Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins

(§7 of Sam Blowsnake's Twins Cycle)

Version 1


Hočąk Syllabic Text with an Interlinear English Translation


(251) Then they also went away someplace. They reached the Mississippi. They went downstream. (252) As they were going along there, there sat a beaver lodge. "Hąhó Flesh, there is a beaver lodge. Let's kill it," he said and he ran back. Then he said, "Flesh, let's sneak up on it. (253) Let's go around either side of this knoll. Let us try to drive it into the water. The waters still every time always run downstream. (254) If he does that, we will kill it," they said. Then they ran around it and came up from either side. They came on their hands and knees. (255) Every once in awhile in secret from somewhere there they would peep in. The little round hill which lies on the banks of the Mississippi, this one they came to. (256) Finally, when they got very near, they rushed for it. Then the hill began to make a very loud noise. The overflow of the waters was massive. They kept on going, chasing after him. (257) There, on the way, they killed it. They hauled it in to the bank there. "Flesh, it's a really fat beaver. At this time they are usually that way," he said. (258) A Waterspirit is what they meant. There they attended to it. They skinned it and there on the banks of the Mississippi where the steep cliffs stand, (259) there they used the blood to draw the Waterspirit. They used blood, they say it was Waterspirit blood. Then they did it. Again they painted a picture of themselves there. (260) It was of the Waterspirit and then the two of them standing there. They made them very large. Therefore, also even now at this time they are visible. (261) Then they cooked it and it was said, "Flesh, it's been a long time since we've eaten. Sedulously and carefully, let us eat," it was said. (262) There they gathered up broken sticks and they ate there. And at this place where they did it, it is still visible even now at this time. The place is situated upstream. This is in the place of the Ioway. (263) And they had come back upstream to chase it down and did that. The place where the snuck up on that dead Waterspirit is also visible at this time. (264) The place where they went to sneak up on it is still hollowed out. And wherever they raised up, there are also visible. As they were traveling about the earth there, (265) they were going to stop and that they might know, so there that story is visible, that is why they did it. Therefore, in the early days the Hočąk people were then and ever there. (266) Yet at one time they were also truly there.

Now one of them, Flesh, said, "Let's go right away, my dear older brother," he said. (267) Then they started out, and as they came up a hill there, unexpectedly, something appeared there. They were afraid. "Hohó Flesh, this is what they used to call a rušewé. (268) It is one of that kind. So try and save your life," he said and ran. There the men stumbled over each other in their flight. He chased them. (269) "Flesh, it will not be like anything. If we cannot run away from it, what will we do? I don't know where we can hide. (270) I also don't know who could help us either. Again, I also don't know from whom we can receive help either, as even I am afraid," said Flesh's older brother. (271a) They fled all over the earth. There was no man to whom they could run for refuge. Even though they were the greatest ones, he was even then doing it to them. Shortly before they were going about the earth as two clever ones, (271b) but this time in turn they were the one who were fleeing. They again ran away over the earth. And also they were under the earth. There was never anything like this. They fled over the whole extent of the underworld. (272) Again when they had gone everywhere, they went up. They fled over all there was. There was never anything like this. (273) He really chased them. Again they fled above the clouds. There was no place that they had not gone over. (274) And these two men were the greatest who were made to travel over this earth and the heavens above. Again they were the greatest over which they fled.

And then they went to Earthmaker there, and there they entered. "Earthmaker, something fearful is chasing us. (275) Try to do something there. You are the only one. We should have fled to you for refuge. As far as the others, even we are afraid of it. Only you can tell one of them something," he said. (276) It was the older brother of Flesh who had said it. Then Earthmaker said, "Hąhą́ my dear children, I made him my servant. You did not do right. I had him do this on purpose. At first you were doing good. (277) You were killing bad spirits. You were doing it to what I did not make. That was good as they were abusing people. It was good that you killed such as these, (278) but you have gone beyond that. Again, I did not tell you to do anyone of these things. What you did, you did on your own account. You were really clever, but (279) you should not harm anything of creation, at least of mine, it is not right. You did something wrong. To begin with, you have killed many of my servants. (280) There on the hill with them, you have killed the featherless little birds. You have done this to these great ones. Thus you have done to them. They are called the "Divine Ones" (Thunderbirds). These, eho, were the children of the chief, to them you did this. (281) You have killed many good ones. And again recently, the last one has been killed. The Island Weight whom I made, he was one of them that you did this to. (282) Therefore, I did it (sent Rušewe) that you may not do it anymore. This is why I sent him. You have done other things. Many things you have done well. Only the two alone that I mentioned were not good. (283) Therefore, this I tell you, hąhą, you will live somewhere. And you may bless a human always from henceforth. Human-blessing is good. (284) Your actions have been great." Hąhą, and Flesh's brother said, "It is good." And they lie in a high hill in the east at the edge of the world, it is said. And there they are living now.1

