The Chief of the Heroka
retold by Richard L. Dieterle
A married couple with a young son and daughter lived in an oval lodge. The man was a great hunter, sometimes killing four deer a day, and occasionally even packing home a bear. He warned his wife about going out too far west to bring back fire wood, for in that region he had set out deer traps. The woman was very tired of processing all the meat her husband was bringing home, so she decided to spend the day gathering wood just where he told her not to. When he got home that evening, he found that his wife was missing. His daughter told him that she had gone out west of the lodge, so immediately he went hunting for her, and not far from the lodge there she was, hanging upside down with her ankles in the deer trap and her skirt hanging down. He joked with her: "You look really nice hanging that way." This embarrassed her very much. The next day the man went out to check his deer traps and found that the one that the woman had been in had failed to catch anything. Although he had forbidden her to go out that way, the very next day the exact same thing happened again, and he found her this time hanging naked upside-down in his second trap. He scolded her, but the damage was done: the second trap now would not catch any deer either. Since she was lazy, the woman liked this state of affairs very much as it meant a lot less work dressing the animals that he brought back from the hunt. The third day she did the same thing, and the man found her as she had been on the other two occasions, hanging from his deer trap. This time the man became very angry, and took an arrow out from his quiver and put it in his bow. His wife screamed, and the man exclaimed, "Woo! I almost shot you. Don't ever do this again!" So he took her down and reset the trap, but that trap never again succeeded in catching a deer. The next day the woman did the same thing to his fourth trap, and this time the man shot her dead. He brought her back and buried her.
The man told his children, "I shot your mother because she did wrong. If she had lived, she would have killed all of us. She had four brothers who will surely come to fight me, so I must leave to meet them. Just in case, you will have to go back to the village where your brothers live. When I fight them, yellow clouds will gather in the west, and in the east you will see red clouds. If red clouds cover the whole sky, then I am victorious; if yellow clouds fill the sky, then they have killed me." He gave them a pail with a deer tail in it that had the virtue of regenerating itself every time it was placed back in the pail. The little girl set out to the east with her brother and the pail in hand. The children traveled all day and ate the deer tail at night. In the morning the clouds gathered just as their father had said. The two colors of clouds met at the zenith and by the afternoon, the red clouds had pushed the yellow ones away. This happened the second and the third days. However, on the fourth day the yellow clouds covered the sky, and the little girl said, "Brother, our father has been killed!" And she wept all day. That night she and her little brother slept in a grass lodge that she made. The next morning she got up, but she could not find either her brother or the pail. After searching everywhere, she finally gave up and went on towards the place about which her father had told her. As she was walking, she came to a creek that ran between sharp cliffs. Then, unexpectedly, a door in one of the cliffs opened, and she entered in. There she found all her older brothers living. She spent much of her time crying. When her brothers inquired as to the reason for her grief, she told them how she had lost her brother. One of them replied, "Don't cry little sister, he lives nearby. We have seen him ourselves. I will go over there myself and fetch him."
So one of the brothers set out for a village that seemed to contain nothing but women. It was these women who had snatched the boy and his pail. There he found his younger brother, but the boy refused to leave. "These women are my mothers, and they have my pail. Wherever my pail is, there I shall also be," he said. His brother tried to reason with him: "Younger brother, our mother is dead. Besides, these are not really women at all. They are berdaches, men who have taken up the skirt. Here is a way that you can prove it to yourself: feign illness, then tell them that the only way that you can be cured is to have them step over your face. Then you will see what I mean." That night the boy pretended to be dying, and in the morning told the berdaches that he had had a dream of how they might cure him. When he told him what they must do, it occasioned quite a discussion, but since they had no other children they were willing to do anything to save him. "Now," said one, "when we step over you with our skirts raised, you must close your eyes, for they say that when small boys see women's privates it gives them sore eyes." So the first berdache began to step over him, but hesitated. The others strongly reproved "her," so "she" made another attempt and reminded the boy, "Don't open your eyes or they will smart!" And when "she" stepped over him he opened his eyes quickly and saw a penis and two large testicles. Every time one of the "women" stepped over him he took in the same sight. When they were through, he got up immediately, and said, "I shall live. However, since some of you are about to have your menses, I must now go and bathe. I will have to take my pail with me, and eat on pure ground. My sudden sickness was caused by the excessive female atmosphere here." They replied, "You know, you are right." So the boy took his bucket and his leave of the "women." By the river, the brothers met the boy and were about to take him back, when they spotted the berdaches nearby and gave chase. Just as they were about to catch them, the "women" hid under leaves. The brothers could not find them, it was as if they had vanished into thin air. Thus, it is said that berdaches are the cleverest people, and would make the best gamblers. As they lay under the leaves they giggled and teased one another about this. Then the brothers heard them, and the berdaches sprang up and ran, luring the brothers on. The brothers caught their clothing and it was ripped off, so that they ran naked. Then they successful hid from them again. It is said that they are shameless, but that they want for nothing. They can even get men. This is where the šįąge (berdaches) originated, it is said.
The brothers all returned home and their sister was elated to see her little lost brother. Where they now lived was really a spirit abode. There their father had originally lived before he decided to come to earth to show people how they should live after the example of the spirits. One day, a brother spoke to the pair, "You are not as we are now. Your sister is about to have her menses, so you must go live among the humans. There is a village nearby — go there and ask for the hand of the princess in marriage. Now it will happen that there will be ten daughters of the chief, and one of them will look like a grandmother. This is not her reality. It is for her you must ask, and no matter what happens, do not waver." So the boy and his sister left for the village. When they came to it, they stood at its edge, and the young man, who was handsome and well dressed, announced himself as a suppliant to the chief. The chief had him brought to his great lodge in the center of the large village. The boy declared his intention to marry one of the chief's daughters. The chief was delighted: "I have longed hoped for a son-in-law. You may take your pick of my ten daughters — anyone you choose, you may have to wife." In a messy corner of the lodge was an old woman, very ill kept. It was to her side that he repaired. Her sisters teased them: "Look! Our grandmother has found a husband! Our mother will now have a father!" And they laughed a good deal at them. Then the old woman began to fix some food for her new husband. The sisters laughed and said to the young man, "If you want meat, your son-in-law can go hunting tomorrow." By this they meant their father. Her sister-in-law fetched some water, and they ate. Afterwards, she said, "Now if you will step outside, husband, I will fix the bed for us." Her sisters went to their own beds unable to suppress their mirth. The young man, however, was not looking forward to the sequel, for this old woman was really a mess. When he came back, there unexpectedly, was a woman of incomparable beauty clothed like one of the spirits. Her matting was made of pure wampum, as was the railing by her bed. They fell instantly in love with one another. As they lay there she told him of her sisters: "They are bad women: they have all been married before, but killed and even ate their husbands."
That night her mother cried out from a nightmare. Her daughters had great difficulty in waking her, and she was very reluctant to tell them about the dream for fear that some obligation might fall upon her new son-in-law. Finally the daughters got her to say what it was that she dreamt: "I dreamt that I must die, and the only thing that will save me is a feast made of a black otter that resides in the east at the corner of the earth." So her son-in-law went out to get it, and that evening he came back with the otter. He singed the hair off of it, then boiled it, since this is how she dreamt it. Then he stepped outside and shouted, "Hąho! Those of you who are above, and those of you who are below, you are invited!" The first to arrive for the feast was Turtle, who was not too complementary: "I always get anxious at these affairs, I mean ones where the feast to cure someone is for a person that is already well." The sisters scolded him, and ridiculed his appearance. Then the last to come landed from above with a loud voice. He was a forked man, one side of him being red. Turtle said to him, "Come over here and sit beside me, my friend." The young man, who acted as host, said, "This feast is being given as a sick offering, so we must eat it bones and all." "Ho," they said in unison. And so they ate it according to the ritual. Then they disappeared, having returned to their spirit abodes. The next day the sisters acted grief stricken and sat facing the wall and never uttered a word. His wife explained: "My mother has four brothers who live in the world above. They used to come down and help eat the husbands my sisters killed. The animal that you have killed is one of their dogs. That is why they act so."
