Snowshoe Strings

narrated by RS [Reuben StCyr ?]

Hočąk-English Interlinear Text

(1) There two men, brothers, were living. Every day they would do nothing but hunt, killing only bears. They say that the meat racks reached over yonder. Then when they were going on a hunting expedition, as they were hunting, a woman went there. As she entered the lodge with her ax and her bundle on her back, she chose a seat. She placed her bundle in the seat of the older of these two brothers. (2) Thus she did. She started to work and soon had the wood piled up high. Very soon thereafter, they came along talking. When they went in they said that they were very thankful. The older one said, "I am always with my younger brother and have no other associates, and we never take a moment to sit down, not until we were almost home would we look after wood. It is good. You've come to us because you took pity on us, new woman, that is why you have come." (3) She married the older one. This is the way in which she may have always done it.

BAE 37: 123  
A Pair of Hočąk Snowshoes  

Once when the younger brother arrived at night, this older brother was talking to a woman. That woman was saying, "What do you have for a body? What could kill you?" And the older one said, "We will not die from anything." And this woman said again, "Surely you must die of something." The younger brother became fearful. "It must be a bad thing that he has done in marrying her." (4) Then again once when he had arrived, the woman began asking the questions again. She was saying, "What would kill you?" She had gone and persuaded his brother, he thought. And he said, "We're using the snowshoes that we are wearing for a body. If one were cut for us we would die," he said.

The next day he went hunting. They went together, and they would always part in this way, it is said. When they went, he did this, it is said. (5) The woman got herself ready and when they went she went with them. When she got to the fork of the road, she went where the older one went. She went where he was up in a tree. She got to him. He was cutting into a bear. He had put his snowshoes on the ground, and when she got there, he saw her. He spoke with much pleading, but she cut the snowshoes. When she cut them, that man fell dead. (6) "They would call this one a great spirit," she said. They say that she liked his younger brother instead. And so she killed the older brother so that she could marry the younger brother. Thus she did, and she went back to the lodge.

When she got back to the lodge, she sat there next to where the younger brother would sit. And when the younger brother had gotten back to the fork in the road, his older brother had not yet arrived. The tracks of the woman went by there and came back again. (7) "Hoho, she must have killed my older brother for me," he thought. He went hunting for him. When he got there he was really dead, his eyes filled with ice, and when he looked at the snowshoe, he saw that she had cut this in two. There he sat. Again he tried it, and it became rejoined. And after that the brother came back and arose alive. Peacefully they went home together. That woman was placid when this younger brother and the other were talking. (8) She hurried up and taking her bag, she sat where she had been sitting. Then again she did this. When they started the hunt, she followed them and cut the snowshoe of the older brother. Again she went, and arriving there, she sat on the other side. The younger brother knew a branch of the trail and arrived there. And so he went to hunt for the older brother. He found him, the older brother, dead for real with his snowshoes cut. (9) It was not possible to fix it. He cried. He came home carrying his older brother. He arrived there. He threw that woman outdoors. Although she screamed, he hit her with his bow. After he struck her on the cheek, a long frog with long legs jumped away. "I am thinking of finishing you entirely. How could they ever say that I made you into a long frog with long legs? I did not do it to you," he said.

He picked up his older brother, wrapped him in a bearskin, and he put him outside on a platform. (10) Also he did not eat. When he got to his lodge, he laid down. As he was weeping, he said, "Wárakirakáni! my brother has spoken." When he spoke, he said, "Why are you crying? Arise and peacefully sit up. If you accomplish what I tell you, then as I once was, so I will be again in four nights, and so if you do not look at me for four nights, I will come back to life. If you fail, younger brother, a very miserable thing you will have done to me," he said. And they say that he did try. For the first three nights he was able to succeed. (11) Then at sunrise of the fourth day it was time to accomplish it, but just as the sun was about to come up, he looked, and was not able to obtain it. "Hohó, younger brother, I most emphatically said what I said that a most miserable thing would come about, and I am going already to the gathering place of the ghosts, there I am going."

He ran after his older brother. Then he went there to the west. (12) Finally, in the late evening, the younger brother built a fire. This one, uwoírakírakúni, the older brother, started a fire before he got there. The younger brother rushed to the fire, but when he got there, his older brother was nowhere to be found. This older brother had gotten into the water behind the fire. Again he came back there, and the older brother said, "What good thing am I going for that you are chasing me to see? You ought to turn back," and he turned back, but in the end he did not get him to. The fourth night of the four nights came again, but by the fourth morning after, the younger brother was played out. (13) There exhausted, he fell down.

A Squash Vine  

There a man lived where they had put in a crop and there the crop also fell down. The chief's daughters, the oldest one (Hanoi) and Weihai (the second born), were fasting. Weihai had been dreaming. She was dreaming of a man. She had knowledge of the fact that she would soon see him. Weihai reached the place where the crop was. When she came there to a squash field that was divided in two, this man walked by. He walked like someone who was drunk. Squash vines he broke here and there. His neckwear was scattered about. (14) He had wampum neckwear. Weihai picked them up. And then as he went, she followed him. He was at the lake. He would draw a breath only at long intervals. He was in very poor condition. And Weihai thought, "Is it this one that I have been dreaming about?" With great haste she went to the lodge. When she arrived, there was parched corn, and she went and pounded it. And when she was done, she made a corn soup. Her older sister did just this way: when she saw her she scolded her: "Why is this one doing this? The faster is handling food a lot." (15) Their father said, "She is your sister, so leave her alone. The reason she is doing it is because that's what she thinks best." When she had cooked the ground corn, in haste she ran to the other one there. When she took it there, in his throat, as he also bent over, he spilled it. Finally, with great difficulty, he swallowed it. The whole day she took care of him. At times she made what they were cooking, and when it ran out, she would make more. Now again the woman scolded her, but her parents took her side. Again, when she made some of what she was cooking, she took it over there. When she arrived, she did that way again when she got there. Eventually he recovered consciousness. (16) "What, are you conscious?" "Yes," he said. She remained there talking with him. When evening came, she tried to go with him, but he objected. "Of what account am I that I should go home with you?" he said, but even so, she kept talking until she persuaded him.

It was in the evening when she went with him. Once she took him home, he used to lay in the partitioned area. There they went back to. When they first entered the lodge, the woman always watched them. When she saw him she said, "What, has this one again brought home a ghost?" she said. (17) The father said, "What you meant to say to her at the lake, never do you cease saying to your little sister," and he said, "she thinks that she does it at the break of day when the men are sleeping." He said, "Is there not a spring of water there, one lying somewhere nearby?" "Here one lies. There we get our water," [Weihai said]. "Let's go over there, as I want to bathe," he said.

When they had gone a distance from there, he told her to sit. "Wait for me here, as I will be gone for some time," he said. When he got to the spring, he undressed and bathed. There, under the spring, went that amphibian. A Bear Waterspirit, this kind they say he was. (18) When he returned there to where he had come, there he fixed himself. He used to be handsome, but was much more so now. He took a lot of wampum back with him. He got one wampum strand beaded together, and a long white wampum cane, that's all he took back with him. Finally he emerged. When he came back there from the lake, the girl was crying. It was because she thought he would not come back is why, she was saying. The next morning when they woke up, the watcher, the older sister, raised the end of her covering and looked. There he was, the one whom she had called a "ghost." That man was very handsome. He distributed all that wampum among them. (19) The long white wampum was given to the old man so that he could use it as a cane.

When the village went on a hunt, they were not successful. The son-in-law spoke, asking for arrows. The crier was told, and he told them to gather some together. When they got a whole bunch of arrows together, they went hunting. They even went to the north side of the village. When he would shoot at a tree or stump, a bear would fall out dead. Having done that, when the sun stood straight, he set out for the other side of the village. A four-cornered herd of elk he drove back and brought them home near the village and there he killed them. (20) Soon he returned from the hunt. His wife said, "Jehu! you have come back already from the hunt." "Hee-haw," he said, and he added, "a little while ago a short distance from the village to the north, I killed some bears. And again when I was on the other side, I killed some elk. Everyone who is able to pack, carry them back." When they went, he said, "Crier send out the word." All those who were able to pack got ready. They would be going to transport it. Because the son-in-law did so much on the hunt, they did a lot of transporting. Thus they used to do.

Then in the night, this one — wisecracking! — the older brother, he spoke. He said, "Ha ho, o younger brother! I am exceedingly hungry, that is why I have come." (21) He woke up his wife in haste and told her to boil something. She slit up some bear meat and boiled corn with it. Then when it was cooked, she dished it into a big wooden dish and cooled it. Then she placed it before him. He spoke to him peacefully, but he did not see him. He ate it up entirely. And this one consumed the pipe that he had fixed for him. He spoke to him throughout the long morning hours, then day came and when he was about to go away, the younger brother wanted to go with him. Finally, he persuaded him.

(22) "We are not making our way there at all — if we did anything, you'd think it would be well. Step into my steps four times." He started to go back with him to a ghost lodge, and they would say that if it were there they would enter into it. He went in there to sit alongside his brother, there he started to go and sit, but his brother said, "Koté! there one is lying. You might sit on its face." So he looked to see if one was lying alongside the fire, and instead he rested his head. His face was sprouting grass. Finally, he started to go somewhere else to sit, but that's the way it would be. And he said to him, in just this way he said it, "Thus it is, why I said it, but you asked to come," he replied.

