The Red Man

retold by Richard L. Dieterle


A boy and an elder sister lived with their parents in an oval lodge. The father was a great hunter and kept the meat racks full. When his children were born he hunted all the more, until the meat racks stretched as far as the eye could see. All this was hard work for his wife, and she began to wish that he would kill a great deal less game. She began to think, "How can I weaken him so that he is not so successful?" The obvious solution was to add a little something to his food. First she put human refuse into his meal, but this seemed to have no effect upon him. Then she cut her fingernails over his meat, but eating them did nothing to weaken him. Next she combed out her hair until a load of dandruff and greasy hair lay atop his food, but this was as nothing to him. The fourth time, however, she did her utmost: she mixed the blood of her monthly period into his meal, and even slept with him during her period. "This," she thought, "ought to do the trick." And indeed it did: the first day he went out it was all he could do to get back before sundown. Matters became worse and worse — not only was he not able to kill anything, but by now they had eaten all the meat they had stored on the racks. Finally, the man had become so weak that he had to lean on a cane while he hunted.

While he was off hunting one day, his wife walked out into the wilderness. There she met a man. The man persuaded her to lie with him in exchange for some deer meat and bear fat. Afterwards he told her, "When you come again tomorrow, put some paint on your face. You will find this in a bundle your husband keeps on the wall." So she went home with some food and fed her children. Her husband was puzzled that his children were so lively. The next day she took down her husband's warbundle and painted her face with red paint. Then she met the man in the wilderness again, and they climbed a great tree where the man's lodge was standing. Again she lay with him and was rewarded with bear fat and venison, which she took home to her children. This went on for some time, until one day the boy spat out some bear fat and deer meat before his father, and said, "This is what our mother has been coming home with and feeding us." The man then resolved to follow his wife and find out where she got this. He watched as his wife came up to a big tree and knocked on it saying, "Come down old man!" And unexpectedly, a bear climbed down from the tree. They began making passionate love and were so caught up in it they did not see her husband approach. He shot the bear dead. Then with another arrow he killed his wife. The man chopped off the heads of his wife and the bear and hung them on the tree.

When he got home he said to his children, "I have committed a great crime, so I will have to fight a battle. When this happens early in the morning, the eastern half of the sky will be red, the other half will be black. If I am victorious, one color will cover the entire sky; if I am defeated, then the other color will paint the sky." He handed her a small pail with a little deer tail in it. "This deer tail is your little brother — never let it out of your grasp. When you eat from it make sure that you do not break any bones, and as long as they are intact, when you put it back in the pail it will regenerate itself." Then he told her how to find the village where she would be staying. So the little girl set out with her pail and her brother packed on her back. They traveled all day and when they stopped to eat, they ate the meat off the deer tail and the tail replenished itself every time it was put back in the pail. In the morning the sky was half black and half red, and the two colors seemed to see-saw back and forth at the zenith, and it was that way all day. On the second day the little girl almost lost her brother, but the sky did not show the color of a victor. On the third day the red almost filled the sky, but a little black spot remained in the west. On the fourth day, very gradually the whole sky turned black and the red was extinguished in the east. The girl cried very much, for the life of her father was extinguished with it. The next day she set out but along the way she stumbled. Her brother fell off her back, and when she went to pick him up, neither he nor his kettle was anywhere to be found. The man who killed her father had snatched them up. So the little girl went alone to the village towards which her father had sent her.

Meanwhile, the boy was in the lodge of his father's enemy, where he was told to stoke the fire, since, "The flames are like life, and when they are lively, our spirits will be high, but if the flames are allowed to sink low, so too will our spirits sink." So the boy kept the fire blazing. Much time passed, and soon the boy was of an age to marry. His step-father told him to go to the village nearby and marry the chief's daughter. Not long afterwards he returned with her as his bride. Again he got a good fire going. His wife was sitting there watching the fire when unexpectedly, she saw a face in the fire, the face of a man weeping. She felt very sorry for him and began to weep herself. "Why are you crying?" her husband asked. "Can't you see the man in the fire, weeping?" she replied. The young man was surprised, for he had never noticed it before. He asked his step-father, "Why is there a head in the fire?" The old man replied, "Remember when I told you that the center of the lodge is a person, and how you had to stoke the fire to keep our spirits up? Well this is he, and he weeps because you have let the flames die too low." The wife could not believe this. After he had escorted his wife back to their lodge, her husband began walking back to his step-father's place. On the way he encountered an old man. The man spoke to him: "My friend! Behind the partition in the lodge where you live, are evil beings who hold something that rightfully belongs to you. Take it away from them and never let go of it no matter what the old man says." And with this the man disappeared into the woods. On his return the young man went to the back of the lodge and pulled back the partition, and there, unexpectedly, were two alligators, and between them was a little kettle. So the young man seized it from them, but his step-father was aghast, and said, "My son, these are my dogs and you have taken from them their only food." But the youth ignored the old man and carried the kettle outside. He had not gone far with it when he encountered two strangers on the path. The men approached him and told him, "Carry your kettle to your sister's and when you come back, we will make a try for your father." The young man was pleased to hear this, and asked, "Where is my sister?" They replied, "Your wife's mother is your sister, so go there as fast as you can." So the youth ran all the way, and entered her lodge. He said nothing except, "I am leaving this kettle here for safe-keeping," and then he hurried back. The woman recognized the kettle, and when she looked in, there was the deer tail. "The brother I always thought was lost has returned, for only he had such a kettle." The young man ran back to where the two men were. These were no ordinary men, but were no less than Hare and Trickster.

So the three of them set out for the lodge of the old man, and when they got there they went inside. "Ah!" said the old man, "I figured you might show up sooner or later. If you are here about that thing I like to break embers on, you are wasting your time. He committed a great crime, and I will punish him until he dies. You might as well get used to the idea, since there is nothing you can do to me." Hare replied, "You were not created by the Creator to do such a thing. He whose head you roast is one of the Great Spirits, and if you do not give him up, you will surely die." The old man scoffed, and said, "Nothing you can say will change my mind!" At that Hare killed both of his alligators, then turned on the old man and gave him such a blow that it sounded like rock shattering. As he fled, Hare struck him again and again, and pieces of flint flew in every direction, for the old man was covered in layers of flint. Finally the old man began to stagger, and Hare struck him with such force that it sounded as if he had struck a blow against steel. Indeed, the old man was made of steel, but this availed him nothing, and he fell over dead. They pulled the head from the fire, and Hare explained, "This is your father's head, cut off his body when you were an infant. His body still roams around, but soon it will expire. We shall now get him and make him whole again." So they set out for a hill, and just below the top of the hill was a road. It was there that they waited for him. In the distance they could hear a song: someone was singing,

  Redman is dead.
Redman is dead!

And soon a headless body, completely red in color, came wheezing towards them. Hare caught hold of him and told him who they were. And the headless man felt the body of his son and new energy entered him from his joy. They took him back and built a sweat lodge, taking a large black stone to use as the heater. Hare told the son, "Use all four stomachs of bear oil up, and do not stop until you have, or he will not live." So the son did as Hare told him, but his father kept saying, "If you don't let me out soon, I will die!" Soon he grew very quiet, and his son began to despair. Nevertheless, after the four bear stomachs were emptied, Redman began to blow on himself, and said, "It is done!" And with that he emerged from the bath alive. He put on clothes that were brought for him. Hare told him, "You were defeated unfairly, and your son was tricked into feeding the fire. Then the old man made him marry his sister's daughter. He had gone too far, that is why we came here to rescue you."

