Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts
the story of an Ioway as told by a Hočąk
from the collection of W. C. McKern
Original manuscript pages: | 207 | 208 | 209 | 210 | 211 | 212 | 213 | 214 | 215 | 216 | 217 | 218 |
(207) He told this himself. When he was young, he was for a time in Kansas. He had a friend of the same age. His father died when he was a small boy. His father's brother married Pete's mother. Pete was raised by this step-father. He treated him like his own boy. In those days, they did not wear white man's clothes or blankets. They used to sport together, the two young men, going around and sharing their good times together. One time they said to each other, "Let us go after some women tonight." This they decided to do. Towards evening, they caught horses. They went towards the house of a certain young woman. It was quite a distance they had to go. They went for a way, and saw a black cloud coming from the west, but they kept on going. Still the cloud came closer. "Storm coming," they said. "Let's try to get to an empty house before it gets here," they said. Just before they got to the empty house, a great wind came. They tied the horses east of the house. The the rain started. They opened one window and went in. Then it rained hard. A big storm (208) with wind and rain was upon them. This storm did not last long. Before it quit raining, they heard someone making a noise upstairs. "Someone is there," said one. "No, it must be a ghost." So they went outdoors. The rain stopped and it was moonlight. When one tried to go out the window, the other pulled him back and tried himself, only to be pulled back in turn. They were afraid of the ghost. So it took quite awhile for them to escape from the house. Finally, one managed to get out. Then they got their horses and continued their journey.
In those days, they had sheds in front of lodges, with a stepped pole ascending to the top. This young woman was sleeping on top of the shed. Before they got there, they passed a graveyard. In the moonlight, they saw a new grave. They they went to where the girl and her sister slept on the shed. The girls knew these young men, and were very sociable with them. Then one girl said, "It's too bad that you came down here. We have had bad luck. Our younger sister died. So we should not do this; the old folks wouldn't like it. So you will have to go back at once. So they went home before daylight came. When they passed the graveyard, they were riding side by side. They heard someone right behind them talking to them. They didn't see anyone but they heard the voice. It said, (209) "I was going to ask you something last night, but you were afraid of us. That's why I did not speak last night." Then they both speeded up their horses, but one ran faster than the other. Still they heard the talking. "I was going to ask you to tell my people to dig me out. I came to life again, and if they do not soon dig me out, I shall be really dead. So notify my people to dig me out," said the woman. His friend left him behind, so he was left alone with the ghost. Then he thought of an old saying that to escape from a ghost one must cross a creek. Then he tried to reach a nearby creek as soon as possible. When he crossed the creek, the voice stopped and was heard no more. He could not find his friend anywhere. He got home at sunrise. Then he drove the horse into the pasture. Then he went into the lodge of his people. The old people were not up yet. He tried to sleep, but couldn't. After awhile his uncle said to him, "My son, something must have happened to you. You are not like your old self." "No," said Pete, "nothing has happened." "Surely something has happened to you," said the old man. Then he told him what he had heard. "We must notify these people, get your horse," said his uncle. The young man did not like to do this, but he went after the pony. Then they went to the girl's people, the young man and his uncle. (210) When they arrived, the uncle told them about it. That family consisted of the two girls, one brother, and their mother and father. The father then became angry. He went to take his gun to shoot them, but his son and daughters prevented him. "This may be so, we must try and see," they said. So they dug up the body of the dead girl. They found that she was alive. Then her father said, "Well, this is going to be your wife, because you caused her to live again." so he spoke to Pete. Pete said, "No! I don't want her to be my wife. I would rather that she should be my sister." "All right," said the father. "Call her 'sister'." Then he gave some horses and clothing to Pete. He said that he did something like this four times. Three times it was as above. The fourth time it was different.
The second time, he had been sporting around with his friend, playing the moccasin game. He hardly got any sleep. One time one said to the other, "Let's go to the store and get some tobacco." So they went to the store. Before they got there, they passed between two grave yards, one on either side of the road. There were some platform burials in these graveyards. When they were opposite the grave yards, they heard someone shouting. Turning, they saw one corpse sitting on top of a platform. He said, "Whoever you are, go tell my people that I am alive, but that I am too weak to get up." So they went to tell her folks. (211) They notified them. Her folks returned and found the woman alive again. So she went home. Both went along with her. They then received ponies and goods from her people.
