Hočąk Text — Descent of the Drum, Version 1

narrated by Jasper Blowsnake


English Translation


The following are Greek letters used as morpheme abbreviations in Radin's text. Their values correspond to those given in Radin's notebook Winnebago II, #6, on the interstitial page between 107/108:

α β ε η ρ τ
égi éja gáją žesge ánąga gíži

ϕ ω M T
hąké žegų Mąúna wąkšigo'ina

In the interlinear text where the translation is missing, it has been supplied whenever possible from the English text of The Road of Life and Death (see Source below). Where a missing translation has been supplied from other sources, it is enclosed in brackets, [ ].


p. 190 —
Hitcųcgé gikarádjiréra* wągadjiruxúrugwirᆠ[T] herejé‡
"Hičųšgé" gikarájiréra wągajiruxúrugwirá wąkšigoį herežé.
"Nephew" the one that they call he accomplished for us life [he did.]
*the initial /gi/ of this word has been detached and placed at the end of the previous word.
†this word is preceeded by "([T]íją)". After the first /g/ in this word, /o/ has been crossed out and /a/ written above it. After the syllable /ji/, /rugu/ has been crossed out.
‡before this word the text has "([β]cana)".

 


 

[η] hinaxgų́wina* wogų́zotciágere hitcųcgé‡ gikarádjiréra‡‡
Žesge hinaxgų́wina Wogų́zočiágere "Hičųšgé" gikarájiréra
[In this way] we understand the Creation Lodge† "Nephew" the one whom they call
*/x/ is inserted in place above the line with a caret.
†the interlinear text has "the tent". The translation of The Road of Life and Death is followed here.
‡/gi/ is suffixed to this word when it is really the initial syllable of the next word.
‡‡/kadji/ has been crossed out as the first syllable of this word.

 


 

ruxúrukí tcíra hoixdjį́ djį́pgíji djagúra hanątc´
ruxúrukí číra hoixjį́ jį́pgíži, jagúra haną́č
when he accomplished, the lodge completely full* it was, all of everything
*the interlinear text has "became full". The translation of The Road of Life and Death has been followed in this instance.

 


 

jegų [τ] [α] wogų́zohúra hatcį́dja
žegų giži. Égi wogų́zohúra hačį́ja
that's all [.] [And] creation starts* wherever
*this is written above, "religion came from" which has been crossed out.

 


 

heregí [β] wajǫgų́zera wokúruxútcce [ε´]
heregí, éja Wažǫgų́zera wokúruxúčše gáją.
[when he did], there the Creator* he looked about it [.]
*this is written above, "he made" which has been crossed out.

 


 

wogų́zera xgícguniąkce tciókiságera wanąią́kereregi hąbera
Wogų́zera xgíšguniąkše. Čiókiságera wanąią́kereregi, hąbera
[The creation]* it lay calm and quiet.† The center of the lodge when they centered their thoughts,‡ the light‡‡
*the interlinear text has, "Medicine Dance Lodge", which is written above "[religion]".
†in the interlinear translation, "it remained quiet" has been crossed out as well as some illegible material above it.
‡all the interlinear has is, "when they brought them back", but this is crossed out.
‡‡the interlinear has, "the day".

 


 

rukírikírinakce [α] wagiwéwijé† [η] wajǫ́niją́ hokicgaínegi
rukírikírinakše. Égi wagiwéwižé, "Žesge, wažǫ́nižą́ hokišgaínegi,
it was shimmering and sparkling.* [And] he pondered and thought,‡ "In this way, something they would associate with‡‡
*the interlinear translation has, "was shining".
†after this word, djagúriją́ has been crossed out.
‡the interlinear translation has, "he considered for them". After this, "he thought" is crossed out.
‡‡this is written below a crossed out, "they would follow".

 


 

p. 191 —
p'į́na hiregí rosánįk hoicóroiédja† rúz[ρ]
p'į́na," hiregí. Rosánįk hoišóroiéja rúzanąga
good," he thought.* One side of his body from the right side he took and
*this is written above the Hočąk line. Below this translation, "it would be" has been crossed out. In the English line, "if they did" has also been crossed out.
†the first /i/ has been inserted above the line with a caret. An acute accent over it has been crossed out. The /e/ in /é/ has been circled.

