The Green Man

retold by Richard L. Dieterle

A man and his sister lived alone together in an oval lodge. The man was completely čo (blue/green) all over, from head to toe. He was an expert hunter and would go out every day in pursuit of game. He loved his sister very much, and every morning he would comb her hair for her. One day he said to her, "Younger sister, there will come a man who looks exactly like me in every way, and no one will be able to tell us apart by our looks. However, this man will tease you, and if you think it is me and do what he says, it will be very shameful. Therefore, whatever you do, do not do anything that he says." The next morning he went out hunting as usual. However, no sooner had he left than she could hear him coming back, and he entered inside, although he did not sit in his usual place. He said, "Younger sister, I'll be taking a sweat bath, so put a stone in for me." So she put a stone in the fire and made ready the sweat lodge. When she was done, she got a poker to roll out the hot stone, but he said, "Here, here, younger sister, don't do that, just pick it up with your hands and set it in." As a result, she burned her hands severely. After all that, he didn't even take the sweat bath. Then he suddenly left, but no sooner had he gone, than he seemed to have turned right around and come back. When her brother came back with a pack, she would always go out and bring it in for him, but this time she sat staring at the wall so that he had to bring his pack in himself. "Now then, younger sister," he said, "you did not do as I told you, so on your account I must now commit a crime. When he comes back tomorrow, I will kill him. We will have to do something shameful, so try your hardest." Then he attended to her wounded hands.

The next morning, the Green Man went out hunting. But no sooner had he left, than he seemed to have returned. Immediately after, another one came following him, and they looked exactly alike. One said to the other, "Well, young man, you have returned I see." "Yes I have come back," said the other. "Now then, young man, you said you were going to kill me," he said. Then the brother said, "That is what I said," and he killed the man who looked just like him. Then they cleaned out their fireplace and buried him underneath it. After that, they built a fire over his grave so that it was impossible to see that anyone was buried there.

Then he said, "Now we must travel to where the murdered man lived." They made their way to a long lodge, and unexpectedly, it was full of women. There were nine of them, some young, and others whose hair had turned white. There too was a man with a very large stomach. The reason that he was going there was to impersonate the man whom he had killed. He was pretending that he had brought back a new wife. As soon as he entered the lodge he threw his arrows against the back of the lodge, and as soon as they landed they were transformed into four yellow rattlesnakes, who began to rattle and coil around one another. When they settled down, they laid even with one another, although one was almost imperceptibly out of alignment. The old woman who was watching them said, "Oh, one of them is out of line — maybe this isn't really my son." Then the big bellied man said, "You bad old woman, you are always speaking in a way that embarrasses my younger brother. And you, younger brother, should act differently so that this old woman who constantly watches you doesn't tire me out with her words." Then the man replied, "Of course you're right, older brother." Then he took off his moccasins, tied them together, and tossed them up to the top of the lodge where they transformed into two owls who circled about one another hooting as they flew. And when they stopped they hung there almost exactly even, but the old woman observed, "They do not hang just even — perhaps this is not really my son." 'What does all this mean?" asked the big bellied man, "that this old woman should keep embarrassing my younger brother. And you, younger brother, why not just toss your things any old way?" "Of course, you are right, older brother," the man replied. And this is just how he handled his leggings when he took them off. Now it was time to eat, and he tried to be careful, eating just the right amount, but he ate a shade too much. The remainder he gave to the large stomached man. The old woman, however, declared, "He has eaten too much — perhaps he is not really my son." "Oh what a bad woman it is that speaks," said the big bellied one, "she embarrasses my brother over his eating, and you, younger brother, you should not always eat just the same amount of food." "You are right, older brother," said the man.

The Green Man took up a bow and an arrow with a large head and went out. He traveled to a tree and rapped on it. It was a large squirrel tree, and when he knocked countless squirrels appeared. He was suppose to kill ten of them, one for each of his wives, and he was suppose to hit each one in the smallest claw of the left paw only. And in fact he did shoot everyone of them just as he was required, except the last, whom he grazed slightly in the nose which left it bloody. He wiped its nose off very thoroughly and put this squirrel in the bottom of the bag so it wouldn't be so noticeable. He came back to the lodge carrying the bag of squirrels. The big bellied man said, "I don't like it when this bad old woman embarrasses my younger brother about everything he does," and took a poker and banged the side of the bag with it repeatedly. The old woman was furious and exclaimed, "You homely, pot bellied one, I am trying to watch over my child and then you do this. You really make me angry." Despite what had been done, she opened the bag and carefully examined each and every one of the squirrels and noticed what had happened to the last of them. "I don't think this is my son," she said, "and you did not do right, you big bellied one." Yet she could prove nothing, since he had pounded on the bag.

That night he laid with each of his wives in turn, and just before daylight he reached the bed of his own sister. She said to him, "Older brother, you have lain on my skirt," but the old woman overheard her. The old woman exclaimed, "What did she say? 'Older brother you have lain on my skirt,' is that what she said?" The young woman denied it, saying, "I never said 'Older brother'." Then the big bellied man interjected: "What an evil it is that spoke before. Now we find that two newlyweds cannot even enjoy their nuptial without this old woman spying on them! This is unheard of. She did not say what you claimed she said." Then the old woman indignantly replied, "You big bellied, homely one that speaks, you scold me for watching over my son, but if you were not doing the same thing then how do you know what she said?" Then she went to the first woman with whom he had lain and asked her, "How was it? Was it really my son?" Then the big bellied man said, "Well, well, look at what we have now. The old woman is running around asking the wives what it is like to sleep with her son. This is incredibly shameful." Then he gave a very hard look to the woman that he first slept with, so that she answered unsteadily, "Well ... well ... yes, I guess it is him." The old woman declared, "You were actually going to say, 'Well, it is not him,' but thanks to that big bellied one, you were not honest." She asked the second woman with whom he had slept the exact same question, but the big bellied man gave her a look that made her think he might jump on her, so she too would not deny that it was the old woman's son who had done it. Each and every one of them reacted the same way.

The old woman said, "Now then, why do I bother with all these questions," then she pulled back a partition and said, "Come out my sisters and find our son." And there, unexpectedly, were two horseflies. They buzzed about then flew out the exit and disappeared. They came right back, but the big bellied man gave them a hard look, so they said, "Well .... this man really is your son." "You homely, big bellied thing," said the old woman, "I try to find out about my child and you made them speak what is not right. But what am I saying? I can track him down for myself." So she grabbed her elkhorn club and headed out the door. "Younger brother, it will be difficult," said the big bellied man, "so you had better find some way to do something." He decided to confuse things by making many of his own tracks leading everywhere. So he went under the earth, and into the heavens, and when he finally returned, he stood between the walls of the lodge. In the meantime, the big bellied man went through all the bundles that the old woman possessed. He came across one that had another bundle inside, so he took it out and opened it, but it too had a bundle inside. After opening several more concentric bundles, he finally came to a small black stone, about the size of a marble. This he kept on his own person. Finally the old woman returned, and when she entered she exclaimed, "You homely, big bellied one, you will die! I tried to watch over my child but you kept interfering. Now you will see!" and she raised her elkhorn club and struck him hard with it. Then she went out to track the impostor, but found herself coming back to the lodge over and over again. Every time she came in, though, she would whack the big bellied man with her club. She did this so often that she finally pounded him into the ground. Now she was getting close to discovering the whereabouts of the Green Man, so the big bellied man decided that now was the time to act, so he said, "Mother! Mother! Look at this — maybe it's yours!" And unexpectedly he was holding the black stone in his hand. She nervously said, "Well now, my son, why don't you give that back to me? If you do, I will promise always to do just what you say." "Here," he said, but just as she reached for it, he said, "Go to the deepest place in the sea!" and he gave it a good bowl. It rolled on its way to the marine abyss. She ran after it, yelling, "My body! my body!" but it dropped into the deep, and with its loss so too did her life depart.

The big bellied one called out, "Younger brother, come on back. The old woman is dead." Then he returned. "Now then, younger brother," he said, "From the moment that you first came here, I knew you were not my other brother; but he did not do right, so I was glad you came. I shall have you for my younger brother instead and I shall have your sister as my own. Let us live together henceforth. I am no longer good for much, so I will stay home and guard your lodge for you. As to these women who belonged to my other brother, you can do as you want — you can marry one or more of them as you see fit. Everything here is yours." Then the Green Man thanked him very much and said, "Since I will be out every day on the trail hunting, you will be left behind alone with our sister, which will not look good. So we had better get a man for our sister." "Younger brother," the other replied, "you have spoken well. It is good." From among the women the younger man picked one to keep as a wife, and the rest he set free. Many of them did not even remember where they had come from, but they went home with those who did have a place to which to return. These women were of a very superior character and were loved very much by those they left behind at home. Because these women were thought to be clever, the old woman and her son had taken them for themselves. They were devils, that is why they did it. Sometimes her son would even get killed, but she was able to revive him. They always committed crimes. Even though the big bellied one was more powerful than they were, he would never help them. Therefore he was glad when they both perished, and he loved the man who murdered his brother more than his own brother. The Green Man loved his older brother very much as he had saved his life, and his sister also loved him.

The young man hunted a great deal, as the big bellied one liked to eat. He lived at one end of the lodge, the married couple lived at the other, and their sister lived in the center. One morning while the Green Man was out hunting, a man came to visit his sister. She did not receive his attentions well, and turned her back on him. Nevertheless, he teased her, and tossed live coals in her direction. One landed on her ankle, which she brushed off. "It is good," he said, "as it is obvious that you are in love with me." He seized her by her arms, and even though she screamed, he took her away with him. When the young man returned, unexpectedly his sister was gone. He was upset and asked, "Why did she leave?" The big bellied one said, "Oh younger brother, you have to understand that all women do that some time or other. She did need to get married." So the young man accepted what his older brother told him. One day not long afterwards, while the Green Man was out hunting, the same man came back and this time turned his attentions to the young man's wife. He also took her by force. When the Green Man returned, he was surprised to discover that his wife too was missing. The big bellied one said, "Younger brother, this one is trying you. He knows how shameful it is to be killed over a woman, so don't fall for his trap. Women are considered just so many forked sticks, so come over here and sit opposite me." So he did as his brother had bidden him. That next morning the young man ate somewhat less than before, and his brother knew it. "Younger brother, a man does not despair. Take the day off and do not go out hunting — you will soon feel better." The next day when they ate their morning meal, the older brother could see that he was eating still less that the day before. The big bellied one said, "It is not good, younger brother. You must not be very strong if you are lonesome for women," but the young man replied, "No, older brother, there is nothing wrong with me at all." However, the next morning the young man hardly ate at all. And although his brother had much to say to him, the young man insisted that nothing was wrong. On the fourth morning he ate nothing at all. "What a bad thing you are doing," said the big bellied one, "if you are that weak just pick another forked branch." The Green Man replied, "Just the same, older brother, I will go out." "No, don't," he replied, "I myself will go get a forked branch for you, as there is a whole forest of them out there. Don't do it, for it is a very shameful thing to have trouble over women. People will hear shameful things of us." He spoke like this because he was a good man, and feared to do what was not right; but his younger brother would not listen. "They have harassed me long enough. Now they will find out!" Thus the Green Man spoke.

In order to strengthen himself, he went out looking for food. He went up to a knoll, and dragged out a bear by its hair. He singed it and boiled the meat. He dished it out with branches that grew from the trees in the middle of the lodge. Whenever he broke one of the bones with his teeth, it would sing out. He ate all the meat and drank up all the soup. Then he got ready to leave. He doubled up two bearskins so that their fur was on the outside, and this he wore as his blanket. He took his pipe, and in this costume he looked just like the man who had abducted his women. He kept having second thoughts, and every time that he got up to leave, he would turn around and sit back down. "It would be shameful for me to kill on account of a woman," he would say, and then sit back down.


Then he started again, and as he walked, he worked himself into a fury. As he was walking along, he encountered a small deer. He shouted, "Younger brother, I need to borrow you." So the deer came right up to him. "Younger brother," he said, "I want to borrow your heart, that is why I called you."So he took out the deer's heart and replaced it with a rolled up piece of dirt. It is from this that it is said that deer hearts are so dry and for this reason that deer are so skitterish, for if the ground were to tremble, so too would their hearts. As he went on his way he eventually came to a lake, and there in the middle of it was a white swan. Then he shouted to the swan, "Come over here! My heart is not right and I need it fixed." When the swan came to the shore it was packing a nest of five feathers which contained a human heart. He was suppose to be guarding it, and would never come to the shore. All about the shore guards were posted, and a guard even circled over head. The man pretended to be fixing the heart that he had, but by slight of hand he swapped it for the one in the feather nest. Having done this, he went on.

He soon came to a field which was being watched over by a number of people. Unexpectedly, these people all had broken backs. Much to his surprise, he saw his brother there, groaning with the pain in his back. He went over to the nearby lodge where he found two women. He asked them, "Where is your husband?" One of them replied, "He is out gambling." "Come out here and show me how to get to where they are gambling," he said. "We couldn't do that," they said, "he would kill you and us both." "Don't be afraid of him," the Green Man replied, "I have come to fight him." They told him, "You will never kill him, he cannot be killed by anyone." "Well now," he declared, "I will surely kill him, for I have his death with me." "What do you mean?" they asked incredulously. He showed them the heart he was packing. Then they knew it. He helped them get ready, and all three of them set off together.

