Holy Song II (Medicine Song)

by Rek’uhuhiga (Jacob Russel)


"The wisdom of the otter is known to the Men of Medicine. In pouches made of otter-skin, or of the skin of some other emblematic animal, the Men of Medicine put their mystic 'medicine' and charms. During a Medicine-Dance the Medicine-Men hold their skin-pouches in their hands, and suddenly shoot them out at arm's-length towards some man, when the mysterious power that is inside the pouch flies out like an arrow and strikes the man dead. He falls on his face, and lies motionless until the Men of Medicine, through their mysterious power, bring him to life again. Women, too, are pierced by the unseen arrows."1

Mąką Nąwą (Medicine Song)

Ma-ni-na, le-ha-no,
Mąnina rehaną,
I let fly my arrow,
 
Ma-ni-na, le-ha-no,
Mąnina rehaną,
I let fly my arrow,
 
Wunk-i-wi-zhan le-ha-no,
Wągižą* rehaną,
I let it fly at a man,
 
Ma-ni-na, le-ha-no!
Mąnina rehaną!
I let fly my arrow!
 
Ma-ni-na, le-ha-no,
Mąnina rehaną,
I let fly my arrow,
 
Ma-ni-na, le-ha-no,
Mąnina rehaną,
I let fly my arrow,
 
Hi-nuk-i-zhan le-ha-no,
Hinųgižą rehaną,
I let it fly at a woman,
 
Ma-ni-na, le-ha-no!
Mąnina rehaną!
I let fly my arrow!

*the phonetic text suggests wągiwižą, but given the parallel passage pertaining to women, it seems likely that the -iwi- is just the syllable /i/ held for a long note.


Commentary. "the mysterious power" — physically, the "arrow" that is shot from the pouch is a shell.


Links: Otters.


Stories: pertaining to the Medicine Rite: The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Journey to Spiritland, Battle of the Night Blessed Men and the Medicine Rite Men, Holy Song, Maize Origin Myth, The Necessity for Death, Hog's Adventures, Great Walker's Warpath, see also Stories from Jasper Blowsnake's account of the Medicine Rite; mentioning otters: Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Fleetfooted Man, The Dipper, The Two Children, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Turtle's Warparty, The Origins of the Milky Way, Redhorn's Sons, Redhorn Contests the Giants, Kunu's Warpath, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, The Woman who Loved Her Half Brother, The Chief of the Heroka, The Animal Spirit Aids of the Medicine Rite, The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men (v. 2), Wojijé, Morning Star and His Friend, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Morning Star and His Friend.


Themes: ...


Songs. Bladder, Song about the Older Brother (v. 2), Bladder, Song about the Older Brother (v. 3), Buffalo Dance Songs, Clan Songs, Bear Clan, Clan Songs, Bear Clan, Song for Returning, Clan Songs, Bear Clan, Song for Starting Out, Clan Song, Bear Clan, Song of the Youngest, Clan Songs, Buffalo Clan, Clan Songs, Buffalo Clan, The Four Songs of Hojanoka, Clan Songs—Deer Clan, Clan Songs—Wolf Clan, Clan Songs—Wonáǧire Wąkšik Clan, The Crawfish's Song, Duck Song, Farewell Songs, The Four Services Songs, Grandfather Sparrow's Rain Songs, Grizzly Bear Songs, Hare's Song to Grasshopper, Hare's Song to the Wągepanįgera, Hare's Song to Wildcat, Hawk's Song, Heroka Songs, Holy Song, Holy Song II, Little Fox's Death Song, Little Fox's Death Song (for the Warpath), Little Fox's Tail Song, Love Song I (female), Love Song II (female), Love Song III (female), The Mouse Song, Nightspirit Songs, The Quail's Song, Redman's Song, Slow Song of the Heroka, Soldier Dance Songs, Song for Calling the Buffalo, Song from the Water, Song from the Water (King Bird), The Song of Bluehorn's Sister, Hočąk Text — The Song of Sun Caught in a Net, The Song of the Boy Transformed into a Robin, Song of the Frog to Hare, Song of the Thunder Nestlings, The Song of Trickster's Baby, Song to Earthmaker, The Song to the Elephant, The Sun's Song to Hare, Three Warrior Songs, Turtle's Call for a Warparty (v. 1), Turtle's Call for a Warparty (v. 2), Turtle's Four Death Dance Songs, Twins, Ghost's Song (v. 1), Twins, Ghost's Song (v. 2), Twins, Ghost's Song (The Two Brothers), Twins, the Songs of Ghost and Flesh, Twins, Song of the Father-in-Law, Victory Song, Wailing Song, Warrior Song about Mąčosepka, What a Turtle Sang in His Sleep, Wolf-Teasing Song of the Deer Spirits. Songs in the McKern collection: Waking Songs (27, 55, 56, 57, 58) War Song: The Black Grizzly (312), War Song: Dream Song (312), War Song: White Cloud (313), James’ Horse (313), Little Priest Songs (309), Little Priest's Song (316), Chipmunk Game Song (73), Patriotic Songs from World War I (105, 106, 175), Grave Site Song: "Coming Down the Path" (45), Songs of the Stick Ceremony (53).

Notes


1 Natalie Curtis Burlin, The Indians' Book: an Offering by the American Indians of Indian Lore, Musical and Narrative, to Form a Record of the Songs and Legends of Their Race (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1907) 256-257.