Hočąk Text — A Snake Song Origin Myth

narrated by Jasper Blowsnake


Winnebago III, #1: 97 Winnebago II, #1: 120 Winnebago II, #5: 127

As is the case with a number of other Radin interlinear MSS, this text is full of abbreviations for common word terminations. The typewritten revised text, Winnebago II, #5: 127, can be used as a kind of Rosetta Stone for interpreting their values:

α β ω X - = > 2 ɕ 9
égi éja žigé -hįjera wąkšík -ra čokága -gają -že, -še -xjį -žą

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, [ ].


English Translation


 

p. 97 —
honihaí[9] wakǫ́nąwaí[9] here[2´] aíre[-]
Honihaížą Waką́nąwaį́žą herežé, aírera.
[That which I possess]* a Snake Song [there is,] [it is called.]

*this word, here and below, is never translated, but it appears to be ho-, a nominalizing suffix, + nihara, "it belongs to me".

 



hagaré[9] wíru?[Ↄ] ya’úñkdjegi
Hagaréžą wíruhįjera, ya’ų́kjegi
[In the course of time] [it was handed down to me ?] if I wished

 


 

ha’úną[2´] híñkaragaírera honihá jee
ha’ųną́že, hįkaragaírera. Honihá žee
I might do it,* they said to me. [The one that I possess] that

*"I could" is written below "I might".

 


 

kaǧiómą* hotcakíjañkédjega [β] waką́zirá xedé[9]
kaǧiómą hočakižąkéjega éja waką́zira xetéžąkíži
crow's nest at the fork of it there yellow snake a large one that is

*the /i/ is inserted above the line with a caret.

 


 

[=] ną́djodjañgí hąb[-´] xedehí
čokagá nąjoją́gi, hąberá xetehí
[grandfather] that he blessed, light large portion*

*the interlinear has "big piece", but The Road of Life and Death has the translation given.

 


 

nądjiródją[2] [α] xą́wihú[-] nądjwiródją[2]
nąjirójąže. Égi xąwihúra nąjwiroją́že.
he blessed him with it. [Then] the plants he blessed them with.

*the interlinear has "big piece", but The Road of Life and Death has the translation given.

 


 

x’ąwihop’ína [X] hikikáwa’ųhíra [α]
X’ąwihop’ína wąkšík hikikáwa’ų́hira, égi
Beneficent grasses men to make well, and

 


 

[ω] [X] hiroítcoxí[-] hicgé jee
žigé wąkšík hiroíčųxíra hišgé žee,
now men to make them weak with also that,

 


 

[X´][-] higoc’ágirekdjéra ną́djirodją́[2] tceg[β´]cge ni-ą́p*
wąkšígera higoš’ágirekjéra nąjiroją́že. Čegéjašge ni-ą́p
the man he might honor they blessed him with. In the beginning [to live]

*connected to this word by a line is a note at the bottom of the page which reads, "i.e. the plants were in human form".

 


 

wahítci[2] hisgé[ɕ] nądjodjaį́ne[2] x’ąwíhura
wahíčiže. Hisgéxjį nąjojaį́neže. Xąwíhura
he lived with them. [Truly] [they blessed him.] [The plants]

 


 

jedjonaíracge wawirókunáñk[>] honihá[-] e
žejonaírašge wawirókunąkáją, honihára e
even now (when) they are being used, [the ones that I possess] they

 


 

tcąt’į wahíkdjawira
čąt’į́ wahíkjawira.
[manifestly] they will be efficacious.

 


Source:

The original interlinear is found in Jasper Blowsnake, Jasper Blowsnake's Account of the Medicine Rite, in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Winnebago III, #1: 97. A highly legible handwritten MS is found in Jasper Blowsnake, Jasper Blowsnake's Account of the Medicine Rite, in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Winnebago II, #1: 120-121. The corrected text is a typescript in Jasper Blowsnake, Jasper Blowsnake's Account of the Medicine Rite, in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Winnebago II, #5: 127. For a loose English translation, see Paul Radin, The Road of Life and Death: A Ritual Drama of the American Indians. Bollingen Series V (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973 [1945]) 132.