lodge Boy. Then Lodge Boy told his uncles the whole story, and that he had a brother, Spring Boy, who ate water creatures and had enormous tusks. The uncles immediately hatched a scheme to capture the wild boy. The next day, the uncles transformed themselves into arrowheads and hid in the lodge. When Spring Boy arrived he said that he could smell the uncles, but Lodge Boy said that is because they had just left for hunting. When an opportunity presented itself, Lodge Boy jumped on his brother and held him. The uncles seized him and threw him into a sweat bath, but it was only on the fourth attempt to contain him in the bath that he finally lost his tusks. Then the uncles inserted a bladder headdress on him, one that could not be removed. Spring Boy tried to escape to the water, but when he dove in, he immediately bobbed right back up because of the bladder he wore on his head. The brother took him and made him vomit. Once he had vomited up all the water creatures that he had eaten, he became a normal boy again.19

The Gros Ventre version bears some resemblance to the Hidatsa story. A man and his wife were camping alone. He warned his wife that while he was out hunting, should a man come by, under no circumstances was she to invite him in. Just as he had said, a man showed up, and walked around the teepee, but she never said anything to him, even when he acted as if he were about to enter. When her husband came home, she told him about it. The next day he reiterated that she should not invite the man in. Then he went hunting. The stranger returned and walked around the teepee, but she said nothing. He even opened the tent flap and closed it several times. Finally, the woman gave in and said, "Come in." She fixed him something to eat, and placed it on a dish, but he said, "That's not the kind of plate that I use." She kept changing plates, but he kept saying the same thing. Then she tried a moccasin, then a legging, but to each of these he said only, "That is nearly it." Finally, she laid down on her back and placed the food on her bare stomach. "That's it," he said. When he was done eating, he cut her open, killing her. She was pregnant with twins, so he took out the first boy and said, "You will be Káąen." He took the other boy and tossed him out saying, "You will be Niišą́." Then he left. When the husband returned, he realized what had happened. Then he found his wife lying disemboweled. He was grief stricken and mourned for days. Not long afterwards he noticed that whenever he came back to his teepee, his arrows would be scattered all over the place. So he resolved to hide and see what was going on in his absence. He heard a child say, "Niišą́, let's play." He rushed to his tent, and the two boys there tried to flee, but only one of them got away. He captured Niišą́, and told him that he was his son, and that he wanted him to live with him. The boy seemed contented with this and remained. In time they laid plans to capture the other boy. The father laid in ambush and waited for Niišą́ to say, "Look close!" When the other boy showed up to play, he became suspicious and had to be coaxed to the teepee. Then at the right moment Niišą́ said, "Look close!" and his father came out and grabbed the boy. In the end, the man was able to persuade this boy to live with him too.20

The Arapaho version is very similar to the Gros Ventre. A man and his wife lived alone on the prairie in a teepee. The man warned his wife that while he was off hunting that she was to pay no attention to any stranger that should approach their dwelling. One day a stranger did approach, and asked, "How goes it with you?," but she did not respond. Each day thereafter he came and asked the same question, until finally, she punched a hole in the teepee and looked out to see who it was. It was then that he came inside. She prepared him some meat to eat, but he kept saying, "This is not the kind of bowl I'm accustomed to." She tried to serve it in every container imaginable, until finally, she put it on her chest, and the man said, "That's the sort I meant." He ate, then said, "Sometimes a man hits the bowl," and with that he cut her open. She was pregnant, so he took the first child and cast him by the door, and the second child he threw into the spring. When the husband returned he found that he wife was dead. One day when the man returned from the prairie he found two boys playing inside the teepee, and was able to grab one of them. The boy struggled mightily, but the man told him that he was his father, so the boy, By the Door, settled down and lived with him. In time when Spring Boy visited his brother, they played a game of shooting arrows, and while his brother had his back turned, By the Door jumped on him and held him down while his father rushed up and captured the boy. The father was able to subdue Spring Boy the way he had his brother, and the three of them lived happily together.21

The Crow version is very much like the Hočąk but with a few points of difference. "Once upon a time there lived a couple, the woman being pregnant. The man went hunting one day, and in his absence a certain wicked woman named Red-Woman came to the teepee and killed his wife and cut her open and found boy twins. She threw one behind the teepee curtain, and the other she threw into a spring. She then put a stick inside the woman and stuck one end in the ground, to give her the appearance of a live person, and burned her upper lip, giving her the appearance as though laughing. When her husband came home, tired from carrying the deer he had killed, he saw his wife standing near the door of the teepee, looking as though she were laughing at him, and he said: 'I am tired and hungry, why do you laugh at me?' and pushed her. As she fell backwards, her stomach opened, and he caught hold of her and discovered she was dead. He knew at once that Red-Woman had killed his wife. While the man was eating supper alone one night a voice said, 'Father, give me some of your supper.' As no one was in sight, he resumed eating and again the voice asked for supper. The man said, 'Whoever you are, you may come and eat with me, for I am poor and alone.' A young boy came from behind the curtain, and said his name was 'Thrown-behind-the-Curtain.' During the day, while the man went hunting, the boy stayed home. One day the boy said, 'Father, make me two bows and the arrows for them.' His father asked him why he wanted two bows. The boy said, 'I want them to change about.' His father made them for him, but surmised the boy had other reasons, and concluded he would watch the boy, and on one day, earlier than usual, he left his teepee and hid upon a hill overlooking his teepee, and while there, he saw two boys of about the same age shooting arrows. That evening when he returned home, he asked his son, 'Is there not another little boy of your age about here?' His son said, 'Yes, and he lives in the spring.' His father said, 'You should bring him out and make him live with us.' The son said, 'I cannot make him, because he has sharp teeth like an otter, but if you will make me a suit of rawhide, I will try and catch him.' One day, arrangements were made to catch the boy. The father said, 'I will stay here in the teepee and you tell him I have gone out.' So Thrown-behind-the-Curtain said to Thrown-in-Spring. 'Come out and play arrows.' Thrown-in-Spring came out just a little, and said, 'I smell something.' Thrown-behind-the-Curtain said, 'No, you don't, my father is not home,' and after insisting, Thrown-in-Spring came out, and both boys began to play. While they were playing, Thrown-behind-the-Curtain disputed a point of their game, and as Thrown-in-Spring stooped over to see how close his arrow came, Thrown-behind-the-Curtain grabbed him from behind and held his arms close to his sides and Thrown-in-Spring turned and attempted to bite him, but his teeth could not penetrate the rawhide suit. The father came to the assistance of Thrown-behind-the-Curtain and the water of the spring rushed out to help Thrown-in-Spring; but Thrown-in-Spring was dragged to a high hill where the water could not reach him, and there they burned incense under his nose, and he became human. The three of them lived together."22