They finally came to a long lodge where they were gambling. Kunu, the Green Man, entered with the wives of the man everyone feared so much. There was the Turtle. When he saw Kunu come in, he said, "Here is my friend. You effeminate guys can have your bets back." Then Turtle got up. The man was surprised to see his wives out with another man right in front of him. So he declared, "Well, Kunu, you have decided to defy me. Thus we must fight." Turtle interceded with the remark, "Well, now that my friend is here, we should play these games all over again." The good spirits that were present were Trickster, Turtle, Redhorn, and Hare. They had been losing in the games they were playing. Their opponents were Grasshopper, Wojijéga (the Meteor Spirit), One Legged One, Horsefly, and Cricket. Then the man who stole Kunu's women took his wives home, and agreed to play against them just as soon as he could get back.

When he came back, they decided that the first contest would be a race. They were going to run to the ends of the earth and back. In this race, Kunu's side proved victorious. Then they decided to play the game See who can Dive Deepest into the Earth. Wojijéga was to play for his side. He ascended into the heavens, then with flames shooting behind him, he dove into the earth with a great crash. He landed very deep in the earth. Then Kunu was to be the player for the other side. The Green Man just stood there, as very gradually he began to sink into the ground just as if it were quick sand. Soon he had sunk deeper than even the Meteor Spirit. Thus Kunu won for his side. Then they ran another foot race, and this Kunu won as well. In the fourth contest, he had won back half the things that they had bet. Therefore, in the fifth contest, all that remained was at stake. Then they agreed to play Jump. They went to a hill so high it seemed to touch the sky. It was this hill they were going to jump over. Then they decided who the contestants would be: the players for one side would be Hare and Kunu, and for the other it would be Wojijéga and Grasshopper. Turtle declared, "Your side can go first." They said, "All right." Then Grasshopper started off. He was going along perfectly and was about to reach the summit of the hill, when he suddenly felt a cramp in his stomach, and fell back. It was Trickster who did it. He had shot raccoon liver at him, and this is what knocked him off course. When Turtle saw this, he patted his mouth and gave a war whoop, but all he was willing to do was cheer for them. Kunu was to go next. As he jumped he caused a fine mist to fall in his course. The other side shot all kinds of things at him, but it had no effect, and Kunu disappeared over the other side of the hill. Then it was Wojijéga's turn. As he jumped he streaked fire through the air, but Trickster hit him with raccoon liver as well, and Wojijéga fell back down. Then it was Hare's turn. When he jumped they lost sight of him, until finally they could see him as he passed over the top of the hill. He made a great noise when he landed on the other side. They came back from the other side of the hill, and said, "Well now, that is all."

The man who had stolen the Green Man's women from him had also taken away all the things of the earth from everyone else. He had captured all the plants and fruits, and all the trees that contain syrup. Some contained sugar in syrup form, others in granular form. All these things he won from the people and kept them for himself. Not only that, but he was killing people as well. Then the man who lost said, "Well at least I know that you will not be able to take my life from me, whatever else you may have won back. If you do try to attack me, it will avail you nothing, for no one has my death: I am impossible to kill. How could you kill me? You don't possess the means." Then Kunu, the Green Man, said to him, "I came here to kill you because you harassed me." "Yes, and I harassed you so that I could kill you," said the other. "I did it to spite you, since you think you are so great," he added. "As you will," he replied, and took out the man's heart. "What do you have there, Kunu?" the man asked. Then the Green Man showed him the heart. "Ah, Kunu," the man replied, "let me have it back." Then Turtle said, "My friend, give it to me, and I'll take care of it," so Kunu gave it to Turtle. Turtle tore it open with his claws. This made the man cry, and when it split apart, he disintegrated into a hoard of crickets. Thus they killed him. It is for this reason that crickets weep during Watajoxhiwira, the Corn Popping Out Moon, inasmuch as they were once in charge of the green things of the earth, and they announce when the greens are ripe. Then Hare said of Kunu and the others, "It was a bad spirit that had charge of these things, but you have defeated him. You have saved the people from much suffering. It is good." While they were consecrating their victory with words, Trickster felt the call of nature, and went over to a maple tree and urinated on it. It had been one of the trees that had granulated sugar in it, but after Trickster was done, it had all melted and turned to syrup. Thus it is with all such trees even to this day. Trickster felt bad and said, "I have not done right." Hare said, "Never mind, now the people can work for the sugar, and they can have it as they would like it henceforth."

Kunu headed back to where he had seen his younger brother. There he also found his sister watching the field, and she too had a broken back. He took time to make bread of the green maize. Then he took the loaves and hung them up. He moved his brother under one of them and told him to take a bite of it. As he strained to reach it, his brother sang for him. He kept straining until finally his back straightened up. Then he got up and danced. "Kunu," he said, "it is indeed good! Let's do it that way for all of them." So they did it, and everyone's back was straightened. They were all very thankful. These were all people of importance. All the things that were lost in gambling, they now reclaimed and spread them over the face of the earth. Now we have access to them at will.


Then Kunu told them, "I was created for a purpose, and I came here to free the people from those things who were abusing them. Now I shall go home, and there I shall sit still for as long as the earth endures." Kunu, the Green Man, was the chief of the Black Rocks. And his younger brother said, "I will remain among the green fields." He was the first one to steam corn in the ground with hot rocks. He was the spirit of the pit in which this is done. Kunu thanked him, and said, "It is good. It is the same as if we were ever together, as my body shall ever be used for this." Thus it is that they use the black rocks to steam corn in the pits. Since their sister said she would like to remain near them, they made her into corn silk. Then Trickster, Turtle, Redhorn, and Hare thanked them for all they had done. Afterwards, each went to their own homes. They were thankful because their opponent had no heart and could not be killed. Also Grasshopper was a giant being then, and very abusive to people, but because he was defeated he became small and has never amounted to anything. Since One Legged One and the Meteor Spirit were both defeated, it is said that they have nothing to do on this earth any longer.1

Commentary. "his sister" — in the corresponding waikąra, e.g., "The Children of the Sun" and "The Twins Retrieve Redstar's Head," the sister is the deity Moon. At the end of this story she is said to be corn silk, which suggests a lunar identity for corn silk.

"the man was completely čo (blue/green) all over, from head to toe" — the Green Man is one and the same as Bluehorn. The initial episode is exactly the same as that found in the "Children of the Sun" and in "The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head." The character who plays the exact role of Green Man is in both cases Bluehorn (= Red Star = Evening Star). The colors green and blue are both denoted by the same Hočąk word, čo. The only reason why "Green Man" was preferred in this story over Radin's "Blue Man," is that it better reflects the intended associations with the green husks of corn.

"a man who looks exactly like me in every way" — in the corresponding myths, this man is Morning Star, the exact image of Evening Star, the čo-man. In this story, the Green Man is the Chief of the Black Rocks, and is therefore to be considered a black rock himself, precisely the sort used to generate the steam in the corn roasting pit. His opponent turns out to be Cricket, which, as a completely black insect, is the image of the black rock. This would mean that Cricket is Morning Star. For more on Cricket and Morning Star, see below under "Cricket." Morning Star is said in "Bladder and His Brothers" to have founded the Thunderbird Clan. The Thunders themselves are associated with black rocks, which are alloforms of the lightning that they shoot from their eyes. What is being set up is an opposition between Morning Star as a Thunderbird, and Evening Star as a Waterspirit. In the Bladder myth, Morning Star is the eighth brother, Nąǧixununįka ("Younger Nąǧi"); so it is quite interesting to note that the fourth brother, the founder of the Waterspirit Clan, is Nąǧi.

"he did not sit in his usual place" — this is Morning Star, who has come to sit at the fireplace (sun), a situation that portrays conjunction with the sun. When Evening Star is "out," that is, in the sky, then Morning Star is (thought to be) in conjunction, and vice-versa. There are times when neither is in the sky, the times that we now call "superior conjunction" (51 days) and "inferior conjunction" (8 days). The time being portrayed in this episode is that after superior conjunction, when Evening Star can be seen in the sky, but Morning Star is absent. Morning Star is always nearby the sun in the east, whereas Evening Star is always near the sun in the west, so they do not "sit" in the same spots in relation to the central "fire" of the lodge. In fact they sit opposite one another, and in Hočąk "opposite," especially in the context of the lodge fire, connotes "counterpart." These two are the ultimate counterparts, since they are identical.

"stone" — in taking a sweat bath, a hot stone was placed in the source of water to create steam. This is why the Green Man's doppelgänger needed a hot stone for his sweat bath. Since Red Star (Green Man) is the heating stone of the corn roasting pit, the sweat bath would naturally seem to be an image of this roasting pit, in which case Red Star is the stone of the sweat bath. This stone is heated red hot in the fire, a perfect description of the Red Star in conjunction with the sun. Further in line with this analogy is the fact that the Evening Star follows after the sun in setting in the Ocean Sea at the edge of the world, the land of the Waterspirits, of which he is one. In creating a sweat bath the stone parts from the fireplace only to "set" in the pot of water in the steam bath hut. Lodges are often homologous to the cosmic vault under which Red Star sets.

"she burned her hands" — his sister is the corn silk, so naturally she has her hands burned by the stone. Wherever the corn silk that may be found in the roasting pit comes into contact with the heating stone, it will be burned.

"he didn't even take the sweat bath" — the doppelgänger of Evening Star is Morning Star. The return of the Morning Star to the fireplace is its conjunction with the sun. However, Morning Star, unlike Evening Star, does not set in the Ocean Sea. The Evening Star appears in the western sky, then sets in the waters; with the Morning Star it's reversed: it rises out of the waters and "sets" in the sky after the sun rises. If we take the red hot stone to be Evening Star as it leaves the fire (sun) and ascends once more into the sky, an image reduplicated by Evening Star going out on the hunt, then Morning Star would be in conjunction with the sun, since it is not visible in the sky. Therefore, Morning Star remains with the fire which Evening Star left. Morning Star is not seen to set in the waters and therefore does not take a steam bath. As Cricket, he does not introduce himself into the corn roasting pit, so in this form he also does not take a steam bath.

"buried him underneath it" — in an astronomical code, the fireplace is the place where the sun rests in the earth. Very gradually, the Morning Star declines in the sky in the east and eventually approaches and then falls into the sun. This is its conjunction with the sun. At the same time, it has also been approaching the earth, so that its conjunction with the sun is also a kind of conjunction with the earth as well. So at conjunction, Morning Star ceases to rise at all, as if it were on earth. It is metaphorically "buried in the fireplace." In the code concerning black stones, the kind of black stone that Morning Star would be identical with is the black stone shot from the eyes of the Thunders when they shoot lightning. When such a stone strikes the ground, it scorches the grass and buries itself in the ground (see Thunderbirds, 1, 2). This is a nearly perfect image of the fireplace.

"we must travel to where the murdered man lived" — Evening Star and Morning Star "live" on opposite sides of the sky, one in the west, the other in the east; and when one is in the sky, the other is absent. However, there are times when both are on the earth. At the end of Morning Star's sojourn in the sky, he sets at superior conjunction, having (as we now know) passed behind the sun. This lasts for 50 days, then Evening Star is seen in the sky. He treks across the sky until he too disappears into the sun and under the horizon in inferior conjunction (which we now know is his passing in front of the sun). This conjunction lasts for only 8 days, then Morning Star again ascends into the sky. So each sojourn from conjunction to conjunction inscribes a track through the stars. There are 10 such tracks, 5 for Evening Star and 5 for Morning Star, so that the 5 tracks of Evening Star are in one-to-one correspondence to the 5 tracks of Morning Star. These tracks therefore form 5 paths, as seen in the table below. (But now see The Five Apparitions of Morning Star).