The End of Sam Blowsnake's Twins Cycle



Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins

(§7 of Jasper Blowsnake's Twins Cycle)

Version 2

by Jasper Blowsnake


Jasper Blowsnake

Hočąk-English Interlinear Text


(39) And they came back to earth and they took their blanket and then they did it, they went down the Mississippi. There they said to a Waterspirit that is, "We'll eat this one." (40) When they killed it, it was at De Soto downstream from La Crosse, there on the opposite side downstream. They snuck up on it. One went crawling along the hills and then one came around from over the hill. And where the Waterspirit was, both, about then, used a post and they pounded it and chasing after it, they flushed it out. They went on chasing it downstream. "Flesh, try hard to do it. If he runs into the muddy water, it will be difficult. He will get away from us." They used arrows and they were shooting it under the armpits, but they didn't kill it. Now the one who has a stump for a grandmother did it. He went as the arrow that he shot and he pulled on the bow which went out with him. Now there he killed it. Where they had killed it, they inscribed themselves it is said. There they ate the Waterspirit. When they got done eating, they painted themselves. (41) Then they also inscribed the Waterspirit there.

And there Earthmaker did it, as they kept on doing too much. He caused a thing, a turkey, with hanging tassel (?), to go to them. They were afraid of it. "Flesh, beyond you is a rušewe, try and live!" He chased them over the face of the earth. Now then, as it was difficult, yet they still remembered where their lodge was. He chased them there. There they should be forever. Earthmaker did it for them this way. They would be there forever. Earthmaker made it this way. Even now they are there, they are still there. It is ended.2


The Twins Kill a Waterspirit

(§5 of Susman's Twins Cycle)

Version 3

collected by Sam Blowsnake


Hočąk-English Interlinear Text


(27) And Little Ghost (Wanąǧínik'a) said, "K'oté Flesh, there's a river flowing here, let's go there." Finally in time, they came to a big river. Little Ghost said, "I'm hungry. K'oté Flesh, if you go across the water, (28) I myself will be here, opposite. I'll hunt beavers." Then Flesh said, "I thought there might be a beaver here." And he hollered to Little Ghost, (29) "Come here! Look over there! I think maybe there's a beaver here." And he came over. After he looked, "That will be a good one. That's a beaver. Let's hunt around the edge of the water for where he lives." There they found the path. (30) "Here is where he probably lives," they said. So as they did this, they found out where they were. "Here he is. Flesh, if you wait at the head of the path, if he comes here, you can strike him dead. (31) Then I can make his lodge cave in so that he will come here." And he went to the top of the hill and he himself pounded away at a stick and made a club. Then he gave Flesh the club. (32) "Use this to strike him dead," he said. Then he went up to the top of the hill and pounded in the place where the beaver lived. Thus he did, and he ran to the bank. (33) The beaver came to where Flesh was standing, but he missed it and it got away. He arrived at the Mississippi and jumped in, then the beaver went back downstream. Going here, they went running after each other. Finally, they caught up and killed it.

(34) They took it out of there and making a woodpile, they cut the beaver in pieces with knives. One of them said, "My grandmother lives very near here, so I'll go over there." And he ran in there. A little later he returned. (35) He brought back a big bucket.

Then Little Ghost said, "Flesh, this is our last work. We will draw ourselves here so that the Indians will sometimes see. Then they used the blood of that animal and they drew themselves. (36) They drew themselves there on the perpendicular rock face that stood there. When they drew that animal, its body was long. The tail was very long. (37) When they wrapped the tail around the body, it went around many times. And its foot was like the foot of a lion. And its forefeet were made like eagle's feet. And it had a horn. The horn was shiny. And the mouth was like a snake's mouth. (38) Its tongue also had a stinger. And the forehead was like a man's forehead, and the eyes were like fire. And they made marks on the cliff. They used the blood, and (39) Little Ghost drew himself in front. There it stands. And Flesh also drew himself behind it. They stood on both sides. "Hąhą́ Flesh, that's that. Now we'll cook the beaver." (40) They made a fire and there they put the kettle. Once it was cooked, they used small branches to lift it out and they came in and sat on both sides and ate. (41) They put the soup there and, "Hąhą́ Flesh, hurry up, if we both eat as much as we can, if we finished it, that will do." And as they kept at it, it did not take long for them to finish it. (42) Then they stirred the soup up to cool it and then they drank it.3


Commentary. "at this time" — ca. 1912.

