Hočąk Text — The Four Steps of the Cougar

narrated by Jasper Blowsnake


English Translation


Narrative Structure


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

γ ε ρ τ ϕ 9
hą́bera -gáją -ánąga -gíži hąké -xjį

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. 265 —
rek’úhuhíra tciróbotcagíwera tciróbera tcagíwekdjané[τ´]
Rek’úhuhíra čiróbočagíwera čiróbera čagíwekjanégíži,
South the door we go towards* [the entrance] whe[n] he's to go toward,
*below this is written, "(the way to go to the entrance)".

 


 

p. 266* —
sániⁿgoicoroídja rusé witcáⁿsiⁿtcserédjera† saⁿdjaⁿxdjíⁿjaⁿ
sánįgoišoroíja rusé wičą́sįčseréjera sąjąxjį́žą,
on the right side he took from the long tailed wildcat [cougar]‡ a very awe inspiring one,
*at the top center of the page, Radin has written with reference to the subject of this sentence, "refers to the original South", that is, the South Island Weight as he participated in the original Creation Lodge ceremony of the Medicine Rite.
†/tc/ is inserted above the line by a caret.
‡the translation had originally, "the long tailed tiger", but at the top right of the page "wild cat" is written in, and this is used throughout in the translation of The Road of Life and Death. However, both Miner and the Hočąk Wazijači translate this word as "mountain lion".

 


 

sgaxdjíⁿjaⁿ tcowéra hodjídjehíje tcabónihára haⁿberá
sgaxjį́žą, čowéra hojíjehíže. Čabónihára hąberá
an extremely white one, in front he placed. On top of his head [the light]

 


 

higiu[ρ´] sirokúra [γ] higiu[ρ´] tcowéra
higiuánąga sirokúra hą́bera higiuánąga čowéra
he put and bottom of his feet light [he put and] in front

 


 

hokéreje witcawaⁿtciⁿcserétcdjega* tcowérodjidjéhigi wajaⁿgúⁿzera
hokéreže, wičawąčįšseréčjega. Čowérojijéhigi Wažągų́zera
he placed him, the cougar. [As he placed it in front of him,] the Creator
*the /c/ just before the /s/ was inserted above the line with a caret. The third syllable, čįš, seems to be an odd metathesis of šįč/, a presumed variant of sįč, "tail".

 


 

djágu hirukóno gigi[τ´] hanáⁿtciⁿ róhiku[ρ´]†
jágu hirukóno gigigíži, haną́čį róhikuánąga
what in charge of he put and* all of it he clothed himself with (and)‡
*"he put in charge of" is written above "he didn't have", which has been crossed out.
†/u/ is inserted above the line with a caret.
‡"every bit of it —- himself" has been crossed out.

 


 

waúⁿdjeje rohíra x’óx’e hákikáraníje [ε´]
waų́ježe. Rohíra x’óx’e hákikáraníže. Gáją
[he did thus.]* His body [frail from holiness]† he held himself.‡ Now
*the interlinear has, "he had".
†the interlinear has, "holy event" (?).
‡this is written above "he carried himself" which has been crossed out.

 


 

siⁿdjerá wariríchi[ε´] waxop’íni tcitcabiréra hocicigera†
sįjerá wariríšhigáją, waxop’íni čičabiréra hošišigera
his tail he wriggled it bent* spirits [their lodge] the evil ones‡
*"wiggled" has been crossed out and "wriggled" written above it.
†this word is followed by "(djasgá[τ´])", that is, a parenthetical djasgágíji.
‡the interlinear has, "the bad".

 


 

hanáⁿtciⁿ[9] howucgúninégi hoisiⁿtc´ rehíje wogúⁿzotcíra
haną́čįxjį howušgúninégi hoisįč´ rehíže. Wogų́zočíra
everyone of them [to the bad place]* to sweep he pushed away. The Creation Lodge
*"bad" has been crossed out and "north" written above it.

 


 

sisíⁿtciⁿ* rukirikíri kíridjéhije tciókisag honaⁿjíⁿna
sisį́čį rukirikíri kírijéhiže. Čiókisag Honąžį́na
neat and clean shimmering and glittering [it became.] He Who Stands in the Middle of the Lodge
*this is followed by, "([γ´]cana)", which is to say, a parenthetical háⁿpcana.

 


 

hodázóbera rotcáⁿ djidjehíje herécgera maⁿxí
hotázóbera ročą́ jijehíže, heréšgera. Mąxí
blaze of fire* straight [it was made to become,] he the very one even. Clouds
*this was written above, "hole in sealing in roof of tent", which was crossed out.

 


 

cicígera djasgákijí hanaⁿtciⁿ[9] yowucgúnina* hoisiⁿtc´
šišígera jasgákiží hanąčįxjį yowušgúnina* hoisįč´
the evil ones [how] all of them in the bad place to sweep
*normally this would be howucgúnina, but the previous word ended in /iⁿ/ and was somewhat elided with its successor, forming an /iⁿo/ which by sandhi is normally transformed into /y/.

 


 

rehíje [τ´] haⁿberácana karapiésge[9] kiridjéhíje
rehíže gíži. Hąberášana karapiésgexjį kirijéhíže.
[pushed away] [.] Day only perfect [he made it.]

 


wakírihokéreúⁿna djágu rokaraíresge naⁿjíⁿje* tcekdjíⁿna
Wakírihokéreų́na jágu rokaraíresge nąžį́že. Čekjį́na
The web maker [what] they seemed to be suspended† as it stood. The very first
*immediately after this word, hoidje djobóhaⁿ ruhaídjegí siwaígizára has been crossed out.
†the interlinear has, "they seemed to be working for to make room".