Track 1 (November 10, 1699 - August 22,1700), Evening Star — November 10, 1699, rises below Yed Prior, next to ο Libræ; December 10, 1699, in the middle of the Sagittarius Milky Way, just below the Trifid Nebula (M 20); January 10, 1700, just past υ Capricorni; February 10, right next to ϕ Aquarii; March 10, to the right of μ Piscis; April 10, below and to the left of the Pleiades (Taurus); May 10, in the Milky Way, above and to the right of Tejat Posterior in Gemini; June 10, just to the left of Asselus Boreallis (Cancer); July 10, touching ρ Leonis; August 10, nearly below Arcturus, just above ϕ Leonis; August 22,1700, sets just to the right of ϕ Leonis. Track 6 (November 17, 1703 - September 1, 1704), Morning Star — November 17, 1703, rises well above 42 Libræ; December 17, well to the left of ν Libræ near Mars; January 17, 1704, at the edge of the Milky Way, in Ophiuchus, between ω Ophiuchi and Sabik; February 17, 1704, on the other side of the Milky Way next to Albaldah; March 17, well above and to the right of Nashira in Capricorn; April 17, above and to the right of 27 Piscis; May 17, above ξ-1 Ceti, near Saturn; May 18, near conjunction with Saturn; June 17, just to the left of ε Tauri of the Hyades, very near Jupiter; June 20 - 21, conjunction with Jupiter; July 17, to the left side of the Milky Way, between Mekbuda and Wasat in Gemini; August 17, near conjunction with Mercury near ψ Leonis; September 1, 1704, sets above χ Leonis.
Track 2 (September 5, 1700 - June 5, 1701), Morning Star — rises September 5, 1700, below and to the left of β Sextantis; October 5, well above and to the left of β Sextantis, below Regulus; November 5, below and to the left of Zavijava in Virgo; December 5, to the right of κ Virginis; January 5, 1701, just to the left of ψ Ophiuchi near the Milky Way; February 5, 1701, on the far edge of the Milky Way just below Albaldah in Sagittarius; March 5, above Nashira to the left of ι Capricorni, approaching Jupiter; March 10 - 11, conjunction with Jupiter at μ Capricorni; April 1 - 2, near conjunction with Saturn in Aquarius near 20 Piscis; April 5, above 29 Piscis; May 5, in Aries, above and left of ξ-1 Ceti; June 5, 1701, below τ Tauri, June 21, sets between Mebsuta and Tejat Posterior. Track 7 (August 23, 1704 - June 20, 1705), Evening Star — August 23, 1704, above and to the left of Regulus; September 23, to the left of Porrimo in Virgo; October 23, just below ν Libræ; November 23, in Sagittarius in the middle of the Milky Way, below and to the right of the Lagoon Nebula; December 23, well to the left of σ Capricorni; January 23, 1705, to the left of λ Aquarii; February 23, above and to the left of ε Piscis; March 23, just above Botein in Aries; April 23, at the edge of the Milky Way, just below and left of Elnath in Auriga and near Jupiter; May 23, at the far edge of the Milky Way above Mebsuta; June 14, touches Jupiter at the edge of the Milky Way; June 20, 1705, sets to the left of Tejat Posterior.
Track 3 (June 24, 1701 - April 15, 1702), Evening Star — June 24, 1701, rises above Tejat Posterior in Gemini; July 24, below Ras Elased Australis, to the right of π Cancri; August 24, nearly below Arcturus, just above τ Leonis; September 24, between Spica and κ Virginis; October 24, approaching the Milky Way near Antares, just to the right of ρ Ophiuchi; November 24, on the far side of the Milky Way, to the right of ψ Sagittarii; December 24, 1701, just to the right of Nashira in Capricorn; January 11, 1702 total conjunction with Jupiter by λ Aquarii; January 24, below and to the left of λ Piscis, and very near Saturn; February 24, below η Piscis; March 24, just past Sheratan in Aries; April 15, 1702, sets to the right of η Piscis. Track 8 (June 25, 1705 - March 30, 1706), Morning Star — June 25, 1705, rises in the middle of the Milky Way, in Orion below and left of Propus (Tejat Prior); July 25, in the Milky Way, to the right of χ-2 Orionis; August 25, past the Milky Way well below Wasat in Gemini, near Jupiter; September 25, to the right of ψ Leonis; October 25, right above Zavijava in Virgo; November 25, just right of κ Virginis; December 25, to the left of ω Ophiuchi; January 25, 1706, above χ-3 Sagittarii; February 25, right above ι Aquarii; March 25, well to the left of 29 Piscis; March 30, 1706, sets well to the left of 44 Piscis.
Track 4 (April 2, 1702 - January 21, 1703), Morning Star — April 2, 1702, rises to the right of Sheratan in Aries; May 2, to the left of ε Piscis, approaching Saturn and Jupiter; June 2, between ο Piscis and ξ-1 Ceti; July 2, between λ Tauri and the Pleiades; August 2, to the right of Propus (Tejat Prior) in the middle of the Milky Way in Gemini; September 2, below Pollux next to Asellus Australis in Cancer; October 2, partly occluding χ Leonis; November 2, between Spica and Heze in Virgo; December 2, nearly below Arcturus, just above λ Libræ; January 2, 1703, to the left of Kau Borealis in the Sagittarius Milky Way; January 21, 1703, sets below σ Capricorni. Track 9 (April 17, 1706 - January 31, 1707), Evening Star — April 17, 1706, rises in Aries near Botein; May 17, κ Tauri; June 17, below Pollux next to Wasat in Gemini; July 17, below Algieba next to ψ Leonis; August 17, below Arcturus near Zaniah in Virgo; September 17, below Unukalhai, next to λ Virginis; October 17, at the edge of the Milky Way just above Antares in Scorpius; November 17, on the far side of the Milky Way just above τ Sagittarii; December 17, just below θ Capricorni; January 17, 1707, below Sadal Suud in Aquarius; January 31, 1707, sets with Al Bali in Aquarius.
Track 5 (February 3, 1703 - November 10, 1703), Evening Star — February 3, 1703, rises to the right of Nashira in Capricorn; March 3, in Aquarius near 20 Piscis; March 29, total conjunction with Jupiter to the right of ο Piscis; April 3, well above and to the right of ξ-1 Ceti; April 26, passing to the right of the Pleiades, May 3, above κ Tauri; June 3, below Pollux, to the right of Wasat in Gemini; July 3, to the right of ψ Leonis; August 3, to the left of Zavijava in Virgo; September 3, below κ Virginis, and well to the left of Spica; October 3, to the right and well above υ Libræ; November 3, to the left and well below Dschubba in Scorpius; November 10, 1703, sets in Libra near 42 Libræ. Track 10 (January 23, 1707 - November 12, 1707), rises above ν Aquarii; February 23, just to the left of Algedi & ν Capricorni; March 23, well above Deneb Algiedi & Nashira in Capricorn; April 23, to the left of ϕ Aquarii; May 23, next to μ Piscis; June 23, between the Hyades and λ Tauri; July 7, total conjunction with Saturn next to ι Tauri at the edge of the Milky Way; July 23, to the left of Propus (Tejat Prior) in Gemini; August 23, well below and to the left of Asellus Australis in Cancer; September 22, partial occlusion of Jupiter right below σ Leonis; October 23, well to the left and below Spica in Virgo; November 12, 1707, sets below ο Libræ.

After Track 10, the whole is completed by a return to Track 1. This is the 8 year period of the Venus Cycle, and two tracks of each path are separated by 4 years, one half a Venus Cycle. So it is as if Morning Star and Evening Star are following the path of the other to where he lives.

"nine of them" — the maximum amount of time that Morning Star is in the sky is 263 days. The period of the moon is 29.53 days. Therefore, the time of Morning Star's sojourn in the night sky is 8.91 months, which slightly rounded is nine moons. He attempts to take Green Man's sister as a wife by bride capture in this episode, and later on in his form as Cricket. In other versions of the Evening Star myths, this sister is explicitly said to be Moon. When Morning Star tries to seize the sister of Evening Star, he attempts one moon too many, and doesn't quite pull it off.

"hair had turned white" — this is the theme of the moons being black and white. As each moon ends the month, it sinks towards the horizon where the sun rises to enter into conjunction with the sun. Since Morning Star rises before the sun, the moons will always cross paths with him. This mutual association is their "marriage." Since the cycle of Venus and the moon do not coincide, when Morning Star first rises coming out of conjunction with the sun, the moon may be of any age, including full, where its "hair" is completely white.

"four yellow rattlesnakes" — the number 4 is the quantity of completion, best exemplified by the four cardinal directions. There are also four distinct stages in the interaction of the Evening and Morning Stars: 1) the Morning Star is in the sky, and the Evening Star is absent, 2) both stars are absent for 51 days (superior conjunction), 3) the Evening Star is in the sky and the Morning Star is absent, and 4) both stars are absent for only 8 days (inferior conjunction). These are temporal intervals. Why are they portrayed as both snakes and arrows? An arrow-snake in Hočąk would be mą-waką, a word that also means, "sacred time," owing to a homonym of which means "time," and the fact that the word waką fundamentally means "sacred (one)," a term used to denote snakes inasmuch as they possess a holy status. For two of these periods, the snakes (representing the two stars) are "intertwined," that is, they are both on earth at the same time. Snakes are beings whose sacredness is tied to their power of rebirth. They slough off their skins, and emerge renewed. They are twice born as eggs and as serpents from those eggs. Similarly, the stars are born from the earth after a period in which they lie buried within the ground. The rattles make this genus of snakes the only ones who can make a loud sound. Sound can stand for light, so it is appropriate that these Sacred Ones emit a sound, a sound that is symbolic of the light of the divine beings who periodically arise reborn from their graves in the earth to shine with more brilliance than any of the other stars.

"they transformed into two owls" — in "The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head" the moccasins become squeaking bull snakes. The spin that they make around each other inscribes a double helix. For the significance of this, see the notes in the Commentary to "The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head." What is said there concerning the sandals of the Greek Hermes applies here even more appropriately. The Hočągara do not recognize the identity of the Morning and Evening Stars (e.g., as the single planet Venus), only their coincidence. This must once have been true of the Greeks with respect to Mercury, the other inner orbit "star" which has a morning and evening phase. As these two "stars" the Greek Mercury (Hermes) has winged sandals, just as the Hočąk Morning and Evening Stars have moccasins that also fly (as owls). They even remind us of the wings so frequently found affixed to the caduceus, a staff of Hermes that has coiled snakes about it, rather like the snakes of this myth that coil around one another when Green Man tosses his arrows to the wall. Among the Hočągara, owls, as night fliers, are frequently used to represent stars. The two moccasins illustrate the unity and opposition between left and right, bird and snake, top and bottom, center and periphery. This draws us into the Mercurial world of the herald, as no one else so unites the center and periphery as a public crier. As Burkert observes,

As messenger of the gods, Hermes carries the herald's staff, the kerykeion [caduceus], which is really the image of copulating snakes taken over from ancient Near Eastern tradition. The same symbol is carried by earthly heralds who all stand under the protection of Hermes. Hermes is also the ancestor of the Eleusinian Kerykes, heralds and sacrificial priests. Successful communication with enemies and strangers is the work of Hermes, and the interpreter, hermeneus, owes his name to the god.2

In another story about Evening Star, we are told, "He was one of the chief Waterspirits, that was why he was called 'Bluehorn'. He was a Buffalo Spirit. He was the chief of the buffaloes, but he was a Waterspirit, it is said."3 In the Hočąk nation, the Waterspirit and Buffalo people are friendship clans.4 Because of the wide roaming nature of buffalo, it is from the Buffalo Clan that the criers (heralds) are drawn.5 It is their responsibility to announced to all the will of the chief. So Bluehorn (Evening Star) as chief of the buffalo, is the patron of the tribal heralds. It is the traversing of the ground, symbolized by the buffalo and the moccasin, that stands out in the Hočąk mind in thinking of the office of herald. So it is fitting that it is the moccasins that form the Hočąk counterpart to the wand of the Greek herald, the caduceus of their patron god Hermes. Like the crossing helices of serpents, the crier goes from center to periphery and back again, uniting these opposites in his person and office.

"it was time to eat" — if we view the conflict between Morning Star and Evening Star as a special case of the struggle between the world of the Waterspirits and the Thunderbirds, eating takes on an interesting significance. Evening Star, as we know from elsewhere, is a Waterspirit, and Morning Star in the myth of "Bladder and His Brothers" creates the Thunderbird Clan here on earth, and is therefore aligned with the celestial Thunderbirds. Evening Star is the black rock at the bottom of the roasting pit that creates the cloud of steam that cooks the maize. The process of roasting maize is described by Radin in his notes:

Curing green corn, they put heated stones in ground; cover these stones with shuck; then put corn in; then cover corn with shucks and dirt, leaving holes into which they pour water. Then they cover holes with dirt over night.6

So the stone "eats" the maize, and what he doesn't eat, is given over to the Big Bellied One, who is the pit into which the maize is "fed." Consequently, the black rock of Evening Star is an "eater" by virtue of its heat and the context in which it is employed. The black rock of the Thunderbird is actually responsible for the lightning. Inside the Thunderbird (in its gizzard?) are black rocks. These are shot from its eyes in the form of lightning. When this rock hits its target it consumes it in fire, as it says here:

It is one of the old traditions that when the Thunder Birds or Winaxí first appeared, they lit fires (by lightning) somewhat indiscriminately, striking everything they came across, even to the Wakšéxi or Spirits of the Water and Under Earth, whom they killed and eat of — that is the Indians say whenever the lighting kills or blasts anything, they "eat it"; as a pasture field being struck the grass turns yellow or is "eaten" by the Thunders; that is the substance is extracted and taken up. They say that whenever a hill is struck by lightning, as hills often are on account of their altitude above surrounding objects, it is because a Wakšéxi is concealed under it (that is in its water-springs) whom the Thunders thus kill and eat.7

This statement shows both the strife that is extant between the Thunderbirds and Waterspirits, and that the hot black stones that trail the lightning behind them (rather like meteors) are active in actually eating the objects that they strike. So Evening Star, as the Green Man, follows after his doppelgänger Morning Star by being an eater, but he appears to eat just a little more (as we would expect from the one who lies at the bottom of the roasting pit like a Waterspirit).

"the remainder he gave to the large stomached man" — Evening Star, as the black rock at the bottom of the roasting pit, is "fed" the maize via the "big stomach" of Big Bellied One. So the stone "eats" maize, and what he doesn't eat is given over to the Big Bellied One. This applies to the ordinary conduct of Morning Star as a Thunderbird (surrogate). The black stone shot from the Thunder's eye is surely buried in the ground as its fire consumes and "eats" the grass above. What is not consumed by the Thunders remains on the ground penetrated by the Thunder stone, and that is the counterpart to the big bellied man. So Morning Star is also accustomed to giving the remainder to his big bellied brother. In the astronomical code, the stars are both buffalo, as we have seen elsewhere, and corn kernels, both of which are edible. Stars typically pass into the night sky, here (ex hypothesi) seen as the astronomical counterpart to Big Bellied One's stomach. Thus he is constantly eating, and can hardly help getting fat. How do Morning Star and Evening Star "eat" stars? The most cursory observations reveal that both these stars seem to be in front of the other twinkling stars, and therefore occlude them whenever they merge in the sky. Taking stars within themselves in this fashion is, in terms of the symbolism of this myth, a form of "eating." It is hard to say from observation which of these stars "eats" the most, but as chief of the "buffaloes" Evening Star perhaps can be expected to eat just a little more. Those that he and his identical brother do not "eat" are given over to the stomach of Big Bellied One, and are thus eaten by him (as they pass from occlusion).

"an arrow with a large head" — this appears at first to be the mą p’axétera, which means, "the large headed arrow." It was carved entirely out of wood, usually hickory, and was used to hunt birds. This is counter-indicated by two things — first, he is not hunting birds, but squirrels. Second, a large headed arrow could be made of stone. The Hočągara generally did not use such arrows, their big game arrows had a turtle claw for a point, and the rest of their arrows were carved entirely out of wood. They claimed that all stone arrowheads were found, not manufactured. Since Green Man is the chief of the black rocks, it seems quite likely that he would have an arrowhead appropriate to his powers, that is, a black rock such as flint or obsidian. So the large headed arrow is almost without doubt one with a black rock arrowhead.

