How the Thunders Met the Nights
or
Mąznį’ąbera, The Live Iron

translated by Oliver LaMère


Interlinear Hočąk-English Syllabic Text


(1) There stood a village. There the chief sat. Then one day they said, "Very many there are who are carrying packs," they said. One came forward. "Where does the chief live?" he asked. (2) They pointed it out to him. "That is his tent," they said to him. So he went over. When he got there, he said, "Chief, where will we camp?" he said. Then he said to him, (3) "Come, look around, and set up any place you think best," he said to him. Then he went back. After awhile, someone with a gourd came over rattling it. (4) "Chief, they came to ask you to gamble," he said. "Howo," he answered. They played ball. The people were defeated. The second time they ran a race. (5) Again they were defeated. The third time they wrestled. Again they were defeated. The fourth time they did long distance shooting. Again they were defeated. (6) There the whole village was defeated they say. They were betting themselves. The others were cannibal Giants. They were about to burn up the village there. Then, unexpectedly, an old man with a baby showed up, (7) also the baby was a male. They said, "Koté! Let us wait until this baby gets big, (8) then we’ll eat it. Let this old man raise it," they said. "So be it," they said. Then they made a house for the old man there, they say. (9) All the things that he needed they placed for him. And they placed there for him all there was of the food. And they said, "Very good, raise it for us. (10) Make him fat for us," they said to him. Then they went home.

And there he tried to raise his grandson. Finally, it walked. Very fleet it was. And he made arrows for it. (11) He would always be shooting arrows while he was inside the lodge. Finally, he went outside. Then he told him to fast. (12) "Grandson, fast so that when someday something happens to you, and you have something to strengthen you, you will eat well," he told him. So each day he would fast. and he would always be out shooting arrows. (13) Finally, this one shot at and killed something there. Right off he ran to the house. He did not even take it when he got back. He told all to his grandfather. (14) "Grandfather, I killed something. It was flying. Its small face was striped. It was white and also a bit gray. (15) Also it was black," he said. "Grandson, a 'hišjaširiričge' they call them," he said. "Go after it, I will eat it," he said. He went after it. When he brought it back, he boiled it and ate it. (16) Again the next morning, he came running back already. Again he told him of how it looked. "Grandson, a small small-eyed woodpecker, one of them it is. Go after it, I will eat it," he said. (17) After he got it, he boiled and ate it. And so again in the morning, he killed one. Again he described it to him. (18) He said, "They call them 'pigeons'," he said. "Go after it, my grandson, I will eat it," he said. Another one he killed. "They call it a 'partridge'," he said. Then the next one he killed. (19) "They call it a 'robin red-breast'," he said. Then he killed the next one. They call it the 'stastak’é', he said. He killed the next one. "They call it the 'kowįške'," he said. He killed the next one. (20) They call it the 'čaručge', he said. Then the next one he killed. "They call it the 'turtle dove'," he said. And a plover, also a quail and a forked tail hawk (hiwičažą); (21) also a prairie plover; also a meadow lark; also the hinųkananage; also the blackbird; also the sįč’e; (22) the king bird; also a jay bird; also the spotted woodpecker; also the snow bird; also a wasirawiwičge; also the dark little swan; the wikiničakok; also the gąkegra; (23) also the kingfisher; and the hummingbird; also the xete nišaraknįk, the waroni; and the mąwazųge; (24) the night bird (big owl); also the short-eared owl; the whippoorwill, the bluebird; and all the ducks; and every kind of goose; all sorts of swans; all of these he killed, they say. (25) And there the old man was naming them. And all the animals that walk on four legs: skunks, (26) ground hogs, porcupines, badgers, wolves, all that move about the earth, he killed one by one, they say. And again deer, elks, (27) bears, things of that kind, all he caused them to die one by one, they say. And the old man named all of them, they say. (28) Therefore, animals have names. He it was that named them, they say.

Then, since he was a young man, he fasted a great deal. Then one day the old man said there, "O my little grandson, in the morning, (29) you will go somewhere. you must get ready. Your arrows, moccasins, and such like things, you must get ready," he said to him. (30) And so he did. Then he told him that in the morning that he would go towards the rising sun. And he did thus."This, my grandson, always keep with you. (31) Some day if a thing gets you into difficulty, you can use them there," he said to him. And he gave him two round, small, black stones. (32) "Now, my grandson, mightily do you," he said to him. Then he went. On the way, unexpectedly, he came onto a path. He went onto it. (33) He started to run and before long, he caught up to them. Unexpectedly, there were ten men. When he caught up to them, he followed them. (34) When he did it, the one behind talked to him. The others only looked back at this sight, that was all. Finally, there this one who led them said, "Hello, let us smoke here about," he said. (35) Then they sat down. Then they brought forth their pipes. They had weeds with bulbs on them for pipes and they filled them with mashed up leaves and smoked them. (36) Also this other one brought out one. Then he said to him, "My friend, use this one," he said to him. He gave him a pipe with tobacco also. (37) And they smoked. Then they all began to sit with their necks stretched. Then they all began to sit with their tails stretched out. Then this one did it. His friend, the one he gave his pipe to, gave it to the leader. (38) Then he filled it and passed it around. They swallowed the smoke. They were longing for it very much, so they were very thankful.