 


 

nąboréhi ų́je wągíją ųgíji p'įhíje
nąboréhi ų́že. Wągížą ųgíži p'įhíže.
with his hands he made. A man he made and [he made him well.]

 


 

horacge p'įgígije róra rokéweje rorá
Horašge p'įgígiže. Róra rokéweže. Rorá
The voice he made it nice. The body he painted. His body

 


 

xígigi[ρ´] tcabónihara hą́bera higių́je jegų
xígigiánąga čabónihara hą́bera higių́že. Žegų
he made it yellow [and] the top of his head Light and Life he put in for him. Thus

 


 

hi[ρ´] girucdjǫ́ hǫhíje wą́gerégi hąbera djąnáhi
hiánąga girušjǫ́ hǫhíže. Wą́gerégi hąbera jąnáhi
he did and he turned him loose. From above the days how many

 


 

hok'ikónok konokíji jeną́hi-hiją́ hirádjiga hą́berá
hok'ikónok konokíži ženą́hi-hižą́ hirájiga, hą́berá
the center* he placed [?]† when he reached, [the day]‡
*this is written above, "he placed himself in", which was crossed out.
†"then he reached out" has been crossed out, and "that amount ——" written above it, with "amount" crossed out.
The Road of Life and Death has "the whole atmosphere".

 


 

ksúntc djikére† hujé hą́bera djobíhi
ksúnč jikére hužé. Hą́bera jobíhi
it was shaking* as he came down‡ [he came.] Days four
*this is written aboe "move" which has been crossed out.
†originally, djikáramaníje, but each of the first two instances of /a/ have been replaced with /e/, and maníje has been crossed out.
‡this is followed by "(suddenly)".

 


 

hokikónok* kónokí iją irádjigᇠhą́bera
hokikónok konokí ižą irájigá hą́bera
center† [he placed] [one] [when he reached] [the day]
*a letter is scribbled out at the end of this word.
†the interlinear has, "within the limit".
‡the initial /i/ is placed in parentheses. This expression normally begins with an /h/.

 


 

ksúntc djikéres'áje hikorokihíwira [ϕ] [α]
ksúnč jikéres'áže. Hikorokihíwira hąké égi
it was shaking [he would come down].* [Our Grandmother]† not [here]
*the translation had, "it happened now & then", but "now and then" was crossed out and "it would" written above it.
†the translation has, "at the earth".

 


 

ewucánijé* gisgą́djiréje hatcį́dja [M] hųgé
ewušánižé. Gisgą́jiréže, hačį́ja Mąúna hųgé
he didn't stop. He went through (with force), where Earthmaker chief
*originally, hawucáne?jé, but the initial /ha/ was crossed out and an /e/ written above it and circled.

 


 

hiją́ [ϕ] xgini jesgáokíji [β] kiridjé gigijé‡
hižą́. Hąké xgini žesgáokíži. Éja kirijé gigižé
a. Not it was very quiet.† There he landed him on (that one)
xgini means, "it did not move," a translation crossed out in favor of translating the two words together. This translation, however, does not expressed the negative particle -ni-.
‡/ga/ was written above the /k/ of kiridjé, but was later crossed out.

 


 

[τ´] wakcexínǫka hipérezse [M] wowéwįkadjidjéhigi
gíži. Wakšexínǫka hipérezse. Mąúna wowéwįkajijéhigi.
[.] The Waterspirit* [he knew of it.] Earthmaker he had placed him there by the power of his thoughts.†
*the interlinear translation has, "the dragon".
†initially the interlinear translation had, "placed a thought in his mind", but that was crossed out, and above it was written, "thought about this", but this too was crossed out.

 


 

wainąp´ kįjerécgera† wąkcígoįdjedjéra hikire‡‡ djinókce
Wainąp´ kįžeréšgera wąkšígoįjejéra hikire jinókše.
He was thankful* [even that himself]‡ life bestowing he thought he was.
*the interlinear has, "blessing he made himself", but above this is written, "very proud even he".
†what appears to have been /kiki/ has been crossed out at the beginning of this word.
‡the interlinear has, "one of these he thought he was", but this seems to be a translation of the whole end of the sentence.
‡‡the /e/ was written in reduced size over an original terminal /a/.

