Bladder and His Brothers

Version 1, "The Bladder"

based on the translation of Oliver LaMère

Hocąk-English Interlinear Translation

"Night Visitor"
(Raccoon Tracks)
©Christine Dickinson
(1) Once there was a long house. It lay facing east with ten fireplaces. There were ten men, brothers, and Kųnųga would say, "My dear brothers, I alone on this earth am holy, as Earthmaker made me great. We shall never live through anything that shall trouble us. (2) Every evening, each of them would bring themselves deer and bears. And Kųnų would not go hunting. He would be at home every day. One day Kųnų said, "My dear brothers, again, over here to a certain place, perhaps you should not go, as you yourselves have enough other places that you will be going. (3) I have placed my arrows there," said Kųnų, in the evening as they all were there, they say. In the morning, they started on the hunt. Hena did it. As he was going along, unexpectedly, he came across a raccoon. Its track was really big. It was as big as a bear's foot. "If I could kill him and make my brother a robe, he would be very pleased," he thought. (4) He would trail it a ways anyway, he thought. He did trail him. Still it was not made very long ago. As he was going along, there in the distance he could see it. There it was going along. Unexpectedly, it was a very white one. Again he wanted it all the more. "Yet here surely, I will kill it. If I could make my brother a robe, he would be very pleased," he thought. (5) It went in the direction he had been forbidden to go, but he did so anyway. There it went on until it climbed up a red oak which stood there. It was hollow there, and it went up in there. As it was now evening, he thought he would wait until the next morning. There at the base of the tree, he built a fire. He gathered a great deal of wood, and (6) then in the night, unexpectedly, someone from above said, "White Raccoon, tell me a story," he said. Unexpectedly, from inside the tree, he then said, "What could I tell you? A man has arrived below and he is warming his chest," he said. ", my dear dog! My dear dog!" said a voice from within (the tree). He took his arrow and pointing it upwards, shot in the middle. (7) Thus he did, but they knocked him to the ground. He made a pack of him and packed him away and went home. Kųnų was saying, inasmuch as Hena had not returned, "Hagagasgeyižą, I forbid you, but he would not listen or obey," he said. "In the morning, two of you had better go and look for him," he said.

The next morning, Haga and Nąxi went off together. (8) On the way, unexpectedly, there they came upon his tracks. Unexpectedly, they were trailing a raccoon. Yet the tracks were as big as his own. "Koté, perhaps to kill this is what he is trying to do. If we made a blanket, its hide would surely be a good blanket," they said. As it was winter, they had their snowshoes on. Unexpectedly, as they went along, they saw him there in the distance. They gave a shout. (9) He did not answer back. It, unexpectedly, turned out to be only his snowshoes there, as they were placed sticking up in the snow there. There in the snow, when they got there, looking around at the tracks, they could not find anything. The steps around the wood, that's all they found. As it was now evening, koté, they decided to camp for the night. (10) "Also in the morning, we can go on with him," they said. Again they built a fire and sat by the fire opposite one another. Immediately, there was a voice from above, "White Raccoon, tell me a story." He spoke unexpectedly from the tree and said, "What could I tell you? Two men have come. Below they are warming their chests." (11) He said, unexpectedly, "Ho! my dear dog! My dear dog!" he replied. They grabbed their bows and arrows and while they were waiting, he knocked them over dead. Then he came and landed on the ground and went and caused them to be laid head to toe and carried the two of them away and went home.

Once again they did not return. Kųnų was worried, (12) "My brothers, in the morning two of you must go again." In the morning, two of them went again. Then again they did the same. They did as they had at first until only one remained, Nąxixununąka (Youngest Born). "Little brother, given that you have gone, try and make an effort to do it and try to get back to me," he said. In the morning he started. When he came to the snowshoe tracks, he followed them. (13) He got there. He looked around for the tracks, but he saw only where they had gathered wood. He was not to go to this place. So he thought about what could be the matter with them. There he also would sleep. He built himself a fire. Right after it had grown dark, unexpectedly, it was said from above, "Tell me a story, you white raccoon," he said. Unexpectedly, here from inside the tree he made answer, (14) "What could I tell you? A man has come below and he is warming his chest," he said. "Ho, my dear dog! My dear dog!" a voice said. He went roaring as he came. He took his arrow and shot in the direction where he believed the sound came from. Again he took it a second time and shot in the direction of the sound. He landed on the earth. "Duwé! you hurt me!" he said. (15) He had shot him with one of his arrows in the leg. And also he was hit twice in the arm. "You shall suffer for this," he said. He severed a thorn bush. And he took his clothes away from him. As he walked, he kept on whipping Nąxixununąka's skin all the way home. Nąxixununąka cried has they went along. As he cried, he said, (16) "Bladder, my brother, you said that you were the only holy one, my brother," he said. He was taken over as they went over above (Bladder). "Guwa!" said Bladder. "That's what I said," he said.

In the morning he said, "I will now eat," he said. He boiled a whole bear. Once it was cooked, he laid it around the lodge on branches and began to eat. (17) Very soon he had eaten it up and he began to get ready. He wore a bear skin, and he had an otter for a tobacco pouch, and his pipe was like a big kettle. Then he started out and went in a certain direction. The first thing he came to was the white raccoon. He took the tree and threw it aside. (18) Then they came and he kicked it to pieces. There was a raccoon and it was very white. It was as big as a bear. It growled, but he killed it. Then he took it and hung it in his belt. He went on. It (the trail) would disappear as it led through the center of blades of grass, but he would rip through them with his feet. Again, it would lead through the center of a tree, (19) but he would do the same to them. He went on. The first thing he came to there was an oval lodge. He went near it. An old woman was there. The ground shook, so she went out and there, unexpectedly, a powerful man was coming. That one was there to make clay pots. She was a captive. (20) One Legged One (Wareksąnįkiga) had made her into a slave. "Whatever spirit you are over this place, I give you two very nice pots," she said, holding them on either side. Bladder said, "Grandmother, it is good." Afterwards, when I shall at a future date start back home, I shall take them back home with me," he said. He came to (another) old woman. (21) Again she was scared. She had two bags of tobacco on either side of her and she came out of her lodge. She said, "Whatever you are of the various spirits over this place, I give you two bags of tobacco as a tobacco offering," she said. Bladder said, "Grandmother, it is good. When I return I shall take them as I start back home," he said. And he went on.

(22) As he went along, unexpectedly, two white cranes were standing on either side of the road. They looked up, stretching their necks out. They were about to cry out, when he scolded them, then they became meek. He grabbed them by their necks and shoved them through his belt. Now he went on and after going a ways, there lay two snakes along each side of the road, hissing at him. (23) Again, after he scolded them, they laid down on the ground. Again on both sides from above he made them captives, and he grabbed them around their necks, shoving them into his belt. There again two mountain lions were sitting on opposite sides of the road. Again they tried to growl, but when he scolded them, they became meek. (24) Again he carried them in his belt. And at the lodge door there were two mountain lions who began to groan, to growl, but he took them, grabbing them by their necks.

He was inside. Unexpectedly, there he was. He was using a woman for a pillow and again one to rest his legs on. And he lay on either side of them, flat on his back. (25) "Koté, you who go about on a flat leg, I want you to skin these for me," he said to him. He threw at his chest the things he carried in his belt. They came running. All the spectators were milling around the lodge. "Koté, something has come to the chief. About now they will do something," they said. "What could they do to him? (26) They have often tried, but never has anyone been able to do anything," the spectators said. Then he arose. He went and sat opposite him. One Legged One said, "Give me the tobacco pouch," he said. "The pipe," Bladder said, "you flat legged thing, this which you have spoken, finally you have spoken right. (27) When a man comes to see you, it is your place to supply the tobacco." Then One Legged One began to smoke. He took a few puffs there and then a long draw, and Bladder bounced up, lurching forward. When he did it the second time, he bounced up harder. The third time he did it, he again bounced higher. He almost stood up. (28) He drew for the fourth time. And this time he did so very strongly and for a long time, but he did not move. Then he blew out the tobacco from the pipe. "Korá, jáha-á! niží, I thought you were filling the pipe for me. When a man goes visiting, it is your place to supply the tobacco," he said. (29) He started to fill the pipe, saying, "I am preparing the pipe," he (Bladder) said. They thought that the pipe that One Legged One had was large, this one, it was bigger still. Now he filled it. He took a few puffs and then took a long draw. One Legged One bounced up. He inhaled a second time. (30) And then again he bounced up even more. Again having drawn in for a third time, again even more he bounced up. Now for the fourth time, One Legged One sat in a different position. Having had it burned for the fourth time, he leapt up, landing in the fire head first. It caused the woman to scream and she pulled him out. (31) Bladder blew out his own pipe. "You homely, flat legged one who does this, why does it disturb my smoking by this jumping around? This much I will do." That was all he got. This was the way he had been doing it to them and he would usually kill them, but this time he was the victim.

Then One Legged One said, "Heat one of those stones there," he said. (32) "Now then, that thing which you are speaking is good. When a man goes visiting, as I am now, he is usually given a sweat bath. I am weary and you will do me good." A big black stone was put in the fire. It steamed and they went ahead. They made a steam bath house. The lodge poles were very close to one another. (33) It would be impossible for them to get out. "Hąhó," said One Legged One, "undress and we will have a steam bath." "Howo," said Bladder. He entered, and as he undressed, he did it. He threw his tobacco pouch at the tobacco pouch owned by One Legged One. The tobacco pouches fought among themselves, and One Legged One's was torn up. (34) The tobacco was scattered about. His coat which again he had there nearby, again he threw the coat there. Again, One Legged One's coat was all torn up. Then they went into the sweat bath that they had made. "Make it as strong as possible," One Legged One said. They went inside and covered the lodge completely. (35) Then they poured oil on the stone. Then it lay there sizzling, but again Bladder liked it all the more and he blew on himself. "Kota, why indeed not pour on more?" and he took it away from him. Then he did it and then he poured it on the stone. One Legged One tried to get out. (36) He ordered the ones outside to open it for him, so they opened it. Indeed, he was nearly smothered. The spectators at least were so thick that they drew up the sides all around.