Then again they went on. Again he walked behind, (39) his friend with him. Finally in the evening, the leader said, "Now, go look here for what we are to eat," he said to them. (40) He appointed four of them. Then there they stopped at. There they were building a fire. When the others got there, they took one rattlesnake apiece. (41) There they said, "What does our friend usually eat?" they asked him. "I always eat deer," he said. "Koté! he means grasshoppers. When we came by there was one over there. (42) Go after it for them," they said. So they went after it for him. "Now, kill it for yourself," they said to him. (43) So he pierced him through behind his shoulders. "Korá! what a good shot he is," they said. They broiled their meat. They went after a big stone and there they stuck their broiling sticks. (44) They were not able to put the sticks into the ground. And also he skinned the deer and he boiled the ribs. He just stuck the broiling stick in the ground.

And the next morning they went on again. Again, with his friend with him, they walked behind. (46) And again when it was noon, there again they filled their pipes. This time they did not use their own pipes. (47) The one that his friend handed him, only that one did they pass around. Then again when they got through, they went on again. Again in the morning, thereat again some of them sought some food. (48) Again, they got four of them. Again they had with them rattlesnakes, one apiece. Again, "What else do you eat?" they asked him. "Bear," he said. (49) He described it to them. "Koté! he means a cricket. Awhile ago some were chirping over there. Go get one for him," they said. (50) They brought one for him. "Kill him for yourself," they said to him. Again he made his arrow disappear into the middle. His arrow flew on to the other side. "Korá! what a good shot he is," they said. (51) Then again he broiled his own ribs. In the morning, again they started on. In the evening, again they were told to look for a place to camp. (52) His friend was one of the appointed. He went with him. They left him there at a certain place. There he saw a spring of water. He brushed aside the algae so that he might drink some. (53) Then he saw his friend there. And then he began to thank him, "Ho ho my friend, it is good! Where is it?" he said. He did not know what he meant. (54) "What?" he said. "My friend, you have killed a beaver," he said. "I, my friend, didn’t do anything," he said. "My friend, the arrow has beaver dung on it. (55) You have found a beaver." "Where is it?" he said. He pointed it out to him. "My friend, there is the top of the house. Wait for it here, I will scare it out," he said. (56) There he waited for it at the spring where there was a little mound. There he went and kicked it and it came. Then it came on out. It came to rest in his heart. It was a turtle. (57) There he killed it. There they packed it and came back. "Hoho, it is good. What a good thing we are doing. Our friend has done well. Never have we come to such things," they said. (58) He ate with them there. He ate Waterspirit. He thought it very delicious. Then again in the morning they went all day long. (59) Finally, again he ate snakes there with them. He liked it very much.

Then in the morning they went. In the evening they got there. (60) Then before they got there, they stopped. There they built a fire. It was a long house. There the women totaled ten plus one. They were sisters. (61) At night they went out to court women. Later on he and his friend left. The human said, "My friend, tonight when I come out, you must come out also," he said. (62) When they got there, the human lay together with the youngest one. And there his friend laid with the next youngest one. (63) Then finally in the night they came out. He put the little stones he had carried into the fire and then they came out. (64) Then he encouraged his friend, "Act with all your might or many of us will die," he said. Then when they came in, the stones were red hot. (65) They swallowed one apiece. Then again they went and lay with women. After awhile in the night it began to get extremely cold. (66) So the other young men’s teeth chattered out loud, but the two friends were very warm all night long. In the morning, there unexpectedly, the lodge that they were sleeping in had unexpectedly become an igloo. (67) By morning, some of them had died. The human and his friend, and those who slept near them, (68) they did not die.