Another time it happened. An old man died. He was pretty well off, with much property. He had three race horses. He had one son. They gave a feast of four nights. On the fourth night everyone was invited, for they were going to give away his property. The three ponies were also to be given away. Towards evening of the fourth day, at sunset, all gathered to this feast. These two went too. Before they got there, they said, "Let us swim, because we have to sit up all night." So they swam. After dark they arrived at the place. The old man was right by the road at the grave. They heard him shouting, "My son, tell my people that I am alive again, but I am too weak to get out of here." Then they saw that he was out from the waist up, with tobacco in hand. So they went and told the old man's son. He got mad and tried to kill them, thinking they made fun of him. People stopped him. Finally, they persuaded him to go down and see. They went over there and found him alive. Then they brought him home. The two young men received much goods and the three racing ponies.
Finally, Pete went to Oklahoma. Before (212) he left, his friend died. Then Pete married a Tongaway woman. They had four children. He became a well to do farmer. Finally, his wife died. After awhile the two oldest children died. Then the smallest children were hard for him to care for, since he was alone. The children had a little dog to play with. After awhile, both children died. Only the dog was left to him. The Tongaway woman ate peyote, and Pete did too. After eating peyote, he heard someone call, "Say, my friend, come out. So he went out. He saw that it was his dead friend. There he was on horseback. So he told him, "Get on behind me and we will go someplace." So he did. Towards the west they went. Along a road they traveled when they came there, they saw a dead tree at the end of the road. It was a dry elm tree. All the bark was lying on the ground around the tree. His friend said, "Friend, get down there and move that bark away. Our road is in there. That is where we are going." When he moved the bark, he saw the road going on. On they went until they came to a river. The water was too swift for them to cross. Only by means of a large rock would it be crossed. "Don't look down in the water and don't think that you will fall (213) off," said the ghost. This instruction he followed, and they crossed the stream. All this time the little dog followed them. "Now my friend," said his friend, "I am going to tell you where we are headed for. We are going to that place where your wife and children are, in the village of the ghosts. As soon as we get there, you will see your family in a big round lodge. Go in there. Your wife will be cooking something for you. Don't eat it all, because you will be eating at other places. After you have finished eating, two men on horseback will call you outside. Then you will go to another place with them. They again will offer you food. Don't eat it all, because you will have to eat yet again. When you finish in there, three men on horseback will call you out. They will all call you 'friend.' They will take you to still another place. When you go in there, they will offer you food. Do not eat it all. When you have finished, four men on horseback will call you out. They will take you somewhere and feed you again. Do not eat it all. When you are not quite finished, four more men on horseback will come. That is not our party. They will beg you to come (214) with them to another ghost village. I don't want you to do that. I'll be there, too, and you can get behind me on my horse again. Then we will sure do it. If you have bad luck and we don't do as I have said, something will happen to you. When I come, I shall bring four moccasins which I have filled with ashes. Then, when I hand these to you, we will begin to run. The others will be after us. When they come near and threaten to throw you down, throw ashes back and they will quit. When they catch up again, throw ashes out again. They will then fall behind again. Do the same the third time. The fourth time will be hard. Throw the whole business at them, moccasins and all. Then you will be safe, if you have done everything right. Otherwise, you will have bad luck. Something is going to happen to you." So his friend said. When they came to the village, he pointed out the lodge of his family. The dog still followed. Then they went in. His wife directed him to go to the right and sit opposite her. The children were in the back of the lodge. The dog went in too. Then the children began to play with him. What the food was to be was not said. She placed the food before him. He ate only a little of it. Then came two men on horseback and called for him. He went (215) with them, and it went as before.
When he went into the fourth place, when he had finished eating, four horsemen came in, two young men and two women, very well dressed. They were very nice looking. The horses were also nicely fixed up. They were painted well too. They called him out. They said, "Come home with us. This is pretty quiet where you are staying, but where we are going, listen." He heard the drumming, then he knew there was a lot of dancing going on somewhere. Still more horsemen were coming, going towards this place. All were well dressed and fine looking people. "Come with us," they said. "Let's go down there." But he would not go. Then his friend came on horseback. "Get on, let's go," he said. So he did. Then his friend handed him the moccasins. Then the other party said, "They are gone, let's get him and throw him down!" So they pursued. A great many joined in the pursuit. When they came too near, he threw ashes back. This stopped them for awhile. When again they came near, he threw ashes back again. Again they dropped behind. A third time they came, and a third time he threw ashes back. They dropped back again. The fourth time, they (216) nearly got him down. Then he threw moccasins and all behind him. Then they stopped their pursuit of him. So on they went. Back they came to the dead tree. "Well my friend, if I had not dared it this way, we would have had bad luck, but you did well. If the others had gotten you, then something would have happened to you, but you did as I told you to, so all is well." Soon they were home. When he entered the house, he saw his body sitting where it had been all the while. Only his spirit had gone. He had a place fixed in the corner where the little dog could sit. So he went to see the dog, but it was dead.