The spectators in the village all assembled. And they dressed themselves and again they sat opposite one another. Then One Legged One said, "Why not tell a waiką?" he said. (37) "Howo, why don't you do it and tell a waiką? Why don't you tell one?" he said. "Hąhó, hišjąge, I myself will tell one," he said. "Ho, there One Legged One lived." ", Flat Legged One!" "He was the only great spirit. Earthmaker created him great first. There he ruled over a town. (38) He lived, hąhó, in a long house, and the long house was full of women. Everyone of them was a wife of his. He was a holy one. And there lived these ten men and the oldest one, called 'Bladder', spoke of himself as being holy. They say it is not so. They say that he did not amount to anything. (39) They say that he was not the equal of One Legged One." ", Flat Legged One!" "Therefore, he sent one of his dogs over to where he was. There, every night, One Legged One would go after one." ", you flat legged one!" "Finally, he went after the youngest one. Thus he did, this great spirit shot him in the leg, (40) and also Youngest Born got him in the arms. So he took a thorn bush and whipped him all the way home. He came back around taking him back over Bladder's lodge. It's not true that he did thus to threaten him. He had spoken of himself as being great and it was not so, and so One Legged One, he himself was made one of the Great Ones, and that is why he did it." (41) ", you flat legged thing," Bladder would say every once in a while in reply. "And then Bladder came, but he did not kill him off on purpose. When he smoked he could have killed him, but he did not do it by design. Again he could have killed him while he was in the sweat bath, but he also did not do it on purpose. But now when they do 'Kick One Another,' he will kill him. (42) Hąhą, it is ended. Your turn to tell one," he said.

In his turn, Bladder said, "And what could I tell you? When 'Bladder,' as they call him, was about to be sent there by Earthmaker to go to the earth, all the various spirits that Earthmaker had created, they were all gathered together. After all of them were gathered together there, (43) so that he himself was to go there for the purpose of putting out of the way all the bad spirits. There one legged one, the flat legged one, peeped over the edges of the earth. He came, and he landed. There he made himself his younger brothers. And there he lived. And he knew of it. When he was going to do these things, thus he now let them happen. It didn't amount to anything. (44) When the youngest brother came back crying as he was taken over, there he could almost have taken him down. But he did not do it. But because he is coming to his home and he will do it. That is why he did not come there to kill him. Having made all the things do it, he kept on sticking them in his belt as he came. And he came to the lodge, and when he went in, (45) there, unexpectedly, was Flat Legged One lying on his back. He threw the things at him. There at the center, he could have killed him, but he did not do it. And again he could have killed him in his smoking, but he also did not do it. He could have killed him while he was doing his sweat bath, but he also did not do it. (46) But he intends to kill him yet. Hąhą, you flat legged thing, it is ended."

One Legged One said, "I ask you, what shall it be? You name it." "But what were the things done to try each other?" he said. "As you will not say anything about it, I will not say anything," he said. Then One Legged One said, "We will play Kicking One Another," he said. (47) "You flat legged thing, will you kick something, doing this much kicking with a flat leg? Hišjąge, we will do it perhaps, despite a leg as slim as yours; and you did say you would do it," he said. "Hąhó," he said. The spectators crowded around discussing the matter. Some said, "Here is where he will kill him, as that is when he usually has been doing it to them," they said. (48) Some, discussing it, said, "He (One Legged One) will get killed, as he has beaten him at all others whatever exactly like this," some said bluntly. Then they came out. "You kick me first," said One Legged One. "Do as you usually do — kick me first, seeing as how you made the rules when you kicked them, you flat legged thing." (49) "All right, hišjąge, I will kick you first," he said. Up he went until now he was out of sight. "Jáha-á, where did he go, that one who was lately such a big mouth?" he said. The spectators also, "Yes, that did give him pleasure," they said. (50) He turned around and walked back and was about to go back in when he landed on the earth. Koteža, you flat legged thing, are you going somewhere? Niži, I believe it was you who suggested doing Kick One Another. How is it, again, that you're leaving?" He returned and kicked him a second time. And again thus he went. The fourth time, he did not move. (51) It was now his turn to kick One Legged One. As the man was there, up he went. After awhile, his one leg came off and fell to the ground. Again all his arms, his torso, his limbs, they fell in pieces. "The flat thing will have abused the people. It was he who did just this. Burn him and again all there are of his children, and again all his wives who are pregnant, also in addition burn them." (52) There they burned all of them, then he did it.

He gathered the bones of his brothers, all of them, and there he laid them out. He said, "Ho, brothers, a tree is falling on us, run!" As he said this, the bones joined back together. (53) Again a second time he said, "Ho, brothers, a precipice is falling on us, run!" As he said this, the sinews came together there. Again the third time he said, "Ho, brothers, the heavens are falling on us, run! The only vacant spot will be over here." As he said this, their bodies became whole. (54) Again the fourth time, "Brothers, we are being rushed upon by a warparty, run!" After he said this, "Howo," they said, and got up. Unexpectedly, there was no one there. "Hohohowá, we were enjoying our sleep a lot," they said. Then Youngest Born said, "My dear brothers, we were dead," he said. "Hohó," they said. (55) Then they knew it there. Then the villagers said, "Hohó, wherever different places we have come from, we will go and keep a village for you," they said, but "Now one of the village, he himself should govern you as he usually did, as we came to kill the one who has been doing it to you. (56) You may have it (the village) in peace," he said to them. They thanked him. Then they went home.

Then he came there to the first one who had offered tobacco to him. "Grandmother, go back there where you used to live. I have killed the evil spirits," he said to her. The old woman thanked him very much. All the tobacco there in the house, all of it, she gave him. (57) They were supplied with the remainder of the tobacco. And again they came there to the one who made pots. Again they told her about it. Since they killed him, she thanked them. There again, she gave them all the pots. When everyone got there, again the remainder of those who did not have them, they carried pots and went on. And they finally got home.

(58) There, this one, Bladder, here on earth he came to gamble with all things that were evil, who abused people, but he did not do it. This one only did he kill, One Legged One; he was the greatest of the bad spirits, but he alone he killed. Earthmaker created One Legged One as the first man. (59) Since he was the very first man that he had made, he did not make him right. The leg was on the other side only, and the leg was flat. Therefore, he threw him onto the earth as condemned. One Legged One, therefore, was not as holy as Bladder. Bladder was, at least, the second son of Earthmaker. (60) And here Bladder came to his stopping point there. He failed in the mission for which he was sent. So he gambled. The creator made him. He made him and put within him all things, the grasses and herbs that are good for repairing Light and Life; the trees, meaning particularly those good for life, so that the people might have it for their lives.1

Version 2. Bladder and One Legged One

by Charlie Houghton

Hocąk-English Interlinear Text

(333) Hąhą, now then, Earthmaker sent them to fix this earth again and again. In the beginning, the reason why he did it, they say, is that many of the bad spirits were living wild. Well, finally, the third time he made with his own hands a man whom he called "Bladder" (Watexúga). "Hąhą́, Bladder, you go and try to fix everything. (334) The two-legged walkers they were made poor for me, and they might bring them to an end for me. Try to do it and try to end all the devils, as many as there are," he told him. And so now when he came — ho! — he came to us. "If I do it alone, I won't end them very soon. Only this way of doing it will end them soon," he thought. Ho, now thus he made a long house for himself. (335) So a long house with two fireplaces, thus he made, and also he made brothers for himself. Ten men he made for himself. Ho, now he left with them all manner of sharp things, and said, "Well my younger brothers, you are not to be afraid of anything. Earthmaker made me alone great. Not anyone is equal to me. (336) What one can you fear? And anything you fear on this earth, as many as there are that are not good, go over and kill all of them," he said, they say. And so, ho!, now they went about the earth. Yet in the evening, when they returned, he would say, "My younger brothers, there is nothing that is not afraid of you. (337) Earthmaker made me alone great. No one is equal to me. There is nothing to be afraid of," he told them. Again the next morning, again when they finished eating, now then, again all of them in the course of time were on this earth. Equal to — ho! — Earthmaker above, he thought that way about himself. He thought himself equal to the great devil. (338) He (Herešgúnina) was disliking Bladder. "Búa! Kará, he was saying he thinks how great a thing he is."

, Herešgúnina had a dog who was a raccoon, a white raccoon, which he sent out. In the course of time, he came to them. There he went into a hollow tree and sat there. And the brothers of Kųnų saw that the tracks had gone by. "Ho! a really big raccoon has gone by here," they said. Kára, now he did it, and, (339) wérakirakuni, in the evening, just about dark, he got to him. He climbed up into the tree. "Kodé, tomorrow I can kill him." Since his moccasins were very wet, he took them off. He built a fire and there he sat. Korá, just about that time, a bit after the sun had gone down, "White raccoooon! Tell me a stooory!" he said. Up above, this one of Herešgúnina — werakirakuni! — (340) the raccoon also said, "Hó-o-o! What could I tell you? Kųnų's younger brother, the younger one, is down below the hill there, his little breast is streaked as he looks at me-e-e!" "Hó-o-o! Kára, after a bit now there is going to be heeelp!" he said advancing. When he was just about there, he took his arrow and he now pointed his arrow up above. (341) Now he (the raccoon) ran away with him. When Herešgúnina got him back, now — hó! — he skinned him and here the flesh of his body he now ate.

