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*
wągadjiruxúrugwirá†
[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
irádjigá‡
hą́bera
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.