retold by Richard L. Dieterle
A boy and his grandmother, Old Woman, lived together alone. The boy, who was called "Young Man," wore no clothing at all, save for a single feather in his hair. One day when he was out picking herbs, Old Woman told him, "A man cannot kill game without a bow and arrows." He was indignant that she had not told him of this long ago, so she said, "I will make you a bow and arrows, but first you must cut me some hickory. He went to the bluff to fetch the hickory, but came back with basswood. Only on the second try did he bring back hickory. Out of this Old Woman made a bow, and when it had been dried and hung up, she told her grandson to get some dogwood, the kind with gray bark. However, he came back with poplar. Only on the second attempt did he get it right. "Indeed," she said, "all this will be very difficult for you."
Later on, Young Man asked his grandmother for her elk horn club, which she gave him. He went out hunting armed only with her club. Soon he spied a big buck and hid himself in ambush. At the right moment he jumped out, but had to chase it down. Finally, he caught up with it and killed it with his club. Then instead of preparing the deer, he packed the entire animal back. Old Woman thought this was really funny, and showed her grandson how to properly pack a deer. Nevertheless, she was amazed at his prowess. The next day Old Woman said to her grandson, "Indeed it will be very difficult. Today you must kill a turkey so that we can use its feathers for the arrows." So he went out and killed two of them. She cooked the meat and blew up the skins, which she hung up to dry in the lodge. On the morrow she said, "Grandson, it is going to be difficult: we need a sturgeon fish [inset] for glue." She told him to go down to the river and gave him a bone awl to use as a hook. He cut a hole in the ice and dropped in his hook. Along came a likely looking fish, so he simply asked it, "Are you the kind that they call a 'sturgeon'?" "No," replied the fish, "I'm what they call a 'pickerel'. Sturgeons stay in the deep part of the river." So he cut another hole in the center of the river's ice and when a fish came along, he asked, "Are you what they call a 'sturgeon'?" He replied, "Yes I am." "Are there any more of you here?" he inquired. "No," replied the sturgeon, "but others are following after me." So Young Man killed two of them and brought them back to his grandmother. Old Woman told him, "Grandson, this is another kind of meat that is good to eat." Then she made glue and put the feathers on his arrows. Still they lacked arrowheads, so the next day Old Woman went to a certain man's house with a sack of acorns. These she traded for arrowheads. Soon she had a bunch of arrows each with an arrowhead affixed to it, but Young Man had no other way of carrying them except in his hand.
The following day he went out hunting with his new bow and arrows. He thought to himself, "I'll kill all kinds of animals with these." He put an arrow in the bow, then commanded the arrow, "Go!" To the complete puzzlement of the boy, the arrow went nowhere. He then tried putting it in the fork of a tree and commanding it to go, but to his dismay this didn't work either. So he trudged home thinking that he might as well throw them out. When his grandmother heard how he had tried to hunt with them, she thought it was pretty funny. She took the bow and fired an arrow at one of the inflated turkey skins hanging in the lodge. When he saw her do this, he understood at last how it was done. The very next day he went out and bagged a fine deer and with its skin he made himself a quiver. Thereafter, he hunted nothing but deer, and was so successful that his grandmother stopped collecting herbs and vegetables altogether.
Old Woman now went up to the bluff to cut some hickory, but this time she split it in two and made a lacrosse stick from it. Young Man had no idea what this was for, so she made a ball and showed him how the game went. "This is what men do when they gamble," she explained. Soon he got the knack of it and played so much that he neglected his hunting. One day he told his grandmother, "Today I am going to practice alone, and you must not under any circumstances watch me." Then he went off to the open prairies. Off in the distance Old Woman could hear the roar of a great crowd. "Who could all these people be?" she thought to herself; "and where did they all come from?" The crowd roared its enthusiasm again. Even though she had been told not to watch him, she could not resist taking a look. When she did look, all she saw was Young Man walking back by himself. No one else was to be seen anywhere. Without saying a word, he grabbed his bow and arrows and returned that evening with a deer. "I have interfered with your game," she confessed. He replied with a simple, "Yes." The next day he went forth to play lacrosse, and just as before there was a great commotion. Old Woman could not resist taking a peek, but when she looked, all she could hear was the whistle of eagle feathers on his head. The next day went as the previous two, so that on the fourth day the boy felt compelled to say something: "If you don't stop spying on me, you'll cause my defeat." Just then it began snowing, and the snowflakes were unusually large. "They are challenging you, grandson," she said, "and if you accept, you must tie me up before you leave." The next day he did exactly that. She could hear the crowd roar, and desperately tried to untie herself, but it was to no avail. In the evening she could hear people shout, "We have won!" Then her grandson, wet with sweat, entered the lodge. "Nephew, did you win?" she asked. "Yes," he replied, as he began untying her. After that victory, he stopped playing lacrosse, and went back to hunting.
One morning Old Woman said to him, "Grandson, it is now time that you practiced acting like a son-in-law." "So what should I do?" he inquired. "A son-in-law," she replied, "always drives a herd of elk to the edge of the village and kills them all. Then he packs only their tongues." So Young Man went out hunting for a whole herd of elk. When he spotted them, he felt xop (spiritual power) within himself, after he had driven the herd towards home, he killed everyone of them with a single arrow. When he returned home, he was packing only the tongues. Old Woman's heart was glad. "You have done well, grandson," she declared, "now you should get a woman for yourself." "How am I to do that?" he asked, "as there are no people anywhere in this region." She said, "Actually, there are many people nearby."
The next day he prepared to go out, but Old Woman said to him, "You don't look good in that bearskin blanket." Three times she adjusted his costume, and only on the fourth try was she satisfied. She dressed him in a white blanket with red leggings, and placed over his neck a gorget and a necklace of wampum. She gave him a stone pipe to carry and a fisherskin pouch with tobacco and kinnikinnick in it. Old Woman now instructed him on what he must do and what he could expect to happen: "You will head east at a run, and you will come to a prairie. Keep going until you reach a solitary bluff, then run as fast as you can right up the bluff to its summit. When you arrive at the top, yell koroč ("I win"). Someone will echo you perfectly, and when you turn around, there will be someone who is completely naked except for moccasins and a bow and arrows. As hard as you try, you will not be able to evade him — he will be with you everywhere. In the evening he will ask you to tell a story, and if you refuse, he will tell a story about what we are doing right now. He will help you and be your friend."