Hó! and, werakirakúni, Kųnų had not gotten back that night, so when it became day, Hénaga again now trailed his brother's tracks. Hogí, there were his snowshoes only sticking up there. "Hoho! here he must have done it." (342) When he got there, there was nothing visible whereby he might guide himself. He also stuck his snowshoes there and again, a second time, "White Raccoooooon! Tell me a story!" "Hoooo! What could I tell you? Kųnų's brother, Hena, who is also here, he is sticking out his chest and beating it as he looks at me." "Hooooo! it is good!" "Taaaaaax!" He came forth. Now he just started. He pointed an arrow towards him. (343) Now they took him away. Now they skinned him and ate his flesh. They kept right on.

Ha-a, finally, they took all of them. And now only the youngest one remained. "Hąhá, my little brother, try hard. Do it with might! (344) He used to be smart. Find out who it is that is doing it and try to get back. I myself will go. We'll first see who is doing it," he said. "Now then, I will come back." Now then, Nąǧixonúnįka started off and now the tracks were such that they were still visible. When he got there, wérakirakuni, there these snowshoes were sticking up. "Hąhą́, so this is the way it is," he thought. Now then, now he removed them and there he put his snowshoes to dry. (345) Now then, now he built himself a fire and now — ho! — he warmed himself. "White raccooooon! Tell me a story!" he said. "Hoooo! what could I tell you? Before, even I myself used to say it." The youngest one just stuck his chest out. Come and warm yourself. He is looking at me. Tooooooooox!" Ho, he placed his arrow and (346) now then, he didn't see anything, but now about where he thought — táp! he made it sound. "Tu-í-i-i!" he said. "Even the older ones did not do that way with me. You're small, but you did hurt me." Now then, now he continually whipped him with a thorn bush, whipping him on his back. Then there he sang, they say, (347) but he sang a song about his older brother,

, my younger brother!
I will get there!

he said. Now then, now he was about to get the pipe ready — gúo! — he brought out a pipe that was just like a flaring-edged kettle. Now then, now the marten-fisher (wasák), it is said, he had as a shirt. Now then, he put it on completely alive, and furthermore, the marten-fisher (wazą́k) he had as a tobacco pouch. (348) He put tobacco into it — guó! — now he began to smoke it and the whole earth filled with smoke. He did it and now he started off to where his younger brothers were dying. He got there. So now he shoved that tree over. That white raccoon squeeked around there, and then he therefore took it up and stuck him in his belt. (349) Now he struck him in his belt alive.

Now then, he started. Finally, he got there. When he went on in, there a woman had his legs over her head and again one also had his head and his head rested on her legs and now, ho, this one, ho, hohó, Herešgúnina did thus: he took his pipe and began to smoke. Yet, only four times he went "puff, puff." (350) Wadexúga thus was unmoved by anything. He (Herešgúnina) knocked out the pipe and put it over there. "Koté, jáha! why did you not pass the pipe to me?" "Those that smoke have pipes. If you're used to smoking, you'd have one," said Herešgúniga. (351) "Okay, I also have a small one with me. Just this they always give to smoke when they visit one another, is why I said it." Ho, now then, he also — ho! — Bladder filled the pipe, he filled it and right from the beginning, now then, Bladder filled the pipe and right from the beginning "hi" — is the sound he made. Kára, [thus] Erešgúniga [now] almost fell into the fire. (352) Yet again, "Puff!," was the sound he made. Again, he very nearly fell in. "Wó wó, I was about to smoke this. What are you doing?" he said. Bladder now knocked his pipe out. "Ho! how fearless you are toward me! Is the reason that you came to decide what we will do? Will we gamble?" "Yes." (353) "And we will kick one another." "Okay. Now then, you first, since you said it; you will kick me first," Bladder said. "Okay."

Now then, Bladder stood there. One Legged One hopped toward him and flapped his leg. Now from there Bladder became invisible. He went up above there to Earthmaker. (354) Finally, he got to Earthmaker's. "Hąhá, you sent me to work here. This one having done all that to them, now I have come to know it. My workers also, everyone of them, he has killed for me. So what shall I do? You are seeing me, but I must do what I thought that I came for," he said. "Hąhą́o, I said that I meant him particularly. (355) Now, when you get back, kill him then. Whatever you can do to him, you may do it," he said.

Werakirakúni, now — ho! — this house was filled with containers, again now, filled with more. Finally, One Legged One again came back. Again he came in. "Hohó, what, are you again back here lying around? Weren't we suppose to gamble before now? (356) Will I not also kick you?" "," he said. Now then, he went and stood. "Ho! will you not stand still here?" Bladder ran up and "jóp!". Huhu-u-u! now he shattered him. Now his body fell flattened in pieces, here, there, and everywhere. Like pieces of large rock, here and there they would be like grayish or greenish dew. (357) That's the sort of thing it was, and some of that also fell on stumps. Now blood was on the wood as well as on branches of trees, and that's the way they used to be. There he brought them to an end. Hąhą́, here it will be that way.

Woirakirakúni, now — hó!that town consequently had been very much afraid (of One Legged One), but Bladder had made them very much alive. (358) Now — hó! — they gave him a woman. They also offered him a little child. Then he said, "And I didn't think he was that sort. And he gave this to me already, so I'll have it; but Earthmaker asked me to work, so that's the reason I'm about. How (else) could I, and how could I be here? As many a thing as has been making you poor, all of them are finished. (359) Now you will live well. Hąhá, now I also will have to go above. In the course of time, should he come again, then I will also return," this way he spoke, they say. That far afterwards — hó! — we are living well. Anytime that Herešgúnina himself comes, Bladder will come.

(360) This, the end, has arrived.2

Version 3, "The Morning Star"

collected by Louis L. Meeker

What follows is a transcription of the original text of Meeker.

{2} Koo noo ga (Kųnųga = Watexúga), and his brothers were eight. Those who say there were ten count the name of his manhood, Wah teh gho ga, and the name of Wah reh ksan kee ka (Wareksąnįkiga).

The names of the first four were Koo noo ga, Hay noo ga [Henuga], Hay gay ga [Hagaga], and Nah ghee ga [Naǧiga], but, after the eighth, the latter was Nah ghee gheh deh ga [Naǧixetega], or big Nah ghee ga. (Whether or not the other names underwent a similar change does not appear. These are family names to this day.)

The names of the other four were Koo noo gho no neenk [Kųnųxununįka], Hay noo gho no neenk [Henuxununįka], Hay gay gho no neenk [Hagaxununįka], and Nah ghee gho no neenk [Naǧixununįka], that is little Koo noo ga and so forth.

They were the ancestors of the eight clans:

1. Wah neenk hee kee kah ratch. Birds
2. Gheh hee kee kah ratch Hills [sic]
3. Honch hee kee kah ratch Bears
4. Wah kšhay ghee hee kee kah ratch Buffaloes [sic]
5. Ho hee kee kah ratch Fishes
6. Chah hee kee kah ratch Deer or Elks
7. Shunk chunk hee kee kah ratch Wolves
8. Wah kang hee kee kah ratch Thunder Spirits

Koonooga went hunting and tracked a raccoon until it went over the cliff into a deep gorge, and Koonooga fell over the cliff but he lodged in the branches of a large tree which grew high up on the side of the bank very near the top.

{3} After many hours when Koonooga did not return, his brothers went forth in search of him and followed on his trail until they came to the place where he was hanging. They looked over and saw Koonooga. They talked of how they could rescue him, and one said in one way and another in another, until it at last came the turn of Nah ghe gho no neenk, who said "We will make ourselves fast together with our carrying straps and so form a chain of ourselves by which we can bring him up." And it was done in this manner.

And Koonooga said: "My brothers, do not be afraid of any man nor of any animal nor of anything whatever. I myself am ghopena [xopina] - the good and the wise, mysterious being, the wisest and bravest and mightiest, and into whatever danger any one of you or even I, myself, should come, by my might and wisdom and mystery we shall always be safe in the end.

There is another man besides ourselves; he thinks himself so wise and brave and mighty that he claims to be more mysterious than I, but be not afraid of him."

Many times the long camp trailed to the same tree the animal Koonooga had followed. At length Ha nah ga or Hay noo ga went to the lower end of the gorge to come up it to the tree where the animal made its home. And when the day had {4} passed and the night also and the next morning came, Hah gah ga set forth in quest of Hay nah ga, and when the day had passed away and the night also and the morning came, Nah ghe ga set forth in quest of Hah gah ga. And when the day had passed and the night also and the morning had come again and again, at length it came the turn of Nah ghe gho no neenk to go in search of the animal that none of them had captured and also to learn why none of his brothers returned.

Nah ghee gho no neenk followed the trail of his brothers. He, as well as they, wore snowshoes, and when he had gone far down the gorge to where it grew wider and its banks sloped, he entered, turned, and sought the spot where the animal made its den. He found the tree to be hollow: In the opening at the bottom, a fire had been recently kindled. Near by, in a row, were six pairs of snow shoes stuck in the snow and standing upright.

Nah-ghee-ghononeenk was weary. His feet were cold and wet. Before long he had built a fire in the same place, taken off his snowshoes also, stood them up in the snow by the side of those of his brothers and seated himself to warm his feet at the fire. He was just going to sleep as he sat when he was roused by a noise that he at first thought was made by the animal descending in the tree on ac[ount] of the smoke that was made by the fire he had kindled.