"a tree" — whenever a tree is mentioned in an astronomical code, the likely object is the Milky Way, especially that part of it located in the west near the place where the Evening Star appears at sunset. The Milky Way at Scorpius is often seen to stand upright while rooted in the western horizon. The fuzzy impression made by the myriad of stars that make it up creates an effect like that of leaves seen in the distance. This view of the Milky Way is seen elsewhere. The Morning Star also comes to touch against the Milky Way in the East by the constellation Gemini, where it also looks like a tree.

"rapped on it" — that is, from the astronomical point of view, he came right up to the "tree" and touched it. Therefore, we can deduce, given the hypothesis that the tree is the Milky Way, that this is a time in the Venus Cycle in which Evening Star (Green Man) comes right up to the Milky Way, and "touches" the edge of it. This can be seen in the illustrations below in which Evening Star comes right up to the edge of the Milky Way on October 14, 1754 (and in 8 year intervals from that date), and almost every other time it is in the sky.

"a large squirrel tree"ex hypothesi, we must conclude that the squirrels, who are the small creatures that live in this tree are stars, since the beings who live in the Milky Way are small stars. The star-squirrels that live in the Scorpius "tree" are necessarily different from those that live in the Gemini tree from which the Morning Star shot his game. Therefore, Morning Star's mother will want to examine closely what kind of squirrels the young man brings back from his hunt.

"to kill ten of them" — we can deduce that to "kill" a star-squirrel, would be to cause it to fall from the "tree" (Milky Way) to the ground, where its life, metaphorically hąp or light, is extinguished. This occurs precisely when the star sets. When the Evening Star itself sets at 8:07:50 p.m., the hunt is over. It begins when the sun sets at 6:16:29 p.m., causing the stars of sufficient magnitude to appear. Of stars whose setting time is between 6:16 p.m. and 8:07 p.m., and whose magnitude is greater than 4.00, there are precisely ten, shown in declining order of magnitude.

Name of Star Magnitude Sets At
1. Antares 1.03 7:42:14
2. Shaula 1.59 7:35:52
3. Wei 2.28 7:15:48
4. Girtab 2.37 7:27:42
5. Lesath 2.68 7:31:37
6. T Scorpii 2.81 7:38:57
7. Sargas 2.84 6:39:53
8. ι 1 Scorpii 2.96 7:22:00
9. μ 1 Scorpii 3.00 6:48:37
10. G Scorpii 3.17 7:51:43

Stars that might seem like candidates set after Evening Star, and are therefore "squirrels" still left on the "tree" and still possessed of Light and Life after Green Man departs. These are Arkab (magnitude 3.09) which set at 8:20:30, and Ptolemy's Cluster M7 (magnitude 3.50) which set at 8:12:20. At most times of the night, these stars look as if they ought to set much earlier than Evening Star, but the whole set rotates clockwise as it descends into the earth. Nevertheless, in most environments in Wisconsin, it is impossible to tell whether Antares or G Scorpii (which sets 9 minutes later) has set first. Given the earlier higher ascension of Antares, the guess is liable to be that it sets last of these stars.

"he was suppose to hit each one in the smallest claw" — this is the one part of the squirrel's anatomy that most resembles a small star. The individuated stars in this part of the Milky Way are by and large rather small by ordinary stellar standards.

"except the last, whom he grazed slightly in the nose which left it bloody" — to an observer who is not far off shore on Lake Michigan, it might seem that of the 10 stars of greater than 4.00 magnitude, Antares sets last, although in fact it is G Scorpii (which is also red). In any case, Antares is the nearest to Evening Star. It is this "squirrel" that he has grazed across the nose. Off all the stars in this area, Antares is by far the most prominent, and is of a clear red color, which in this myth is expressed by the squirrel's bloody nose. Antares is the only star that is behind Evening Star, so the line of sight is at a different angle from those of all the rest, making it a uniquely difficult shot.


"took a poker and banged the side of the bag with it repeatedly" — the idea, of course, is to make all of them bloody so that the blood that distinguishes the bad shot cannot be discerned. For quite some time after the sun sets (at 6:16 p.m.), the horizon is red. So as this set of stars sets ("dies"), they all become red. It is for this very reason that the Evening Star itself is called "the Red Star" (see the illustration and Commentary at "The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head"). In one story where Red Star loses his head (but goes on living anyway, since the heart contains the mind), his nephews pick the scabs on his neck causing him to bleed, just as Evening Star seems to do as it sets. A poker is what is used to stir the fire that has all but gone out so that it will continue on a bit longer. The celestial Fire has all but gone out, since it is now sunk into the ground, but the horizon still reflects the power of the stirred embers and glows red. It is appropriate that Big Bellied One should do this, since the bag is analogous to the roasting pit with which he is identified.

In the maize code, here we seem to have another kind of corn processing. Putting corn in a bag and hitting it with a stick would tend to mash it up, making the individual grains indistinguishable from one another. Corn bread in Hočąk is called waboxíri, "corn mash," and it seems likely that it could have been made by this method (see also below). Since Indian corn is often polychrome, and often predominantly red, the whole of it would take on a reddish hue.

"watching over my son" — as the lightning, the mother subsists in the clouds. Morning Star bears the title, "He Who is Wrapped in Clouds," so it is appropriate that a being of the clouds have a special role overseeing the Morning Star.

"How was it? Was it really my son?" — the relationship between the moons and the two stars of Venus is different. In the morning, the Morning Star rises up with the moon, but in the evening, Evening Star is found already in place, and travels with the moon down to earth as they both set together. The sexual aspect of their relationship is seen in their spatial relationship. Both stars are in the relative background with respect to the moon, so that when the two fall into conjunction, each star seems to penetrate into the body of the moon and disappear within. The greatest difference, however, lies in the fact that the crescent is on the left side of the moon in the morning phase, and on the right side in the evening phase. So one star penetrates her more from the front, the other from behind.

"my sisters" — the mother in this tale appears to represent the Thunders (see "the black stone" below). As winged creatures that make a loud buzzing sound as they fly, they are akin to the Thunders. The emblem of the Thunderbird Clan on earth is a rainbow painted over an eye [see inset to the right]. The peculiarity of the Tabanidae (horseflies) is that they have banded, polychrome eyes, which recall the rainbow associated with the Thunders. Like the Thunders, they are aggressive and blood thirsty. Both will feed upon humans on occasion.

"our son" — the two sisters of Morning Star's mother are in the Crow-Omaha kinship system of the Hočągara, hi'ųnįnįk, "little mothers," or sometimes simply hi'ųnį, "mothers" (Marino).

"horseflies (čočųǧera)" — the old woman, whose son Green Man tries to impersonate, has horseflies for sisters. This insect is a member of the family Tabanidae. The horsefly pictured in the inset is a female Tabanus trijunctus. The male horsefly feeds on nectar, but the female of this fly uses large pincer mandibles to scissor into mammalian flesh and feast on the blood that wells up. The females of this family are therefore hunters, and it is appropriate that they go out to search for the missing son. Their bites are quite painful, so it is not surprising that horseflies are sisters to a Bad Spirits. A description of an attack by this fly illustrates just how bad a spirit it is:


Suddenly the black bullet is circling, spinning, buzzing, and bearing its hideous blood-sucking fangs. Do horseflies have fangs? Surely not! But the fat man isn’t taking any chances. He flails his hands about like he’s having a seizure, trying to ward off the bug. The bug, crafty and quick, speeds around behind him. Boom! It lands on the back of his shirt. Boom! It lands on his head. Boom! It lands on his face. Now the fat man is screaming like a girl. He climbs onto his bike and speeds off down the trail. The adrenaline pumping through his body turns him into Lance Armstrong. How fast is he going? 20mph? 30? 150? The world is a blur of trees and shadows and gravel dust. His wife falls behind, unable to keep up. The horsefly keeps up fine, propelling itself at supersonic speeds. Boom! It lands on his arms. Boom! It lands on his head. Boom! It lands on his face. He swipes at the bug every time it lands, but the bug is too quick for him. This deranged ballet goes on for over two miles. Two miles! That’s roughly twelve minutes during which this giant bug is crawling on him, biting him, and basically having its way with him. Disgusting! When it’s over, he is so exhausted he thinks he’s having a heart attack. Here lies Fat Man: Hassled to death by a bug. Finally, he bursts out from beneath the dark canopy of trees and into the sunlight, where the bug dares not follow. Freedom at last! But his freedom is little consolation, since he has completely lost his mind. Still screaming, he climbs off his bike and picks it up over his head. “Come get some!” he screams at the bug, which is no longer anywhere to be found.8

When the Green Man contests those abusing the people, one of his opponents is Horsefly (q.v.).

"his own tracks leading everywhere" — as an inner planet, the course of Venus across the sky involves occasional retrograde motion, as well as changes in altitude. As a result, compared to other stars, the course of Evening Star or Morning Star is seemingly chaotic and meandering. For an example of this, see the depiction of Evening Star's course through the heavens in the Commentary to "The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head."

"he stood between the walls of the lodge" — this seems to mean that he hid between the knit twigs of the lodge and the hide that covers it. If the lodge is understood as "where he lives," for Evening Star this would be the sky, at least part of the time. This becomes highly speculative, but there is an interstitial place in the sky that is inhabited by Evening Star. Observers of the heavens will eventually appreciate the fact that the moon can occlude any star, but not conversely. Similarly, though, what we now term "planets" can likewise occlude stars. An appreciation of these facts can lead to the obvious deduction that both Evening Star and Morning Star inhabit a zone in between the moon and the stars. This may be what the allegory is expressing by placing Evening Star in an interstitial place in the abode inhabited by himself (Evening Star), his sister (the Moon), the mother (associated with clouds), and owned by Big Bellied One (the night sky). In the code pertaining to the roasting pit, the Green Man as the roasting stone, is situated in the pit between its walls of dirt and the botanic matter (corn husks) placed on top of him. The sky is conceived as a shell that over-arches the earth, and as such it is like the hide of an animal which is its outer extremity and covering. The corn husks correspond to the twigs used for the inner frame, as both are botanic matter that has been picked to occupy this place in the structure.

"the black stone" — the woman whose son he impersonates keeps her soul in a small black rock, the very thing over which Green Man rules. Black rocks, especially hot black rocks, are normally associated with the Thunderbirds. In "How the Thunders Met the Nights," two Thunderbirds swallow black stones which keep them warm during the cold brought on by the Nightspirits. The Thunders are said to shoot lightning from their eyes in the form of stones, so the association of the black stone seems to be with lightning, perhaps because obsidian and flint are especially known for producing sparks. A woman, therefore, who has a black stone as the seat of her life (soul), would on the face of it seem to have connections to the Thunderbirds. If she is a Thunderbird, she is to be associated with clouds. Her son, Morning Star, is given the byname, "He Who is Wrapped in Clouds," and in the Bladder myths, is said to have founded the human Thunderbird Clan from the wives and children of Herešgúnina. Tecumseh was said to have his soul secreted inside a small black stone in his stomach. See Tecumseh's Bulletproof Skin.

"she raised her elkhorn club and struck him hard" — the Thunderbird Warclub in recent times has had a spike of steel attached to the side opposite the wooden head. Doubtless in earlier times this was made of stone or elkhorn. The woman wielding the elkhorn club is the mother of Big Bellied One, who himself is identified with the pit in which the corn is roasted. As the mother of the pit, it is she who gave birth to it. The way that the pit is created or "born" is by digging the ground, which can be done with picks, such as elkhorn. Therefore, the mother of the pit will constantly strike it with her elkhorn pick, striking him hard. In the astronomical code, the elkhorn club, which is the Thunderbird Warclub as well, represents the lightning. It is especially appropriate that it be elkhorn, because the branching of the lightning is very much reminiscent of the branching of the tines on cervid horns. The lightning strikes the ground just as the pick does in digging up the earth for the pit, and in both cases the result of the strike will ultimately be heated, and will contain a black rock. It is said that the Thunders created the hills and valleys by stamping them down with their feet and with their clubs.9 Here the club creates the "valley" in which the corn is roasted.

"coming back to the lodge over and over" — the "tracks" of Evening Star begin and end with the sun, since whenever it begins its sojourn in the sky it does so leaving its conjunction with the sun, and when it ends it time in the night sky, it does so by coming back into conjunction with the sun. The lodge is located near the fire of the sun, and consequently, as she tracks Evening Star, she too keeps coming back to her own lodge. In the maize code, Green Man is the black rock which is heated for the roasting of the corn. He consequently begins by being rolled into the fire, and after he is sufficiently heated red hot, he is rolled from the fire into the roasting pit, rather like Evening Star beginning and ending in the Fire that is the sun.

"she finally pounded him into the ground" — this is the completion of the pit, which rests well below the ground level. Astronomically, when lightning strikes, it is led by a black stone which will embed itself in the ground (so it is thought) or in whatever else it strikes.

"he was holding the black stone" — the pit now holds the black stone within it. Once she had dug the pit, and placed the stone in it, her role is over. In as much as her role is over, she is from that point on, metaphorically "dead." It is the completion of the pit and the inauguration of the roasting process that brings her role to an end. Astronomically, the pit where the lightning struck necessarily contains the small black rock.

"it dropped into the deep" — in the roasting pit, it is the water that is brought to the stone, being poured on it from above. In this inverted picture, the stone is rolled into the sea. The stone is also the essence of the lightning, and having it submerged under water is the victory of the Waterspirits, here represented by Evening Star, over the Thunders, their mortal enemies.