"the place is situated upstream. This is in the place of the Ioway. (Hiromą́hą nįge jereną. Tee Wahojirare.)" — identified by the translator, John Baptiste, in the interlinear translation as "North McGregor, Iowa," after which he adds, "it is north of that." McGregor (Ni'uičinąk) and its companion village, Marquette, are opposite Prairie du Chien. See the map at the end of Version 1. This is doubtless the painting that gave its name to Paint Rock in the nearby Yellow River Forest, said to be close to St. Joseph Catholic Church between Harper's Ferry and Waukon Junction, Iowa.4 "Located near Waukon Junction, Paint Rock Bluff was once an important navigational aide for riverboat pilots and a popular stop for early tourists along the river. Now obscured by weathering and vandalism, the painted symbols and rock carvings that gave the bluffs its name are believed to be sacred to early native peoples."5 W. E. Alexander writes, "And this brings us to the question of the Painted Rock, on Section 3, in Fairview Township. On the face of a bold cliff, facing the river, and some half way up the bluff, was at some time painted the figure of an animal and the word Tiger, with some names and other symbols. Judge Murdock said the painting was there in 1843, and looked ancient at that time; and, as far as we have been able to ascertain, the question of when or why it was put there, or by whom, has ever been a matter of speculation without a satisfactory answer. From various facts it is very evident that this was the point at which the southern boundary line of the neutral ground of 1830 touched the river ..."6 What had been labeled "Tiger" would be the figure of the Waterspirit. Note that the explorer Marquette referred to the Piasa painted downstream on the Mississippi as having "red eyes, a beard Like a tiger's" (see below).

In Version 2 by Sam Blowsnake's older brother, Jasper, it is said to be at the town of De Soto.

For another version of this episode, see the conclusion to "Bluehorn's Nephews."

"what they used to call a rušewé" — Radin has the following note: "rušewé = a man the skin of whose head is cut off and is hanging down over his face, which is bloody & fearful looking." This description matches the appearence of the turkey with its red tassel hanging down from its head. Robert Hall has something pertinant to this note:

Venus was the archetypal warrior. Xólotl's name survives even today as the root for the Mexican Spanish word for male turkey, guajolote, an aztequismo derived from the Aztec word huēhxōtōtl. This relationship of Xólotl to the turkey makes little sense until one considers the clue that in the southeastern United States the male turkey symbolized the warrior with the pendant hairy neck feathers of the turkey seen as trophy scalps and the turkey's gobble heard as a war cry.7

Elsewhere, the Rušewe is a Turkey Spirit, the chief of birds. The source of his status lies in the fact that turkey feathers are used in the making of arrows.

"yet at one time they were also truly there (higų žegųregi ške hija hisge 'ųnąkšaną)" — this sentence was not translated by John Baptiste perhaps because he was a member of the Native American Church and did not believe in the reality of the Twins.

"at least of mine" — the evil spirits were created by Herešgúnina, so they are free to destroy them.

"you may bless a human always"the Twins seem to start out as humans, but in the end, like the Greek Herakles, their herculean powers elevate them to the status of spirits with the power to bless people.

"De Soto" — the Hočąk name is Kaǧómąnį(jega), which is probably from Kagh-ho-mąnį, "Crow - the place where - he walks," where jega functions rather like the definite article; or if Radin's interpolation of is incorrect, then it would be analyzed as Kaǧ-homą, "the Crow's Nest." From 1820-1854, the area was known as "Winnishiek Landing," so called after the famous Hočąk chief. After the Black Hawk War, a trading post was set up at the present site of the village. De Soto was incorporated in 1886.8

"used a post and they pounded it" — a well known hunting technique of scaring out the game, although it is odd to think of a Waterspirit as mere game.

"it will be difficult" — the Hočąk for "difficult," wočexi-, forms a pun with Wakjexi, "Waterspirit."