{5} But turning his eyes upward, he beheld Wah reh ksan ke ka coming down out of the sky, and quickly fitting an arrow to his bow, he shot, but without effect. Again and a third time he discharged an arrow with the same result, but the fourth stuck into the side of Wah reh ksan ke ka, but did not kill him, so poor Nah ghee gho no neenk was soon in the grasp of his enemy and borne away to "his own place."

"In all my life I have never had any one hurt me that way before," said Wah reh ksan kee ka. Then he whipped Nah ghee ghononeenk with briers until, in mortal agony, the "little man" cried and sang or chanted,

Wa teh ho ne gra, Watexunįkra,
He nih sjih. hinixjį,
Na sha na nišana
Wa ne gho pe na, wanixopina,
He sha rah. hišera.
Wa teh ho ne gra, Watexunįkra,
He nih sjih. hinixjį,
Na sha na nišana
Wa ne gho pe na, wanixopina,
He sha rah. hišera,
Wa teh ho ne gra, Watexunįkra,
He nih sjih. hinixjį.

{6} Now the first word meant Koonooga to whom he sang; the second word means "my oldest elder brother"; the third, "you yourself alone"; the fourth, "a good wise spirit or angel"; the last "so you said." It was as if he had reproached Koonooga by calling upon him by name and saying "Oh, oldest of all my brothers, you said that you alone are mighty, wise and a mysterious being."

Koonooga heard him "clear round the world" and came to him "over the sky." He found poor Nah ghee gho no neenk bound and used to stop the entrance to Wah reh ksan ke ka's tent, to keep out the cold.

Koonooga remained as a guest of his brother's captor during the night, and when asked to tell a story to pass away the time, he excused himself on the ground of not knowing any story and urged his host to tell one. So Wah reh ksan ke ka told how he had strangled Koonooga's brothers, taken off their skins, inflated them with air, and preserved the flesh for food. He exhibited the lifelike but empty skins of Koonooga's brothers standing, as it were, on guard around the tent.

"And why did you not kill Nagheeghononeenk also?" asked Koonooga.

"He is small and would make but {7} little food" was the reply, "so I preserved him alive, to torture him for causing me pain with his arrow. In all my life no one has ever hurt me in that way until now."

"And now" said Koonooga "I have come to kill you, for the cries of my little brother came to me clear round the world."

But it was now morning and Wäreh Ksankeka proposed that they should determine who had the greatest prowess by playing ball or shinny, — an aboriginal game in which a block of wood is struck with a club, the players each having a long club and either striking in turn or competing for a chance to strike.

Koonooga acquiesced and his opponent delivered the first blow, but instead of striking the block of wood, he knocked off the head of Koonooga, which flew up to the sky, and passed through it into the presence of Mah-oo-nah [Mą’ųna] or "He-who-made-the-world" [Earthmaker]. Before it fell, the head asked permission to kill Wah reh ksan ke ka but recieved no reply. So it fell to the earth and fixed itself on the neck where it fitted exactly as before.

It was now Koonooga's turn to strike who did with his opponent exactly as had been done with himself, and when the head {8}of Wah reh ksan ke ka asked permission of Ma-oo-nah to kill Koo noo ga, Mah oo na did not reply. And this was repeated until the head of each had been knocked off and flew upward through the sky three times, receiving no response from Mahoonah and attaching itself again to the still living body.

But when Koonooga's head ascended for the fourth time and asked permission to kill his antagonist, Mah oo na said "ho jah" [hoją] that is to say "All right." So when the head of Wah reh ksan ke ka was in the sky for the fourth time, before it fell, Koonooga pushed the body away. So perished Wah reh ksan ke ka.

He had many wives and some say that their children were adopted by Nah ghee gho no neenk to be the Spirit clan or Spirit family. And Nah ghee gho no neenk became the morning star, but his brothers became clouds.

Each of the brothers married the sister of another brother except Nah ghee gho no neenk who never married. So members of the same family or clan do not intermarry.

Some say Koo nooga brought his brothers to life and they married afterward, others say they were married before.3

Version 4 (of the Nebraska Hocągara), "Bladder and His Brothers"

by Felix White, Sr.

retold by Richard Dieterle

Earthmaker gave Bladder the mission of killing the evil spirits that plagued the two-legged walkers, so he set his aim upon the chief of those spirits, Herešgúniga himself. When Herešgúniga learned of this, he made himself hard to find. Bladder said to himself, "Here I am all alone. I miss my brothers Trickster and Turtle, and I have no one to keep me company." Then it occurred to him that he could create his own brothers for companionship. So Bladder sat down and made himself ten brothers. Then he spoke to his creations: "Well now, my brothers — I want you to stay in this lodge at all times. You will be tempted to venture out, especially when you see certain things happening nearby; but do not go out, as I do not want to lose you."

Bladder constantly went on expeditions in search of his arch-enemy Herešgúniga, but he was a great spirit in his own right, and knew perfectly well what was going on. One day Bladder went out on one of his expeditions, but some time later he came back to the lodge to talk to his brothers. Then he left again. One of the brothers heard something some ways off from the lodge and decided to find out what was going on. He never came back. One of the brothers said, "What happened to the little one?" The others told him where he had headed before he disappeared, then added, "You'd better go and find him. It is what Kųnų would want." So this brother went out following the trail of the first brother, but he never returned either. Consequently, the next brother in line found it his duty to find the missing pair, and so on, until just one of the brothers remained behind in the lodge alone. This brother said to himself, "It would be shameful indeed if I alone sat here in the lodge when Kųnų came back. I must go out in search of my brothers." He disappeared following the same trail as the others.

When Bladder returned, there, unexpectedly, was an empty lodge. He picked up the trail of his brothers leading off in a certain direction, and began to follow it. He read the signs in the trail, and then he knew it: "The one I have been looking for has taken each of my brothers." He soon came to the lodge of Herešgúniga, who on earth, was known as "One Legged One." Herešgúniga had killed all of Bladder's brothers. He made them into tobacco pouches which he hung on his lodge walls. Bladder went into the lodge and beat Herešgúniga into complete submission.

He took the tobacco pouches back to his lodge and revived his brothers. "Well now, my brothers," said Bladder, "clearly you want to roam perhaps. It was not right for me to ask you to remain cooped up in this lodge. Therefore, I shall make it so that you will roam the mountains, the valleys, the hills, and the woods." Then Bladder made his brothers into wolves and set them free to roam over the face of the earth. This is why we find wolves roaming everywhere today.4

Version 5 (of the Buffalo Clan) "Wadexuka and His Brothers"

by Philip Longtail (Sįcserecka), Buffalo Clan

translated by James Owen Dorsey

Philip Longtail

Hocąk-English Interlinear Text

This version is fragmentary, missing its last half.

(13) Once upon a time there was a long lodge, in which dwelt several brothers. These went hunting every day, leaving the youngest one [Naxi xununiga] at home. The eldest brother said to the others who went hunting: "You are my brothers. Hunt just as you deem best." And in the morning they all departed, leaving the youngest one to take care of the lodge. By and by a man entered the lodge very suddenly, saying to the youth, "Whither have your brothers gone?" The youth replied, "They have all gone hunting." "I have come to invite your brothers to play a game: therefore when they come home in the evening be sure to tell them." The youth consented, but when his brothers had returned, he forgot about the man who had come in the morning.

The next day the brothers departed again. And again did the stranger appear, repeating his request. Once more did the youth forget to tell his brothers. After a like experience on the third day, the visitor threatened the youth if he failed to deliver his message. And when he learned on the fourth morning of the negligence of the youth, he became very angry, knocked him down, and beat him severely.

After the departure of the man, the youth took a stick which he hit upon the ground as he continued saying, "I will tell my (14) brothers when they come home." He continued saying this all day. When evening came, the eldest brother returned, and was alarmed at beholding the queer behaviour of his youngest brother. He was at a loss how to proceed. At length he said, "O my brother, what is the matter with you?" But the youth spoke not. He continued doing as he had done during the day. At length all the brothers returned. Then the youth told them about the invitation brought by the man. Then the eldest brother said, "Let us go tomorrow." In the morning the eldest brother led them. When they had reached the top of a hill, they found a lodge there in which the men were awaiting them.

The eldest brother spoke to the men, inquiring the nature of the contest. The men on the other side said that they would contend in a race. After agreeing to this, the eldest brother urged his brothers to tell about their dreams or visions. The youngest brother said that he had had a vision of the sun. So it was decided that the youngest brother should contend against the other men. Bets were made, and the opponents proceeded to the starting-point. They said that they would run back after reaching a large prairie. On noticing that the youth dropped a little behind in the race, the eldest brother exclaimed, "O youngest brother, why are you lagging behind?" Then the youngest brother started to run a little faster. His opponents had almost reached the goal, when the youth made a desperate effort and distanced them all, seizing the banner;5 (7, line 7) he was the first to have done such a thing, and having it, he passed along. The young men all cried out each for himself. After they finished, they took the stakes and went to their own home.

(8) In the morning they went hunting again, and the same man who had invited them to play suddenly enterred and said to the young man again that they would have a game together. The young man replied, "They will go." It was evening by the time his elder brothers had come home. Then he told it to them again. Kųnų said that they might go. In the morning they started to play the game together. When they got there they sat and waited for the other side to come. Now they bet against one another on a wrestling match. Kųnų said he would contend with them. Then at length (9) they began to wrestle. They wrestled all day long. Then finally by evening, Kųnų threw him to the ground. After they had won, they took the stakes with them and went home.

In the morning, not a one of them went out to hunt. Then a man suddenly enterred. He had come to invite them to play again. Then they said they would go. Thus every other day they went there. ...6

["The rest of this myth was forgotten by the narrator" - J. O. Dorsey].

