Spear Shaft and Lacrosse

retold by Richard L. Dieterle


There in a village governed by a chief, Turtle was staying. This was a big village with many great warriors, and in the past it had often been attacked by substantial warparties. Then one day Turtle showed up because he had taken pity on them for the punishment that they had endured. After Turtle arrived, he fought against these warparties and was victorious. As a result, the village was never attacked again, since it was said that Turtle could not be defeated. Turtle stayed on in this village for some time and benefited the people very much by his presence.

One day a group of people came to the village bearing a sacred pipe. They came to Turtle and showed him the bloody clothes of those who had been killed in battle. When they presented the pipe to him, Turtle took it and smoked from it. He told the people that he would lead a warparty against their enemies. That very afternoon he set out carrying his famous two-edged knife. He set up his first war camp at the edge of the village and that night the men did their Farewell Dance. During their expedition they ended up capturing four men. These enemies they brought back and tortured with fire until they died. After the victory dance, the chief asked Turtle to stop by his lodge. When Turtle entered, the chief said, "Now then, brave man, we have benefited by you very much and if there is anything that we could please you with, it is this, and it is the only thing that we could offer you." Then, unexpectedly, they brought out the beautiful daughter of the chief and gave her to Turtle as his wife. Then the chief resumed, "We are of no help to the people, but you have actually taken good care of them. When it is thus, they always give them the chieftainship, it is said. So therefore you will be the new chief." Turtle replied, "All right, it is good." Thus Turtle was made chief of the village.

 
Ken Thomas  

Now that Turtle was the chief, he planned a great feast. In preparation, he selected a number of men to go after game that could be used as food in the upcoming festivities. He told them to come back with ten bears and ten deer, and when they returned they had exactly what Turtle had ordered. Then he selected to attendants to send out the invitations. The loud Raven (Kaǧi) was to select those who lived above; and Otter was to select those who lived on earth, as no place was too far for him.

As Otter was going along, he came to a man who was doing something in the ground. When Otter got closer, he could see that the man was planting a single kernel of corn. The man would say, "My field, come up!" and it grew up, branched out, and bore leaves. Then he said, "Let your tassels come out!" and they came out. Then he commanded, "Ripen!" and the corn ripened to perfection. Otter said, "Say, you are busy, but I invite you." Then Otter went on until he saw something on the shoreline. When he got closer he could see that it was eating clay. So Otter said to him, "Say, perhaps you are busy, but I invite you." This being said, "All right, it is good," so Otter traveled on. Then he saw a very tall man, so he stopped and invited him too. The man said, "All right, I will come." So Otter went on a bit farther. Then he came across someone who would lift any heavy thing he saw. He watched as he picked up whole hills and carried them on his back. Indeed, it was he who carried the earth itself. So he invited him, and went on to see who else he could find. Then he saw someone running about. Once he began to run he could not stop, so he tied stones to his ankles, as it was only with the added weight that he could stop fast enough. Otter approached him and said, "Say, young man, perhaps you are busy, but I invite you." The man said, "All right, it is good." Then Otter went on some more. He encountered two men. The tip of one man's nose was a bright red, and the neck of the other was very red. These he invited, then went on. As he walked along he came across a man with a thick forehead ornament, so he invited him as well. Later he encountered another old man who was on top of a hill, so he invited him too. Thus Otter went on until he had covered the whole earth, then he returned to the village. When he arrived, he found a great multitude at the feast. When the feast was over, Turtle said, "My friends, I wish you would remain a short time. I wanted to ask your help, is why you were invited. I did not plan a warpath when I said it, but it is going to be difficult. Therefore, I said it." All those invited from the earth agreed to stay, so he built a long lodge for them. Turtle moved in and lived with his friends there.

About noon the next day, the earth began to shake, so Turtle sent forth his attendants to see what could have caused it. When they returned, they said, "Many big people are here, and the end of their column is not visible. They all have long and perpendicular packs on their backs." Turtle said, "They are the thick flesh people. Those šįange (womanly fellows)!" Immediately, one came running up and said, "There then, Turtle you chief, where will we camp?" Turtle declared, "You may camp at the edge of that valley." "All right," replied the Giant, and he returned directly to his people. In the evening, one of the Giants came with a gourd rattling at his belt, and said, "Now then, Turtle, you chief, I come to challenge you to a game." "All right," replied Turtle, "what will you play?" The Giant replied, "We will play dice." Turtle exclaimed, "Well, there's a woman's game and as they are womanly, they will play their own game. If they are going to play an old woman's game, why, all right, as my old woman used to play dice. My friends, I will play with them, the womanly fellows that they are."

