Hočąk Text — Turtle and the Merchant

narrated by Charlie Houghton

interlinear translation by Oliver LaMère


Words in brackets, [...,] were missing in the MS are were therefore supplied by the editor (Richard Dieterle).
English Translation

 

p. 132 —
Kečúñgega manégi jíną. Činógeniñgìžą éja
[Turtle] to earth came. A little village there

 


 

číže. Hičáwina hakižú jiną. Égi
he lived. His wife with him [she came.] [And]

 


 

čaninégi haną́č éja čiréže. Ni xétežą
in the fall all [there] they lived. [A] large water*
*Radin has written above the English line, "Missouri?".

 


 

éja číre wáha honíne égi Waxopínina
[there] [they] lived looking for furs [and] Frenchman

 


 

waruwína éja čiréže, wáha ruwíne.
store-keeper* [there] they lived, furs buying.
*the word "buyer" is written above the English line, reflecting the literal meaning of the term.

 


 

Égi uáñgera wawagáxhire warúč waníšge
[And] the men got credit for food meat also

 


 

giwagáxire, égi Kečúñgega hinké wawagáx
they got from him on credit [and] [Turtle] not credit

 


 

p. 133 —
gigiwínine wawagáx rušagíkjanihèną. Hiñké wawagáx
he was unable credit he will be unable to get. [Not] credit

 


 

nįže, aíreną. Égi hąpížą hičáwina
get, they said. [And] one day* his wife
*'one day' is actually written above the line to replace 'no one (?!)', the punctuation apparently having been written in later.

 


 

hakaraikížu wawagáx égi, "Hičakáro nąbrónąñk.
with him [to get] credit [and] "My friend shook hands.

 


 

Wapagáx hajíną. Warúč haku-ájiną." Égi
to get credit I came. For food I came after." [And]

 


 

waruwína roǧi égi, "Kéčuñge hañké
[the] trader objected [and,] ["Turtle] not

 


 

wažą́ horáni šuruxúrugeni, aíreną. Wawagáx
something you hunt you can, [they said.] Credit

 


 

p. 134 —
šuruš’aíkjanèną." Žigé, "Ho čakaró, wapagáx
unable for you to get." [Again,] ["Ho] [friend,] [to get myself] credit

 


 

hajíną. Warújera hisgé pagaíxje. Niñkčóñgeniñgra
I came for. Food also I wish to get credit for. [The] children

 


 

tokéwehire." "Hañkeréšge," uáñgera roǧiną, "ásge
are hungry "Impossible," the man objected, "and so

 


 

hañka’úni." Hožejaį́ja, "Ho hičakaro! wapagáx
not I will do." In the end, "Ho [friend!] [to get myself] credit

 


 

hájiną. Warúč pagaíxjeną." "Hojiá, niñgi’úñkjanèną.
I came for. Food I want on credit." "All right, I will do it.

 


 

Hičakáro, uañgenáñgere roǧiréną hañké wažonína
[Friend,] these men objected not to hunt

 


 

p. 135 —
wašúrupìniže, aíreną, nunigé žégų nigiáñkjanèną.
do they not know, [they said,] [but] [anyhow] I will do it.*
*After this word begins a sentence inserted from the top of the page. This sentence has no accents indicated, and unlike the rest of the text, nasalized vowels are indicted by a subscripted hook rather than a superscripted small 'n' following the letter.

 


 

Égi wawagáx šuruš’akgekjaneną, aíreną, nunigé
[And] credit cannot (will not) you pay,* [they said,] but then
*the parentheses appear in the MS.

 


 

žégų nįgiąkjaneną.* ’Yapérezšàną. Niñkjóñgeniñk nišgé
anyhow I'm going to. I knew it. Children I also
*This word ends the passage written in at the top of the page and connected by a line and caret to the place of insertion.

 


 

haníną. Niñkjóñgwanina tokéwe hiregá hinké
I have. My children hungry when they get [not]

 


 

nąčgé rahiñgípinišonùną, ásge nigi’úną." Égi
heart feel good it does not, and so I do it for you." [And]

 


 

hąbížą uañgenúniñka jíže Kečuñgéga hoči-éja,
one day the old man came, [Turtle] to his house,

 


 

"Hičakáro, waha roágų," ánañga. Égi,
["Friend,] furs I want," he said. [And,]

 


 

p. 136 —
"Hó hičakáro, tekjéną. Haínigi rajikjéną."
"Ho my friend, to go I will. Tomorrow [you will] come over."

 


 

Égi hąhéregi haininégi waruwína jíže,
[And] at night in morning the buyer came,

 


 

aíreną. Kečuñgéga hičáwiwahìra wakarakížu wažónihiže.
[they said.] [Turtle] his wives with him hunt he went.

 


 

Hinúñgenoñka e rábera waísak
The women they the beaver kill

 


 

wagigíži. Wajéroka nąži wagíži, égi
he let them. Naked he stood them, [and]

 


 

waísak wagigíži hinų́bike hičáwįwahìra wa’u-inéže.
kill he made them both of them wives his they did.