The following is from the related Omaha tribe. Only its basic outlines are alluded to in this précis: "... the twins' mother died from having looked at Two-Faces after she had been warned not to do so. In the traditional story, Two-Faces cut the woman open, left one twin, but took the other and left him for the wild mice to raise. [In another version] the twin boys remain with their father, but one soon apparently dies, and the father wraps him in a buffalo robe and hides his body in a hollow tree. But the child is not really dead and survives because the mice bring him wild beans to eat. Meanwhile, the father feeds the child who remains on soup."23 [more of this story]

There is a Wichita story that also belongs in this group. Once there was a young man who lived in one of two neighboring villages. He rejected all women who wished to marry him; in the other village was a woman who rejected all male suitors. These two heard of each other and met. They fell in love immediately and married, but both villages rejected them, so they had to move away and live alone. One day the man told his wife that during his absence someone would come and eat by the fire, and that she was to cook some meat for him; however, under no circumstances was she to interact with the stranger, and she must hide under a buffalo robe and not even look at him. Just as he had predicted, this man showed up and ate the meat prepared for him, while the whole time the woman lay under a buffalo robe fearing to look at him. This happened every day, so that it became a routine. The woman decided to bore a small hole in her robe and insert a hollow piece of grass so that she could look through it and catch a glimpse of the man who came every day to eat. When she looked at him she saw that he had a double head with a mouth on the back of his neck. Immediately he knew she had seen him, so he turned and came inside. There he slit her abdomen open. She was pregnant. He took out the child and put it aside, and stuck a fire stick in the afterbirth and tossed it into the water. Then he left. When the man returned he realized what had happened. He did not see the baby, so he proceeded to take his wife out for burial, but instead of placing her in a grave, he left her on top of the ground. When he returned he heard the baby crying and found that he had had a son. In time the boy became large enough that he could be left at the lodge alone while the father went out hunting. During his absence the boy was visited by another boy his same age. This boy said, "Let's play liakucks." This is a game in which the contestants shoot at a plaited sinew on the fly. During the course of the day, the stranger won all the boy's arrows. That night when his father asked him what had happened to the arrows, the boy made up a story just as the stranger had instructed him. The next day the strange boy again won all the arrows, and when he left, he entered the water and disappeared. The other boy watched him leave and noticed that he had a tail like a fire poker. This time he told his father all about it, and how he lived in the water and had a tail. He told his father that the boy called himself "After Birth Boy." The father figured out who this boy was and the two of them resolved to capture him. The next day when After Birth Boy returned, they played liakucks again. The father turned himself into a fire stick. When the boy later entered the lodge, After Birth Boy said, "I see your father has become a fire stick," whereupon he took off at a run and disappeared into the water. The next day he returned for another game of liakucks. The father meanwhile had transformed himself into a piece of grass. After awhile the lodge boy said they should go into the grass lodge and get something to eat. While they were there, they checked each other's hair for lice. When the lodge boy was checking the stranger's head, he took the boy's hair and tied it in such a way that he could use it as a harness and get a tight grip on him. So he grabbed hold of the boy and they struggled. Then the father jumped out, but After Birth Boy dragged them nearly all the way to the river. They told him that they just wanted him to live with them as son and brother. Soon they persuaded him. But when they let go of him, he immediately ran to the river and jumped in. Then he emerged holding all the arrows that he had captured in liakucks. After that, he joined his family and ceased to be wild.24 [next episode of this story]

The Creek have two very distinct versions of the Twins tale. A man went out hunting only to find his canoe on the wrong side of the river. He called to his wife to come and get him, but she did not responds, so he had to swim across. He saw his wife through a window, painted and in fine clothes, but when he got inside, he discovered that it was only a mirage. In fact, his wife had been eaten by a Kolowa (Gorilla). All that was left of her was her abdomen, so he cut it open and found a child inside. He took the after birth and threw it in a thicket behind his house. In time his boy grew large enough to shoot a bow and arrow. He asked his father not just for a bow, but for two of them, and blunt arrows to go with one and sharp arrows to go with the other. The father became suspicious, and snuck back to watch the cabin. There he saw another boy come from where the afterbirth had been. The two boys played. The strange boy was his son's twin. He resolved to capture this twin, so he turned himself into an arrow stuck in the ground at the edge of his yard, but the boy said to his brother, "That's your father." Then the father turned himself into a ball of grass, but he was easily discovered by the boy. The third time he was also unsuccessful as a feather drifting in the wind. Finally, however, the man did grab him, and the wild boy eventually became tame and lived with his father and brother.25