In the morning the women went away from there. They went towards the coming day. Onward they played as they went. (69) The young men also chased after the women. They laid away the dead and on they chased them. On the way, they finally came to the ocean. (70) The women thus went right on walking on the water. There the young men were puzzled as to what to do. Then the human being said, (71) "My friends, we can cross, but one thing I am not able to do. If you can do that, we can cross," he said. "If the wind were to blow across towards the opposite side, then we could cross," he said. (72) "Hąho, it is good. That is very easy," he said. Then the wind began to blow on the other side. Then he did it. He got four little bear skins. (73) Then he made the insides hollow. Then he put them in, one inside apiece. Then he himself rode in one and put them in the water. (74) Finally, then he seemed to knock against something. He ceased his efforts. So he got out. Unexpectedly, he was washed against the other side. (75) He took his friends out of the water. "My friends, we have come to them," he said. And it was right near the village. They had come to a Night’s village. (76) And, unexpectedly, there were the women. The oldest one appeared before them. When she saw them she gave a cry and ran back. (77) And she went into the lodge. She said to her sisters, "Your husbands have come," she said to them. Then they ran to meet them. The were very pleased. (78) Also their parents were very much pleased. Their brothers were pleased. They were Nights. The women were Night women. (79) Of the brothers’ women, only the oldest one was doing the man-killing. (80) There they reported her to her parents. They were not aware that she had been doing that sort of thing. Therefore, they scolded Hinųga. (81) And also she paid attention to the men, but they would scold her when she went near one of them.

The faces of these people of the village were all disfigured. (82) The men were all cut up. Then one day they said, "They are getting ready to go on the warpath," they said. They forbade these sons-in-law to go. (83) "They must not go," they said. They went and afterwards, in secret, they followed them. There they caught up to them. There they went and looked on. (84) They were very fond of them. Their enemies had long spears. Therefore, they would get cut up. There the Thunders did it. (85) They made a warclub. They burned it black here and there. Then one went over. In whatever direction he swung the blackened warclub, it would kill everyone. (86) There they killed all of the enemy. Then they left only two little ones. A little girl and a little boy, that many they left alive. (87) And they came to the ocean. "You always want to fight. Whenever you see people, always from henceforth, you will be frightened," they said to them. (88) They shall call you 'cranes'," they said to them. Then they came home.

Even for nothing, they treated the sons-in-law well, but now they were even more so. (89) Then, after awhile, they had a child for the human. It is said that is was a male. Then one day the old man said, "Hąhą, my daughters. (90) About this time, these sons-in-law, wherever they came from, about now they must be getting lonesome for them," he said.

Then they started back. (91) When they got to the shore, the women walked on the water. When these men would try, they could not make anything of it. So the youngest woman said, (92) "Step in our steps four times," she said to them. Thus they did. And right off they began walking on the water. (93) There at where they had killed the others, they brought them back to life again. Then they gave their friend the warclub there. They made him try it. He could not learn to use it easily, they say. (94) He would make it sound very loud. They said that he could not use it easily. Then they said to him, (95) "Do not ever, my friend, swing this for nothing. And when you want to use it, take it out carefully. Don’t ever jar it too much," they said to him. (96) Then he separated from them there. They made alive again the ones who were killed and went home with them. The Thunders went home. (97) Then with his wife and his child, the three together, he also went home.

Then when they got home, the old man said, "My grandson! my little grandson! (98) let him come in first," he said. They let him go in first. "Hąho! and again let my daughter-in-law come in." (99) Last of all the man came in. There they were. He could hardly recognize them. He had them dress up. They were very bright. (100) The man loved his little grandson very much. Thus he was always with him. The child got used to him.

Then after a short time, the man woke up in the night. (101) The man said to his wife, "My dear wife, how are you doing? Do you love me?" he said. The wife said, "Yes indeed." Then he said, "In the morning a man will come here. (102) He will come to gamble with me. He will look just like me. As we go on to wrestle, I will throw him to the ground without fail. (103) Kill him for me. "Yes indeed, I will do it," she said. Sure enough, in the morning there unexpectedly a man came. "Hąho! we shall gamble, of course. (104) When men meet anywhere, they always gamble," he said. I never gamble. Besides, I have nothing to bet," he said. (105) "How can it be? It is customary. You have plenty to bet: your grandfather, in addition, your wife, and your boy as well," he said. (106) "Yes indeed! we shall do it," he said. "What shall we play?" he asked. "We shall wrestle," he said. Then he stuck a flat warclub there. (107) It was to kill the loser with. They took hold of one another. Very much they did. Finally, one was thrown down. They looked exactly alike. (108) Which was which, it could not be known. The one thrown down said, "Hohowá! I told you about this, my wife, but he has thrown me down to the ground," he said. (109) "Now, my dear wife, kill him for me," the other one said. There the woman was puzzled as to which to strike. (110) Finally, her father-in-law said, "My dear daughter-in-law, do whatever my grandson told you to do," he said. Only then did she kill the one underneath. (111) "Hohohowá! he made me tired. That is what I thought you would do, so I told you a lot," he said. Then they built a great fire and there they threw him. They burned him up. (112) Again he said it. "Do your utmost! One again will come. Again I will throw him to the ground," he said. Sure enough, in the morning again one came. (113) Again he wrestled him. Again he threw him to the ground. Again the woman was puzzled for a long time. Again, only when her father-in-law spoke did she kill him. (114) Again they burnt him. Then again one came. Four times one of these came to them. This, the one they left to be raised for them, killed all four of them. (115) It was them. They were trying to beat one another to him. Then the old man said, "Nothing like this will ever be. Let us move," he said. (116) It was the grandfather who said it. Then the old man did it. One of the lodge poles he pulled up and there they went in. (117) And there far away they made for themselves a lodge. They put five fences one within the other.