Again the mother appeared to have a nightmare. Of this his wife warned him, "She is faking her every action. What she will have you do will be very difficult, but I will do everything in my power to help you." Again the woman pretended to keep the dream a secret on account of the burden it would place on her son-in-law, but again he ventured forth, this time for a black beaver who lived at the corner of the earth in the far north. When the woman saw it she wanted to make a rug out of its skin, but he said, "We had better not, as you dreamt that his hair should be singed, and if we do not do it thus, you could fail to get well." "Well," she said, "this will be fine if every time I ask for something my son-in-law knocks my mouth in!" She sulked and went back to her bed. He singed and boiled this animal as he had the last. Then he stepped outside and shouted, "Hąho! You who were invited are again invited, and you also from the earth!" And immediately Turtle came jingling up. He said, "I always feel a bit uneasy when this rite is done for someone who is well." The woman scolded him severely, and called him "homely" and "leech-infested." Then, with a loud noise, there landed the forked being who was red on one side. Turtle said, "Hąho, my friend, have a seat next to me." They were seated and now prepared for the ritual. The host said, "My grandmother dreamed last night and I have killed this animal for her. Spirits that are gathered here, this is a sick offering, so I ask you to eat everything, even the bones, that she might live." And they ate all that was set before them, even the bones. Turtle arose and spoke: "My friends we have completed what they say is the only truly sacred rite, the wiróše. It chews away pain, they say. And now we have been strengthened by the offering and the one who was ill is thus free of pain. So now let us take our leave." With this they returned to their spirit abodes. The women, however, were stricken with silence, so great was the grief over the loss of their dog. His wife said, "My mother has four brothers who live above, and the animals that you killed are their dogs. In the past they used to descend and help eat my suitors. If there is any way that I can help you, I will do my utmost."
Again that night the mother cried out in her sleep and tossed about in the grips of a nightmare. The girls woke her up, and asked her what she had dreamt. The mother replied, "I will not say, for if I did I would hate myself for it." But they kept urging her to tell it, and promised, "We will do what is necessary ourselves, no need to trouble our brother-in-law about it." "All right," she said, "I will tell it. There is a black beaver at the corner of the earth, if its hair were singed off and its flesh boiled, then such a meal would make me well again." Then her daughters acted concerned and said, "We had hoped that it would be something women could do, but this would be very difficult even for a man; but our brother-in-law has done this kind of thing before. Little sister, do you think your husband might be able to do it again?" "All she has to do is boil it," the young wife replied, "how difficult can that be?" That morning he ran north. Later they could hear two loud noises. When the sun reached the top of the trees, he returned and threw his pack down with a thud by the woodpile. The mother wanted to make a rug of it, but her son-in-law would not hear of it: "You dreamt that you would die unless we singed and boiled it, so we had better do as your dream commanded." This made her angry: "How do you like that, whenever I say something my son-in-law knocks my mouth back in." After the son-in-law cooked the animal, he went outside and called out, "All you spirits who were invited before from above and from below, you are invited again." Then Turtle came rattling up. He made a sarcastic remark about the feast, which made the women mad. Then there was a great noise, and the Forked Man came in through the top of the lodge and landed with a thud. Once again after the host's speech, they ate the boiled beaver completely, bones and all. Then they left. The women were very depressed at the loss of a second dog.
On the third night the mother had another nightmare. This time she said that in her dream she was told that there was a black wolf in the west and that if she boiled it, she would get better. By the same means, her daughters hinted that the son-in-law should go out and hunt the animal, but this time they had no indication that he would go until he actually left at daybreak. Not long afterwards they heard three loud noises in the west. He soon returned, and when the mother saw the fine fur on the wolf, she wanted to make a robe out of it. He steadfastly refused, and singeing off the fur, he boiled the animal. When the spirits came for the feast, they ate it bones and all. The women wandered out to a lonely place and cried bitterly, since he had killed their dogs. All along the plan had been that the animals would kill him, but he had turned the tables on them.
That night the old woman had a nightmare and tossed violently in her bed. Her daughters woke her up and pleaded with her to tell her dream so that she might feel better. She finally relented and told them, "There is a black grizzly in the south, if he is boiled for me, then I shall be well." The women asked, "Can our brother-in-law accomplish this for us?" He replied, "Yes, I will go. The spirits have clearly given her this, but ever since I came here, I have not gotten any sleep." The daughters asked their mother, "How do you feel now?" She said, "Now that my son-in-law has spoken favorably, the pain has left me." He set out towards the south at daybreak, and soon they heard in the distance four loud noises. Not long afterwards, when the sun was no higher than the tops of the trees, he returned packing the bear. He dropped the grizzly by the woodpile with a thud, and when his mother-in-law saw it, she said, "This would make a really good rug. I think if we made a rug of its hide, I would get much better." However, the son-in-law would not hear of it, and made an offering of it just as he had the others. Again he invited the spirits to the feast, Turtle arriving first and the Forked Man last.
Then the host announced: "Today my older sister will be married. Whomever she chooses from among you shall be her husband. Turtle leaned over to the Forked Man and whispered, "I have been saying for some time that she likes me, and have been thinking of getting together with her." When they were through eating, he rose up with his sister and the feasters lined up for her. He took her past each one and asked, "How about this one?" When she reached the handsome Wildcat, she paused as if to say something, but decided to pass on. Then she came to Great Black Hawk and paused again, but passed him by without saying anything. They came to Wolf, who was very handsome, and she nearly chose him. Finally, they came to the Forked Man. The brother asked, "How about him? Do you like him?" Just as she said, "Yes," Turtle thrust his head in front of the Forked Man. "There," said Turtle, "what did I tell you — it's me that she has a special feeling for!" Then Turtle took her by the arm, but the Forked Man was not to be set aside so easily. "See here, Turtle," he said grabbing her by the other arm, "she hadn't even gotten to you yet." They said angry things back and forth until finally Turtle drew his knife and said, "We'll cut her in two then!" On hearing this, she let out quite a scream, but Turtle thrust his knife with a loud crack into the lodge pole instead. Then he boasted, "This one has men with women's privates at his village! These people naturally begrudge me things, these effete men. I went there and cut one of them to pieces. I tell you of my victory, but take her anyway." Even though a man who has announced a brave deed is entitled to a gift, the Forked Man took his bride without a second thought, and the two of them ascended to heaven through the smoke hole of the lodge. Then they all went back to their homes.
The sisters were crying more than ever now, and accused the youngest of telling all their secrets. That night she told her husband, "You have accomplished many great things so far, but now it will become very difficult. I will do whatever I can to help you. Tonight she will challenge you to gamble with her, but it will not be her with whom you are actually gambling, but our four brothers who live above. It will be very difficult, but whatever happens to you, I shall be the same." When she had said this, she fell into tears, but he consoled her, "Don't cry any more, I have no fear of them and will emerge victorious." That night the old woman had another nightmare and the daughters had a hard time coaxing her to say what it was, as she pretended it would be too great a burden upon her son-in-law. Finally, she said, "I was told in my dream that I should gamble with my son-in-law in the wegodiwa game." He agreed, and she declared that her pains had subsided.
They lived by a river not far from a waterfall where the cliffs dropped precipitously, so it was at this place that they chose to play wegodiwa. As they were getting ready, Turtle and his older brothers showed up. Turtle declared, "Wegodiwa is the only real game there is. In my youth I was never defeated, but now I am old." The women hooted at him and yelled, "You won't be able to stick with her very long." Then they made obscene gestures inviting him to lick their private parts. Then the son-in-law's older brothers came up to help him in the game. The son-in-law's wife now produced a rope which she had carefully braided so that it would be unusually strong. She tied this to herself and dug in. Her husband tied himself to it, and sat on the edge of the cliff with his feet dangling over the edge. Turtle came up and dug holes in the cliff for his arms and legs, then locked arms with the young man. Then a noise was heard from above and the Forked Man landed with a thud. He was the brother-in-law of Turtle. Turtle greeted him and said, "We were getting anxious thinking that we might be playing wegodiwa without you." "Brother-in-law," the Forked Man replied, "even though I left at the same time as the rest of you, I am just now arriving here." He sat down next to Turtle and linked arms with him. The old woman walked around and shouted. As she was walking, she stepped right off the cliff and began walking in thin air until she stood right in front of Turtle and his friends. Then the old woman walked about with her daughters and they all shouted as they went. After that, they went back and sat down. The son-in-law was joined there not only by his spirit friends, but by all his brothers. Now the eldest brother walked about, even into thin air, and as he went he breathed, "Ahahe ahahe." Then his younger brothers joined him as he walked about, and they too made the "ahahe" breathings. The women said among themselves, "These are spirit beings."