"he went as the arrow" — in other words, he turned himself into an arrow and shot himself out with his own bow.

"they inscribed themselves" & "they also inscribed" — the word used by the translation is "imprinted," which suggests that they impressed their hands (etc.) into the stone itself; however, the other version says that they painted themselves, and this version says directly on that they "wrote" in the Waterspirit "also" (ške). It would seem that the proper concept here is expressed by the English word "inscribed."

"painted" — the body of the Waterspirit can be used for all kinds of medicines, that is, not only curatives, but concoctions of supernatural potency. It seems likely that we are to infer that the Twins made paints from the body of the slain Waterspirit. A further note is made concerning this painting in The Twins Visit Their Father (v. 3).

"tassel" — the translation has "tustle," a word that cannot be found in dictionaries thus far consulted. Apparently it refers to the flesh that hangs below the chin of turkeys.

"Little Ghost" — in all of Sam Blowsnake's published version of the Twins Cycle (version 1 here), the name of the cast away Twin is never given even once, as if it were a taboo to mention it. The name given to him by Radin, "Stump," is an elipsis for the description, "He who has a Stump for a Grandmother." The name used here, Wanąǧinįka, "Little Ghost," is attested elsewhere.

"a big bucket" — presumably, at an earlier stage of the story, this was a wooden bucket. It is interesting to reflect upon the fact that a wooden bucket is an image of the hollow tree stump which is said to be Little Ghost's grandmother, the very personage from whom he obtains the bucket. However, in this post-contact version, the bucket (reǧ) is made of metal and is used to boil the meat. A wooden bucket would have been used to merely contain the meat for storage and transport. In earlier versions, the meat itself would have been roasted on sticks. It is ironic that a Waterspirit suffers the fate of being boiled.

"they drew that animal" — the exciting thing about this description, which dates from 1938, is that it bears little resemblance the usual Hočąk concept of a Waterspirit, but the form that we see commonly depicted in Mississippian art.9 What is being described is not the Hočąk idea of a Waterspirit, but a genuine and very old painting of one.

The Hočąk Waterspirit itself seems to be a wingless version of the Illini Piasa, a kind of Thunderbird. McClintock viewed it as a Thunderbird, remarking,

The Illinois, now almost extinct, had a legend about the "Paieusen" or "Man-Devouring-Bird," which dwelt among the high cliffs on the Mississippi River, near the present town of Alton. Its effigy was carved and painted in large dimensions on the face of a perpendicular cliff overlooking the Mississippi River. Father Marquette gives a vivid description of it in the narrative of his voyage down that river in 1673.10

This too bears a fair resemblance to Sam Blowsnake's description of the Waterspirit painting by the Twins. For all we know, it too may have been of Mississippian age. It was first described by Father Jacques Marquette:

While Skirting some rocks, which by Their height and length inspired awe, We saw upon one of them two painted monsters which at first made Us afraid, and upon Which the boldest savages dare not Long rest their eyes. They are as large As a calf; they have Horns on their heads Like those of a deer, a horrible look, red eyes, a beard Like a tiger's, a face somewhat like a man's, a body Covered with scales, and so Long A tail that it winds all around the Body, passing above the head and going back between the legs, ending in a Fish's tail. Green, red, and black are the three Colors composing the Picture. Moreover, these 2 monsters are so well painted that we cannot believe that any savage is their author; for good painters in france would find it difficult to reach that place Conveniently to paint them. Here is approximately The shape of these monsters, As we have faithfully Copied It.11

Prof. John Russel gave the following description of one of the monsters:

I used to climb the rocks to look at the Piasa when I was a young boy. I have been within about sixty feet of it. The colours were always affected by dampness, being very distinct after a rain.. . . The picture was cut into the rock a half inch or more, and was originally painted red, black, and blue. It had the head of a bear, large disproportioned teeth, the horns of an elk, the scaly body of a large fish, and a bear's legs ending with eagle's claws. The tail was at least fifty feet long, wound three times around the body, and tipped with a spearhead thrust backward through its hind legs. The upper horns were painted red, the lower portion and head were painted black. The wings expanded to the right and left of its head, and the Piasa's body was at least sixteen feet long. Its head and neck were covered with a whiskery mane, and its body...covered with the three colours... In 1820, Captain Gideon Spencer came up the Mississippi River and saw the same picture on the rock. He asked the nearby Indians what it was. They told him it was the Stormbird or Thunderer, and that it had been carved there by an Indian tribe long ago.12

