Hočąk Text — Tobacco Origin Myth, Version 4

narrated by Jasper Blowsnake


English Translation


 

Winnebago II, #1.171 = Winnebago II, #5: 187 = Winnebago III, #1: 150 —
Wąkšík’ nąnók’a hiníwi. Wažągų́zera
[People] naked we were. [The Maker of Things]

 


 

jagúra hanąčįxjį ’ųčébigiži,* hagéja
[whatever] everything when he finished making, [last]
*the original handwritten text (Winnebago III, #1: 150) has ’ųčébigi.

 


 

wągagų́se.* Waxop’íni warájirera janągágere hanąčį́xjį,
[we were made.] [Spirits] [the various ones] [as many as there are] [all of them],
*the original text (Winnebago III, #1: 150) has wañgágųse.

 


 

Winnebago III, #1: 151
égi hąbamanína yągéxjįnįgera nąžį́nągere, wakíri
[and] [walkers on light] [the poles (trees)] that stand, insects
*this is the form of the original text, and the form prevailing in most other sources. The corrected texts have wak’iri.

 


 

xonóxjį mąnégi čowéxjį čąt’į́t’į́ nįnk’
small on earth just a little that are visible [little]

 


 

nągereréšge, hąk’é hiwikísganiže.* Haną́čįxjį Hąb
that are, [not] we are not equal to. [All those] [Light-and-Life]
*the corrected version read hiwihísganiže, miscopying the original's /k/ (which looks like an /h/).

 


 

hirukáną* Mą’úna wagigíną. Teéži hąk’é
[in charge of] [Earthmaker] [he made them.] But us [not]
*the original MS text (Winnebago III, #1: 151) has hą́birukono in place of hąp hirkána.

 


 

Hąpkísak* čowejášge wažą́nižą hip’éres†
half a life even in the future ahead [not a thing] to know
*the corrected texts have hąp k’ísak (Winnebago II, #1.171) or hąp’ k’isak’ (Winnebago II, #5: 187). In translating Hąp, literally "light", I have followed Radin's "Light-and-Life" used in most other cases.
†the original MS text has hiperés.

 


 

hinuxúrugeníną. Égi haną́čįxjį hiworujistíną. Waxop’ini
we cannot. [And] [all of them] we are far inferior. [Spirits]

 


 

Wažągų́zera wa’úną. Hąbitaí’una haní wągagíginą.†
[the Maker of Things] [he made them.] [The life-asking one]* to have he let us.
*more literally "the light (life) asking one". In The Road of Life and Death, Radin renders it as, "the prayer-compelling means of life", which is not quite the same.
†the original MS text has wągágiginą.

 


 

Winnebago II, #1.171 —
Hąbikaratá* hi’ųk’jegi. Howaréra teéšge š’agiahíwira
Light ask for we'll use. Sure enough [this also] [our ancestors]
*this is the version of the original handwritten text (Winnebago III, #1: 151). The other texts have hąp´hik’aratá.

 


 

hąbitaí’una Hąp’ hitániagere.* Wažągų́zera
[the life-asking one] [Light-and-Life] that they asked for it with. [The Maker of Things]
*the original MS text has hąbitánąñgre, translated as, "that they ask life with".

 


 

Winnebago II, #5: 188 —
é žésge egé žésge hihiajegają.*
[he himself] [that] he said, [that] we do it.
*the original MS text has žesgihiajégają.

 


Source:

Jasper Blowsnake's Account of the Medicine Rite, in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Winnebago II, #1.171-172, Winnebago II, #5: 187-188, Winnebago III, #1: 150-151. A loose English translation is published 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]) 163.