Then the young men declared, "It is about time for the wegodiwa game." The old woman strode out in front of her son-in-law again, and turned facing him. As she stood in space, she took a deep breath and let out a loud sustained shout. Then suddenly from above came a roar and a gale force wind descended upon them. It struck the men with great force, enough that they could feel its suction as it went by. They let out a collective whoop and Turtle patted his mouth as he yelled, but the women cried out in anguish that the wind did not sweep away their opponents. Turtle said enthusiastically, "When it goes like this, I really love to play wegodiwa. But brace yourselves, as the wind will not be long in coming back." The old woman walked out in the air in front of them and howled mightily, and a tremendous roar came from above, only this time the wind was even stronger, powerful enough to raise them a little from their seats. The women cried out, but the men gave a war whoop. Turtle said, "Wegodiwa is such a pleasure when it goes like this, so hurry up and do another." Then the old woman stood opposite them in the thin air and gave a mighty shout. She was answered with a tremendous roar and a wind swept down on them like they had never experienced before. They were almost swept off the cliff by the force of the winds. Turtle patted his mouth as he gave a whoop. "I always like wegodiwa when it is like this. It's the only game I really enjoy." The women cried out in frustration and threw themselves on the ground, but Turtle told them, "Don't dawdle around! Let's have another round — this is such good fun!" Now the old woman gave a mighty shout, and from above came a deafening roar. This time a hurricane descended upon them. They held onto one another for dear life, but they were being pulled into the void. Finally they all were blown out into the air except Turtle, who hung on by his toenails. There they were, their arms interlocked, but blowing in the hurricane winds like a sheet, yet Turtle held them to the cliff with his claws. Turtle patted his mouth and declared, "Wegodiwa is my kind of game." As he hoisted them back to the top of the cliff, the women cried out in anguish. Just the same, the women said, "There, we have won the game." But suddenly there appeared on the cliffs four men, who were smiling, and the eldest scolded the women saying, "Why do you say that? You have never been humble with the great power that we have given you, and even used us to back your obscene gestures. Now you have gotten us killed." Then he turned to Turtle and said, "You have won fair and square. You may do what you will with us. I am not to blame for what they have done, as I forbade them to do it, but they went ahead anyway." The oldest brother spoke to Turtle: "I told my younger brother to ask your help since you were the only one who could succeed in this struggle. My younger brother listened to me — it is good. He is right, the old man, but he cannot be spared, as these are his children." "Hąho!" said Turtle, and turning to the youngest, he said, "Now, my friend, you may let them have it!" The one without horns (Heroka) stood on the water and gave instructions to his brothers. They were to pull their arrows back and forth in their bows and breathe out, "Ahahe, ahahe!" These are called the "Heroka breathings." Then they did it to them, pulling their arrows back and forth in their bows as they ran towards them making the Heroka breathings. Even though no one shot a single arrow, they all fell over dead. They burned up the bodies, after which everyone went home. The youngest, Heroka, became chief of the village. They were overjoyed to have him, as they had been made slaves and some of the villager had even been killed and eaten.
The chief was a very good hunter. He would drive a herd of animals into a clearing and there he would kill them all. He was a good chief. In time his wife bore him a little girl. Finally, the girl became old enough to get married. It was decided that only a worthy suitor would deserve her as a wife, so he pulled up a tall jack pine [inset] by the roots, stripped it of its bark, and planted it upside down in the ground near his lodge. In the roots, which were now in the air, although still covered with dirt, he built a lodge for his daughter. Just to make access to it as difficult as possible, he greased the bare wood of the tree. He told his daughter, "Whoever climbs up this tree will be your husband." When the crier announced the terms of her betrothal, a crowd gathered at the inverted tree. Many young men tried to climb it, but some people shouted and threw things to break their concentration, so the sun went down without anyone gaining the top. They put the ladder up for her and she returned to the ground. This went on for three days, but on the fourth day, at high noon, a stranger appeared. This man was forked: he had two bodies joined at the waist. A bystander explained to the Forked Man what was going on. When he understood, he immediately resolved to climb the tree. A great noise arose and everyone threw something at him, but he scaled the tree right off. When he got to the top, the princess called out, "Father, someone has come!" So her father brought them down via the ladder. He was very glad to have a son-in-law at last, and told his daughter, "It is good; but now you should prepare to leave with him, as I think he had not planned on visiting long." The young man was very thankful and said, "It is good. I need to return as my grandfather is very old and sometimes needs attention."
So they set out for his home. He instructed her: "Step very carefully into my first four steps, then you shall be able to go where I do." He began to ascend into the sky and she stepped out after him just as he had told her. They walked higher and higher into the heavens until they disappeared from view. As they continued to ascend, in the distance land became visible, although at first it looked blue. Finally, they came to a long lodge to which an oval lodge was attached. There they entered. Inside was an old man warming his back by the fire. The forked man said to him, "Grandfather, I have come home with a woman." He replied, "It is good, grandson! I used to take care of things myself, but now I am only able to do a little. It is good, daughter-in-law, that you have taken pity on us, and my grandson has done well to bring you here."
That night the husband went on a visit to another lodge. His laughter could be heard in the distance and much later that night he returned. In the morning he went out again. The woman herself went out and packed some wood back to the lodge which she used to build a fire. The old man was very thankful and said, "Daughter-in-law, it is good. To have a fire is what I desire most of all, and when the flames grow low I am uncomfortable." When her husband came home the woman had already boiled his dinner for him. The old man thanked her on behalf of his nephew. After eating, the husband went out visiting again, but before he left, he strictly forbade his wife to follow him. He did this because the old man said that he should. Again she could hear her husband's laughter in the distance. Late that night he returned. All that night the old man kept the fire burning so that by morning he had burned all the wood they had. So the next day, after her husband went out again, she packed back two loads of wood and made a good fire that pleased the old man very much. Twice more things went as they had before, and the woman sat looking into the fire and thinking to herself, "Why does he forbid me to go with him on his visits. If it was something bad, then he would not always be going there alone." As she was sitting there gazing into the fire, unexpectedly, there under the flames she saw what looked like a human head, and despite that fact that it had turned red from the searing heat, tears rolled down its cheeks. She felt pity for him. Suddenly, he spoke to her: "My granddaughter, you are about to kill me, a thing that the old man had not been able to accomplish himself since the day that he severed my head. Your father is my son, and my wife was this old man's sister. Because of what I did to their sister, her four brothers fought me, and I killed three of them, but this last one overcame me. He always asks you to build a good fire — he is trying to kill me, that is why he does that. Now lift me out of the fire, granddaughter." She opened a white buckskin and scooped his head out on to it. She took the deerskin with the head in it, and placed it by the wall.
When the Forked Man returned home he found his wife in tears. When he saw her thus, he said, "Why do you cry? If you don't like it here, I'll take you home tomorrow." She replied, "It's not that I'm homesick. Whenever I build a fire, your grandfather would always thank me very much. He did this because there was a human being in the flames, a person that you were trying to kill. I must have caused him untold suffering." Her husband was surprised, and declared, "I never heard of such a thing — I have not been trying to kill anyone." She reached behind herself and produced the bundle, and as she opened it he saw for himself that there was a human head inside. Unexpectedly, the head spoke to him, telling him in detail all that had befallen him. "There is no harm in your being together," he said, "since you did not know that you are cousins. Since you have grown used to each other, you should remain together." The Forked Man said, "I did not know anything about what my grandfather was doing. I often wondered why your face so much resembled my mother's. Now it is clear. I have seen our grandfather's living, headless body. When I came up to it, he felt me all over, and then he felt his own body. I went back to tell my grandfather: 'Grandfather, I encountered a man without a head, and his body was just like ours, so I wondered if he is not a relative of ours?' But he said to me, 'Grandson, stay away from him, he is an evil spirit and will harm you, so never go near him again.' So I stayed away from him, but now I see that he was my own grandfather." The next morning he confronted his grandfather and spoke to him in a stern voice: "Grandfather, I have found out about your roasting the head of my other grandfather in our fireplace. This is an evil thing. If you want to go on living, you had better find his body." The old man was very reluctant: "Grandson, I did not do wrong in killing him: he killed my sister. By now he has probably dropped over, so why not just forget it." "Either find him," his grandson retorted, "or I will kill you myself!" After these words, the old man grudgingly went out looking for the body.
The man and his wife began to prepare a sweat bath for their grandfather once they got his body and head back together. By the time that the old man returned with the body, they had gotten a stone red hot for the sweat bath. They laid the body down and put its head back on its neck, then covered him up. They poured the water over the stone, and soon the inside of the sweat lodge was full of steam. "Grandchildren!" he cried out from inside, "you have rescued me, but now you are going to cook me to death!" He spoke in this way for a long time, and although they felt great pity for him, yet they would not let him out for all his pleading. Suddenly, it grew silent. The girl became alarmed: "We have killed our own grandfather!" she cried; but from within they could hear him blowing upon himself. Finally, he said, "Now then, grandchildren, I am done." Then they let him out, and he emerged whole and complete. "It is good, grandson!" he said. It happened that just then his daughter came by, and they were overjoyed to see one another again, especially as she had given him up for dead. When her son came back in with the old man, she said, "Father, whatever you say, this one has done a great wrong." "Yes," her son added, "he has caused you to suffer very much, grandfather. Do as you will with him." The resurrected man said, "Brother-in-law, you have caused me much suffering. Nevertheless, I shall not kill you; however, from now on people shall call you an owl." Suddenly he flew off as an owl, hooting as he winged his way skyward. Then the grandfather spoke: "My children, you have married among one another and have come to know the other's body, so it is too late to turn back now. Therefore, continue on as you have. I shall go see my sons and I shall bring your mother back to life."
