The Cardinal Points

by Richard L. Dieterle

The Cardinal Points are often treated as if they were among the Great Spirits, and offerings are frequently made to them,1 yet there seem to be no waikÄ… about them at all. The reason for this is that they are more commonly called "Island Weights" in stories. There is no universal agreement as to their identity, some saying that they are bears, others that they are Waterspirits or snakes.

In epic stories, directionality, or more properly, dimensionality, is expressed in the lives of the several Redhorns, who are usually treated as soteriological heroes.

Links: Island Weights, Redhorn, Sons of Redhorn, The Redhorn Panel of Picture Cave. An American Star Map.

Stories: in which the cardinal points are significant: The Deer Clan Origin Myth, Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2), The Story of the Medicine Rite.


1 Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1923]) 381.