Wears White Feather on His Head

retold by Richard L. Dieterle

There was a lodge in the wilderness where a boy lived. He was all alone, and knew nothing of his origins, since he had awakened into consciousness just as he now found himself. He had spent most of his time fasting, often going for a month at a time without eating anything at all. But now he had boiled himself some meat and was just about to bite into a piece when he heard the sound of a loud hiss. Immediately, he got up and walked outside to see who could have made this noise, but found no one. Twice more this happened, each time just as he was about to take a bite from his meat, yet on no occasion could he find out who had done this. Therefore, he did not eat. When the same thing happened a fourth time, he was determined to find out what was going on, so he ascended to the heavens and asked everyone there if they knew who had hissed at him. Everyone said they did not, so he next traversed the whole surface of the earth, with the same negative results. Then he entered below the earth and below the waters, yet no one in the nether regions knew anything. Therefore, he gave up trying to find out.

On his way home he came across a hill. From the other side he could hear a commotion of voices and wondered what it could be about, so he climbed up the hill where he could see. He saw a plain dotted here and there with oak trees. They were shouting as they shot at a gray squirrel who leapt from one tree branch to another. So he walked down and asked a man just standing by and watching, "When I was in my own lodge, someone hissed at me, and I have traveled over the whole of creation trying to find who it was. Do you know anything about this?" The man not only ignored him, but walked away. As the boy stood there feeling rebuffed, the squirrel had worked its way so that it was directly above him. The boy took out his bow and shot the squirrel dead. The others who came up were disappointed, and said sarcastically, "Well, well, it looks like he can shoot but we can't." Another man, who had been standing by watching the action, walked up to the boy and said, "They will never answer you, since these are the ones who hissed at you. I am your older brother. Grandfather sent me here to find you and take you back with me to his lodge. It was he who sent you to where you have been living. He sent you there to fast, and this you have done conscientiously since you were a small child." So he and his brother set out for their grandfather's place. The boy's brother was very unusual: he had two bodies joined at the hips, and although he had but two legs, he had four arms and two heads.

Finally they arrived at their destination. There he found his younger brother, as yet but a small boy, and his grandfather was also there. Grandfather spoke to the Forked Man and said, "He looks very promising." Then he addressed the young man and said, "Those whom you encountered were the ones who hissed at you. They did the same to me all my life, but I killed many of them. So now they are going to try you. This is what you must do: take your two brothers with you and take your little grandfather along as well. He must be very hungry by now. Look over there by the wall, that is where you will find him." The young man went over to the wall and there he found the "little grandfather," a sword. Then his grandfather cautioned him: "Don't ever cross in front of it: it is very dangerous to do such a thing. You must carry it yourself." The three brothers left, but on the way they fell into horseplay, and the youngest of them ran on ahead of the rest. Then, unexpectedly, his body split in two right down the middle. The other two brothers were shocked, and decided they had better return home with the news. When grandfather heard it, he said, "I forbade it, yet you did it anyway; so now you must put it back. However, look at the wall and there you will see another little grandfather. Take him instead." It was a baldheaded warclub, small, but it possessed the peculiar quality of having teeth. Grandfather spoke of it and gave them a charge: "It was very fond of chiefs: it used to leave nothing but their bones. It must be very hungry by now. You shall carry this back home with you." So the young man and his brother, the Forked Man, set out for where the boy had lived and carried the little grandfather with them. When they reached the lodge, the Forked Man recalled, "When I was in the wilderness, a warparty used to chase me. Let's try our little grandfather on them." His brother replied, "All right!" While they were roaming about they heard someone shout, and immediately they ran back towards their lodge; but they never made it: they were overwhelmed and taken captive. They were tied so that their backs bent backwards and the whip was laid upon them.

At the village, they were forced to do the prisoner's farewell dance. So they danced and sang all the way to the end of the village shaking the gourd as the villagers looked on from the side of the road. The young man saw his little brother dancing in front of him, but when he looked again, he saw his little grandfather. When the Forked Man saw it, he threw down his gourd and defiantly smashed it with his foot and crushed its feathered ensign along with it. The young man did the same. They were now standing before the chiefs who sat in their own separate row. The young man grabbed the warclub, and with a single swipe, it chewed up all the chiefs, leaving nothing but their bones to bleach in the sun. In like fashion they mowed down the row on the other side of the road. Now the people there rose up as one and attacked them in hoards. The little grandfather mowed them down too in their multitudes, yet they still came on. The Forked Man warned: "It is going to be very difficult now. Let's move back towards our lodge." The enemy pressed them strongly, but they were still being mowed down and chewed up. The Forked Man said, "Let's make an end of it," and each of them took one head apiece and set off for their grandfather's house. When they got there they shouted, "Grandfather we are coming back!" He threw open the door and they rolled the heads inside. All the while, the heads chattered their teeth. The old man, transposed by this victory over his old enemies, grabbed one head in each hand and danced with them and sang to himself as he did. Grandfather asked, "I am tired — give the victory whoop for me, grandsons!" At this his grandsons gave a thunderous whoop. Even the spirits — those under the earth and those under the water — heard it and said among themselves, "They must have tested Wears White Feather on His Head." "Grandfather," said the young man, "when I was blessed, the spirits of the heavens, of the earth, and of the waters counseled me and called me 'Wears White Feather on His Head'." And he replied to his grandson, "It is good." Then the old man killed the heads.

That night the old man tossed and turned in the grips of a nightmare. When they woke him up, he told them, "It will be very difficult now for us. We must flee to your grandfather who lives on an island in the middle of the Ocean Sea. Let us go there at first light." When it was time, they left, and after a long journey they finally reached the ocean, where they could see in the distance a green island. They gave a loud shout, and they could see someone on the island's shore enter a boat and start towards them. Unfortunately, he soon returned and put his boat back on land. They turned to their grandfather and told what they had seen off in the distance. He told them, "Your grandfather is indeed a cranky old man — I knew he would not ferry us across the waters. Open up my bag." All they found inside was a small fish hook. Their grandfather told him, "Your little grandfather used to be a great one. Throw him in the water and tell him to get the boat." So they did as they were bidden, and tossed the hook into the water, telling it, "Grandfather, go after the boat!" The hook got a hold of the boat and dragged it back with a loud rattling sound. The shrill sound of an old woman's voice could be heard from quite a distance: "I told you that you should have gone after them, as that hook never fails in anything!" After the boat came to shore, they all packed in it and headed to the old man's place. There on the island they found a long lodge and when they entered in, their grandfather said, "Ah, older brother! We have come back to you." Grandfather used to live with him, but had gone off on the warpath long ago.