So the next morning he set out for the east and when he reached the prairie, he began to run. Eventually, he ran right up the bluff and yelled koroč when he reached the top. Just then someone else yelled the same thing. It was Naked One. "Look," said Young Man, "I was here first, so clearly I won." They briefly argued about the matter, then decided to sit down and smoke. Naked One proceeded to smoke black ash, while Young Man smoked his tobacco and kinnikinnick. When he smelled that, Naked One quit smoking. Young Man watched his expression, then gave him some tobacco, saying, "Because I said koroč first, I am giving you some tobacco!"
That morning, Young Man set out again, but Naked One, who wanted to go with him, asked him to wait up while he fixed a broken moccasin string. However, Young Man thought to himself, "This man is entirely too clever, I must find a way to lose him." So he shot an arrow far distant into a thicket of brush. Then he spoke something, and as he said, so it happened: and just like his arrow, he immediately landed in that same thicket. In the afternoon, he came to a big log, and there he hid himself. But Naked One did exactly as Young Man had done, and soon he was standing by the log, asking, "Why are you hiding?" Young Man replied, "Who says that I'm hiding? It is just a custom among my people to act this way."
They camped there and after they built a fire, Naked One went out to get them something to eat. He came upon a small mound and gave it a kick — out came a bear. When Naked One brought it back, Young Man put an arrow in his bow. Naked One said, "Don't touch this bear," but Young Man ignored him. Consequently, Naked One gave him the bear. Young Man accepted it and declared, "Because I said koroč first you have blessed me." Young Man singed the hair off the bear, and as he handled it, it became small, just like a red squirrel. Then he prepared a platform of sticks upon which to roast it, and as he placed the pieces of meat on the rack, they were restored to their actual size. Naked One stuck an arrow in the ground by the fire and said, "If you don't eat this whole bear, I will shoot you with this arrow." Young Man was pleased, and began steadily eating until he had consumed the entire bear. Naked One was pleasantly surprised and smiled at the thought. You claimed, "I said koroč first, yet I ate the whole bear. If you don't eat, it will look bad — so I'll go out and get something for you." He went out and kicked a little mound and a bear ran out. When he returned with the bear, he forbade Naked One from touching it, but Naked One disobeyed him. "Since you have not done as I have asked," said Young Man, "then you might as well keep the bear." Then Naked One handled it until it became like a red squirrel, but Young Man stuck arrows by the fire and said, "If you leave so much as a mouthful of this uneaten, I will shoot you with these arrows." Even though the meat was now restored to its former size, Naked One ate every bit of it. So now they were even.
As they smoked their pipes, Naked One said, "Why don't you tell me a story?" Young Man replied, "How could I, since I was the one who said koroč first?" "You know," said Naked One, "you're right — since I said koroč first, I should be the first one to tell a story." So he told this story: "Once there was a boy. His grandmother taught him how to run fast, then she taught him how to hunt. She thought she was holy, but the boy thought he was even more so. She taught him how to be a son-in-law, then dressed him in finery and sent him off to look for a bride. Just as she had told him, he came across a bluff, and when he got there he ran even faster to its summit. There he yelled koroč, but there was as naked man already there who yelled the same thing first. Then he fired an arrow into a thicket, and he himself did just as his arrow had done. He went off and hid, but the naked man did just as he had done and found him. He said, 'It is the custom of my people to do thus — I was not hiding.' Then they built a fire. Thus they were, and, ho ho!, that is where we are now!" "Is that all there is to it?" asked Young Man. Naked One reiterated, "It was I who said koroč first, so now you tell a story." "How about this," he said — "a young man with ten brothers ran away from home entirely naked, and although his brothers wondered how he could survive, they did nothing to stop him. Then he thought to himself, 'Why did I do such a thing?' but he was too ashamed to return. So he wandered in the wilderness. Then he saw a young man dressed to go courting and thought to himself how he might find a way to get some of that clothing for himself. He waited at the base of the bluff where the man ran up, but he could not beat him, and the other one was able to say koroč first."
Naked One thought to himself, "How indeed will I get some of that clothing?" He thought that he might take some while Young Man slept, but he stayed awake all night long. When the sun rose, Naked One fell asleep. Young Man saw that Naked One was asleep, so he arose and took off all his clothing and ran off with only his bow and arrows. Naked One awoke and saw him leave and yelled, "I said koroč first, so why are you leaving me?" But there was no answer. Young Man had gone some way when he found a pile of clothes in front of him. He began to put them on, when unexpectedly, there was Naked One, who declared, "I said koroč first, so why did you leave these clothes with me?" Young Man replied, "You are not an animal. How could I lead you to my bride when you are naked?" Young Man gave him some of the clothes. "It is good!" said Naked One, "and if someday it is necessary, I shall die for you. Nevertheless, you gave me these clothes because I said koroč first." When Naked One put on some of the clothes, the two of them looked almost exactly alike, except that Naked One's arrows had no feathers, and his bow was serrated on one side.
Off they went to the village where they stopped at the lodge of an old woman, who said, "Come in, grandsons!" She put down a new mat of bearskin for them to sit on. With her lived a young man, her grandson. She said to them, "You have come to court the chief's daughters." They both laughed and denied it. "Don't try to deny it — I know what you have come for," she said, "and as we speak his daughters are out gathering wood for me." Then she threw two small handfuls of beans into a little pot. The two young men thought to themselves, "We will have to go hungry today." Yet when they started to eat it, they found that it was so filling that they could not finish it. In order not to be discourteous, Young Man said, "We cannot eat it all, but we will give some to our friend here." The old woman's grandson took it, and swallowed all that was in the wooden spoon, and turned the bowl upside down.