The supposed Illini legend of this stormbird was later discovered to have been fabricated by Russell himself. The conclusion of Bluehorn's Nephews has some further remarks on the painting described by Sam Blowsnake:

(104) Then Little Ghost said, "Say Flesh, here the people will roam and here they shall ever see our works. So here let us draw ourselves," he said. "All right! We shall do that," they said. After they had the food on to boil, they took some of the blood that was spilled over the ground, (105) and there they drew the Waterspirit. They drew his face round, and they drew its tail very long, and they drew its body very long. Then there they drew their own pictures. So there they have been seen lately, (106) and it was the work of the Twins. It is on the Mississippi River, just below La Crosse. There they did their last work, and this was it, and just down the stream from this are the Twins even now. This is the last story acted. (107) It is an act that was done lately and they were even among the people. Thus it is meant. Therefore, the blood that they pictured themselves with, some of it was scrap[ed] off and mixed with medicine because it was Waterspirit blood that they had used.13

This suggests that some of the vandalism of the painting was by the Indians themselves, who thought that the paint was endowed with holy powers.

"the tail was very long" — the tail represents flowing water that travels in channels such a rivers, streams, and springs. Most lakes, especially in Wisconsin, are fed by springs and even rivers. Lake Winnebago, for instance, is fed by the Fox River. So the Waterspirit of a lake is appropriately represented by a long tail.

"a lion" — the discovery of the lion was, of course, post-contact. In earlier versions of the story, the image would have been described as having the feet of a mountain lion, the nearest North American equivalent to the African cat.

"eagle's feet" — unheard of in Hočąk descriptions of Waterspirits, but common in Mississippian pictures.

"the horn"hera, "the horn," with the verb lacking a third person plural. It is unusual for a Waterspirit to have only one horn. All others described by the Hočągara have pairs of horns. This is yet another indication that the picture predates the Hočąk concept of the Waterspirit that has come down to us in recent centuries.

"a snake's mouth" — this has never been encountered in a Hočąk description of a Waterspirit, which is usually portrayed as having an anthropomorphic face and the body of a particular type of animal, but always with a long tail. The serpent-like face is typical of the more dragon-like Waterspirits seen in Mississippian art.


The two episodes of this worak are isomorphic:

General Elements Waterspirit Episode Rušewe
The Twins spot something in the distance The Twins spot something in the distance The Twins spot something in the distance
which they misperceive which they mistakenly think that it is a beaver, which they mistakenly think is something terrifying,
as being greater or lesser than it really is. but it is in fact a Waterspirit. but it is in fact a kind of turkey.
Crawling vs. running. They slowly sneak up on it They run from it.
Flushing out vs. being flushed out. and flush it out. It flushes them out.
Killing vs. being killed. They kill it. They fear for their lives and
They seek aid. Little Ghost gets help from his grandmother. find sanctuary with Earthmaker,
Their bloody deeds are recounted by or for them. They record their last accomplishment using the blood of the Waterspirit who recounts to them their wrongful deeds.
The Twins are associated to paint a picture of each other They leave to dwell
with a hill on the side of a perpendicular cliff in a great hill found in the east
where they are found today. that can be seen to this day. where they live to this day.

The Waterspirit that they slew is probably the Island Weight of the south, since they traveled in that direction before they encountered it.

This story bears some resemblance to Trickster Concludes His Mission, the conclusion of the Trickster Cycle.14 Their isomorphism can be set out on a table:

Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins Trickster Concludes His Mission
Twins are traveling over the whole world. Trickster resumes travels.
The Twins reach the Mississippi and travel down it. He travels down the Mississippi.
On the Mississippi, the Twins kill and eat a "beaver" It is in fact a Waterspirit. He killed and ate those spirits who obstructed the free passage of the Mississippi.
The Twins paint a picture of their hunt on the side of a perpendicular cliff with the blood of a Waterspirit. Trickster moves a waterfall to land.
When the Twins see Rucewé they are overcome with irrational fear and flee without stopping. Trickster ordered the waterfall to move, but it refused.
Little Ghost gets a wooden bucket from his grandmother for their last meal on earth. Trickster creates stone utensils and eats his last meal on earth.
The painting of the Twins' exploit is still seen today on a rock face There is a lasting imprint of Trickster's buttocks on a rock
near McGregor, Iowa (at the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers). at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.
The Twins flee over the face of the earth, then enter the abode of Earthmaker. Trickster enters the ocean then the heavens.
Earthmaker gives the Twins a sacred mound in which to live. Earthmaker gives Trickster a heaven in which to live.
The Twins may grant blessings to mortals. Trickster rules over this heaven.

