Hočąk Syllabic Text — The Elk's Skull

Told by an elder of the tribe in 1912

Transcribed by Sam Blowsnake

Translation based on the interlinear of Oliver LaMère


Version 1


Winnebago V, #7: 318

For a description of this manuscript, its source, style, transcription, and interlinear translation, see the syllabic text to Trickster's Warpath.


English Translation


 

A Ai. e tt. Ao rKy d. A xele deAe. Ao rK
Hahi éja hosgaižą haxebše. Hosga
On the way [there] a valley* he came. Valley

*the translation originally had "in the valley", but crossed out "the" and wrote "a" above it.

 


 

p. 318 —
a K Ki nK ℒe Ki. ℒe x ℒo loAo ℒo Ki d. Ki ttK Ai ℒe K tt.
akakinąkregi, rexruporokižą gijak hiregają
across, a (round) drum to beat they did and

 


 

A K ℒ xe Ai ℒe Ki di. wo Ki roKo. w xe de.
hakaraxehiregiži, wogizok waxeže.
they were whooping [and] very much they made noise.

 


 

de Ko w K tt A Ai xoKo deAe. Ko ℒ tt xitti
Žegųwagają hahixukše. "Korá, jaxjį
So much so it reached up to the sky. "Well,* what

*the translation inserts after this word, "I wonder".

 


 

p. 319 —
o Ai Ko ℒo Ao w n Ki di. Ai tt w w te Kette.
’ų hikorohowaną, giži. Hija wawatekje.
to do they are about to [.] There I will go over.

 


 

rii xitti Ai K K. w d. wo d w A ttA ni.
S’ixjį hįkaga wažą wožáwa hačanį.
For a long while not any fun I have not seen.

 


 

Ai Ko tt Ko* o Ai ℒe Ktt n Ae w o n Ki di
Higųjagu ’ųhirekjanahe, wa’ųnąkiži
Whatever they are about to do, [doing it]

*the last /K/ is written over an /o/.

 


 

Ai tto ℒo K o Kette e de w diAi Ko ℒo Ao Ai ℒe deKe.
hijoroga’ųkje," éže. "Waši korohohireške,
I will join them," he said. "To dance they are going (about to), also*

*the translation has, "if they are going to". Just before the word "going" the word "about" has been crossed out with a single horizontal line.

 


 

p. 320 —
Ai deKe leAe diAi doAo no K tt* aK deAe. Ao rK ℒ.
hišgé pešišųnųgają," akše. Hosgara
also I used to dance," he was saying. The valley

*there is a period after /leAe/. Normally the word for "I dance" would be paši or p’aši.

 


 

A ℒo ttA ℒe K tt di Ke oy ℒe de. di Ke.
haručaregają, žigé ’ųįreže. Žigé
when he was going across, again they did it. Again

 


 

ttiAi wi tti Ke ℒe de. A K ℒ Ke ℒe Ki di. ℒo K n xitti de.
čiwįjikereže. Hakarakeregiži, rokanaxjįže.
there was a noise. They all shouted, and it was great.

 


 

p. 321 —
w d. w KidiKi Ae Kitti Kette Ki di. A ℒK dAe.
Wažą wąkšik hekjįkjegiži, harakše.
[Something] people a very great many will be there, he was thinking.

 


 

Ai Ko di Ke. oyi ℒe de. ttiAi w tti Ke ℒe Ki di.
Higų žigé ’ųįreže. Čiwajigeregiži,
[Yet] again they did it. When the drum was hit,

 


 

de Ko. m xiAi ℒ. Ao lA ℒ dℒ tti Ke ℒe de. A K ℒ xe Ai ℒe Ki di.
žegų mąxira hoparašrajikereže. Hakaraxehiregiži,
[then] the heavens they seemed to burst. [When] they shouted at it,

 


 

p. 322 —
K tt K. de Ko A Ao Ao ℒ ℒo K n Ki di.
gająga žegų hahuhura* rokanagiži,
now [then] anxious so [much] that

*Marino gives the form of this word as, hohuhura.

 


 

n Ki nK deAe. a deKe niKi w nK no ni Ke
nąginąkše. Aškenįk wanąk, nųnįgé
he began to run. Very close they were saying it,* but

*after the word "it" there are two vertical lines separating it from the succeeding word "but".

