Trickster Visits His Family (§10 of the Trickster Cycle)

translation based on the interlinear of Oliver LaMère

Hocąk-English Syllabic Interlinear Text

(225) Then Trickster ran away from there. "Hąho! Having stayed in that place for a time, I wonder what I am doing," Trickster said. "About now I will return to the wife that I married. (226) About now Kunu must be getting big," he said. Then he went home across the lake to the woman he had married. And having gotten back there, unexpectedly on his return they had a male for him who had grown very big. (227) The chief was happy. "The son-in-law has come home," he said. Not for nothing he did much. There Trickster hunted on behalf of his child. (228) He killed a great many. He stayed a long time there. He raised his son to be big. When he was able to take care of himself, then he said, "Hąho, about now I will go around traveling. (229) As my boy has grown up, I will start to visit around the earth. About now I am tired. I used to go about the earth in peace. (230) Here I am bothering myself."1


Commentary. "the wife that I married" — It is the mark of a Great Spirit that he does not marry. The fact that Trickster does so anyway is yet another expression of his contrariness.

"the son-in-law" — here Trickster is the son-in-law of the chief, probably one of the best positions in society. Trickster clearly "had it made," but gave all this up for his foolish misadventures on the road.

"in peace" — This episode shows that Trickster is indeed a compleat fool, having found a serene and productive life, he tells himself and everyone else that his existence is unsatisfactory when compared to his life of travel, which we know to have been full of embarrassing and even dangerous incidents. Trickster, true to form, chooses the life of irresponsibility over that of being a productive member of the community.

Links: Trickster, The Sons of Earthmaker.

Links within the Trickster Cycle: §9. Trickster Gets Pregnant, §11. Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb.

Stories: featuring Trickster as a character: The Trickster Cycle, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Trickster's Warpath, Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Trickster Soils the Princess, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Trickster Concludes His Mission, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster, The Elk's Skull, Trickster and the Plums, Trickster and the Mothers, The Markings on the Moon, The Spirit of Gambling, The Woman who Became an Ant, The Green Man, The Red Man, Trickster Takes Little Fox for a Ride, Trickster Loses His Meal, Trickster's Tail, A Mink Tricks Trickster, Trickster's Penis, Trickster Loses Most of His Penis, The Scenting Contest, The Bungling Host, Mink Soils the Princess, Trickster and the Children, Trickster and the Eagle, Trickster and the Geese, Trickster and the Dancers, Trickster and the Honey, Trickster's Adventures in the Ocean, The Pointing Man, Trickster's Buffalo Hunt, Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb, The Coughing Up of the Black Hawks, The Petition to Earthmaker, Waruǧábᵉra, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge.

Themes: marriage to a yųgiwi (princess): The Nannyberry Picker, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Big Stone, Partridge's Older Brother, Redhorn's Sons, The Seduction of Redhorn's Son, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, The Roaster, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, White Wolf, The Two Boys, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Shaggy Man, The Thunderbird, The Red Feather, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, The Birth of the Twins (v. 3), 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 Ciwoit’éhiga; a (grand)father abandons his family: The Father of the Twins Attempts to Flee, The Two Boys, Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, Grandfather's Two Families, The Birth of the Twins, The Two Brothers.


1 Oliver LaMère (trs.), "Wakdjukaga," in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3897 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, ca. 1912) Winnebago V, #7: 225-230. A published translation is found in Paul Radin, The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology (New York: Schocken Books, 1956) 24-25.