The second Creek version tells of how a man and his pregnant wife lived alone. While he was out hunting, she was visited by a lion who told her that he could get her baby out for her. She refused his help, so the lion ripped the baby out, killing the mother. He put the baby in a basket under the bed, and carried away the body of the mother. When the husband came home, he discovered the baby. When the child was of age, the father made for him a small bow, yet every time the man returned from the hunt, the bow would be missing. So he asked his son what had happened to all the bows that he had made for him. The child replied, "There's a boy my age who lives in the thicket. He says that he is my younger brother. He is the one who takes the bow from me." One day the child returned with this other boy, and the father raised him as his own.26 [more of this story]

The Natchez have a version with some interesting twists. A man lived alone with his pregnant wife. In those days the night was full of terrors, being the time when many strange and dangerous animals were about. As a result, no one went outside after dark. One night when the man was gone, his wife heard the animals outside her lodge dancing. They invited her to come out, so she joined them in their festivities. They promptly captured her and ate her. When the man returned his wife was missing and he heard the cry of a baby. "Why don't you bring the baby inside," he said, but there was no reply. He went out where the sound had come from and found a leaf with a spot of blood on it. He wiped it off and no sooner had he done so, than the leaf transformed itself into a human baby. He raised this child and when it became old enough to eat soup, he would leave it behind in the lodge while he went off hunting. The umbilical cord had been thrown away by the man-eaters, but it too had become a boy. This wild boy ate insects that he obtained from rotting logs. When he came to play with his brother, the wild boy would show him what he ate, but it took on the appearance of venison. Just before the father returned, the wild boy would use one of his extraordinary powers, and fly away. Upon hearing of this his father was determined to capture him, so he hid in the corner in the form of a duck. The wild boy wanted something with which to whet his arrow and had to come into the lodge to get it. When he did, the father grabbed him and tied him up. Then he suspended him over the smoke hole of the lodge where the smoke overwhelmed him, causing him to throw up all the bugs that he had eaten. After this, he assumed a normal diet of venison and was no longer so wild.27

The Blackfoot story has interesting convergences on the Hočąk. In a vision, Smart Crow was told by a crow spirit all that would transpire leading up to the birth of his twin sons. He warned his wife that a man would come to see her when he was out hunting, and that she was to say nothing to him. One day this man showed up and entered the teepee. Every time Smart Crow's wife tried to feed him, he would reject the bowl in which the food was presented. Finally, the woman offered to let him eat off her belly. He sharpened a stone to cut the meat, but suddenly cut her open and pulled out the twin boys inside her womb. One he put by the ashes and said, "You shall be called 'Ashes Chief'." The other one he put behind the teepee liner and said, "You shall be called 'Stuck Behind'." Then he left. When the father returned, he found both infants but their mother was no where to be found. He immediately took after the murderer, but when he caught up to him, the man declared himself to be a Great Medicine, and that he would restore the man's wife to him. He presented Smart Crow with a teepee called "the Four Buffalo Lodge." When he returned home, he gave Ashes Chief to a large rock, and the boy went inside the rock to live. Stuck Behind he gave to a beaver, and that boy went to live in the beaver's lodge. The rock and the beaver raised the boys in their father's absence. One day the father decided that he wanted to have the boys back, so he went looking for them. He laid some arrows outside the rock in which Ashes Chief lived, and the boy came out to examine them. Then his father captured him. Then the two of them thought how they might catch his brother. Ashes Chief played by the water with a hoop, and was soon joined by his brother. Quickly he grabbed hold of Stuck Behind and held him until his father came to help. So Stuck Behind came with them. Their father then decided to give them new names. Ashes Chief was called "Rock," and his brother was called "Beaver." The two boys then restored their mother to life by a complex ritual. Then the father took his medicine teepee along with his family and rejoined his people.28 [the next episode of the story]

The distant and unrelated Cherokee tell a story very similar to the episode about the birth and recapture of Ghost. Once there was a good hunter called "Lucky Hunter," who was married to a woman named "Corn." They had one little boy. The wife always washed the blood off her meat in a nearby river. There the child used to go to play, but people would hear more than one voice when he was down at the river. The parents asked him about it, and he told them that another boy who claimed to be his older brother would come out of the water to play with him. He also said that his mother had been cruel to him, having thrown him into the river. Then they realized that this boy had sprung from the blood that Corn had washed off into the river. [See Blood Clot Boy in the comparative material on Hare.] Every day the two boys played, so Lucky Hunter made a plan. The next day the two boys played at wrestling, but once the little boy got hold of his brother, he called out to his parents who came and captured him. In time they were able to tame him, but he was very mischievous and dominated his brother. People soon realized that he had great sacred powers. They called him "Wild Boy."29 [more of this story]