The Trickster Cycle strangely aligns a waterfall with Rucewé — for the rationale for this, see the Commentary to Trickster Concludes His Mission.


Links: The Twins, Waterspirits, Gottschall, Rušewe, Bird Spirits, Earthmaker, Trickster, Island Weights.

Links within Sam Blowsnake's Twins Cycle: §6, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty.

Links within Jasper Blowsnake's Twins Cycle: §6. The Lost Blanket (v. 2).

Links within Amelia Susman's Twins Cycle: §4. The Twins Get into Hot Water; §6. The Twins Visit 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; in which Waterspirits occur as characters: Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth, Traveler and the Thunderbird War, The Green Waterspirit of Wisconsin Dells, The Lost Child, River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Bluehorn's Nephews, Holy One and His Brother, The Seer, The Nannyberry Picker, The Creation of the World (vv. 1, 4), Šųgepaga, The Sioux Warparty and the Waterspirit of Green Lake, The Waterspirit of Lake Koshkonong, The Waterspirit of Rock River, The Boulders of Devil's Lake, Devil's Lake — How it Got its Name, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Waterspirits Keep the Corn Fields Wet, The Diving Contest, The Lost Blanket, Redhorn's Sons, The Phantom Woman, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Great Walker's Warpath, White Thunder's Warpath, The Descent of the Drum, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Snowshoe Strings, The Thunderbird, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (v. 2), The Two Children, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, Paint Medicine Origin Myth, Waruǧápara, Ocean Duck, The Twin Sisters, Trickster Concludes His Mission, The King Bird, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Great Walker's Medicine (v. 2), Peace of Mind Regained, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Spiritual Descent of John Rave's Grandmother, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Shaggy Man, The Woman who Married a Snake (?), Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, The Sacred Lake, Lost Lake; mentioning Earthmaker: The Creation of the World, The Creation of Man, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Lost Blanket, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna, The First Snakes, Tobacco Origin Myth, The Creation Council, The Gray Wolf Origin Myth, The Journey to Spiritland, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Seven Maidens, The Descent of the Drum, Thunder Cloud Marries Again, The Spider's Eyes, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Fourth Universe, Šųgepaga, The Fatal House, The Twin Sisters, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Elk Clan Origin Myth, Deer Clan Origin Myth, Bear Clan Origin Myth, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, The Masaxe War, The Two Children, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Petition to Earthmaker, The Gift of Shooting, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Stone Heart, The Wild Rose, The Lame Friend, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed, The Hočąk Migration Myth, The Necessity for Death, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, The War among the Animals, Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, Blue Mounds, Lost Lake, The Hočągara Migrate South, The Spirit of Gambling, Turtle and the Giant, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Bird Origin Myth, Black and White Moons, Redhorn's Sons, Holy Song, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, Death Enters the World, Man and His Three Dogs, Trickster Concludes His Mission, Story of the Thunder Names, The Origins of the Milky Way, Trickster and the Dancers, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, East Enters the Medicine Lodge, The Creation of Evil, The Blessing of Kerexųsaka, Song to Earthmaker, The Blessing of the Bow; mentioning Island Weights: The Creation of the World, The Island Weight Songs, South Enters the Medicine Lodge, East Shakes the Messenger, East Enters the Medicine Lodge, North Shakes His Gourd, Wolves and Humans, Šųgepaga, Traveler and the Thunderbird War (v. 2), The Lost Blanket, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (v. 1), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, South Seizes the Messenger, The Messengers of Hare, Paint Medicine Origin Myth, Four Steps of the Cougar, The Petition to Earthmaker; about journeys to and from Spiritland: The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Journey to Spiritland, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Lame Friend, Two Roads to Spiritland, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Holy One and His Brother, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, The Foolish Hunter, Waruǧápara, The Thunderbird, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, White Wolf, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Two Brothers, The Lost Blanket, The Man who went to the Upper and Lower Worlds, The Petition to Earthmaker, Wears White Feather on His Head, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Thunder Cloud Marries Again, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, Aračgéga's Blessings, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, The Man Whose Wife was Captured; about Rušewe: Bluehorn's Nephews; about turkeys: The Birth of the Twins, Bluehorn's Nephews, Black and White Moons, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I, Old Man and Wears White Feather; about Bird Spirits: Crane and His Brothers, The King Bird, Bird Origin Myth, Bird Clan Origin Myth, Wears White Feather on His Head, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Thunderbird, Owl Goes Hunting, The Boy Who Became a Robin, Partridge's Older Brother, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Foolish Hunter, Ocean Duck, The Quail Hunter, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Hočąk Arrival Myth, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Trickster and the Geese, Holy One and His Brother (kaǧi, woodpeckers, hawks), Porcupine and His Brothers (Ocean Sucker), Turtle's Warparty (Thunderbirds, eagles, kaǧi, pelicans, sparrows), Kaǧiga and Lone Man (kaǧi), The Old Man and the Giants (kaǧi, bluebirds), The Bungling Host (snipe, woodpecker), The Red Feather, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Waruǧápara, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Black and White Moons, The Markings on the Moon, The Creation Council, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna (chicken hawk), Hare Acquires His Arrows, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing (black hawk, owl), Worúxega (eagle), The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men (eagle), The Gift of Shooting (eagle), Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, The Hočąk Migration Myth, Blue Jay, The Baldness of the Buzzard, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster (buzzards), The Shaggy Man (kaǧi), The Healing Blessing (kaǧi), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (kaǧi), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Įčorúšika and His Brothers (Loon), Great Walker's Medicine (loon), Roaster (woodsplitter), The Spirit of Gambling, The Big Stone (a partridge), Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, The Fleetfooted Man, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4) — see also Thunderbirds; featuring Earthmaker as a character: The Creation of the World, The Creation of Man, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Lost Blanket, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna, The First Snakes, Tobacco Origin Myth, The Creation Council, The Gray Wolf Origin Myth, The Journey to Spiritland, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Seven Maidens, The Descent of the Drum, Thunder Cloud Marries Again, The Spider's Eyes, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Fourth Universe, Šųgepaga, The Fatal House, The Twin Sisters, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Elk Clan Origin Myth, Deer Clan Origin Myth, Bear Clan Origin Myth, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, The Masaxe War, The Two Children, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Petition to Earthmaker, The Gift of Shooting, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Stone Heart, The Wild Rose, The Lame Friend, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed, The Hočąk Migration Myth, The Necessity for Death, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, The War among the Animals, Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, Blue Mounds, Lost Lake, The Hočągara Migrate South, The Spirit of Gambling, Turtle and the Giant, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Bird Origin Myth, Black and White Moons, Redhorn's Sons, Holy Song, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, Death Enters the World, Man and His Three Dogs, Trickster Concludes His Mission, The Origins of the Milky Way, Trickster and the Dancers, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, East Enters the Medicine Lodge, The Blessing of Kerexųsaka; set on the Mississippi (Nį Kuse): The Two Children, Trickster Concludes His Mission, The Hočąk Migration Myth, Oto Origins, Bluehorn's Nephews, Traveler and the Thunderbird War, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing, The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle; mentioning La Crosse, Wisconsin (Hinųguás): The Masaxe War, Bluehorn's Nephews; mentioning McGregor, Iowa: Oto Origins.