The chief there at the Giants’ village had caused his sons to be lost. (118) They did not know what had become of them. Therefore, they went into a trance to induce the Holy Ones to locate them. (119) Finally, one of them knew about them. "Once a village you ended. There you let an old man raise a boy. He has raised him for you, (120) and he is the one that has killed them. Then they ran away." "Hąho! they have not done right. If they were here, we would take our sweet time in working them over. As it is, they like running away the best, (121) so they did that, they ran away," they said. "Therefore, go kill them," they said, and they came to look for them. They came upon them. (122) The old man made a great many big-headed arrows for himself. Once they came upon them, the fight was very hard. The old man would knock down many when he did one of the big headed arrows. (123) Even then, they were not able to do much. They broke down the fences one after another. Now they were about to seize them. (124) That was all that was left to do. Then the woman shook her husband. "Nijí, didn’t your friends give you something?" she said. (125) "Hoho!" and to the house he ran. There it was. He did it without care. Mightily he brought it forth. Very mightily it thundered. (126) He also affected his grandfather. Although he fell to the ground, he did not kill him. Then he ran out with it. That was all. (127) He killed all of them. The Thunders also came.

Then the old man said, "Now then, my grandson, about now I will go and settle down somewhere. (128) But you can do whatever you want. But me, the daughter-in-law, and my little grandson, I will live together with them. (129) You can be someplace with your friends, or else you can live with me," he said. Then he said, (130) "I will stay with my friends," he said. Then the old man went to live in a hill in the middle of this earth. He is the Chief of the Live Irons. (131) "And my grandson, as long as the earth is, that long will we be here," he said.

Then their friends tried to take him up above, but they failed. (132) Then one of them did it. He took feathers from his wings and placed them on him. (133) Only then could he fly. That is the one who is never careful in his thunderings. They make it ring very mightily. (134) And it is by a human’s doing that the Nights and the Thunders intermarry. He is with the Thunders.

Well, then, it is ended.1


Commentary. "hišjaširiričge" — from another story, we learn that this is the sparrow. Hišja means "face, eye," and širi may mean "striped."

"stastak’é" — an unknown species; however, Sam Blowsnake also mentions this species (without identifying it) in Paul Radin, Personal Reminiscences of a Winnebago Indian, Journal of American Folk-Lore, 26, #102 (1913): 293-318.

"kowįške" — an unknown species, perhaps the sage cock — Dorsey collected the name kowį́kaksígara, 'the sage cock' (?), which at least bears some resemblance to this name.

"čaručge" — an unknown species. The name seems to mean, "deer-pigeon."

"a forked tail hawk (hiwičažą)" — cf. Hiwičająkega, 'Forked-Tail Hawk', a personal name. These are probably shortened forms of hiwįčakijąke, 'falcon'.

"hinųkananage"— an unknown species. The word hinųk means "female."

"sįč’e" — the name means "tail" (Dorsey).

"wasirawiwičge" — an unknown species, but the name may be in part derived from wasira, "pine." The syllables wiwičge may be from wa-hiwič-ge, where hiwič means "forked."

"hešepgenįk" — cf. hešépge in Sam Blowsnake, The Warbundle Feast of the Thunderbird Clan, in Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1923]) 399-481 [426-429]. Hešep should mean black (šep) horn (he).

"wikiničakok" — cf. wakini, which means "grease, lard."

"gąkegra" — In "Old Man and Wears White Feather," a gąkek is identified as a hawk. Probably from gąk, "to twist," and hek, "hawk, buzzard."

"xete nišaraknįk"xete means "great," but the last syllable, nįk, means little. It is probably a wren (xetenišara).

"waroni" — an unknown species. However, the word is found embedded in the name of a kind of medicine. When this medicine was first used, and old woman pointed at a hawk flying above and through its power the hawk fell dead to earth at her feet. Therefore, the word waroni probably denotes a kind of hawk. See the Commentary to "Paint Medicine Origin Myth."

"mąwazųge" — an unknown species. The name may come from , "earth" and wazų, "to dress."