 


 

Ai Ke w KidiKi ni Ke w d A tt ni de.
hįké wąkšik nįgé wažą hajanįže.
not people anywhere any he could not see.

 


 

p. 323 —
di Ke oy ℒe de. ℒo K n de. A K w d. de Ko
Žigé ’ųįreže. Rokanaže. Hagáwažą žegų
Again they did it. It was very great. Ah, such a [thing]! [then]

 


 

m xiAi ℒ Ao lA ℒ dℒ tti Ke ℒe Ai ℒe de. K tt.
mąxira hoparašrajikerehireže, gają.
the sky it seemed to burst* [.]

*the translation adds, "with joy".

 


 

Ai Ko K tt K. Ao ℒo Kℒe Ki deKe owK
Higų gająga horokregi ške ’uwąk
Even now in their midst [also] he was walking*

*after "he", the following is crossed out: "seemed to be".

 


 

w ow Ko ni Ai ℒe w Ai no ni Ke Ai Ke
wa’ųwąkųnį hiréwahi, nųnįgé hįké
[he was maybe] it seemed, but not

 


 

p. 324 —
w d tt ni de. e Ki. w d Ao deAe ℒe Ki d
wažąjanįže.* Égi wažą hušerekižą
he did not see anything. Here some a bone†

*< wažą-haja-nį-že.
†the translation adds, "of some animal".

 


 

nK deAe. e Ki w d Ai ℒ n i ni rKe de. Ao w.
nąkše. Égi wažą hiranąįnįskeže. Hųwą́
it was lying. Here something he seemed to notice. Elk

 


 

lAyi d. w o nK deAe. Ae ℒ. ℒo K n xitti de.
paižą wa’ųnąkše. Héra rokanaxjįže.
a head it was. Horns it had many.

 


 

p. 325 —
Ae ℒ. x x ttiAi de de tt K. liAi Ai* we riAi wi de.
Héra xaxačiže. Žejąga pįhí wesįwįže.
The horns they branched in every direction. Now again carefully he watched it.

*the second /Ai/ is written over an erased /w/.

 


 

di Ke oy ℒe de. wo Ki roKo wo d w de.
Žigé ’ųįreže. wogizok wožáwaže.
Again they did it. Very much it was fun.

 


 

tt Ao w lA n Keℒe e Ki w oyi ℒe de.†
Ja* hųwą́ panąkere égi wa’ųįreže.
And elk the head [here] it happened.‡

*this word and its translation are highly suspect. It is probably the word éja (e tt) whose /e/ has been assimilated through external sandhi by the last syllable of the last word of the prior sentence. If this is correct, the word should be translated as "there".
†the /o/ is written over a highly smudged erasure, but is clearly visible nonetheless.
‡after the word "it", the word "was" has been crossed out and the /ed/ of "happened" has been written over two other letters (/in/?).

 


 

p. 326 —
w Ki ℒi diAili ttAo ℒ. ℒo K n xitti de. ℒo Kℒ.
Wakirišipčora rokanaxjįže, rogra
Flies there were very many, inside

 


 

p. 326 —
Aoyi xitti xitti w o nK deAe. ℒo Ke tt Ao K wy ℒ n K.
hoixjįxjį wa’ųnąkše. Rogeja hokawairanąga
(completely) filled it was. Inside they would go and

 


 

Ai Ai nl n Ki ℒe K w o nK deAe. w xe n xoKo tte K.
hihinąpnąkirega, wa’ųnąkše, waxe nąxgųjega.
when they would rush out, [they did] shouting he heard.

 


 

wo ℒo xotto deAe. wo Ki roKo wo d w Ai w o n Kede.
Woruxúčše. wogizok wožawahi wa’ųnągeže.
He looked at them. Very much fun they were having.

 


 

p. 327 —
w Ki liAi tte de. tt Ko Ai Ko tt Ko o w o n Ki di.
Wagipiježe. "Jagú higųjagu uwa’ųnąkiži,
He coveted (envied) them. "Well, whatever they were doing,

 


 

Ao ℒo K o Ktt ne de Ai A o Ae d ℒ. tt rKe
horok’ųkjaneže. Hiha’ųhežara, 'Jasgé
I would join them. I was saying as I came, 'What

 


 

A Ki di Ao ℒo K o n Ko ni Ai Ai ℒ tte de.
hagiži horok’ųnąkųnį'?" hihiraježe.
I could do to join them'?" he was thinking.