Having set things aright, Hare and Trickster went back to their spirit homes. Redman was reunited with his daughter, and his son's marriage to her daughter was not held a crime, since they did not know what they were doing. However, they did not live together as man and wife thereafter. Redman and his son's family lived in a place called "Red Hill," where they had a village. On this hill runs the road where they found the body of Redman. That road exists even today as a testament to the truth of this story. Only recently, there were some men who fasted nearby and were blessed by the spirit of Redman. [1]


This is the genealogy of Redman —


Commentary: "a great hunter" — the variant story called "The Chief of the Heroka" shows that the man in this tale is the chief of the hunting spirits, the Heroka. They are symbolized by the bow and arrow. They are most particularly the spirits of the arrow, which is illustrated in their power to kill anything at which they aim their bows. They merely pull the bowstring of the empty bows while uttering the "Heroka breathings", ahahe ahahe, and their victim falls over dead. As their chief, Redman could have no equal as a hunter.

"hard work" — the lazy wife theme is also found in the variant story "The Chief of the Heroka". In the astronomical code, the reason for her insipidness lies in the fact that she is waning. She is now low in the sky near the eastern horizon where she is immersed in the red glow of dawn.

"she mixed the blood of her monthly period into his meal" — it was believed that contact with menstrual blood weakened not only the man but the power of his weapons and warbundles. This is why a woman during her menstrual period was required to live apart from the rest of the household (see Hare Kills Wildcat). Eating this blood would be the ultimate form of this pollution. In instances of cannibalism, there is no record of women being thus consumed, perhaps because of the fear that eating a menstruating woman would be completely debilitating. (For this issue, see The Roaster.)

This variant of the lazy wife theme differs extensively from its counterpart in the "Chief of the Heroka". In the latter story his wife is the Pleiades, a star cluster very near Redhorn/Redman's star (Alnilam in Orion). In most stories, Redhorn has two wives, one of which is always a moon (the girl in the white beaverskin wrap, and the pretty fat girl). At this point in the story, Redman is on earth (low on the horizon) as a great hunter. The action focuses on the morning sky sometime before sunrise. When the moon begins to decline into conjunction, it is a sliver low in the sky just before dawn. Therefore, it is immersed in red. This red of the horizon at twilight has been homologized to blood in another myth as well (Children of the Sun). The moon as a divine and fluid female, subject to a period of monthly waxing and waning, has an obvious relationship to menstruation, a relationship appreciated extensively in world mythology. At this time in the story's action, the stars of Orion are low on the horizon and therefore immersed in the monthly "blood" of the moon.

"slept with him during her period" — as John Ingham pointed out to me (p.c. 1985), the menstrual period coincides with a woman's period of infertility. Through the common fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc, it is bound to be inferred that it is the blood of the menstrual discharge that causes the sperm to have no effect, that is to say, that the menstrual blood kills the sperm or its ordinary fecund powers. It is therefore inimical to the basic male powers, and therefore, by extension, it is dangerous to those peculiarly male powers associated with the hunt and the warpath. Thus it was believed that were a menstruating woman to be in proximity to a man's weapons, she might "kill" them, that is rob them of the spirit by which they were efficacious. The same is true of the warbundle.

While the moon is low in the sky and near the sunrise which here is her menstrual discharge, the stars of Orion (Redman) are right next to her, a relationship easily homologized to mating.

"painted her face with red paint" — it was forbidden for anyone to open a man's warbundle — that too would weaken his war powers. To then use the holy paint of war for the purpose of seduction — the exact diametrical opposite of its intended function — is a striking act of defilement.

The color red is associated with youth. Here it is the same color as her husband, who is the Redman. In the astronomical code, her husband is red because he is immersed in the red of the dawn, so his wife who is a young moon is in much the same position, so that she too is painted red by the sunrise.

"a great tree" — if we take the Hočąk Bear Lodge asterism to be in the same place as the Lakota version, it is immediately clear that the "giant tree" is the Milky Way which, as dawn approaches, extends from the ground towards the zenith. It is precisely up this tree where the Bear Lodge is located. The waning moon as it rises in the east gradually ascends this tree at the time that Orion is rising just before the sun (see the first two panels of the illustrations below). Under Comparative Material, we find what appears to be an image of the Milky Way as a tree.

"the man's lodge" — as we see below, the "man" who inhabits the lodge is actually a bear. This image suggests that the bear lodge is a constellation among the Hočągara, but its location is never stated. However, given what is said of it, there is a very good chance that it is identical with a constellation known to the Lakota as the "Bear Lodge" (Matotipila), which is essentially the same as our Gemini (see the illustrations below). [2]

"bear" — the bear is a hibernator who makes an artificial cave for himself during the winter and disappears from view. Redman, who is also Redhorn or Įčorúšika (a star of Orion), as a star sinks below the horizon during early summer. So the two are both hibernators, but on opposite sides of the year. The story seems to be identifying the bear and the Bear Lodge which he occupies.

"passionate love" — the moon and the bear are at the base of the Milky Way and therefore are in intimate proximity. They are in this state before Orion rises above the horizon, so initially their tryst is secret from him. Nevertheless, he is tracking them, as Orion rises not long after the moon.

"dead" — the star of Redman rises while the moon and the Bear Lodge asterism are in intimate embrace. So Redman as the star Alnilam of Orion, "catches" them in the act. However, at this time of the year, the sun rises very soon after, so he shoots them with the rays of light which kills them as it does all the luminaries (wira) of the night sky. The blood of their slaughter is seen on the horizon (vide panel 4 in the illustrations below).

1. On July 27, the Bear Lodge is in the tree (Milky Way) with the moon at its base beginning its climb.

2. Two hours later, at sunrise, the moon has climbed the tree to the level of the Bear Lodge (above Redman's eye level).

3. The next day, the bear (Bear Lodge) has climbed down the tree (Milky Way) to meet the moon at its base in the absence of Redman. 4. Redman rises to discover his wife the moon embracing the bear (Bear Lodge) and kills them (sunrise). Note the "blood" of the horizon.

"hung them on the tree" — astronomical bodies are often homologized to heads. Although "dead" and invisible in the day sky, their heads nevertheless remain where they are, hanging on the tree (Milky Way).

"the eastern half of the sky will be red, the other half will be black" — red is the color of Redman (= Redhorn, Įčorúšika), so its triumph should reflect his own. Red is also the conventional color of the sun, as is shown in the inset, which features an emblem of the sun painted on a white deerskin used as an offering to the deity in various rites. He is called Hąpwira, "The Day Luminary", where hąp also means "light, day". Metaphorically, and quite explicitly in the Medicine Rite, Hąp is used to mean "Life", and is often translated by LaMère and Radin as "Light-and-Life". So red stands for life, and black, as we know from other contexts, stands for death, which is certainly appropriate to the present struggle. For Redman as Įčorúšika, who is the star Alnilam of Orion (ε Orionis), death is his disappearance below the horizon beginning in mid-May when he sets with the sun; his life and resurrection is realized in his rising with the sun. It is then that he rises into the red of the sky near the horizon just at dawn, whence the names "Redman" and "Redhorn" by which he is known. His death is when the sun sets in mid-May and he is no longer a light in the black sky. Therefore, his defeat is the black in the west, and his life and triumph is the red of the east.

"deer tail" — the Hočąk for this is ča sįč, which is almost identical to ča-šįč, "deer rump", the Hočąk name of the Pleiades.

