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.