 

The next morning they left for the Giants' encampment. The Giants declared, "All right, it is time to play dice. We will bet against one of your village's corners." Turtle replied, "All right. Who is going to play against me?" They put a Giant before him. Turtle said, "I will play against him, but I never have played this before. I suppose I will make a lot of mistakes." They got ready to begin the contest. The Giant coughed and hit his chest, then unexpectedly, he coughed up eight white snowbirds [inset]. Then Turtle coughed and struck his chest, and eight small red turtles came out. Turtle said, "Well, my dice look to be really rusty." Turtle rubbed them and blew on them, but secretly he was encouraging them. The Giant was to throw first, and declared, "We shall throw all alike for the point." Then he threw them up in the air and yelled, "All alike! All alike!" All of them came down cup-shaped, with their wings stretched out and their breasts down. Then, suddenly, Turtle shouted, "Half!" and half the snowbirds turned over. The Giants said indignantly, "Say, Turtle, you did not do right!" Turtle replied in a puzzled tone, "How did I do wrong? It is customary to shout at one another when playing dice." The Giants growled, "Don't let it happen a second time!" The Giant threw the "dice" up again and yelled, "All alike!" They descended with their breasts down. This time the Giants held Turtle's mouth shut, but they could not prevent him from winking with one of his eyes. When this happened, unexpectedly half the snowbirds landed upside down. The Giants shouted, "Say, Turtle, you did not do right!" Turtle calmly replied, "What did I do that was wrong? Don't they always do that when they gamble?" They tried again, but Turtle once more winked, and upset the game. So the Giants tried for the fourth and last time, but even though they held Turtle down and covered his mouth, he managed to kick his leg in the air, and this was enough to scatter the snowbirds so that half landed upside down. Now it was Turtle's turn to throw. He pitched his turtle dice into the air, and as they started down they were all right side up. The Giant shouted, "Half! Half!," but all the turtles landed on their breasts. On Turtle's second throw the Giant tried the same technique, but this time all the turtles landed on their backs. Turtle threw his dice twice more, and each time, despite all, they landed all the same way. Thus Turtle won the contest, and personally killed all the Giants who were bet on its outcome. Then he went home.

That evening the game challenger once again appeared and called out, "Now then, Turtle, you chief, I come to challenge you to a game." "All right," replied Turtle, "what kind of game do you have in mind?" The Giant replied, "We will play a game of chips (counters)." "Now then, my friends," replied Turtle, "I will play with them." The next morning they set out again for another contest. They bet an entire corner of their village against the Giants. "Now then," the Giants announced, "the son-in-law will do the gambling." Then the bear came forth to play for the Giants. Turtle declared, "Now then, I will play with them." The contest was difficult, but in the end Turtle vanquished the bear, and the Giants who were wagered on the outcome were promptly dispatched by Turtle himself.

After Turtle and his people came away, the Giants held a council. Again they sent their challenger who said, "Now then, Turtle, you chief, I come to challenge you to a game. They want to play Good Shooting, they said." Turtle replied, "All right!" Then he turned to one of his people and said, "Now then, my friend, you will shoot with them." The man that he spoke to was the one with the ridge of his nose painted red. First thing in the morning, they all set out for the Giant's camp. Turtle spoke first: "Now then, who are you going to have shoot for you?" Two Giants stepped forward and they were very likely looking, with muscles in the arms that bulged like balls. "Now then, my friend," said Turtle, "I will shoot against them." The Giant opponent shot first, then Turtle. First one would get the best shot, but then he would be surpassed by his opponent, and so it went, swinging back and forth, until on the last shot, Turtled bested the Giant. Then his friend shot against the other Giant. Despite the skill of the Giant, this was no contest at all, for the man was in reality an arrow. They killed off the Giants who were wagered, then went home.