"I was glad you came" — one of the differences between Morning Star and Evening Star is that the former rises in the morning from the horizon, whereas the Evening Star never rises, but is always in the sky as darkness falls. Thus, Evening Star is always with the night sky, originating there. Therefore, the night sky (Big Bellied One) has a closer affinity to Evening Star (Green Man) than to Morning Star.

"one to keep as a wife" — having more than one wife is considered greedy, and the Hočągara consider greed to be an especially bad vice.

"a man came to visit his sister" — this is Morning Star again in his incarnation as Cricket.

"turned her back on him" — as the moon comes towards Morning Star, who is always close to the solar Fire, her crescent bends away from him, as though she had turned her back on him. As they get closer and she goes by him, she comes to face him.

"he teased her" — there are two kinds of teasing (jič), rajič, which is to tease verbally, and rujič, which is a kind of teasing done by actions. Throwing coals is a rather rough form of rujič.

"live coals" — these may be stars associated with Morning Star before sunrise when the crescent moon is nearby. The crescent moon will occlude some of these small points of light as it progresses through the sky. Those that it occludes near its bottom edge will only disappear briefly, as though they had landed on the moon but were brushed off.

"he took her away with him" — when Morning Star goes to earth and leaves the sky where he meets the waning moon, he falls into conjunction with the sun. This will occasionally happen at the same time that the moon is also falling into the sun in its own solar conjunction. Thus, the two of them run off together to the same place.

"the young man's wife" — as we saw above, she too is a moon. Evening Star, like Morning Star, also appears in the sky near the crescent moon, but this moon is one that is on the ascent, leaving the sun and progressing to its fullness on the opposite side of the horizon. That moon will eventually end up in the east. Only on rare occasions will a moon passing close to Evening Star end up also passing close to Morning Star; but this would occur when Evening Star falls into inferior conjunction, since it is only eight days later that Morning Star rises in the east, early enough to meet the end of a moon four weeks after Evening Star's departure from the sky.

"so many forked sticks" — this saying may derive from a possible homonym with the word ča, which can mean, "forked tree, forked piece of wood," and "wife, friend," a sense of the word that Marino considered to be doubtful. Although the status of women is often impugned, and it is frequently said that they are of no intrinsic value, still many a story revolves around the high value that men assign to their women, whether as wives or sisters.

"sit opposite me" — if we accept the idea that Big Bellied One is the night sky, then for Evening Star to sit opposite him means that Evening Star is very close to the sun. This would make the fire the counterpart to the sun. As the sun set, of course, the sky blackens first on the opposite (eastern) horizon, opposite where Evening Star as Green Man sits. There are two times in Evening Star's sojourn in the sky that it is very near the sun: when it first leaves conjunction to appear in the sky, and when it is about to achieve conjunction and leave the sky. As we see from the next entry, what is being described in the allegory is the descent of Evening Star to the horizon, and his leaving the lodge of Big Bellied One, the night sky.

"he ate nothing at all" — eating is used to characterize the brightness (size) of Evening Star, since fasting will cause him to waste away. The progression of brightness (magnitude) varies according to Evening Star's position in the Venus Cycle (as shown in the astronomy program "Starry Nights"). This particular path across the heavens taken by Evening Star after superior conjunction should hold for a whole series of years in the Venus Cycle of 8 years (... 1633, 1641, 1649, 1657, ... 1697, 1705, 1713, 1721, 1729, ... 1740, 1748, 1764, ... ), until the precession of the equinox causes the background stars to drift out of alignment for this course in the night sky. The last column measures the difference in magnitude from Evening Star's peak value (yellow) in late July of that year.

At Sunset on Mag. Diff.
January 1, 1748 -3.91 -.56
February 1, 1748 -3.92 -.55
March 1, 1748 -3.96 -.51
April 1, 1748 -4.01 -.42
May 1, 1748 -4.10 -.33
June 1, 1748 -4.24 -.23
July 1, 1748 -4.43 -.05
July 15, 1748 -4.47 0
July 20, 1748 -4.47 0
July 25, 1748 -4.44 -.03
July 27, 1748 -4.42 -.05
July 29, 1748 -4.40 -.07
July 31, 1748 -4.37 -.10
August 1, 1748 -4.35 -.12
August 2, 1748 -4.33 -.14
August 3, 1748 -4.31 -.16
August 4, 1748 -4.29 -.18
August 5, 1748 -4.27 -.20
August 6, 1748 -4.25 -.22
August 7, 1748 -4.22 -.25
August 8, 1748 -4.19 -.28
August 9, 1748 -4.17 -.30

In a well known phenomenon, Evening Star starts off very "thin" and gets fatter and fatter, until a fortnight before conjunction, he rather precipitously diminishes. The 20 days of Evening Star's physical decline in girth and energy is only eight days short of the 28 day period of the light of the moon. During this period, his lunar wife has run off (across the sky) to the east where Morning Star dwells, and now lives there as a captive.


"knoll" — knolls often represent sacred places where spirits dwell. On the other hand, a bear living in a knoll might indicate that he is hibernating. This image fits nicely with the "hibernation" of Evening Star during conjunction, as he disappears into the earth and no longer travels in the sky. However, judging from the analysis of one of the Redhorn myths, specifically "The Red Man" (q.v.), there seems to be an asterism connected to the bear in the vicinity of the Gemini portion of the Milky Way. A good candidate is the "Bear's Den" of the neighboring and related Sioux, which is located opposite the Gemini twins in the Milky Way itself. It is a "slot" in the Milky Way defined by the stars Mebsuta, Tejat Posterior, Alhena, and Mekbuda, and perhaps even including Castor and Pollux. Around June 9 in the year 1697 (1705, ..., etc.), Evening Star is just entering the Bear Lodge asterism. When earlier in the year, the Milky Way there is standing upright, the Bear Lodge is conceived to be in a tree above the ground. Here the whole has become tilted on its side, so that the asterism now projects upwards. It does so from the ground, where half its part of the Milky Way has fallen below the horizon. Thus, it projects up from the literal ground just as if it were a knoll.

The black stone of the roasting pit is probably put inside a stack of kindling wood when it is fired up until it is red hot. This stack forms a little knoll that keeps the hibernating black bear (the stone), without doubt, very warm.

"dragged out a bear by its hair" — Evening Star (Green Man) actually enters the bear's knoll (as we see from the illustration above). Around June 12, not too long before he sets along with the whole Bear's Lodge, he begins to enter it. On June 20, 1697, Evening Star sets into the ground and begins his conjunction with the sun. Makbuda, the "highest" stellar point on the Bear Lodge, disappears from the sky on June 25.

"he singed it" — Evening Star, having entered the Bear Lodge, now becomes identified with the bear who fur is the color of the night. He and the bear inside now fall into the sun, as Evening Star has reached conjunction. This is expressed allegorically by the bear being "singed" by the celestial Fire. In the maize code, the same is true of the black rock of the roasting pit with which Green Man is identical — it too is "singed" in the fire to heat it up for its role in cooking.

"boiled" — the bear of the Bear Lodge sinks below the horizon at the same time that he is united with the Fire of the sun. At the edge of the world is the Ocean Sea, which the Hočągara call Te Jąra, "The Encircling Lake." So the bear lands in the Ocean at the same time that he is being cooked over the Fire, a situation that elsewhere is homologized to boiling (see Bluehorn Rescues His Sister). Also, since he is traveling through the Milky Way as it is over the sun, it too is being "boiled."

"the trees in the middle of the lodge" — these would be the two halves of the Milky Way which resemble trees and which grow in the lodge of the night sky (Big Bellied One). The Bear Lodge is actually located in one of these trees, and when the bear is put in to boil at the Ocean Sea under the solar Fire, it is moving while fixed in the branches of the Gemini side Milky Way "tree." In the code pertaining to the roasting pit, the heated stone would also be rolled or carried using branches, just like the stones used in a sweat bath.

"whenever he broke one of the bones with his teeth, it would sing out" — sound, as has been noted, is used as a symbol for light. If the bear is a form of Green Man and therefore represents the black rock as well, then the chipping of one rock against another will produce sparks and make a noise. What is more puzzling is the meaning of this in an astronomy code. It could merely mean that as Evening Star comes into contact with other stars, the net light from them is increased.

"soup" — the boiling of the bear (see above) produces soup. This soup is internalized by Evening Star, which is a way showing his mystical identity with the bear, just as we see in the next entry. The Milky Way is water, so as Evening Star passes in front of the Milky Way, he ingests it as "soup." In the maize code, when the black rock is placed in the pit to perform its role in roasting the corn, water is poured into the pit to create the steam that actually cooks the corn. This water can be viewed as the bear "soup." In steam baths, sometimes actual bear lard, melted and poured from a bladder, is squirted onto the hot stone to produce the vapor for the bath. It may well be the case that bear oil could be used in the roasting pit as well, although one would think that some substantial quantity might be required.

"he wore as his blanket" — in the astronomy code, we have arrived at conjunction. Bear fur ranges in color from grayish through brown to black. At conjunction, Evening Star disappears from the sky, so his blanket is black. That the black fur is of a bear, makes Evening Star (and Morning Star) bears, at least outwardly. Bears are strong animals who hibernate, which is also a fair characterization of both stars when they fall into conjunction and pass into the earth. In the maize code, Green Man is chief of the black rocks, so it is wholly appropriate that he dress in black.

"he looked just like the man who had abducted his women" — here again we have a repetition of the theme of the doppelgänger, which lends support to the idea that the abductor is another guise of Morning Star. At inferior conjunction into which Evening Star rests, Morning Star too is in conjunction and is absent from the sky. So they are both "dressed in black." The rock used in the roasting pit is also "dressed in black," and has at least a superficial resemblance to a cricket, one of the avatars of the abductor, Morning Star.

"every time that he got up to leave, he would turn around and sit back down" — this seems to describe (out of proper order) the fact that when Evening Star appears "standing" in the sky near conjunction, he quickly sets below the horizon ("sits"). A table shows that this indecision gets more and more pronounced.

Date Sunset (hrs.) ES Sets (hrs.) Diff. (mins.)
August 4, 1748 2014 2037 23
August 5, 1748 2013 2032 19
August 6, 1748 2011 2026 15
August 7, 1748 2010 2020 10
August 8, 1748 2009 2014 5
August 9, 1748 2007 2008 1

These figures are somewhat distorted, since Evening Star appears in the daylight sky before sunset, but the constantly declining, shorter interval of each succeeding night is evident. So near the end (conjunction), Evening Star is up for just a few minutes before "sitting down" (setting) again.

"then he started again" — this beings a new sojourn of Evening Star in the sky. We can say without fear of refutation that he is following the tracks of Morning Star so that he can arrive at his lodge and confront him for the theft of his women. In the diagram below, which shows the paths of Morning Star and Evening Star, as well as Jupiter, across the Gemini Milky Way, we see that Morning Star's trek is reproduced fairly closely by Evening Star about 5 years later. So it is as the myth portrays it, Green Man is walking to where the abductor lives, and we must assume that he is doing so by following his tracks.

The Path of Evening Star, 6/14/1705 - 5/15/1705  
A White-Tailed Deer Flagging
Starry Night Software  
D. Gordon E. Robertson

"a small deer" — we do not have the original Hočąk text, however "small deer" could be rendered by čanįk, where nįk means "little, small." This is the word for fawn (Miner, and the Hočąk Language Center). Also the stem xunu- means "small," but is also used to mean "young," so a ča-xunu-, would be both a "small deer" and a "young deer." Therefore, "small deer" in Hočąk would mean a fawn. This is of interest since we have an astronomical code operative in this myth, and elsewhere the fawn, because of its speckled hide, is seen as an image of the starry sky (or at least clusters of stars). Such is the case, for instance, among the Pawnee.10 For the same among the Omaha, see the next entry. However, given the hypothesis presented here, the mythographer is probably representing the asterism called "Deer Rump," the Pleiades, as a small deer because it is a mere tight star cluster, rather than a full size constellation.

"The deer came right up to him" — the odd behavior of the deer is explicable once we realize that the deer of this time does not have a "trembling heart" and is therefore more nearly fearless. In astronomical terms, we would expect that some deer star or stars are approaching Evening Star as he is trailing his doppelgänger, Morning Star. Evening Star, of course, is always in the west. In certain years (at 8 year intervals of the Venus cycle) near the beginning of April, the Pleiades star cluster, which the Hočągara call Ča-šįč, the "Deer Rump," comes to the Evening Star, and thereafter parts company. This is the likely candidate for the deer encountered by Evening Star (Green Man). Among the related Omaha,

Tape, "head of the deer," is the name given to the Pleiades. The rites formerly in charge of this gens are lost, but there are traditions that point to the strong probability that they related to the stars and the night skies. These rites seem to have been connected with myths dealing with the Creation. In them wild-cat skin and the fawn skin were used, their spotted appearance having a symbolic reference to the heavens at night.11

The same star cluster called "Deer Rump" by the Hočągara is called "Deer Head" by the Omaha (and Osage). We see in the star chart above that Evening Star comes right up to the Deer Rump, almost eclipsing it. This would seem to be the meeting between the deer and Green Man as he is traveling towards the waters of the swan's lake.

"piece of dirt" — once the Deer Rump stars set, they are given a heart of dirt, inasmuch as they have now become one with earth.

"skitterish" — the Deer Rump stars flee away, and disappear into the horizon on May 16, 1705, about a month and a half after they met, and about the time that Evening Star arrives at the shore of the lake. The Pleiades, we know, are fleeing stars. The rump of the white tail deer is bright white, but this bit of counter-chemoflage is normally concealed by its brown triangular tail. The underside of this tale is itself also a brilliant white. In response to the sighting of a predator at a distance, the deer raises its tail straight up in a maneuver called "flagging," which exposes at once both the white underside of the tail, and the white rump which it had covered.12 Therefore, the Pleiades cluster is a deer flagging as it flees.