 


 

ną́boréhi djíreje [M]* p'į úna p'įxdjį
Ną́boréhi jíreže. Mąúna p'į úna p'įxjį
With his own hands he commenced. Earthmaker good he did, better yet
*before this word hicdjará has been crossed out.

 


 

kíra jesgajanúnige jigé hirajaíra exjį́
kíra. Žesgadjanúnige žigé hiradjaíra. Exdjį́
he did. [Thus he did, but ?] again still better. [He himself]

 


 

p. 192 —
jagurukóno [M] gigigi [η] [α]*
djagurukóno Mąúna gigigi. Žesge égi
whatever he put in charge Earthmaker he made him. [Thus] here
*just before this symbol, hiranídjiną́kce has been crossed out. The translation given for this word is, "he has responsible place —led him with". But above the line it is written, "that's what he took ahold of him with".

 


 

wogų́zotciédja [M] hosgé [η] hijé
Wogų́zočiéja Mąúna hosgé žesge hižé,
at the Creation Lodge* Earthmaker just† [that way] [he did],
*the interlinear translates this as, "in his tent".
† this is written above a word that has been thoroughly scribbled out.

 


 

hųgé [ϕ] [β] hinįkdjanégi wogų́zotciáka
hųgé hąké éja hinįkjanégi wogų́zočiáka
chief* not there he wasn't going† the Creation Lodge‡
*"chief" has been crossed out in favor of the more interpretive and contextual "spirit".
†after this word further words have been thoroughly scribbled out.
‡the interlinear has, once again, "the tent".

 


 

[β] wowéwina hokárakére gigijé wagių́je
éja wowéwina hokárakére gigižé. Wagių́že
[there] he had his mind on he placed it for himself he made. He made him for that.

 


 

wogų́zotciédja djaguirokónoną́ki* hicge [η] [β]
Wogų́zočiéja jaguirokónoną́ki hišge žesge éja
At the Creation Lodge what he had in charge of† he also that there
*before this word is written, "([T]-na)".
†"he" is written above a crossed out "they".

 


 

hiúinekdje wagíųjé p'įų́giji hicdjará tcógigíje
hiúinekje wagíųžé. P'įų́giži hišjará čógigíže.
they use it* [it was made for that.] He made him good,† face blue he made it.‡
*"him" is crossed out, and "it" written above it.
†above this is written, "fixed".
‡"him" is crossed out, and "it" written above it. Above "blue" is written "painted" in very small letters.

 


 

[ω] hi[ρ´] wogų́zotcíra tcáwa hóukdjané[τ´]
Žegų hiánąga Wogų́zočíra čáwa hóukjanégíži,
[Thus] [he did and] Creation Lodge towards he's starting for and

 


 

hoidje djobóhą ruhá djídje[ε´] [β]
hoije jobóhą ruhá jíjegáją. Éja
to step in four steps he did it. There

 


 

wanahéje [τ] hóra tcąt'įdjikéreje† [ε]
wanahéže giži. Hóra čąt'įjikéreže. Gają
he gave a whoop.* [.] Voice it became audible. There
*the interlinear translation has, "he breathed" above which is written, "holler".
†after this word, Radin inserts, "[drum is struck once]".

 


 

hikorokehiwira djasgeganúgere* haną́tcį sisį́tcį djínąkce
Hikorokehiwira jasgeganúgere, haną́čį sisį́čį jínąkše.
Our Grandmother as he went along, all he swept away† [he did].‡
*after this word, Radin inserts, "([η]xdjį)".
†the interlinear has, "he was clean".
‡below this word is written, "(nothing clinging to ...)", the diaeresis indicating illegible words.

 


 

wągéxdjįnįgrá* korókehiwíra djánuga hajuákijí jenuga
Wągéxjįnįgrá Korókehiwíra jánąga hažuákiží ženuga
[Trees ?]† Our Grandmother everything on top of all of them
*an initial /y/ is crossed out and above it what appears to be a /w/ is written, although it is not certain.
†the translation has what appears to be, "I then? told him often very", which is crossed out. Between "him" and "often", above the line, is written what appears to be "trees". It appears to mean, "the little ones high above".