"your little brother" — this is a puzzling statement, and on the surface of the story it apparently is meant to suggest that she take care of the deer tail as if it were her little brother. The deer tail seems to be a counterpart to the Pleiades, as we saw above. She, it appears, like her mother, is a moon. Since these asterisms (Orion, Pleiades), rise and set due east and west, they are closely associated with both the initial waxing and the final waning moons. Therefore, she would make an appropriate sister to the Pleiades and even the earth.

"do not break any bones" — this is a practice connected with sacrifice. When dogs are sacrificed, they are hanged for this reason. This was also a practice of the ancient Indo-Europeans, who even hanged horses in sacrifice. This may reflect a shared belief that the soul resides especially in the marrow of the bones, which Weston La Barre calls muelos after the Greek term for this substance. [3] Lankford sums up a widespread view,

... it is believed by some of the Eastern Woodlands peoples that the life-soul, and perhaps the free-soul in some cases, resides in bones. Thus the taboos surrounding hunters' treatment of the slain bodies of the quarry — if the bones are broken, the animals cannot be resuscitated or reborn. [4]

This is sometimes taken to extremes as Hultkranz notes,

It is important that the felled prey be ritually buried and with their bones arranged according to the structure of the living body, as only in this way may the return of the animal be assured. [5] This ritual procedure is sometimes applied to each individual animal. This is especially the case in the whale cult widely found among the fishing peoples around the Bering Sea [6] and the bear cult present in the more northern parts of North America (and Eurasia). [7]

As Hočąk stories make clear, as long as the soul remains securely in the bones, it is possible by the right supernatural agency, to resurrect the individual whose image and essential nature resides in the soul within the bones. By its nature, sacrifice is also a form of resurrection, since it initiates a cycle of regeneration. There is a Hunting Cycle that answers to the Cattle Cycle of sacrifice and replenishment delineated by Bruce Lincoln. [8] The sacrificed animal goes to the Spiritland of its kind, and after a period there, it is induced by human offerings to assume its corporeal form on earth and to be killed again as a reciprocal gift of food. This cycle is illustrated in the story Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle. A star cluster like the Pleiades, being bright white, calls to mind a collection of bones. In the evening this deer tail eaten, but once the Deer Rump sets into the "pail" (the earth), its white bones regenerate to be defleshed again the next evening. So in this respect they are like the magically resuscitated animal, regenerating from its white bones. This itself is an image of the sacrifice, where the dead animal ascends into the sky to live in its Spiritland, only to be coaxed back to earth by a sacrificial offering. It descends once again to assume the form expressive of its essential animal nature, only once again to be hunted for food and the objects of sacrifice. In the sacrifice, the animal undergoes two relative resurrections: an upward resurrection to Spiritland, then a downward resurrection to earth. Before Orion (Redman) can emerge from his living death, the Pleiades must first be regenerated. The son of Redman and the deer tail and bucket were intended for the village of the Heroka, but were intercepted en route and held by the denizens of the lower world. This answers to the annual setting of the Pleiades. They do not reach the home of Redman and the Heroka (due east), but end up underground for a period of time. Until the Pleiades-as-sacrifice is made an offering to the upper world, Redman himself will never emerge from the underground, as Orion can only follow after the Pleiades. (This line of analysis is pursued further below.)

"the pail" — at the time at which this story was told (ca. 1908-1912), metal pails and other metal hardware of every kind were in use. But these were recent artifacts introduced by the white invasion. The old time version of a pail was a pot, perhaps with leather straps for handles. Such pots, as pottery, were made ultimately of clay. Clay is a special kind of earth, so that the pot or pail of the story would once have been an earthen jar. As such it symbolizes the earth, both as the place where the bones of the sacrifice are buried, and the place where the white "bones" that are the stars are interred.

"she stumbled. Her brother fell off her back" — when she and her brother first start out, they are heading east. When the moon is new, she is in the western sky, low on the horizon. At the time of the year when the stars forming Orion, the Hyades, and the Pleiades are setting with the sun, as a group they lie almost flat on the western horizon, and disappear from the sky in rapid succession, starting with the Pleiades. The moon is actually going in a different direction, although she ends up in the east in the end. Every night the moon, although getting higher and higher in the sky as time goes on, will set in lockstep with Orion, and the Pleiades (her little brother and his deer tail). At some point these stars achieve their heliacal setting, and become separated from the moon; it is then that her brother will fall off her back. There is necessarily one day at the setting of the sun the moon when she will be neither with her brother (Orion) nor will she be with the deer tail (the Pleiades). When the moon sets, it undergoes a quasi-death, disappearing from the sky and entering into the earth not to be seen again for hours. For the Hočągara, stumbling (bokéwe) is a metaphor for death. When a brave is killed in action, it is believed that at the moment of his death he only has a sense that he has stumbled, but no other awareness of having lost his life. Yet he is not destroyed utterly, as he lives on as a soul, and eventually, in this condition discovers that he is dead to his corporeal life. Stumbling is a mere unanticipated shift of footing on the Road of Life and Death. Thus, it is a metaphor for a transition to a state of death, a state for the warrior which may turn out to be only temporary. This is the conventional symbolism employed in this context to express the setting of the moon on the night in which the stars that she has been traveling with are lost to her.

"the man who killed her father" — this turns out to be the man covered in flint whom Hare kills in a story where the victim is called "Flint". We learn from the variant story in "Chief of the Heroka" that Flint's sister is the offending wife, and her death is the cause of his decapitating Redman. This would make Flint the maternal uncle (hitek) of Redman's son; yet in the story, Flint becomes his father. The uncle and the father have incompatible social roles. The father is the teacher and guide to his son, and they do not have a joking relationship with one another. The maternal uncle, on the other hand, has the most intimate of all social relationships with his nephew (hičųšge). This is one of mutual devotion. It is also a joking relationship, and the uncle is completely indulgent. In battle the nephew acts as the Warbundle Bearer (Sak’įna), and is expected to die in battle should his uncle fall. So the uncle by making himself into the father, creates yet another social contradiction.

"snatched them" — Flint, the man who killed their father, is likely identified with the Hyades, the arrowhead asterism. The string of asterisms, the Pleiades, the Hyades, and Orion, set with the sun in that order. Since the Hyades are situated between the Pleiades (deer tail) and Orion (Redman's son), it is as if he has control of them, one in each hand. As he slips below the horizon for a couple of months, he drags down Orion after him.

"the village nearby" — we are informed below that this is the village to which his sister went. We learn from the "Chief of the Heroka" that she married one of the Forked Men. They also seem to be connected to the Hyades.

"bride" — the son of Redman, like one of the sons of Redhorn, functions as another version of his father, here playing the role of Alnilam (ε Orionis). The hypothesis of the story is that the sister (a moon) parts company with her little brother (Orion) as the latter experiences heliacal setting. The period that Alnilam is no longer seen in the sky is about two moons (ca. 66 days). The little sister is a young moon on the western horizon where/when Alnilam her brother, disappears. She travels to the eastern horizon where she herself disappears into what proves to be nearly the same place (being with the sun like the Hyades). Her daughter is born, and like her mother, is another moon. Another 30 days pass and she too is in the same spot on the eastern horizon, only now it is the time for Alnilam to rise with the sun. There the two meet and "wed". The brother (Alnilam) is sent there by Flint, who is part of the Hyades which precede Orion, and therefore direct the brother's star to the village.

"a man weeping" — this is the head of Redman, and the fire is the sun. His weeping symbolizes that he is under the Ocean Sea.