Finally the three daughters of the chief showed up with the wood. They were Hinų, Wiha, and Aksia. The first one to enter was Hinų, but when she saw the men, she exclaimed, "Oh!" then quickly turned around and left. Then Wiha entered, put down her wood, and quickly left without a word. The last to enter was Aksia, who looked very closely at both men, and noticed that they looked the same, each with a single middle eagle tail feather on their heads; but that Naked One had a snakeskin headband, and their bows and arrows were different. She noted every detail, but when she went out, the other girls asked her what they were wearing. This annoyed her: "The idea of it!," she exclaimed, "you were there before I was." Without further discussion, they all went home to the chief's lodge with the exciting news.
The girls went inside the chief's lodge and sat to the side, gossiping about what had happened. The men were gambling, and [Mud] Turtle was one of them. When he overheard what the girls said, he realized what was really going on. Aksi whispered in her father's ear all that had happened at the old woman's place. Then Turtle said, "It's getting late." One of the players countered, "You're just saying that so that you can quit the game." "No, that's not it," he replied, "I'm expecting friends who should have arrived yesterday." "No," they replied, "no one is coming — you just want to quit." Turtle rejoined, "It is the custom for men to talk on late about some subject — that's what has delayed my friends." The chief remarked sarcastically, "You call everyone who shows up here your friend. That is what you always do." Turtle said confidently, "I'll wager all the stakes here that I can describe them, even though I have not yet seen them." This was accepted, and Turtle described what each visitor was wearing, down to every detail that Aksi had told her father. The chief generously pushed the wampum over to Turtle saying, "Those women are yours, I give them back to you."
Then Turtle left for his own home and there he instructed his wife to cook dried beaver meat with sweet corn. He set out for the old woman's place to fetch the two young men, but found quite a crowd there, everybody offering them food. In the distance the two young men could hear the sound of rattles, so they asked the old woman, "Who is that coming now?" "That," she said, "is none other than Turtle." They smiled. Turtle walked right in — "There you are," he said, "I expected you yesterday. Perhaps you were delayed." They smiled and replied, "That's it exactly." He took them back to his own lodge where he fed them and gave them much wampum. "You must spend a long time with us," Turtle urged. Then they all went back to the old woman's to spend the night. Turtle escorted them over to the chief's lodge, and while they stood outside, Turtle went in and said to the girls, "They consented." And sometime afterwards they returned to the old woman's place. The next morning someone named "Curly Hair" came over with an invitation, so they all went to his elk hide lodge where his wife Long Hair was waiting. Turtle told them, "These are our friends. We can stay here overnight if we wish." Curly Hair gave them wampum, and said, "This is what we gamble with. If you want to, you can join in the game." While they were there, they were again extended an invitation. This man too lived in a lodge covered with elk hide. They sat down for a meal of mashed corn and wild rice, a delicious dish that the two young men had never tasted before. Turtle told the young men, "This is another one of our friends." "Indeed I am," replied Trickster. After Trickster gave his visitors wampum, they departed. Naked One left during the night to visit the chief's lodge. When he returned, he said, "I have decided to marry Hinų." Young Man said, "I have a plan: let's take the old woman's grandson and let him sleep between us." So it was, and in the morning they made him a costume just like the one they were wearing: red leggings, a white blanket, and a fisherskin pouch. When the old woman woke up she was amazed not to find her grandson in his usual place by the door, so she went outside looking for him. When she got back the three of them were standing there dressed in the same kind of costume. "Grandmother," said Young Man, "which of us is the one who stays with you?" "He is," she said pointing to Naked One. When she was told of her mistake, she pointed to Young Man. When they showed her that they had placed her grandson in the middle, she was pleased. All three of them would get married: Naked One would marry Hinų, Young Man would marry Wiha, and her grandson would marry Aksi. That same night, they all married.
The next morning when they woke up, the old woman reminded them, "Sons-in-law should go hunting." "All right," said Young Man, "then go to the chief and get a bunch of arrows from him." She went right over to the chief's lodge and returned with a supply of arrows. So the three of them along with Turtle went hunting. Along the way they stopped to figure out how they would proceed. Young Man wanted to get a whole herd of elk, but Naked One and the grandson decided that they would go after bears. Naked One kicked a hill, and a bunch of bears came piling out. They killed all of them. The grandson shot into an old burnt out stump, and a bear stumbled out and fell over dead. Turtle went back to get help in packing one of the bears, and while he was gone, they killed six more. When Turtle arrived at the chief's lodge, he said, "My friends are acting like sons-in-law, and have killed so much game that they cannot pack it all. I would have been here long ago, in my younger days, but now I am old and don't move so fast anymore." The chief commanded the crier to order every head of a household to go out and help. Soon many men were out there helping, but it still took them all day. Young Man returned that evening driving a herd of elk before him. When he got near the village he killed them all, but packed only their tongues. The old woman came out to see what she could do, but she could not even carry the pack of tongues on her back. So he told the woman, "Grandmother, go tell them that the elks are just over the hill, and they can get them in the morning." Before nightfall, Young Man came back driving a herd of deer, everyone of which he dispatched. Turtle met him and said, "So you've decided to live here. I'm glad." "So am I," replied Young Man. Turtle added, "I'll help you," whereupon he took some moss and threw it against the river bank and it changed into beavers of all sizes. These too they brought home with them. They now had so much meat that they stopped hunting. Then Young Man went to live in the chief's lodge with his new wife.
Now the man eating (wáñgerúčge) Giants had come to challenge the people to gambling in which the stakes were life or death. Many people wept, for they saw little chance for victory. Turtle declared, "Have no fear, for I alone could handle them, but I now have my friends with me." The chief confessed, "I am out of my element here, so I shall leave everything up to you brave men." A Giant had come to see the chief, but Turtle had met him on the way and told him that they could all camp on the prairie as that would be a good place to play lacrosse. The Giant returned to his people and said, "A man told us to camp on the prairie, but I don't think he was really the chief." "Ha!" they said, "that's Turtle. He's a clever guy, and a difficult opponent." Back at the village everyone had gathered at the chief's lodge. Turtle said, "Let's listen to what these guys are saying. He then spread wood ashes on the ground and pressed his ear to them. He reported, "They say that they will have lacrosse sticks ready by morning." That morning the Giants showed up and said, "Let's play lacrosse." "That's fine," replied Turtle, "we have a pile of things here to wager." However, the Giants responded, "we don't have anything to bet against you." So Turtle called a conference, and invited Curly Hair and Trickster among others. Meat was served and tobacco smoked, as Turtle explained who the Giants were, and their sons-in-law who came with them. These were Red Fox, Red Tailed Hawk, Rough Legged Hawk [inset], Fisher, and Pretty Woman with Red Hair, who was a very fast runner. They decided to play Curly Hair against Red Fox, Naked One against Red Tailed Hawk, Trickster against Fisher, and Young Man against Pretty Woman. Then Turtle warned, "Trickster, whatever you do, don't do something foolish!"