 


 

hócecínina* hanątcįxdjį hocicigera djasgánųkíji sukdjį́‡
hóšešínina hanąčįxjį hošišigera jasgánųkíži sukjį́
bad stuff that collects in the head and skin† [absolutely all] the bad so he was clean
*just before this word, /ho/ is crossed out. An initial /ha/ has been crossed out by a series of vertical lines.
†Miner gives the meaning of this word as "flakes". The English line gives the meaning as, "the renewal of leafage in spring", but on the interstitial page 192/193, Radin says, "hocecinina = bad stuff that collects in head, skin etc. He swept away from all over the trees, old leaves and old things of all kinds."
‡just before this word an initial /sų́/ has been crossed out.

 


 

djidjérejé [τ´] hą́bera hidjaíra djidjejé
jijérežé gíži. Hą́bera hijaíra jiježé.
they were [.] Light an increase [it became.]*
*the interlinear has, "he was".

 


 

[α] mánihúgi hoidje djobóhą ruhá djídje[ε´] [β]
Égi mánihúgi, hoije jobóhą ruhá jíjegáją. Éja
[Then] when he came walking, to step in four steps he did it. There

 


 

p. 193 —
wanahégi* jigé hinųbóhǫna hóra tcąt'įdjikérejé
wanahégi, žigé hinųbóhǫna hóra čąt'įjikérežé
as he gave a whoop, again the second time his voice it became audible
*a terminal /je/ has been crossed out and /gi/ written above it.

 


 

[τ´]* hikorókehiwira djasgegánųgré hanątcįxdjį howaxíninísge
gíži. Hikorókehiwira jasgegánųgré, hanąčįxjį howaxíninísge
[.] Our Grandmother as he walked along, everything [like condensed vapor]†
*before this symbol, Radin has inserted above the line with a caret the following, "[drum is played]".
†the interlinear had originally, "he was steaming like", but he was crossed out and "it" inserted above the line by a caret; "steaming" was crossed out and "condensed" was written above it. Miner gives the meaning of this word as, "tingling sensation; hot, steady, annoying pain".

 


 

djį́pce yągéxdjinigrá djanugakijí jenúga hanątc
jį́pše. Yągéxjinigrá janągakiží, ženúga hanąč
it seemed. [Trees ?] all of them, all of them all

 


 

sgóc'ec'e* djidjéreje [τ´] jegų hi[ρ´]
sgóš'eš'e jijéreže gíži. Žegų hiánąga
white spots on they were [.] [Thus] [he did and]
*just before this word, sgon e'ce has been crossed out.

 


 

hidanihǫna máni hugíji hoidje djobóhą
hitanihǫna máni hugíži, hoije jobóhą
for a third time walking when he came, to step in four

 


 

ruhádjídje[ε´] [β] wanahéje hóra tcąt'įdjikéreje*
ruhájíjegáją, éja wanahéže. Hóra čąt'įjikéreže.
after he took steps, there he gave a whoop. His voice it became audible.
*after this Radin writes "[drum]", indicating that the drum was struck at this point in the narrative.

 


 

hikorokehíwirá djasgeganúgere haną́tcįxdjį tcóra djínąkce
Hikorokehíwirá jasgeganúgere, haną́čįxjį čóra jínąkše.
Our Grandmother as he walked along, everything green it was.

 


 

[α] yągéxdjinįgra djanugáki jenúga hanątcįxdjį́
Égi yągéxjinįgra janągáki, ženúga, hanąčįxjį́
[Then] the trees as many as there were, all of them, [absolutely all]

 


 

ábera tcóra djiną́girejé kárapiésge [α]
ábera čóra jiną́girežé. Kárapiésge égi
leaves green they were. They were nice and

 


 

mánidjikéreje gíji hoidje djobóhą ruhaídje[ε´]
mánijikéreže gíži. Hoije jobóhą ruhaíjegáją,
[he walked on] [.] To step in four after he stepped,

 


 

[β] wanahéje. Wanahégiji hidjobóhǫna* wogų́zotcíra
éja wanahéže. wanahégiži, hijobóhǫna Wogų́zočíra
there he gave a whoop. As he gave a whoop, the fourth time the Creation Lodge
*before this word, hóra tcąt'įdj has been crossed out.