The old man of the lodge said, "Brother, this island is about to be invaded — look across the waters." They went out and looked towards the horizon, and there unexpectedly they saw a giant man whose body was painted completely red. He was about to inundate the island, so Grandfather immediately ordered his grandsons: "Get the same grandfather who fetched the boat for us and send him to get the red man." So they threw it in the water and before long it had dragged this man to the shore where they slew him and chopped off his head. They took his head and boiled it nicely and made a meal out of it. Even the old woman had some to eat. The old man of the lodge scolded his wife in a quiet tone so as not to be overheard: "You have joined in their bad affairs, and now you must have made the kettle bad."

Grandfather told the men, "Go over to the other side of the island and scout it out," so they set out in that direction. At first they thought no one was around, since they couldn't see anyone, but as they listened very carefully, they could detect the sound of low voices coming from somewhere beneath the surface of the earth. They quickly returned and reported this to their grandfather. He told them, "Take little grandfather and wait there. When they get near the surface, strike them and chase after them." The little grandfather he had in mind was the warclub with teeth. When the brothers got back to the other end of the island they could hear the voices again. When the sound got very near the surface, they struck down hard with the club, which created a sizable hole. They jumped down the hole chasing after their opponents and killed many of them. When each had come out with a man's head, they knocked the top of the hole in and filled it with water. When they got back to the lodge, they boiled the heads and made a meal out of them. Again the woman ate with them, and the old man scolded her to himself.

After they had finished eating, Grandfather told the brothers, "Don't go to sleep tonight, but take little grandfather and watch the center of the lodge — they will try something during the night." So they took down the sword, as that was what their grandfather had meant. They sat waiting patiently until finally, at the very middle of the night, suddenly a snake thrust its head up from the ground at the center of the lodge. Immediately, they cut its head off. Then another serpent stuck its head up from below, and it too was beheaded. They took these heads and ate them just as they had the others before them. For two more nights the serpents tested them, and they feasted on their heads. Finally, the snakes gave up.

Wears White Feather on His Head told them, "My mission here is complete. Now I shall returned to where I came from." He was the chief of the white cranes, and he departed for the heavens. His brother, the Forked Man, was a forked-tailed bird, and an enemy of everything that lived on the earth. Their grandfather was what they call a hįča owl, therefore he too was an enemy to those things that live on the face of the earth. The old couple that lived on the island also fought the things of the earth. They were called Čaručge, "Head Eaters." They were fighting the living things on earth such as mice, snakes, and such things.1

Commentary. "he had awakened into consciousness just as he now found himself" — this is how Earthmaker himself came into existence. The exact thing is also said of Morning Star when he sojourned among humans. In stellar terms, it represents the star appearing in the sky after a period in which it seemed to dwell below the earth ("rebirth"). Since the word for light (hąp) also means "life," the sudden appearance of the star in the sky is like a birth; but it is also like the return of a soul to a person who has been unconscious. Therefore, suddenly coming to life is like awakening. Spirits who decide to be reborn as humans in order to experience a human life for a time, are sometimes said to come into existence in this fashion.

"fasting" — the food of the stars is the night sky, whose darkness they eat away. So the period being referenced is when he was below the earth having set with the sun and therefore no longer eating his accustomed nocturnal food.

"a month at a time" — actually, Sirius is absent from the sky for two months. This is described as "a month" as a concession to realism, since going without food for two months should be fatal.

"boiled" — when Sirius first rises in early August, it is both near the sun and near the horizon. The horizon is where the Ocean Sea (Te Ją) is found, a sea that encircles () the world. So as Sirius begins once again to nourish himself (to return to the sky), he nourishes himself where the water is found over the solar fire ("boiling").

"to bite into a piece" — elsewhere (1, 2, 3) in this myth, stars are homologized to teeth. Stars are also said to be white cranes (or more properly, herons) and Sirius as White Feather is the chief of them. (However, Sirius is not brighter than Jupiter, Morning Star, or Evening Star). As noted below, the stars peck at the face of night, scarring it with their light. It is this darkness, therefore, that they eat up or consume with their "teeth."

"a loud hiss" — unlike the sound made to get someone's attention, this hiss is apparently viewed as an insult. Most of this story, at least initially, follows much of the plot of "The Man Who Visited the Upper and Lower Worlds." As will unfold in this commentary, this story is a series of allegories about the motion of the planets through the family of stars stretching from Sirius through the Pleiades. One of the fundamental symbols in Hočąk mythology is sound for light, based on the obvious isomorphism of these two forms of wave radiation. One of the homologues for a star is a tooth, since it is white, roundish, and small (see below). The hiss is a sound made by friction of air against the teeth. It's a tooth-sound. Allegorically, therefore, the hiss is a form of starlight. However, unlike chattering or rattling, it is not staccato, but is constant and sustained. What we call "stars" in opposition to planets, are distinguished by the fact that they twinkle or blink. Planets, on the other hand, shine with a steady light. The hiss, therefore, belongs with the planets as opposed to the stars. As will unfold, it is the planets who are the primary opponents of the star family to which Sirius (Wears White Feather) belongs.

"a fourth time" — the conventional number of totality (space-like) and completion (time-like). However, we have connected the hissing to the planets. Setting aside Mercury, which may not have been known, and the moon, which is not of the family of planets, there are four planets that pass through "the Slot" between the Hyades and the Pleiades when Sirius is rising: Morning Star, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. When Sirius is setting, Morning Star is replaced by Evening Star.

"he gave up trying to find out" — the reason why Sirius (Wears White Feather) cannot find the planets is that the path that he takes as a star is highly constrained and restricted to a circular path both in the sky and underground. The only way that Sirius can "see" a planet is if it comes near him in its course through the stars. After a planet leaves Sirius, the star will never catch it; it must wait for the planet to return to it.