The Giants held a council and one of them rose and said, "Well, whenever we did this anywhere, and I played Fast Eating with them, we would always end up drinking human soup — but you do not seem to remember it." The Giants replied, "Well he is right! Beside they do not eat much. He is right, and it shall be that." So right away the challenger ran up to Turtle's place and said, "Now then, Turtle, you chief, I come to challenge you to a game." "All right," replied Turtle, "what will you play?" The Giant replied, "Fast Eating is the game they said we would play." "Well," replied Turtle, "what foolish things they say. How could they beast my friend? My friend is something of an eater, you know." The next morning Turtle and his entourage headed for the camp of the Giants. There, unexpectedly, were two long rows of boiling kettles full of food set out evenly for a very long distance. Turtle remarked, "You might have put more in some of them." Turtle walked down the row tapping the kettles with a stick and testing them for how hot they were and how tasty the food was in them. "Now then," declared Turtle, "it will be all right. How many of us will be appointed to a kettle?" The Giants responded with some annoyance, "Say, Turtle, only one will be appointed to each kettle and they are going to play Who can Eat up the Full Kettle First." Turtle turned to his teammate and said, "Well then, my friend, you had better try them, although you are not much at eating." "All right!" his friend answered back. This friend was the clay eater. The Giants announced, "All ready!" and they began the fast eating contest. The man began to eat one kettle of food after another. Turtle said, "Well, my friend, I thought you used to eat, but you seem to bite easy." "All right, Turtle," he said, and took the kettle by both sides and began to drink it down. This he did with every kettle in turn. Before long, he had emptied all of them, before the Giant had gotten even half way. So they were again victorious, and killed those Giants who had been wagered. Then they all went home.

That evening the Giants held council again. Two friends arose to speak, and one of them said, "When it is thus and my friend and I run a race with them, you used to drink soup; but you don't seem to remember us." "Well, say," they replied, "he is right. Now then, game challenger, go to them!" So the challenger left. When he arrived, he said to Turtle, "Now then, Turtle, you chief, I come to challenge you to a game." "All right," replied Turtle, "what game do they mean?" The Giant replied, "What else could they mean? They mean to race." Turtle declared, "Now then, my friend, you may run with them. What a foolish thing they have said. How could they defeat my friend?" That morning, they set out again for the Giants' camp. One of the Giants said, "Come, we have been waiting anxiously for you. We will try you in a race and these will do the running." Then two great ones came forth. They had wolves' feet tied on and grape vines around their necks. Turtle exclaimed, "My friend here used to run about equal to me, so he will run with them." The one whom he meant was the man who had tied stones to his ankles to slow himself down. The Giants declared, "At the end of the earth where the big oak tree used to be, there we shall run to and back." Then they got set at the starting point and were soon off and running. The Giants started off as two elks, but the human then became a straight horned elk and proved the more fleet of foot. Whatever they turned themselves into, he would turn himself into something faster. Then the Giants turned themselves into kirikirisge birds (pigeon hawks), so the human made himself into a black hawk. Then they reached the turning point and started back. The human derided the Giants: "I thought you said you were going to run a race, but you are still here, hopping up and down, so I am going on back." With a great burst of speed, he left them behind. The spectators soon saw him come into view and cross the starting line. He then sat down and had a leisurely smoke. Only when he had completed his pipe did the Giants finally appear. When the Giants saw him, they exclaimed, "How could he have beaten us?" In fact the man that they had been running against was really the wind. Since the humans were victorious, they killed the Giants who had been wagered, then headed back home.

The Giants once again held council. One of their number rose and said, "We can see that they are small, and if I play against them, I could defeat them and you know it. So whenever we wish to drink soup, I will play To Cross the Lake with them." All the Giants were tall, but the speaker was taller still. The Giants said, "Well, he is right. Let it be that — after all, what could they do in this as they are not tall. Now then, game challenger, you may go." So the challenger came to the lodge of Turtle and declared, "Now then, Turtle, you chief, I come to challenge you to a game." "All right," replied Turtle, "what will you play?" The Giant replied, "To Wade Across the Lake — the one who goes under first will be defeated." Turtle exclaimed, "All right!" then turned to one of the men and said, "My friend, they always speak foolish things. How could they defeat my friend?" He meant the tall man. He continued: "My friend, don't be easy on them as they will not try us again." That morning they started over to the Giants' encampment. The Giants said, "Now then, Turtle, we will wade across the lake and the first one to go under will be defeated." Turtle looked concerned and said, "Well, we are not very tall, but as you insist, one of us will do it. My friend will be the one." The one that he indicated did not look particularly tall to the Giants, but his body was very slender. His opponent was a great one, and the human clearly fell short of him. The Giants gloated saying, "Now then, we have got them beat!" Then they began to wade into the lake, as one of the Giants added, "You must step on one another's feet sometimes." They waded out into the lake side by side. When they reached the middle, the human was only up to his waist. Indeed, however much he waded, it never got higher than his waist. The Giant kept dropping deeper and deeper until finally he was up to his neck. Then he took a few more steps and found that his mouth was now under water, so he stepped on the human's foot to force him down, but, unexpectedly, the human's feet were already on the bed of the lake. Just the same, the water only came up to the human's waist. The Giant yelled back, "He has defeated us!" Thus the humans won again, and proceeded to kill all the Giants that had been wagered. The tall, slender man was in reality a spear shaft.