During the day, never was there anyone stirring. (23a) When evening arrived there, right away they began to whoop. Consequently, it began to get noisy. Then outside, women began to laugh greatly. After awhile, they began teasing him and they tried to pull on him. A little later again they tried the second one. Thus they did in four places. There were four dances. They started in dancing already. The younger brother bothered them as he wished to go and see them, and his older brother strictly forbid him, but when he came in the morning, finally he appeared to have consented. The older brother had one friend. Thus the three of them went together. The first time when some of them came to the dance, he thought it was fun. (23b) He saw that some of the women there were truly beautiful. They tried to dance with him. His older brother forbid him until he finally got him not to do it. On to the fourth dance they went. This was much more fun. Among some of the women there, there was a good one that he wished to go with. His older brother said, "Here, surely, they will persuade you. Try hard to make it, and try never to sleep," he said to him. As he watched them dance at the edge of the lodge, they kept asking him to dance with them, and from time to time, they would grab his arm and try to pull him. Finally, in time he thought he was persuaded. (24) He said to join in the dance. He thought that some of them there were fun. The second time he danced with two of them. Along near day, he was outside there with those women when they put him to sleep. Thus they did. They even twisted his mouth. They twisted his whole face, then ran away from him.

The next morning, when the sun had risen high, he awoke. Not being aware that his face had been twisted, he returned there where his older brother lived. His older brother said, "You have become a very handsome man. Look at yourself," he said, (25) and he gave him a looking glass. After he looked at this — hagiographers! — he thought that on account of what they had twisted, he did not look in any way human anymore. They had twisted his mouth to the side. His nose and even his eyes, all these had become like that. His heart ached, so he laid inside. All day long he did not speak, and his older brother arose and spoke in just this way, "When you tried to come, I forbade you, yet you persisted in coming." Then he fixed him. He had his younger brother touch his hand in ashes. He straightened him out and said to him, "O younger brother, can you make it possible for me to live? (26) My body will become like yours when you reach home. When you get home you must make a sweat bath lodge that is so strong that it is impossible to get out. Make a big stone that you'll use red hot, pouring on it four containers full of bear oil. When you get it ready, I will enter into it. By the time you reach the third container, I will begin to plead, asking you to open it up for me, but try to do it, encouraging our brothers-in-law and our grandfather and our grandmother, encouraging everyone, but whatever I say, they must not open it for me. When you use up the fourth bear stomach, I will become alive," he said. (27)

When he got back the younger brother got things ready. He made a very warm sweat house and he got a stone ready. Four bear stomachs full of bear oil he placed in the ready. When it had become evening, he told them that he had everything set. He encouraged greatly his brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and grandfather. He told them that if they were able to do it, the older brother who had died would be made alive. When evening came, he put the stone in. And so he did and covered the whole lodge. He made it very hot, and left open a spot only large enough to insert an arm. (28) The first time that he pressed out a bear stomach, his older brother groaned. The second time he pressed one out, he began to blow upon himself. The third time he pressed one out, he began begging. "O little brother, it was with difficulty that I came back to life, but now you will kill me. Brothers-in-law, he could do it," thus he kept saying. When he tried the fourth, he pleaded with his grandfather, "Hohó, my dear grandfather, you are the chief, so open it up for me, or they will kill me." "Ho," he said. The old man started up, but they held him in the center of the lodge. With some effort, he used it up. The older brother was alive. He came to him in the night. The younger brother [said], "What, my brother?" (29) He also did this: he took a woman to wife. He went on the hunt as well, this he did.

Here is the end of this sacred story (waiką).1

Commentary. "two men, brothers" — as will be shown below, these two brothers are symbolically Hesperus, the Evening Star of Venus (the elder), and the planet Jupiter. Inasmuch as both are planets and "hang out" together on the ecliptic, they are properly characterized as "brothers." The star that resembles Hesperus is his exact doppelgänger, Phosphorus, the Morning Star of Venus, yet he is not mentioned or represented at all in this myth. With his absence from consideration, Evening Star and Jupiter are the two biggest and most similar stars in the night sky, with the latter being the smaller, younger brother.

Starry Nights Software
2 October 1639
Evening Star and Jupiter Approach the Moon in the SS MW

"they came along talking" — by mapping this autonomy allegory onto the events of the myth, we can see by retrospection that story begins in 1639. Hesperus (another name for the Evening Star) and Jupiter and traveling along the ecliptic together while the Moon is seated in the center of the SS MW "lodge." This part of the MW is often homologized to a lodge, both here and elsewhere. As can be seen, these events take place on 2 October 1639. Several other earlier dates satisfy the allegory here: 28 September 1615, 24 September 1591, 9 September 1567, 5 September 1543, 2 October 1543, 1 September 1519; the dates from 1495 and prior do not work either because Jupiter is too close to the Sun, or Evening Star and Jupiter are too far away from the Milky Way. It may be noticed that the compatible dates are about 24 years apart. This is because it takes Jupiter about 12 years to complete a sidereal cycle (more precisely, 11.865 years), whereas Venus takes 8 years for its cycle to complete. The common factor of 12 and 8 is 24.

"you took pity on us" — the Spirits give humans blessings because they pity human mortality and suffering. To say this of a woman carries the intimation that she is in fact an incarnate Spirit.

"new woman (hinųgᵋček)" — the term hinųk-ček usually denotes the daughter-in-law, but as both Miner and Helmbrecht-Lehmann have confirmed, it also applies to "son's wife, grandson's wife, brother's or sister's son's wife (man or woman speaking)." Since, in this context, it refers to no element of this denotata, it is best taken literally: she is a woman new to their household. The older brother might wish to imply that she ought to marry his younger brother, but it is she who makes the choice, so that we might conclude that the older brother, in saying this, is just trying to be virtuous and courteous.

As the myth unfolds, it becomes clear that this is symbolically a "new woman": she represents the newly risen moon, the thin crescent barely visible in the west where Evening Star makes his home. We later discover that she is the first born female in her family, which is appropriate for the first moon to be "born" in the new month. She is of a dark character, both literally and metaphorically.

"this is the way in which she may have always done it (hožégų ’únąks’ášguni)" — as indicated by -šguni at the end of the sentence, the narrator is speculating. In many stories, certain bad spirits entrap unwary people by the same means over and over again, expressed by the penultimate suffix -s’a, which indicates repetitive action. The narrator thinks that the new woman is perhaps such a spirit.

Starry Nights Software
An Image of a Snowshoe Superimposed Over the Sagittarius-Scorpius Milky Way

"the snowshoes" — this footwear is, of course, designed to allow navigation by foot over deep snow so that a hunter can move more swiftly. That they are wearing their snowshoes shows that this is occurring well within winter with deep snow accumulation. In the primary allegory of this myth, it is the Milky Way that presents itself as snow. Inasmuch as the ecliptic passes through the most snow-like patch of the Milky Way, that in Scorpius-Sagittarius, so all the principals of the story must cross this bank of stellar snow, and since it does not slow them down, it is as if they were equipped with snowshoes. It cannot escape the most cursory attention that this segment of the Milky Way is an almost perfect image of a snowshoe.

"if one were cut for us, we would die" — this is another way of saying that they keep their souls in a secret place apart from their organic bodies. This is a familiar theme when dealing with evil spirits especially, such as Giants and others whose hearts or souls are stored somewhere outside their bodies. Destroy these storehouses, and the soul is liberated in the same way as it is upon the death of an ordinary person's body. It is precisely in this way that the snowshoes can be thought of as his body proper.

"she went with them" — all three of them are moving in the same direction up the ecliptic towards and into the Sagittarius-Scorpius Milky Way.

"the fork of the road" (Depicted Below) — the Hočągara, as with perhaps most tribes, believed that the Milky Way was the pathway of souls. Therefore, it was not only homologized to a road, but was taken to be one literally. At the Sagittarius Milky Way there is a long dark cloud known as the "Great Rift" that cuts through the roadway of stars here. The result is the illusion that the pathway of stars branches into two "roads." Certainly, the lower terminus of the Great Rift defines the fork of two roads; but where the figures in this story tread is over the ecliptic, and the road that they cross also forks around the star 3 Sagittarii, making it the Milky Way bifurcation relevant to this story.

Starry Nights Software
The Events of 26 October 1650, with the Image of a Black Bear Superimposed over the Great Rift
The Older Brother (Evening Star) Cutting into a Bear (Great Rift) up a Tree (Milky Way),
Followed by the Woman (Moon) and His Younger Brother (Jupiter)

"tree" — the Sagittarius Milky Way at sunset is nearly 90° to the horizon and therefore is standing upright. It looks like a poplar or pine and is consequently homologized to a tree.

"a bear" — the illustration shows a black bear superimposed over the Great Rift, the dark cloud that cuts vertically through this part of the Milky Way. As a tree climber, the black bear in particular its nicely into the dark rift in the center of the Milky Way "tree." Almost literally, from the standpoint of naked eye astronomy, Evening Star is cutting into the "bear" (the Great Rift) as he progresses up the ecliptic.

"he spoke" — again, this is likely an expression of sound for light. Just before Evening Star "dies," starting his fall from the sky slows his eastward motion (January 6, 1651), he reaches his maximum brightness of -4.66 apparent magnitude, holding this until January 15, when he becomes ever dimmer as he free falls to the horizon. Therefore, as he is in the tree of the Sagittarius-Scorpius Milky Way, his voice is heard most clearly right up to the time he is "killed" by the Moon and plummets from his greatest height in the sky (29° 41.55' altitude, 12 January).

Starry Nights Software
The Moon Cuts the Snowshoes at the Fork in the Road Near the Ecliptic
27 - 29 October 1650

"she cut the snowshoes" — since the Moon is in the foreground, she cuts across the Sagittarius-Scorpius Milky Way and in the process eclipses everything in her path. Since she cuts across the Sagittarius-Scorpius Milky Way, she is cutting the external body of Evening Star while it is planted in the ground (partly below the horizon).