The Seneca (Iroquois) version begins like the "Children of the Sun" type of tale, but falls in line with the narrative of the Twins Cycle. "When the daughter had grown to young womanhood, the mother and she were accustomed to go out to dig wild potatoes. Her mother had said to her that in doing this she must face the West at all times. Before long the young daughter gave signs that she was about to become a mother. Her mother reproved her, saying that she had violated the injunction not to face the east, as her condition showed that she had faced the wrong way while digging potatoes. It is said that the breath of the West Wind had entered her person, causing conceptions. When the days of her delivery were at hand, she overheard twins within her body in a hot debate as to which should be born first and as to the proper place of exit, one declaring that he was going to emerge through the armpit of his mother, the other saying that he would emerge in the natural way. The first one born, who was of a reddish color, was called Othagwenda; that is, Flint. The other, who was light in color, was called Juskaha; that is, the Little Sprout. The grandmother of the twins liked Juskaha and hated the other; so they cast Othagwenda into a hollow tree some distance from the lodge. The boy that remained in the lodge grew very rapidly, and soon was able to make himself bows and arrows and to go out to hunt in the vicinity. Finally, for several days he returned home without his bow and arrows. At last he was asked why he had to have a new bow and arrows every morning. He replied that there was a young boy in a hollow tree in the neighborhood who used them. The grandmother inquired where the tree stood, and he told her; whereupon then they went there and brought the other boy home again."30

Among the Iroquois versions, that of the Onondaga is more in line with the present Hočąk story. "A man and his wife and child went off hunting from an Indian village and encamped a long way from home. At first, good luck attended the hunter, who brought into camp plenty of deer and other game. At last, game became scarce, and day after day the hunter returned empty-handed and famishing with hunger. Before leaving the hunter resolved to try his luck once more. Soon after he had left the camp, his wife, in searching for roots, found a hole in a large tree in which was a black bear. This she succeeded in killing, and after cutting it up and cooking some for herself and child, she carefully secreted the remainder from her husband. But the boy hid a piece for his father, who soon returned, very weary. Then the hunter was enraged at the conduct of his wife, whom he forced to eat of the meat until she died, with her little infant to which she had given birth the same hour. Then the hunter buried his wife and threw the infant into the hollow tree. After this the hunter had better luck, and continued to live in the same place with his little boy. In the course of time he found that his little son must have had company, for little foot-prints were to be seen around his wigwam. So he left a second small bow and arrow, which in time, he found had been used, and his son told him that a small boy had been playing with him. The next day the father watched and saw a little boy leave the tree where he had placed what he supposed to be the dead child. Then he entered his home and said to the child, "You are my child"; but the boy could not understand him, and was frightened and uneasy, and ran away to the tree, where the hunter discovered he had been nourished and cared for by a friendly bear. The hunter would not kill the kind benefactor, but took some of the soft bed of dried bark, to which the child had been accustomed, to his home, whereupon the child was happy and contended to remain with his father and brother. In time the two excelled in hunting and brought home owls and strange birds. Finally, they told their father they were going to the far west to kill the great beasts which were harming the human race. The hunter, who perceived that the children were becoming very strange, was afraid of them and consented. Then they bade him go back to his native home and get three of the bravest warriors to follow them to the west, where the warriors would find the carcasses of the animals which they would kill. So he went home and told his story, and the warriors started out and finally found traces of the boys, and in time found the carcasses of the animals almost reduced to bones. Two of the men died of the stench."31

The Kickapoo have a similar tale. Once a hunter was unable to kill game, so his wife consorted with a bear in the wilderness who gave her part of his flesh to eat. One day her son told his father what had been going on, and the father killed both the bear and his wife. He cut the belly of his wife open and found that there was a child inside her womb. He placed this child in the hollow of a tree. He suddenly was able to kill much game and left a skin pouch with food in it for his son to eat while he was out. One day the boy was playing with his bow when he discovered that someone was stealing his arrows. Finally, he tracked the culprit down, and it turned out to be a little boy who lived in the hollow of a tree. The little boy, when confronted, said that his father had made the arrows for him. Then the elder brother took him home piggy back style, after they had spent the day swimming in the creek. This boy turned out to be very mischievous.32

The Micmac preserve the cannibal theme in their version of the story. There were two wigwams belonging to the Gugwés (cannibals with faces like bears). In one of these was a man and his wife. In time they had a baby boy, and when he grew bigger, the mother made him a bow and arrows. One day while he was playing, he shot a grease container and all the grease was lost. The father angrily upbraided his wife for making the boy a bow. She cried. That night he visited his own father and said, "You can have my wife tomorrow for dinner." The next day the grandfather came over, and told the woman to check his back, as something had bitten him on his back. When she went to check it, he stabbed her in the heart, killing her. Her son screamed, but his grandfather said, "Don't be concerned, she was of no account anyway." He then gutted her like a game animal, and threw the guts and a child she had in her womb, into a nearby creek. One day the boy went down to the creek to get a bucket of water, and there he saw a little boy. He told his father about it, and the man said, "I'll make you a bow and some arrows, and you bury them in a snow bank there, and when the boy comes out of the creek to get them, catch him." So the boy did as he was instructed. This is how Ketpusyégenau was reunited with his family.33

There's an interesting version told by the Skidi Pawnee. A man and his wife lived alone in an earth lodge near a timber. One day she gave birth to a boy, and her husband took the after-birth to the base of an elm tree and there he buried it. In time the child grew old enough to walk and eat meat. When his father was out hunting, his mother put him to bed under the cover of a hide in the back of the lodge. Soon thereafter some strange men showed up at her door. They had long spines at each joint and at their ankles, and each had a large eye in the back of his head. They said to themselves, "We will not kill her if she does not call us bad names." They ate all her meat, then started to leave. Once they had turned away, she muttered something to herself, but the last of them saw her with his back facing eye, and they turned about and killed her with their spikes. They had never seen the boy. The father returned and saw what had happened, but when he tracked the enemy down, it was too late: they had eaten his wife. In time he had to leave his son behind to hunt. When the boy was alone in the lodge, he heard a voice singing outside:

Handsome Boy, your father loves you.
He kills game for you;
He threw me away,
But my grandmother took me to her lodge.
You eat meat, but I do not;
I eat ground beans, artichokes, grapes, and plums.