"the center of the lodge is a person" — in the center of the lodge is the fire, and as the fire is a living spirit being, he is a person. In the astronomical code, the central fire is to be identified with the sun. So the old man (Flint) is claiming that the head is the manifestation of the spirit of the fire. Redman does, of course, get his color from the fire, as his heliacal rising puts him in the red sky of sunrise.

"an old man" — it is not clear who this old man is. The best guess, since Redman is to be the Chief of the Heroka, that he is one of the Heroka spirits.

"two alligators" — the Hočągara for "alligator" is wakiričop, where čop denotes green (and blue as well). Wakiri is the word typically used to refer to insects. It seems very odd to group alligators with insects, until we reflect that the phrase "creeping things" from Genesis 7:23 (etc.), is translated by the word wakiri. [9] So wakiri are things that creep along, and alligators belong to this group mainly because of their splayed legs and low slung carriage.

Alligators are predators who attack from ambush while largely submerged. They are creatures of the lower world. The deer tail in the pail represents, astronomically, the Pleiades as they subsist beneath the earth. This captivity represents their bondage in the lower world. They are also an analogue to the sacrifice in this story. Consequently, this represents the theft of the sacrifice by bad spirits of the lower world who are then able to enjoy its fruits without reciprocation. The theme of the theft of the sacrifice is also common among the Indo-Europeans.

"my dogs" — the Hočągara were on particularly intimate terms with their dogs, even feeding them off their own dishes and giving them a seat with the humans at the meal. They amounted to human counterparts, and were often sacrificed, as to Disease Giver, as a substitute for a human sacrifice. So the step-father when he speaks of the alligators as "dogs" does not mean that he is confused as to their genus, but that they are his animal intimates and counterparts.

"carry your kettle to your sister's and when you come back, we will make a try for your father" — here I have preserved the exact words of the text. The sister, as an arrow spirit, one of the Heroka (being the daughter of the Chief of the Heroka), is a moon near the horizon in the form of a sliver. In the Baldheaded Warclub, the daughter of Heroka is offered to whomever among the great warrior spirits she should choose. She chose Wolf, who promptly put her in his quiver, showing that she, as one of the Heroka, was in essence an arrow. This translates into a sliver of a moon in astronomical codes, where we see, as in the Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, the lunar sister of this spirit being placed in his quiver. There is really no particular reason on the surface level story for the boy to run off with his pail and deer tail, when very shortly thereafter, Hare and Trickster are going to kill all the parties presently in possession of it. The kettle is offered "for safe-keeping" to a lunar sister at the horizon where the village of the Forked Men lies (in the east). This is where the resurrection of Orion as a star group will occur in the near future, but it is also where the Pleiades will rise again with the sun. Before Redman (= Redhorn, Įčorúšika) can be resurrected, first the Pleiades must be offered to the heavens and the friendly spirit who resides there near the horizon. There the Pleiades meet the waning moon, and return to the sky, the analogue to the Spiritland into which the sacrifice travels. It is appropriate to make such an offering to a moon, since she has the waxing and waning of a mortal, but a mortal being who is eternal in her resurrection and reascension into the sky. The offering of the unbroken bones to the moon, is paralleled in a standard form of sacrifice in which a deerskin is painted with an emblem of the god to whom it is offered, and is then sent through the smoke hole of the ceremonial lodge to its roof, a symbolic ascension into the heavens, like an offering to the fire which travels heavenward in the column of smoke. And here the fire is the great Fire of the sky, the sun, with whom the moon is about to unite, and with whom the Pleiades, the deer rump or tail, is about to rise. This not only foreshadows the resurrection of Redman-Orion, but makes it possible as a participant in the sacrificial cycle of regeneration. He himself will undergo the sweat bath, which is yet another image of the impending union with the sun at the horizon, and his own regeneration and resurrection as a stellar being. Nevertheless, all this is made possible by the offering of the eternally regenerating deer tail.

"your wife's mother is your sister" — a shocking identity in the Hočąk kinship system. The wife's mother, the hikoróke, is the same kinship relation to him as his own paternal and maternal grandmothers. However, with respect to the hikoróke of one's wife, the mother-in-law, the strictest formalities were observed. One could not talk directly to her or be on any highly informal relationship with her. It is the opposite of a joking relationship. The older sister is the hinu, a term also used for the father's brothers' daughters, or the mother sister's daughters. Although one does not have a joking relationship with one's hinu, still one has a normal relationship, and that alone is in contradiction to the indirect and very stiff relationship observed with the mother-in-law. The existence of a hinu-hikoróke, while not a kinship impossibility, is in practice a social impossibility. Also his wife is his own niece (hičųžą́k). Teasing is permitted with one's wife, even during courting, but it is not permitted with the sister's daughter, so this relationship is yet another social contradiction. [10]

"Hare" — Hare is the one who traditionally slays Flint (the grandfather) because he withheld arrowheads from Hare's "uncles and aunts". Flint is most naturally identified with the Hyades, whose brightest stars form an angular "V" like an arrowhead. The Hyades are a great cluster of stars which allows the myriad of smaller stars to play the role of the broken pieces of rock that Hare knocked off Flint. The Hyades follow the Pleiades and were symbolically holding onto the deer tail and bucket (the Pleiades) until Hare and Trickster liberated them. By killing Flint and the alligators, he broke the bonds of the Hyades to the earth where they had been fixed. This cleared the way for the next star system in the chain, Orion, whose primary star is that of Redman. Now Hare has cleared the path for the ascension and resurrection of Redman (Alnilam).

This myth also has material dealing with kinship relations. Hare was the product of a virgin birth from a mortal woman, so he refers to the whole of humanity as his "uncles and aunts". These, it should be pointed out, are his maternal uncles and aunts, and it is these with whom he has the strongest joking relationship. Therefore, Hare has a joking relationship with the whole of humanity. His kinship relationships are anomalous, since he has no father and no patrilineal relatives. This suggests also that he has no clan, unless he is a Thunderbird Clan adoptee.

The Thunderbird Clan is the clan into which spared prisoners and refugees were adopted. Therefore, Hare, who has no paternal affiliation, might be expected to have certain affinities to the Thunderbird world. We do see a very strong indication of this in the weapon that Hare obtains. This is the lightning arrow, the one with which he killed Bear. His infallible arrow recalls the arrows of the Heroka, which never fail to hit their mark. The Heroka are associated with Morning Star, who is the founder (by one account) of the Thunderbird Clan. The son of Redhorn, who is another version of Redhorn himself, is given the Thunderbird warbundle by the Thunders themselves. So both Hare and Redman have association with the Thunderbirds. Therefore, Hare, by virtue of his arrow and his Thunderbird associations, has some affinity to Redman.

"Trickster" — Trickster is the natural opponent of Flint, since Flint had tricked the son of Redman into stoking the fire in which his own father's head lay, and in marrying his sister's daughter (hičųjąk´).

"one of the Great Spirits" — in Hočąk, Xetera, "the Great Ones". Usually the Great Ones are eight in number, and Redhorn is one of them, which goes a long way towards proving that Redman is Redhorn, as the latter is always mentioned but Redman is never found on any such list.

"the old man was covered in layers of flint" — this recalls the story of Flint (Hare Kills Flint), an enemy that Hare dispatched, and from whose body flint arrowheads were taken. Bluehorn, the Twins, and their enemy (Herešgúnina or Morning Star), are said to have flint knives running down their arms.

"he fell over dead" — nowhere in this fight does the boy, who had been raised by Flint, take his side. As his maternal uncle (hitek), Flint could expect his nephew to die in his defense. The social anomaly of having a hitek for a step-father perhaps contributes to the negation of his standing. A similar story is found in Germanic mythology (see Comparative Material).