 


 

p. 328 —
K tt K we de. Ko te Ai roAo Ki tti wi ℒ. A K w d
Gająga wéže, "Koté hisųkijiwira, hagáwažą
Then he said, "Say my younger brothers, what (a) great

 


 

wo d w ℒ wi d. A K w d. w d liAi doo wi d.
wožáwa rawiša, hagáwažą wažą š’uwiša.
fun you are making, what a great thing good you are doing.

 


 

Ao ℒo K o deyi di y ℒe n. tt rKe ℒ wiy n K w doo
Horok’ų žeižiyareną. Jasgé rawianąga waš’ų
To be one of you I wish very much. How [you do and] to do this

 


 

p. 329 —
A ℒ tte Ki di. Ai ℒ Ki Koro wi Ki di.* Ai deKe
harajegiži, hiragigųswigiži, hišgé
if you are able, if you show me how, also

*/Ai/ is written over an erasure (/Ae/?).

 


 

Ao ℒo K o n n. w wi Ke de. Ko te Ao ℒoKo o
horok’ųnaną," wawigéže. "Koté, horok’ų
I would join you," he said to them. "Say, [to join together]*

*the translation has, "to do it".

 


 

wo tteAe xiAi de. ttA K ℒ. dolo leKe tt w K w wiy n K
wočexiže. Čakara žopekeja wągawawianąga
trouble it is. The neck [at the hollow] we enter it and

 


 

p. 330 —
w o A tt wi n tt Ko Ai dtt ℒ tt wi K tt
wa’ųhajawiną, jagú hišjarajawigają,"
it is how we do it, as you have already seen,"

 


 

Ai Ky ℒe de. ay ℒe Ki di. Ai tto Ke we n i K deKe.
higaireže. Airegiži, hijokewe naįgašge
they said to him. Thus they said to enter so he would try, but

 


 

ℒo dak ra de. w ℒo Ko xitti no ni Ke.
ruš’aks’aže. Warokoxjį, nųnįgé
he would fail. He liked very much to do it,* but

*after the word "liked", the word "it" has been crossed out.

 


 

p. 331 —
Ai Ke w d de rK ni de. tt rKe
hįké wažą žesganįže. "Jasgé
not [anything] he was not able. "How

 


 

ℒ wiy n K Ai tt Ao ℒ K w ℒ tt wi de.
rawianąga hija horakawarajwiže,
you do [and] [there] you manage to enter,

 


 

Ai rAo Ki tti wi ℒ. e de. w Kℒ. A ℒo Kere deAe.
hisųkijiwira?" éže. Wąkra harugesše.
my younger brothers?" he asked. The man he lacked,*

*"lacked" is written over an erasure. In the translation, the sentence reads, "Thus, man as he was, he lacked."

 


 

w ℒo Ko no ni Ke. e Ki w Ky ℒe de. Ko te
warokonunige. égi wagaíreže. "Koté,
although he longed to. Then they said to him, "Say,

 


 

p. 332 —
Ai Ki Ao ℒ Ke we Kette Ki di. w deAe Kette n.
higihoragewekjegiži wašekjeną,
if you wish to come in just say,

 


 

ttA K ℒ dolo leKe ℒ xeAe te ℒe. Ai deAe Ki di.
'Čakara žopekra xetere.' hišegíži,
'Neck [the hollow of] become big.' If you say it,

 


 

ttA K ℒ dolo leKe ℒ.* xeAe te tti tte Ktt ne n. de Ko Ki di
čakara žopekra xetejijekjaneną. Žegųgiži
the neck [the hollow] it will become big. This way

*/lo leK/ is written over an erasure (KiK ?).

 


 

p. 333 —
Ai Ki Ao ℒ K w n n. de rKe Ai A wiy n K w o A tt wi n
higihoragawananą. Žesge hihawiyanąga wa’ųhajawiną,"
you can come in. That way [we say and] the way we do it,"

 


 

Ai Ky ℒe de.* de tt K. Ai tt tti n K n K. tt K ℒ
higaireže. Žejąga hijajinąkanąga, "Čakara
they said to him. So now he sat down to it and, "Neck

*the letter /A/ is partially written over an /a/ which has not been erased.