 


 

p. 267 —
ruhaídje[ε´] hikorókehiwira híⁿtcaberá ok’cuⁿkcuédja hip’á
ruhaíjegáją, hikorókehiwira hį́čaberá ok’šųkšuéja hip’á
(after) he took a step, Our Grandmother* our up to the elbow† up to
*the interlinear has, "the earth".
†this is written above, "about the wrist" which has been crossed out.

 


 

gipógidjehije asáⁿniⁿgédja ruhaídjehí[ε] hitcuⁿcge gikarádjiréra
gipógijehiže. Asą́nįgéja ruhaíjehígają "Hičųšge" gikarájiréra
he penetrated. The other arm he placed it "Nephew" the one they call*
*below hitcuⁿcge gigipógidjehije, the word "Snow" is written in large letters.

 


 

sáⁿwaⁿxdjiⁿ. Nuⁿ?sáⁿwaⁿxdjiⁿ hidjehíje ok’cuⁿc’uédjap’a gidjehíje
są́wąxjį. Nų?są́wąxjį hijehíže. Ok’šųš’uéjap’a gijehíže.
[he sank.] To penetrate* [he extended.] Up to his elbow he took his step.
*before this expression, the word "foot" has been crossed out.

 


 

waizidanína ruhaídje[ε´] hikórokehiwíra híⁿtcaberá
Waizitanína ruhaíjegáją, Hikórokehiwíra hį́čaberá
The third limb [when he placed it,] Our Grandmother our

 


 

hax’ixdjiⁿ ok’cuⁿk’cuédjip’a gipókgidjehíje waízairuágera
hax’ixjį ok’šųk’šuéjip’a gipókgijehíže. Waízairuágera
quite ripened* up to his elbow he penetrated. His raised limb
*this is written over "same distance as the other" which has been crossed out.

 


 

ruhaídjehígadjaⁿ hitcúⁿcge gikáradjiréra hohótciⁿ
ruhaíjehígają, "Hičų́šge" gikárajiréra hohóčį
when he put it down, "Nephew" the one they call fine and powdered*
*the interlinear has, "fine dry" written over, "loose powdered" which has been crossed out. The Road of Life and Death has "fine and powdered".

 


 

ok’cuⁿk’cuédja híp’á gipokgidjehíje tciróbikérera hinug
ok’šųk’šuéja híp’á gipokgijehíže. Čiróbikérera hinug
to the elbow up to he penetrated. [Coming to the entrance,]* female†
*the interlinear has "door", after which "piece" has been crossed out and "flap" written above it, but that too was crossed out.
†"he was" has been crossed out. Above it is written "woman" and below it is written "female".

 


 

hirakírus wak’aⁿ tcorá wáⁿgera hoicórorá
hirakírus wak’ą čorá wą́gera hoišórorá
[with them himself]* snake green male† the right
*the interlinear has only "with".
†"men" is crossed out, and "male" written below it, but it too has been crossed out only to have "male" rewritten below it.

 


 

hokéreje wak’áⁿna waⁿk’djegá hoicororokéreje hinukdjega
hokéreže. Wak’ą́na wąk’jegá hoišororokéreže. Hinukjega
he placed it. The snake the male [he placed it to the right.] The female

 


 

hoirátcgera hokéreje* wak’áⁿnaⁿka akíwaké wánidjinóg[ρ´]
hoiráčgera hokéreže. Wak’ą́nąka akíwaké wánijinógánąga
the left he placed. The snakes both he grabbed and
*after this word, tciróbera hakdjá has been crossed out.

 


 

wáruksuⁿksuⁿtcce [τ´] hikórokehiwíra djadjaiⁿxdjiaⁿki jedjaíⁿxdjiⁿ
wáruksųksųčše, gíži. Hikórokehiwíra jajaįxjiąki, žejaį́xjį
he shook them [.] Our Grandmother how far it is* that far
*below djadjaiⁿxdjiaⁿki jedjaíⁿxdjiⁿ, Radin has written, "as deep as the earth".

 


 

p. 268 —
wowadjas hidjehíje [ϕ] kiuⁿnépini hidjewahíje
wowajas hijehíže. Hąké kiųnépini hijewahíže.
he pushed them in* [to go there.] Not they couldn't be loose he placed them.
*"he tightened them" has been crossed out, and above the Hočąk line, "push in" has also been crossed out. Above this is written, "he pushed them in".

 


 

tciróbera hakdjá hoidú kíriníⁿki [γ]
Čiróbera hakjá hoitú kírinį́ki. Hą́bera
The door back he threw it* he did. The light*
*the translation in the interlinear has "the day".

 


 

hokiwásik tciókiságedja rugigís kírinaⁿk híje [γ]
hokiwásik čiókiságeja rugigís kírinąk híže. Hą́bera
half of it within the center of the lodge [full]* he made it appear. Light
*"round-like" was crossed out.

 


 

hokíwasik haníhinóp gikérejé níⁿgecána háⁿbamanína
hokíwasik haníhinóp gikérežé. Nį́gešána Hą́bamanína
half of it he took out he did. Here and there the Light Walkers

 


 

warawá t’aⁿhihíⁿpce niⁿgecána warawá
warawá t’ąhihį́pše. Nįgešána warawá
with something in their mouths they were flying. Here and there with something in their mouths

 


 

hihíⁿpce maⁿnégeréra.
hihį́pše, mąnégeréra.
[they were moving on,] the earthly ones.

 


Source:

Untitled, in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3876 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Library, n.d.) Winnebago II, #7: 265-268; an English translation exists 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]) 333-334.