"just below the top of the hill was a road" — this is the ascending road that Orion takes in the latter half of its sojourn below the surface of the earth.

"completely red in color" — in The Man who was Blessed by the Sun it is said that the Sun paints his body completely red. However, the color of Redman is borrowed from the sun, being imparted to his star (Alnilam of Orion) by the red of the sunrise.

"sweat lodge" — the steam bath was viewed as purifying. Here it is seen as metaphysically purifying, counteracting the miasma that has left Redman in an abnormally disconnected state. The sweat lodge in astronomical codes represents the heliacal rising of the stars (or planets). The lodge itself is the world, its floor the surface of the earth. The steam represents the clouds at the eastern horizon. The detached head is the star, and the body to which it is united is its ambulatory power. For other instances of this symbol system, see The Twins Get into Hot Water and The Green Man.

"black stone" — the black stone is the ideal for sweat baths. When it is properly heated, it will turn red hot. It is in this form that it becomes a symbol of the sun. It is either lifted into a kettle of water, or as in this case, a liquid is poured on it. The resultant steam is the cloud bank that arises at the eastern horizon at sunrise.

"bear oil (hųjikini)" — melted bear lard was used by being poured over a very hot rock to generate steam (see The Dipper, The Old Man and the Giants, Snowshoe Strings). There is another, esoteric, reason why bear oil is being used in this context. At the time that Orion rises with the sun, the sun is in Gemini. The working hypothesis has been that the Bear Lodge of the related and neighboring Sioux is one and the same as the Bear Lodge of this myth. Since the stone represents the sun, and the bear oil is poured down on it from above, it is a very good "fit" in that the sun happens to rise in this asterism, with the Bear situated above it as it comes over the horizon blanketed as it often is by clouds ("steam"). It may also be noted that the Milky Way that lies between the Bear Lodge and Redman (Alnilam) has the appearance of a cloud of steam. For these stars in the mythology of Evening Star (Green Man = Bluehorn = Red Star), see the Commentary to "Green Man"; also see "The Dipper".

The stone-as-sun corresponds to the fire of the lodge, and in the sweat lodge it is the sole source of heat. Sacrifices to the spirits of the upper world can be offered by the medium of the lodge fire, where the essence of the offering travels upwards in the form of smoke. It is the bear oil smoke that forms the medium by which the revitalizing "bath" is conveyed to Redman, who represents a star (Alnilam) about to achieve heliacal rising. As we have seen above, the heliacal rising of this star, expressed as the resurrection of Redman, is preceded by a sacrifice that makes it possible. The Pleiades (as deer tail) were offered as a necessary precursor to the rising of Orion. The pouring of bear oil upon the counterpart of the fire and sun, is also a temporal marker for the heliacal rising of Orion, since this must occur just when the sun rises in the Bear Lodge (Gemini). It is also worth mentioning in connection with this that bowstrings were made of bear gut. Since Redman is Chief of the Heroka, he is a spirit of the arrow (as we see most vividly in the Redhorn Cycle). Therefore, just as the bear launches the stellar Redman by means an offering of his oil, so he launches Redman the Heroka as an arrow from his bowstring.

"feeding the fire" — when Orion and the star of Redman, Alnilam, undergoes heliacal setting and disappears underground, the balmy months of spring give way to the hottest days of summer before Alnilam reascends into the sky and finally clears the red of the horizon. To the naive, it is as if at this time of the year, the sun itself were getting hotter, just as if its fire were being stoked.

"Red Hill" — in the list of place names found in Jipson (taken from Lyman Draper), we find "Xa-shuch-ra" [= Xešučra], "the Red Hill", as the Hočąk name of Necedah, Wisconsin. [11] The text has "ne ci chah" (for "necidah"), a written corruption of the name "Necedah". The name of the town Necedah is itself a corruption of Ni-zi-ra, "the Yellow Waters", the name given to the Yellow River on which it is situated. The hill in question is now known as "Necedah Mound", an oval hill in the middle of Necedah made of purplish quartzite and orange sandstone. [12]

"only recently" — this telling of the story dates from sometime between 1908 and 1912.


Internal Isomorphisms. There are repeating themes in this story whose correspondences give it an internal structure.

Themes. (1) A person aids/sabotages a kinsman. (2) The person does this by giving/withholding sustenance (3) in a pail/bladder. (4) One of the agents of this is a bear or a pair of alligators. (5) A person goes (or is prevented from going) on a trek. (6) A sexual crime (adultery vs. incest) has been committed. (7) A person is killed (vs. resurrected), by decapitation (vs. recapitation). (8) The head is placed in (or removed from) a context of wood. (9) Fire and/or water are conjoined in connection with the victim who has been beheaded. (10) A revelation (vs. concealment) is made concerning a future (or past) event.

I. (1) Redman's wife sabotages his powers. (2) They begin to starve. (5) The woman goes on a trek to visit another man.

II. (1) A man aids Redman's wife (2) by giving her food, which she shares with her children. (4) The man turns out to be a bear. (5) The man and his lover climb a great tree where his lodge is located. The next time, the man (bear) descends the tree, (6) and makes love to the wife (who has thus committed adultery.) (7) Redman kills both his wife and the bear, and (8) places their heads in the tree.

III. (1) Redman aids his children by giving them (3) a pail (2) that contains a deer tail that regenerates itself, generating an inexhaustible supply of food. (5) The sister, carrying her brother and the pail, goes on a trek to another village. (7) The death of Redman (and his beheading) (9, 10) is seen in the colors red and black contending for the sky until black covers all of it. Thus, the death of her father is revealed to the sister.

IV. (5) The girl stumbles (7) and loses her brother and the pail, who were stolen by their father's killer. (9) The boy is encouraged to stoke the fire (which happens to contain his father's head).

V. (5) The son goes to another village where (6) he marries the chief's daughter (who turns out to be his own hičųžą́k). (8) Redman's head was placed in the fire (under the wood). (9) The new wife sees a crying head in the fire. (10) She tells her husband (the son). An old man later tells the son that something is concealed behind the partition in his grandfather's lodge.

VI. (5) He goes to his grandfather's lodge. (1, 2) He takes back (3) the pail (4) which was guarded by two alligators. (2) His grandfather complains that this supplies his "dogs" only food. (5) He heads back to his lodge. (10) Two men encounter the son on a path and tell him to bring the pail to his sister, (6) who they explain, happens to be his own mother-in-law.

VII. (1) The son drops off (3) the pail (5) after traveling to his sister's village. (6) She realizes that he must be her own brother.

VIII. (5) He returns to his grandfather's lodge, joining up with Hare and Trickster on the way. (7) Hare kills both the alligators and the grandfather, who shatters into pieces of flint. (8) They pull out the head out of the fireplace. (10) They explain that the head belongs his father, and that he must go to Red Hill to retrieve the body.

IX. (5) They head out for Red Hill, where (7) someone is singing the song, "Redman is dead!" It is the body of Redman. (9) They make a steam bath, and put the dismembered parts of Redman in it. (10) Hare explained how the sweat bath would be conducted.

X. (1) The son helps his father (3) by adding four bladders (4) of bear oil. (5) Despite his protestations, they would not let him out (9) of the steam bath lodge. (7) Redman protests that he will die. However, after awhile, Redman emerges alive. His head and body have rejoined. (10) Hare explains their mission to Redman.