Now the mother's nephew or grandson was one and the same as her son-in-law, and Heroka's sister's son (Forked Man 2) married his own hičųjąk (niece). Her son became her own hišike. He did this because that is the only way he could live. The grandfather went to where he had killed his wife and brought her back to life again. He brought her back to the Heroka village and announced that he would stay there with his children. The women went back up above where the Forked Men dwell. The grandfather is the Chief of the Heroka, and he rules over their village on the Wisconsin River which is called Nįjįra ǧaǧará because they sat on the edge (Necide, Wisc.). It is on that hill (where they played wegodiwa) that the village lies. His son is the chief of the Little Children Spirits who have the same power as the Heroka. The Heroka never miss anything with their arrows, yet the Little Children Spirits are a bit more wákąčąk (holy) than the Heroka. Thus, the chief of the Heroka was killed, but he caused Those who Make Themselves Children to live again — therefore, he is more wákąčąk even than they are.
This waiką is true, and the places where these events took place may be seen even to this day. And, hąhą, it is the end.1
Commentary. "too far west" — in the astronomical code, which will be developed below, this alludes allegorically to the place where the stars set. As will be argued below, she is the Pleiades.
|A White-Tailed Deer Flagging|
|D. Gordon E. Robertson|
"hanging upside down with her ankles in the deer trap and her skirt hanging down" — as we are able to learn at the end of the story, the husband is the Chief of the Heroka. In the story "Redhorn's Sons" we learn that it is Redhorn who bears this title. Therefore, Redhorn is the husband in this story. In a variant of this story, he is known as "Redman." Redhorn is Įčorúšika, "Wears Faces on His Ears," who is the central "belt" star, Alnilam (ε Orionis) in the constellation Orion. This gives Redhorn, the Chief of the Heroka, a role to play in astronomical allegories. In this instance, that role is bound up with a nearby star cluster, the Pleiades. In Classical Greek myth, Orion pursues Pleione with a view to raping her, but she escaped by changing into a dove (peleiades). It seems that the Pleiades are functioning here as the Hočąk Orion's wife. For the Hočągara the bright white patch in the sky that marks the Pleiades is not a flock of doves, but a Čašįč, "Deer Rump," the white patch on the posterior of the white tail deer. Naturally, this white patch is covered by the tail, whose anterior side is the same brown tone as the rest of the animal. When this deer is pursued, it lifts its tail straight up in a maneuver known as "flagging." This exposes the underside of the tail as well as the rump, both of which are a bright white. The white "flag" is an expression of alarm at the approach of a predator.2 As the Pleiades move from east to west in the sky, they rotate so that they end up nearly upside down. So in the myth when the wife reaches the traps in the west, she is snared and turned upside down. When this happens, she does the human counterpart to flagging — her skirt raises in relation to her orientation and her rump is exposed. There can be little doubt that this is a human analogue to the ča-šįč, and that the woman is playing the astronomical role of the Pleiades. A white deer flags when it flees, so the husband (Redhorn) as a star in Orion is chasing after a fleeing deer, a situation reflected in the fact that the wife went ahead of him to his western traps, after which he followed to the same place. In the end, just like a deer, he shoots her as she hangs upside down. The Pleiades disappear from the sky just before Orion does. Just as in the myth, soon after she is killed, her husband follows with his own demise, again as happens in the sky with the stars of Orion.
"embarrassed" — when the Pleiades hang nearly upside down, they do so near the horizon at sunset, so the Pleiades blush red in the light of the same color.
"the one that the woman had been in had failed to catch anything" — when women handle paradigmatically male implements, at least when they are menstruating, they will "kill" them, that is, render them ineffectual. This is apparently what has happened in this case. We are being invited by the context to infer that the woman was menstruating.
"the man shot her dead" — we may consider this to be a disproportional response until we reflect on the fact that the woman was driving her whole family into starvation.
"mothers" — the birth mother as well as her sisters were all hiųni, although an aunt could be specified by hiųni-nįk, "little mother."
"some of you are about to have your menses" — this episode reduplicates most of the elements of the deer trap episode.
|Common Elements||Deer Trap Episode||Berdache Episode 1||Berdache Episode 2|
|The male is a source of limitless meat.||The husband is a source of limitless meat.||The boy has a source of limitless meat.||-|
|The food is venison.||He traps deer.||It is a self-regenerating deer tail.||-|
|The women wish to acquire (vs. lose) the limitless source of meat.||She wishes to lose the limitless source of meat.||They wished to acquire the limitless source of meat.||-|
|The woman is caught by the male, vs. the male is caught by the women||The husband's deer trap snatches up the woman.||They snatch up the boy and his pail.||The brothers snatch off the clothes of the berdaches, but cannot catch them. "They can even get men."|
|The male tells the women (not) to do something that they would (not) normally do.||He tells her to not to do something she might normally do.||He tells them to do something that they might not normally do.||-|
|The women's actions could endanger the male.||The wife's actions could lead to the ruin of the traps.||The women's actions could make the boy's eyes sore.||-|
|The women decide to perform an act of pollution on a male.||The wife decides to pollute her husband's traps.||The berdaches decide to do something that might be an act of pollution||-|
|The male catches the women in something designed to be a subterfuge.||The wife is caught in a trap.||The berdaches are caught in a trick.||The brothers catch only the berdaches' clothing.|
|The male encourages (or discourages) the women in the activity.||The husband discourages his wife from the activity.||The boy encourages the women in the activity.||-|
|The women are suspended in mid-air (or concealed under foot).||The wife "jumps" into the air from the action of the deer trap.||The berdaches jump over the boy.||The women hide under leaves.|
|The women have an orientation that is the opposite from the ordinary one.||She is upside down.||They have genitals of the opposite sex.||They are berdaches.|
|The women raise their skirts.||Her skirt is raised upside down.||They raise their skirts.||The women lose their clothes.|
|The women's privates are exposed.||Her privates are exposed.||Their privates are exposed.||They run about naked.|
|The male sees the women's privates unexpectedly.||The man sees her naked and jokes about how she looks.||The boy sees their privates and discovers that they are males.||The brothers see their nudity.|
|The women are (the opposite of) embarrassed.||The wife is embarrassed.||The berdaches are embarrassed.||The berdaches are amused and giggle. "They are shameless."|
|Menstruating women cause the male's hunting implements not to work.||The traps no longer work (because she is menstruating).||Some of them are menstruating, so he must bathe. His eyes were not suppose to work (to be "sore").||The berdaches hide and cannot be seen by their pursuers|
|The male loses (vs. regains) his source of venison.||The man looses his source of venison.||The boy runs away with the kettle and the deer tail.|
|The brothers (of the male vs. female) come after the offender (male vs. female).||The woman's brothers come after the husband.||The boy's brothers chase after the berdaches.|
Most of this episode is missing in the otherwise corresponding tale "The Red Man." These parallels suggest the notion that berdaches represent a solution to the menstruation problem. These episodes also involve tricks that take advantage of their opponent's trickery: the trap is designed to trick deer into being caught, but the wife tricks the husband with the tricking implement by creating the illusion that it is an accident, when in fact it is designed to reduce his power to bring home venison. The berdaches think they are tricking the boy when they tell him that seeing their privates will make his eyes sore, but in fact, the boy is tricking them into revealing their true sexual identity to his eyes.
"the best gamblers" — no doubt the gambling game that the raconteur has in mind is the moccasin game. Radin has this to say about the game:
One of the favorite games of the Winnebago. Five men took position directly opposite their opponents. Between the two rows of players, in front of each man was a receptacle, generally a moccasin, in which a small object was secreted. The sides in turn guessed in which moccasin it was secreted. The guesser pointed in turn with a long stick to each moccasin, all the time carefully scrutinizing the expression on the face of each man whose moccasin he touched. The bystanders and the other players on his side meanwhile sang songs and made all sorts of remarks and allusions in an attempt to catch off his guard the man in whose moccasin the object was secreted, so that he might disclose the fact by some gesture or expression. The person guessing had the right to touch each moccasin without forfeiting his chance. As soon as he wished to guess he overturned with his stick the moccasin in which he thought the object was hidden.3
The story suggests that berdaches are very skilled at hiding their masculinity, and therefore would be good at hiding anything else about themselves.
"your son-in-law" — the old woman is being represented as their grandmother, that is, their father's mother. The humor in this absurdity is that the young man presented himself as a candidate for the chief's son-in-law, but given his choice, now the chief himself will become the young man's son-in-law. This is an instance of a generational version of the upside down theme that recurs throughout this story. The reference to hunting is in the context of the son-in-law service, in which the son-in-law is morally obligated to render service to his father-in-law for a period of time. In this inversion, the chief would have to go hunting in service of the young man.