The new boy got Handsome Boy to come out and play. After some time, the other boy said, "Your father is coming back. Forget." And Handsome Boy then forgot all that had occurred. This went on for several days, until one day the visitor fled in haste at the approach of the father, but failed to say "Forget." Thus the father came to know all about it. He resolved to capture the young boy, thinking that he must be the product of the after-birth that he buried in the timber. The man tried many ruses to catch the boy, but none succeeded, until one day Handsome Boy took some rawhide string and tied the boy's hair while he was checking it for lice. When the boy jumped up, he was held fast. Handsome Boy called for his father, who came running. Again the boy tried to escape, but they held onto the rawhide strings, even pulling some of his hair out; but in the end they were able to hold him fast. Then the father put the strings and the hair into a medicine bundle, and ever after the strange boy was under their power and stayed with them in their lodge.34 [the next episode of this story]

Another version with good parallels to the Hočąk is told by the Kitkahahki Pawnee. A man and a woman live alone in a land where there are many ponds. The woman gives birth to a boy, but dies in the process. The father takes the after-birth and throws it into a pond. In the father's absence, a little boy named "Long Toothed Boy," on account of the size of his teeth, comes to play with his son. The older son tries to capture this boy by turning into parfleche, but he escapes into a pond. The father encounters a buffalo who speaks to him. He tells the man to kill him and take from his body a bladder. The father does as he is instructed. They blow up the bladder and manage to affix it to the head of Long Tooth Boy, and when he tries to submerge into the water, he bobs right back up again. In this way they were able to capture him.35

Another member of the Kitkahahki Pawnee tells a variant of this story. A man and a woman live alone by a creek. In time the woman gives birth to a boy, but soon afterwards dies. The father throws the after-birth into the creek. Once, when the father was away, his son was visited by a boy who grew out of the after-birth. The man attempts to capture the strange boy, but is detected by his odor. The father brings two bladders filled with air and each containing a rattle. His son manages to tie one of these to the boy's head, and when he tries to flee into the water, he bobs back up again. Thus they capture him. However, the boy grows long teeth like those of a beaver with which he bites his father, so the man takes a stone and files them down.36

The northern Cree have a fairly close parallel to this story. A man and a wife lived alone with their child. The man had a premonition that his wife might be in danger, so he told her that at any sign of trouble she should hide their son under the brush flooring of the wigwam. One day while he was out hunting, his wife was attacked by a Toosh (a devil), who murdered her. He disemboweled her and cast her womb aside. A mouse happened by and started to nibble on the womb, but noticed that something quivered inside. She discovered that it was a little boy whom she called "Che-che-puy-ew-tis" ("the little one that quivers"). She took him off and raised him herself. Then man returned to find his wife mutilated, but he discovered that their son had been safely hidden in the prearranged spot. He tracked down and killed the Toosh. After all this, he and his son moved away from the spot. The son, Mejigwis, was out shooting his arrows one day when he noticed that a mouse took one and ran away with it. He had mysteriously lost many arrows in the past and now he knew the cause. So he trailed the mouse and found her den. There he encountered the mouse, but much to his surprise, there too was a young boy about his age who was playing with all his lost arrows. The mouse told him the story of his brother, but asked him to keep it a secret from his father. From then on the boys secretly played together. Nevertheless, their father noticed that there were footprints around the wigwam, and asked Mejigwis about it, but the boy made up a story rather than tell the truth. In time Che-che-puy-ew-tis persuaded his brother that they should tell the truth, so they went to the wigwam and awaited their father's arrival. When he returned, they told him the whole story. He seemed to be glad and sent them to the mouse with a large supply of beaver meat and an expression of gratitude.37 [the next episode of the Cree story]

A Kiowa story is a rather more remote parallel. Once a beautiful Kiowa maiden was swimming when the Sun passed overhead. He fell in love with her and took her up to the World Above. There they had a child together. She would always go out digging for wild potatoes, but her husband warned her never to dig one that a buffalo had eaten the top off. She did it just the same, and where she had dug was a hole in the sky where she could peer down on her own people as they went about their lives. She missed them so she made a rope of sinew. She and her boy climbed down the rope, but at the end, she could not quite reach earth, so there she dangled. Her husband was suspicious and when he discovered what she had done, he sent a red target to roll down the rope, skipping over his son, and hitting his errant wife. She fell to her death and the boy fell on top of her. Wherever he ventured forth, he would always return to his mother's body. One day he came upon Grandmother Spider's teepee where he spent most of the day. When she returned she noticed that someone had been there. She left some toys to see what would happen. The next day she discovered that her visitor had played with the toys, so the day after she hid by the door of the teepee and when the boy entered, she stood in front of the exit. He struggled, but she finally calmed him down. Thereafter, she acted as his step mother. She gave him a target to play with, but warned him never to throw it into the air. He was curious as to why, so he tossed it aloft only to have it come down and cleave him into two parts. Each part was now a boy, only one was right handed and the other left handed. After a final feast with Grandmother, they went out into the world to combat the enemies of the Kiowa.38