Starry Nights Software
The Celestial Path of the Evening Star
1 December 1650 - 12 February 1651

"that man fell dead" — this does not occur immediately, however. On 21 January, Evening Star begins moving westward (RA 22h 16.18m), in the direction of the land of the dead. The celestial path of Venus shows Evening Star falling from the sky until he disappears into the glare of sunlight. Venus achieves conjunction with the Sun (both at RA 21h 44.774m) at 0802 hrs., 12 February 1651. By then, the older brother is clearly dead. The demise of Evening Star would have been more immediate had the date of 25 November 1639 been used, but at that time the Moon cut above Venus and also failed to cross the fork in the road which also lies below the position of the planet in the Great Rift. Furthermore, at this alternative date, Venus goes into retrograde motion ("falls") prior to the arrival of the Moon in the area. As a result, this date seems to be the only one that will fit the allegory of the narrative, despite the shortcoming.

"a great spirit" — this Great Spirit is Evening Star, known otherwise as "Bluehorn" and "the Red Star." In all of his myths, he is the victim of his twin brother, Morning Star, who cuts off his head and takes it with him as he courses across the heavens. In several different myths and versions, Evening Star is restored by his nephews, the Twins (Ghost and Flesh). Therefore, among the Great Spirits, he is the one who seems the most impotent, although in reality, his powers are exceedingly great. This apparent impotence inspires the lunar woman's sarcastic and ironic remarks. In this story, the brother with whom he is paired is not his twin Venusian complement, Morning Star, but the next most prominent "star," Jupiter. Morning Star could have worked in most of the allegory, but could not be used because his theology pits him against Evening Star: Morning Star is the patron of the Thunderbirds, and arch-enemy of the Waterspirit Bluehorn.

"when the younger brother had gotten back to the fork in the road" — this occurred on 2 December 1651. At this time Venus is in conjunction with the Sun ("dead"). However, the planet is then beginning to emerge as the Evening Star.

Starry Nights Software   Starry Nights Software
19 January 1652
The Conjunction of Mercury with Evening Star
While Jupiter is in the Sagittarius-Scorpius Milky Way
  15 March - 5 December1652
The Retrograde of Jupiter into and
Out of the Sagittarius-Scorpius Milky Way

"his eyes filled with ice" — on 19 January 1652, as Jupiter is still traversing the Sagittarius-Scorpius Milky Way, Evening Star emerges into the night sky, with 12° 33' separation from the Sun. At just this point, the planet Mercury comes into conjunction with Venus. This not only happens in the dead of winter, but the little white planet passes close enough (16.5') to seemingly merge with Venus, giving the Evening Star icy eyes. The apparent magnitude of Mercury at this time is -1.01, which is towards its brighter end, since it is near its full phase with 88.3% of its disk illuminated. When it was full on New Year's day, its apparent magnitude was -1.21. Mercury is best seen 45 minutes before sunrise or sunset. At that time (0544 hours) it had an altitude of only 54.5', but with an azimuth of 243°, a little south of due west, it could be seen in villages on the east bank of Lake Winnebago, or from Red Banks looking in that direction across Green Bay. One might expect that so close a conjunction with Evening Star would have given Venus an odd supplemented appearance, even earlier in the evening. Mercury remained close to Venus on the next day as well. At 24 year intervals, we find that on 27 January 1580 that the closest that Mercury got to Evening Star at sunset was 5°, but its apparent magnitude was only 2.67. However, on 2 February 1532, Mercury was a mere 8.5' from Venus and much brighter a -1.30 apparent magnitude, being nearly full (94.64% disk illumination). Forty-five minutes after sunset, its altitude was actually 46' below the horizon. However, at 0601 hours, it was at a comparable altitude of 52' at a time 37 minutes after sunset. On the whole, this date may have yielded comparable viewing conditions than those of 1652. All other relevant dates failed to yield a conjunction of the two planets as required by the allegory, and therefore can be ruled out. The close conjunction with Mercury is rare enough to leave us with only two viable starting dates for the allegory: 1508 and 1639.

Brian Brondel
The Cause of the Apparent Retrograde Motion of a Planet

"there he sat" — since planets do not move in lockstep synchrony, as one planet passes another, the planet being viewed against the backdrop of fixed stars appears to move in the opposite direction from its former course. This is called "retrograde motion." After a period in which it moves backward, it then appears to reverse its course and move forward again (direct motion). At the moment of its greatest right ascension, when it is caught between direct motion and retrograde motion, a planet will appear stationary, rather like a ball thrown in the air will be motionless at the point in its trajectory between its upward and downward motion. These apparent stopping points were known as "stations."2* As Jupiter passes through the Sagittarius-Scorpius Milky Way, he arrives at a station point as he begins to undergo retrograde motion (maximum right ascension, RA 18° 55.56', 29 April 1652).

"again he tried it" — as of 29 April 1652, Jupiter in retrograde motion heads back into the "snowshoe" that is the Sagittarius-Scorpius Milky Way, then resumes direct motion, sewing it back together again, as it were. By September of the following year, they are both back in the night sky.

Starry Nights Software
12 April 1657, Jupiter and Evening Star Approaching the Taurus Milky Way Together

"they went home together" — on 27 December 1653, Evening Star and Jupiter are in close conjunction again. By 12 April 1657, they are beside one another moving towards the Taurus-Gemini Milky Way. Through retrograde motion, both Venus and Jupiter are together again on 15 August 1657 at this same part of the Milky Way, but as morning stars. They are even there briefly on 15 June 1658 as evening stars.

"the younger brother knew a branch of the trail and arrived there" — he arrives at the right branch of the trail previously mentioned on 2 November 1663. On the fifth of this month, the Moon completes her cut of the Sagittarius-Scorpius Milky Way, and immediately the next day, Evening Star reaches its maximum right ascension (16h 42.149'), then falls from the sky "dead" in retrograde motion.

Starry Nights Software
The Events of 19 Nov. 1675
The Younger Brother (Jupiter) Casting the Woman (the Moon) Out of the Lodge

"outdoors" — here the Milky Way is treated as the lodge. In any case, the Moon is cast away and moves quickly out of the area.

"screamed" — the Moon is gaining in light every night as it leaves the Sun and the horizon, here expressed once again by the use of sound to symbolize light.

Starry Nights Software   Stalway
21 November 1664,
Jupiter Strikes the Cheek of the Moon
  The Milky Way Bow

"bow" — the Milky Way forms a bow in the sky, and as the face of the Moon passes over it, its edge strikes its cheek. On 21 November 1664, Jupiter was in conjunction with the waxing sliver of a Moon, thus making contact with her right at the edge of the Sagittarius-Scorpius Milky Way.

The Crescent Moon as a Jumping Frog

"a long frog with long legs jumped away" — a long frog with long trailing legs, when it jumps, forms a crescent with its body. Since the woman is a moon, and at this point in the action is a waxing crescent, it is appropriate that she be seen in this form. The moon, night by night, hops away from the scene of action. Because this take place from one night to the next, with an intervening day, it is like hopping, which motion consists of sailing through the air, landing, then resetting before repeating the process. This is like the moon, which glides through the night sky, stops for the day, then resumes its flight the next night, hopping from one day to the next. Frogs have other points of resemblance to the Moon. Like the Moon, they pass through a process of metamorphosis. The Moon is universally associated with water making it similar to an amphibian. Like a frog, it "hibernates" periodically during the "luna silens." Given the symbolic connection between light and sound, the Moon makes a great noise of light during the night, just as frogs do in a literal way. As the Moon passes over stars, it "eats" them, the stars being in proportion as insects are to frogs, who eat them as their primary diet.

Starry Nights Software
27 November 1664, Evening Star Wrapped
in a Bearskin and Placed on a Platform

"wrapped him in a bearskin, and he put him outside on a platform" — on 27 November 1664, Evening Star resides in the Great Rift, which, as we have seen above, is homologized to a bear. Thus he is figuratively wrapped in a (black) bearskin, and put in what we have already seen to be a metaphorical tree, and inasmuch as the platform was in a tree or resembles one by being both elevated and made of wood, Evening Star can therefore be said by virtue of his position in the Great Rift to have been placed on a platform.

"when he got to his lodge, he laid down" — Jupiter's lodge is located on the other branch of the Milky Way, the Taurus-Gemini side. Jupiter finally reaches this point (just barely) 28 September 1668. At this very time and place, Jupiter undergoes retrograde motion with a maximum right ascension of RA 4h 40.328m. This is a station point where Jupiter is poised between direct and retrograde motion, which is to say, at apparent rest. Thus, he "laid down."

Starry Nights Software
5 July 1669, Jupiter Rising in the Morning While Evening Star is with the Sun

"arise and peacefully sit up" — Jupiter, having been with the Sun along with his brother Evening Star, now begins to rise in the morning. On 5 July 1669, Jupiter has over 15° angular separation from the Sun at sunrise, and so should be visible as a morning star. Therefore, Jupiter "arises and sits up" in the east.

"I am going already to the gathering place of the ghosts" — as Jupiter rises and sits up, Venus, however, is still in conjunction. It is not until 21 July that Evening Star can get over 5° separation from the Sun. So, in four days from 5 July, at sunrise, Evening Star had not arisen from the dead. Evening Star is now moving west in relation to Jupiter. It is in the west, the land of the setting sun, that the land of the dead is found.

"he ran after his older brother" — inasmuch as Jupiter is generally moving the same direction as Venus on the ecliptic (retrograde motions aside), although at a far lesser speed, he is therefore following Evening Star. Although Jupiter is in the east and Evening Star is in the west near the setting sun, that Jupiter was following Venus could be appreciated not only by the track each is making through the background stars, but by the fact that they eventually come into conjunction with one another. With Venus and Jupiter leaving the Taurus-Gemini Milky Way, the next scene of action takes place in the Scorpius-Sagittarius Milky Way.