Then they counseled over it, saying "What must we do to drink soup any time soon?" Then one of them said, "When it was thus, I used to cause you to drink soup, but you are forgetting me. These people are not very large and when I play Carrying Big Loads on the Back with them, we used to drink plenty of soup." They replied, "He is right, we should have thought of it before, as they are not very large and they would not be able to lift it even once. Now then, game challenger, you may go to them now." So he started out at a run and soon arrived at Turtle's camp. He declared, "Now then, Turtle, you chief, I come to challenge you to a game. They wish to test you again in a game, they say. They would play Carrying Big Loads on the Back." Turtle replied, "All right!" Then he turned to the others and said, "They speak even more foolishly than before. How could they beat my friend?" Then in the morning they went to the Giants' camp. When they got there, unexpectedly there were two great big black rocks with packing straps already attached to them. They looked as though they would be impossible to lift. "Now then, Turtle, these will be the ones they are to carry to your lodge door and back again to this spot," they said. "Well, but we will not be able to lift these," protested Turtle, "but we will give it a try as long as you want us to." The Giants couldn't hold back their laughter. The Giant champion came forward. His muscles protruded out here and there, and while all the Giants are big, this one was bigger yet. "Now then, you may go first as you are the challengers," Turtle declared. So the Giant lifted his load on his back, then started the circuit. He made four trips over and back, until finally he was exhausted. Then the heavy lifter for the humans came forth and put the pack straps about him, but he could not budge the pack. The Giants gave a great shout of glee. The man called out, "My friends, come and help me lift it!" So they gave him a hand, but the Giants shouted, "Hey, we didn't do that!" But others said, "Oh well, let them go ahead, as they could not lift it anyhow even if they all tried it." Finally they got him up with the pack but staggered under it's weight, and he had to stand with his legs far apart. Finally he took a step. Thus he went on, walking with his legs splayed out, and the Giants laughed at him a lot. Finally, he got to Turtle's lodge and started back. As he walked, his stride became more natural. The fourth time he traveled the course, his walk was almost a run. He kept going back and forth. The last time that he came back, he took the pack off and threw it far away. Just visible in the distance was a hill and there it landed with a loud thud, tearing down one of the corners of the hill. Thus they won against the Giants, and once again killed those who had been wagered. Then they went home.

 

Again the Giants held a council. One of them said, "Well, when we are thus we used to play ball with them and kill whole villages, so why are we not doing this? In such cases we used to benefit by our sons-in-law." The sons-in-law were the coyote and the mink. These were the ones that he meant. "All right," they said, so the game challenger went out again. He declared, "Now then, Turtle, they wish to try you again in a game, so I came to tell you. They said to play ball." "All right!" replied Turtle, then turned to the others and said, "My friends, it will be difficult as they used to be great at the game, but we will defeat them as my friends are here." Then in the morning they set out for the playing field. When they arrived, the Giants said, "Now then, Turtle, they are anxiously waiting for you, as the game is always a long one.""You're right about that," he replied. So immediately they placed their bets, and all the Giants were up as wagers. It was their last shot and they had things all arranged before hand. The ball was a black stone greased and painted red. Then Turtle said, "This is too extreme! With this stone we will kill one another if anyone is hit with it. It is better to use a regular ball, and if we hit anyone, that would just be fun." But the Giants would have none of that, so they were obliged to make do with the stone ball. The old man who was to toss the ball up was a great one. He was there with the one who had the ornamental headpiece. Even so, the Giants gained control of the ball, so the old man yelled, "Hit the coyote on the head with the stone ball!" Then the man with the ornamental headpiece threw the ball and struck the coyote on the head. The Giants yelled, "The son-in-law is killed! That's a foul!" Turtle said indignantly, "Hey, you said, 'you didn't do right,' but thus it would be, so I forbade the use of this and told you to use a regular ball; so it's your fault — and besides he should have looked out for himself. And even me, I was nearly hit several times!" They resumed, and this time the mink's head was broken. Again they had a great dispute, but Turtle reminded them, "Thus it would be, so we forbade it," and he added, "It's your fault." Thus they kept on doing to them. All the good ballplayers they killed, and so they defeated them. The old man was the rough stone, and the one with the blue ornamental headpiece was a lacrosse stick. That is why they defeated them. Thus Turtle knew all this was coming, so he gathered these great men together. Then they killed the Giants, but they did not bring them to an end. A little boy and a little girl were spared, and Turtle threw these two across the seas. "Don't come across here anymore and try to abuse people. If you cross here a second time, you will be done for. Then what will the people call Giants? Thus I thought, so I did not exterminate you. Perhaps the Creator might be offended, I thought, so I did not exterminate you," he said. Then he threw them across the sea.