The next morning everybody walked out to the prairie. They erected a pole and put their best clothes on it: these they would wager; but the Giants had an altogether different aim: "We will wager men," they declared. "If I'd known you were betting yourselves," replied Turtle, "I would have come by in the night and killed every one of you; but if you're game, then we'll bet half the village against you." It was agreed, and the Giants proposed further that they use their ball. The Giant's ball was a red stone sphere. Turtle was incredulous: "We can hardly use that — if someone got hit with it, they would be killed on the spot!" So they used another ball. The toss up was made, and Red Fox got the ball with Curly Hair in hot pursuit. When Curly Hair caught up to him, he cleaved Red Fox nearly in two. The Giants were outraged, and complained bitterly that this was a foul, but Curly Hair just picked up the body of Red Fox and threw it to the side with a curse: "Some of those with whom you keep company have caused the people great suffering. From now on you will hunt for mice." Red Fox jumped up alive, but ran off never to be seen again. "Your son-in-law has gone off to hunt mice," Curly Hair said contemptuously to the Giants. When the game resumed, Red Tailed Hawk took off with the ball, but Naked One clobbered him with his stick, then threw him to the side. "Earthmaker did not make you so that you could be a bane to humanity. From now on, you shall feed on snakes." With that, Red Tailed Hawk flew off and no longer aided the Giants. They began the game again, and this time Rough Legged Hawk ran off with the ball, but the grandson caught up to him and gave him a blow with his lacrosse stick, then threw him to the side. "The Creator did not create you for this purpose," he said, "so from now on you shall only eat mice." Then Rough Legged Hawk flew away and fraternized with the Giants no more. Once again they tossed the ball up, and this time Fisher ran with it. Trickster doggedly pursued him until he finally chased him up a tree. Trickster climbed the tree and knocked Fisher down with his stick. He threw the body to the side and foolishly declared, "For all time you shall have to eat honey whenever you find it!" Fisher ran away, but hardly felt chastised for his former allegiance.
The game started up again. This time Pretty Woman got the ball and ran off with it, but she did not get far before Young Man took it from her. Young Man wore bobs that covered his earlobes. These he now removed, revealing two living faces, one on each earlobe. The little faces grinned at Pretty Woman until she felt embarrassed. They began winking at her and sticking out their tongues. The Giants could stand it no longer, and fell down in fits of laughter. Pretty Woman laughed and laughed at the antics of the little heads, but while they fell into uncontrollable mirth, their opponents scored and won the game. So Turtle proceeded to kill all the Giants who had been wagered, except Pretty Woman, whom they took home with them. From that day forth, Young Man was also called, "Human Heads for Earrings."
When Turtle got home, he spread wood ash on the ground, and put his ear to it so that he could hear what the Giants were saying. They complained to one another, "If we had used our own ball we would have won." The next morning Turtle went out to visit the Giants. They told him, "This time we will play with our own ball," but Turtle refused to hear of it. The Giants pressed their suit: "We ask as the losing party, and as such our request cannot be denied." Thus Turtle had no choice but to agree. That morning they all assembled to play lacrosse again with lives as the stakes. The game began with the red stone being used as the ball. The Giants, pretending that it was an accident, flung the stone into the gallery of human spectators, killing many of them. Then Turtle got the ball, and he flung it among the Giants and felled many of them in turn. This made the Giants angry, so they took the ball and threw it with all their might right at Turtle. However, Turtle had a taut rawhide shield about him, and when the ball struck, it bounced back and knocked Giants every which way. So many were killed that Turtle said, "Say, that worked out well — why don't you throw it again?" Once again Turtle's team won the match, and killed the Giants who had been wagered. They took cattail down which they spread over the dead bodies, then set them afire until they burned them completely to ash. The Giants told Turtle, "We will dance tonight, and tomorrow we will return to play some game or other." Then the two sides went back to their camps.
Turtle and the crowd all met at the chief's lodge. There Turtle once again listened in to the conversation of the Giants by pressing his ear to the ashes on the ground. He could hear the water-drum, and the Giants said, "All our young people have fled, and now only we elders are left to answer the drum." The next morning, Turtle and his three friends went after the Giants. When they arrived at their village, they immediately killed the drummer. They ran after the others, but the trail came to a fork. They followed one branch and soon overtook the Giants ahead of them, killing every last one of them. Then they turned back to chase the others. Down the second trail, which led to the ocean. There by the seashore they caught up with the remaining Giants, killing all of them except a girl and a boy. These they spared with a warning: "Never again must you abuse the two legged walkers." Then Turtle and his friends returned to the village satisfied.
Not long afterwards, a son was born to Young Man. The chief said to him, "You have stayed here a long time, so your own people must be wondering what happened to you. You should go back home now to bring an end to their worry." So Young Man took his wife and Pretty Woman and traveled with Naked One back to the place that they last camped when they first came to the village. That morning as they were about to leave, Naked One announced, "Here we shall part, for here I shall make my home." So they parted company, and Young Man traveled on to his own village. When his grandmother saw him, she was very impressed with the child and with Pretty Woman.
Young Man went out hunting one day and brought back a bear. After he had singed off the hair, he told Old Woman, "Bring me your club." "What would you want that for," she asked, "has somebody done something wrong?" Young Man took two bowls of bear meat and set them on the table in front of Pretty Woman. "You have become accustomed to eating human flesh," said Young Man, "and if you do not eat all the food set before you, I will strike you with this club." He stuck the club in the ground beside him and watched her carefully so that she would not go outside. She ate everything, but suddenly jumped up and bolted for the door. She was a swift runner and ran as fast as she could, but unexpectedly, she found herself still in front of the lodge. She began vomiting. This went on for a long time, until finally she vomited up a piece of ice. It was this piece of ice that had caused her to eat people. From that time on, she was perfectly normal and ate what other people ate. Sometime later she gave birth to a son who was called "Redhorn."