"two round, small, black stones" — these stones no doubt connect with the identity of the grandfather in this tale who at the end is said to be Mąznį’ąpka, "Live Iron." Indeed, the title given to this story is Mąznį’ąpra, "the Live Iron." The little round black stones would be magnetite, the mineral form of magnetic iron, which in the past was called "live iron" or "lodestone." Its chemical formula is Fe₃O₄. It is brittle and fractures subconcoidally or irregularly. Its crystals form in octahedral shapes, an opaque black in color with a metallic sheen. The size of the crystals is usually an inch or two, with the smaller size predominating. The natural magnetism of the rock can be transferred by striking processed iron with it. This was the method used in the past to create magnetic iron. "A light viewed through such a crystal held close to the eye will appear to be surrounded by rays."2 This feature gives these stones a close association to celestial light, such as that of lightning.

At the same time, it is clear that these stones, having been swallowed by Thunders, represent the thunder stone by which they are able to fire lightning from their own bodies. It is said of the neighbors of the Hočągara, the Anishinaabeg and Menominee,

A thunder stone is one of the round black stones which occur in various sizes and which are supposed to be the actual missiles hurled by the thunder birds. It is this missile that causes the destruction which is ascribed by the whites to a stroke of lightning. It is esteemed by its owner as a very powerful object of medicine and must be treated with great respect and care in order that the thunder birds who in reality own and control the stone and who by special favor permit a human being to retain it for a time shall not be offended. The possessor of such a stone is required to renew the tobacco with it four times during the course of a year. This must be done upon the occasion of the first peal of thunder in the spring, again about the middle of the summer, a third time at about the time the thunder storms cease in the fall, and a fourth time during mid winter.3

For more on the thunder stones, see the Commentary to "The Dipper," and the Commentary to the "Big Stone."

"they took one rattlesnake apiece" — among the Hočągara snakes (wak’ą) have sacred power (wak’ą). The eating of the snakes by the Thunders would be considered a sacrilegious act, an act of barbarism consistent with their general cultural backwardness. However, such sacrilegious acts are also an expression of the enormous power of the Thunderbirds.4

"then he himself rode in one and put them in the water" — the episode in which the human puts the Thunders inside bearskins to cross the ocean to the spirit village of the Nights is very much like the episode in "The Adventures of Redhorn’s Sons" in which the followers are placed inside elk bladders and transported to the other side of the sky.

"disfigured" — the face of the Nightspirit is the night sky. As the Nightspirits go about trying to create darkness, their mortal enemies the cranes, who are the stars, attempt to do the opposite by illuminating the night sky. Such illuminations are like the pock marks made by pecks from the long bills of cranes.

"long spears" — these are the long bills of the cranes. Esoterically, they represent the light, long and thin, that reaches the earth from their positions in the night sky.

"it would kill everyone" — the blackened warclub represents the dark clouds that are part of the essence of the Thunders. Such clouds occlude stars, metaphorically "killing" their light. So when there is a cloudy night, the Thunders have "killed" all the stars (cranes).

"cranes" — cranes, or rather more specifically, white cranes (to include egrets), represent the stars. The stars rise and set in the Ocean Sea (Te Ją), and are therefore like wading birds. The cranes in question are a brilliant white and are therefore, as winged creatures, like the stars that take off from the Ocean Sea of the east and fly through the air until they land again in the waters opposite. Stars are often likened to owls, since they are night fliers, so it is not surprising (as it would be otherwise) that elsewhere cranes and owls were once brothers, and that the chief of the white cranes, Wears White Feather on His Head, has a hįča owl as his grandfather. The tension between the cranes and owls lies in the fact that the latter are not Waterspirits. It is said explicitly that Wears White Feather on His Head is a Waterspirit. One would expect, therefore, that owls represent stars that do not set or "land" in the Ocean Sea of the west — circumpolar stars and Morning Star (who sets in the sky).

"they made for themselves" — the Hočąk for this expression is ki’ųhire, which also means "they gambled," gambling often being an esoteric reference to war.

"they went into a trance" — the Hočąk word employed here, warukąną, means "to go into a trance to recover a lost thing" (Miner). Here the supplicant contacts the spirits who supply the whereabouts of the missing object or people through divine intervention, which is best achieved in an altered state of consciousness.


Comparative Material. On the matter of thunder stones among the Anishinaabeg and Menominee, see above.


Links: Thunderbirds, Nightspirits, Giants, The Thunderbird Warclub, Tobacco, Crane, Iron Spirits, Bird Spirits, Snake Clan Origins, Lightning, Gourd Rattles.