"a forked man" — from what is said in other sources, he is a man who has two bodies joined together at the hip. It is highly likely that among other things, he symbolizes the bow. The Forked Men marry into the Heroka, who are spirits of the arrow. They are intimately related to them (they are both made of wood, for instance).
"one of their dogs" — among the Hočągara, dogs were often treated as if they were a kind of human being, even eating with the family. They were used as sacrifices, most importantly in response to sickness, where they acted as messengers to Disease Giver. To say of another animal that it is "their dog" is to suggest that it has this same intimate relationship with the human family. That it was killed for the sake of curing an illness shows that it functioned exactly like a dog, which is to say, as a substitute for a human sacrifice. In the variant myth, The Red Man, the "dogs" that are killed are in reality alligators.
"rattled up" — Turtle is usually described as making a jingling sound as he approaches because he has small bells sewn to his leggings; but this story reverts to what must have been the more ancient notion: that Turtle had rattles tied to his leggings, since this waiką says that he "rattled" up to them.4 A man who is sent as a messenger to challenge someone to a contest always shakes a rattle as he goes. Turtle, as the inventor of war, is the challenger par excellance, and therefore always rattles wherever he goes.
"whomever she chooses from among you shall be her husband" — this same episode is found in The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth. There the daughter of Heroka is the prize of the greatest warrior, so Wolf carries her off in his quiver, although not without a challenge from Turtle. All the Heroka have a mystical identity with the arrow, so it is not surprising that she marries the Forked Man who most likely symbolizes the bow.
"thrust his knife with a loud crack into the lodge pole" — this is an abbreviated form of a ritual generally known as "striking the post." This is described in some detail by Belden.
STRIKING THE POST. Whoever has observed the varying phases of Indian society, as it exists both in the forests and in the plains, must have become sensible that the feature of military glory constitutes the prime object of savage attainment. It is not, indeed, such glory as is gained among civilized nations at the cannon's mouth, or in charging the enemy in well-drilled squadrons, but it is none the less gratifying to the savage hero. There are no walled towns to batter down or moats to scale, but the object to be attained is the same, viz., that of renown. It is to prove that one set of men are braver or stronger than another. The civilized warrior receives a badge of honor, and the Indian is content to wear an eagle's feather in his hair which marks him as a brave man to all his tribe. His step is proud, and his satisfaction for the honor as great as that of any civilized warrior.
Charles Deas Striking the Post
One of the principal means of cultivating a heroic spirit in the Indian is the public assemblage for reciting deeds of bravery done in the tribe. For this purpose a post is erected on some eligible spot where the whole village can observe the ceremony. This post is painted red, the usual symbolic color of war. Music is provided by the Indian drum and rattles, and by having present a corps of singers. After a few preliminary flourishes, a sharp yell gives notice that one of the warriors present is about to recite his exploits. The music immediately ceases, and he receives the most profound attention of the assemblage. Dressed out in his finest robes, and wearing all his marks of war and honor, the warrior steps forward and, with his club or lance, strikes the painted post, He then recites, with all the enthusiasm of an orator, his deeds, accompanying every word with appropriate gestures and actions, and when he has finished his recital all the warriors join in yells of victory and defiance. The music then recommences, and is continued until some other warrior signifies his willingness to tell of his deeds. Hours on hours are thus employed, and the music and singing is continued until all who wish have spoken. Striking the post is the forest school in which the young boys learn their first lesson of war. They are always seen in large crowds at the ceremonies, eagerly drinking in the words of the speakers, and their stories fill their youthful bosoms with an ambition that is never satisfied till they have torn the bloody scalp from the head of an enemy.5
"this one has men with women's privates at his village" — this appears to be a case of Turtle getting it wrong again. He is thinking of the berdaches who appear to be Little Children Spirits, and are men in the guise of women. Turtle is always calling other men "womanish," yet it seems that he thinks of these berdaches as being real women who are just rather manish. At an esoteric level, however, the Forked Man himself is symbolically a bow, and so as a hunter and warrior, he is male in his actions, but he receives an arrow in his "womb," and it is only by this process that he is able to bear fruit. So the bow is like a man with woman's privates.
"wegodiwa" — this appears to be a foreign word, perhaps Menominee. Once it is written as regodiwa. An alternance of /r/ and /w/ is not found in Hočąk.
"obscene gestures" — the text says, "They made the motion of 'lick my privates'. Then the Turtle said, 'What a thing you threw at me. Those are ones that I had refused, that you are using to motion with.' And again they hooted at him. The women's motions that they were making were with their privates, it is said. Thererfore it is an insult. If a woman does that to a man, he would get very angry. You are not even equal to this, is about what they mean. Therefore, if a man was thus treated, he gets very angry because he is told that he is not even as good as a bad thing. Therefore a motion of that kind, is an insult. Therefore if a woman would now do this to you, it is with her private that she makes the motion. Therefore, 'My privates I begrudge you as you are not equal to it,' this is about what it means. Therefore, in the beginning they did not use to do that to men. If one did do that to a man, he would split her fingers open because she had done a bad thing. And if they hoot (héwą) at him it means the same thing." In a parenthetical remark at the top of the page (in the same hand), it is said, "When a woman draws her hand back upon her arm and swings it in place again with 2 fingers extended, it means 'lick my privates'."6
"even though I left at the same time as the rest of you, I am just now arriving here" — first Turtle arrives, his claw being the arrowhead; then the brothers arrive, as they symbolize the arrows themselves; then the Forked Man is always last to arrived, since he is the bow. Turtle, as the arrowhead, is appropriately married to one of the females of the Forked Man's clan, making him a brother-in-law. That the arrowhead is married to the bow is appropriate enough, but of course Turtle shows the greatest interest in marriage to the Heroka yųgiwį (princess), which is the marriage of arrowhead to arrow shaft. However, the bow claims this arrow (as most types of Hočąk arrows don't have a head).
"Turtle held them to the cliff with his claws" — that Turtle saves the Heroka from destruction through the power of his claws is an interesting metaphor, since the Heroka are spirits of the hunt who have a mystical identity with the arrow. The Hočąk arrowhead is a turtle claw, and Turtle's claw is said to have been the first of these.
"the one without horns" — this is precisely what the name Heroka means. What is the horn which Heroka is missing? The Heroka are the spirits of the arrow, so its horn (he) should be the arrowhead. This was sometimes made of deer antler, so the head of an arrow was often literally a horn. The cedar arrow is described in The Brown Squirrel as "a red projecting horn," so the whole arrow can be called a "horn." When Redhorn as Orion's belt star falls below the horizon, it is also in conjunction with the sun, so when the three belt stars, which look together like an arrow, fall below the horizon, the sun lights up the waters into which they descend. In The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, it is when Heroka takes off his horn that the waters catch fire. This should be the same image in different language. So at that point the whole arrow is lost. This image is also repeated in Įčohorucika when Man Heads as Earrings burns the palace of the Waterspirits with a flaming log. The war arrow, the mąįsura, does in fact have no head, but is just a sharpened wooden projectile, a "red horn" when made of cedar.
"this tree" — the man destined to climb this tree, the Forked Man, is symbolic of the bow. The jack pine is a tree full of bows. The pine needles and the pine cones in this species are bow-shaped. In the story, this tree, like the bow itself, is stripped of its bark. In Hočąk, genealogy is likened to a tree, so that the word for "descendants," rejų, also means "roots." The Forked Man is marrying his brother-in-law's daughter, so the generations have become switched, which is symbolized by the inversion of the tree. The Forked Man's father is her grandfather; his sister is her mother. Since the daughter of Heroka is of the younger generation, she is situated among the rejų, here literally the roots of the tree. The closeness of the relationship is expressed in another way using the model of the genealogical tree. In Hočąk, waíxa means, "branch, tributary, distant family relation." All the branches have been stripped from the tree, so that it is essentially a pole with roots at its summit. This signifies that the "root," the daughter of the chief, will not be approached by a waíxa, but by a close relative. Normally the seeds of the jack pine fall towards its roots, but here the seed must go the wrong way to reach the roots (descendants). A whole series of Hočąk homonyms apply here. To marry (kanąk) the woman, he who is the fruit of the tree (kanąk), must be placed (kanąk) in the roots above. (For pole climbing, see Comparative Material below.) The anomalies of kinship are also evidenced in the marriage itself. In Hočąk marriages, with the exception of the Wolf Clan, the couple must be from different moieties. One must be from the Earth Moiety and the other from the Upper Moiety. The daughter of Heroka seems to be from the Earth Moiety, and since the Forked Man lives in the heavens, he clearly must be classified as a member of the Upper Moiety. Yet in the inverted genealogy-tree, the dualistic jack pine, she is in the upper air, and he is on the ground trying to reach her. The Lower Moiety is up and the Upper Moeity is down. It is a marriage made in heaven between the spirit of the bow (the Forked Man) and the spirit of the arrow (the female Heroka). Yet the arrow is paradigmatically male with its phallic shape, and the bow, as a curvaceous receiver of the arrow, is like the vagina and therefore paradigmatically female. Yet in the bow lies the strength and power, whereas the arrow is completely passive. With the tree pulled out by the roots with the dirt adhering to them, the daughter of Heroka must be seated on earth. She becomes an odd reflection of Earthmaker (Mą’ųna), who awakens at the beginning of time, seated on something, yet high above in the heavens. Most versions of the creation myth say that Earthmaker took some of what he sat upon and made the earth from it. The woman, as a spirit of the arrow (mą), sitting upon the earth (mą) of the heavens, is an image of the Creator, at least in part because the arrow, by homonym as well as its properties, is Time (mą), the creator and destroyer of all worlds.