After the birth of his second son, Young Man announced, "Grandmother, having made this country safe to live in, I have accomplished all that I came to earth to do. Now, therefore, I shall return to my spirit home." Then he ascended into the sky.1
Commentary. "basswood" — an interesting mistake, since basswood bark is used used in the making of rope, the string of the bow being an equally essential component of the device. However, bowstrings were not made of rope, but of sinew.
"the roar" — sound is often a symbol of light and conversely. Young Man, as we learn at the end of the story, is Redhorn. Redhorn, as Įčo-horušika, "Wears Faces on His Ears," is a fixed star, one that is almost certainly in the constellation of Orion. The roar is the great light of the vast crowd of stars, all of whom are assembled for the same activity on a flat surface (a "prairie"). This "prairie" is indeed far off.
"no one else was to be seen anywhere" — here we have sound for light. The stars are all silent, so in this scheme of symbolism, they are all invisible.
"without saying a word" — when a star sets (goes below the horizon), it seems to disappear into the earth. Thus the star "visit" or "returns" to Grandmother Earth. When this happens he does not say a word, in other words, using sound for light, he becomes invisible, that is, he disappears.
"interfered" — if there were no earth, there would be no horizon, and in the absence of an edge and limit to the celestial vault, there would be no setting, that is, no termination of the "game" that the moving stars are playing.
"the whistle of eagle feathers" — the eagle is a diurnal bird. As such we see him identified with the sky, as the Greek Zeus is often identified with both the sky and the eagle. As sounds go, the whistle (the sound made by an eagle) is weak in volume. Under interpretation, the whistle denotes faint light. The faint light of the bird of the day can only be twilight, here the twilight that occurs just at the setting of Orion. What Earth "sees," that is occludes, is all of Orion except the twilight that is visible just above the place of its setting. This defines a precise time of the year. This occurred as Orion sets on May 20, 1750 at 1925 hours (after sunset), and setting on Nov.25, 0700 (just before sunrise). At this time Orion defines at the head of its arrow, almost due west (about 268°). Rising on January 3 at 1630 hours, the "arrow" of Orion pointed straight up and lay exactly due east (90°) at sunset and it rises on July 10 at sunrise (0410). On the May 20 date, the setting Orion comes out of the light with its arrow pointing to the sun, which has just set. The sun becomes the "red horn" to the arrow. The evocation of the head is interesting since it is said of the Night Spirits that the last of them are the oldest since their heads are shown to be gray by the twilight of the approaching day.
"you must tie me up" — this is another important isomorph of symbolism: space for time and the converse. To be bound in space so that she cannot see Young Man, is to be interpreted as Earth being bound in time so that she cannot come into contact-absorption with his light (that is, occlude it). At a certain time of year (ca. January 2) Orion in which Young Man is a star, does not set. Symbolically, then, Old Woman Earth does not "see" him, and the game goes on for a long time. Finally, he "wins" because he cannot be stopped (occluded), which coincides with the fact that the Earth now cannot "see" him. The earth cannot move in relation to this star during the time that she is bound.
"he stopped playing lacrosse" — this is the "game" in which Orion is together with the other stars. However, about the time that Earth can hear only the whistling of the wind in the eagle feathers, ca. May 20, Orion returns to earth and stays there not rising again for about a moon. It is therefore exactly this period that Orion as Young Man has quit the sky of stars and therefore their game.
"Mud Turtle" — in the translation paraphrased here, a character is introduced called "Mud Turtle." There is really no doubt that this is the familiar Turtle (Kečųgega), and I have so translated his name in this version.
"the three of them were standing there dressed in the same kind of costume" — in the stellar code Young Man is one of the stars in the belt of Orion. In the story "Įčorúšika," Redhorn, the title character, is the center star, and his two brother are the flanking stars of Orion's belt. Here it appears that the grandson is the one who is in the center, flanked on either side by Naked One and Young Man. These three stars look alike, although there are subtle differences. When the three are said to be lying down together, this describes the time when the three belt stars of Orion set with the sun and define due west. They form a straight line almost perfectly parallel with the surface of the earth on which they appear to lie at sunset (May 20, at 1925 hours).
"go hunting" — Young Man is said to be the father of Redhorn, but he is himself Redhorn as well, since there is an inter-generational identity of these figures. In other stories, it is made clear that Redhorn is Chief of the Heroka, a race of diminutive hunting spirits. Normally, the chief is known by the name "Heroka," showing that Heroka and Redhorn are one and the same. Therefore, Redhorn will have the highest prowess in hunting, as the subsequent events demonstrate.
"moss and threw it against the river bank and it changed into beavers" — the turning of moss into beavers by throwing it in water is also found in "Old Man and Wears White Feather." The beavers are probably stars that stand out from the Milky Way background, the river here being a symbol of the Milky Way. For the Milky Way as a body of water, see "The Origin of the Milky Way," and the links and sources there.
"hunt mice" — in the episode where Curly Hair condemns Red Fox to hunt mice, he says to the Giants that their son-in-law is out hunting mice. This is meant as a humorous insult, especially against the fox, since (as we have seen) the son-in-law is expected to show his hunting prowess and to keep his in-laws well supplied during his tenure in their company. Mice will hardly fill the bill for the Giants.