Themes: powerful spirits refer to strong animals by names denoting smaller and weaker animals: How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Two Boys, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Waruǧápara, The Thunderbird, The Lost Blanket, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Redhorn's Sons (cf. the inverse theme, Buffalo Spirits calling grass "bears" in, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle); a Waterspirit that has been killed for food is called a "beaver" by spirits: The Thunderbird, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Waruǧápara, The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Bluehorn's Nephews; ; a spirit turns into an arrow and shoots himself from his own bow: The Race for the Chief's Daughter, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head; powerful spirits (who are brothers) set out for the Mississippi where they kill a Waterspirit: Trickster Concludes His Mission, The Two Children, Bluehorn's Nephews; heroes leave a lasting impression of their exploits on the face of a rock: Trickster Concludes His Mission; Earthmaker acts against those who are not doing right: The Fatal House, The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, Turtle and the Giant, Šųgepaga, The Seven Maidens, The Origins of the Milky Way; someone who is otherwise fearless is deeply afraid of just one thing: The Brown Squirrel (a red horn), Bear Visits His Grandfather Bear (a thunder-arrow); in order to get him to take refuge in his lodge, a great spirit causes another spirit to think that someone dangerous is pursuing him: Bluehorn's Nephews, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp; visiting Earthmaker: The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, The Journey to Spiritland, The Lame Friend, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Lost Blanket, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Petition to Earthmaker, Trickster Concludes His Mission; a powerful being kills an Island Weight: Šųgepaga.