XI. (5) Hare and Trickster return to their spirit abodes. (6) The son and his niece were not judged to be guilty of any misconduct, but they did separate. (10) The road up Red Hill is a testament to the truth of the story. There people have been blessed by Redman.

Generally, these themes maintain their order in the course of their repetition. In VI.1,2, when the son seizes the pail, he is taking something away from the old man who is his mother's father. Theme (5) is satisfied in X by Redman being prevented from going anywhere at all. With respect to theme (6), it should be noted that it is considered incest to marry one's own hičųžą́k, as in V.6. IV.7 is a weak correspondence. Stumbling is a metaphor for death, and the boy has been mysteriously removed to another realm, which is like death. He and the pail were being carried on her back, so it is somewhat like decapitation. In IX.7, Redman's death is represented by a songs whose content references it, and his beheading is represented by his decapitated body. Presumably, the red or black of the sky refers to the clouds in III.9, thus connecting their moisture to Redman. More fundamentally, however, red represents both the figure in whose name it is represented, and life. Red is also the color of fire and the sun. Black, on the other hand, is the color of ashes and death. In V.9, the theme is satisfied in an unusual way, as the head within the fire is seen crying, thus uniting fire and water. Otherwise, fire and water are connected to Redman via the steam bath. III.10 also represents an interesting mediation between revelation and concealment, since symbolism is by its nature revelatory only to those who know how to read it; otherwise, it functions as a source of concealment. In XI.10, the road on which Redman trod is itself a kind of symbol, and blessing represents the revelation of the power of the Invisible World.

External Isomorphisms. "The Red Man" can be viewed as a shorter variant of "The Chief of the Heroka". The latter has an added episode or two, but otherwise the two follow fairly closely in alignment.

Common Elements "Chief of the Heroka" "The Red Man"
A married couple with their son and daughter lived together. A married couple with their son and daughter lived together. A married couple with their son and daughter lived together.
The man was a great hunter. The man was a great hunter. The man was a great hunter.
The wife tires of processing all the meat. The wife tires of processing all the meat. The wife tires of processing all the meat.
- She keeps getting caught in her husband's deer traps. -
The wife causes the husband to loose his hunting powers. As a result, the traps are no longer able to snare game. She pollutes her husband's food even with menses until he is unable to hunt successfully.
- - The wife gets food from a bear with whom she has sex.
- - The wife handles her husband's warbundle and paints her face red.
The wife violates her husband, She is trapped for the fourth time, The husband catches her with the bear
so he shoots her to death. so he shoots her dead. and he shoots them both dead.
He tells his children what he did and tells them they must flee as a battle is immanent. He tells his children what he did and tells them they must flee as a battle is immanent. He tells his children what he did and tells them they must flee as a battle is immanent.
He gives his children a pail and a self-regenerating deer tail for them to eat. He gives his children a pail and a self-regenerating deer tail for them to eat. He gives his children a pail and a self-regenerating deer tail for them to eat.
Two colors of the sky vie with one another, the red in the east and the yellow or black in the west. The clouds in the sky vie with one another, red clouds in the east and yellow ones in the west. The colors of the sky vie with one another, red in the east and black in the west.
As the two color vie for the sky, the red color disappears, indicating that the father has been killed. The yellow clouds sweep the red clouds away, indicating that the father has been killed. The sky turns black, indicating that the father has been killed.
The girl cried a lot. The girl cried a lot. The girl cried a lot.
When the girl is distracted, her brother and the pail mysteriously disappear. When the girl awoke the next morning, her brother and the pail were gone. The girl stumbled and when she went to pick up her brother and the pail, they were gone.
The girl arrives at her destination. She arrives at her brothers' place in the side of a cliff. They know where her brother is. She arrives at the village that her father had directed her to.
- The youngest brother had been abducted by berdaches. The man who killed the father had abducted the brother.
- One of the brothers tries to persuade him to go back with him. After the boy verifies that they are indeed berdaches, he takes his pail and returns with his older brother. -
- The brothers were living in the spirit abode where their father had come from. -
- The brother and sister leave for a human village. -
The brother marries a woman of high status. In a lodge full of women, the brother marries a woman that looks like a grandmother, but she turns out to be young and beautiful in reality. The brother goes to a village and marries the chief's daughter.
The brother comes into conflict with his in-law's "dogs" (which are really another kind of animal). His mother-in-law has a nightmare that she must eat the flesh of a rare animal or she will die. He secures it for her, only to have her use the pelt as a fur piece. This happens several times. The boy is told that in his step-father's lodge behind a partition is a kettle that belongs to him. He goes there and finds two alligators guarding it. He takes it from them.
The animals were his in-law's dogs. The animals were his in-law's dogs. The animals were his step-father's dogs.
- The sister is asked to choose one among a number of spirits who will be her husband. -
- She chooses the Forked Man. -
- After winning an argument with Turtle, the Forked Man and the sister ascend to heaven. -
- - The boy learns that his sister is his mother-in-law, so he takes the kettle to her.
- The youngest brother with some of his brothers and the spirits, play wegodiwa against the women backed by their brothers. The brother and his allies win, and kill the brothers of the women. -
- The youngest brother is Herokaga, and his brothers are the Heroka spirits. -
- Herokaga becomes chief of the village of his brothers-in-law. He has a daughter who grows up. -
- He offers his daughter as a bride. He inverts a jack pine and put her on top. Only one of the Forked Men can climb it to claim her. -
- They ascend to heaven and live with the man's father. -
The old man encourages his daughter-in-law to stoke the fire. The old man encourages his daughter-in-law to stoke the fire. The old man encourages his daughter-in-law to stoke the fire.
The daughter-in-law discovers a detached head in the fire, crying. The daughter-in-law discovers a detached head in the fire, crying. The daughter-in-law discovers a detached head in the fire, crying.
They learn the identity of the head. The head tells her and her husband who he is. Hare pulls the head out of the fire and tells them who it is.
They recover the headless body. The husband had encountered the headless body. He made his father go get the body. They recover the headless body.
They make a sweat bath in which the head and body become reunited. They make a sweat bath in which the head and body become reunited. They make a sweat bath in which the head and body become reunited.
They eventually get rid of the old man in his present form. The man in the fire later turns the old man into an owl. Hare kills the old man who is made of flint and steel.
They made a village on the Wisconsin River. The cliffs and the village by them is on the Wisconsin River. They made a village at Red Hill (Necedah) near the Wisconsin River.
The place where these events took place can be seen today. The place where these events took place can be seen today. The place where these events took place can be seen today.

Comparative Material: A good parallel is seen in part of a Kickapoo story. Once a man was no longer able to find game to kill and his family was on the verge of starvation. However, while he was out hunting, his wife combed her hair and went out to rendezvous with a bear. She lay with the bear and afterwards, the bear gave her some flesh to take home. She cooked the bear meat and fed it to herself and her son with the strict admonition that the son should say nothing to his father about their good fortune. Nevertheless, the son hid meat in his mouth and fed a little to his father. In the end, he confessed what his mother had been up to, so the husband tracked his wife and killed the bear. After it had been cooked, he forced the meat down her throat until she died. [13] Continuation of the Kickapoo story.