Then, after awhile, he married another woman. She was of the same tribe. She had a boy already (about seven years old). That is why he had such good luck, because everywhere he went he saw ghosts. That is why he was always successful. "Well brother, I am going to ask you something, something you heard from the Winnebago, something that you would tell me." Where he lived, there are woods around there. There was one large tree with one big branch to one side. (217) "This is my question. I had to live with something. You see that tree right in the hollow, with one big branch leaning down from the main part of the tree? I want to ask you what the old Winnebago say about this. There is in that tree an animal, a spirit animal like a cat. That is why I am having good luck. All these good things he had given to me. My brother, don't be afraid to tell me what you have heard from the old people about this one." "All right," I said, "I have heard something about this. I don't want you to feel hurt, but I am going to tell you the truth about what I heard, because you have asked me to. I am going to tell about what our old people used to do in the old times. They used to black their faces and make themselves pitiable so as to dream of a good spirit. They well understood their old customs. Two things they did not want to dream of: one was the grizzly bear, and the other was the little animal you mentioned. Grizzly bears give true promises, but the dreamer will surely be murdered. This other animal asks for four dogs. The old people know that it doesn't mean 'dog', it means children. So (218) if one dreams of this animal in summertime, the west side of the tree, where the animal is, is marked out. Then the thunder will come and lightning will strike and kill this animal. So our old people did not take this dream. That's all I could tell you about what you ask me."
That is all.1
Commentary. "Pete" — on the first page, his last name is spelled phonetically as dupī́, so although the name is French, it is pronounced in accord with English spelling conventions. However, Lance Foster (Ioway tribe) says, "My 'family place,' the place we think of as our family ground on the reservation, is Dupuis Hollow. It was named after a relation, Frank Dupuis (DOO-pee)."2 This is probably the proper form of the name.
"a noise" — Lance Foster goes on to say, "And again, my grandma's aunt, Aunt Pearl Whalen, they were walking along the river road, coming home from a party late one night, she and her woman friend. They heard walking behind them. The friend was afraid and wanted to run. Aunt Pearl said, it's all right, I know what they want. And she took out her little bottle of whiskey and poured a little out right there, and said it's all right, this is for you, drink up, and let us go in peace. And it did, it stopped following them."
"moccasin game" — Radin describes how this game was played.
One of the favorite games of the Winnebago. Five men took position directly opposite their opponents. Between the two rows of players, in front of each man was a receptacle, generally a moccasin, in which a small object was secreted. The sides in turn guessed in which moccasin it was secreted. The guesser pointed in turn with a long stick to each moccasin, all the time carefully scrutinizing the expression on the face of each man whose moccasin he touched. The bystanders and the other players on his side meanwhile sang songs and made all sorts of remarks and allusions in an attempt to catch off his guard the man in whose moccasin the object was secreted, so that he might disclose the fact by some gesture or expression. The person guessing had the right to touch each moccasin without forfeiting his chance. As soon as he wished to guess he overturned with his stick the moccasin in which he thought the object was hidden.3
"out from the waist up" — Foster goes on to say, "[At Dupuis Hollow] there were graves up on the tops around the hollow. My grandma fell in one as a little girl. Her parents had told her not to go around messing up there. Her leg fell through and she looked in. There was a person, the bones in there, sitting. Part of an old blanket and pots were in there. They put corn and water in there, not just for the spirit, but in case the person wasn't really dead, but woke up, so they could have something to eat and drink. It was hollow in there, not that deep, so the person could stand up, break through the lattice and willow mats that covered the grave, eat and go home. That story goes alongside the one you have. I guess it happened enough that that's how they buried them, so a person wouldn't be buried alive. Like in that Poe story."
"peyote" — a psychedelic drug (mescaline) derived from the buds of a cactus. It is used in the Christian rites of the Native American Church.