Another Kiowa variant is illustrated in the inset. "According to the myth, which has close parallels in other tribes, a girl was one day playing with some companions when she discovered a porcupine in the branches of a tree. She climbed up to capture it but as she climbed the tree grew, carrying her with it, until it pierced the arch of the sky into the upper world; here the porcupine took on his proper form as the Son of the Sun; they were married and had a son. Her husband had warned her that, in her excursions in search of berries and roots, she must never go near the plant called äzón (pomme blanche, Psoralea esculenta) if its top had been bitten off by a buffalo. Like Eve, or Pandora, she longed to test the prohibition, so one day while digging food plants she took hold of a pomme blanche which a buffalo had already cropped and pulled it up by the root, leaving a hole through which she saw far below the earth, which she had forgotten since the day that she had climbed the tree after the porcupine. Old memories awakened, and full of an intense longing for her former home she took her child and fastening a rope above the hole began letting herself down to the earth. Her husband, returning from the hunt, discovered her absence and the method of her escape, and throwing a stone after her through the hole, before she had reached the end of the rope, struck her upon the head and she fell to the ground dead. The child was uninjured, and after staying some time beside the body of his mother he was found and cared for by Spider Woman, who became a second mother to him. One day in playing he threw upward a gaming wheel, which came down upon his head and cut through his body without killing him, so that instead of one boy there were now twin brothers. After many adventures, in the course of which they rid the world of several destructive monsters, one of the brothers walked into a lake and disappeared forever under its waters, after which the other transformed himself into this "medicine," and gave himself in that shape to the Kiowa, who still preserve it as the pledge and guardian of their national existence."39

This verison somes from the Northern Shoshone. A stranger visited a man's wife. She attempted to feed him, but he would eat the food only when it was put on his chest. Once he had finished eating, the woman fell over dead. The man cut open her womb and removed the twins who laid inside. On he threw into the water, and the other he threw to the entrance of the wikiup. The hunter returned and found his son. One day the father noticed that his son had scratch marks on his face, and enqured about them. He said another boy had come to visit him and had scratched him. So when he next appeared, the father waylaid him, bound him hand and feet, and took him home. He told the boys that they were brothers. They were the first twins ever born.40

Another story comes from a remote source, the Tsimshian people. Once the wife of a chief had an illicit affair. She pretended to die, so that once she was put in a coffin, she could escape and run away with her young lover. Once she had accomplished this deception, her lover rendezvoused with her at her coffin. They made love every night, as she continued to live in her coffin. However, one night someone saw them, and reported it to the chief, who had his nephew killed both of them. While she lay decaying in her coffin, a child emerged from her womb, and sustained himself by sucking on her intestines. One day, all the boys went out shooting, but this boy, Sucking Intestines, kept stealing all their arrows. When the chief found out that a boy had come out of the grave to steal arrows, he ordered his nephews to capture him. This they did, and the boy was raised by the chief.41

"slit open her abdomen" — the Hurons have an interesting parallel to this episode of the Twin's birth. The mother of the Twins falls from the sky and becomes the kernel about which the earth was formed. She became pregnant with twins. "The mother heard one of them say that he was willing to be born in the usual manner; the other angrily refused to be born in that way. So he broke through his mother's side and killed her."42


Links: The Twins, Gottschall, The Twins Cycle, Earthmaker, Sun, Rušewe, Ghosts.

Links within Sam Blowsnake's Twins Cycle: §2. The Twins Disobey Their Father (v. 1).

Links within Jasper Blowsnake's Twins Cycle: §2. The Twins Disobey Their Father (v. 2).

Links within Amelia Susman's Twins Cycle: §2. The Twins Disobey Their Father.


Stories: mentioning the Twins: The Twins Cycle, The Man with Two Heads, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Two Boys, The Two Brothers, The Lost Blanket; featuring Sun as a character: Sun and the Big Eater, Grandfather's Two Families, The Big Eater, The Children of the Sun, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, Hare Burns His Buttocks, The Man who was Blessed by the Sun, The Origins of the Milky Way; about turkeys: Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, Bluehorn's Nephews, Black and White Moons, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I, Old Man and Wears White Feather; mentioning bladders: Bladder, Bladder and His Brothers, Adventures of Redhorn's Sons (elk), The Two Boys (elk); mentioning basswood: The Children of the Sun, Redhorn's Father, Bear Clan Origin Myth (v. 3), The Big Stone, The Fox-Hočąk War, Hare Burns His Buttocks, The King Bird, Hare Kills Wildcat, Turtle's Warparty, The Messengers of Hare, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store; mentioning teeth: The Animal who would Eat Men, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, Hare and the Dangerous Frog, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, The Two Boys, The Twins Disobey Their Father, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Dipper, Wolves and Humans, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Children of the Sun, The Green Man, Holy One and His Brother, Partridge's Older Brother, The Brown Squirrel, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge of the Medicine Rite, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, East Shakes the Messenger, Lifting Up the Bear Heads, White Wolf, Buffalo Clan Origin Myth; mentioning sweat lodges or sweat baths: The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Lost Blanket, The Green Man, Bladder and His Brothers (v. 1), Hare Establishes Bear Hunting, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, The Thunderbird, Snowshoe Strings, Waruǧápara, The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka, Lifting Up the Bear Heads, The King Bird, Little Human Head, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, White Wolf, The Shaggy Man, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, The Dipper, The Two Boys, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (v. 2).