"he climbed up the hill" — over a period of time, once Sirius rises with the sun, it climbs almost straight up as if ascending a hill. There it comes within view of the "Slot" between the Hyades and the Pleiades where the planets pass through on their way to the Milky Way.

"oak trees" — normally in an astronomical code, a tree represents the Milky Way; but here the oak trees represent asterisms and its leaves are the individual stars. The word for "leaf," ’ąp, makes a near homonym with the word for light, hąp. During a given night, it is hard to notice the motion of a planet, but look again the next night and it may become clear that the planet has moved. This is especially true of the Morning Star, which moves more quickly through the sky than a planet like Jupiter or Saturn. This motion is normally detected as a jump from one night to the next.

"shouting" — sound for light, used here to make it clear that it is a group of stars that are chasing after the squirrel (who being a planet travels faster than them).

"squirrel" — in an astronomy code, a creature that jumps from one tree to another is likely to be a planet. In this case, it is probably Morning Star, the primary adversary to Wears White Feather, whose stellar identity is Sirius.

"walked away" — only planets, apart from the sun and moon, can walk away from stars.

"shot the squirrel dead" — Sirius (Wears White Feather) is situated at the base of the Milky Way, which is frequently homologized to a tree. Morning Star (and other planets) cross into the Milky Way directly overhead in relation to Sirius. Like a squirrel, they run down this "tree" head first. However, once they fall out of the tree, they continue downward until they reach conjunction with the sun. This is illustrated below. Conjunction results in their disappearance from the sky, which is to say in allegorical terms, their death. The weapon of Sirius is Orion, which contains the star Alnilam. Alnilam is the stellar identity of Redhorn/Herokaga, the spirit of the arrow. The Hočąk word for arrow, , is a homonym for time as well. So it is time that (arrow/time) kills the planets over Sirius, and compels them to fall from the "tree" of the Milky Way to their deaths in the sun.

The Forked Man as a Bowman  
© Robnroll | Dreamstime.com  

"he had two bodies joined at the hips, and although he had but two legs, he had four arms and two heads" — elsewhere, it is clear that the Forked Men represent the bow. They have a strong association with the Heroka who represent the arrow. Here we have an allegorical description of an archer, the second head being the tip of the arrow, and the other two hands being the string ties which are like grasping hands that draw back the bow. For the Forked Man, see below.

"wall"elsewhere, Orion has been homologized to a wall with a packing strap hanging from it. Here, as indicated in the next entry, the packing strap has been replaced by a sword.

"a sword" — this is an interesting case of convergence or perhaps straightforward borrowing, since it is the Sword Stars of Orion that are like the sword in question. When Orion first rises, it does so with the Sword Stars pointing up, with the Belt Stars plus Algiebba forming a roof shaped structure above them.

Four Lakes, 1905 Hours, March 16, 1750   Four Lakes, 2359 Hours, March 16, 1750
Starry Night Software, www.starrynight.com

"the youngest of them ran on ahead of the rest. Then, unexpectedly, his body split in two right down the middle" — the roof shaped part of Orion slowly rotates clockwise over the Sword Stars, and as Orion is about to set, they rotate right in front of the sword. The star that the sword "splits" perfectly is the star at which it is pointing. This is the middle star of the Belt of Orion, Alnilam. Alnilam is identified with Redhorn. In the "Red Man," and its variant, "The Chief of the Heroka," Redhorn is beheaded by his eldest brother-in-law, who turns out to be Flint. So in these stories Redhorn's counterpart is also cleaved in two.

Orion as an Ax or Warclub  

"having teeth" — a stone ax, a survival from the Mississippian culture, actually has a mouth full of sharp teeth carved in relief above its blade.2 Stars are occasionally homologized to teeth (see 1, 2). In "Įčorúšika and His Brothers," they are said to have "painted an ax red," a reference to the heliacal rising of Orion, which has the form of an ax, hatchet, or warclub. The cognate image is found in a similar myth among the Hidatsa, who describe it as a hatchet with eyes.3 Eyes are, of course, yet another way of homologizing stars. Stars are also homologized to eyes partly because of the bright whites of the eyes, but also because the eyes blink which corresponds to the twinkling of stars.

"shout" — this is again sound for light. Since they are on the verge of being taken captive, the source of this light is the sun.

"captive" — they are no longer free to roam the sky, which means that they are now absent from the sky. This only occurs once they have set with the sun, at which time they appear to have submerged underground.

"they were tied so that their backs bent backwards and the whip was laid upon them" — this describes the bow, and the whip is the string.

"he saw his little grandfather" — originally he saw his little brother in front of him, but only his older brother, the Forked Man, is with him, the younger brother having died. Yet this is not a mistake on the part of the narrator: esoterically, the younger brother was part of Orion, and the "little grandfather" is a warclub which is also Orion, so he is really seeing two forms of the same thing. The mythographer who constructed this episode was being kind enough to give us an interpretive equation.

"chiefs" — these, as it transpires, are planets. They are chiefs because they are the brightest stars, and they are also free of the obligation of other stars to move in lockstep with their kind. Since they move along the ecliptic, they form a row.

"bones" — bones are suitable for being homologized to stars, since they are white. Bones are thought to contain the soul, so homologizing stars to them may recall the idea, not universally held, that stars are souls as well.

"head" — detached heads are another homologue for stars, since stars are round but have nothing corresponding to a body. This is of a piece with stars being metaphorical bones. Bones contain marrow, horugóp, which is believed to be the stuff in which the soul resides. The brain is called nąsúrugóp, "the horugóp of the head," and is paradigmatically the seat of the soul, as we see when a warrior's head is taken in battle and his soul is said to follow aloong with it for awhile until it realizes that it is dead.

Two Planets in the Grip of the Hyades  
Four Lakes, 0456 Hours, June 27, 1763  
Starry Night Software, www.starrynight.com  

"the door" — having been held captive in the earth, they are now returning to the sky. The spot on the earth through which they rise is their "door." Their grandfather, who is ex hypothesi the Hyades (Flint), goes through first since the Hyades are first to rise with the sun. So the first and oldest of them, the grandfather, is there waiting for them.