Stories: mentioning Thunderbirds: The Thunderbird, Waruǧápara, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Traveler and the Thunderbird War, The Boulders of Devil's Lake, Thunderbird and White Horse, Bluehorn's Nephews, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed (vv. 1, 2), The Man who was a Reincarnated Thunderbird, The Thunder Charm, The Lost Blanket, The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Story of the Thunder Names, The Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Eagle Clan Origin Myth, Pigeon Clan Origins, Bird Clan Origin Myth, Adventures of Redhorn's Sons, Brave Man, Ocean Duck, Turtle's Warparty, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Quail Hunter, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, Redhorn's Sons, The Dipper, The Stone that Became a Frog, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, The Warbundle of the Eight Generations, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Origin of the Hočąk Chief, The Spirit of Gambling, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Aračgéga's Blessings, Kunu's Warpath, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, The Glory of the Morning, The Nightspirits Bless Čiwoit’éhiga, The Green Waterspirit of the Wisconsin Dells, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Big Stone, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Song to Earthmaker, The Origins of the Milky Way; featuring both Thunderbirds and Nightspirits as characters: The Big Stone, Ocean Duck, Sun and the Big Eater; mentioning Nightspirits: The Nightspirits Bless Jobenągiwįxka, The Nightspirits Bless Čiwoit’éhiga, The Big Stone, Fourth Universe, Battle of the Night Blessed Men and the Medicine Rite Men, The Race for the Chief’s Daughter, The Daughter-in-Law’s Jealousy, Ocean Duck, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Sun and the Big Eater; in which Waterspirits occur as characters: Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth, Traveler and the Thunderbird War, The Green Waterspirit of Wisconsin Dells, The Lost Child, River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Bluehorn's Nephews, Holy One and His Brother, The Seer, The Nannyberry Picker, The Creation of the World (vv. 1, 4), Šųgepaga, The Sioux Warparty and the Waterspirit of Green Lake, The Waterspirit of Lake Koshkonong, The Waterspirit of Rock River, The Boulders of Devil's Lake, Devil's Lake — How it Got its Name, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Waterspirits Keep the Corn Fields Wet, The Diving Contest, The Lost Blanket, Redhorn's Sons, The Phantom Woman, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Great Walker's Warpath, White Thunder's Warpath, The Descent of the Drum, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Snowshoe Strings, The Thunderbird, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (v. 2), The Two Children, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, Paint Medicine Origin Myth, Waruǧápara, Ocean Duck, The Twin Sisters, Trickster Concludes His Mission, The King Bird, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Great Walker's Medicine (v. 2), Peace of Mind Regained, The Spiritual Descent of John Rave's Grandmother, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Shaggy Man, The Woman who Married a Snake (?), Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, The Sacred Lake, Lost Lake; mentioning (spirit) bears (other than were-bears): White Bear, Blue Bear, Black Bear, Red Bear, Bear Clan Origin Myth, The Shaggy Man, Bear Offers Himself as Food, Hare Visits His Grandfather Bear, Grandmother Packs the Bear Meat, The Spotted Grizzly Man, Hare Establishes Bear Hunting, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Redhorn's Sons, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, The Messengers of Hare, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Hočąk Migration Myth, Red Man, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, Lifting Up the Bear Heads, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, The Two Boys, Creation of the World (v. 5), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Brown Squirrel, Snowshoe Strings, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, East Enters the Medicine Lodge, Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, The Spider's Eyes, Little Priest's Game, Little Priest, How He went out as a Soldier, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Trickster's Tail, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Warbundle Maker, cf. Fourth Universe; featuring iron spirits as characters: The Adventures of Redhorn’s Sons, Šųgepaga, The Raccoon Coat, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth; mentioning live iron: The Lost Blanket, The Raccoon Coat, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Twins Retrieve Red Star’s Head, The Lame Friend; featuring cranes as characters: The Crane and His Brothers, The Spirit of Gambling, Bladder and His Brothers (v. 1), Wears White Feather on His Head, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman; mentioning pigeons: Pigeon Clan Origins, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (v. 1), Waruǧápara, The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Lost Blanket, Bird Origin Myth, Origin of the Hočąk Chief, The Creation Council, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, The Creation of Man (v. 2), , The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Gottschall: A New Interpretation; mentioning grasshoppers: The Green Man, Hare and the Grasshoppers, The Two Boys, The Dipper, The Thunderbird; featuring Giants as characters: A Giant Visits His Daughter, Turtle and the Giant, The Stone Heart, Young Man Gambles Often, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Morning Star and His Friend, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Old Man and the Giants, Shakes the Earth, White Wolf, Redhorn's Father, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Roaster, Grandfather's Two Families, Redhorn's Sons, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Little Human Head, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, The Origins of the Milky Way, Ocean Duck, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Wears White Feather on His Head, cf. The Shaggy Man; mentioning tobacco: Tobacco Origin Myth, Hare and the Grasshoppers, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth (v 2), Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Grandmother's Gifts, The Thunderbird, First Contact, Peace of Mind Regained, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, The Dipper, The Masaxe War, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store; mentioning lacrosse (kísik): Redhorn’s Father, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Morning Star and His Friend, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Roaster, Redhorn’s Sons, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, The Shaggy Man; mentioning the Thunderbird Warclub: The Thunderbird, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Waruǧápara, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, cf. Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth; recounting the origins of warclubs: Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The First Snakes; mentioning the Ocean Sea (Te Ją): Trickster’s Adventures in the Ocean, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (v. 1), Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Trickster and the Children, The Twins Retrieve Red Star’s Head, Wears White Feather on His Head, White Wolf, Bear Clan Origin Myth (vv. 2a, 3), Wolf Clan Origin Myth (v. 2), Redhorn’s Sons, Grandfather’s Two Families, Sun and the Big Eater, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4), The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father (sea), The Dipper (sea), The Thunderbird (a very wide river), Wojijé, The Twins Get into Hot Water (v. 1), Redhorn’s Father, Trickster Concludes His Mission, Berdache Origin Myth, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Morning Star and His Friend, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed; mentioning springs: Trail Spring, Merrill Springs, Big Spring and White Clay Spring, The Resurrection of the Chief’s Daughter, Bear Clan Origin Myth, vv. 6, 8, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, Bluehorn’s Nephews, Blue Mounds, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Lost Child, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Wild Rose, The Omahas who turned into Snakes, The Two Brothers, Snowshoe Strings, The Daughter-in-Law’s Jealousy, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, The Nannyberry Picker, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, The Two Boys, Waruǧápara, Wazųka, Turtle and the Witches.