"he eventually came to a lake" — after the Deer Rump parts from Evening Star, that star goes on with his own journey. The next things in the celestial world that he meets is the Milky Way. He takes a high route and ends up on the edge of the Milky Way opposite the Gemini star Castor. In the Hočąk tradition, the Milky Way was created when an otter and a Giant (Wągeručge) splashed water from the Ocean Sea into the sky (see "The Origins of the Milky Way"). Therefore, the Milky Way is hydrous, and the counterpart in the heavens of the Ocean Sea. Therefore, on May 15, 1705, Evening Star finds itself on the shore of a lake.

"a white swan" — the swan makes an excellent counterpart to Morning Star, as it is not only large and bright white flier, but is loud and aggressive. In Hočąk symbolism, sound can stand for light, so that a loud bird must represent a "loud" (bright) star. The cricket, an alloform of Morning Star, has analogies to the swan as well. The house cricket (Gyllus b.) in any case, on the occasion of its last molt, emerges in a milky white body, and is able to fly for 3 to 5 days, after which it hardens and darkens, and although it becomes incapable of flight, it acquires the ability to make a great deal of noise. However, in our story, Evening Star actually meets the swan, while trailing Morning Star across the sky and does not meet his opponent until quite some time later. The swan carries the heart of Morning Star without being him. So who is this swan? We see from the star chart above, that when Evening Star as Green Man arrives at the shore of the Milky Way lake, there in the center is to be found a star that the untutored might well confuse with Morning Star. This is Jupiter. The swan is a good expression of this star's nature, as it is also an aquatic bird, and in the year 1705, sits in the middle of the lake. Who else would hold the essence of Morning Star? Since there is no difference between Morning Star and Evening Star, the swan responds to the commands of the latter. As Evening Star undergoes retrograde motion which makes it look as though he is moving down the shore, Jupiter as the swan is swimming across the Milky Way lake right towards him.

In the relevant time frame of this story, the Evening Star would reach the horizon and set with the sun around June 20 (in this case in the year 1705), and go into what is called "inferior conjunction." This occurs, as we now know, when Venus passes in front of the sun for a period of about 8 days, although people with irregularly contoured horizons will see this star disappear from the sky somewhat longer. Around the edge of the world is the Ocean Sea, which the Hočągara called Te Ją, the "Encircling Lake." So when the Evening Star as Green Man sets, he does so at the banks of a lake (te), the "lake" at the edge of the world. (We have no reason to believe that the Hočągara of olden times thought of the ocean that circled the continent as being any different from the freshwater Lake Michigan, except larger.) So the Milky Way lake sinks into the literal Ocean Sea (as it is imaged to be), making the meeting of the swan and Green Man a literal as well as figurative meeting at the shores of a lake.

"a nest" — when Evening Star and Jupiter meet in 1705, the Morning Star is out of the sky (in conjunction), and has gone to ground. Morning Star is immobile and no longer travels across the sky, so in that respect it is an egg. An egg is a potentiality, a swan in the making. Morning Star is not dead, his absence from the sky is merely an interregnum. It is as if he hatches anew as a swan every time that he rises again from the earth. The nest contains a heart. The heart is here the life of Morning Star, his essence. Inasmuch as an egg is the original of the swan's life, the kind of life that Morning Star himself has, it is homologous to the heart as seat-of-life. The nest is also the home of a bird. When Evening Star and Jupiter meet, they are both standing in the Bear Lodge asterism, and he is dressed in the skin of the bear, as if he were the proper inhabitant of that astral lodge.

The egg is also the perfect symbol of Morning Star as a cricket. Field crickets (Gyllus pennsylvanicus) also periodically disappear from their realm as the frost of late autumn kills them off. The way that they over-winter is through their eggs, which at some point are buried in snow, a "nest of white feathers." Just as Morning Star is reborn as from a swan's egg, so too is his insect avatar reborn through the cricket egg.

"five feathers" — feathers function as the means of flight as well as the covering of birds. So the heart of Morning Star is clothed in white like the star itself, and capable of leaving this earth through flight. Five is the symbol of the directions including the center. Both Morning Star and Evening Star, and for that matter Jupiter as well, are directional because they rise and set in conjunction with the sun. It is the sun that defines the cardinal directions, which are not absolute, since the sun drifts across the horizon according to the season. This can be seen in the names for the directions: east, wiaǧéphu, "where the sun rises"; north, wiówanį́jané, "where the sun does not go"; west, wioiré, "where the sun goes down"; south, wióročąjerá, "where the sun straightens out" (Miner). More importantly, five is also the number of different apparitions of the Morning Star, the cycle being completed in an eight year period.

"human heart" — in ancient thought almost everywhere, the heart was seen as the seat of consciousness. To lose consciousness permanently is to be dead, so destruction of the heart is lethal. This makes the heart a complementary counterpart to the head, which is conceived as the seat of life, which is to say, the life-soul. When a head is taken in battle, it is more than a trophy, it is a captured soul, a soul bound to the man who possesses the head in which it dwelt. Both the heart and head are necessary to conscious life, the loss of either is fatal. By concealing his heart, Morning Star is made invulnerable.

"a guard even circled over head" — this is perhaps a reference to Hex S'įra, "the Swan's Foot," the name given to the Little Dipper, which as a circumpolar constellation, always circles overhead.

"he swapped it" — the initial episode of the "Green Man" begins much the same way as The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head and Bluehorn's Nephews. "Redstar" (wiragošge šuč) and "Bluehorn" (Hečoga) are both names for the Evening Star. In these stories, Evening Star's head in taken by Morning Star, who in one version is identified with the Hočąk Devil, Herešgúnina. Morning Star carries the head of Evening Star through the heavens, and only loses it when he is ambushed as he drinks from the waters at the edge of the world. The loss of a head is apparently not fatal to a spirit being, since Evening Star lived on in both body and head. Similarly, in our story the spirit being whose heart has been separated from his chest, still goes on as if nothing had happened. In a reversal of roles, now Evening Star takes the counterpart of the head from Morning Star and carries it around with him on earth. Instead of losing his captured organ at the Ocean Sea, it is here that Evening Star acquires it. In the celestial chart above, we see that in 1705, Evening Star, following the path that Morning Star had taken earlier, ends up meeting Jupiter at the edge of the Milky Way. This meeting is actually one of contact, just as the myth suggests it should be. The striking correspondences suggest that the whole episode is an allegory based upon events inspired by what happened to Evening Star in 1705, and to a lesser extent in 1729.


"broken backs" — this is an allegorical description of the buffalo, an animal which appears to have a broken spine at his shoulders [see inset]. We learn from another story (q.v.), that Bluehorn is chief over the buffalo even though he is a Waterspirit. These buffalo are stars, and Bluehorn, as Evening Star, is their chief because he is the brightest star in the heavens when he is in the sky. The other stars are buffalo because they are like a vast herd traveling across the flat plain of the night sky, just as buffalo traverse the plains here on earth. (For more on this, see the Commentary to "Bluehorn Rescues His Sister.") That the buffalo are stars, might mean that the field over which the broken backed people preside is the celestial vault of the night sky. On the other hand, since the stars set into the underworld, the field might represent the subterranean plain that they traverse during the day.

In the maize code, the field should represent the field of maize. There is another meaning to the broken back that is apropos to the condition of Big Bellied One. As we learn from the Hare Cycle, when death entered the world, Grandmother's back caved in. Grandmother is the Earth, and mortality causes her back to cave in because the grave is dug in her "back." Big Bellied One, as is stated below, is the roasting pit, an earthen repository very similar to a grave. Therefore, he too has his back caved in. Consequently, the roasting pits have broken backs. They are dug near the fields of maize since the produce from the harvest is deposited in them when the green corn of August is roasted. On the ventral side of the body opposite the backbone is the belly whence he gets his name. Since the corn is deposited in the void under his broken back, and since it is food, it is fair to describe the pit as a "big belly" as well.

"he saw his brother there" — as we learn at the end of the myth, his brother, Big Bellied One, is the pit in which the corn is roasted. The harvest of the corn field is put into him, so it is said at the conclusion, "and his younger brother said that he would remain among the green fields." The pit is like a green field since it contains the corn, including husks and corn silk. In the astronomical code, Big Bellied One contains both the Green Man (Evening Star), who is the black rock heated to roast corn, and the latter's sister, who is Moon, here identified with corn silk. It would certainly seem, therefore, that he must be the night sky. Yet he is said to be one of the broken backed people in the field. As buffalo, they are identical with "stars" in the broadest sense of the term. In Hočąk the operative term is wi, "luminary." The sun is hąp-wi-ra, "the day luminary"; the moon is hąhe-wira, "the night luminary." The word for stars, wiragošge, uses wira as its stem. Given that the night sky is dotted with stars and the moon, it too could be considered a luminary. It sets in the earth along with its stars. So in this way of looking at it, it could be seen as a buffalo in its own right, and therefore one of the broken backed people presiding over the field.

"One Legged One" — this is an avatar of Herešgúnina himself, the Hočąk Devil. He was the first man created by Earthmaker, and became one legged because his legs had fused together, or because one of them had broken off. Because his creation was defective, Earthmaker cast him away. See One Legged One.

"Horsefly" — although mentioned among the spirits aligned against Green Man as his allies, Horsefly seems in this variant to have no role in the competition. Apparently the competition at which he excels and the Good Spirit against whom he is aligned have been omitted, although other tellings of this story could be expected to contain such an episode.


"Cricket" — it turns out from what is said further on that Cricket is one and the same as Green Man's primary opponent, the man whose two wives he has brought with him. This opponent, as we first noted above, is Morning Star, the stellar enemy of Green Man as Evening Star (Red Star). The most common kind of field cricket in Wisconsin is the Gryllus pennsylvanicus, which has but one generation a year, and winters over as an egg. Most crickets are nocturnal, which is to say, that like stars, they "come out at night." Very important in astronomical codes is the Hočąk symbolic convention of using sound to symbolize light. The cricket is the noisiest of all insects just as Morning Star is the brightest of all stars. However, for most of its life the cricket lies buried in the earth, and then once is has made its final molt into adulthood, it suddenly begins to "sing." This is very much like the rising of the Morning Star, which appears to come out of the ground and separate itself from the sun. It suddenly appears after being unseen, then shines with unrivaled brilliance (here expressed as the sudden, noisy weeping of the crickets). The house cricket, at least, is milky white when it first comes out of its last molt, and can actual fly for 3 to 5 days, but thereafter becomes flightless and dark in coloration. This too is like Morning Star, which spends some time as a white flier in the night sky, then disappears into the earth (at conjunction).

Another feature of the cricket is the black spikes that run up and down one side of his legs. This may be part of the explanation for the strange anatomy found in Red Star, the Twins, and their mirror image opponent. These are the flint knives that run down their arms, a mysterious and exotic piece of anatomy.

"he had sunk deeper than even the Meteor Spirit" — this is because the Green Man is the Evening Star, who sets very gradually, but sinks deep below the surface of the earth just as do the stars who accompany him in his journey below the western horizon. Meteors, in contrast, merely dig a crater on the surface of the earth. Most meteorites found on earth are not deeply buried, and don't leave a crater. By contrast, the black rock of the roasting pit, which is identified with Green Man, is at the bottom of a rather deep pit.

"foot race" — the Green Man (Bluehorn) as Evening Star has a reputation for fleetness of foot, as it says here,

(32) And he [Evening Star] came running home, he even knocked all the trees down in his path, it is said. So they told him to come slower, so he stopped and the wind became calmer. ... (40) The second to the youngest said, "Grandfather! the Red (41) Star blessed me with fleetness," he said. "Hohó grandson, it is quite fair ..."13

Evening Star is slightly faster than other stars, since as a planet ("wanderer") he moves through the stars, which appear fixed relative to his own motion. As the black rock, he is also very fast, since as a heavy object, he accelerates to a great velocity when he is dumped into the pit.

"Jump" — why would Green Man be particularly good at Jump? The Evening Star, with whom he is identical, initially appears in the sky by separating from the sun near the horizon as it sets. As time passes, the Evening Star rises higher and higher in the night sky, then as if compelled by gravity, just as gradually falls back to the sun and the earth at the horizon. His jump is higher even than the highest hill. Evening Star's doppelgänger who is here, ex hypothesi, identified with Morning Star, has this same property, a fact which is expressed in his identity with the cricket, who is also known as a jumper. In the maize code, the world is inverted. The Big Belly, otherwise the night sky, is now turned upside down and becomes the roasting pit. The roasting stone, which is identified with Green Man, still jumps, but in this case, he jumps down into the pit.

"raccoon liver" — Trickster shoots his opponents with raccoon liver when they are playing Jump. Trickster himself is sometimes said to wear a raccoon coat, a symbol of his nature, as the raccoon is also a trickster, one that specializes, as raccoons in nature often do, in leading people astray. So Trickster projects a raccoon's power to deflect the course of his rivals astray. The choice of liver probably turns on a pun. The term for liver is pi, which is a homonym as a verb, meaning "to break up, spread out, defeat" (Marino). So Trickster strikes his opponents with pi, "defeat." Grasshopper was struck in such a way that it affected his stomach, šibera, and in another pun on a near homonym, he was caused to fall, šibere.