"west" — Evening Star finally separates itself from the Sun and now is visible in the west at night (ca. 21 July 1669).

Starry Nights Software   Starry Nights Software   Starry Nights Software
28 November 1675
Jupiter Builds a Fire,
but Evening Star's was First
  13 December 1675
Jupiter Rushes to the Fire
  21 December 1675
Evening Star's Back is in the "Water"
Jupiter Passes Him While He is Invisible

"a fire" — Evening Star is, of course, nowhere to be seen as the Sun, here naturally homologized to the camp fire, creating the impression that this is the fire made by Jupiter. Such was the state of affairs on 28 November 1675.

"the older brother started a fire before he got there" — Evening Star, which had reached a little over 7° angular separation from the Sun on 21 December 1675, was probably visible by then. It was also obvious enough that it had been on the evening side of the Sun for some time, but owing to the glare, could not be seen. After the fact, given the rapid rise of Evening Star from conjunction, all this could be easily deduced. Therefore, Evening Star had built the fire first, obscured by the fact that he could not be seen.

"rushed to the fire" — it is actually the Sun that rushes towards Jupiter, but given the relativity of motion, it could be described in the converse way.

"his older brother was nowhere to be found" — 28 November 1675, Venus is with the Sun and not visible. Jupiter rushes towards the Sun and by 13 December 1675, has probably disappeared from view as the Sun swallows him up. However, on this same date, Evening Star, who is starting to gradually emerge from conjunction with the Sun, has just under 5° angular separation from the Sun and is probably not visible. On the next day, Jupiter and Venus are in conjunction, separated from one another by 43 minutes of arc, but neither of which is visible; yet it would be clear by their positions relative to one another a couple of weeks later, that they must have passed one another at the "fire." Since they were both invisible, allegorically, they did not see one another.

"the water behind the fire" — when Venus emerges as the Evening Star, he does so while he is just still inside the Scorpius-Sagittarius Milky Way. This is, as it so often is, homologized to water in conformity with its origin myth.

"he turned back, but in the end he did not get him to" — after following Evening Star for some time, Jupiter finally falls into retrograde motion, his right ascension reaching its maximum of 19h 37.530m on 9 May 1676. Yet, of course, this change of heart and direction does not last forever, as Jupiter resumes direct motion on 7 September 1676 with a minimum right ascension of 18h 55.451m.

"he fell down" — measured at sunset, Jupiter gains altitude in the sky, reaching its greatest height at 25 October 1676 with an altitude of 24° 0.132'. After that, it declines steadily until around New Year's Day, 1677, it disappears into the glare of the Sun.

Starry Nights Software
18 April 1680
Jupiter on the Taurus Side of the Milky Way, Approaching Where the Crops Fell

"the crop also fell down" — it will become clear that the village where this crop fell is in the east, and that the crop represents the Taurus-Gemini Milky Way, which is usually in an upright position like a set of corn stalks. One gets the feeling from the narrative that the fall of Jupiter and the fall of the crops occur about the same time, but this is only trivially true, in that later in the night the Taurus-Gemini Milky Way falls over from its upright position to recline parallel to the horizon. However, the time of the year in which this occurs around sunset is in late spring and early summer. Jupiter, having left the Scorpius-Sagittarius Milky Way, is now traveling to the other side of the celestial sphere towards the Taurus-Gemini Milky Way. Given that the Jupiter Cycle is 12 years, it would take about 6 years to reach that part of the Milky Way on the opposite side of the sky. Jupiter was approaching the Scorpius-Sagittarius Milky Way in early 1675, and we find that 6 years later, in early 1681, it is approaching the Taurus-Gemini Milky Way. Inasmuch as this myth is about the "snowshoes," the two sections of the Milky Way (west and east), what happens in the space in between is not of any particular interest to the mythographers who fashioned this allegory. This is probably because these two segments of the Milky Way offer very clear reference points from which to track the interaction of Jupiter and Evening Star.

"second born" — Wihą is, like her sister, a moon; but unlike her sister, she is a moon born much later. As will be seen below, contrary to her morally and physically dark sister, Wihą is a fuller, brighter moon.

"a squash field that was divided in two" — the pattern of planting was known generally as "the three sisters." The corn stalk was at the center, and beans were planted around it so that they could use the stalk as a trellis. Then circling the beans and corn were the ground lying squash vines whose function was to keep moisture in the soil. The Taurus-Gemini Milky Way rises vertically when Jupiter is in its vicinity, and its path cleaves the surrounding stars in two, thus recalling the three sisters pattern, with bright stars within the Milky Way forming the beans, and the stars surrounding the Milky Way comprising the squash field.

Clipart Kid   Starry Nights Software
The "Three Sisters" Planting Scheme   27 June 1680 - 1 June 1681
Jupiter's "Drunken" Retrograde Motion

"drunk" — this is a dead giveaway that the allegory is referring to a planet, a star that wanders across the fixed landscape. Since planets do not move in lockstep synchrony, as one planet passes another, the planet being viewed against the backdrop of fixed stars appears to move in the opposite direction from its former course. The alternance between direct and retrograde motion makes it look like the planet is staggering back and forth like an unsteady drunk.

Jupiter has a sidereal period of 4,332.589 days, which is 11.86 years. The Venus Cycle is of 8 years duration, so the two cycles of Jupiter and Venus coincide approximately every 24 years, with Jupiter and the Evening Star returning to the conjunctive starting point. The entire myth is based on this cycle.

The dates selected were in the XVIIth Century. This is arbitrary, but the starting point in the sidereal period is set by the myth. We are told that the Jupiter figure, the younger brother, as a Waterspirit, had his residence in the lake referenced in his regeneration episode. This corresponds to the Milky Way at Gemini-Taurus (see below).

"squash vines he broke here and there" — in Jupiter's 12 year course, when it reaches the opposite side of the Milky Way at Taurus from Sagittarius, it meets a moon that is born later in the month, age here being calculated from the time of the month at which this moon rises. Here the upright Taurus Milky Way is homologized to an upright corn plant, and in the Three Sisters planting scheme, the squash vines wind their way around its base. It is there that Jupiter undergoes its retrograde motion, staggering over these vines and cutting across them ("breaking" them). He has been moving in the direction of the place at which this moon is situated from the Pleiades region.

"he had wampum neckwear" — wampum belts and necklaces were made from beads, usually of seashells. These beads were generally rounded, and therefore have some resemblance to the stars scattered around the periphery of the Milky Way. The idea of a wampum necklace naturally comes to mind when the planet is identified with a Waterspirit, since the beads derive from the sea.

"Wihą picked them up" — as a Moon she passes over these wampum-bead-stars and picks them up as she eclipses them.

"she followed him" — the Moon also follows the ecliptic and comes in from behind Jupiter and therefore is following him.

"the lake" — this is the Taurus-Gemini Milky Way, again homologized to a body of water.

"draw a breath" — in Hočąk, ni-haji-kara-ak-še. Ni means "to breathe"; haji, in this instance, means "to begin"; -kara- means "one's own"; -ak, the lying positional suffix; and -še, a suffix indicating that the sentence that it terminates is hearsay. However, ni also means "water," and haji more often means, "he came to." Thus, the whole sentence could mean, "he came but rarely to his own water." As we have already observed, he arrives at each limb of the Milky Way at 6 year intervals.

Starry Nights Software
5 December 1687
Jupiter Resting in the Partitioned Area

"the partitioned area" — this could only refer to the opposite end of the Milky Way, the Scorpius-Sagittarius Milky Way, since the Great Rift partitions it into two. Its wider, oval shape makes it easier to homologize into a lodge, a value that it has had in a previous episode. Within an hour, both the Moon (Wihą) and Jupiter set, so for them it was late, although sunset occurred at 16:23 hrs.

Starry Nights Software
9 April 1693
Jupiter Poised to Enter the Milky Way Spring While the Moon Waits

"a distance from there" — once again Jupiter traverses the vast distance between the two limbs of the Milky Way, a journey of about 6 years. The spring into which he is about to dive is the Taurus-Gemini Milky Way, and the Moon sits at a distance as Jupiter is poised to enter in.

"under the spring" — Spirits, especially of the zoomorphic variety, typically enter into the nether Spiritland through springs.

"amphibian (kewánôñga)" — the word kewánǫga is for kewánąka, the suffix -nąka acting like a definite article ("the, this, that"). So far, the word kewá has not been found by itself. It does, however, exist in compounds. Kewáxgu denotes a frog or toad, the meaning of xgu is not clear, but compare the emphatic xguxgú, which means, "scaly" (Lipkind, Miner, Helmbrecht-Lehmann), and "to be crusty, to be caked with dirt" (Helmbrecht-Lehmann). Ke by itself usually denotes the turtle (Radin, Marino, Miner, Helbrecht-Lehmann), although it may perhaps be used for the frog as well (Marino). That ke had a more general meaning is suggested by the more standard word for turtle, kečąk, which means, "the true, greater, or real ke." Kewa- is also ambiguous between frog and turtle: kewaxgu is the frog or toad, but a kewašoročge is a box turtle; yet in our story, kewa has been extended to a Bear Waterspirit. The only thing that this new denotata has in common, is the ability to transition from land to water and back again. I've chosen the term "amphibian" to denote those who possess this characteristic.