The Two Boys, and The Two Brothers.


Themes: marriage to a yųgiwi (princess): The Nannyberry Picker, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Big Stone, Partridge's Older Brother, Redhorn's Sons, The Seduction of Redhorn's Son, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, The Roaster, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, He Who Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, White Wolf, The Two Boys, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Shaggy Man, The Thunderbird, The Red Feather, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Trickster Visits His Family, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, Redhorn's Father, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Morning Star and His Friend, Thunderbird and White Horse, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, Shakes the Earth, The Nightspirits Bless Čiwoit’éhiga; multiple births: The Twin Sisters, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Man with Two Heads, The Children of the Sun, The Two Boys, The Lost Blanket, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension, The Two Brothers; someone kills his own kinsman: The Chief of the Heroka (wife), The Red Man (wife), Worúxega (wife), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (wife), Bluehorn's Nephews (mother), The Green Man (mother), Waruǧápara (mother), Partridge's Older Brother (sister), The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother (sister), The Were-Grizzly (sister), Crane and His Brothers (brothers), White Wolf (brother), The Diving Contest (brother), The Twins Get into Hot Water (grandfather), The Chief Who Shot His Own Daughter (daughter), The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle (daughter-in-law), Snowshoe Strings (father-in-law); a (grand)father abandons his family: The Father of the Twins Attempts to Flee, The Two Boys, Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, Grandfather's Two Families, The Two Brothers, Trickster Visits His Family; a man devoted to an infant tries repeatedly to leave the infant behind alone while going out, but must return to comfort him: Waruǧápara; hypnotic commands issued at a distance: The Two Boys, The Adventures of Redhorn's Sons, Brave Man; someone dives into a body of water and disappears into its depths: The Red Feather, The Two Boys, The Two Brothers, The Woman who Married a Snake, The Shaggy Man; being unable to hide, despite a great effort: The Children of the Sun, The Two Boys, Holy One and His Brother, The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2); a spirit-being comes from a stump or hollow log: The Spirit of Maple Bluff, Lake Wąkšikhomįgra (Mendota): the Origin of Its Name, The Were-fish, The Two Boys, The Dipper; children are given deer tails to eat: The Redman, The Chief of the Heroka, Waruǧápara, The Two Boys; 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 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), Bear Clan Origin Myth (funerary paint), 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 Nannyberry Picker (leggings), The Seduction of Redhorn's Son (cloth), Yųgiwi (blanket).


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).


Notes

1 The original text is in Sam Blowsnake, Waretcáwera, in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, ca. 1908) Winnebago V, #11: 1-54. An English translation is found in "The Twins," in Paul Radin, The Evolution of an American Indian Prose Epic. A Study in Comparative Literature, Part I (Basil: Ethnographical Museum, Basil Switzerland, 1954) 84-87.

2 Jasper Blowsnake, "Waretcawera," in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman ##3850, 3896, 3897 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Notebook 67: 2-41.

3 Amelia Susman, Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, May 29 - Aug. 2, 1938) Book 2.7-52.

4 Arnold Lebeuf, "The Milky Way, a path of the souls," in Astronomical Traditions in Past Cultures, edd Vesselina Koleva and Dimiter Kolev. Proceedings of the First Annual General Meeting of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture, Smolyan, Bulgaria, 31 August - 2 September 1993 (Sofia: Institute of Astronomy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, National Astronomical Observatory, Rozhen, 1996) 148-161 [154].

5 Charles L. Jordan, in Edward Avery McIlhenny, The Wild Turkey and Its Hunting (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1914) 126.

6 A. W. Schorger, The Wild Turkey: Its History and Domestication (Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1966) 154-156.

7 Schorger, The Wild Turkey, 108-109.

8 Francis Willughby (1635–72), The Ornithology of Francis Willughby, trs. by John Ray of Ornithologiae libri tres. 3 vols. (London: Printed by A.C. for John Martyn, printer to the Royal Society, 1678) 1.160.

9 Parker Gillmore, Prairie and Forest: A Description of the Game of North America, with Personal Adventures in their Pursuit (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1874) 230.

10 Frederic Kidder and Augustus A. Gould, A History of New Ipswich, from its first grant in MDCCXXXVI, to the present time : with genealogical notices of the principal families and also the proceedings of the centennial celebration, September 11, 1850 (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1852) 20.

11 John Latham, A General History of Birds, 11 vols. (Winchester: Bohn, 1821-1828) 8.128. The above examples were collected by Schorger, The Wild Turkey, 155-156.

12 Aristotle quoted by Diogenes Laertius 8.34; Marcel Detienne, The Gardens of Adonis: Spices in Greek Mythology (New Jersey, The Humanities Press, 1977) 49.

13 Pythagorean Sacred Speeches quoted in Scholia T and Eustathius in Iliad 13.589, as given in Detienne, The Gardens of Adonis, 50.

14 Detienne, The Gardens of Adonis, 50.

15 Detienne, The Gardens of Adonis, 50.

16 Robert Small (Otoe, Wolf Clan) and Julia Small (Otoe), "Dore and Wahredua," Alanson Skinner, "Traditions of the Iowa Indians," The Journal of American Folklore, 38, #150 (October-December, 1925): 427-506 [427-428].