"mist" — it might seem as if the Green Man has some associations with the Thunderbirds, since having an accompanying mist which followed him as he jumped over the hill, is a characteristic of Thunderbirds. All this might make it seem unlikely that he is to be identified with Bluehorn, who is among other things, a Waterspirit, the very opposite of a Thunderbird. Although blue is normally associated with Waterspirits, it is also associated with lightning and fire. It is said variously that blue is the color of Eagle or of Hawk (Wonáǧire Wąkšik) in their Thunderbird forms. On the other hand, the mist trailed by Green Man comports with the geysers said to be ejected upwards by Waterspirits, especially on occasions in which they are engaged in fighting Thunderbirds. That the woman has her soul in a black stone and is an adversary of Green Man, may make her rather more identifiable with Thunders, and Green Man therefore more aligned with Waterspirits. That he is chief of the black stones is clearly derived from their use in sweat baths and most especially in their use in the cooking of corn by steam. In this role he is the cause of the upward flow of steam, a state of water, and therefore a product appropriately associated with Waterspirits. This is the "mist" with which he is most clearly associated. His black stones generate clouds, whereas the black stones of the Thunders are generated by clouds.

"Kunu disappeared over the other side of the hill" — as Evening Star, he will suddenly appear in the sky once the sun's light has diminished sufficiently. It is as though he had jumped into position unseen. This configuration is inverted in the roasting pit, where the floor is the counterpart to the ceiling. The heated stone with which he is identified, is dropped to the bottom of the pit, then a mountain of corn and husks is piled atop him, all of which is buried under a veneer of earth, so that the "ceiling" is on the bottom and the earth is on the top, an image of the subterranean celestial sphere. After the stone "jumps" into place, and the inverted hill is made with the corn, water is poured in. This generates steam, the "mist" referred to above.

"Turtle" — the box turtle, in any case, is a predator of crickets, so it seems appropriate that Turtle should dispatch Cricket.

"tore it" — the raking of Turtle's claws across the heart of Morning Star may correspond to the raking of Morning Star's finger nails across the face of the severed head of Evening Star in the other versions, since, as we have seen, the heart corresponds in this story to the head in the others.

"his claws" — the "real heart" of Morning Star leaves on a journey through the stars until it is raked by Turtle's claws, causing him to cry out and dissolve into a myriad of crickets. The singing of the fall field cricket (Gryllus pennsylvanicus) occurs in late autumn when the corn ripens. It happens that near this time (Aug. 8-16, 1707) the Morning Star passes underneath the two Gemini stars (Castor and Pollux), which form a straight line like a turtle claw. As the "claw" formed by Castor and Pollux passes over the Morning Star, it "rakes" it at just the time that the crickets begin their song of mourning, which is the crying out of Morning Star in his earthly avatar. After that, Morning Star gradually falls into the sun and earth. Morning Star "dies" around the time of the first frost, the same time that the crickets also perish.

"cry" — at the very time that the greens ripen, the crickets begin to cry. This is represented in the crying of Cricket as he dies, or rather metamorphoses into crickets. At this time, the crickets themselves seemingly disintegrate or "split apart," as they throw off their old "skin" in their last molting, and emerge ready to "cry."

"they announce when the greens are ripe" — crickets hatch at about the same time that corn is planted, and in three months they reach maturity. So they hatch in the month of Mąįna'ųwira "the Cultivating Moon"; then they become nymphs in the month of Waxojrawira, "the Corn Tasseling Moon"; after which they reach maturity during Watajoxhiwira, "the Corn Popping Moon," just when the green corn becomes ripe (see the lists of Hočąk moons). As soon as they are mature, the males make chirping sounds to attract mates. So their life cycle corresponds to that of the green things of the growing season, especially the staple crop of maize. As a contemporary scientist observes,

The synchrony of season and advent of maturity is one of the universal wonders of nature. One day the crickets are mute nymphs; then, as if by some agreed-upon signal cued by the season, they all molt, become adults, and celebrate the occasion in song.14

However, in the Hočąk imagination, they do not sing or celebrate, but weep for the lost of their once formidable power.

"syrup" — of course, the paradigm of such trees is the maple. The word for syrup is taniju zizip, "watery sugar." The word for the maple tree which contains the taniju zizip, is nąsąk, "pure wood." The sugar used to be the opposite of zizip (watery), which is to say dry, which in Hočąk is sak. So the maple tree was once a dry wood, nąsak, but after Trickster urinated on it, it became nąsąk, ironically "pure," but in the same token, it was no longer dry, and its contents became zizip. Taniju and tanihu, "pipe," form a strong assonance, and the tanihu zizip used was Trickster's penis. The difference between tani-hu (literally "tobacco stem") and tani-ju, is the word ju, which fittingly means "precipitation."

"younger brother" — some confusion arises in reading this story from the fact that Big Bellied One was referred to by Green Man as "older brother," but this was only when he was pretending to be Big Belly's assassinated younger brother, or at least half-brother. At the end of the myth, the narrative begins to refer to Green Man as Kunu, which means "eldest born male." This means that in fact he is the first born in his family and therefore the oldest brother. Thus the younger brother referred to in the conclusion of the myth is one and the same as Big Bellied One. This explains why he is big bellied: the younger brother is the spirit of the pit into which the corn is steamed. This is his giant "belly" and what is put into is indeed an enormous amount of food.

"she too had a broken back" — the thesis advanced here, based on character assignments made elsewhere, is that the sister of Green Man is the Moon. As the moon sinks into the earth, she becomes more and more a thin sliver of a crescent. As a crescent she resembles one with a bent back. Therefore, she too can be accommodated to the image of the broken backed ones who preside over the field.

"hung them up" — in the roasting of the maize, the corn put into the pit is eventually raised up out of it to be eaten. Here the process of creating food from the raw corn is represented by an alternative kind of food processing, the making of corn bread (waboxíri, "corn mash"). The pit, as we have seen, is his "belly." So the corn kernels within are to be identified with the stars of the night sky. The stars also subsist in the day sky, the ascending darkness gradually making them visible. In the day sky they are "washed out" by the light. They become like corn bread, where the individual grains of maize are no longer discernible, having been processed by the "fire" (the Sun). Yet this is the same "food" that is to find its way into the belly of Big Bellied One, the night sky, just as in his role as the pit, the corn finds it way there in the processing of the maize by roasting.

"take a bite of it" — in the astronomy code, ex hypothesi, Big Bellied One is the night sky. And, in addition, as the corn roasting pit, he contains the maize kernels which reside in his "belly." The night sky is also a belly that contains the corn kernels, each one of which is a star. Just as the corn roasting pit gradually fills with maize, so too does the night sky slowly come into its own and fill with newly visible stars after the sun sets and the blue of the day sky fades into darkness. Thus the night sky takes bites out of the indiscernible mash of corn that is in the day sky, until it swallows it up and the maize is engulfed in the belly of the night.

"his brother sang for him" — Green Man (Wąkčoga) is the Evening Star in the astronomy code. There he is known as "Bluehorn," since his "hair" is the blue sky. In that context, Wąkčoga is better translated as "Blue Man" (as Radin has it), the word čo being ambiguous between blue and green, since it spans that whole sector of the spectrum. The Evening Star is the Blue Man for the same reason that he is the Red Star. He is the Red Star not because he is red, but because when the Evening Star is low on the horizon, as it most frequently is (being Venus and orbiting the Sun), it is surrounded by the red sky of the setting sun, the red glow of twilight's horizon. When Evening Star is higher in the sky, as the sun sets it gradually becomes visible. In fact, it is the first to become visible, and is often so when the sun is still up. Thus it is visible in the blue sky, and being surrounded by blue, it is the Blue Man, just as it was the Red Star when it was surrounded by red sky. When the star is finally contrasted against the black background of the nocturnal sky, it shines as a white star of unparalleled magnitude. It is a widespread convention in Hočąk mythological symbolism to equate sound with light (see, for instance, the commentary to Įčorucika and His Brothers). Loud sound, therefore, is bright light. The bright light of Evening Star risen, is now expressed as his singing. The Evening Star shines in the blue sky and heralds the night sky. The Evening Star shines or "sings" before the night sky rises up, just as Blue Man is doing in the story.

"he kept straining until finally his back straightened up" — as the night sky attempts to put the "corn" (stars) into his belly, he begins to rise up and gradually engulf them all. Finally, he is standing up completely, rather than resting on the eastern horizon as a twilight. When he does, he will have "eaten" (put in his "belly") all the "corn" (stars) of the day sky. It is only in this process that all the luminaries of the nocturnal sky come to rise from the ground. In his role as the roasting pit, he strains to fill up with corn, and when he does so, his back ceases to be caved in or broken, since the cavity in the earth has now been filled. His object is to get the corn into his belly, and in so doing, by analogy, he is necessarily "eating" the corn. So in eating the corn that is above him, whether as literal corn in the ears above the ground in the corn patch, or as the indistinct stars of the day sky, his back is straightened out.

"he got up and danced" — in the astronomy code, the meaning of this is clear from its symbolism elsewhere. In Įčorucika and His Brothers, a story about fixed stars, the hero and his brothers are said to dance (see the Commentary there). This is a reference to the motion of stars in the heavens, who like American Indians, dance to their songs (sound for light, as above), in a circular pattern. So once the night sky ascends completely and the blue sky sets, its stars "get up" and "dance" in a perfect circle. In the culinary code, this refers to a literal dance. In his chapter entitled "Miscellaneous Dances," Radin describes the Wačonąkewe Feast:

Informant, member of Beaver clan: Just about roasting-ear month people would commence to fast and continue until the green corn is ripe enough to be eaten. They fast so that all the plants may strengthen the tribe. The fast generally takes place in a special lodge, from under which all the grass has been cut, for the faster must not come into contact with anything that is green. When the fasting is over a feast is given at which all those present eat "greens" for the first time.15

So when the green corn is ready to be roasted in the pit, a fast is broken and the people feast on corn. During this feast dancing takes place. Such is the feast of Wačonąkewe ("Those who are Afraid of Anything Green") that those who have been deprived of corn, symbolized by the empty roasting pits, now are able to "get up and dance."

"all the things that were lost in gambling, they now reclaimed and spread them over the face of the earth" — the context in which this occurs now makes clear what the meaning of gambling is. In gambling, someone proffers a "stake" which is something of value that is put at risk of loss to an opponent in a contest. The object of risking the stake is to both retrieve the original stake and to capture the opponent's stake, thereby achieving a substantial profit. Engaging in agriculture is a gamble. It is a gamble against the spirits who control the greens, as Cricket once did. Corn kernels, which have value as food, are put at risk by being treated as seed. The seed corn is buried in the earth in the hope that it will germinate and ultimately lead to a corn crop whose yield far exceeds what was staked. This food is put at great risk to the Bad Spirits who attack corn: the weather, crows, weeds, insects, and soil conditions. The people gamble that the Good Spirits will help them fend off these enemies and the spirits that stand behind the detrimental processes of nature. Once they have filled the pits with their corn crop, they have won. They have reclaimed what they had wagered and "lost" to the earth (the realm of the cricket), and the goods of this victory are spread among the people. Similarly, the stars are gambled between the day and night skies when the day sky captures them only to lose the contest to the night sky who reclaims them in its darkness, and raises up new stars from the ground.

Comparative Material. The story up to the point where the old woman's lithic soul is thrown into the deep, is almost identical to a Dakota myth from Zitkala-Ṣa. The daughter of the chief wanted to marry a man of no account, but her parents forbade it, so she ran away. The whole village searched for her, and finally found her hiding in the willows. So they called her, “Hides in the Willows”. Even though she was closely watched, she again escaped, and ran into the night and did not stop running for several days. Finally, she was near exhaustion when she came onto a teepee in front of which a man was busy making arrows. Out of the teepee came a bear, who was the man’s companion. The man asked her what she wished, and she said that she might be his wife, but he wanted no part of that, so she said, “Let me be your younger sister, and you shall be my tibido.” To this he assented, and she lived with him. Then one day he announced that he was going on a long trip and that she should watch out for Iktomi and for his own twin brother. He reminded her that he wore a red earring and that his brother did not. Shortly thereafter, Iktomi did indeed come, but she would not respond to him in any way. The next day a man who seemed to be her brother showed up and was very abusive, but he lacked a red earring, so she knew it was not him. When her brother did return, he said he would fight his twin the next time he showed up. Then one day the twin appeared before them. No one could tell them apart, even their dress was the same, down to the red earring. The two men fought until the sister lost track of their identity. “Kill him,” each of them yelled. Finally, she killed the one whose voice seemed different. Her brother was greatly relieved, and through the body of his twin on a pyre and burnt it to ashes. However, as the fire raged, all kinds of wonderful things rained out of the fire, beads, shells, copper ornaments sailed through the air and landed like hail passing through the leaves of a tree. Her brother warned her, “Do not touch then, they are dangerous.” When her brother was off away, she grabbed a pretty pair of earrings and hid them under her belt. Then she was seized with a violent stomach ache. The bear knew the cause, and nudged them out of her belt, and she was cured. “Now we must travel south to where my mother lives,” said her brother. His mother was a witch. On the way there, they ran across Iya the Eater, a giant who had a great belly swollen from all the food he had eaten. Iya hailed him, saying, “So you have come back with your 26th wife. You should marry the earth.” Everyone thought he was his dead twin. Even his mother the witch was fooled. However, after several days had passed, she became suspicious. As a test, she asked him to go out a kills some pigeons for her. Iya accompanied him. When Iya saw him shoot two of them so that the arrows cleanly broke their necks, he said, “Your brother could never shoot so well. You should shoot the birds in the body, or your mother will become suspicious.” So he did, but his  mother discovered the pigeons in the bottom of his bag, and realized the truth. She cried out, “Yeee! my son is dead,” and ran out of the teepee headed north. Those remaining seized the opportunity to flee, including the big bellied Iya. The witch changed course and began to gain on the slow moving Iya. He cast down his pot, and where it had been there sprang up a great rawhide wall. The witch pulled out her knife and cut through it. As Iya was about to be overtaken, he took out his tobacco pouch and tossed it behind him, and immediately the earth cracked open and filled with water. This is what they call the Minisoe or Missouri River. As she fell into it, Iya cried out, “You and your kind shall live under the water, and shall be called Unkteḣi.” And so it was.16

