Hočąk Text — A Snake Song Origin Myth

narrated by Jasper Blowsnake



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.