The Code of Directionality. The three young men seem to be identified with the three dimensions (up/down, north/south, east/west), just as are Redhorn and his two sons (qv). The costume itself reflects the three dimensions. The up/down continuum is represented by the fisherskin pouch. It contains plants, tobacco and tree products (kinnikinnick) that are low to the ground, but which move upward in their growth. The fisher [inset] is a mammal which hunts by ascending and descending through the trees. The fisherskin tobacco pouch with its contents unites the upper and lower, the downward tending and the upward tending, to represent the up/down axis. What do the red leggings represent? Young Man is Redhorn, the horn in question probably being the sun. The sun defines the east/west dimension by its travel through the sky. Human beings travel by their legs, which in this case are clothed in the symbolic color of the sun (red). So the leggings correlate nicely with the direction defined by the "walk" of the sun. His sojourn inscribes an arc across the sky. So we find that Young Man (Redhorn) can turn himself into an arrow and travel in an arc very like that of the sun. Young Man's arrows have feathers whereas Naked One's have none at all. The feathers stabilize the arcing flight of the arrow against the effects of gravity, but to shoot an arrow straight up or straight down requires no feathers as stabilizers because gravity is parallel with the shaft, not at right angles to it. So Young Man is more essentially east/west than Naked One, and Naked One is more essentially up/down than Young Man. They both wear eagle tail feathers in their hair, a situation where the head = the tail. In an eagle, head and tail define forward/backward, whereas in humans, head and tail define up and down. Naked One is unique in having a snake headband which is identical with the high (head) and simultaneously with the low (serpent). Thus the high/low (up/down) axis is reiterated uniquely in Naked One. Naked One also has a unique bow, one with serrations on one side. What are these serrations, and how can they be understood under the theory that these three men are the three axes mundi? The arrow of Young Man is the axis defined by the path of the sun. The arrow is always launched at the same place on the bow, and it is the bow from which it is launched. Therefore, if the arrow inscribes the path of the sun, then the bow must play the role of the earth. This conclusion is reinforced by the fact that it is Old Woman — here identified with the earth — that sends Young Man on his way, defining the direction in which he is to go (towards the rising sun). The earth is not "serrated" from east to west, or north to south; the "serrations" of the earth are its hills and valleys, and they are only defined by the up/down axis. The sun not only goes east/west, but up/down. Naked One is his up/down arrow, and Young Man is his east/west arrow, and both these directions ("arrows") are defined by Earth and Sun.. This also explains why Naked One is naked. He is nude except for his mocassins and his bow and arrow. His arrow is naked, having no feathers. His headband is of a naked animal, the snake, which has no hair. These represent the nudity on which nothing grows. On the east-west axis and the north-south axis, the things of the earth grow, and so these directions are "clothed." The up/down axis having nothing growing on it, except where it penetrates the base (the earth), and this is symbolized by Naked One's mocassins.
Where do these two dimensions meet? They meet when the sun is at its zenith. The sun at noon has the least "echo" (shadow, the inverse "echo" of light), which defines both east/west and whether the sun is as straight up as it is going to get. In fact, in Redhorn's Father, the representatives of east/west and up/down, should reach the hill (= the high point) simultaneously: the perfect upward orientation of the sun occurs exactly when its east/west travel is also at its height. Thus both orientations reach the only hill at the same time and both are therefore entitled to say koroč. It is there that Naked One breaks a moccasin string. His upward definition is broken as the sun walks towards its setting. This is symbolized by Young Man turning into his arrow and disappearing. However, the nadir of the sun is just like its zenith, only the down/up axis meets the west/east axis at the low point of the sun's journey. It is here that Naked One eventually makes his home, as that nadir is a point through which the up/down axis runs. The myth interprets well under the assumption that Naked One is the up/down axis and Young Man is the east/west axis. Naked One marries the eldest daughter because creation began along the up/down axis, and only after that was the sun created. Under this general interpretation, who then is the third young man, the grandson? He can only be the missing north/south axis. The symbolism of the north, covered as it is in ice and snow, is the color white. The white blanket symbolizes this axis, an axis as well of cold and warmth for which the blanket itself is a symbol.
The Hočągara have appreciated the interchangeability and relativity of axes generally. They knew that directionality in space was arbitrarily fixed — only the dimensions themselves are absolute. Thus each axis is a twin of any other. They cannot be told apart when naked — that is, stripped of the defining role of the sun and earth. They cannot be told apart when fully dressed, since the garments that they wear symbolize every direction and axis. This is because axes can be rotated so that they become clothed in the defining garb once belonging to another axis. It is only when partly clothed that we can discriminate between them. Young Man is naturally well clothed, since that axis traverses the width of the earth. Indeed, it is Earth (Old Woman) who clothes him. Naked One, on the other hand, is largely above or below the earth, and is clothed mainly by air.
These triplets recall the three Belt Stars of Orion, the central one of which (Alnilam), I have argued elsewhere is to be identified with Redhorn. When these star rise in the east, they point straight up as with the arrow of Naked One. The highest one (Mintaka) is in the blue, the lowest one (Alnitak) is in the red. The first born has the color of the first born, the color of age (blue); and the youngest one has the color of youth (red). Alnilam, who is Redhorn, is in between (yellow/white). The stars rise almost due east, and set almost due west, but when they set, they lie almost parallel with the horizon. So when facing them, one is looking due west, and the line of Belt Stars is pointing south (Alnitak) and north (Mintaka). So in rising, these stars define the up/down axis, and their path from rising to setting defines an almost perfect east-west axis. In their setting, they show the north-south axis. In addition, Alnilam and the Sword Stars can also serve as a compass in another way. When Orion transits, a line from Alnilam through the Sword Stars will point due south (azimuth 180°). The following table is for the star Alnilam.
|Transit Time||Transit Altitude||Azimuth|
|December 21, 1750||2311||44° 50.7'||175° 39'|
|January 21, 1750||2104||44° 50.6'||175° 38'|
|February 21, 1750||1902||44° 50.6'||175° 38'|
|March 21, 1750||1712||Before sunset|
|April 21, 1750||1510||Before sunset|
|May 21, 1750||1312||Daylight|
|June 21, 1750||1111||Not in night sky|
|July 21, 1750||0913||Daylight|
|August 21, 1750||0707||After sunrise|
|September 21, 1750||0509||44° 50.7'||175° 39'|
|October 21, 1750||0311||44° 50.7'||175° 39'|
|November 21, 1750||0109||44° 50.7'||175° 39'|
So when the Belt Stars are at their highest point, about half way to the zenith, the Sword Stars point almost due south. Therefore, Orion can be used at various times to establish due east, west, and south. Consequently, in mythology, Orion is likely to be bound up with the mythology of direction.