 


 

p. 194 —
tciókiságedja hą́berá hiwaxórok hax'épdjįpcé [β]
čiókiságeja hą́berá hiwaxórok hax'épjįpšé. Éja
in the center of the lodge light it burst through [it suddenly emerged.] There

 


 

hóra tcąt'į* djikeregíji† hikorokehíwira djasgeganúgere haną́tcįxdjį
hóra čąt'į jikeregíži. Hikorokehíwira jasgeganúgere, haną́čįxjį
his voice audible it became. Our Grandmother as he walked along, everything
*after this word, djikéreje has been crossed out.
†after this word Radin writes, "(drum)".

 


 

tcóra* djínokce hikorokehiwíra hį́tcaberá djásgairekdjéra
čóra jínokše. Hikorokehiwíra hį́čaberá jásgairekjéra
green it became. Our Grandmother her hair† as they should be‡
*just before this word, hįtcábera has been crossed out.
†"our relation" has been crossed out.
‡this is written above "they'll be" which has been crossed out.

 


 

jesgadjįpce yągéxdjinįgra djanųgáki haną́tcį ábera
žesgajįpše. Yągéxjinįgra janągáki haną́čį ábera
[that way she became]. Poles all of them, all leaves

 


 

djasgaírekdjégi jesgaíreje tciókisak* honąjį́na
jasgaírekjégi žesgaíreže. Čiókisak honąžį́na
[as they should be,] [thus they were.] The center of the lodge standing place
*at the end of the word, /gino/ has been crossed out and /k/ written above it.

 


 

hodápínina [ϕ] habozóp'iní† jesgá djidjehíje
hotápínina hąké habozóp'iní. Žesgá jijehíže.
[twisting blaze]* not it couldn't be bent. [That way] he made it.
*"spun around" has been crossed out, and "blaze" written above it. However, pini/pinį means "to twist".
†originally, this was habozópp'iní, but such a form violates the principle annunciated by Radin that there are no double letters in Hočąk. The word "mistake" is written in small letters under p'iní.

 


 

wogų́zotcíra hąberá hidjaíra rukírikíri djįbíje
Wogų́zočíra hąberá hijaíra rukírikíri jįbíže.
The Creation Lodge light increasing sparkling it began.

 


 

[α] hą́berá djasgádjegí hidjaíra djidjehíje
Égi hą́berá jasgájegí hijaíra jijehíže.
Then light* [as it was] more it was made to become.
*translated in The Road of Life and Death as "the day".

 


 

[ϕ] nigé huhíni jesgádjidjehíje wakírihokere
Hąké nigé huhíni. Žesgájijehíže. Wakírihokere
[Not] [anywhere] [it did not blow.] [That's the way he made it.] Big spider

 


 

ųnácana djagu* iroíkárairesgé† djidjehíje [α]
ųnášana jagu iroíkárairesgé jijehíže. Égi
[he is doing alone] [what] [how it was tended was uncertain] [he made it be.] [Then]
*two or three letters at the end were stricken from this word.
†what appears to be an initial /h/ has been crossed out.

 


 

widjádjera hisgexdjį tcąt'į́djiregí wogų́zera djasgéxdjinóki
Wijájera hisgexjį čąt'į́jiregí. Wogų́zera jasgéxjinóki
the Announcer* truly it became audible. The creation throughout the whole
*the interlinear translation has only "drum".

 


 

hanątcįxdjį nąxgų́djinógirejé wągíją hit’et'é nąxgų
hanąčįxjį nąxgų́jinógirežé. Wągížą hit’et'é nąxgų
[all of it] they could hear it. A man the utterance to hear

 


 

p. 195 —
minogirejé wągirégi wogų́zohúra hatcį́djeregí jerécgera
minogirežé. Wągirégi wogų́zohúra hačį́jeregí, žeréšgera
as they sat. Up above where the creator is* where he is, even that
*the interlinear has, "where religion comes from", but this appears to have been crossed out with one horizontal line.

 


 

jedjaį́xdjį p'á [β] hipá nąkáraxgų
žejaį́xjį p'á éja hipá nąkáraxgų.
that far it has been there that far he could be heard.

 


 

minókije, gípįjé
Minókiže, gípįžé.
He sat, he was happy.

 


Source:

Jasper Blowsnake, Untitled, in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3885 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Library, n.d.) Winnebago II, #6: 190-193 and Winnebago II, #7: 194-195. An English translation is found in Paul Radin, The Road of Life and Death: A Ritual Drama of the American Indians. Bollingen Series V (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973 [1945]) 275-277.