"a great tree" — "Schele and Freidel believe the tree of creation often portrayed in Maya iconography to be the upright Milky Way, the double-headed serpent wrapped around it representing the ecliptic" (see Įčorúšika and His Brothers). [14] Cf. the Omaha myth of the origins of the Sacred Pole:

The son of one of the ruling men was off on a hunt. On his way home he came to a great forest and in the night lost his way. He walked and walked until he was exhausted with pushing his way through the underbrush. He stopped to rest and to find the "motionless star" for his guide when he was suddenly attracted by a light ... it was a tree that sent forth the light. He went up to it and found that the whole tree, its trunk, branches, and leaves, were alight, yet remained unconsumed. He touched the tree but no heat came from it ... At last day approached, the brightness of the tree began to fade, until with the rising of the sun the tree with its foliage resumed its natural appearance ... As twilight came on it began to be luminous and continued so until the sun again arose ... four animal paths led to it ... it was clear to them that the animals came to the tree and had rubbed against it and polished its bark by so doing. [15]

George Lankford comments on this passage,

The Omaha description of the tree which is always burning, but can be seen only at night, sounds like an axis of light. The day and night references sound remarkably like a description of the solar-fire axis already discussed, but the nocturnal equivalent may be the Milky Way, a column of light which nonetheless does not give off heat. If this reading is correct, then the Omaha description of the tree of light refers to a provocative set of symbolic connections: world axis = tree = sun-fire = star column. [16]

An interesting possible parallel to this, which is far afield, is the burning bush of Moses in Hebrew mythology. The bush, which was an epiphany of Yahweh, was aflame yet was not consumed by the fire. [17]


Links: Heroka, The Redhorn Panel of Picture Cave. An American Star Map, Hare, Trickster, Redman, The Forked Man, Bear Spirits.


Stories: in which Redman is a character: The Chief of the Heroka, cf. Wears White Feather on His Head; about Flint: Hare Kills Flint, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Red Man, Chief of the Heroka, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Adventures of Redhorn's Sons; 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, 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), How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Trickster's Tail, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Warbundle Maker, cf. Fourth Universe; featuring Trickster as a character: The Trickster Cycle, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Trickster's Warpath, Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Trickster Soils the Princess, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Trickster Concludes His Mission, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster, The Elk's Skull, Trickster and the Mothers, The Markings on the Moon, The Spirit of Gambling, The Woman who Became an Ant, The Green Man, Trickster Takes Little Fox for a Ride, Trickster Loses His Meal, Trickster's Tail, A Mink Tricks Trickster, Trickster's Penis, Trickster Loses Most of His Penis, The Scenting Contest, The Bungling Host, Mink Soils the Princess, Trickster and the Children, Trickster and the Eagle, Trickster and the Geese, Trickster and the Dancers, Trickster and the Honey, Trickster's Adventures in the Ocean, The Pointing Man, Trickster's Buffalo Hunt, Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb, Trickster Visits His Family, The Coughing Up of the Black Hawks, The Petition to Earthmaker, Waruǧápara, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge; featuring Hare as a character: The Hare Cycle, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Necessity for Death, The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Hare Acquires His Arrows, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, Hare Kills Wildcat, The Messengers of Hare, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, Hare Kills Flint, Hare Kills Sharp Elbow, Hare Visits His Grandfather Bear, Grandmother Packs the Bear Meat, Hare Visits the Bodiless Heads, Hare Visits the Blind Men, Hare Kills a Man with a Cane, Hare Burns His Buttocks, Hare Gets Swallowed, The Hill that Devoured Men and Animals, Hare Establishes Bear Hunting, Grandmother's Gifts, Hare and the Grasshoppers, The Spirit of Gambling, Maize Origin Myth, Hare Steals the Fish, The Animal who would Eat Men, The Gift of Shooting, Hare and the Dangerous Frog, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, The Coughing Up of the Black Hawks, The Animal Spirit Aids of the Medicine Rite, The Petition to Earthmaker; about bodiless heads: Bluehorn's Nephews, Hare Visits the Bodiless Heads, Little Human Head; featuring lilliputian people: The Chief of the Heroka, Morning Star and His Friend, Iron Staff and His Companions; featuring the Heroka as characters: The Chief of the Heroka, The Oak Tree and the Man Who was Blessed by the Heroka, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Little Human Head, Morning Star and His Friend, The Claw Shooter, Redhorn's Sons, The Origins of the Milky Way; 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 Shell Anklets Origin Myth, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Blessing of the Bow, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, The Spirit of Gambling, Peace of Mind Regained, The Necessity for Death; dealing with menstrual pollution: Hare Kills Wildcat, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, The Roaster, Bluehorn's Nephews; mentioning sweat lodges or sweat baths: The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Lost Blanket, The Green Man, Bladder and His Brothers (v. 1), Hare Establishes Bear Hunting, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, The Thunderbird, Snowshoe Strings, Waruǧápara, The Chief of the Heroka, The Birth of the Twins (v. 2), Lifting Up the Bear Heads, The King Bird, Little Human Head, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, White Wolf, The Shaggy Man, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, The Dipper, The Two Boys, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (v. 2); set at Necedah, Wisconsin (Xešúč): The Blessing of Šokeboka.