Version 6. Watequka

David St. Cyr

This is a fragment of Version 5 dictated to J. O. Dorsey by Reuben David St. Cyr in the year 1886.

Hocąk-English Interlinear Text

"There was a long lodge where Watexuga [Watexúga = Bladder] dwelt with his brothers. They moved regularly every day in pursuit of game. Only Naxixunuxciniga [the fifth and youngest son] did not walk there regularly. In the remote past when Watexuga was alone with his brothers he told them something. His brothers lived with him. How they liked hunting ..."7

Version 7. Bladder and the Monster

collected by Louis L. Meeker

Meeker gives the following prefatory material. "An insignificant tribe of the Siouan family [the Hocągara] has, or quite recently had, a sort of fraternity called the medicine lodge. Members of distant tribes came to it for instruction, and it seems to have commanded respect a generation or more ago, but recently the Omaha dance has supplanted it. From those who had received this instruction the following account was obtained, under promise not to reveal the informants' names lest the enmity of the tribe be incurred. ... But the version of the medicine lodge says the Monster was the first created, was made of stone, and had one leg or foot broken off, either by being dropped or by cracking off as he lay before the fire to dry, so another was made to be the progenitor of the human race, which thereby incurred his enmity. The chief account of him concerns his hand-to-hand conflict with Bladder."

"In the great duel, the Monster struck off the head of Bladder, and it flew up and up into the Divine Presence, where it asked, 'Shall I kill him' (with reference to his opponent). Receiving no response, it fell upon the neck where it belonged, and was reunited. Bladder then, in his turn, struck off the head of the Monster, and exactly the same thing occurred as to the head of Bladder. These blows were repeated in turn, for the conflict grew out of an Indian ball game. Since Bladder suffered first, he was first to ask permission to kill his adversary for the fourth time, at which he received permission, and while the head of the Monster was in the air, he pushed aside the body. Not falling upon its wonted place, the head of the Monster rebounded and continues to rebound to this day in the form of the sun!

There were brothers made for Bladder, so there were eight all told. Six of these had been captured, slain, flayed, eaten, and their skins inflated with air. The principle of life was in these skins, and after the duel they were transformed into clouds by the power of Bladder. The youngest had been captured, but was not slain. He became the Morning Star. ... All this is known to the young men, the women, and the children. ... The story states that Bladder and his brothers took the wives of the Monster."8


Version 1

"not go hunting" — not participating in normal activities is considered a sign of holiness.

"my arrows" — perhaps point down. This may seem puzzling that arrows would be set somewhere out in the wilderness, not knowing what direction his brothers might end up approaching the place. However, hunters tended to stay on deer trails when fanning out to distant areas to hunt. The deer trail that leads to this area could therefore be blocked by setting arrows point down like a fence across the trail.

"a robe" — bladders used to shoot shells in the Medicine Rite would typically be made of the skin (head included) of otters. Thus the bladder would be in a "robe."

"a red oak" — this, as will be shown more below, represents the Scorpius Milky Way as a tree. The sun, as we shall see, is associated with this raccoon and tree. Oaks are the trees most frequently struck by lightning, which appears to be of the same substance as the solar light. The red oak is called húju, for huj-hu, "acorn plant." However, huj and hųj, "bear," are probably related, as bears eat acorns in particular. This represents the widespread bear theme of this myth, the significance of which is obscure.

"someone from above" — this is the voice of the character One Legged One to be introduced later.

"White Raccoon"Wakeskaga, a proper name. He is the pet of One Legged One, and as such has a "dog name." On calling a raccoon a "dog," see below. The identity of the great white raccoon can probably be teased out from what we already know. In one story ("Grandfather and His Two Families"), a band of brothers goes hunting each for just one particular animal, except the youngest brother who, as in our present story, is Morning Star. The penultimate brother is Evening Star, and the animal that he always hunts is the raccoon. All of the brothers turn into the animal that they always hunt except the last two brothers, who become instead the Morning Star and the Evening Star. Therefore, the Evening Star would/should have become a raccoon were it not for his stellar destiny. Elsewhere, the main opponent of Morning Star is Evening Star. As we learn below, the head of One Legged One is the sun itself, and the raccoon, therefore, is a servant ("dog") of the sun. Evening Star differs from Morning Star in that it always follows after the sun like a dog after its master. The size and brightness of Evening Star are reflected in the unusual size and the pure white color of the raccoon. Morning Star, on the other hand, rises ahead of the sun, and therefore does not behave as a subordinate. In their conflict, Morning Star is at superior conjunction, when they are both with the sun at the base of the Tree. After a time (at inferior conjunction), Morning Star is triumphant, leaving Evening Star on the ground, while he himself rises into the sky. Nor can the sun itself stop him, as he leaves even this powerful being behind. In the end, the sun asserts its dominance, gained by his power to define time. Day by day, Morning Star lurches forward from where he had been the previous night, until the days drive him back to the earth whence he first arose. This is acted out as an allegory in this myth.

Evening Star in the Hollow of a Tree
Sunset, 8 December 1755
Madison, Wisconsin
The Rise of Morning Star
Sunrise, 22 August 1756
Madison, Wisconsin
Morning Star being Whipped with a Thorn Bush
Sunrise, 1 February 1757
Madison, Wisconsin
Starry Night Software

When Morning Star arrives at the "tree" (the Scorpius Milky Way), it does so from below the horizon with respect to the setting sun of the west. It then experiences superior conjunction. At this point, Evening Star gains ascendancy and appears seated in the "hollow" of the Milky Way tree (Eʰ I), the hollow being the set of dark gas clouds known as the Great Rift. Morning Star is imagined as residing in the earth, until his power asserts itself when he shoots the sun back to earth. Then Morning Star rises (Mʰ V) out of inferior conjunction only to be propelled by the sun. The sun passes through the Scorpius Milky Way, where it collects its thorn bush, which it uses on the trailing Morning Star. Morning Star thereafter hangs low on the horizon under the "thorn bush" (the Scorpius Milky Way again), whence it proceeds to superior conjunction. This whole sequence repeats itself in octennials before and after the years selected.

"my dear dog!" — a reference to White Raccoon — see below in Version 2.

"two men" — there is a widespread duality theme in this story. We later learn that the brothers were all turned into clouds. The duality here may be between the white ice clouds, and the gray rain clouds. The sun, of course, is able to kill clouds with impunity. We may also note, that they are turned into clouds beginning here, at the Milky Way, which is itself a cloud of stars. In its origin story, the Milky Way is formed out of water droplets.

"sleep" — Morning Star is at conjunction, which is akin to death and sleep, since he is not active in the sky, and rests motionless on earth.

"fire" — the fire also represents the sun, next to whom Morning Star is found at conjunction.

"inside the tree" — during conjunction, the sun, Evening Star, and Morning Star all meet at the same place. As can be seen above, during one of Evening Star's apparitions (Eʰ I), repeated every 8 solar years, it appears in the Great Rift just above the sun at sunset.

"a thorn bush" — this is another representation of the Milky Way. The sun first passes through it collecting the branch to use on Morning Star. During one of its octennial apparitions (Mʰ V), as it approaches superior conjunction with the sun, it stays low on the horizon as it has the Scorpius Milky Way at its back. The Zuñi have a similar episode (see below).

"clothes" — Morning Star also carries the name, "Girded in Blankets," which refers to the clouds that hang low near the horizon in the morning. Here Morning Star is stripped of his clouds.

"skin" — without cloud cover, when Morning Star is beaten with the thorn bush, his back will turn red. The reddening of his skin, independent of the reddening of the clouds, is produced when Morning Star is very low on the horizon and the refractive properties of the atmospheric medium at that angle cause the star to appear red. This is not the mere background red, but the red of the star itself, its "skin."

"home" — this would seem to refer to Morning Star going back to ground when at conjunction, since his skin would be whipped when he is close to the horizon, where he himself turns red.

"cried" — sound as a symbol of light is extensive in Hocąk, since sound and light are isomorphic. The youngest brother is Morning Star, so his brilliance is expressed in his crying.

"Bladder" — this is the first time in the story that we are told that Kųnų is Bladder (Watexúga).

"a bear skin" — this is another example of the bear theme. Since Bladder himself is dressed in the outer appearance of a bear, it is highly likely that he has some identity with this animal. One connection is the fact that the oil for steam baths is made from the fat of bears and squirted out of a bladder onto hot stones.

"he took the tree and threw it aside" — in the Evening Star apparition running 13 August 1760 to 5 June 1761 (Eʰ IV), and at octennial intervals before and after this date, the Milky Way lies flat all the way across the horizon, at the very moment that Evening Star "dies" (heliacally sets). This represents a striking confirmation of the hypothesis that the white raccoon is Evening Star and that the tree is the Milky Way.

Knocking Down of the Tree and the Killing of Evening Star
Sunset, 5 June 1761 at Madison, Wisconsin
Starry Night Software

"it growled, but he killed it" — once again, this is sound for light. The killing of White Raccoon is the disappearance of Evening Star from the sky.

"hung it in his belt" — Bladder is the sky vault, as we are told in other variants. The whole cavity or bladder is his thorax. So his belt ought to be the horizon. This is where Evening Star disappears.

"the center of blades of grass" — the homology of the Milky Way (particularly at Scorpius) with a blade of grass was noted elsewhere long ago. The trail that is being followed is the ecliptic, the path of the sun.

"the center of a tree" — the Milky Way at either end (Scorpius or Gemini) has been homologized to a tree, most particularly in this story. The ecliptic goes through the Milky Way at both these antipodal points.

"an oval lodge" — this is another image of the pot mentioned in the next comment.