"Bear Waterspirit" — a Hųč Wákčexi is more fundamentally a Waterspirit than it is a Bear Spirit. Waterspirits are the spiritual essence that underlies the substance of water. Consequently, they typically dwell in water, although they have vast underground caverns and tunnels through which they traverse the world. A Waterspirit is characterized most particularly by a very long tail (a symbol of water channels), and a pair of horns, usually branching (symbolic of both tributaries and fecundity); it also has an unusual scent sack, which emits a foul odor, but out of which powerful medicines for good or ill can be concocted. The Waterspirits are mortal enemies of the Thunderbirds, and only come out when the dangerous gray clouds are not seen in the sky. At this time they may sun themselves in a solitary place. Thus Waterspirits are associated with the blue sky, white clouds, and the sun, whereas the Thunderbirds have the opposite associations. Thunderbirds come in all kinds of avian varieties: hawks, kites, eagles, and others; likewise, in addition to Bear Waterspirits, there are also beaver, deer, elk, and panther varieties. Just as the Elk Waterspirit has many of the attributes of an elk, most particularly its branching horns, so the Bear Waterspirit has tufts of ursine hair and other attributes associated with bears.

When we are told that the younger brother is a Bear Waterspirit, what is meant is that he existed as such a Spirit and at some point decided to be reborn as a human being, since our life has attractive aspects to it from the standpoint of the Spirits. Usually, however, it is more than this. Many Spirits come to live among the humans in human form because they have a mission to accomplish, usually to defeat the forces of evil that are preying upon the human race and therefore adding a discordant element to the creation over which the Spirits have some control.

In the astronomy allegory, the spiritual essence or soul (nąǧírak) resides in the "snowshoes" which are the two limbs of the Milky Way. They are said to be the external body of Evening Star and Jupiter. In the origin myth of the Milky Way, this stellar mist that runs across the sky was said to have been put there when some of the primordial sea was splashed by certain Spirits into the sky. So the Milky Way is in essence water. The spiritual essence of water is the Waterspirit, as one source remarks, if there were no Waterspirits, there would be no water. Therefore, the two stars who have their spiritual essence in the Milky Way, have the same spiritual essence as water. Therefore, these two stars must be Waterspirits. Hesperus and Jupiter do have ursine qualities as well, since they climb trees (the Milky Way), cross water (again homologized to the Milky Way), and go underground (by setting), and hibernate (solar conjunction). There are other reasons for Evening Star and Jupiter to be associated with the Bear Waterspirits, as will be discussed below.

"where he had come" — it is clear from this context that in his Spirit life as a Bear Waterspirit, the younger brother had been the Waterspirit of this lake, and that in diving into it, he entered into the depths where his cavernous abode was situated, and there he collected various things that might be of value to those whom he wished to reward.

"wampum (worušik)" — this word once had a more definite meaning than it does in this context. Here it means ornaments of particular value, which are usually made of shell, but might also be made of gold or copper. In our story, it is quite clear that shells are meant, as the worušik is white. The shells could be fashioned into beads and strung on a necklace or belt. It is entirely to be expected that a Waterspirit would be in possession of vast stores of shells, since these are the exoskeletons of aquatic creatures. That humans value these products of the waters is a point of contact between them and Waterspirits.

The reference here to wampum reinforces our conclusion that the lake stands for the Milky Way. The Galaxy as a collection of a myriad of stellar "beads," can also be homologized to wampum. The great white cane is an obvious reference to the Taurus-Gemini Milky Way when it is in its upright position, and the necklace of wampum is the whole Milky Way seen as an arch.

Starry Nights Software   Starry Nights Software
Lunar Eclipse, 0120 Hours, 11 December 1704   The Full Moon Nearly Eclipsing Jupiter, Sunrise, 11 December 1704

"when he came back there from the lake, the girl was crying" — as we have seen, sound stands for light, so this must mean that the Moon is shining brightly. When Jupiter first comes out of the Taurus-Gemini Milky Way he is a morning star and the Moon is a waxing sliver, but when he returns 11 December 1704 to this same spot, the Moon is now full.

"she thought he would not come back" — naturally, from the time that Jupiter left the Moon on the right side of the Milky Way lake to the time that he returned to the same spot would be one sidereal Jupiter cycle of approximately 12 years.

"The next morning when they woke up, the watcher, the older sister, raised the end of her covering and looked. There he was, the one whom she had called a "ghost"." — a striking thing happens beginning at 2354 hours, 10 December 1704: the Moon undergoes a partial eclipse, its light diminishing form an apparent magnitude of -12.75 to -8.75. The whole process lasts until 0231 hours, after which the full Moon emerges. The Moon of the eclipse, therefore, is the dark moon of Wihą's older sister. Jupiter is right at the edge of the Taurus-Gemini Milky Way, so that it looks like a blanket that is covering him. At sunrise the next day, both Jupiter and the full Moon reach conjunction — nearly an eclipse — with the Moon just 47' 48" of arc separation from Jupiter. To the unaided eye, it looks as if they were in contact, or to put it differently in terms of this myth, it looks as if they have coupled. This is what is revealed under the cover.

Starry Nights Software
Winter Meteor Radiants on the Gemini Side of the Milky Way, 17 December 1704

"a whole bunch of arrows" — in an astronomy code, it is fairly obvious what satisfies the role of shooting arrows. This would be "shooting stars," especially those that leave trails, since the meteor looks like an arrowhead and the trail resembles an arrow shaft.

"the north side" — Jupiter begins a retrograde motion (maximum RA 8h 7.801m) on 16 November 1705. Now outside the Taurus-Gemini Milky Way, he moves along the northern stretch of the ecliptic beginning 9 December 1705 (azimuth at sunrise, 270° 35.699', just north of due west). After his marriage to the Moon (Wihą) took place on 11 December 1705, Jupiter begins his "hunt." As Jupiter extends his retrograde motion, three days later an occasional meteor fires from the nearby Delta Cancrids. As he moves towards the Geminids, they erupt with over a hundred "shots" an hour, reaching their peak the very day that the Delta Cancrids had begun. This is the first action that takes place outside the Milky Way, although it is still in reference to the Galaxy. While Jupiter is still a morning star, there is a significant amount of activity, which ceases once Jupiter becomes an evening star (14 January 1706). The Quandrantids and the Ursids remain entirely in the north throughout the night, but are located at some remove near the zenith. The relevant meteor showers are presented on this table:3

Name Constellation Nearest Star Period Peak PI ZHR
Monocerotids Monoceros ζ Monocerotis 11.27-12.17 12.9 3 2
Sigma Hydrids Hydrus Minchir 12.3-15 12.12 3 3
Geminids Gemini Castor 12.6-19 12.14 3 120
Delta Cancrids Cancer Asellus Australis 12.14-2.14 1.17 3 ? < 1-3
Ursids Ursa Major Kochab 12.17-25 12.22 3 10
Quadrantids Boötes Nekkar 1.1-5 1.3 2 120
The Population Index (PI) is a measure of the magnitude distribution of a meteor shower, where a value of 3.0 indicates that the meteors are generally fainter than average, and a value of 2.5 will indicate that they are brighter than usual. The Zenith Hourly Rate (ZHR) is the number of meteors a single observer would see in an hour of peak activity if its radiant were at the zenith.

The Quadrantids and Ursids are some distance from the ecliptic, but the Geminids, which represent a major meteor shower, are very close to Jupiter (17° 51'-16° 58'), and the minor shower, the Delta Cancrids, have only a 4° 7' arc of separation on 14 December 1705.

"when he would shoot at a tree or stump" — in the wee hours of the morning, when Jupiter is still a morning star, the Taurus-Gemini Milky Way is upright like a tree or stump.

"a bear would fall out dead" — when, on 18 December 1705, the Monocerotids, Geminids, Delta Cancrids, and Ursids are still shooting their "arrows," the Sun enters into the Great Rift, which lies flat on the horizon. We have already seen that the Great Rift is identified with a bear, and that being with the Sun is tantamount to being dead; therefore, the massive shooting around the "stump" of the Taurus-Gemini Milky Way results, at sunrise, in the demise of the Bear.

"when the sun stood straight" — a Hočąk idiom meaning "noon." Symbolically, given the context, the diurnal height of the Sun should correspond to the annual "height" at the Summer Solstice.

"the other side" — this would be the south side. During the Summer Solstice there is one rather faint meteor shower, the Sagittarids, which last from June 1 - July 15. Jupiter approached the other side of the village (the Scorpius-Sagittarius Milky Way), the south side, in 1710. The Summer Solstice in 1710 fell on 21 June. The height of the showers is on 19 June, which at least fits the requirements of the myth perfectly. A dozen meteors per hour can be seen, however, the meteors tend to be dim, so much so that "any moonlight will prevent observation of all but the brightest members of this shower."4 It transpires that on 19 June 1710, the moon did not rise until 2351 hours whereas Jupiter and the Sagittarids were seen beginning at sunset (1930 hours). When the Moon did rise, it was a waning crescent about 40% illuminated, but located on the opposite side of the sky (azimuth 84°) from the Sagittarids (azimuth 215°). Jupiter's had 11° 45' angular separation from the radiant of the Sagittarids. By June 27, the Moon had disappeared from the sky altogether. This left plenty of time for observation of the shower.

"you have come back already" — compared to the 12 year absence when he went into the lake, this took but 4.5 years to complete.

Starry Nights Software
13 October 1722
Evening Star Comes to Jupiter as He Sleeps Beside the Moon

"he woke up his wife in haste" — Jupiter is resting near the edge of the Milky Way in Scorpius (now Ophiuchus) part of the Milky Way when Evening Star approaches, 13 October 1722. The Moon, acting as the younger brother's wife, is with the Sun, and therefore "asleep." She is not active in the sky. But at the approach of Evening Star, the older brother, Jupiter awakens her, and she gets up out of her bed next to him and makes an appearance.