"west" — this is the direction in which the land of the dead lies, no doubt because the west is where the sun goes to "die."
"a dry elm tree" and "bark" — the tree is homologous to human beings, and in this context is a symbol of death and the gateway to the land of the dead. A man's descendants are said to be his "roots" (rejų́), and a distant family relation was called a "branch or twig" (wáixa). The word ha means, "bark, rind, hide, pelt, skin." The tree has lost its "flesh," and therefore stands as a counterpart to the bones. That the tree is dry indicates that the mucilaginous inner bark, which was used as a medicine, is gone.4 The inner bark when dried could become phosphorescent and glow in the dark, rather like the nocturnally active ghost.
"throw ashes" — ghosts are averse to ashes. In order to destroy a revenant or an material avatar of a spirit being, it is necessary to burn its body completely to ashes. Once this is accomplished, they cannot return to the living. So ashes are the means by which ghosts are kept in their own land and out of the land of the living. This is why the ashes are put in moccasins, since moccasins are the means of travel, and the ashes are the force by which travel from Spiritland is neutralized. See the Commentary to "Hare Visits the Bodiless Heads."
"dancing" — in other stories in which the living visit Spiritland, they are under strict instructions not to join in the dancing of the ghost, otherwise they will never return to the living.
"it was dead" — probably because it had played with the ghosts of the children.
"one big branch leaning down" — Concerning odd looking trees, Lance Foster says, "There is a tree in a park in Iowa too, that a Hočąk woman showed me. You could see there was a pregnant woman in that tree, wrapped up in it. Something had been chasing her, and that tree swallowed her right up, protecting her and her baby. They are still in there."
"a spirit animal like a cat" — this is the creature conventionally called in translation, a "Wood Spirit." In Hočąk they are called Wakąčųna or Wakaįčųna, "Those Possessed of Waką́ (Spiritual Power)." Even this is elliptic, and it is clear from the present story that the author is unwilling to refer to them directly at all, even by this elliptic name. To dream of these creatures is dangerous; indeed, even to think about them can lead to trouble. They look rather like cats, but they have two little horns on their heads. Their eyes glow in the dark. Foster says, "I heard something about that kind of animal from a relation in Oklahoma. He said there was a man once down there who had that kind of a helper. It was black, kind of like a cat or a big weasel. It would sit on his shoulder. He could do things because of that animal."
"I said" — the text has "said the informant."
"true promises" — bad spirits are usually characterized by the propensity to lie to the dreamer.
"children" — it may be recalled that Pete lost all four of his children.
"the west side of the tree" — the west is where the Thunderbirds live.
"the thunder will come" — this seems to imply that the Thunderbirds are inimical to the Wood Spirits. Given how often trees are struck by lightning, it is a reasonable conclusion to draw. This makes the Wood Spirit akin in some way to the Waterspirit, another archenemy of the Thunders. Foster says, "There are other stories about trees shaped funny. Some trap evil spirits and become all twisted. You don't cut that tree down, you leave it alone, or that evil will be able to come out. You let the Thunder blast that tree and take care of the evil in it. Don't cut down those twisted snags. The white way, those trees are dead and ugly, cut them down. The Indian way is leave them alone, there is evil spirit in them, let the Thunder take care of it, the Thunder will destroy that tree and the evil inside."
"did not take this dream" — young people who are seeking visions will tell them to their parents who advise them on whether they should accept what the spirit offers in the way of blessings. If in their judgment, the blessing was from a bad spirit, then the dreamer has the right to refuse it, and is encouraged to do so.
Comparative Material. ...
Links: Ghosts, Wood Spirits.