The story of the Green/Blue Man has convergences with the Ioway-Oto story (see Ioway and Oto) that is otherwise more like a version of the closely related Spirit of Gambling story (q.v.). As in the Spirit of Gambling, Hare leads a group of good spirits to contest the bad spirit, Muskrat, who has hoarded everything belonging to humanity. They win back everything eventually. Hare presents himself to Muskrat's wife as her husband, and although she is at first skeptical, Hare eventually persuades her. He sleeps with her, then wheedles out of her the secret of where Muskrat has hidden his heart. Finally, Hare determines to neutralize Muskrat completely, so he goes in search of his external heart. Along the way he runs into Beaver whom he persuades to lend him his heart and one of his teeth. In time, Hare reaches the lake in the middle of which Muskrat has hidden his heart. It is guarded by Loon. Hare presents himself as Muskrat and eventually overcomes Loon's skepticism. He induces Loon to give him the heart, since he has felt some cardiac complaints recently. He quickly switches it and carts it off to the lodge of Muskrat's wife, where he cuts it into strips and burns them up completely. Then he returns to Muskrat and tells him what he has done. He condemns Muskrat to lose his soul and to be merely what muskrats are today.17

Bogoras gives a story plot common to both the American Eskimo and the Siberian Chukchees that follows the basic story line of Green Man. "A woman is carried away by a mighty being. Her husband, or sometimes her brother, goes in search of her, and, after various adventures, comes to the land of the aggressor. He is offered a trial of strength, comes out as the victor, and carries back his wife or sister."18

"they have harassed me long enough" — the attitude of this patriarchal culture, at least at the surface where this kind of rhetoric flourishes, is very much like that of the equally patriarchal culture of Bronze Age Greece as reflected in the Iliad. Although Achilles says that Brisēis is philós to him, yet the fundamental issue is that Agamemnon took from him his geras or "prize" of war, leaving him in disgrace. Similarly, Green Man's complaint is that he is being treated with disrespect by having the woman that he took from his doppelgänger now seized without recompense by another man.

Links: Rock Spirits, Maize, Bluehorn, Hare, Trickster, Redhorn, Turtle, The Meteor Spirit, One Legged One, The Sons of Earthmaker, Swans, Grasshoppers, Raccoons, Snakes.

Stories: with Bluehorn (Evening Star) as a character: Bluehorn's Nephews, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, Children of the Sun, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Grandfather's Two Families, The Man with Two Heads, Sun and the Big Eater, Brave Man (?); mentioning Rock Spirits: The Big Stone, The Creation of the World, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Seer, The Roaster, Wojijé, The Raccoon Coat, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Hare Kills Flint, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, A Woman Turns into a Rock, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle; Black Rock Spirits: Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth; featuring Wojijéga (the Meteor Spirit) as a character: The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Roaster, Wojijé, The Raccoon Coat; featuring Hare as a character: The Hare Cycle, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Hare and the Grasshoppers, The Spirit of Gambling, The Red Man, Maize Origin Myth; featuring Trickster as a character: The Trickster Cycle, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Trickster's Warpath, Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Trickster Soils the Princess, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Trickster Concludes His Mission, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster, The Elk's Skull, Trickster and the Mothers, The Markings on the Moon, The Spirit of Gambling, The Woman who Became an Ant, The Red Man, Trickster Takes Little Fox for a Ride, Trickster Loses His Meal, Trickster's Tail, A Mink Tricks Trickster, Trickster's Penis, Trickster Loses Most of His Penis, The Scenting Contest, The Bungling Host, Mink Soils the Princess, Trickster and the Children, Trickster and the Eagle, Trickster and the Geese, Trickster and the Dancers, Trickster and the Honey, Trickster's Adventures in the Ocean, The Pointing Man, Trickster's Buffalo Hunt, Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb, Trickster Visits His Family, The Coughing Up of the Black Hawks, The Petition to Earthmaker, Waruǧápara, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge; featuring One Legged One as a character: The Creation of Man (v. 2), The Woman Who Became an Ant, Bladder and His Brothers (in v. 2 as Wareksankeka), cf. The Spirit of Gambling; 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 Chief of the Heroka, The Spirit of Gambling, The Nannyberry Picker, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, The Markings on the Moon (v. 2), 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 Redhorn: The Redhorn Cycle, Redhorn's Sons, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Redhorn's Father, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Morning Star and His Friend, The Spirit of Gambling, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, cp. The Cosmic Ages of the Hočągara, Heroka, Redman; having characters who are fat: Sun and the Big Eater, Grandfather's Two Families; mentioning people with broken backs: The Raccoon Coat, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister; 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, The Chief of the Heroka, 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; mentioning snakes: The First Snakes, The Woman who Married a Snake, Blessing of the Yellow Snake Chief, Snake Clan Origins, The Omahas who turned into Snakes, A Snake Song Origin Myth, The Serpents of Trempealeau, Rattlesnake Ledge, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Two Boys, Wears White Feather on His Head, Creation of the World (vv. 2, 3, 4), The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, Waruǧápara, Holy One and His Brother, The Man who was Blessed by the Sun, The Warbundle of the Eight Generations, Turtle and the Merchant, The Lost Blanket, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth; about Bird Spirits: Crane and His Brothers, The King Bird, Bird Origin Myth, Wears White Feather on His Head, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Thunderbird, The Boy Who Became a Robin, Partridge's Older Brother, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Foolish Hunter, Ocean Duck, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Quail Hunter, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Hočąk Arrival Myth, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Trickster and the Geese, Holy One and His Brother (blackbirds, woodpeckers, hawks), Porcupine and His Brothers (Ocean Sucker), Turtle's Warparty (Thunderbirds, eagles, kaǧi, pelicans, sparrows), The Dipper (Thunderbirds, kingfishers, hummingbirds, black hawks), Kaǧiga and Lone Man (kaǧi), The Old Man and the Giants (kaǧi, bluebirds), The Bungling Host (snipe, woodpecker), The Red Feather, Eagle Clan Origin Myth, 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, 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 (turkey buzzard), The Shaggy Man (blackbirds), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (blackbirds), 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 Journey to Spiritland (v. 4) — see also Thunderbirds, and the sources cited there; mentioning swans: The Messengers of Hare, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head; featuring deer as characters: Deer Clan Origin Myth, Little Fox and the Ghost, Porcupine and His Brothers, Wolves and Humans, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Trickster's Tail, Fireman's Brother, cf. The Race for the Chief's Daughter; mentioning grasshoppers: Hare and the Grasshoppers, The Two Boys, The Dipper, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Thunderbird; mentioning livers: White Wolf (deer), Waruǧápara; mentioning deer hearts: A Man's Revenge; about maize (corn): Maize Origin Myth, Maize Comes to the Hočągara, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Grandmother's Gifts, Waterspirits Keep the Corn Fields Wet; mentioning teeth: The Animal who would Eat Men, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, Hare and the Dangerous Frog, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, The Two Boys, The Birth of the Twins, The Twins Disobey Their Father, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Dipper, Wolves and Humans, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Children of the Sun, Holy One and His Brother, Partridge's Older Brother, The Brown Squirrel, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge of the Medicine Rite, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, East Shakes the Messenger, Lifting Up the Bear Heads, White Wolf, Buffalo Clan Origin Myth; mentioning sweat lodges or sweat baths: The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Lost Blanket, Bladder and His Brothers (v. 1), Hare Establishes Bear Hunting, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, The Thunderbird, Snowshoe Strings, Waruǧápara, The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka, 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).

The episode of the visit of the doppelgänger is very similar to The Children of the Sun.

Themes: a brother and sister live alone together: The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Nannyberry Picker; two people look (almost) exactly alike: The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun, How the Thunders Met the Nights, Redhorn's Father, Big Eagle Cave Mystery; violating the prohibitions laid down by an elder brother leads to disaster: White Wolf, Bladder and His Brothers (v. 3), The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun; a (magical) round, black stone: How the Thunders Met the Nights, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Tecumseh's Bulletproof Skin, The Dipper, Partridge's Older Brother; a small, black stone serves as a soul (container): Tecumseh's Bulletproof Skin; an evil woman goes on the rampage with an elkhorn club: The Quail Hunter; someone tries to throw an adversary off his track by making countless tracks leading everywhere: Crane and His Brothers, Hare Kills Wildcat (v. 2); a spirit being cannot be killed because his death lies outside his body: Ocean Duck, Partridge's Older Brother; a being is vulnerable in a highly unusual way: River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, Snowshoe Strings, Partridge's Older Brother, The Dipper, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, Migistéga's Death (v. 2), The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension; a man kills an adversary by getting rid of the external object that serves as the seat of the adversary's soul: The Raccoon Coat, Ocean Duck; someone kills his own kinsman: The Chief of the Heroka (wife), The Red Man (wife), Worúxega (wife), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (wife), Bluehorn's Nephews (mother), 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); dragging a bear to the kill by his hair: Bear Offers Himself as Food, How the Thunders Met the Nights; an organ of the body is removed and left somewhere (for safekeeping): Ocean Duck (heart), The Stone Heart (heart); The Raccoon Coat (heart), Hare Kills Wildcat (an eye); 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, Brave Man, The Chief of the Heroka, Šųgepaga, Hare Gets Swallowed, Hare Acquires His Arrows, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, Wolves and Humans, The Woman Who Became an Ant, Thunderbird and White Horse, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Traveler and the Thunderbird War (v. 5), The Boy who Flew, Testing the Slave; polygamy: Bladder and His Brothers (v. 2), The Spotted Grizzly Man, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Wazųka, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Markings on the Moon, Redhorn's Sons, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Hare Kills Sharp Elbow, Hare Gets Swallowed, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, The Spirit of Gambling; prisoners have their bones broken by their captors: The Raccoon Coat, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, Old Man and Wears White Feather; racing to the end of the world and back: Old Man and Wears White Feather, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Green Man, The Roaster, Young Man Gambles Often, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), The Big Eater; good and bad spirits play the game, See who can Dive Deepest into the Earth: The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Roaster; in an athletic competition, one side throws objects at the other to impede their progress: Old Man and Wears White Feather, Sun and the Big Eater; Trickster wins a contest by cheating: The Spirit of Gambling, The Scenting Contest; an evil spirit wins everything that humanity owns and keeps it to himself until he is defeated by a coalition of good spirits: The Spirit of Gambling; men fight one another over women: Iron Staff and His Companions, A Man's Revenge, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister; good spirits rescue women held by an evil spirit: Hare Gets Swallowed, The Spirit of Gambling, The Spotted Grizzly Man, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Iron Staff and His Companions; when a bad spirit is killed, his body disintegrates into a myriad of insects: Hare Kills a Man with a Cane (ants); a small animal was once dangerous, but was rendered innocuous in primordial times: Hare and the Dangerous Frog, The War among the Animals (mouse), The Two Boys.


1 Paul Radin, "The Blue Man," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Notebook 55; Paul Radin, (untitled), Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3858 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Winnebago IV, #5: 4-16.

2 Walter Burkert, Greek Religion (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985 [1977]) 158.

3 "Blue Horn's Nephews" in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, ca. 1912) Notebook 58: 75.

4 Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1923]) 195.

5 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 162, 195.

6 Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3862 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society), Winnebago I, #3: 108.

7 Thomas Foster, Foster's Indian Record and Historical Data (Washington, D. C.: 1876-1877) vol. 1, #2, p. 3, col. 3.

8 John Place online: Life Lessons in the Real World (

9 Charles E. Brown, Wisconsin Indian Place Legends (Madison: Works Progress Administration, Wisconsin, 1936): 5; Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 166. David Lee Smith (Thunderbird Clan), "How Valleys and Ravines Came to Be," in David Lee Smith, Folklore of the Winnebago Tribe (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997) 100-101. See How the Hills and Valleys were Formed.

10 James R. Murie, Ceremonies of the Pawnee. Studies in the Anthropology of North American Indians (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press for the American Indian Studies Research Institute, Indiana University, 1989) 197. The Pawnee hold as well, "... the [wild-]cat skin, because of its spots, was, in its extended form, taken as representing all the stars (p. 45).

11 Alice C. Fletcher and Francis La Flesche, The Omaha Tribe (Lincoln: The University of Nebraska Press, 1992 [1904-1905]) 177, cf. 187. The Osage also refer to the Pleiades as Tapa. Francis La Flesche, A Dictionary of the Osage Language, Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 109 (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1932) s.v. Ta-pá.

12 Keith L. Bildstein, "Why White-Tailed Deer Flag Their Tails," The American Naturalist, 121, # 5 (May, 1983): 709-715.

13 Paul Radin, "Morning Star (Wiragošge Xetera)," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Notebook 8: 32, 40-41.

14 Vincent G. Dethier, Crickets and Katydids, Concerts and Solos (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992) 10.

15 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 336.

16 Zitkala-Ṣa, "The Witch Woman," Dreams and Thunder. Stories, Poems, and The Sun Dance Opera, ed. P. Jane Hafen (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001) 71-76.

17 Francis Gale LaFlesche, Rabbit Frees the People from Muskrat, translation by Jimm G. Goodtracks, with notes on Ioway - Otoe - Missouria Traditional Stories. From the Ioway Website. Ten Ioway-Oto stories known to Francis Gale (1826-1909) were recorded by James Owen Dorsey and are presently in the Smithsonian's collection.

18 Waldemar Bogoras, "The Folklore of Northeastern Asia, as Compared with That of Northwestern America," American Anthropologist, New Series, 4, #4 (Oct. - Dec., 1902): 577-683 [605].