Themes: a challenger comes shaking a gourd rattle: Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Roaster, Grandfather’s Two Families, The Race for the Chief’s Daughter, Redhorn Contests the Giants, White Wolf; the Giants massacre an entire village, but spare at least one child to eat later in life: Waruǧápara, The Old Man and the Giants; the youngest offspring is superior: The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Young Man Gambles Often, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Twins Cycle, The Two Boys, Bluehorn’s Nephews, The Children of the Sun, The Creation of the World (v. 12), The Race for the Chief’s Daughter, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Sun and the Big Eater, Buffalo Clan Origin Myth, Bear Clan Origin Myth (vv. 4, 7), Snake Clan Origins, South Enters the Medicine Lodge, Snake Clan Origins, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth; a boy lives alone with his grandfather: Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Dipper; coming across a warparty traveling in column and falling in at the rear: The Thunderbird, The Twins Join Redhorn’s Warparty, The Dipper; a human joins up with the Thunderbirds: The Thunderbird, Waruǧapara, The Daughter-in-Law’s Jealousy, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Dipper; Thunderbirds are reduced to using grass or weeds when they smoke their pipes: The Thunderbird, The Dipper; dragging a deer to the kill by hand: Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), The Dipper; dragging a bear to the kill by his hair: The Green Man, Bear Offers Himself as Food; powerful spirits eat snakes (even though they are sacred): The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Two Boys, The Daughter-in-Law’s Jealousy, The Dipper; in order to get wives (from the Nightspirits) the Thunders must pass over a region where they are attacked: The Dipper; the war between Thunderbirds and Waterspirits: Traveler and the Thunderbird War, The Boulders of Devil's Lake, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, Brave Man, The Lost Blanket, Ocean Duck, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, The Thunderbird, Waruǧápara, Bluehorn's Nephews; a (magical) round, black stone: The Green Man, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Tecumseh’s Bulletproof Skin, The Dipper, Partridge’s Older Brother; internal stones: Tecumseh’s Bulletproof Skin, The Big Stone; even though it is cold enough to freeze a man, two people (one of whom is a spirit) have the supernatural power to stay warm: White Wolf; crossing a body of water by using a plant or animal as a ship and commanding the wind: The Thunderbird, Hare Visits the Bodiless Heads; otherworld journeys inside an animal skin sack: The Adventures of Redhorn’s Sons, cf. Hare Visits the Bodiless Heads; men enter the water inside a bearskin: The King Bird; a spirit transforms himself into another man’s doppelganger: The Spirit of Gambling; two people look (almost) exactly alike: The Twins Retrieve Red Star’s Head, The Children of the Sun, The Green Man, Redhorn’s Father, Big Eagle Cave Mystery; Thunderbird people are ignorant of tools: The Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth; Thunderbird people roast meat over the fire on sharpened sticks: Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (v. 3), The Dipper; powerful spirit beings act somewhat dim witted: Hare Kills Sharp Elbow, The Thunderbird, Partridge’s Older Brother, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, The Dipper; spirits can be followed by stepping in their first four footprints: Waruǧápara, The Chief of the Heroka, Snowshoe Strings, handling a thunder weapon adversely affects bystanders: The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Hare Visits His Grandfather Bear, Hare Kills Sharp Elbow, The Stone that Became a Frog; walking on water: Bear Clan Origin Myth (v. 3), Bird Clan Origin Myth, Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Chief of the Heroka, Redhorn’s Sons; a human has an easy time hunting something that the spirits find hard to get: Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, The Thunderbird, The Daughter-in-Law’s Jealousy, Waruǧápara, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds; powerful spirits refer to strong animals by names denoting smaller and weaker animals: The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Two