Stories: mentioning ghosts: The Journey to Spiritland, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Holy One and His Brother, Worúxega, Little Human Head, Little Fox and the Ghost, The Lame Friend, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Hare Steals the Fish, The Difficult Blessing, A Man's Revenge, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Two Roads to Spiritland, Sunset Point; about journeys to and from Spiritland: The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Journey to Spiritland, Sunset Point, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Lame Friend, Two Roads to Spiritland, Holy One and His Brother, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, The Foolish Hunter, Waruǧápara, The Thunderbird, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, White Wolf, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Two Brothers, The Lost Blanket, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Man who went to the Upper and Lower Worlds, The Petition to Earthmaker, Wears White Feather on His Head, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Thunder Cloud Marries Again, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, Aračgéga's Blessings, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, The Man Whose Wife was Captured; about two male friends: Wazųka, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, The Lame Friend, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Morning Star and His Friend, Worúxega, The Fleetfooted Man, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Lake Wąkšikhomįgra (Mendota): the Origin of Its Name, The Spirit of Maple Bluff, Hare Kills Sharp Elbow, Tobacco Man and Married Man, Mighty Thunder; about two sisters: The Twin Sisters, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Old Man and the Giants, The Dipper, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Markings on the Moon, The Man Who Fell from the Sky; about Wood Spirits (Wakąčųna): Visit of the Woodspirit, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, The Completion Song Origin, The Twins Disobey Their Father (v. 2); mentioning trees or Tree Spirits: The Creation of the World, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun, Visit of the Wood Spirit, The Boy who would be Immortal, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Woman who Became a Walnut Tree, The Old Woman and the Maple Tree Spirit, The Oak Tree and the Man Who was Blessed by the Heroka, The Pointing Man, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster, The Baldness of the Buzzard, Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb, Trickster Loses His Meal, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 2), Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Waruǧápara, The Chief of the Heroka, The Red Man, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Blessing of the Bow, The Spirit of Gambling, Peace of Mind Regained, The Necessity for Death; relating to dogs or wolves: The Gray Wolf Origin Myth, A Man and His Three Dogs, White Wolf, Wolves and Humans, The Wolf Clan Origin Myth, The Old Man and His Four Dogs, Worúxega, The Dogs of the Chief's Son, The Dog that became a Panther, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Wild Rose, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Canine Warrior, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, The Big Eater, Why Dogs Sniff One Another, The Healing Blessing, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Trickster Loses His Meal, Sun and the Big Eater, Redhorn's Sons, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Hog's Adventures, Holy One and His Brother, The Messengers of Hare, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Grandmother's Gifts, The Hočąk Migration Myth, Bladder and His Brothers, The Old Man and the Giants, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, Kunu's Warpath, Morning Star and His Friend, Chief Wave and the Big Drunk; Peace of Mind Regained (?); mentioning dog sacrifice: Wolf Clan Origin Myth (v. 5), Redhorn's Sons, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Disease Giver Blesses Jobenągiwįxka, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, see also Wolf & Dog Spirits; mentioning grizzly bears: Blue Bear, Brass and Red Bear Boy, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Were-Grizzly, The Spotted Grizzly Man, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Roaster, Wazųka, Little Priest's Game, The Story of How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, Migistega's Magic, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother, The Two Boys (giant black grizzly), Partridge's Older Brother, The Chief of the Heroka, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Dipper (white grizzly), The Creation of Man (v. 9), The Creation of Evil, cp. The Woman Who Fought the Bear; mentioning Thunderbirds: The Thunderbird, Waruǧápara, How the Thunders Met the Nights, 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, Heną́ga and Star Girl, 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, Song to Earthmaker, The Origins of the Milky Way; mentioning horses: The Big Eater, Thunderbird and White Horse, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Sun and the Big Eater, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, The Horse Spirit of Eagle Heights, Trickster Takes Little Fox for a Ride, James’ Horse, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Boy who Flew, They Owe a Bullet, The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2); mentioning tobacco: Tobacco Origin Myth, Hare and the Grasshoppers, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth (v 2), How the Thunders Met the Nights, 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, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store; mentioning drums: The Descent of the Drum, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, The Buffalo's Walk, The Spirit of Maple Bluff, Tobacco Origin Myth (v. 5), Young Man Gambles Often, Trickster and the Dancers, Redhorn's Father, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, The Elk's Skull, Ghosts, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Great Walker's Medicine, Redhorn Contests the Giants, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 1b), Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, Trickster and the Geese, Turtle's Warparty, Snowshoe Strings, Ocean Duck, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Hog's Adventures; in which dancing plays a role: Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Mijistéga and the Sauks, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, Little