BAE GN 03810B03 06610200,
National Anthropological Archives
Hočąk Lacrosse Sticks

To all those present, he said, "My friends, here I desired your help; that is why I called you; and I will not trouble you any more, my friends." So some of them went home and some remained here. The arrow, the spear handle, and the lacrosse stick remained behind. That is how they came to be used among the Indians. The arrow, the spear handle, and the lacrosse stick told them that they would remain here and always help them.1


Commentary. "the clay eater" — the clay eater probably represents the clay pot, which can "eat" more food than any Giant.

"wolves' feet tied on" — in this context the wolves' feet probably represent the wind. Wolves do have a connection to wind, partly from their shape-changing nature.

"a black stone greased and painted red" — the stone is symbolic of the sun. The Osage say, "... the red boulder is the life symbol of the Hǫ́ga people. The red boulder has a dual symbolism; it is the symbol of endurance and is also a symbol of the sun, the emblem of never-ending life."2


Comparative Material. The Hočąk motif of the Giants contesting the uncontestable forces of nature and culture has a striking parallel in the Icelandic Snorri Edda. There the Norse god Ϸórr also finds himself in a contest sponsored by the Giants. It is conceived by the trickster figure Utgarð Loki, who induces Ϸórr to perform a number of feats to show that he is as great as he claims to be. These are as rigged as the contests presided over by Turtle. When they are done, Utgarð Loki confesses to Ϸórr what was really going on: "In like manner I deceived you in your contests with my courtiers. In regard to the first, in which Loki took part, the facts were as follows: He was very hungry and ate fast; but he whose name was Logi was wildfire, and he burned the trough no less rapidly than the meat. When Ϸjalfi ran a race with him whose name was Hugi, that was my thought, and it was impossible for him to keep pace with its swiftness. When you drank from the horn, and thought that it diminished so little, then, by my troth, it was a great wonder, which I never could have deemed possible. One end of the horn stood in the sea, but that you did not see. When you come to the sea-shore you will discover how much the sea has sunk by your drinking; that is now called the ebb. Furthermore he said: Nor did it seem less wonderful to me that you lifted up the cat; and, to tell you the truth, all who saw it were frightened when they saw that you raised one of its feet from the ground, for it was not such a cat as you thought. It was in reality the Miðgarð-serpent, which surrounds all lands. It was scarcely long enough to touch the earth with its tail and head, and you raised it so high that your hand nearly reached to heaven. It was also a most astonishing feat when you wrestled with Elli, for none has ever been, and none shall ever be, that Elli (eld, old age) will not get the better of him, though he gets to be old enough to abide her coming."3


Links: Turtle, Giants, Kaǧi, Otters, Turtle Spirits, Coyote, Minks, Black Hawks, Snowbirds, Bird Spirits, Hawks, Rock Spirits, Gourd Rattles.