17 Mary Lasley, "Sac and Fox Tales," The Journal of American Folk-lore, 15 (1903): 170-178. Mary Lasley (Bee-way-thee-wah) was the daughter of Black Hawk.

18 Alanson Skinner and Satterlee, "8. Lodge Boy and Thrown Away," Folklore of the Menomini Indians, Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, 13 (1915): 337-342 [337-338].

19 Martha Warren Beckwith, "Myths and Hunting Stories of the Mandan and Hidatsa Sioux," Publications of the Folk-Lore Foundations (Poughkeepsie: Vassar College, 1930) #10: 1-116 [30-34]. Cf. another version in which the brothers are Atùtish and Mahash, who are themselves raised by the brothers Long Tail and Spotted Body. Mahash rescues his brother by turning into an ant. Washington Matthews, A Folk-tale of the Hidatsa Indians, 136-143 [136-139] =The Ethnography and Philology of the Hidatsa Indians, The United States Geological and Gographical Survey, Miscellaneous Publicatons, No. 7 (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1877) 63-70.

20 "19. Found-in-the-Grass," in Alfred Louis Kroeber, Gros Ventre Myths and Tales, Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History (New York: Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History, 1907) Volume 1, Part 3, p. 77-82.

21 Tall Bear, "139. Found-in-Grass," in George A. Dorsey and Alfred L. Kroeber, Traditions of the Arapaho (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997 [1903]) 341-350 [341-344].

22 Stephen Chapman Simms, "Lodge-Boy and Thrown-Away," Publications of the Field Museum of Natural History, Anthropological Series, 2, #19 (1903). See the two variants of this story in Timothy P. McCleary, The Stars We Know: Crow Indian Astronomy and Lifeways (Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland Press, 1997) 51-54, 57-60.

23 Francis La Flesche, Ke-ma-ha: The Omaha Stories of Francis La Flesche (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995) 75.

24 Ahahe, "12. The Deeds of After-Birth-Boy," in George A. Dorsey, The Mythology of the Wichita (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995 [1904]) 88-102 [88-95].

25 "2. Bead-Spitter and Thrown-Away," in John Reed Swanton, Myths and Tales of the Southeastern Indians, Bulletin of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 88 (1929): 2-7 [4].

26 Earnest Gouge, "Two Boys become Thunder," from Totkv Mocvse: New Fire, The Creek Folktales of Earnest Gouge, translated by Margaret McKane Mauldin and Juanita McGirt, edited by Jack B. Martin and Margaret McKane Mauldin (August, 2002), Story 15. Original texts taken from Earnest Gouge, Creek texts, with English titles and occasional English translations by John R. Swanton (Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives, 1906-1930) Manuscript 4930.

27 "5. Lodge Boy and Thrown-Away," in Swanton, Myths and Tales of the Southeastern Indians, 222-223.

28 Clark Wissler and D. C. Duvall, Mythology of the Blackfoot Indians (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995 [1908]) 40-44.

29 "Kanáti and Selu: The Origin of Game and Corn," in James Mooney, History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees (Asheville, North Carolina: Bright Mountain Books, 1992 [1891/1900]) Story 3, 242, 246-247.

30 "98. The Woman Who Fell from the Sky," in Jeremiah Curtin and John Napoleon Brinton Hewitt (collectors), Seneca Fiction, Legends, and Myths, in Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1918) 32: 460. Reproduced in Stith Thompson, Tales of the North American Indians (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1929) 14-17.

31 Erminnie A. Smith, "Infant Nursed by Bears," in Myths of the Iroquois, Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, vol. 2 (1880-1881): 49-116 [84-85. This is repeated in a shorter form in W. M. Beauchamp, "Onondaga Tales," The Journal of American Folk-lore, 6 (1892-1893): 173-180 [178-179].

32 Kickapoo Tales, collected by William Jones, trs. by Truman Michelson. Publications of the American Ethnological Society (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1915) IX:67-73.

33 Isabella Googoo Morris, "Ketpusyégenau," in Elsie Clews Parsons, "Micmac Folklore," The Journal of American Folk-lore, 38 (1925): 55-133 [56-59].

34 Woman Newly Made Chief, "Handsome-Boy and After-Birth Boy," in George A. Dorsey, The Pawnee Mythology (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997 [1906]) 142-147.

35 Thief, "Long Tooth Boy," in Dorsey, The Pawnee Mythology, 493-494, Abstract 40.

36 Leading Sun, "Long Tooth Boy," in Dorsey, The Pawnee Mythology, 494-495, Abstract 41.

37 Robert Bell, "The History of the Che-che-puy-ew-tis, A Legend of the Northern Cree," The Journal of American Folk-lore,10 (1897): 1-8.

38 "How the Half Boys Came to Be," in Alice Marriott and Carol K. Rachlin, American Indian Mythology (New York: New American Library, 1968) 102-115. Told by an unnamed Kiowa priest.

39 James Mooney, "Calendar History of the Kiowa Indians," Seventeenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1895-1896, Part I (Washington, D. C.: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1898) 238-239, Plate LXVII.

40 "24. Lodge-BoyandThrown-Away," in Robert H. Lowie, The Northern Shoshone. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History. Vol. 1, Part 1: 280-281.

41 Moses, "Txä́msᴇm and Lôɢ̣ôbolā́," in Franz Boas, Tsimshian Texts. Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 27 (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1902) 6-10 [10].

42 Ella Elizabeth Clark, Indian Legends of Canada (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1960) 2.