Starry Nights Software
15 October 1722
The Moon Preparing Bear Meat (the Great Rift) for Evening Star

"she slit up some bear meat and boiled corn with it" — she quickly rises (3 days) and picks up the corn for the meal. This "corn" is the field of minute granular stars that make up the Galaxy which are readily homologized to ground up corn kernels. She moves quickly to the black cloud that forms the Great Rift of the Milky Way, which here is homologized to a black bear. She now slits the black bear meat and cooks it by boiling. The Milky Way in Hočąk myth is said to have originated when water was splashed into the sky from the primordial Ocean Sea, so it is a theological given that it can be homologized to water and therefore, given its misty character, to the steam emanating from a boiling kettle, whose fire (the Sun) is not far away. This astronomical situation is shown above.

Starry Nights Software   Starry Nights Software
31 October 1722
Evening Star Consuming the Bear Meat (the Great Rift)
  4 November 1722
Evening Star Smoking His Pipe

"a big wooden dish" — the Galaxy bulges into a near circle at the Scorpius-Sagittarius Milky Way since this is the center of the galaxy. It can be seen easily enough as a large plate with a strip of bear meat on it.

"he ate it up entirely" — Evening Star is now situated over the Bear (the Great Rift) and is "eating" the Bear by virtue of eclipsing it.

"consumed the pipe" — Evening Star now moves out of the Great Rift, having finished the bear meat, and enters into the other limb of this part of the Milky Way. The Sagittarius limb at this time is pointing upward, and just above and to the right of Evening Star is a faint patch of light (mag. 5.00-6.00) within the Great Rift known as the "Lagoon Nebula." Above it, also surrounded by the dark clouds of the Great Rift is a pillar of pale central galaxy stars that suggest a column of smoke.

"day came and when he was about to go away" — Evening Star moves at a very fast pace compared to Jupiter, and after leaving the Milky Way at Sagittarius ("finishing his pipe"), he pulls rapidly away. By late November 1722, Jupiter is swallowed up in the Sun. Thus did day come.

"finally, he persuaded him" — on 1 January 1723 (maximum RA 20h 534.973m), Evening Star suddenly makes a "U" turn (its retrograde motion). Venus now turns back towards where Jupiter has remained, thus having been persuaded by his younger brother not to leave him behind.

"we are not making our way there at all" — 25 January 1723, Evening Star disappears under the horizon near the sun. Meanwhile, Jupiter is still in the Scorpius-Sagittarius Milky Way, where he performs his retrograde motion, 25 April 1723 (maximum RA 18h 35.893m). This takes so long that by the time Evening Star is back in the sky, Jupiter has been dawdling at the edge of the Sagittarius side of the Milky Way. As Evening Star emerges back into the sky, and comes into conjunction with Jupiter (26 December 1723, 0° 56' 48" arc of separation), but owning to the glare of the Sun and the relative dimness in magnitude of Jupiter, the latter cannot be seen. Thus, it appears that they have essentially made no progress.

"whoop" — in Hočąk astronomy codes, sound often stands for light. Here the souls are homologized to stars, who are said to "dance" inasmuch as they travel in a circular pattern in lockstep.

"laugh" — the staccato pattern of laughter is isomorphic to the twinkling of the stars, especially given that sound stands for light.

Starry Nights Software
The Four Dances (Retrogrades) of Jupiter and His Disfigurement
25 April 1723 - 9 April 1728

"Thus they did in four places. There were four dances" — as the chart shows, these four places were in order: Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Indian dancing was done in a circular fashion, which is something that planets like Venus and Jupiter do during the period of their retrograde motion. After Evening Star's meal of bear meat, Jupiter heads out into the space between the two branches of the Milky Way. Before he arrives at the Scorpius-Sagittarius Milky Way, he has five retrograde episodes, whose beginning dates are separated from one another by approximately one year, one month, and one week. Four of these retrograde cycles (from the starting place and returning again) are suitable homologues to dances, the last being homologized to his disfigurement. These "dances" occurred as shown on this table:

Dance Retrograde
Right Ascension
Right Ascension
I 25 April 1723 18h 35.892m 25 August 1723 17h 53.118m 18 November 1723 18h 35.427m Sagittarius
II 31 May 1724 21h 0.001m 27 September 1724 20h 19.985m 20 December 1724 21h 0.289m Capricorn
III 8 July 1725 23h 19.015m 3 November 1725 22h 42.339m 24 January 1726 23h 18.715m Aquarius
IV 15 August 1726 1h 35.447m 10 December 1726 0h 58.166m 3 March 1727 1h 35.188m Pisces
Disfigurement 20 September 1727 3h 58.467 16 January 1728 3h 17.091 9 April 1728 3h 58.115 Taurus

The disfigurement, which will be discussed below, is also a homologue of Jupiter's retrograde motion.

Starry Nights Software
Evening Star and His Friend, Saturn
14 November 1722

"the three of them went together" — obviously, Evening Star and Jupiter being together describes their conjunction. That a third party is traveling with them, would mean that another celestial object is moving along the same path, which in this case is the ecliptic. Therefore, this object, being visible to the naked eye, must be another planet. In early November 1722, until it pulls away, Evening Star is at least in proximity to Jupiter and Saturn. So the friend referred to in the story ought to be Saturn.

"truly beautiful" — as the stars and moons are bound to be.

Starry Nights Software
Jupiter at the Edge of the Milky Way Lodge
at the Beginning of His Retrograde Motion, 25 April 1723

"at the edge of the lodge" — as can be seen, when Jupiter begins his first dance 25 April 1723, which is the beginning of his retrograde motion (maximum RA 18h 35.892), he is right on the edge of the Scorpius-Sagittarius Milky Way, which has been homologized to a lodge already.

"they would grab his arm and try to pull him" — the Moon that passes by on 25 April 1723, when he begins his retrograde motion, is moving in that same reverse direction, as if pulling Jupiter with it against his normal motion.

"the second time" — the second dance would be 31 May 1724, when they were in Capricorn. However, it is affirmed that there were four dances, and this dance was the last that he performed, so it should have been the fourth dance. By hinų́bᵋra, "the second (one)," he may have meant, "the next (one)." In any case, it is clear from the narrative that this is the last dance, which began on 15 August 1726.

Starry Nights Software
The Retrograde Motion of Jupiter and the Two Flanking Moons
7 September 1727 - 20 January 1728

"outside" — the lodge is the Milky Way, and Jupiter is now out in the field of stars beyond the galaxy and therefore "outside."

"sleep" — the "sleep" that he undergoes is when he lies motionless outside the lodge. This can happen only when a planet is suspended between its forward motion and its retrograde motion, as was the case on 20 September 1727. A Moon had passed by 13 days earlier, after which Jupiter began to reverse field, as if the Moon had been responsible for causing him to halt his walk along the ecliptic and "fall asleep."

"they twisted his whole face, then ran away from him" — on 16 January 1728, Jupiter began turning around and resuming direct motion at the end of his retrograde period. While making the turn, a Moon came up and passed by going the same direction, as if twisting him around. Both Moons that temporally flanked Jupiter's retrograde motion, sped down the ecliptic, "running away" from him.

Starry Nights Software
Jupiter Lies Inside the Lodge Touching Ashes (Milky Way)
19 February 1729

"so he laid inside" — laying down is being motionless, which occurs at the beginning of the retrograde motion, and at its turning point, when again the planet's direction reverses back into direct motion. This table shows the whole cycle of Jupiter's retrograde motion and his return to his starting place:

Right Ascension
Right Ascension
23 October 1728 6h 26.842m 19 February 1729 5h 43.018m 16 May 1729 6h 26.512m Gemini

"in ashes" — given the content of the astronomical code, the "ashes" cannot be anything other than the myriad of tiny stars of the Milky Way which collectively look very much like ashes. Since he is found amidst the Taurus-Gemini Milky Way, he is "touching" the "ashes."

Ghosts are notoriously averse to ashes. Those who wish to scatter ghosts and cause them to flee, only need throw a handful of ashes at them. It is in the nature of ghosts to seek the wet element, since it is within that element of the human body that the soul comes to rest, inhabiting the blood, semen, brain, and what is termed generally as the muelos. Ghost, the wild brother of the Hero Twins, lived in water, or in the stump of a tree where water is gathered. This symbolized the seat of the soul in the living animal body. Death is associated with darkness, and the departed soul follows the Milky Way trail across the night sky in its journey to Spiritland. As we have seen, ghosts hide or sleep during the day, and come out only after dark. Ashes are the product of the brightest light, and represent the opposite of fluids inasmuch as they are an extreme exemplar of the dry. Ashes are therefore the opposite of the medium that attracts ghosts, and consequently, they are the medium to which ghosts are most averse. Therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude that being in touch with the medium that routs ghosts would be conducive to undoing the effects of their actions.

Starry Nights Software
The Celestial Paths of Jupiter and Evening Star
19 February - 14 June 1729

"he straightened him out" — on 19 February 1729 Jupiter once again resumes direct motion, which is to say that he has been straightened out.

"stomach" — a bear stomach is illustrated in the inset. The relatively narrow passages leading from the stomach to the esophagus and the intestines were probably knotted to seal it as a container. The bear's stomach was probably the most convenient container at hand when bear oil was being processed.

"bear oil" — rather than use water, more consonant with their dual nature as Bear Waterspirits, the younger brother decides to use bear oil, which is both a liquid and ursine at the same time.

    Starry Nights Software   Starry Nights Software
A Bear Stomach   11 June 1729
Evening Star in the Sweat Bath Lodge
  A Spot Large Enough
to Insert an Arm

"when evening came, he put the stone in" — since the older brother is Evening Star, his entrance into the sweat bath must take place in the evening. As we have already seen, Evening Star circles back in retrograde motion to enter into the Taurus-Gemini MW lodge which now stands for the swabbed lodge. Evening Star becomes seated next to the hot stone (the Sun).