Comparative Material: The tying up of Old Woman, who cannot resist the pull of temptation, is very similar to the episode in which Odysseus was lashed to the mast as they passed the isle of the sirens in the Odyssey of the ancient Greeks.2
The episode in which the grandmother cannot tell the three young men apart, is very similar to the Sanskrit story from the Mahābhārata about Cyavana's courtship of Sukanyā. The Aśvins (the Divine Twins) transform Cyavana so that he looks exactly like one of them and require Sukanyā to choose among them which she shall have as her husband. She makes the correct choice only because Cyavana covertly reveals his identity by signaling her.3
Links: Redhorn, The Redhorn Panel of Picture Cave. An American Star Map, Sons of Redhorn, Giants, The Sons of Earthmaker, Pretty Woman, Buffalo Spirits, Turtle, Earth, Fishers, Foxes.
Stories: mentioning Redhorn: The Redhorn Cycle, Redhorn's Sons, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Morning Star and His Friend, The Spirit of Gambling, The Green Man, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, cp. The Cosmic Ages of the Hočągara, Heroka, Redman; featuring the sons of Redhorn as characters: The Redhorn Cycle, Redhorn's Sons, The Adventures of Redhorn's Sons, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, The Seduction of Redhorn's Son; featuring Turtle as a character: The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Turtle's Warparty, Turtle and the Giant, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, Turtle and the Merchant, Redhorn's Sons, Turtle and the Witches, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Trickster Soils the Princess, Morning Star and His Friend, Grandfather's Two Families, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Kunu's Warpath, Redhorn Contests the Giants, Redhorn and His Brothers Marry, The Skunk Origin Myth, The Hočąk Migration Myth, Porcupine and His Brothers, The Creation of Man, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, The Father of the Twins Attempts to Flee, The Chief of the Heroka, The Spirit of Gambling, The Nannyberry Picker, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, The Markings on the Moon (v. 2), The Green Man, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Coughing Up of the Black Hawks, The Petition to Earthmaker, The Origins of the Milky Way; featuring Turtle's Wife as a character: Turtle and the Merchant, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, Trickster Soils the Princess, The Nannyberry Picker; featuring Giants as characters: A Giant Visits His Daughter, Turtle and the Giant, The Stone Heart, Young Man Gambles Often, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Morning Star and His Friend, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Old Man and the Giants, Shakes the Earth, White Wolf, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Roaster, Grandfather's Two Families, Redhorn's Sons, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Little Human Head, Heną́ga and the Star Girl, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Origins of the Milky Way, Ocean Duck, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Wears White Feather on His Head, cf. The Shaggy Man; featuring Pretty Woman (or a Giant princess with red or yellow hair): Redhorn's Sons (red hair), Redhorn Contests the Giants (red hair), The Hočągara Contest the Giants (red-yellowish hair), The Roaster (yellow hair), Morning Star and His Friend; mentioning foxes: Trickster Takes Little Fox for a Ride, Little Fox and the Ghost, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, The Scenting Contest, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans (v. 3), Little Fox Goes on the Warpath, Holy One and His Brother; about buffaloes and Buffalo Spirits: Buffalo Clan Origin Myth, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, White Fisher, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Woman who became an Ant, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, The Buffalo's Walk, Trickster's Buffalo Hunt, The Blessing of Šokeboka, The Creation of the World (v. 3), The Annihilation of the Hočągara I, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Red Feather, Wazųka, Holy One and His Brother, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse; mentioning fishers: Bladder and His Brothers, The Dipper; featuring sturgeons as characters: River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, Wolves and Humans, The Great Fish, The Twin Sisters, see also White Flower; featuring pickerels as characters: Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth; mentioning basswood: The Children of the Sun, Bear Clan Origin Myth (v. 3), The Big Stone, The Fox-Hočąk War, Hare Burns His Buttocks, The King Bird, Hare Kills Wildcat, Turtle's Warparty, The Birth of the Twins, The Messengers of Hare, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store; mentioning kinnikinnick: The Lost Blanket, The Old Man and the Giants, Woruxega, Peace of Mind Regained, Grandmother's Gifts; mentioning lacrosse (kísik): Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Morning Star and His Friend, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Roaster, Redhorn's Sons, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, The Shaggy Man, How the Thunders Met the Nights; 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, 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, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts; mentioning snow: Waruǧápara, The Glory of the Morning, Holy One and His Brother, Wolves and Humans, Grandfather's Two Families, The Four Steps of the Cougar, Brave Man, Bladder and His Brothers, The Old Man and the Giants, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Great Walker's Warpath, White Wolf, North Shakes His Gourd, The Fleetfooted Man, Lake Wąkšikhomįgra (Mendota): the Origin of Its Name, Witches, Shakes the Earth, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Trickster Gets Pregnant, The Raccoon Coat, Silver Mound Cave, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married; mentioning the Ocean Sea (Te Ją): Trickster's Adventures in the Ocean, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (v. 1), Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Trickster and the Children, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, Wears White Feather on His Head, White Wolf, How the Thunders Met the Nights (Mąznį’ąbᵋra), Bear Clan Origin Myth (vv. 2a, 3), Wolf Clan Origin Myth (v. 2), Redhorn's Sons, Grandfather's Two Families, Sun and the Big Eater, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4), The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father (sea), The Dipper (sea), The Thunderbird (a very wide river), Wojijé, The Twins Get into Hot Water (v. 1), Trickster Concludes His Mission, Berdache Origin Myth, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Morning Star and His Friend, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed.