"now you should prepare to leave with him, as I think he had not planned on visiting long" — normally a son-in-law would be expected to engage in son-in-law service, during which time he hunts game for his in-laws. This may last until he has a child who has matured to infancy. The reason that he violates this normal tradition is that he bears an impossible relation to his mother-in-law, at once her hičųge and her wadohoči. For the social impossibility of this relationship, see below.
"his nephew" — in a Crow-Omaha kinship system like that of the Hočągara, the nephew and grandson are denoted by a single term, which in Hočąk is hičųšge. It is actually the grandson that is meant here.
"the mother's nephew or grandson was one and the same as her son-in-law" — the mother being referred to here is the one who was killed by her husband, the Chief of the Heroka. Since she is the sister of the grandfather of Forked Man 2, she is the latter's aunt and he is her nephew. However, since she is the mother of the mother of Forked Man 2, he is also, therefore, her grandson. It is useful to tabulate the kinship anomalies —
|(Forked Man 1)/(wife of the Chief of the Heroka)||hičųšgé (son of a brother or sister; son of a paternal sister; son of a daughter or son; son of a son of a paternal sister or a maternal brother) = wadohóči (husband of a daughter; husband of a daughter of a brother or sister; husband of a daughter of a paternal brother; husband of a daughter of a maternal or paternal sister; husband of a granddaughter)|
|(daughter of Heroka)/(sister of Heroka's son = Forked Man 2)||hičųjąk (daughter of a brother or sister; daughter of a paternal sister; daughter of a son or daughter; daughter of a son of a paternal sister or a maternal brother) = hičą́wį (wife)|
|(Forked Man 2)/(sister of Heroka)||hišiké (husband of a sister; husband of a paternal sister; or husband of a daughter of a brother) = hinįk (son)|
The hičųjąk is the exact female counterpart to the hičųšge. What these relationships have in common is that they are at once joking relations and joking-prohibited relations. The "joking" in question is called jič, and to engage in the joking relation is hįrajič. Jič means, "to tease, show disrespect, court." The joking relation obtained for one's father's sister's children, mother's brother's children, mother's brothers, sisters-in-law, and brothers-in-law. Radin tells us, "In the two cases last named not only was a man permitted to joke with those relatives but he was supposed to do so whenever he had an opportunity. Under no circumstances were any of these individuals supposed to take offense. This relationship was of course reciprocal."7 Marriage to any joking relative was considered incest with the sole exception of the sister-in-law, although such a marriage might be considered improper on other grounds.8 So the marriage of the daughter of Heroka with Forked Man 2 would be considered incestuous, since she is his hičųjąk, a joking relation to him. This means that her mother, who is the sister of Heroka, has a preposterous joking relationship with her own son. But her mother, the wife of the Chief of the Heroka, has the most preposterous relationship to her son-in-law (Forked Man 1). Since he is her hičųšge, he should have a strong joking relationship with her, but as her son-in-law he actually should bear the very opposite of this relationship. A man is not even suppose to talk directly to his mother-in-law, let alone tease her. Socially, this relationship, of being at once a hičųšge and a wadohoči, is a complete contradiction and impossible to sustain.
"the grandfather is the Chief of the Heroka" & "his son is the chief of the Little Children Spirits" — and therefore eponymously, he is Heroka himself. We know from Redhorn's Sons, a version of the Redhorn Cycle, that he is one and the same as Redhorn. There it is said, "'Without Horns', they call certain beings, he was their chief; his sons were the chiefs of beings called 'Childish People', they say."9 In The Red Man, which is another version of this story, the Red Man is the same as the grandfather in this story, and therefore, the Red Man is also the same as Heroka, that is, Redhorn.
"Nįžįra ǧaǧará" — the name actually means "the shouting cliffs." In parentheses is "Necide, Wisc.," a phonetic rendering of "Necedah." In The Red Man, the grandfather retires into a landmark known as Xešuč, "Red Hill," which is the old name for Necedah, a town lying on the Yellow River (Nizira, hence the name of the present town). The Nįžįra in the town's name is likely a pun on Nizira. The hill is now known as "Necedah Mound." It is only about 2 miles from there to the Wisconsin River. One of the tourist sites for visitors to Necedah is an extensive cliff escarpment on the west side of the Wisconsin River known as "Petenwall Rock." These sheer rock cliffs are the most likely site of the wegodiwa game and the village of the Heroka, given what we know from The Red Man. The inset at the left shows one of the cliffs of Petenwell Rock, here reproduced with the permission of Vertical Stronghold.10
"he caused those who make themselves children to live again" — the story ends with the statement that he brought the Little Children Spirits back to life — since the only people killed were his wife, her three brothers, and the losers of the wegodiwa game, it must be the latter who are the Little Children Spirits. His wife and her brothers belong to the race of Forked Men who are always associated with birds, her surviving brother having turned into an owl. So the wife of the son of the Chief of the Heroka is also a Little Child Spirit. She clearly demonstrates the propensity to change her age. The name of her husband, which is clearly given as Heroka, is on the face of it a source of confusion, since the chief of any spirit tribe also bears the name of that race, so his father ought also to be Heroka as well. We learn from the story Redhorn's Sons that Redhorn is Chief of the Heroka. His two sons are the chiefs of "Those who Make Themselves into Children," making one of them the same as Heroka. One of the sons of Redhorn is himself also called "Redhorn," suggesting a mystical identity across the generations. This is reinforced in the story Redhorn's Father, where Young Man is identified as Heads for Earrings, who everywhere else is Redhorn, but in this story it is his son who is called "Redhorn."
So the concluding denouement reveals the following character assignments —
|Grandfather who was killed||Chief of the Heroka|
|The wife of the Grandfather||Sister of the Grandfather of the Forked Men|
|Daughter of the slain grandfather||Sister of Herokaga and wife of Forked Man 1|
|Son of the slain grandfather||Herokaga, the Chief over the Little Children Spirits|
|His brothers||The Heroka spirits|
|Uncles of the wife of Herokaga||Little Children Spirits|
|Turtle's wife||Daughter of the grandfather of the Forked Men|
|Daughter of Heroka||Wife of Forked Man 2|
These relationships can be more easily seen on a genealogical chart —
Comparative Material. A Seneca story has many interesting convergences with our own tale. Two Little Men, an uncle and his nephew, lived alone together. As the nephew grew, he became a very proficient hunter. One day when he was out hunting he came across a full sized woman sitting on a log. She persuaded him to join her, and she told him stories until he fell asleep. She was a whirlwind. She transported him from one place to another, yet he was familiar with each, which impressed her with his range as a hunter. When she reached the waters of a lake, she tapped a half walnut shell until it enlarged into a canoe. They traveled to where she lived with her mother and three married sisters. "Welcome, son-in-law," said the mother, and with that they were married. His new wife warned him that the mother would try to test him. That night she had a nightmare, and declared that the Dream Spirit had told her that her new son-in-law must go forth and kill the great bear. So the next day he made a bow of a whole hickory tree, and shot the bear dead with a pine tree arrow. In her next dream, the Dream Spirit told her that the son-in-law must hold a feast and invite all the whirlwinds. She intended that the food should run short, and that her sons, the whirlwinds, would eat the little man. After he had hunted for enough food, he called for the whirlwinds to come to his feast. When the whirlwinds finished all the food, the little man danced and sang, calling for the lodge to become as hard as flint and to become white hot. The whirlwinds evaporated out the smoke hole. The little man's wife, her sisters and their husbands, all trekked off for the place where the little man's uncle lived. There his uncle, who had thought he had died, was overjoyed to see them.11
There are Indo-European parallels to the episode where the youngest Heroka marries a hag only to have her reveal her true beauty at the consummation of the marriage. In an Irish tale, Lugaid and his brothers are hunting a deer and are led astray. They find a well one at a time, but each refuses to do the bidding of the hag who gives out the water. Only the last does, and he becomes king.