"Wareksąnįkiga" — Wareksąnįkiga corresponds to One Legged One, so the name probably comes from rek, reg, "upper leg"; and sąnįk, "opposite side"; and probably gi, "to remain, have left, (leave) behind."9 Thus the name meant, "He who has Left the Upper Leg on the Opposite Side."

"two very nice pots ... holding them on either side" — the pot is the Milky Way that Bladder reaches on 3 April 1762 (see the illustrations directly below). Here the second pot, "the other side," is a pair of temporal opposites, the allegory expressing time in terms of space. When the "other side" of the year is reached, 3 April 1763, we find the exact same inverted bowl or pot as Bladder's tracking of the sun's path puts him in exactly the same place. The star labeled at the very top (too small to read) is Pollux, the star labeled in the center is Aldebaran; the sun is situated on the purple horizon line.

The Clay Pot at One End
Sunset, 3 April 1762 at Madison, Wisconsin
The Clay Pot at the Other End
Sunset, 3 April 1763 at Madison, Wisconsin
Starry Night Software

"two bags of tobacco" — the two bags are probably the same as the two pots.

"two white cranes" — Wears White Feather, who is Sirius, is the Chief of the White Cranes ("Herons" would be a better term). The white cranes are stars. As the sun progresses onward, around 8 July 1762 it passes very close to the two bright stars of Gemini, Castor (1.60 magnitude) and Pollux (1.14 magnitude). These are the two best candidates for a pair of "white cranes."

"two snakes" — these are the two halves of the Scorpius Milky Way separated by the Great Rift, which the sun reaches on 30 November 1762. These snakes are risen up as if in the striking pose. However, as the sun progresses (and Bladder in his ecliptic path), this section of the Milky Way falls to the horizon and lays flat (18 June 1763). Being on the horizon, they are therefore in Bladder's belt.

"two mountain lions" — this is probably the same formation as the snakes. This is because, in part, the cougar is called wicą́wa-sį́c-seréc in Hocąk, which means, "long tailed cat." Given this emphasis, they are therefore more like the snakes than they might at first seem.

"at the lodge door there were two mountain lions" — these are the same two, one solar year later. It is important to mention cougars with respect to the sun, since we see from the "Four Steps of the Cougar," that this animal is strongly associated with solar time. It is essential that the cougars number four, since it is the four steps of the cougar that mark out the four seasons. This makes the yellow coated cougar the animal of the sun par excellance. As soon as the sun departs the Scorpius Milky Way, it moves under the arch of the Gemini Milky Way, which quickly curls over it. Thus, once he has captured the two mountain lions, he then enters into the oval lodge of the sun.

"he was using a woman for a pillow and again one to rest his legs on" — the only asterisms that satisfy this condition are the Hyades and the Pleiades which the ecliptic cuts between. The Hyades are the rest for the legs, since they are shaped in a "Λ" pattern like two legs; the Pleiades are tightly packed like a pillow, and are located above the Hyades. Polygamy is a sign of a bad man, not because polygamy itself is wrong, but because it is a form of greed.

"to smoke" — both the Sky Vault (Bladder) and the Sun (One Legged One) have control over the clouds. Bladder's younger brothers (in other variants) become clouds, and it is One Legged One who makes them such. The clouds of smoke that result when these two get together are a human-scale model of the clouds of the welkin.

"bounced up" — this odd duel with pipes is seen elsewhere, where the opponents are Morning Star and Evening Star. The latter two deities are wind gods, so it is appropriate that they match against one another the powers for which they are well known. It is also fair to say that both the Sun and the Sky Vault have command of the four quarters and the winds that reside there. Consequently, it is also appropriate for these deities to engage in a duel of winds. In this connection, it is also said that the sky vault bangs up and down at the horizon at the ends of the world, and therefore "bounces up and down."

"landing in the fire head first" — as revealed below, esoterically, the head of One Legged One was the solar disk. The imagery here makes his head one with (identical with) the Fire, which in this case is the solar disk. It is Bladder who separates this head and causes it to become the revolving sun in the last contest to be described (the kicking contest). So the wind-duel is the kicking contest cast in other imagery.

"the woman to scream and she pulled him out" — the wife of the Sun is the Moon. When the moon goes into conjunction with the sun its light is extinguished, and she becomes, as they say even in Latin, luna silens. The Hocągara use sound to symbolize light, the woman's scream expresses the moon's return to light. This occurs when the Moon moves a short distance from out of the Fire, where she is in the embrace of the Sun. Here, this is pictured as her pulling One Legged One out of the very fire with which he (or his head) will soon become identical.

"black stone" — this is an analogue to the sun, the source of clouds by evaporation (steam). When heated, the stone often became red hot. Given the apparent similarity of lightning to the substance of the sun, it is not surprising to find the same belief among the Hocągara that is found in the Old World: that lightning is tied to thunder stones, whom the Hocągara and other peoples think of as round, black stones that represent the luminous striking front of the lightning bolt.

"torn up" — Oliver LaMère (the translator) adds in a note, "The tobacco pouches were made out of some kind of animal's skin and they became alive and fought."10 As a pouch, it is a de facto bladder, so the deity of bladders would naturally be expected to have the most powerful control over their fates.

"he blew" — this reiterates the theme of winds and the control over them that comes with the Sky Vault's reach to the four quarters. The winds that he commands blow against the Sky Vault, which is to say, that Bladder blows on himself.

"smothered" — that is, in this context, all steam clouds and no air. This is what happens when the sun is setting. The horizon fills with clouds, "smothering" the sun which no longer shines in the open air sky.

"the spectators at least were so thick that they drew up the sides all around" — the spectator/rescuers are likely the stars. The sun is able to escape the Sky Vault by setting. This is what he did in the last episode when he was rescued by his wife, the Moon, who appears new immediately after sunset. Astronomically, the "escape" of the sun from the sky vault lodge, which is its setting, brings on the myriad of star who are spectators to his slipping away. The stars are, of course, dense ("thick") and are found "all around."

This is a good point at which to take note of some of the internal isomorphisms found in this version.

Celestial Actors Episode 1 Episode 2
Sky Vault Pipe Bowl Sweat Lodge
Sun Fire Hot Stone
Clouds Smoke Steam
Winds Inhaling Blows on Himself
Rescuers of the Sun Wife (Moon) Spectators (Stars)

"kota" — either a variant of koté (or perhaps korá), or a misprint (/Ko t/ for /Ko te/ or /Ko L/).

"Kick One Another" — this is a rough game played in olden times. The players took turns kicking one another until one or the other was incapacitated.

Summer Solstice Position of the Sun
Sunrise, 21 June 1763
Madison, Wisconsin
Winter Solstice Position of the Sun
Sunrise, 21 December 1763
Madison, Wisconsin
The Solstitial Positions of the Sun
Madison, Wisconsin
Starry Night Software

"one legged one, the flat legged one" — esoterically, the head of One Legged One has become the sun. So, then, what is his leg? His leg should be what he stands on to begin his journey. As it happens, at both the summer and winter solstices, the sun is in the Milky Way (as shown above). The Gemini Milky Way of the summer solstice (1763) stands upright, but is just a flat, single leg. At dawn on the winter solstice, the Scorpius Milky Way lies laterally across the horizon, and therefore is more like a pair of arms. At sunset the roles are reversed: on the winter solstice it is the Scorpius Milky Way that is the single flat leg, and the Gemini Milky Way that lies flat on the horizon like two arms of the sun. As we saw, during the winter solstice of 1755 (= 1763) it was Evening Star (White Raccoon) who was with the sun (One Legged One) when the Milky Way was like an upright tree (= the leg of One Legged One). Here the MW is seen as alternately a tree and a leg. In Hocąk the word hu denotes both trees, bushes, and plants one the one hand, and legs on the other (both being "stems"). So in Hocąk, to be a tree is to be, by homology, a leg. As Morning Star tracked after the sun, it reached the Scorpius Milky Way where it fell into conjunction (found and met up with One Legged One). That part of the Milky Way lies flat, so it is here that he shot him in both arms; however, in the evening, it rotates into the upright position, so he was also able to shoot him in the leg. It was here that the sun, Morning Star, and Evening Star all meet. Evening Star, as White Raccoon, is in the hollow tree (the Great Rift), and the sun descends below him, where it is imagined that Morning Star would be.

The solstice is a boundary, and can be thought of as a starting point. At each solstice, the sun turns around with respect to north (summer) or south (winter), and heads back in the direction it came, so the "leg" of the Milky Way turns the sun around on both of these occasions.

"he threw the things at him" — by "the things" (wažąra) he means the animal guards that he had overcome. He took them out of his belt and threw them at the chest of One Legged One. They represent various stellar configurations found near the inner surface of the Sky Vault, so Bladder by virtue of his identity as the same, has complete control over them. The Sun follows its course on the ecliptic must pass through each of these. Each of them therefore "strikes" him in the chest as he passes by, although they are more like his guards on the path, since they never do him harm.

"at the center" — the greatest prestige, and a white eagle feather, went to anyone who killed an enemy in the center of his lodge in the center of the village (where the chief lived). In the astronomical code, the "center" is the oval lodge in which One Legged One lives. This is the solar lodge. As we have seen, it represents the Gemini Milky Way as it arches over the horizon in the west where the sun sets. As Bladder tracked him, he left the station of two Mountain Lion guards and proceeded right into the lodge. What confirms this interpretation is the fact that the vernal equinoctial spot is where one enters the lodge of the Gemini Milky Way. In astronomical terms, the vernal equinox is appropriately called a "center" since it is due west on the horizon, and occurs at a time that divides day and night into perfect halves, where sunset, when the sun retires to his lodge, is exactly in the center of the continuum of day and night. This is shown below.