"they rolled the heads inside" — since the ecliptic passes by the Hyades, there are frequently planets that "roll" by. The inset captures an occasion on which both Morning Star and Jupiter are in the grasp of the Hyades.

"chattered their teeth" — often said of heads that are playing a role in an astronomy code. The teeth, being white, small, and roundish, are easily homologized to stars. Sound corresponds to light, so that the noise they make indicates that they are bright. Since planets do not twinkle, the staccato, on again, off again, sound of chattering does not represent twinkling, but the fact that this process takes many night to complete during which the planet is visible at night, then washed out by day, then visible by night once again, with its position just slightly altered. Compare the rattling sound of the moon below. During this process, the "teeth" (the planets) move, another aspect of the process captured by the chattering of teeth.

"his grandsons gave a thunderous whoop" — this again is sound for light. The stars in question have now risen with the sun and are seen in the night sky. Sirius is the brightest star apart from the planets and so his whoop is especially loud.

"killed the heads" — after the planets pass by the Hyades (grandfather), they decline to the horizon where they eventually come into conjunction with the sun and "die."

"a green island" — the word for "green" is čo, which also denotes blue. Superficially, the island is green because of its vegetation, but allegorically, it is blue because this is where the sun sets under the archway of the Milky Way, leaving a bit of twilight blue as it sinks under the horizon. This occurs in early April, as Sirius and its companion stars gradually sink below the horizon to join in setting with the sun, the grandfather whom they are visiting.

"he soon returned and put his boat back on land" — as we shall see below, the hook that eventually pulls this boat is used to describe the motion of a star towards the sun. So the boat should have a value in an astronomical code. The most obvious choice would be the moon, which is often compared to a boat in its crescent phase. When the moon is about to reach conjunction, it will rise only a little above the horizon, and over a short period of days, it will conjoin with the sun and not come up at all for a couple of days. They are opposite the sun, so they reel in the moon until it is on the opposite shore, then they can ride it automatically back to the sun where it originated.

"a loud rattling sound" — sound stands for light in astronomical codes. The rattling noise is a staccato pattern. In dragging the moon with the Pleiades, they move it a little every night, so that it rises making light/sound, then sets, going dark/quiet. The alternating on-again off-again pattern is appropriately described as a rattling noise. This is like the chattering of teeth above.

"we have come back to you" — grandfather's older brother would seem to be the Sun. Grandfather and his entourage must be stars themselves to function in an astronomical allegory. Grandfather is later made into a hįja owl, and seems to be identical to Flint. The Hyades are "V" shaped, and therefore at once form the silhouette of a bird in flight and of a flint style arrowhead. Here they (the Hyades) come into conjunction with the sun. This is a process in which the stars were once in conjunction ("grandfather used to live with him"), but traveled away from the sun ("on the warpath"), only now to come back again into conjunction (return to grandfather's brother).

"a giant man whose body was painted completely red" — the grandfather of the Forked Man in this story is found also in the stories "The Chief of the Heroka" and "The Red Man." In both these stories, he kills the character identified as "the Red Man" who in the variant tale, is said to be the Chief of the Heroka. This man is better known as Redhorn, but also as Įčorúšika (Wears Faces on His Ears). However, he is not the only person whose body is red. The Red Star, who is the Evening Star, is red precisely because the star is bathed in the light of the sunset when it is close to the sun. The other "half" of Venus, the Morning Star, is of exactly the same character. When he is near the sun the disc, the "star" may actually be red from the refraction of light low on the horizon, and in any case, he too is bathed in the red glow of the sunrise. Morning Star, unlike Įčorúšika, is called a "Giant" (from the title of a story about him, "The Giant, or the Morning Star" ). He is not one of the Giants of the north, but only a giant in the sense of xete, "large," found his conventional name, Wiragošge Xetera, "The Great Star." In Hočąk the Giants of the north against whom he actually contends, are called Wągeručge, "Man-Eaters."

"to inundate the island" — when Morning Star is red at the horizon, he starts at the edge of the Milky Way, the "ocean." What happens to the "island" is that it is, as we even say in English, "washed out" by the light of the sun which he brings with him. The čo or blue of the sky in this case is now homologized to that of the ocean.

"it had dragged this man to the shore" — as can be seen in the picture below, the hook is the Pleiades, which clearly have this shape. There are periods of time in which the allegory is paradigmatically exemplified, and one such year is 1056 a. D. (OS). In the Venus Cycle eight years prior, in 1048, the Morning Star approached right up to the gaping "mouth" of the Hyades (in many places viewed as a crocodilian with gaping jaws), but turned around in its retrograde motion and escaped being "swallowed." In the year 1056, the Pleiades seemed to pull Morning Star up from its place in the "ocean" and towards where Grandfather Hyades lay waiting.

The Morning Star in the Milky Way Sea being Draw Up by the Pleiades Hook
Sunrise, May 23, 1048
Starry Night Software, www.starrynight.com

"they took his head and boiled it nicely and made a meal out of it" — in the story the victors eat the heads of the vanquished. This, at least partly, derives from the greatest warrior being given the head as his portion at a feast, the theory probably being that the head is the highest part of the body and as such corresponds to the highest achiever. On May 22, 1048, and other dates that occur cyclically, Morning Star is with the sun, which is itself rising in the Milky Way of Taurus. This is the "boiling" of the head of Morning Star. In the motion pictures below, the eating begins in the year 1056 (although in many other years, the path of Venus crosses through the "mouth" of the Hyades, but from the opposite direction). At that time the Morning Star enters into the jaws of the Hyades, and spends some time there as it happens to undergo its retrograde motion.

Path of Morning Star   20 May - 2 July 1048   20 May - 7 July 1056 
Starry Night Software

For quite some time afterwards, the Morning Star spends time inside the gaping jaws of the Hyades where it is "eaten," as shown in the table below, which shows Morning Star entering the jaws of the Hyades every eight years in accordance with the Venus Cycle. Eventually, following the course of Venus every eight years, in this particular pattern it will eventually cease to fall within the Hyades. When the Morning Star passes out of the jaws of the Hyades, this complete one Hyades Intrusion Cycle, as tabulated below.