"a spot only large enough to insert an arm" — this is a feature of both the Sagittarius-Scorpius, and the Taurus-Gemini, Milky Way, but the actions work better under the assumption that this is the branch of the galaxy in which they take place.

Starry Nights Software
Evening Star as it Reaches Conjunction with Jupiter
9 July 1730

"he came to him in the night" — in a literal narrative about someone emerging from a sweat bath, the expectation is that, as in other myths of this sort, the bather simply steps out resurrected and rejuvenated. It is implied that the sweat bath is not broken open, but that the older brother (Evening Star) mysteriously appears to his younger brother (Jupiter) one night. This is because Evening Star does not reemerge until early May 1730, after which it reunites with Jupiter on 9 July 1730, over a year since Evening Star went into the sweat bath. That he came to him in the night proves that this myth is about an evening star planet. The two brothers cannot be Saturn and Jupiter, since the former moves so slowly that it is rarely ever in conjunction with Jupiter. Mercury is too mercurial to fill this role, and is besides so close to the Sun that when it is in conjunction with Jupiter, the latter planet cannot be seen. This leaves Mars as the remaining candidate by exclusion. Mars has a conjunction with Jupiter every 2 years and 2 months, and since it is not divided into morning and evening stars like Hesperus and Phosphorus, it has a great many more such conjunctions than Venus does with Jupiter (every 3 years and 3 months). The cycle of conductions between Hesperus and Jupiter are even less common. The salient trait of Mars is its red color, and this was well appreciated, as we find it homologized elsewhere as a brilliant red bird. In the end, Mars simply does not fit this very extensive astronomical allegory.

"the end" — it cannot be stressed enough how peculiar this ending is when compared to other waikąs. The standard ending of a waiką is that the Spirits who descended to help humans, having completed their mission, then announce that it is time for them to go home, after which they depart back to the Spiritland whence they originally came. This is even true of resurrection stories. All that is said in our story is that the Evening Star character is destined to take a wife and to go hunting. This means, in terms of the allegory, that a Moon is destined to pass near him, and that in his course along the ecliptic, he will also pass near meteor showers. Both of these events are guaranteed to occur at some point, and represent what could be counted upon to form part of the continuing narrative in the near future. In short, this myth is really open-ended, for the simple reason that it is an astronomy allegory that had been constructed bit by bit over the span of nearly a century (2 October 1639 - 9 July 1730) and was looking forward to "recording" further data. Its non-ending leaves it congruent with added adventures to be determined by celestial events yet to unfold. These events were never detailed, since it appears that this project came to an end sometime in the early 1730's.

The Provenance of This Myth. The surface story of this allegory is about two brothers, a pair of Bear Waterspirits, who have a series of adventures together mainly centered on the death and resurrection of the older brother, who was followed into Spiritland by his younger brother, who was finally, in the end, able to bring him back to life. The myth, as we have shown, is in fact an allegory of the interrelationship among Hesperus (the Evening Star of Venus), Jupiter, and the Moon, and takes place primarily in the two ecliptic sections of the MW, that found in the constellations of Taurus and Gemini on the one hand, and on the other, that found in the constellations of Sagittarius and Scorpius. These are the "snowshoes" of the title. That Hesperus is a Waterspirit confirms an hypothesis that I had advanced quite some time ago, in which Bluehorn was identified with Evening Star. In "Grandfather's Two Families," the two youngest brothers are Red Star and Great Star, that is, Evening Star and Morning Star. Thus, we may identify Red Star with Evening Star. In "Bluehorn's Nephews," the Red Star's head is taken by a man who is his perfect doppelgänger. There is only one "star" who is the perfect twin of Evening Star, and that is Morning Star. It stands to reason that these "two" stars should be in opposition, since when one is in the heavens, the other is "dead." In this story, the Red Star is one and the same as Bluehorn. The Red Star gets its name not from being itself red, which it sometimes is when it is near the horizon where the atmosphere acts as a lens lengthening its light waves, but from the red background in which it often appears when it is low on the horizon when the sun sets. Morning Star, too, will sometimes appear red, yet it does not carry this name. Most typically, the background color for the Evening Star as it emerges into view out of the firmament is blue. Thus, we find, as expected, that he is called "Bluehorn." The horn here refers to his hair, in this case his scalplock(s). In one story, his blue hair is tied to the four corners of his lodge, just as the sky is anchored at the four corners of the world. In another story, where he is called "Brave," his identity is given when the narrator says, "and thus is what happened when a blue sky came to earth." So Bluehorn is not only the Evening Star who takes his name from the typical background color in which he first appears, but he is even identified with that very blue sky. His mortal enemies are the Thunderbirds, who eat away at him like the dark storm clouds eat away at the blue sky. They arch his back over, which is again an image of the arching vault of the sky. The usual enemies of the Thunderbirds are the Waterspirits, and Bluehorn is treated much as Waterspirits are treated by Thunderbirds. Not surprisingly, Morning Star is strongly associated with the Thunderbirds. We should expect, then, that Bluehorn would be strongly associated with the Waterspirits. The original title of the story about "Brave" was Wakjexi Hečoga, "Waterspirit Bluehorn," but owing to some confusion, the name was attributed to the author. However, the present story explicitly identifies the older brother, who is the Evening Star in the allegory, with a Bear Waterspirit. Therefore, we may now say with great confidence that indeed Bluehorn was a Waterspirit.

That Bluehorn is a Bear Waterspirit adds an interesting new layer of complexity. Elsewhere in the mythological corpus, we do not see any tendency to identify Evening Star (= Bluehorn = Red Star) with bears, even as a Bear Waterspirit. It should be emphasized that Bear Waterspirits are fundamentally Waterspirits rather than Bear Spirits, yet being of this nature does give them power over bears, as we see from the political story, "Shaggy Man." Even though such beings are essentially Waterspirits, they have a complementary ursine nature whence this power arises. Yet it is only in this myth that we find Bluehorn given this ursine dimension. There may, in fact, be a political reason for this arising out of the Bear Clan itself.

The Bear Clan, like all the other clans, is subdivided into four subclans. The White Bear Subclan supplied the chiefs and leadership; the Red Bear Subclan provided guards, and prepared the clan for war; the Black Bear Subclan provided advisors to the leadership.5 However, it is the Blue Bear Subclan that is of special interest.

  The Calendar Stick of Čižąhaka

The Blue Bear group are the Bear priests. They perform and practice the healing arts in clan ceremonies. This group also is the sun watchers who provided direction for the planting and hunting cycles for the tribe. They kept a stick calendar on which events of solstices, equinoxes, eclipses, and the seasons are marked. The Blue Bear priests are associated with the study of the heavens, the sun, and the moon. Their altars were located on high bluffs or hills overlooking fields or water.6

The Blue Bear Clansmen could "hold a day," that is, they could keep a sky blue for up to four days, a power used in conjunction with religious observations for which good weather was necessary.7 The calendar stick (nąmą́́škočkoč) was an important way to keep track of events taking place in the firmament over the course of time. However, we can now see from the story of "Snowshoes" that this was not the only way in which the course of celestial events could be recorded and tracked. That a priestly clan took an interest in events pertaining to the sky, and that they imputed their descent to the Grizzly Bear Spirit, Blue Bear, suggests strongly that they may lie behind the creation of a planet-tracking myth in which the Waterspirit figures are given an ursine character. Despite the fact that Blue Bear was of the eastern quadrant and commanded the east wind, the affinity of these priests with the blue sky aligns them with Evening Star, since Morning Star is strongly tied to the Thunderbirds, rather than to the earth, water, and sky to which Waterspirits are intimately bound.

We have seen that this myth, a kind of verbal calendar stick, was begun on 2 October 1639. The multiple generation of authors may have been looking for repeating elements in the relationship between these two stars, Hesperus and Jupiter, that would allow them to have greater insight into their religious significance. It would hardly have differed, one would think, from the tracking process that ultimately led in the distant past to the rise of the Mexican calendar system, based upon the careful tracking of Venus. The year 1634 saw the arrival of Jean Nicolet, the French explorer, and with him the first fateful contact with the white invaders of the continent. In the 1630's the Bear Clan had been under some stress, since it appears that during this decade the Black Bear Subclan had been rubbed out, and had to be reestablished by a Potawatomi later named "Fourth Universe."8 During the period in which the myth was being compiled, the French established themselves in Louisiana, and in 1728, a French officer, Joseph Sabrevoir de Carrie, resigned his commission to become a fur trader among the Hočągara. A year or so later, he married Glory of the Morning, who was an anomalous female chief of the tribe.9 In late 1729, the Fox trapped the Hočągara on an island, but the latter were rescued by a French and Menomonee relief column.10 Our myth ends 9 July 1730, which corresponds exactly to the appearance and ascent of an educated Frenchman living among the Hočągara and a strong French presence in the area. De Carrie's influence, or that of the French generally, may have completely upset the Hočąk understanding of the heavens whose meticulous study in the form of our "Snowshoe" myth had been passed on through more than one generation. With new notions of the nature of Jupiter and Venus, the need to continue recording their interrelationship in verbal form was no doubt obviated.

Links: Frogs, Waterspirits, Bear Spirits.