Entering the Lodge of One Legged One
Sunset, 21 March 1763 (Vernal Equinox) at Madison, Wisconsin
Starry Night Software

It should be noted that any year would be satisfactory. The year 1763 is the result of the tracking through time where the initial year chosen was 1761.

"big mouth" — this is ira rokana in Hocąk. This is tongue in cheek, since the Sky Vault could be thought of as having an enormous mouth.

"they fell in pieces" — omitted from this list is his head, which we are told in other variants went on to become the solar disk.

"bones" — what follows is a standard version of how those of supernatural powers bring the dead back to life. The bones must be a complete set and must not be broken. It was widely thought, not only in the New World, but in the Old, that the marrow of the bones was the seat of the life soul. Therefore, if there was still marrow to be acted upon, the soul, and therefore life, could be restored to the body. This is effected by creating alarm. This idea is largely conditioned by an assonance in Hocąk: the word for soul, nąǧírak, is very similar to, nąǧíre, "to be frightened."

"grasses and herbs" — this translates a single word, xąwį, which means both indifferently (cf. the Icelandic and Old Norse gras, which has the same denotation). The translator (Oliver LaMère) adds a note on the backside of page 59: "The Indians use a bladder for [a] syringe and they put all kinds of medicines in it before using it, is what I think it means that the creator put all sorts of grasses and trees in him."

"Light and Life" — Radin's conventional translation (elsewhere) of the word hąp, "light, day." It is particularly in the Medicine Rite that the word hąp is used in this metaphorical sense.

Version 2

"the two-legged walkers" — a formulaic expression, especially common in the Medicine Rite, referring to human beings.

"the devils" — the Hocąk is (h)erešgúnina. Ordinarily, this is a proper name for the chief of all the bad spirits. This is the first instance in which it has been found to refer to devils in general.

"sharp things" — Hocąk, wap'áhe. It is an expression used to denote weapons in particular.

"he thought that way about himself" — what Bladder has said already would be thought inexcusably arrogant in Hocąk thinking; but considering himself superior to Earthmaker is an atrocious form of hubris.

"Herešgúnina" — here we encounter this word as the proper name of the Hocąk Devil, who was immediately before called "the great devil" (herešgúnina xetera).

"a dog who was a raccoon"a paradoxical expression in English. To the early Hocągara, the dog was defined in many respects by his function, which was originally an animal that was used to tow things, like dog teams still do in the Arctic north. When the horse came along, it was called, "the great dog" šųkxetera, because it superseded the dog in this function. The dog had, or acquired, another function — to substitute for a human in the sacrifice to Disease Giver. As such, the Hocągara treated their dogs almost as if they were humans, even setting places for them to eat alongside the family at meal time. For Herešgúnina, then, this great white raccoon was an animal intimate who was his most devoted servant, although not a humanoid being like himself.

"Kųnų" — a birth order name given to the first born son, regardless of his clan. This Kųnų is not Bladder, but the eldest of the brothers that Bladder created for himself.

"his little breast is streaked" — a reference to the fact that his ribs were showing through his skin.11

"Henaga" — a birth order name for the second born son, the second of the brothers that Bladder created for himself.

"he is sticking out his chest" — a reference to the fact that his skin has been inflated into a bladder.

"Daaaaax!" — the sound tax represents the roar of an animal. See tóx below.

"Nañǧixonúniñka" — this is a birth order name and means "Youngest Son."

"Dooooooooox!"tóx is a variant rendering of the sound of an animal roar. See táx above.

"Du-í-i-i!" — a cry of pain (translated as "ouch").

"marten-fisher" — called first wasák, and two lines later, a wazáñk. The translation says in the first instance that it is "some kind of bear," and in the second, "an animal." Dorsey's vocabulary list identifies a wazáñgara as the fisher. Compare George's wazųkera, "fisher," described by him "as a relative of the marten"; however, the Hocąk Wazijaci gives capoǧuįk as the word for fisher, essentially George's term for the marten; and the former say that wazųk is the word for marten. For the marten, Radin-Marino gives us tos. There is very little difference between the marten and the fisher (who both belong to the genus Martes), so it is possible that the Hocąk name refers to both indifferently. The fisher (which does not eat fish) is larger, and has a special liking for rabbits and porcupines as food.

"puff, puff" — this was said in English by the raconteur, Charlie Houghton. It takes a certain skill to say this word, since Hocąk has no /f/.

"hi" — a representation of the sound of inhaling.

"One Legged One" — hitherto the opponent has been called Herešgúnina. This shows that in Houghton's mind, "One Legged One" and "Herešgúnina" are just interchangeable names.

"Bladder became invisible" — meaning that he was kicked so high in the air that he could no longer be seen from the ground (as opposed to a magical transformation).

"jóp!" — a representation of the sound made when the foot makes contact during a kicking.

Xanthoria sp.
Lichen on a Rock
Common Orange Lichen
on a Tree Branch
Andrew Tappert Norbert Nagel

"like grayish or greenish dew" — this could only be lichen. The subsequent reference to blood in the trees is also consistent with this identity. A few varieties of lichens are outright poisonous,12 and some others are more mildly toxic. Since Herešgúnina's bones are of rock, it seems reasonable that his flesh and blood would be of the same substance as lichens, since they are one of the few things that can grow in such a sterile environment.

"that town" — a hitherto unmentioned town over which One Legged One had held sway and terrorized.

Version 3

"Kųnų" — this is Watexúga, or Bladder, the eldest brother. Kųnų(ga) merely means, "First Born Male."

"his brothers were eight" — this is contrived so as to be twice the sacred number 4, and will also match the birth order names. The brothers are supposed to correspond to the clans, but the normal count of clans would be eleven.

"Wah teh gho ga" — Version 1 of this waiką reveals Kųnų to be none other than Bladder himself, which is confirmed in version 2 in the "name of his manhood," Wateǧoga, which is a corruption of Watexúga, "Bladder."13

"the eight clans" — in the list of clans given in the original text, Kųnų corresponds to the Bird "Clan" — actually three clans: Eagle, Hawk, and Pigeon — and the youngest (Morning Star) corresponds to the Thunderbird Clan. The English side of the list contains a clan name not hitherto met with: "Hills." This comes from Gheh (ǧe = xe, "hill"). On the other hand, missing from the English list is the Waterspirit Clan, which turns out to be clan #4 in the Hocąk side of the list, where it is mistranslated as "Buffalo." The Gheh of #2 is a misreading, /C/ taken as a /G/, of the word Cheh (Ce), which means "buffalo." The Snake Clan is also missing, although it is probably represented in the Fish clan. The list as given has the Thunder Spirit clan called Wakang, which is for Waką, meaning either "Holy" or "Snake." It is not the Snake Clan that is meant, since it is stated to be the Thunderbird Clan, whose name lacks only its last syllable, -ja, to give us Wakąja, "Thunderbird." The proper rendering and translation of this list should therefore be:

1. Wanįk' Hik'ik'árajera Bird
2. Ce Hik'ik'árajera Buffalo
3. Hųj Hik'ik'árajera Bear
4. Wakjexi Hik'ik'árajera Waterspirit
5. Ho Hik'ik'árajera Fish (+ Snake?)
6. Ca Hik'ik'árajera Deer (+ Elk)
7. Šųkcųk Hik'ik'árajera Wolf
8. Wak'ąja Hik'ik'árajera Thunder Spirit

The list is so contrived as to make the number of clans twice the sacred number four. Since the story is entitled "The Morning Star," we should be open to the possibility that the number eight stands for the eight year Venus cycle (where the Morning Star returns to the same place among the stars every eight years). With respect to the list of clans, it is probable that the English side of the list is more accurate with respect to order. The position of honor belongs to the last (Thunderbird) because the youngest is the strongest. After that, it should go: Bird (Upper Moiety), Waterspirit (chiefs of the Lower Moiety), Bear (Soldiers or police), Buffalo (special assistants [criers] to the chief), ... with Wolves being last in accord with Thunderbird Clan ideology. The Deer-Elk Clan should really outrank the Fish Clan, but we know almost nothing about the latter, so it is hard to be certain.

"raccoon" — the raccoon is associated with Trickster because it is an animal that misleads. Thus it is also associated, apparently, with Waterspirits, as we see in The Were-fish, where a transformed raccoon, when eaten, turns a hunter into a were-fish. As we have seen, the white raccoon is probably a representation of Evening Star, and Evening Star (as Bluehorn) is himself a Waterspirit.

The Cliff, Tree, and Gorge
Sunset, 8 December 1755 at Madison, Wisconsin
Starry Night Software

"over the cliff into a deep gorge" — the image of the deep gorge is an isomorph to that of the hollow stump. This imagery is somewhat more developed than what we have seen already above. The cliff over which Evening Star (white raccoon) goes is the upright part of the MW, at the base of which is the lower part of the Scorpius MW's Great Rift, here homologized to a gorge.

"the branches of a large tree" — since the raccoon went over the cliff to where we find Evening Star in the winter, just before the solstice, it is clear in what direction they have been traveling. This is the direction of the souls of the dead as they journey on the Path of Souls (the MW). We know that this is the direction that they travel because when they come to a fork in the road, the left branch leads to Hsh. The left fork, which is the same as the branch of the tree, leads to a dead end. In order to have the dead end branch on the left, they have to be traveling clockwise on the path. That Kųnų falls into the branch which is also the path to Hsh, shows that he has been misled (the characteristic form of raccoon trickery) into being snared in Hsh's domain. The actual path of Evening Star is not that described for the raccoon here, but this may be taken as a static image. In this context, it may be observed that the Mexican Xolotl (Evening Star) is also something of a psychopomp. As we later learn, the brother of Bladder are destined to become clouds, so it is wholly appropriate that they travel the road of the stellar cloud, the cosmic pathway to which they have the greatest natural affinity.