Stories: featuring Giants as characters: A Giant Visits His Daughter, Turtle and the Giant, The Stone Heart, Young Man Gambles Often, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Morning Star and His Friend, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Old Man and the Giants, Shakes the Earth, White Wolf, Redhorn's Father, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Roaster, Grandfather's Two Families, Redhorn's Sons, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Little Human Head, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Origins of the Milky Way, Ocean Duck, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Wears White Feather on His Head, cf. The Shaggy Man; featuring Turtle as a character: The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Turtle's Warparty, Turtle and the Giant, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, Turtle and the Merchant, Redhorn's Father, Redhorn's Sons, Turtle and the Witches, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Trickster Soils the Princess, Morning Star and His Friend, Grandfather's Two Families, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Kunu's Warpath, Redhorn Contests the Giants, Redhorn and His Brothers Marry, The Skunk Origin Myth, The Hočąk Migration Myth, Porcupine and His Brothers, The Creation of Man, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, The Father of the Twins Attempts to Flee, The Chief of the Heroka, The Spirit of Gambling, The Nannyberry Picker, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, The Markings on the Moon (v. 2), The Green Man, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Coughing Up of the Black Hawks, The Petition to Earthmaker, The Origins of the Milky Way; mentioning Turtles (other than Turtle): Turtle's Warparty, Turtle and the Merchant, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Porcupine and His Brothers, Redhorn's Sons, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, The Healing Blessing, The Spider's Eyes; featuring Otter as a character: Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Turtle's Warparty, The Origins of the Milky Way, Redhorn's Sons, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men (v. 2), Kunu's Warpath, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Morning Star and His Friend; mentioning otters: Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Fleetfooted Man, The Dipper, The Two Children, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Turtle's Warparty, The Origins of the Milky Way, Redhorn's Sons, Redhorn Contests the Giants, Kunu's Warpath, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, The Woman who Loved Her Half Brother, The Chief of the Heroka, The Animal Spirit Aids of the Medicine Rite, The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men (v. 2), Wojijé, Holy Song II, Morning Star and His Friend, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga; mentioning coyotes: Wojijé, The Raccoon Coat, Redhorn's Sons, Redhorn Contests the Giants, Trickster and the Eagle; mentioning minks: Morning Star and His Friend, A Mink Tricks Trickster, Mink Soils the Princess, The Lost Blanket; mentioning elks: Elk Clan Origin Myth, The Animal who would Eat Men (v. 1), The Elk's Skull, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, Deer Clan Origin Myth, The Creation Council, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, Buffalo Clan Origin Myth, Origin of the Hočąk Chief, Little Fox and the Ghost (v. 2), The Great Fish; See The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits; 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), The Brown Squirrel, Snowshoe Strings, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, East Enters the Medicine Lodge, Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, The Spider's Eyes, Little Priest's Game, Little Priest, How He went out as a Soldier, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Trickster's Tail, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Warbundle Maker, cf. Fourth Universe; about Bird Spirits: Crane and His Brothers, The King Bird, Bird Origin Myth, Bird Clan Origin Myth, Wears White Feather on His Head, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Thunderbird, Owl Goes Hunting, The Boy Who Became a Robin, Partridge's Older Brother, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Foolish Hunter, Ocean Duck, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Quail Hunter, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Hočąk Arrival Myth, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Trickster and the Geese, Holy One and His Brother (kaǧi, woodpeckers, hawks), Porcupine and His Brothers (Ocean Sucker), Turtle's Warparty (Thunderbirds, eagles, kaǧi, pelicans, sparrows), Kaǧiga and Lone Man (kaǧi), The Old Man and the Giants (kaǧi, bluebirds), The Bungling Host (snipe, woodpecker), The Red Feather, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Waruǧápara, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Black and White