Stories: about two brothers: The Two Children, The Twin Sisters, The Captive Boys, The Twins Cycle, The Two Brothers, The Two Boys, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun, The Lost Blanket, The Man with Two Heads, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Old Man and the Giants, The Brown Squirrel, Esau was an Indian; mentioning frogs: The Stone that Became a Frog, Hare and the Dangerous Frog, The Two Boys, The Woman Who Became an Ant, Turtle's Warparty, Porcupine and His Brothers, Young Rogue's Magic; in which Waterspirits occur as characters: Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth, Traveler and the Thunderbird War, The Green Waterspirit of Wisconsin Dells, The Lost Child, River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Bluehorn's Nephews, Holy One and His Brother, The Seer, The Nannyberry Picker, The Creation of the World (vv. 1, 4), Šųgepaga, The Sioux Warparty and the Waterspirit of Green Lake, The Waterspirit of Lake Koshkonong, The Waterspirit of Rock River, The Boulders of Devil's Lake, Devil's Lake — How it Got its Name, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Waterspirits Keep the Corn Fields Wet, The Diving Contest, The Lost Blanket, Redhorn's Sons, The Phantom Woman, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Great Walker's Warpath, White Thunder's Warpath, The Descent of the Drum, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Thunderbird, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (v. 2), The Two Children, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, Paint Medicine Origin Myth, Waruǧápara, Ocean Duck, The Twin Sisters, Trickster Concludes His Mission, The King Bird, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Great Walker's Medicine (v. 2), Peace of Mind Regained, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Spiritual Descent of John Rave's Grandmother, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Shaggy Man, The Woman who Married a Snake (?), Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, The Sacred Lake, Lost Lake; about Bear Waterspirits: The Shaggy Man, The Nannyberry Picker; mentioning (spirit) bears (other than were-bears): White Bear, Blue Bear, Black Bear, Red Bear, Bear Clan Origin Myth, The Shaggy Man, Bear Offers Himself as Food, Hare Visits His Grandfather Bear, Grandmother Packs the Bear Meat, The Spotted Grizzly Man, Hare Establishes Bear Hunting, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Redhorn's Sons, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, The Messengers of Hare, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Hočąk Migration Myth, Red Man, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, Lifting Up the Bear Heads, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, The Two Boys, Creation of the World (v. 5), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Brown Squirrel, 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; mentioning wampum: The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, Young Man Gambles Often, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), Little Human Head, Turtle and the Giant, The Chief of the Heroka, The Markings on the Moon, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (v. 2), Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Blessing of Kerexųsaka; mentioning drums: The Descent of the Drum, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, The Buffalo's Walk, The Spirit of Maple Bluff, Tobacco Origin Myth (v. 5), Young Man Gambles Often, Trickster and the Dancers, Redhorn's Father, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, The Elk's Skull, Ghosts, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Great Walker's Medicine, Redhorn Contests the Giants, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 1b), Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, Trickster and the Geese, Turtle's Warparty, Ocean Duck, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Hog's Adventures, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts; 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, Waruǧápara, The Red Man, 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); mentioning springs: Trail Spring, Vita Spring, Merrill Springs, Big Spring and White Clay Spring, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Bear Clan Origin Myth, vv. 6, 8, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, Bluehorn's Nephews, Blue Mounds, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Lost Child, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Wild Rose, The Omahas who turned into Snakes, The Two Brothers, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Nannyberry Picker, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, The Two Boys, Waruǧápara, Wazųka, The Man Who Fell from the Sky, Turtle and the Witches.

Themes: incest: Hare Kills Wildcat, The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka; a being is vulnerable in a highly unusual way: River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, The Green Man, Partridge's Older Brother, The Dipper, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, Migistéga's Death (v. 2), The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension; frustrated love: White Flower, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Twin Sisters, The Phantom Woman, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Partridge's Older Brother, The Stone Heart, Trickster Soils the Princess, Rainbow and Stone Arch; a woman abuses someone with whom she is living: Partridge's Older Brother, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Quail Hunter, The Red Man, 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; someone kills his own kinsman: The Chief of the Heroka (wife), The Red Man (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); someone goes out searching for a missing person who was dear to them: The Woman who Married a Snake, Waruǧápara, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, A Man's Revenge, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Snowshoe Strings, Brass and Red Bear Boy; a woman struck with a bow turns into a frog: The Woman Who Became an Ant; a human turns into a (spirit) animal: How the Thunders Met the Nights (Thunderbird), Waruǧápara (Thunderbird), The Dipper (hummingbird), Keramaniš’aka's Blessing (blackhawk, owl), Elk Clan Origin Myth (elk), Young Man Gambles Often (elk), Sun and the Big Eater (horse), The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Were-Grizzly, Partridge's Older Brother (bear), The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother (bear), Porcupine and His Brothers (bear), The Shaggy Man (bear), The Roaster (bear), Wazųka (bear), The Spotted Grizzly Man (bear), Brass and Red Bear Boy (bear, buffalo), White Wolf (dog, wolf), Worúxega (wolf, bird, snake), Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle (buffalo), The Brown Squirrel (squirrel), The Skunk Origin Myth (skunk), The Fleetfooted Man (otter, bird), A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga (otter), The Diving Contest (Waterspirit), The Woman who Married a Snake (snake, Waterspirit), The Omahas who turned into Snakes (four-legged snakes), The Twins Get into Hot Water (v. 3) (alligators), How the Hills and Valleys were Formed (v. 3) (earthworms), The Woman Who Became an Ant, Hare Kills a Man with a Cane (ant); platform burials: Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Holy One and His Brother, Little Fox and the Ghost; a man travels west following a departed loved one in order to prevent him/her from residing forever in Spiritland: Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Holy One and His Brother; someone must stay awake for a long time in order to receive a blessing: The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing; a Waterspirit has vegetation growing out of his body: The Green Waterspirit of the Wisconsin Dells (trees for fur); a man kills a game animal by simply striking the knoll (or stump) in which it is hiding: Redhorn's Father, Bird Clan Origin Myth, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Trickster and the Children; hunters kill an entire herd of animals: Redhorn's Father, The Roaster, The Twins Visit Their Father's Village, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Nannyberry Picker, Morning Star and His Friend, The Two Boys; spirits can be followed by stepping in their first four footprints: Waruǧápara, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Chief of the Heroka; a human being physically travels to Spiritland without having died: The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, The Thunderbird, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Star Husband, White Wolf, Waruǧápara, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Shaggy Man, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Aračgéga's Blessings, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, The Lost Blanket, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Petition to Earthmaker, The Boy who would be Immortal, Thunder Cloud Marries Again, Rainbow and the Stone Arch (v. 2), Trickster Concludes His Mission; people are tempted by the dead to give into their purposes, but (could) succeed by following the advice of a friendly spirit and resisting with their utmost power: The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Little Human Head, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts; a person is told by a spirit that he should not look upon someone during a particular period of time, but curiosity gets the better of the person and he looks anyway, causing the object of his gaze to be injured: The Man who Defied Disease Giver, The Dog that became a Panther; two (spirit) women twist the mouth and deform the face (and other body parts) of a sleeping man: Old Man and Wears White Feather; a mortal is returned to earth from the spirit village that he is visiting: Waruǧápara, The Thunderbird, Two Roads to Spiritland, The Shaggy Man, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, White Wolf, The Foolish Hunter, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Petition to Earthmaker; the reviving sweat bath: The Shaggy Man, The King Bird, The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka, The Dipper, 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.


1 RS [Rueben StCyr ?], "Snowshoe Strings," in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Notebook #60: 1-29.

2 This term, regularly used in astrology, was still used in astronomy as we see in a text from 1854.

2740. Stations and retrogression. — From a comparison of the orbital motions and distance of Jupiter and the earth, it appears that the planet is stationary at about two months before and two months after opposition; and since the earth gains upon the planet at the daily rate of 0°∙907, the angle it gains in two months must be

0°∙907 × 61= 54°∙43.

The angular distance of the points of station from opposition, as seen from the sun, is therefore about 54°, which corresponds to an elongation of 114°. The planet is therefore stationary at about 66° on each side of its opposition. Its arc of retrogression is a little less than 10°, and the time of describing it varies from 117 to 123 days.

Dionysius Lardner, Hand-Books of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy. Third Course. Meteorology-Astronomy. (Philadelphia: Blanchard and Lea: 1854) 320.

3 Meteor Showers Online > Meteor Calendar > December, January (viewed 26 January 2017).

4 P. Clay Sherrod and Thomas L. Koed, A Complete Manual of Amateur Astronomy: Tools and Techniques for Astronomical Observations (Mineola: Dover, 2012 [1981]) 53. See also, Guide to Space, Planets and the Rest of the Universe > Sagittarids Meteor Showers (viewed, 25 January 2017).

5 Walter Funmaker, The Winnebago Black Bear Subclan: a Defended Culture (Ph.D. Thesis, University of Minnesota: December, 1986 [MnU-D 86-361]]) 48-49. Dr. Funmaker is a member of the Bear Clan of the Hočągara tribe.

6 Funmaker, The Winnebago Black Bear Subclan, 48.

7 Walter W. Funmaker, The Bear in Winnebago Culture: A Study in Cosmology and Society (Master Thesis, University of Minnesota: June, 1974 [MnU-M 74-29]) 16-17, 65. His informant was Walking Soldier (1900-1977), a member of the Bear Clan.

8 Funmaker, The Winnebago Black Bear Subclan, 51-57, 180. Informant: One Who Wins of the Winnebago Bear Clan.

9 David Lee Smith, Folklore of the Winnebago Tribe (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997) 155-160.

10 See the Marin Letter (1730) in the Collection Moreau-St. Méry, v. 9, f. 11, fol. 288, in the archives of the Ministère des Colonies, Paris. An English translation is found in, "1730: Marin Aids the Winnebago against the Foxes," in Reuben Gold Thwaites, ed., Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Vol. 17, "The French Regime in Wisconsin — II, 1727-1748" (Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society, 1906) 88-100. This letter is discussed in context by Publius V. Lawson, The Winnebago Tribe, Wisconsin Archeologist, 6, #3 (1907): 96-97; and Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1923]) 10-11.