Priest's Game, How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Migistéga’s Magic, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Trickster and the Dancers, Wolves and Humans, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, The Blessing of Kerexųsaka; about the Native American Church: White Shirt, The Death of Henry Harris’ Daughter, A Peyote Vision, A Peyote Story, The Arapaho Girl; mentioning feasts: Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (Chief Feast), The Creation Council (Eagle Feast), Hawk Clan Origin Myth (Eagle Feast), Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth (Waterspirit Feast), A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga (Mąką́wohą, Waną́čĕrehí), Bear Clan Origin Myth (Bear Feast), The Woman Who Fought the Bear (Bear Feast), Grandfather's Two Families (Bear Feast), Wolf Clan Origin Myth (Wolf Feast), Buffalo Clan Origin Myth (Buffalo Feast), The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits (Buffalo Feast), Buffalo Dance Origin Myth (Buffalo Feast), Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle (Buffalo Feast), The Blessing of Šokeboka (Feast to the Buffalo Tail), Snake Clan Origins (Snake Feast), Blessing of the Yellow Snake Chief (Snake Feast), Rattlesnake Ledge (Snake Feast), The Thunderbird (for the granting of a war weapon), Turtle's Warparty (War Weapons Feast, Warpath Feast), Porcupine and His Brothers (War Weapons Feast), Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega) (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), Big Thunder Teaches Čap’ósgaga the Warpath (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), White Thunder's Warpath (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Fox-Hočąk War (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), Šųgepaga (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (Warbundle Feast, Warpath Feast), Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth (Warpath Feast), Kunu's Warpath (Warpath Feast), Trickster's Warpath (Warpath Feast), The Masaxe War (Warpath Feast), Redhorn's Sons (Warpath Feast, Fast-Breaking Feast), The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits (Fast-Breaking Feast), The Chief of the Heroka (Sick Offering Feast), The Dipper (Sick Offering Feast, Warclub Feast), The Four Slumbers Origin Myth (Four Slumbers Feast), The Journey to Spiritland (Four Slumbers Feast), The First Snakes (Snake Feast), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse (unspecified); mentioning the Ioway: Ioway & Missouria Origins, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing, The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle, Migistéga’s Magic, Little Priest's Game, A Peyote Story, Introduction; mentioning the Tonkawa: A Peyote Story, A Peyote Vision.
Themes: a seer makes true predictions down to unusual details: The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, Witches, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, The Fox-Hočąk War, How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, A Prophecy, The Claw Shooter, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store; someone hears a disembodied voice and only later discovers its source: Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp; platform burials: Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Holy One and His Brother, Little Fox and the Ghost, Snowshoe Strings; someone returns from the dead: Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Sunset Point, White Fisher, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Shaggy Man, The Two Brothers, The Two Boys, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, White Wolf, The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Waruǧápara, The Lost Blanket, The Old Man and the Giants; a human being physically travels to Spiritland without having died: The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Sunset Point, Snowshoe Strings, The Thunderbird, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Star Husband, White Wolf, Waruǧápara, How the Thunders Met the Nights, 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; crossing a body of water on the back of an animal: Ocean Duck (Waterspirit), The Seduction of Redhorn's Sons (leeches), The Hočąk Migration Myth (turtle), Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (beaver), Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts (horse), cf. The Shaggy Man; a traveler on the road to Spiritland comes to what appears to be an impassible obstacle, but when he forges ahead, he succeeds in overcoming it: The Journey to Spiritland, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II; ghosts chase after someone: The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Little Human Head, Little Fox and the Ghost; people are tempted by the dead to give into their purposes, but (could) succeed by following the advice of a friendly spirit and resisting with their utmost power: The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Little Human Head, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Sunset Point, Snowshoe Strings; in order to return a soul to life from Spiritland, a hero must avoid joining in the festivities of the ghosts: Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Sunset Point; ghosts are averse to ashes: Ghost Dance Origins II, Hare Steals the Fish; a mortal is returned to earth from the spirit village that he is visiting: Waruǧápara, The Thunderbird, Two Roads to Spiritland, The Shaggy Man, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Snowshoe Strings, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, White Wolf, The Foolish Hunter, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Petition to Earthmaker; blessings from a Grizzly Spirit: The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Little Priest's Game; someone is deceived by a spirit: The Greedy Woman, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Seven Maidens, Big Thunder Teaches Čap’ósgaga the Warpath, The Lost Blanket a mortal tips the balance in lethal combat between a Thunderbird and a Waterspirit (or Wood Spirit): Traveler and the Thunderbird War, The Lost Blanket.
1 W. C. McKern, Winnebago Notebook (Milwaukee: Milwaukee Public Museum, 1927) 207-218.
2 Contributions to the commentary made by Lance Foster were in a personal communication to Richard Dieterle, December 29, 2012.
3 Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 ) 73-74.
4 Melvin Randolph Gilmore, Uses of Plants by the Indians of the Missouri River Region, Thirty-Third Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1911-12 (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1919) 76.