Dates inside the Hyades   Dates inside the Hyades
June 12-18, 1056 (6-Flint) June 27, 1160 (6-Flint)
June 17-22, 1064 (1-Flint) June 27, 1168 (1-Flint)
June 20-23, 1072 (9-Flint) June 27, 1176 (9-Flint)
June 21-24, 1080 (4-Flint) June 27, 1184 (4-Flint)
June 23-25, 1088 (12-Flint) June 27, 1192 (12-Flint)
June 24-26, 1096 (7-Flint) June 27, 1200 (7-Flint)
June 25-26, 1104 (2-Flint) June 27, 1208 (2-Flint)
June 25-27, 1112 (10-Flint) June 27, 1216 (10-Flint)
June 26-27, 1120 (5-Flint) June 27, 1224 (5-Flint)
June 26-27, 1128 (13-Flint) (June 26-27, 1232 [13-Flint])*
June 27, 1136 (8-Flint) (June 26-27, 1240 [8-Flint])*
June 27, 1144 (3-Flint) (June 26-27, 1248 [3-Flint])*
June 27, 1152 (11-Flint) (June 26-27, 1256 [11-Flint])*
  June 26, 1264 (6-Flint)†
*above the Hyades on June 26, outside on June 27 —
its passage through can be inferred.
†appears to occlude ε Tauri.

All positions were measured at sunrise for the dates indicated. Following the year 1208, after a century and a half, the Morning Star in this phase of the Venus Cycle ceases to pass within the "jaws" of the Hyades. This cycle itself fits in a second order cycle, in which the Hyades Intrusion Cycle moves to another year of the Venus Cycle in which the planet charts a different course against the background stars. As the table below shows, if we choose a. D. 335 as the first year of the Venus Cycle in which the Hyades Intrusion Cycle occurs, then the next Hyades Intrusion Cycle will occur in the fourth year of the Venus Cycle. This Venus Cycle would be that of the year 338 (Year IV), but its Hyades Intrusion Cycle does not begin until the year 570.

Year of Venus Cycle Hyades Cycle Began Hyades Cycle Ended
I (335) June 7-12, 335 June 24, 479
IV (338) June 8-11, 570 June 25, 738
VII (341) June 4-15, 813 June 26, 941
II (336) June 9-16, 1048 June 27, 1208
V (339) June 7-20, 1291 June 30, 1443
VIII (342) June 13-17, 1518 July 11, 1678
III (337) June 20 - July 3, 1769 July 15, 1921
VI (340) June 28 - July 3, 2004 July 17, 2156

The number of days that the Morning Star retrogrades through the Hyades ranges from 3 to 13 days. The year of the Venus Cycle in which the Morning Star retrogrades through the Hyades is separated by three from the next year of the Cycle in which this occurs. Given enough time in the past or future, owing to the precession of the equinoxes, the coincidence of the motion of Morning Star through the jaws of the Hyades will have ceased to exist. Given what we now know, this episode of the myth was inspired by the events of June 1048, 1291, 1518, or 1769. Earlier dates are possible, of course, although they are somewhat less likely.

The Progress of Morning Star through the Stellar Background, from the Pleiades to Near Conjunction (June 22 - October 28, 1750)
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"the old woman had some to eat" — she is the Moon and her husband is the Sun. As the moon nears conjunction, it has the same gaping mouth that the Hyades has. In the other course taken by Morning Star through the Hyades, it is dragged by the hook of the Pleiades and brought all the way to the old woman. Morning Star, the red giant, disappears into the boiling water, the Ocean Sea where the sun-fire rests. Just before the moon and the Morning Star fall into conjunction with the sun, the moon "eats" Morning Star. After this, the Morning Star is no more, at least for that part of its cycle.

"the other side of the island" — this is the western side where the sun sets.

"somewhere beneath the surface of the earth" — when a planet like Jupiter goes into conjunction with the sun, it slips beneath the earth and is not seen for a short period in the sky. In 1751, for instance, Jupiter sets with the sun on May 7 at 2004 hours. At the same time, in the western sky, Sirius through the Pleiades as a group are still present low on the horizon.

"they struck down hard with the club, which created a sizable hole" — the club with teeth, as we saw above, is Orion. Twelve days after Jupiter sets with the sun (1751), Alnilam of the Belt Stars of Orion, then sets. Around this time, therefore, the club strikes the earth and embeds within it.

"chasing after their opponents" — the Sirius-Pleiades asterism is now below the earth following behind the rising planet. Jupiter rises fairly soon in the east, rising with the sun on May 12, although it is hard to see it until it gets some separation from the sun. Hence, its voice is "low." Alnilam rises with the sun on the fourth of July, 1751. Sirius (Wears White Feather) rises with the sun on July 31 of that year.

"filled it with water" — after they rise, the Milky Way follows them, rising over the spot ("hole") where they had emerged from the earth. Since the Milky Way is in origin water (q.v.), the hole may therefore be said to have been filled with water. For the Milky Way as a body of water, see "The Origin of the Milky Way," and the links and sources there.

"made a meal out of them" — Grandfather-Hyades, as Sirius-Orion rises, has Jupiter pass through its gaping jaws, which allegorically counts as having eaten the head. On May 25, 1726, Saturn rose with the sun, and by August 2, was "eaten" by both the Hyades and the moon. In mid-May, 1744, both Mars and Morning Star rise with the sun, and are "eaten" by the Hyades in mid-June.

Jupiter as a Meal of the Head-Eaters
Starry Night Software, www.starrynight.com

"the woman ate with them" — the woman is, ex hypothesi, the moon. As it happens, in this year of 1751, the moon completely occludes Jupiter on August 15, sometime before sunrise. This is a case of the moon "swallowing" Jupiter, and therefore sharing in the meal of which the Hyades had first partaken. The moon "ate" Saturn on Aug. 2, 1738. In 1744, after Mars leaves the Hyades in mid-June, it is almost "swallowed" by the moon on July 8.