In the Indian Mahābhārata 3.310-314 (Ganguli) [3.295 Critical Edition] the same thing happens to the Pāṇḍavas, only the pool is governed by a Yakṣasa who is Dharma in disguise. Yudhiṣṭhira proves his royalty by successfully answering groups of five questions.12 The youngest Heroka proves his power by performing four feats and by being on the winning side of the fifth: the wegodiwa game. He then becomes chief over the Heroka village.
The mother-in-law tries to get the young man to go to the ends of the world because she in convinced that the animal that she has sent him to kill there will prove to be his death. The most famous case of someone sent on a mission secretly designed to kill him, is Bellerophon in Greek mythology.13
The Nippising tribe has a good parallel to the pole climbing competition. As it says in the Jesuit Relations (23.215) of 1642:
A Pole of considerable height had been set in the ground. A Nipissierinien climbed to the top of it, and tied there two prizes, — a Kettle, and the skin of a Deer, — and called upon the young men to display their agility. Although the bark had been stripped from the Pole, and it was quite smooth, he greased it, to make it more difficult to grasp. No sooner had he descended, than several pressed forward to climb it. Some lost courage at the beginning, others at a greater or lesser height; and one, who almost reached the top, suddenly found himself at the bottom.
This was done in the context of a Feast of the Dead, culminating in the election of new chiefs, and the "resurrection" of those prominent men who had died in the past year by giving their names to the living.14
"we'll cut her in two then!" — this scherzo interlude looks very much like a parody of Solomon's famous decision (in the Hebrew Bible) in which he discovers the true mother of a child from the pretender by offering to cut the baby in two to see who tries to save her.
(18) And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house. (19) And this womans child died in the night; because she overlaid it. (20) And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. (21) And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear. (22) And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king. (23) Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living. (24) And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king. (25) And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other. (26) Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. (27) Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.15
In the Hočąk story we get the impression that saving the woman is not the primary consideration.
Links: Heroka, Redhorn, The Redhorn Panel of Picture Cave. An American Star Map, Disease Giver, The Forked Man, Great Black Hawk, Hawks, Owls, Redman, Turtle, Little Children Spirits, Wildcats (Bobcats), Beavers.
Stories: featuring the Heroka as characters: The Red Man, The Oak Tree and the Man Who was Blessed by the Heroka, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Little Human Head, Morning Star and His Friend, The Claw Shooter, Redhorn's Sons, The Origins of the Milky Way; in which Redman is a character: The Red Man, cf. Wears White Feather on His Head; featuring lilliputian people: Morning Star and His Friend, Iron Staff and His Companions, The Red Man; featuring the Little Children Spirits as characters: Morning Star and His Friend, Redhorn's Sons; in which berdaches appear as characters: Berdache Origin Myth, Trickster Gets Pregnant in which the Forked Man is a character: The Red Man, The Spirit of Gambling, Wears White Feather on His Head; about Flint: Hare Kills Flint, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Red Man, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Adventures of Redhorn's Sons; featuring Turtle as a character: The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Turtle's Warparty, Turtle and the Giant, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, Turtle and the Merchant, Redhorn's Father, Redhorn's Sons, Turtle and the Witches, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Trickster Soils the Princess, Morning Star and His Friend, Grandfather's Two Families, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Kunu's Warpath, Redhorn Contests the Giants, Redhorn and His Brothers Marry, The Skunk Origin Myth, The Hočąk Migration Myth, Porcupine and His Brothers, The Creation of Man, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, The Father of the Twins Attempts to Flee, The Spirit of Gambling, The Nannyberry Picker, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, The Markings on the Moon (v. 2), The Green Man, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Coughing Up of the Black Hawks, The Petition to Earthmaker, The Origins of the Milky Way; mentioning Great Black Hawk: Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Thunderbird, Waruǧápara, The Lost Blanket, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Redhorn's Sons, The Nightspirits Bless Čiwoit’éhiga; about bodiless heads: Hare Visits the Bodiless Heads, Little Human Head, The Red Man, Bluehorn's Nephews; mentioning grizzly bears: Blue Bear, Brass and Red Bear Boy, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Were-Grizzly, The Spotted Grizzly Man, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Roaster, Wazųka, Little Priest's Game, The Story of How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, Migistega's Magic, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother, The Two Boys (giant black grizzly), Partridge's Older Brother, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Dipper (white grizzly), Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, The Creation of Man (v. 9), The Creation of Evil, cp. The Woman Who Fought the Bear; mentioning otters: Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Fleetfooted Man, The Dipper, The Two Children, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Turtle's Warparty, The Origins of the Milky Way, Redhorn's Sons, Redhorn Contests the Giants, Kunu's Warpath, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, The Woman who Loved Her Half Brother, The Animal Spirit Aids of the Medicine Rite, The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men (v. 2), Wojijé, Holy Song II, Morning Star and His Friend, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́gad; mentioning beavers: Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp, White Wolf, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Dipper, The Animal Spirit Aids of the Medicine Rite, The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men, Turtle and the Merchant; in which wildcats (bobcats) are characters: Hare Kills Wildcat, The Choke Cherry Wild Cat, The Warbundle of the Eight Generations, Silver Mound Cave, Old Man and Wears White Feather; in which owls are mentioned: Owl Goes Hunting, Crane and His Brothers, The Spirit of Gambling, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, The Glory of the Morning, Partridge's Older Brother, Waruǧápara, Wears White Feather on His Head, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I, The Green Man; mentioning trees or Tree Spirits: The Creation of the World, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun, Visit of the Wood Spirit, The Boy who would be Immortal, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Woman who Became a Walnut Tree, The Old Woman and the Maple Tree Spirit, The Oak Tree and the Man Who was Blessed by the Heroka, The Pointing Man, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster, The Baldness of the Buzzard, Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb, Trickster Loses His Meal, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 2), Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Waruǧápara, The Red Man, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Blessing of the Bow, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, The Spirit of Gambling, Peace of Mind Regained, The Necessity for Death; about the founding of a village: River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake (Old River Bottom), Manawa Village Origin Myth (Manawa), Winneconnee Origin Myth (Winneconnee), Sand Pillow; 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 Birth of the Twins (v. 2), 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); mentioning feasts: Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (Chief Feast), The Creation Council (Eagle Feast), Hawk Clan Origin Myth (Eagle Feast), Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth (Waterspirit Feast), A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga (Mąką́wohą, Waną́čĕrehí), Bear Clan Origin Myth (Bear Feast), The Woman Who Fought the Bear (Bear Feast), Grandfather's Two Families (Bear Feast), Wolf Clan Origin Myth (Wolf Feast), Buffalo Clan Origin Myth (Buffalo Feast), The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits (Buffalo Feast), Buffalo Dance Origin Myth (Buffalo Feast), Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle (Buffalo Feast), The Blessing of Šokeboka (Feast to the Buffalo Tail), Snake Clan Origins (Snake Feast), Blessing of the Yellow Snake Chief (Snake Feast), Rattlesnake Ledge (Snake Feast), The Thunderbird (for the granting of a war weapon), Turtle's Warparty (War Weapons Feast, Warpath Feast), Porcupine and His Brothers (War Weapons Feast), Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega) (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), Big Thunder Teaches Čap’ósgaga the Warpath (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), White Thunder's Warpath (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Fox-Hočąk War (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), Šųgepaga (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (Warbundle Feast, Warpath Feast), Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth (Warpath Feast), Kunu's Warpath (Warpath Feast), Trickster's Warpath (Warpath Feast), The Masaxe War (Warpath Feast), Redhorn's Sons (Warpath Feast, Fast-Breaking Feast), The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits (Fast-Breaking Feast), The Dipper (Sick Offering Feast, Warclub Feast), The Four Slumbers Origin Myth (Four Slumbers Feast), The Journey to Spiritland (Four Slumbers Feast), The First Snakes (Snake Feast), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse (unspecified), Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts (unnamed); mentioning wampum: The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, Young Man Gambles Often, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), Little Human Head, Turtle and the Giant, Snowshoe Strings, The Markings on the Moon, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (v. 2), Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Blessing of Kerexųsaka; set on the Wisconsin River (Nįkúse Xonúnįgra): Turtle and the Merchant, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Lame Friend, The King Bird, The Green Waterspirit of the Wisconsin Dells, The Sioux Warparty & the Waterspirit of Green Lake (v. 1), The Chief Who Shot His Own Daughter, Gatschet's Hočank hit’e.
The story The Red Man is a variant of this waiką.