 


 

dolo leKe ℒ. xeAe te ℒe. e K tt ttA K ℒ.
[the hollow] xetere," egają čakara
the hole (for the neck) become big," he said, and the neck

 


 

p. 334 —
dolo leKe Ao loAo xℒ xeAe te tti tte de. n roAo ℒ.
žopek hopoxra xetejiježe. Nąsúra
[hollow] the hole it became big. His head

 


 

Ao Ki liAi Ki di Ai tto K w. Aili deAe. n roAo ℒ.
hokipįgiži hijokawa hįpše, nąsúra
it fit in so he entered [he reached and remained,] his head

 


 

ttA deAe tt Ai liA. K tt A ntt Ai Ai nl n Ki ℒe de.
čašeją hipi. Gają haną́č hihinąpnąkireže,
his neck up to. Just then all they ran out,

 


 

p. 335 —
w Ki ℒi n Kℒe. e Ki Ao w tti Ao ℒ. xoAo no niKi Ki ℒi tte de.
wakirinąkre. Égi howajihura xununįkiriježe.
[the insects.]* Then where he entered it became small again.

*translated as "flies"; but this term is really more general, in fact, more general than "insects".

 


 

e tt Ao Ki ℒ ttAK Ki de. o xitti no ni Ke
Éja hogiračagiže. ’ųxjį, nųnįgé
There he was held fast. Very much he [did,]* but

*rather than "did", the translation has "tried".

 


 

tt Ko Kette. de Ko ℒo daK deAe. n roAo ℒ
jagukje. Žegų ruš’akše. nąsúra
it was of no avail. [Thus] he failed.* His head

*the translation has, "he absolutely failed".

 


 

p. 336 —
Ko ℒo rℒ. ℒo daK Ki di. de Ko Ao K nK K n K.
kurusra ruš’akiži, žegų hokąnakanąga
to free when he failed, thus he wore it, and*

*the translation has, "he continued to wear it and".

 


 

ni ttAe ttℒ ttA we de. Ae ℒ A x ℒK deAe.
nįčejara čawéže. Héra haxarakše.
the river [edge] he went towards. Horns he had long, branchy ones.

 


 

Ao w lAy d Ao K n K n K. ni ℒ Ao ta liKi di.
Hųwą́ paižą hokąnakanąga nįra hot’ąpgiži,
Elk a head he wore and the river when he came to it,

 


 

p. 337 —
ni tteAe ttℒ Ao w ℒe de. A Ko ℒe d ℒ. o ni A o.
nįčejara howareže. Hagorežąra, ’ųniha’ų,
along the [river's] edge he went. Finally, as thus he went on,

 


 

te we ℒ Ki. w KidiKi e tt Ao m ttiAi d Ai ℒ Ai de.
tewéraki wąkšik éja homąčižą hirahiže.
unexpectedly people there habitations* he came.

*the translation has "inhabitations". Just before this word, "there" has been crossed out, since it occurs in the translation just before the word "unexpectedly".

 


 

de Ko e tt. A A Ae Ke de. e Ki Ay ni Ki di.
Žegų éja hahąhegeže. Égi hainigiži,
[Then] there he waited for night. Then in the morning,

 


 

p. 338 —
w o de. ni w Ko ni Ke Ao o n Ki di. e tt miKi deAe.
wa’ųže. Niwagunige ho’ųnąkiži, éja mįkše.
he did thus. To dip water where they came, there he lay.

 


 

w Ke A w i ℒ K ℒ iy n K. A tt ℒ. n Ke we rKe de.
Wakeha wa’įra kara’iyanąga hajara nąkewesgeže.
Coon skin the blanket wearing, [and] to look at him he was frightening.*

*the translation has, "he was fearful".