"the old man scolded her to himself" — this is the usual symbolism of sound for light: the old man is barely audible because, as the sun, he is not yet risen and his light is as yet dim.

"at the very middle of the night, suddenly a snake thrust its head up from the ground at the center of the lodge" — right in the middle of the lodge is where grandfather-Hyades is located. At midnight, in a number of years in the Saturn cycle, Saturn rises at midnight already in the jaws of the Hyades. On midnight, Sept. 7, 1765, for instance, both the Hyades and the moon are present with Saturn between them. Sept. 5, 1738, the same can be said for Mars; but Jupiter does not fall in line for several centuries. The planets are now homologized to snakes in order to be the proper food for owls and herons, the identities that will be made explicit in the episode that follows.

"Wears White Feather on His Head" — the name in Hočąk is given as, m doAo rK A Ke se K (= Mąšųska-hakerega). Mąšų-ska means "white feather"; hakere means, according to Miner, "to wear on the head vertically." However, in a lexical note to "The Birth of the Twins," Radin has, "hakere = wear on scalp lock."4

Whooping Crane
photo by Laura Erickson
The Snowy Egret
photo by Sandy Brooke

"white cranes" — the word translated as "crane," peją́, seems to be much broader in meaning, denoting all the members of the heron family. The white peją́ is almost certainly the egret, although it could also denote the white form of the blue heron, and even the whooping crane. The white cranes are stars. This is why the cranes are said to be the chief enemies of the Nightspirits, since the latter are about trying to spread darkness, whereas the cranes are attempting to do the opposite at the same time. The illumination of the cranes "scars" the face (the night sky) of the Nightspirits.

Bow and Arrow as a Forked-Tail Bird The Hand Stars of Kunu (Mintaka)
© Dtopal | Dreamstime.com Starry Night Software

"a forked-tailed bird" — the Forked Man (Wąk-čąka ?) represents the bow. The two halves of the bow are like wings of a bird, and its tail, when the bow is fully drawn, is the forked tail of the feathers making up the vane of the arrow (or the nock). In the astronomical code, one might think that he is the Hyades, but this role is taken by the Grandfather, who elsewhere is known as Flint, a spirit who is both an owl and the source of the flint used in arrowheads. We can form a reasonable hypothesis as to the identity of the Forked Man, however. In "Įčorúšika and His Brothers," we are told that Įčorúšika's older brother has four arms, which is also one of the identifying attributes of the Forked Man. The brother of Įčorúšika (Redhorn) who has four arms is Mintaka, the first star in the Cingulum of Orion just ahead of Alnilam, who is Redhorn/Įčorúšika. In Redhorn stories, he is Kunu, the older brother; but kinship relationships can change in the surface levels of allegorical stories. The four arms of Mintaka are Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, Cursa (β Eridani), and Rigel. These four stars form an arc or bow in front of Mintaka. Redhorn is the spirit of the arrow, so it should come as no surprise that he is set in the middle of a bow. At the rear of Redhorn is Alnitak straight behind him, and split off to the right of Alnitak are the three stars that form the Sword of Orion. So behind Alnilam (Redhorn as arrow) is a stellar fork, and this might be the stellar equivalent of the forked tail of the arrow by virtue of which the Forked Man is described as "a forked-tailed bird." This Orion asterism, also like a bird, flies through the night sky landing in the west.

"their grandfather" — the grandfather who is a hįča owl and whose grandson is a forked man, seems to correspond to the opponent of Redman. In the present story, the old man's opponent is a red man of gigantic proportions who is Morning Star, but elsewhere his enemy is the red man who is Chief of the Heroka. In both sources he is beheaded by the Owl Spirit, but his head is not eaten. This grandfather seems to be the same as Flint whose stellar identity is almost certainly the Hyades.

"Čaručge" — the word ča denotes the upper part of the body, paradigmatically, the head. As a homonym, it also denotes deer. The word ruč means "to eat," and the suffix -ge commonly is found in the names of animals, and may mean something like "those which." So čaručge would mean "those who eat the upper part of the body (specifically, the head)." It is also of interest, given the importance of the Forked Men to the story, that the word ča also means "forked." In addition to these meanings, it is probably highly significant that a čaručge is a kind of bird whose name means "deer pigeon." Its identity is otherwise unknown.

The heads that are eaten are the planets. The Hyades and moon are "head-eaters" because they can go into conjunction with any of the planets, and, in the case of the moon, in so doing she occludes her partner as if it had been swallowed.

The genealogy given below is based on what is said both here and in the The Chief of the Heroka.

Overview. This story consists of a series of allegories about the family of stars stretching from Sirius through the Pleiades, and especially their relationship with the moon and planets that pass through them. The basic pattern of action in the sky is that a series of planets pass through "the Slot" between the Hyades and the Pleiades, or even through the "V" (jaws) of the Hyades, then onto the Milky Way "overhead" in relation to Sirius. From there they fall to the horizon and into conjunction with the sun and the earth/water at the horizon. There are other planetary patterns besides this dominant one, the most interesting being the motion of the Morning Star towards the Hyades, then in and out of its "jaws" during its retrograde motion, after which it returns to conjunction with the sun.

The allegorical myth is built on a tier of models. The lowest level is the denoting symbol, many of which have an "etymology" that rests upon the isomorphism of symbol and its object. Sound can symbolize light because the two have an extensive isomorphism of qualities. Arrows can symbolize directions in space or in time, because they are assymetrical, pointed, moving objects; although the standing of symbol and object as the referents of homonyms shows that not all denotation is effected by modeling. The next level of modeling is best described as an "image." This is rather like a denoting description or phrase such as, "Cæsar's crossing of the Rubicon." Such descriptions can be turned into propositions, in this case, "Cæsar crossed the Rubicon." An image can be an object whose properties are isomorphic to the state of affairs that satisfies an allegory to which it corresponds. An example of this is the crab (Model II) in "Hare Visits the Bodiless Heads." In this story hissing is an image: it symbolizes the light of planets as opposed to stars, by using the more fundamental denoting units of sound for light, non-staccato for sustained, teeth for stars/planets. Finally, corresponding to statements, we have allegories, which typically tell a story which, like a homonym on the symbolic level, is satisfied by two different "objects" (in this case, states of affairs). These states of affairs, the one satisfying the "surface meaning," and the other the "deeper meaning," are models of one another. So what appears in the surface meaning to be a episode about the eating of the head of a red giant by the grandfather, is in the deeper meaning a discription of the Morning Star during its retrograde motion falling into the "V" shaped "jaws" of the Hyades.