Notes

1 The original text is in Sam Blowsnake, Waretcáwera (the Twins Cycle), in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n. d.) Winnebago V, #11: 279-284. Another English translation can be found in Paul Radin, The Evolution of an American Indian Prose Epic. A Study in Comparative Literature, Part I (Basil: Ethnographical Museum, Basil Switzerland, 1954) 97. Informant: Sam Blowsnake of the Thunderbird Clan, ca. 1912.

2 Jasper Blowsnake, "Waretcawera," in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman Numbers 3850, 3896, 3897 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Notebook 67: 1-41 [39-41].

3 Amelia Susman, Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, Aug. 30 - Oct. 10, 1938) Book 3.27-42.

4 "Paint Rock Unit takes its name from figures painted by Indians on a high, limestone bluff overlooking the Mississippi near the south end of the unit. A Catholic parish located nearby is also known as Paint Rock." From the internet site of The Iowa DNR Forestry, Yellow River State Forest — http://www.iowadnr.com/forestry/yellowriver.html#names.

5 From the internet site, "River Roads" — http://www.riverroads.com/states/iowa/ia3/attractions.html#Paint%20Rock%20Bluff

6 W. E. Alexander, History of Winneshiek and Allamakee Counties Iowa (Sioux City: Western Pub. Co., 1882) Chapter III. He goes on to say, "One of the proofs of which is as follows: At the session of the County Commissioners of Clayton County, held April 4th, 1844, the boundaries of various election precincts were defined, and one precinct was established as follows: Yellow River precinct (No. 4), commencing at the Painted Rock on the Mississippi River; thence down said river to the corner of township ninety-five, range three, west of the fifth principal meridian; thence down said river two miles, thence due west on section line west side of township ninety-five, range four, west; thence north to the neutral line; thence following said line to the place of commencing, at Painted Rock. This fact being established, what more reasonable to suppose than that the authorities at Prairie du Chien should cause this prominent cliff-this natural bulletin-board as it were-to be so plainly marked as to designate the boundary line in a manner not to be mistaken by the natives; and what more natural than that the subordinates who performed the duty should decorate the rock with representations of wild animals and strange figures, the more readily to attract the attention of the Sioux hunting expeditions as they descended the river in their canoes and warn them that they had reached the limit of the hunting grounds permitted to them. Neither is it strange that they should take the opportunity of placing their own names where they might become famous, though they have long since become illegible." This explanation is highly unlikely.

7 Robert L. Hall, An Archaeology of the Soul: North American Indian Belief and Ritual (Urbana & Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1997) 170-171.

8 From the internet site, "History of De Soto, WI" — http://www.rhometown.com/about/about.cfm?city_id=CI00027884&category_id=AB00000002

9 Quite a number of these are found in the Craig phase at the Spiro Mound. See Philip Phillips and James A. Brown, Pre-Columbian Shell Engravings: from the Craig Mound at Spiro, Oklahoma (Cambridge, Mass.: Peabody Museum Press, ca. 1975-1982) 1.140-143, 5.223, 224, 226, 227, 228.

10 Walter McClintock, The Old North Trail: or, Life, Legends and Religion of the Blackfeet Indians (New York: Macmillan & Co., 1910) 520.

11 Reuben Gold Thwaites, Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents (1896-1901) 59.139-141; Perry A. Armstrong, The Piasa: Or, The Devil among the Indians (Morris, Illinois: E. B. Fletcher, 1887). See also, Mark J. Wagner, Visions of Other Worlds: The Native American Rock Art of Illinois, The Living Museum, Illinois State Museum, 65 (2003), #2-3: 3-11.

12 John Russell, "The Piasa: An Indian Tradition of Illinois," The Family Magazine, or Monthly Abstract of General Knowledge, August 1836.

13 "Blue Horn's Nephews" in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, ca. 1912) #58: 1-104 (missing its ending). The lost ending of this story (pp. 104-107) was found inserted between pp. 107 and 108 of "Coonskin Coat," in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Notebook 59.

14 Paul Radin, The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology (New York: Schocken Books, 1956) 52-53.