 


 

ℒo ℒ. A ntt. w Ke A w i A ni Ki di
Rora haną́č wakeha wa’į hanįgiži,
The body whole coon skin blanket [that he had],

 


 

Ai ℒ ℒo K n K e Ki. Ae ℒ x x ttiAi Ki di. e Ki.
hirarúkąnąga égi héra xaxačigiži, égi
it was covered, and then horns having long, branching ones, and

 


 

p. 339 —
Ay ni xitti Ai no Ki d. niy Ko tti K tt A tt de.
hainixjį hinųkižą niagujigają hajaže.
early in the morning a woman she came after water, and she saw him.

 


 

A Ktt Ao Ki n K tt w Ke de. w Kd ne.
Hakjá hokinąkają, wageže, "Wakšąne.
Back she started to run, but he said to her, "Turn back.

 


 

n tto ni tt n. Ai Ke de. w Kd di. Ai tt tti Ki di.
nąjonijáną," higeže. Wakšąši, hija jigiži,
I bless you," he said to her. She turned back, there when she came,

 


 

p. 340 —
w Ke de. K ℒ n K. m rℒ. Ai d A diAi ni ℒ tti Kette n.
wagéną, "Karanąga mąsra hižą hašinirajikjeną.
he said to her, "Go home and ax an bring with you.

 


 

e Ki. n li ℒo xtt ttℒ. tt n K Ai doo Kette Ki di.
Égi nąpiruxáčra jánąga hiš’ųkjegiži,
Then the offerings as many as you should use,

 


 

w KidiKi w ℒ Ki do ℒ. e ayi ℒe Ktt ne n. e de.
wąkšik warakižura e airekjaneną," éže.
people your [companion] they they will tell you," he said.

 


 

e Ki. n roAo. A ni ℒ. ttA lo ni A ℒe Ki.
"Égi nąsu hanira čaboniharegi
"Then head my on top of it

 


 

p. 341 —
Ao ℒ tti Ktt wi n. e Ki. n roAo Ao deAe ℒe K ni ℒ. tt Ko
horajįkjawiną. Égi nąsuhušerekanira jagú
you will strike. Then my skull whatever

 


Ai ℒo ℒ Ko wi Ki d[i] Ai rKe Ktt ne n. Ao w.
hirorakųwigiž[i], hisgekjaneną. Hųwą́
you use it for, it will become true. Elk

 


 

w Kette xiAi A ni n. ttAi n Kn Keℒe A te n.
Wakjexi haniną. Činąknąkre hateną,"
[Water] Spirit I am. This village it is blessed,"*

*literally, "it has dreamt".

 


 

p. 342 —
Ai Ke de. ni ℒe xAe te ℒ Ai d wi ne n
higeže. "Nire xetera hižą winéną,"
he said to her. "In the waters the great ones one of I am,"

 


 

Ai Ke de. e Ki. Ai noKo tte K Ke ℒe de. Ki Ki di.
higeže. Égi hinųkjega kereže. Gigiži,
he said to her. Then the woman went home. When she got home,

 


 

Ao ℒK deAe. ni w Ko ℒe Ki. w Ktte xiAi dK dA n.
horákše. "Niwaguregi Wakjexi šakšaną.
she told it. "At the water dipping place, Waterspirit [an ancient one] there is.

 


 

n tto tt de e n. m Ko do ℒ. Ko Ki d. deKe
Nąjoją́že, éną. Mąkošura kokižą ške
He blessed me, he said. Medicine* a box [also]

*the translation adds, "chest".

 


 

p. 343 —
A ni w owK dA n e de. e Ki. m rℒ. e Ki.
haniwa’ųwąkšaną," éže. "Égi mąsra égi
he has with him," she said. "Then an ax and

 


 

tt n K. n li ℒo xtt ttℒ. Ai tti do wi Ki di e Ki.
jánąga nąpiruxáčra hijižuwigiži, égi
all the offerings when we place there, then

 


 

ttA lo ni Ay tt. Ao tti Ktt wi e n. n roAo ℒ.
čabonihaija hojikjawi, éną. Nąsúra
on top of his head we would hit, he said. His skull*

*this is actually "his head".

 


 

p. 344 —
Ai Ki xoAoxo wi Ki di. de e e w d ℒo Ko Ktt wi
higixoxwigiži žee e wažą rokųkjawi,
we would crack and that [it] for things* we could use it,

*the translation has "for different things".