Comparative Material. The Arikara seem to portray the Hyades as a dangerous being who eats people, a Čaručge in a less favorable light. This monster appears in a story about the Twins, Long Teeth and Drinks Brains.

"Then he said, 'Grandmother, what is that thing underneath? It has one eye. Is it a dog? It has but one eye. What is it? And then the old woman said, 'Leave it lying there! He is your grandfather. Your grandfather he is.' And here was the husband of the old woman. Here that one was her husband. Then the old woman said, 'Let it be!'"5

... Also then his mother said, "Look, a man walks over there. Do not go near him. He is holy. He is really holy." "What is the reason for this, mother?" "He is not good. He has a large mouth. He has a really big mouth. He will kill you. He is really not good." After his mother went out, then Long Teeth said, "Now we will go there." Then they changed into birds, and then they went. Then they heated rocks. They heated them until they were red hot. Then Long Teeth said, "Now I will be the first to go. You are clumsy. You are not tough. I will be the one to go first."ČirikU! When Long Teeth flew into the smoke hole, he dropped a stone. Then he choked the one with the large mouth. Then he said, "Aa, it has a sharp claw. It must have large claws as it scratched my throat." And here it was a stone. Now again then he did it himself, Drinks Brains flew and dropped a stone. "Aa, you burned my throat. Now let me put the fire out." Then he drank. Then he drank water. ČiríkU, then he coughed it up as a great sweat bath belches out smoke when it is opened up. Then he belched steam. Then he said, "It must have had really long claws. You have scratched my throat. You two must have been really holy." Then they killed it. Now he just lay there. "Mother, we killed him for you, the one you referred to when you said, 'He is holy. He is not good'. And here it was not good. And here, mother, that one was the cause of your being killed. He had but one eye." "Aa, my sons, it is not good. He is holy. Now you two have killed him. That was the sacred one here. Now you two have killed that one too."6

The Hyades are often compared to a set of gaping jaws. It is also easy to see where the monster's single eye comes from, as the full moon passes close to the Hyades in October.

The Gaping Mouth (the Hyades)
and the One Eye (the Moon) of the Monster
Four Lakes, 0708 Hours, October 15, 1753
Starry Night Software, www.starrynight.com

The ecliptic passes between the Hyades and the Pleiades, so when the Hyades set with the sun they land quite nearly on top of the Fire, which goes through its "throat." When this happens, the Milky Way falls to the horizon and lies there flat. It becomes the steam that rises from the fiery demise of the Hyades-monster.

The Arapaho have a deity called "Little Star" or "Lone Star" who is a morning star and is thought to be the Morning Star (of Venus). Much of his mythology is like that of Wears White Feather. He too uses Orion as his weapon, variously described as the Coyote Bow, or Coyote Lance. One episode in particular is like that of Wears White Feather and his battle against the serpents. On his first adventure, Little Star walked for days until he reached a tipi painted solid black. There he ran across a torpid snake which he poked with his lance. He then killed it, and running across more snakes, did the same to them. Soon the whole snake village was up in alarm, and there were more snakes than he could handle. He had to find time to sleep, so he told his Coyote Lance to wake him if one of the serpents tried to attack him. During the night his lance awoke him many times, until finally, he became so sleepy that he could not be awakened. It was then that a snake worked his way up the young man's spinal cord and into his brain. This seemed to have killed Little Star, but as his body decayed, his sinews held together, so he did not loose his senses. As the snake started to emerge, Little Star grabbed him and forced him into submission. In exchange for his life, the snake agreed to give up his skin so that it might wrap the poisonous Coyote Lance. This was agreed to, and the snake was released, but with diminished powers.7

Links: Wears Sparrows for a Coat, The Forked Man, Crane, Owls, Squirrels, Redman, Bird Spirits, Snakes, The Redhorn Panel of Picture Cave. An American Star Map.

Stories: about Wears White Feather (Wears Sparrows for a Coat): Old Man and Wears White Feather; featuring the Forked Man as a character: The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka, The Spirit of Gambling; featuring about Flint: Hare Kills Flint, The Red Man, Chief of the Heroka, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Adventures of Redhorn's Sons; cranes as characters: The Crane and His Brothers, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Spirit of Gambling, Bladder and His Brothers (v. 1), The Blessing of a Bear Clansman; in which owls are mentioned: Owl Goes Hunting, Crane and His Brothers, The Spirit of Gambling, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, The Glory of the Morning, The Chief of the Heroka, Partridge's Older Brother, Waruǧápara, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I, The Green Man; about Bird Spirits: Crane and His Brothers, The King Bird, Bird Origin Myth, Bird Clan Origin Myth, 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), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, 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 Thunderbirds; mentioning squirrels: The Brown Squirrel, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Animal Spirit Aids of the Medicine Rite, Porcupine and His Brothers, The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men, Trickster and the Eagle; mentioning snakes: The First Snakes, The Woman who Married a Snake, Blessing of the Yellow Snake Chief, Snake Clan Origins, The Omahas who turned into Snakes, A Snake Song Origin Myth, The Serpents of Trempealeau, Rattlesnake Ledge, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Two Boys, Creation of the World (vv. 2, 3, 4), The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, Waruǧápara, The Green Man, Holy One and His Brother, The Man who was Blessed by the Sun, The Warbundle of the Eight Generations, Turtle and the Merchant, The Lost Blanket, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth; in which Redman is a character: The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka; featuring Giants as characters: A Giant Visits His Daughter, Turtle and the Giant, The Stone Heart, Young Man Gambles Often, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Morning Star and His Friend, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Old Man and the Giants, Shakes the Earth, White Wolf, 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, cf. The Shaggy Man; 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, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Roaster, Little Human Head, The Shaggy Man, Peace of Mind Regained, The Dipper (leaves); about journeys to and from Spiritland: The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Journey to Spiritland, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Lame Friend, Two Roads to Spiritland, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Holy One and His Brother, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, The Foolish Hunter, Waruǧápara, The Thunderbird, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, White Wolf, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Two Brothers, The Lost Blanket, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Man who went to the Upper and Lower Worlds, The Petition to Earthmaker, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Thunder Cloud Marries Again, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, Aračgéga's Blessings, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, The Man Whose Wife was Captured; mentioning teeth: The Animal who would Eat Men, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, Hare and the Dangerous Frog, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, The Two Boys, The Birth of the Twins, The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Dipper, Wolves and Humans, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Children of the Sun, The Green Man, Holy One and His Brother, Partridge's Older Brother, The Brown Squirrel, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge of the Medicine Rite, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, East Shakes the Messenger, Lifting Up the Bear Heads, White Wolf, Buffalo Clan Origin Myth; making reference to the baldheaded warclub: Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Morning Star and His Friend, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth; mentioning the Ocean Sea (Te Ją): Trickster's Adventures in the Ocean, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (v. 1), Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Trickster and the Children, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, White Wolf, How the Thunders Met the Nights (Mąznį’ąbᵋra), Bear Clan Origin Myth (vv. 2a, 3), Wolf Clan Origin Myth (v. 2), Redhorn's Sons, Grandfather's Two Families, Sun and the Big Eater, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4), The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father (sea), The Dipper (sea), The Thunderbird (a very wide river), Wojijé, The Twins Get into Hot Water (v. 1), Redhorn's Father, Trickster Concludes His Mission, Berdache Origin Myth, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Morning Star and His Friend, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed.