Boys, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Waruǧápara, The Thunderbird, The Lost Blanket, The Daughter-in-Law’s Jealousy, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, Redhorn’s Sons (cf. the inverse theme, Buffalo Spirits calling grass "bears" in, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle); a Waterspirit that has been killed for food is called a "beaver" by spirits: Bluehorn’s Nephews, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Waruǧápara, The Twins Disobey Their Father, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins; a human marries a spirit: The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy (a Thunderbird, a Nightspirit, and two Waterspirits), The Thunderbird (a Thunderbird), The Shaggy Man (a Bear Spirit), White Wolf (a Wolf Spirit), The Woman who Married a Snake (a Snake Spirit), The Star Husband (stars), Little Human Head (a Louse Spirit), Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle (Buffalo Spirit), The Phantom Woman (Waterspirit); a human becomes a Thunderbird: Waruǧápara; a human turns into a (spirit) animal: How the Thunders Met the Nights (Thunderbird), The Dipper (hummingbird), Keramaniš’aka's Blessing (blackhawk, owl), Elk Clan Origin Myth (elk), Young Man Gambles Often (elk), Sun and the Big Eater (horse), The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Were-Grizzly, Partridge's Older Brother (bear), The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother (bear), Porcupine and His Brothers (bear), The Shaggy Man (bear), The Roaster (bear), Wazųka (bear), The Spotted Grizzly Man (bear), Brass and Red Bear Boy (bear, buffalo), White Wolf (dog, wolf), Worúxega (wolf, bird, snake), Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle (buffalo), The Brown Squirrel (squirrel), The Skunk Origin Myth (skunk), The Fleetfooted Man (otter, bird), A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga (otter), The Diving Contest (Waterspirit), The Woman who Married a Snake (snake, Waterspirit), The Omahas who turned into Snakes (four-legged snakes), The Twins Get into Hot Water (v. 3) (alligators), Snowshoe Strings (a frog), How the Hills and Valleys were Formed (v. 3) (earthworms), The Woman Who Became an Ant, Hare Kills a Man with a Cane (ant); (removing a tent pole and) entering another world through a hole in the ground: Įčohorucika and His Brothers, The Seduction of Redhorn’s Son, Redhorn’s Sons, Iron Staff and His Companions; a human being physically travels to Spiritland without having died: The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Snowshoe Strings, The Thunderbird, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Star Husband, White Wolf, Waruǧápara, The Shaggy Man, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Aračgéga's Blessings, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, The Lost Blanket, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Petition to Earthmaker, The Boy who would be Immortal, Thunder Cloud Marries Again, Rainbow and the Stone Arch (v. 2), Trickster Concludes His Mission; unerring warclubs: The First Snakes; good people (and spirits) completely annihilate a race of bad spirits except for two, whom they allow to live (so that they do not undo the work of the Creator): Grandfather’s Two Families, Sun and the Big Eater, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Redhorn’s Father, Morning Star and His Friend, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle; someone tries to deceive a woman into thinking that he is her husband: The Markings on the Moon; an enemy warparty breaks through successive barricades, but is not victorious: Turtle’s Warparty, Porcupine and His Brothers; concentric fortifications: Turtle’s Warparty, Porcupine and His Brothers.


Notes

1 Paul Radin, "Mązeniabera," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, nd) Notebook 21: 1-134 [Winnebago syllabary with interlinear translation].

2 Frederick H. Pough, A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals, The Peterson Field Guide Series, 3d ed. (Cambridge, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1960) 142-143, 177.

3 Samuel Alfred Barrett, Dream Dance of the Chippewa and Menominee Indians of Northern Wisconsin, Bulletin of the Public Museum of the City of Milwaukee, Vol. 1, Article 4 (Milwaukee: Published by Order of the Trustees, Nov. 1911) 362.

4 Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966) 35-40.