Moons, The Markings on the Moon, The Creation Council, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna (chicken hawk), Hare Acquires His Arrows, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing (black hawk, owl), Worúxega (eagle), The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men (eagle), The Gift of Shooting (eagle), Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, The Hočąk Migration Myth, Blue Jay, The Baldness of the Buzzard, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster (buzzards), The Shaggy Man (kaǧi), The Healing Blessing (kaǧi), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (kaǧi), Įčorúšika and His Brothers (Loon), Great Walker's Medicine (loon), Roaster (woodsplitter), The Spirit of Gambling, The Big Stone (a partridge), Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, The Fleetfooted Man, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4) — see also Thunderbirdse; mentioning kaǧi (crows & ravens): Kaǧiga and Lone Man, Bear Clan Origin Myth (vv. 2, 3), The Hočąk Arrival Myth, The Spider's Eyes, The Old Man and the Giants, Turtle's Warparty, The Shaggy Man, Trickster's Tail, The Healing Blessing, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Ocean Duck; mentioning snowbirds: Redhorn's Sons, Redhorn Contests the Giants; mentioning black hawks: Hawk Clan Origin Myth (v. 2), The Dipper, The Thunderbird, Partridge's Older Brother, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother, Waruǧápara, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Morning Star and His Friend, The Coughing Up of the Black Hawks, The Animal Spirit Aids of the Medicine Rite, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing, The Race for the Chief's Daughter; mentioning oak: Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, The Oak Tree and the Man Who was Blessed by the Heroka, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun, Turtle's Warparty, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Waruǧápara, The Creation Council, The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna, Young Man Gambles Often, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), Sun and the Big Eater, The Roaster, Little Human Head, The Shaggy Man, Wears White Feather on His Head, Peace of Mind Regained, The Dipper (leaves); mentioning Rock Spirits: The Big Stone, The Green Man, The Creation of the World, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Seer, The Roaster, Wojijé, The Raccoon Coat, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Hare Kills Flint, A Woman Turns into a Rock, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle; mentioning the Rough Rock Spirit (Big Stone): The Big Stone; mentioning feasts: Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (Chief Feast), The Creation Council (Eagle Feast), Hawk Clan Origin Myth (Eagle Feast), Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth (Waterspirit Feast), A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga (Mąką́wohą, Waną́čĕrehí), Bear Clan Origin Myth (Bear Feast), The Woman Who Fought the Bear (Bear Feast), Grandfather's Two Families (Bear Feast), Wolf Clan Origin Myth (Wolf Feast), Buffalo Clan Origin Myth (Buffalo Feast), The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits (Buffalo Feast), Buffalo Dance Origin Myth (Buffalo Feast), Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle (Buffalo Feast), The Blessing of Šokeboka (Feast to the Buffalo Tail), Snake Clan Origins (Snake Feast), Blessing of the Yellow Snake Chief (Snake Feast), Rattlesnake Ledge (Snake Feast), The Thunderbird (for the granting of a war weapon), Turtle's Warparty (War Weapons Feast, Warpath Feast), Porcupine and His Brothers (War Weapons Feast), Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega) (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), Big Thunder Teaches Čap’ósgaga the Warpath (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), White Thunder's Warpath (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Fox-Hočąk War (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), Šųgepaga (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (Warbundle Feast, Warpath Feast), Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth (Warpath Feast), Kunu's Warpath (Warpath Feast), Trickster's Warpath (Warpath Feast), The Masaxe War (Warpath Feast), Redhorn's Sons (Warpath Feast, Fast-Breaking Feast), The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits (Fast-Breaking Feast), The Chief of the Heroka (Sick Offering Feast), The Dipper (Sick Offering Feast, Warclub Feast), The Four Slumbers Origin Myth (Four Slumbers Feast), The Journey to Spiritland (Four Slumbers Feast), The First Snakes (Snake Feast), Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts (unnamed); mentioning lacrosse (kísik): Redhorn's Father, Morning Star and His Friend, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Roaster, Redhorn's Sons, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, The Shaggy Man, How the Thunders Met the Nights.