 


 

Égi haną́čiñxjį ąjéja wakųtákireže. Égi
[And] [absolutely] all on shore carried they them. [And]

 


 

p. 137 —
waruwína jíže. Waruwína harukózire
the trader came. The trader he him arrested

 


 

hižúk-mowéja. Éja hainižą́ kiríre. Égi
at bullet-moulding-place. [There] one morning they came. [And]

 


 

Kečuñgéga hijahišgúni. Hičakáro hanañgá háni-añkaraìreną.
[Turtle] went there. [The friend] him too they took along back.

 


 

Harukózirèną. Wawagáx rušákšaną. Hani-añkaraíreną. ásge
They arrested him. Credit he could not pay. They took him back. and so

 


 

Kečuñgéga wahára wokik’šúže wajéja. Wájera
[Turtle] the furs loaded them in a boat. The boat

 


 

hoixjį́ hosá hičawína gináñgigi-ànañga rusgísgič.
full [a certain material]* his wife twist rope fibers he made her tied it.
*the bracketed material is in the MS.

 


 

p. 138 —
Hąhą́ égi Kečuñgéga hijomináñkšaną. Réže,
[Yes] [and] [Turtle] got in. Went,

 


 

aíreną. Niñkúse Xonúniñgra harek’úže, aíreną. ’Uąhigáją
they said. The Wisconsin River* he went down, [they said.] As he went along
*the translation has 'the Mississippi' under nikúse and 'the small part' under xonúniñgra. See the Commentary.

 


 

niná haručéxjį wak’aį́žą, wak’ą́ čo-ižą́
the waters real across* a snake, snake a blue [one]
*"completely across" would be more appropriate.

 


 

wa’uáñkše, aíreną. Éže, aíreną, "Hijahį́
it was, [they said.] He said, [they said,] "Another place

 


 

hinúñgre."* Éže, aíreną, "Hiñké ’ųnįže,"
you set." (!)† [He said,] [they said,] "Not do it not,"
*a terminal 'a' was crossed out and an 'e' was placed above it.
†the exclamation point occurs in the MS. This entry replaces an original question mark.

 


 

aíreną. Jobóhą higéže, aíreną. "Hehó,
[they said.] Four times he asked it, [they said.] "Heho,

 


 

ne warákik’uñkjonèną," éže Kečuñgéga. ásge
you will bring this upon yourselves," [he said] [Turtle.] [And so]

 


 

p. 139 —
žéjuñga mąšją́ niwáną. ’Uñgíži, kisák
[now] mighty hard he rowed. [When] he did it, half

 


 

wak’áñka bokónok hiréže, aíreną. Égi
the snake broke* they did, [they said.] [And]
*'[by natural force]' is written at the top of the page and connected to 'broke' by a line.

 


 

Niñkúse Hoxetéra* hot’ą́pše huže, aíreną.
Miss[issippi] the large part he came into this way, [they said.]
*This is the name used to distinguish the Mississippi proper from the "Little Mississippi" (the Wisconsin River). See the Commentary.

 


 

Égi Kečuñgéga hižúk mowéja éja jíže,
[And] [Turtle] bullet moulding place [there] he came,

 


 

aíreną. Howaréra Waxopínina hijajíre, égi
[they said.] Sure enough the Frenchmen they came, [and]

 


 

Kečúñgega, "Ho, nąbra wonóñka, hičakárohara. Jasgéže
[Turtle,] "Ho, he shook hands, my friend. How is it

 


 

p. 140 —
či uañgéja?" "Honąsánañkšaną." "Ho, hačakjége wahájeną."
upstairs?" "He is locked up." ["Ho,] I will see him [that] is why I ask."

 


 

Wájera éja rusgíč karat’ų́pše, aíreną.
The boat [there] tied he left it, [they said.]

 


 

Égi hijowáreže či uáñgera howáreže, aíreną.
[And] he went there upstairs he went, [they said.]

 


 

Éja waruwína. "Ho hičakáro, hajíną."
[There] the trader. ["Ho] [friend,] I have come."

 


 

"Hą́," eže waruwína. "Hičakáro, jánuñga
["Yes,"] he said the trader. ["Friend,] how much

 


 

šurušákają haninañkózireže? Hičakáro, wahá hani-ąjíną.
did you owe that they arrested you? [Friend,] furs I brought with me.

 


 

p. 141—
Wawagáx kawažáre." ásge t’ąpiréže, wajéja
Credit pay off." And so they came down, to the boat

 


 

hahíreže. Mąhį́ xeterá rokáną. Žégų wajáñgere
they went. White people plenty there were. [Now] this boat

 


 

žégų hixgáñxgą míñkše. Rábera wa’uinéže.
indeed tremble would it lay. Beaver did it.