 


 

e n. e de. w Kidi Kℒ. n li ℒo xtt A K ℒ ni ℒ n K.
éną," éže. Wąkšíkra nąpiruxač hakaraniranąga
he said," she said. The people offerings they took with them and

 


 

Ko A ℒ. ttA wy ℒe de. Ao w ℒe ℒ. teyK dAe.
kohara čawaireže. Howarera, teikše.
[below]* they went. Sure enough, there he was.

*the translation has "to the water".

 


 

n Ke we rKe de. n li ℒo xtt ℒ. t ni ℒ. m dAo
Nąkewesgeže. Nąpiruxajara, tanira, mąšu
Very fearful [frightening] he was. The offerings, tobacco, feathers

 


 

p. 345 —
doAo ttℒ. ttA A rK ℒ. tteAe Ai doAo ttℒ. ℒo K n.
šujra, čahaskra, čehį šujra, rokana
red, white deerskin, yarn belts red, very much

 


 

w Ki oyi ℒe de. de Ko Ai ℒe Ki di e Ki. Ai d
wagi’ųįreže. Žegų hiregiži, égi hižą
they brought. Thus when they did, then one

 


 

A ℒ tti ℒe Ki di. m r K. Ai ow n K. ttA lo ni Ay tt Ao tti de.
harajiregiži, mąska hi’ųwanąga čabonihaija hojiže.
they appointed, the ax he used and the top of his head he struck him.

 


 

n roAo ℒ. Ki ℒo ttAe tti Ke ℒe de. K tt
Nąsúra kiruče jikereže. Gają
His head it split in two [it did suddenly.] And there

 


 

p. 346 —
te we ℒ Ki. w Ktt K K Ai Kd n K e tt Ki K w a de.
tewéraki Wakjąkaga hikšánąga éja gigawa’aže.
unexpectedly Trickster laughing, [and] there he arose.

 


 

wo x nK liAi ni Ki d. w x n Kℒ. woyi niKi Ai ℒ Ki Ki wi n
"Woxanąk pinigižą woxanąkra. Woinįk hiragigiwiną,"
"Headdress a nice one I was wearing.* You spoiled it for me,"†

*before the word "was", the word "has" was crossed out.
†the translation precedes this phrase with the word "but".

 


 

a n K. e tt Ai Kd ℒ ℒo K n w n K Ki K w a de.
ánąga. Éja hikšára rokanawanąga gigawa’aže.
he said. There he laughed very much, and then* he got up.

*before "and then", the translation has "he said"; however, in this context it would seem that -ánąga is more likely just a conjunction.

 


 

p. 347 —
w Ktt K K. w owK dA n* ay ℒe de. e Ki. w w Ke de.
"Wakjąkaga wa’ųwąkšaną," aíreže. Égi wawageže,
"Trickster it is," they said. Then he said to them,

*what appears to be /onK/ has been erased and /owK/ written over it.

 


 

w d ℒ. ℒo A. n li ℒo xtt ttℒ. doo wi n.
"Wažąra roha nąpiruxáčra š’ųwiną.
"Things many offering you let go.

 


 

Ai Ke Aoyi ni Ke xitti ni Ki xA w ni wi ni n.
Hįké hoinįgexjįnigi xawaniwinįną.
Not for naught it will not go for (amount to)

 


 

p. 348 —
lA n Kℒe. w di ℒo ℒ Ko wi Ki di Ai rKe Ktt ne n.
Panąkre wažį́ roragúwigiži, hisgekjaneną,"
This head whatever you use it for, it will be so,"

 


 

wi Ke de. e rKe e tt. wi ℒo Ko Ki Koo Ai ℒe de.
wigeže. Ésge éja wirókų kik’ųhireže.
he said to them. So there instruments* they made themselves.

*in the translation, this word is preceded by "many".

 


 

Ao w ℒe ℒ. Ai rKe Ai ℒe de. e Ki. de Ko
Howarera, hisge hireže. Égi žegų
Sure enough, good* they were. [And] then

*the word hisge means "true".

 


 

e tt ni Ke Ao w Ke ℒe de.
éja nįgé howagereže.
there [someplace] he went away.


Source:

Oliver LaMère (trs.), "Wakjąkaga," in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1912) Winnebago V, #7: 317-349.