Themes: spirits come to earth in order to rescue humanity from enemies who threaten their existence: The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Bladder and His Brothers, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Grandfather's Two Families, The Hare Cycle, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Raccoon Coat, Redhorn's Sons, The Redhorn Cycle, The Roaster, The Spirit of Gambling, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Trickster Cycle, Wojijé, Redhorn's Father, Turtle and the Merchant; Turtle agrees to avenge the losses of those who have petitioned his aid as a warrior: Redhorn Contests the Giants, Trickster Soils the Princess, Turtle and the Witches; Turtle leads a warparty out immediately, without any planning or approval: Redhorn Contests the Giants; Turtle has a sacred, double-edged knife: Turtle and the Giant, The Chief of the Heroka, Turtle's Warparty, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Turtle; making the enemy "play with fire": The Fox-Hočąk War, Redhorn's Sons, The Adventures of Redhorn's Sons, The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2), Bird Clan Origin Myth; marriage to a yųgiwi (princess): The Nannyberry Picker, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Big Stone, Partridge's Older Brother, Redhorn's Sons, The Seduction of Redhorn's Son, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, The Roaster, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, White Wolf, The Two Boys, The Shaggy Man, The Thunderbird, The Red Feather, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, The Birth of the Twins (v. 3), Trickster Visits His Family, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, Redhorn's Father, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Morning Star and His Friend, Thunderbird and White Horse, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, Shakes the Earth, The Nightspirits Bless Čiwoit’éhiga; animal messengers are sent out to invite spirits to a council: The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Messengers of Hare, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth; a spirit sends one or more kaǧi (crows, ravens) to the upper world as messengers: The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth; traveling over the whole earth: Deer Clan Origin Myth, The Pointing Man, Trickster and the Dancers, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Necessity for Death, Death Enters the World, The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Twins Cycle, The Two Boys, The Lost Blanket, The Two Brothers, Bluehorn's Nephews; inanimate things automatically respond to human commands: The Old Man and the Giants (boat), Wojijé (metal boat), The Raccoon Coat (metal boat), Big Eagle Cave Mystery (canoe), The Sky Man (knots), Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (everything), cf. How the Thunders Met the Nights (pontoon boat); a challenger comes shaking a gourd rattle: The Roaster, Grandfather's Two Families, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Redhorn Contests the Giants, White Wolf; contests with the Giants: Redhorn's Father, White Wolf, The Roaster, Young Man Gambles Often, Little Human Head, Redhorn Contests the Giants, Redhorn's Sons, Morning Star and His Friend, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Old Man and the Giants, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, Shakes the Earth, The Origins of the Milky Way, The Shaggy Man, Grandfather's Two Families; someone pounds on his chest and coughs up birds: The Coughing Up of the Black Hawks, Redhorn's Sons, The Roaster; a Giant pounds on his chest and coughs up birds that he intends to use as dice: Redhorn's Sons, The Roaster; birds used as implements in a game of chance: The Roaster, The Spirit of Gambling, Redhorn's Sons, Redhorn Contests the Giants; turtles used as implements in a game of chance: Redhorn's Sons, The Roaster, Redhorn Contests the Giants; Turtle acts improperly to influence in his favor theoutcome of a game of chance: The Spirit of Gambling, Redhorn's Sons, Redhorn Contests the Giants; people make a lot of noise in order to divert someone from his goal: The Four slumbers Origin Myth, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Trickster and the Geese, Redhorn Contests the Giants; racing to the end of the world and back: Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Green Man, The Roaster, Young Man Gambles Often, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater; contestants race to an oak tree at the edge of the world and back: Old Man and Wears White Feather, Young Man Gambles Often, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), Sun and the Big Eater, The Roaster; in a foot race one runner derides the other by suggesting that he is practically standing still: Sun and the Big Eater, The Roaster; one man finishes so far ahead of the competition in a foot race that he has time to smoke a pipe before they reach the finish line: Old Man and Wears White Feather, Sun and the Big Eater, Moiety Origin Myth; certain spirits help the Giants in a (lacrosse) game with human lives at stake because they have married Giant women: Redhorn's Father, Morning Star and His Friend, Redhorn Contests the Giants, Redhorn's Sons.; a (magical) round, black stone: How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Green Man, Tecumseh's Bulletproof Skin, The Dipper, Partridge's Older Brother; red as a symbolic color: The Journey to Spiritland (hill, willows, reeds, smoke, stones, haze), The Gottschall Head (mouth), The Chief of the Heroka (clouds, side of Forked Man), The Red Man (face, sky, body, hill), Redhorn's Father (leggings, stone sphere, hair), The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father (hair, body paint, arrows), Wears White Feather on His Head (man), The Birth of the Twins (turkey bladder headdresses), The Two Boys (elk bladder headdresses), Trickster and the Mothers (sky), Rich Man, Boy, and Horse (sky), The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits (Buffalo Spirit), Bluehorn Rescues His Sister (buffalo head), Wazųka (buffalo head headdress), The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth (horn), The Brown Squirrel (protruding horn), Bear Clan Origin Myth (funerary paint), Hawk Clan Origin Myth (funerary paint), Deer Clan Origin Myth (funerary paint), Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (stick at grave), Pigeon Clan Origins (Thunderbird lightning), Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks (eyes), Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (scalp, woman's hair), The Race for the Chief's Daughter (hair), The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy (hair), Redhorn Contests the Giants (hair), Redhorn's Sons (hair), The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle (hair), A Wife for Knowledge (hair), Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle (hair), The Hočągara Contest the Giants (hair of Giantess), A Man and His Three Dogs (wolf hair), The Red Feather (plumage), The Man who was Blessed by the Sun (body of Sun), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (body of the Warrior Clan Chief), Red Bear, Eagle Clan Origin Myth (eagle), The Shell Anklets Origin Myth (Waterspirit armpits), The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty (Waterspirits), The Roaster (body paint), The Man who Defied Disease Giver (red spot on forehead), The Wild Rose (rose), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (warclub), Įčorúšika and His Brothers (ax & packing strap), Hare Kills Flint (flint), The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head (edges of flint knives), The Nannyberry Picker (leggings), The Seduction of Redhorn's Son (cloth), Yųgiwi (blanket); a game of lacrosse is played with a stone ball painted red: Redhorn's Father (red), Morning Star and His Friend (black); during a lacrosse game people are killed when they are struck with the stone that is being used as the ball: Redhorn's Father; someone traveling long distances assumes successive animal forms as each becomes fatigued, until he finally reaches his destination: The Thunderbird, Journey to Spiritland (v. 4), Witches.


Notes

1 Paul Radin, "Spear Shaft and Lacrosse," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) #36: 1-81.

2 Francis La Flesche, The Osage Tribe: Rite of the Chiefs; Sayings of the Ancient Men, Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, 36th Annual Report (Washington, D. C.: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1921) 61.

3 Snorri Sturluson, Prose Edda, Gylfaginning, 48.