Themes: a girl grows up with numerous (nine or ten) brothers as her only siblings: Little Human Head, The Shaggy Man, Waruǧápara, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2); a woman abuses someone with whom she is living: Partridge's Older Brother, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Quail Hunter, Snowshoe Strings, The Red Man, Bluehorn's Nephews, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Were-Grizzly; someone kills his own kinsman: 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 Birth of the Twins (daughter-in-law), The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle (daughter-in-law), Snowshoe Strings (father-in-law); someone kills a close female relative for her betrayal of him or his uncle: Bluehorn's Nephews (mother); Waruǧápara (sister), The Red Man (wife), The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion (wife), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (wife); red as a symbolic color: The Journey to Spiritland (hill, willows, reeds, smoke, stones, haze), The Gottschall Head (mouth), The Red Man (face, sky, body, hill), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse (neck, nose, painted stone), Redhorn's Father (leggings, stone sphere, hair), The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father (hair, body paint, arrows), Wears White Feather on His Head (man), The Birth of the Twins (turkey bladder headdresses), The Two Boys (elk bladder headdresses), Trickster and the Mothers (sky), Rich Man, Boy, and Horse (sky), The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits (Buffalo Spirit), Bluehorn Rescues His Sister (buffalo head), Wazųka (buffalo head headdress), The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth (horn), The Brown Squirrel (protruding horn), 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); the red of the sky disappears when someone is about to die: Trickster and the Mothers (inverted), Red Man; head hunting: White Fisher, Big Thunder Teaches Čap’ósgaga the Warpath, A Man's Revenge, How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Little Priest's Game, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Young Man Gambles Often, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), The Dipper, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Porcupine and His Brothers, Turtle's Warparty, Ocean Duck, The Markings on the Moon, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Red Man, Thunderbird and White Horse, The Man with Two Heads, Brave Man, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Redhorn's Sons, Fighting Retreat, The Children of the Sun, Heną́ga and the Star Girl, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, The Were-Grizzly, Winneconnee Origin Myth; solitary children feed themselves on an inexhaustible boiled deer tail: Waruǧápara, The Red Man; children are given deer tails to eat: The Redman, Waruǧápara, The Birth of the Twins, The Two Boys; one small morsel of food when put in a kettle becomes sufficient to feed everyone present: Redhorn's Father (bean), Ocean Duck (bean), The Red Man (deer tail), The Raccoon Coat (kernel of corn), cf. The Lost Blanket (food > tobacco, kettle > tobacco pouch); the origin of the berdache: Berdache Origin Myth; hiding under a leaf: Įčorúšika and His Brothers; people being chased miniaturize themselves and attempt to escape by passing through to the other side of a leaf: Bladder and His Brothers, Įčohorucika and His Brothers, someone is abducted and led off into captivity: The Captive Boys, A Man's Revenge, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Lost Child, Wears White Feather on His Head, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Bladder and His Brothers, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Green Man, Brave Man, Šųgepaga, Hare Gets Swallowed, Hare Acquires His Arrows, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, Wolves and Humans, The Woman Who Became an Ant, Thunderbird and White Horse, Heną́ga and the Star Girl, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Traveler and the Thunderbird War (v. 5), The Boy who Flew, Testing the Slave; in a chase, a group of people lose articles of clothing as they run until finally they become naked: The Dipper; a repulsive looking, but holy person, is transformed into an attractive person after gaining the support (or rejection) of his or her lover: The Red Feather, The Skunk Origin Myth, Old Man and Wears White Feather; a spirit turns into a person of radically different age: Morning Star and His Friend, The Messengers of Hare, The Dipper, Old Man and Wears White Feather; Turtle jingles as he walks from the small bells tied to his leggings: Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, Trickster Soils the Princess; bad women ridicule Turtle for his appearance: The Skunk Origin Myth; somatic dualism: The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, Disease Giver, Bear Clan Origin Myth, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Red Man, The Forked Man, The Man with Two Heads; an old person informs a young man living with him that in a nightmare he was told that a certain animal should be killed and made into a Sick Offering for him or he would die: The Dipper; a woman states a good reason for hunting a particular kind of animal, but when it is produced, she attempts to make use of it for some other, self-indulgent purpose: White Wolf; a hero goes to the corner of the world and takes a black (or white) otter that lives there: Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Dipper; an orphan rises from obscurity to become chief: The Red Man, Partridge's Older Brother, The Red Feather, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Roaster, The Nannyberry Picker; lilliputian people with great hunting skills: The Red Man; walking on water: Bear Clan Origin Myth (v. 3), Bird Clan Origin Myth, How the Thunders Met the Nights, Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, Redhorn's Sons; men whose bodies are (partly) covered with pieces of flint: Bluehorn's Nephews, Hare Kills Flint, Hare Gets Swallowed, The Children of the Sun, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Red Man; a spirit is of a red color: Wears White Feather on His Head, The Red Man, The Man who was Blessed by the Sun; blowing upon a person: The Red Man, Redhorn and His Brothers Marry, The Two Children, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Man who went to the Upper and Lower Worlds, Aračgéga's Blessings; a chief gives away his daughter as a prize for achievement: The Red Feather, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Thunderbird and White Horse; Turtle wrongfully tries to take the chief's daughter who has been given (as a prize) to someone else to marry: The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth; Turtle has a sacred, double-edged knife: Turtle and the Giant, Turtle's Warparty, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Turtle; leaving for the heavens by rising up through the smoke hole of a lodge: The Markings on the Moon; incest: Hare Kills Wildcat, The Red Man, Snowshoe Strings; as a punishment, a spirit decrees that someone be transformed into an animal: The Skunk Origin Myth (skunk), The Brown Squirrel (squirrel), How the Hills and Valleys were Formed (v. 3) (worm), Old Man and Wears White Feather (owl), Brass and Red Bear Boy (grizzly), Waruǧápara (owl), Hare Kills a Man with a Cane (ant); an evil spirit is turned into an owl: Old Man and Wears White Feather, Waruǧápara; a spirit's "dogs" turn out to be another kind of animal: Old Man and Wears White Feather (human), Porcupine and His Brothers (frogs), Turtle's Warparty (frogs), The Red Man (alligators), Bladder and His Brothers (giant raccoon); in a game, one side uses wind to try to knock the other fatally off balance: Bluehorn's Nephews; a group of female spirits can command the wind to blow: The Dipper; having the power to control the winds and/or the weather: Deer Clan Origin Myth, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Bear Clan Origin Myth (vv. 1, 5), Blue Bear, The Gray Wolf Origin Myth, East Enters the Medicine Lodge (v. 2), East Shakes the Messenger, South Seizes the Messenger, The Dipper; spirits can be followed by stepping in their first four footprints: Waruǧápara, How the Thunders Met the Nights, Snowshoe Strings; a woman is forbidden to join her husband when he goes off to a place kept secret from her: The Markings on the Moon, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Man who Defied Disease Giver, cf. The Sky Man; a severed head (in a fireplace) is not dead: The Red Man, The Children of the Sun, Heną́ga and the Star Girl; a severed head speaks: Little Human Head, The Red Man, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head; a man continues to function without his head: The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Man with Two Heads, The Children of the Sun, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 1a), The Red Man, White Fisher; the reviving sweat bath: The Shaggy Man, The King Bird, The Red Man, The Dipper, Snowshoe Strings, The Old Man and the Giants; a man reunites the still living head and body of his relative: The Red Man, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Man with Two Heads, The Children of the Sun; someone returns from the dead: Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Sunset Point, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, White Fisher, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Shaggy Man, The Two Brothers, The Two Boys, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, White Wolf, The Red Man, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Waruǧápara, The Lost Blanket, The Old Man and the Giants; someone has an arrow that never misses its mark: Morning Star and His Friend.
Genealogy: The Forked Man (+ Chief of the White Cranes, Hįja Owl Spirit [= the bad grandfather], the Čaručge)
1 Paul Radin, "The Chief of the Heroka," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Notebook 33: 1-66.
2 Keith L. Bildstein, "Why White-Tailed Deer Flag Their Tails," The American Naturalist, 121, # 5 (May, 1983): 709-715.
3 Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 ) 73-74.
4 Radin, "The Chief of the Heroka," 31.
5 George Pfauts Belden, Belden, the White Chief; or, Twelve Years among the Wild Indians of the Plains. From the Diaries and Manuscripts of George P. Belden. Edited by Gen. James S. Brisbin (Cincinnati: E. W. Starr, 1875) 508-511.
6 Radin, "The Chief of the Heroka," 40-42.
7 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 85.
8 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 86.
9 Paul Radin, "Redhorn's Sons," Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3860 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Winnebago IV, #7a: 16 (117).
10 Vertical Stronghold. The climber took care to make no drill holes or even hand chalk in the rock.
11 John Bierhorst, The Deetkatoo: Native American Stories about Little People (New York: HarperCollins, 1998) 63-72.
12 This is discussed in Alf Hiltebeitel, The Ritual of Battle: Krishna in the Mahābhārata (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1976) 187-188, and the complex in chapter 7.
13 Carol Kerényi, The Heroes of the Greeks (London: Thames and Hudson, 1959) 82-83.
14 Jesuit Relations, 23.217; Robert L. Hall, An Archaeology of the Soul: North American Indian Belief and Ritual (Urbana & Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1997) 37.
15 1 Kings 3:18-27.