This waiką is very similar to The Man Who went to the Upper and Lower Worlds.

Themes: somatic dualism: The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, Disease Giver, The Chief of the Heroka, Bear Clan Origin Myth, The Red Man, The Forked Man, The Man with Two Heads; a spirit is of a red color: The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka, The Man who was Blessed by the Sun; red as a symbolic color: The Journey to Spiritland (hill, willows, reeds, smoke, stones, haze), The Gottschall Head (mouth), The Chief of the Heroka (clouds, side of Forked Man), The Red Man (face, sky, body, hill), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse (neck, nose, painted stone), Redhorn's Father (leggings, stone sphere, hair), The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father (hair, body paint, arrows), 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 spirit comes into existence as a fully mature human being but in a state of total amnesia: Morning Star and His Friend, The Nannyberry Picker, Little Human Head; an unseen creature hisses (blows puffs of air) at someone: The Man who went to the Upper and Lower Worlds, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Brown Squirrel, The Dipper, Hare Kills a Man with a Cane; blowing upon a person:The Red Man, Redhorn and His Brothers Marry, The Two Children, The Man who went to the Upper and Lower Worlds, The Chief of the Heroka, Aračgéga's Blessings; a fruitless visit to the upper and lower worlds: The Man who went to the Upper and Lower Worlds, The Lost Blanket, Įčorúšika and His Brothers; many people shoot at an animal in the trees, but only an outsider succeeds in hitting it: The Red Feather; despite the assistance of a great spirit, and a determined fight, a group of brothers must flee to a place of safety: Porcupine and His Brothers, Turtle's Warparty, The Man Who went to the Upper and Lower Worlds; head hunting: White Fisher, Big Thunder Teaches Čap’ósgaga the Warpath, A Man's Revenge, How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Little Priest's Game, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Young Man Gambles Often, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), The Dipper, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Porcupine and His Brothers, Turtle's Warparty, Ocean Duck, The Markings on the Moon, The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka, Thunderbird and White Horse, The Man with Two Heads, Brave Man, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Redhorn's Sons, Fighting Retreat, The Children of the Sun, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, The Were-Grizzly, Winneconnee Origin Myth; someone is abducted and led off into captivity: The Captive Boys, A Man's Revenge, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Lost Child, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Bladder and His Brothers, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Green Man, Brave Man, The Chief of the Heroka, Šųgepaga, Hare Gets Swallowed, Hare Acquires His Arrows, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, Wolves and Humans, The Woman Who Became an Ant, Thunderbird and White Horse, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Traveler and the Thunderbird War (v. 5), The Boy who Flew, Testing the Slave; a prisoner escapes by killing (some of) his captor(s): Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Hare Acquires His Arrows, Thunderbird and White Horse, The Boy who Flew, Hare Gets Swallowed, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, The Captive Boys; a man long abused by his enemy comes to dance with his enemy's head in his hand singing to himself as he does so: The Children of the Sun; the severed head of an enemy chatters its teeth: The Children of the Sun; a spirit is of a red color: Wears White Feather on His Head, The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka.


1 Paul Radin, "Wears White Feather on His Head," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Notebook #4: 1-50.

2 David H. Dye, "Art, Ritual, and Chiefly Warfare in the Mississippian World," in Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand: American Indian Art of the Ancient Midwest and South (New Haven: Yale University Press and The Art Institute of Chicago, 2004) 202, Fig. 27, from Spiro Mound, AD 1300-1400.

3 Bear's Arm [Beckwith], "3. The Sacred Arrow," in Martha Warren Beckwith, Mandan and Hidatsa Mythology, Publications of the Folk-Lore Foundation (Poughkeepsie: Vassar College) #10 (1930): 22-52 [41].

4 Sam Blowsnake, Waretcáwera, in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, ca. 1908) Winnebago V, #11: 49, note at the top of the page.

5 Lillian Brave (One Kernel of Corn Woman), "63. Long Teeth and Drinks Brain Soup," in Douglas R. Parks, Traditional Narratives of the Arikara Indians. Volume 2, Stories of Other Narrators: Interlinear Linguistic Texts. Studies in the Anthropology of North American Indians, 4 vols. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1991) 2:701.

6 Lillian Brave (One Kernel of Corn Woman), "63. Long Teeth and Drinks Brain Soup," 2:707-709.

7 George A. Dorsey, The Arapaho Sun Dance; The Ceremony of the Offerings Lodge. Columbian Field Museum, Publication 75, Anthropological Series, v. 4 (Chicago: Field Museum, June, 1903) 225-228.