The counterpart of this myth is The Chief of the Heroka


Themes: an orphan rises from obscurity to become chief: The Red Man, Partridge's Older Brother, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Roaster, The Chief of the Heroka, The Mulberry Picker; a woman violates her husband's prohibitions: Worúxega; a woman abuses someone with whom she is living: Partridge's Older Brother, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Quail Hunter, Snowshoe Strings, The Chief of the Heroka, Bluehorn's Nephews, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Were-Grizzly; menstrual pollution has dangerous consequences: The Woman Who Fought the Bear; a woman opens a man's forbidden bundle: The Sky Man; hunting is bad because of the misconduct of a man's wife (or mother-in-law) towards that which aids the hunt: Sun and the Big Eater, White Wolf, The Dogs of the Chief's Son, A Man and His Three Dogs; starvation: The Brown Squirrel, White Wolf, The Old Man and His Four Dogs, A Man and His Three Dogs, Sun and the Big Eater, Bird Clan Origin Myth, Kaǧiga and Lone Man, The Shaggy Man, The Bungling Host, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head; using body paint stored in a warbundle: Waruǧápara, White Thunder's Warpath, Paint Medicine Origin Myth; adultery: Worúxega; someone kills his own kinsman: The Chief of the Heroka (wife), Worúxega (wife), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (wife), Bluehorn's Nephews (mother), The Green Man (mother), Waruǧápara (mother), Partridge's Older Brother (sister), The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother (sister), The Were-Grizzly (sister), Crane and His Brothers (brothers), White Wolf (brother), The Diving Contest (brother), The Twins Get into Hot Water (grandfather), The Chief Who Shot His Own Daughter (daughter), The Birth of the Twins (daughter-in-law), The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle (daughter-in-law), Snowshoe Strings (father-in-law); someone kills a close female relative for her betrayal of him or his uncle: Bluehorn's Nephews (mother); Waruǧápara (sister), The Chief of the Heroka (wife), The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion (wife), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (wife); red as a symbolic color: The Journey to Spiritland (hill, willows, reeds, smoke, stones, haze), The Gottschall Head (mouth), The Chief of the Heroka (clouds, side of Forked Man), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse (neck, nose, painted stone), Redhorn's Father (leggings, stone sphere, hair), The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father (hair, body paint, arrows), Wears White Feather on His Head (man), The Birth of the Twins (turkey bladder headdresses), The Two Boys (elk bladder headdresses), Trickster and the Mothers (sky), Rich Man, Boy, and Horse (sky), The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits (Buffalo Spirit), Bluehorn Rescues His Sister (buffalo head), Wazųka (buffalo head headdress), The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth (horn), The Brown Squirrel (protruding horn), Bear Clan Origin Myth (funerary paint), Hawk Clan Origin Myth (funerary paint), Deer Clan Origin Myth (funerary paint), Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (stick at grave), Pigeon Clan Origins (Thunderbird lightning), Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks (eyes), Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (scalp, woman's hair), The Race for the Chief's Daughter (hair), The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy (hair), Redhorn Contests the Giants (hair), Redhorn's Sons (hair), The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle (hair), A Wife for Knowledge (hair), Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle (hair), The Hočągara Contest the Giants (hair of Giantess), A Man and His Three Dogs (wolf hair), The Red Feather (plumage), The Man who was Blessed by the Sun (body of Sun), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (body of the Warrior Clan Chief), Red Bear, Eagle Clan Origin Myth (eagle), The Shell Anklets Origin Myth (Waterspirit armpits), The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty (Waterspirits), The Roaster (body paint), The Man who Defied Disease Giver (red spot on forehead), The Wild Rose (rose), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (warclub), Įčorúšika and His Brothers (ax & packing strap), Hare Kills Flint (flint), The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head (edges of flint knives), The Mulberry Picker (leggings), The Seduction of Redhorn's Son (cloth), Yųgiwi (blanket); the red of the sky disappears when someone is about to die: Trickster and the Mothers (inverted), Chief of the Heroka; head hunting: White Fisher, Big Thunder Teaches Čap’ósgaga the Warpath, A Man's Revenge, How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Little Priest's Game, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Young Man Gambles Often, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), The Dipper, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Porcupine and His Brothers, Turtle's Warparty, Ocean Duck, The Markings on the Moon, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Chief of the Heroka, Thunderbird and White Horse, The Man with Two Heads, Brave Man, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Redhorn's Sons, Fighting Retreat, The Children of the Sun, The Were-Grizzly, Winneconnee Origin Myth; solitary children feed themselves on an inexhaustible boiled deer tail: The Chief of the Heroka, Waruǧápara; children are given deer tails to eat: The Chief of the Heroka, Waruǧápara, The Birth of the Twins, The Two Boys; one small morsel of food when put in a kettle becomes sufficient to feed everyone present: Redhorn's Father (bean), Ocean Duck (bean), The Chief of the Heroka (deer tail), The Raccoon Coat (kernel of corn), cf. The Lost Blanket (food > tobacco, kettle > tobacco pouch); lilliputian people with great hunting skills: The Chief of the Heroka; incest: Hare Kills Wildcat, The Chief of the Heroka, Snowshoe Strings; somatic dualism: The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, Disease Giver, The Chief of the Heroka, Bear Clan Origin Myth, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Forked Man, The Man with Two Heads; a spirit's "dogs" turn out to be another kind of animal: Old Man and Wears White Feather (human), Porcupine and His Brothers (frogs), Turtle's Warparty (frogs), Chief of the Heroka (grizzly, wolf, otter, beaver), Bladder and His Brothers (giant raccoon); a severed head in a fireplace is not dead: The Chief of the Heroka, The Children of the Sun; a severed head speaks: Little Human Head, The Chief of the Heroka, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head; men whose bodies are (partly) covered with pieces of flint: Bluehorn's Nephews, Hare Kills Flint, Hare Gets Swallowed, The Children of the Sun, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Chief of the Heroka; an evil spirit is smashed to pieces by a club: Waruǧápara, Hare Kills Flint, Hare Kills a Man with a Cane, The Big Stone; a spirit is of a red color: Wears White Feather on His Head, The Chief of the Heroka, The Man who was Blessed by the Sun; a man continues to function without his head: The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Man with Two Heads, The Children of the Sun, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 1a), White Fisher, The Chief of the Heroka; the reviving sweat bath: The Shaggy Man, The King Bird, The Chief of the Heroka, The Dipper, Snowshoe Strings, The Old Man and the Giants; bear oil is used to create steam in a reviving sweat bath: The Red Man, The Dipper, The Old Man and the Giants, Snowshoe Strings; blowing upon a person: Redhorn and His Brothers Marry, The Two Children, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Man who went to the Upper and Lower Worlds, The Chief of the Heroka, Aračgéga's Blessings;a man reunites the still living head and body of his relative: The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Man with Two Heads, The Children of the Sun, The Chief of the Heroka; someone returns from the dead: Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, 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 Chief of the Heroka, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Waruǧápara, The Lost Blanket, The Old Man and the Giants.


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] Paul Radin, "The Red Man," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Notebook 6: 1-72.

[2] Ronald Goodman, Lakota Star Knowledge: Studies in Lakota Stellar Theology (Rosebud Sioux Reservation: Siñte Gleska University, 1992) 6, 51, 55, 56, 60 (A), back cover post 64.

[3] Weston La Barre, Muelos: A Stone Age Superstition about Sexuality (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984). Robert L. Hall, An Archaeology of the Soul: North American Indian Belief and Ritual (Urbana & Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1997) 30-31.

[4] George Lankford, "The 'Path of Souls': Some Death Imagery in the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex", in Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms: Interpretations of Mississippian Iconography, edd. F. Kent Reilly III and James F. Garber (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2007) 174-212 [191-192].

[5] Ivar Paulson, Zur Aufbewahrung der Tierknochen im nördlichen Nordamerika. Mitteilungen aus dem Museum fųr Völkerkunde in Hamburg, 25 (1959): 182-188.

[6] Åke Hultkrantz, Die Religion der amerikanischen Arktis, in Die Religionen Nordeurasiens und der amerikanischen Arktis (Die Religionen der Menschheit, ed. C. M. Schröder) (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1962) 357-415 [386 ff.].

[7] A. Irving Hallowel, Bear Ceremonialism in the Northern Hemisphere, American Anthropologist 28, #1 (1926): 1-175; Ivar Paulson, Die rituelle Erhebung des Bärenschädels bei arktischen und subarktischen Völkern, Temenos 1 (1965): 150-169; Åke Hultkrantz, The Religions of the American Indians, trs. Monica Setterwall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979 [1967]) 142.

[8] Bruce Lincoln, Priests, Warriors, and Cattle: A Study in the Ecology of Religions (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981) 33-39, 159-162, 173-175.

[9] John Stacy and Jakob Stucki, Bible: Four Gospels, Acts, Genesis, and Exodus (Chs. 19 and 20), translated into the Winnebago Indian Language (New York: American Bible Society, 1907)

[10] Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1923]) 85.

[11] Norton William Jipson, Story of the Winnebagoes (Chicago: The Chicago Historical Society, 1923) 397, s.v. "Xa-shuch-ra", from an old list by Lyman Draper, checked by John Blackhawk; Kenneth L. Miner, Winnebago Field Lexicon (Kansas City: University of Kansas, June 1984) s.v. Xešúč.

[12] This is from the website page "Necedah Mound", http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/GeoPhotoWis/WI-PC-S/NecedahMound/neced86F.jpg

[13] Kickapoo Tales, collected by William Jones, trs. by Truman Michelson. Publications of the American Ethnological Society (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1915) IX:67-73.

[14] Anthony F. Aveni, Skywatchers (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001) 37. L. Schele and D. Freidel, A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya (New York: William Morrow, 1990).

[15] Alice C. Fletcher and Francis La Flesche, The Omaha Tribe, Bureau of American Ethnology Annual Report 27 (Washington, D. C., U. S. Government Printing Office, 1911) 217-218, as quoted in George Lankford, "Some Cosmological Motifs in the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex", in Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms, 8-38 [32].

[16] Lankford, "Some Cosmological Motifs in the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex", 33.

[17] Exodus, 3:2-4 — "And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. (3:3) And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. (3:4) And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I."