Themes: spirits come to earth in order to rescue humanity from enemies who threaten their existence: The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Bladder and His Brothers, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Grandfather's Two Families, The Hare Cycle, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Raccoon Coat, Redhorn's Sons, The Redhorn Cycle, The Roaster, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Spirit of Gambling, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Trickster Cycle, Wojijé, Turtle and the Merchant; when a young man is sent out to get the material for making a bow and arrows, he fails to get the right things the first time: Hare Acquires His Arrows; talking fish: The Greedy Woman, River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, Trickster's Adventures in the Ocean; a man asks several fish in succession to direct him to something: Trickster's Adventures in the Ocean; a sturgeon talks to a man who not long afterwards catches a sturgeon: River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake; a young man who has never shot an arrow before, fixes it in his bow and orders it to go, then later places it in a fork of a tree and issues it the same command: Hare Acquires His Arrows, Morning Star and His Friend; a man forbids his female relative from looking at him when he is engaged in a secret activity, but she cannot resist the temptation and does it anyway to his detriment: The Markings on the Moon, The Man who Defied Disease Giver, Sunset Point; hunters kill so much game that they can only pack the tongues: The Twins Visit Their Father's Village, The Roaster, The Nannyberry Picker, Grandfather's Two Families; hunters kill an entire herd of animals: The Roaster, The Twins Visit Their Father's Village, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Nannyberry Picker, Snowshoe Strings, Morning Star and His Friend, The Two Boys; someone takes shelter in a hollow log (in order to escape enemies): Brave Man, The Man with Two Heads, The Shaggy Man, The Spirit of Maple Bluff, The Thunder Charm, Trickster Loses Most of His Penis; a man kills a game animal by simply striking the knoll (or stump) in which it is hiding: Bird Clan Origin Myth, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Trickster and the Children, Snowshoe Strings; description of a courtship outfit: The Seduction of Redhorn's Son, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Trickster Soils the Princess, The Dipper, The Nannyberry Picker; 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), The Red Man (face, sky, body, hill), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse (neck, nose, painted stone), 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 Nannyberry Picker (leggings), The Seduction of Redhorn's Son (cloth), Yųgiwi (blanket); two people look (almost) exactly alike: The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun, The Green Man, How the Thunders Met the Nights, Big Eagle Cave Mystery; a young man becomes angry and runs off into the wilderness without knowing what he will do there: Moiety Origin Myth; one small morsel of food when put in a kettle becomes sufficient to feed everyone present: Ocean Duck (bean), The Chief of the Heroka (deer tail), The Red Man (deer tail), The Raccoon Coat (kernel of corn), cf. The Lost Blanket (food > tobacco, kettle > tobacco pouch); men who wear a single eagle feather in their hair: Moiety Origin Myth, The Lost Blanket; (three or) four young women, one of whom is a princess, encounter a suitor while they are bringing wood to an old woman's lodge: Morning Star and His Friend, Trickster Soils the Princess, The Nannyberry Picker, The Two Boys, The Father of the Twins Attempts to Flee; Turtle interrupts his gambling game to go meet friends he says that he was expecting yesterday: Trickster Soils the Princess, The Nannyberry Picker, Morning Star and His Friend; a being has red hair: Redhorn's Sons, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (vv. 1 & 2), The Hočągara Contest the Giants, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Heną́ga and the Star Girl, A Wife for Knowledge, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle; a being has curly hair: Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle; contests with the Giants: Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, White Wolf, The Roaster, Young Man Gambles Often, Little Human Head, Redhorn Contests the Giants, Redhorn's Sons, Morning Star and His Friend, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Old Man and the Giants, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, Shakes the Earth, The Origins of the Milky Way, The Shaggy Man, Grandfather's Two Families; certain spirits help the Giants in a (lacrosse) game with human lives at stake because they have married Giant women: Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Morning Star and His Friend, Redhorn Contests the Giants, Redhorn's Sons.; Turtle overhears ordinary conversations at a remote distance: Turtle's Warparty; a spirit punishes a fox and its kind by condemning them to lead an inferior life: Įčorúšika and His Brothers; the bodies of Giants wagered in a game, are burned up using cattail floss as fuel: The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Roaster, Grandfather's Two Families; a spirit has faces on each earlobe: Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, The Dipper (hummingbirds), Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Morning Star and His Friend, The Hočągara Contest the Giants; something is caused to live again on earth by being thrown to the side (or over the shoulder) by a spirit (or ghost): The Journey to Spiritland (v. 1); anthropophagy and cannibalism: A Giant Visits His Daughter, Turtle and the Giant, The Witch Men's Desert, The Were-Grizzly, Grandfather's Two Families, The Roaster, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, The Lost Blanket, Young Man Gambles Often, White Wolf, The Shaggy Man, The Twins Get into Hot Water, Partridge's Older Brother, The First Fox and Sauk War, The Fox-Hočąk War, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, Morning Star and His Friend, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Seven Maidens, Šųgepaga, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Shakes the Earth, The Stone Heart, Thunder Cloud is Blessed; a game of lacrosse is played with a stone ball painted red: Spear Shaft and Lacrosse (red), Morning Star and His Friend (black); during a lacrosse game people are killed when they are struck with the stone that is being used as the ball: Spear Shaft and Lacrosse; a Giant (Wągeručge) princess has her game disturbed by her attraction to a hero: Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Roaster, Morning Star and His Friend, Redhorn's Sons; someone runs away at full speed, but despite running for some time, he finds himself only a short distance from where he started: The Father of the Twins Attempts to Flee, The Two Boys; someone has to guess the identity of a person from among a group of people all of whom look exactly alike: Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle; marriage to a yųgiwi (princess): The Nannyberry Picker, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Big Stone, Partridge's Older Brother, Redhorn's Sons, The Seduction of Redhorn's Son, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, The Roaster, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, White Wolf, The Two Boys, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Shaggy Man, The Thunderbird, The Red Feather, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, The Birth of the Twins (v. 3), Trickster Visits His Family, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Morning Star and His Friend, Thunderbird and White Horse, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, Shakes the Earth, The Nightspirits Bless Čiwoit’éhiga; marriage to a Giant: The Stone Heart, A Giant Visits His Daughter, Young Man Gambles Often, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Roaster, Redhorn's Sons, White Wolf; good people (and spirits) completely annihilate a race of bad spirits except for two, whom they allow to live (so that they do not undo the work of the Creator): Grandfather's Two Families, Sun and the Big Eater, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, How the Thunders Met the Nights, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Morning Star and His Friend, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle; Giants have ice in the pit of their stomachs: Young Man Gambles Often, The Stone Heart; Giants cease eating men after they vomit up an ice cube: Young Man Gambles Often; when someone throws moss into the water, it transforms into an abundance of beavers: Old Man and Wears White Feather.
1 W. C. McKern, "A Winnebago Myth," Yearbook, Public Museum of the City of Milwaukee, 9 (1929): 215-230.
2 Odyssey 12.1-200.
3 Mahābhārata 3.123; Jaiminīya Brāhmaṇa 3.123-125; Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa 188.8.131.52-12.