 


 

ásge Kečuñgéga wéže, "Hočinčíniñgwira, hañkší
And so [Turtle] said he, "Boys, up high

 


 

nąžíwine." Égi žéjuñga rabera warusiréže,
stand you." [And] [then] beaver furs they took them,

 


 

égi gikárap’irèže égi waruwína jánañga
[and] counted them [and] trader how much

 


 

waruwį́jega ruš’áki haną́č hirowehíže.* Égi
the trader he owed [all] paid. [And]
*at the bottom of the page is written "hirowe hi, hirowe ra, hirowe na."

 


 

p. 142 —
hagikíniže. "Hičakáro, žégų rúzere. Woruwóčira
some left over. ["Friend,] [now then] take it. A store

 


 

pik’úne." "Hojá," waruwína eže, aíreną.
fix you up." "All right," the trader he said, [they said.]

 


 

"Hąhą́, žejúñga Kečuñgéga kerekjáneže?" aireną.
["Yes,] [well then] [Turtle] is it to go home?" [they said.]

 


 

Égi, "Hičakáro, warújere," eže, aíreną.
[And,] ["Friend,] eat," he said, [they said.]

 


 

Waruwína wéže, aíreną. Kečuñgéga wéže,
The trader said, [they said.] [Turtle] [said,]

 


 

"Hičakáro, hañké tokéwehenìną," éže, aireną.
[Friend,] [not] hungry I am not," [he said,] [they said.]

 


 

p. 143 —
"Hičakáro, pejenína hisgé tačgą́ gipįnána,"
"My friend, whiskey some I drink would be good,"

 


 

éže, aíreną. "Hojá." Kokížą Kečuñgéga
[he said,] [they said.] "All right." A barrel [Turtle]

 


 

gixúxše, aíreną. Égi haníjinañgànañga račgą́že
broke open, [they said.] [And] he got hold of it [and] drank it up

 


 

rasgépše, aíreną. Égi Kečuñgéga kerekarohógi
entirely, [they said.] [And] [Turtle] when ready to go home

 


 

wéže, "Hičakáro, pejenína hisgé hani-áñkerekjèną,"*
[he said] ["Friend,] whiskey some I'll take home with me,"
*the ending -aneną is crossed out and èną written in above it.

 


 

éže, aíreną. Hąhą́, hąbížą wa-ehíreže,
[he said,] [they said.] [Well,] a day* they had a council,
*"one day" would be better.

 


 

égi Mą’úna jagú egíži Kečuñgéga
[and] Earthmaker what he said [Turtle]

 


 

p. 144 —
haną́čį horákše, aíreną. ásge Waxopinináñka
[all of it] he told, [they said.] And so [to] the Frenchman

 


 

wéže, "Hąhą́, hisgé wahéną. Žesgekjéną.
[he] said ["Yes,] truth I said. Be it so.

 


 

Jajaíñxjį manáñgere uañkšíg’a-iñgìži hoišípjį žésgekjanèną,"
As long [as] this earth as human I live always it will be thus,"

 



éže, aíreną. ásge épa wahára
[he said,] [they said.] [And so] since then the furs

 


 

piñkísge wahiąhú-ireže, aíreną. Hąhą́, Kečuñgéga
good piece they gave for them, [they said.] [Yes,] [Turtle]

 


 

haną́č piníže, aíreną uañkšígera Waxopínina.
[all] they fixed, [they said] the people the Frenchman.

 


 

p. 145 —
Hąhą́, Kečuñgéga žéjuñga keréže, aíreną.
[Yes,] [Turtle] [then] went home, [they said.]

 


 

Niñkúsera hamą́hą keréže, aíreną. Pejeníkogra
The Mississippi went up [he went] home, [they said.] Whiskey barrels

 


 

jopíwi wajéja hokéreže, aíreną. Hagaréžą
four in the boat put he in, [they said.] At a time

 


 

gíže, aíreną. Égi uañkšígera wawogírakše,
got home, [they said.] [And] the people he told them,

 


 

aíreną. "Gájuñga uañkšíkš’iñkjanàwiną.* Hąhą́,
[they said.] ["And now] good you [will] live. [Yes,]
*the ending -èną is crossed out and àwiną written above it.

 


 

žegúną. Hi-ą́čhihiwira tée pi’ųhíšige wa’ųhajíną.
that's all. Father ours this fix he told me is why I came here.

 


 

p. 146 —
Jobóhañgi hakérekjanèną. Hąhą́ hąp tée
Four days from now I will go home. [Yes,] day this

 


 

hakérekjanèną. Hagaréžą manáñgere wažanaížą hiñké
I am going home. [At one time] this earth something not

 


 

piniñgí žigé hájikjanèną," éže, aíreną.
good [again] I will come," [he said,] [they said.]

 


 

Hąhą́, keréže, aíreną. Uañgerégi howá
[Yes,] he went home, [they said.] Up above went

 


 

keréže, aíreną. Žégų.
he did, [they said.] [That's all.]

 


Source:

Charlie Houghton, Turtle and the Merchant, translation by Oliver LaMere, in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3894 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Winnebago III, #9: 2-29 = 132-146.