"to go in search of the animal that none of them had captured and also to learn why none of his brothers returned" — this is identical to the theme of "Waruǧabᵉra" in which each brother in turns seeks after the evil spirit who took away their sister.

"the smoke" — another image of the MW as it rises straight up after sunset in December. The sun, here homologized to the fire, is at the base of this "smoke."

"coming down out of the sky" — if we suppose or pretend that Morning Star and Evening Star are two different entities, then we must suppose that shortly before Evening Star as White Raccoon went into the hollow of the tree (MW at Scorpius), Morning Star disappeared near its base. Before sunset, the sun is descending from its higher altitude down to this same base on the date (8 December) when Evening Star is in the Great Rift (White Raccoon is in the hollow of the tree). The solar disk we know to be the head of One Legged One (Hsh), so the setting of the sun on 8 December to about where Morning Star disappeared into the earth, represents its capture of Morning Star.

"sang or chanted" — this song, Watexunįkra, hinixjį, nišana wanixopina, hišera, is very close to that of Version 1 — Watexúra, hinixjį, nišana wanixopinije, hišéjaré, hinixjį. The song in Version 3 should be translated as, "Little Bladder, my dear elder brother, you alone are the holy one, you told me." That of Version 1 reads, "Bladder, my dear older brother, you alone are holy, you seem to have told me, my dear elder brother."

"clear round the world" — the brothers had been moving along the MW from the summer solstitial position to arrive at the Scorpius MW, which is literally on the other side of the world (celestial sphere) at the winter solstitial position. So they have indeed gone clear around the world.

"over the sky" — the "cliff" of this section of the MW (at sunset) begins very near the zenith. So given the interpretation advanced here, we should expect the brothers to literally go over the sky to the highest point of the MW.

"to stop the entrance" — this would mean that he is now being used as a door flap to the sun's lodge. The same fate befell Holy One's brother in another story, although he had been killed and skinned. In this case, it is a clear expression of conjunction, as Morning Star is now one with the lodge of the sun.

"inflated them with air" — this makes all of Bladders brothers into bladders themselves. We later learn that they are clouds, which are, of course, water-bladders as the source of rain.

"the flesh for food" — the sun "eats away" clouds, thus making their substance his "food."

"the Spirit clan" — the original text also says that Morning Star founded the "Spirit Clan." In the list of clans (see above), the last clan listed is the "Thunder Spirits," which is here abbreviated as "Spirit." The name used is "Wah kang," for Waką, which can mean either "spirit" (loosely) or "snake." In fact, as we see from its identity with "Thunder Spirits," is in fact a bad transcription of Wakąjá, "Divine Ones," the literal term for Thunderbirds. It is odd that this clan would allow that its founders were the sons and wives of Herešgúnina. That Morning Star takes his place in some sense, shows a certain closeness between the two. In one version of the Bluehorn set of myths, the character that is to be identified with Morning Star, is there said to be Herešgúnina (an expression of the Christian identity of Morning Star and Lucifer).

"the morning star" — in Hocąk, the youngest person is taken as the strongest (as the other's powers decline with age).

"clouds" — Morning Star also bears the descriptive name, "Girded in Blankets," a reference to clouds, which hang low on the horizon where Morning Star rises. Thus clouds are appropriately seen as his brothers, as well as the brothers of the Sky Vault (Bladder).

"so members of the same family or clan do not intermarry" — the word "so" here is misleading. It is not because Morning Star never married that members of the same clan do not marry their own siblings, but because the brothers married the wives of other brothers. Somehow, these wives were not viewed as their own siblings, perhaps since each "brother" was created separately. Yet each brother's sister was his sibling. There is clearly an element of incoherence here.

Version 4

"wolves" — Bladder's brothers are said to be clouds, and when they were killed by the evil spirit they were turned into bladders. One connection between bladders and clouds is the use of bladders to eject oil or water on hot stones to generate the clouds of steam or vapor used in sweat baths. Since clouds carry water, they may be thought of as giant bladders themselves. In version 3, they are tobacco pouches/wolves. Besides the obvious connection of tobacco smoke to clouds, wolves are, like clouds, shape changers who roam everywhere on earth much as clouds do in the welkin. Wolves also have a special connection to water (see 1, 2).

Version 5

"he had had a vision of the sun. So it was decided that the youngest brother should contend against the other men" — the sun, even though he is a grandfather and therefore an old man, is the fastest of all runners. Therefore, since the young man was blessed by the sun, it is natural that he should be the one to contend in the foot race.

Version 7

"in the form of the sun" — Meeker adds in the way of explanation, "Except the conclusion, this story may be told to any man, woman, or child; but only old men or wise men are initiated into the secret that the sun is the head of the monster, worshipped in the Sun Dance, instituted by Bladder." The mention of the Sun Dance is conflating Lakota material with the Hocąk.

"all this is known" — Meeker switches from the Hocąk to the Lakota versions without indicating it to the reader. The following remarks following those above, seem to be from the Lakota version — "Sometimes the seven [brothers of Bladder] appear as the Seven Stars [the Pleiades]. ... But only the initiated are to know that the Bladder himself is the sky, the part of which that we see being the inner surface of his thorax, we being in the cavity of the thorax, which appears as a skin bag in the Turtle Story."

Comparative Material. "One Legged One" — this spirit has Mesoamerican analogues both in name, and to some degree, in role.

The creator gods are versions of major Mesoamerican deities. Hurakán's name can be understood as "one-leg" and he is associated with the Classic Period Maya deity Tahil ("Obsidian Mirror" or "Torch Mirror"), a one-legged god who was honoured in carving at the city of Palenque. Through this connection, Hurakán can be identified with the Aztec god Tezcatlipoca ("Lord of the Smoking Mirror") who, among many attributes, was a divinity of hurricanes, wore an obsidian mirror and was said to be one-legged (in some accounts, because he lost a leg while fighting the Earth Monster Tlaltecuhtli).14

Hu[n]racán (Jun Rakan), whose name means "One Leg,"15 is one of the three aspects of Heart of the Sky.16 His colleague in creating the world was Plumed Serpent, the counterpart of Quezalcoatl.17 Like One Legged One, Tezcatlipoca is one of the primal gods. In many ways he recalls Herešgúnina, the spirit behind One Legged One, whose name is often translated as "the Devil." Tezcatlipoca is the master of the dark arts of sorcery (obsidian mirrors had a role in witchcraft), and "causes discord and conflict everywhere he passes."18 Meeker says that the head of One Legged One became the sun after he was decapitated by Bladder. Tezcatlipoca was the first sun until he was knocked over by his chief opponent Quezalcoatl. Part of One Legged One can be found perhaps in the Earth Monster, Tlaltecuhtli. In combat with Tezcatlipoca, she bites off not his head, but his foot, making him one-legged. Tezcatlipoca and Quezalcoatl together rip her in two, throwing her upper half above them to become the sky, the remaining half of her body became the earth.19 Meeker says, apparently drawing more on Lakota material, "But only the initiated are to know that the Bladder himself is the sky, the part of which that we see being the inner surface of his thorax, we being in the cavity of the thorax, which appears as a skin bag in the Turtle Story."

The Zuñi Morning Star is whipped with a yucca whip.20

Some of the Bladder material has a resemblance to the Greek story of Ixion. Ixion, who killed his own father-in-law in order to cheat him out of his daughter, was purified of the crime by Zeus himself, who invited him to stay in heaven. There Ixion became infatuated with Hera, the wife of Zeus. Zeus became aware of this, and in order to test Ixion, contrived an image of Hera formed from a cloud. Ixion ravished Cloud (Nephele), who later gave birth to Kentauros, a being half man and half horse. Zeus, outraged at Ixion's attempt to outrage his wife, bound him to a flaming wheel that revolves perpetually through the heavens.21 Clearly, Ixion has become the solar disk. In the Hocąk story, it is also the evil doer, the Monster or Herešgúnina, whose head becomes the solar disk. He does evil to the beings who are dear to the good spirit (Zeus/Bladder). Both Zeus and Bladder correspond to the sky, and they both make clouds corresponding to their loved ones. In one case, before they are abused by the evil one, and in the other case, afterwards. In the Greek case, it is the good spirit who lures on the evildoer into a trap by use of his servant (Cloud); in the Hocąk version, it is the servant of the evildoer (the white raccoon) who lures the cloud beings into a trap. Both cause the evildoer to become the solar disk as a punishment for what he plotted to do to the loved ones of the good spirit. The cloud beings mate with the evildoer in the Greek tradition, but in the Hocąk tradition the cloud beings mate with the spouses of the evildoer. The offspring of the cloud beings become the first of their kind. The evildoer becomes the progenitor of twin beings, genetically connected to the horse. This is expressed in Greek by the twin equine being, half man and half horse. In Hocąk, the Twins are the "Children of the Sun" and their nearest brother is Big Eater, the first horse. Even though the stories appear on the surface to be unrelated conceptually, it soon becomes apparent through their parallel themes, that they are dealing at an esoteric level with the same subject and probably even some of the same theories about that subject.

Links: Bladder, Raccoons, Morning Star, Bluehorn (Evening Star), Earthmaker, One Legged One, Herešgúnina, Crane, Wolf & Dog Spirits, Fishers, Cougars, Celestial Spirits.

Stories: featuring Bladder (Wadexuga) as a character: The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Petition to Earthmaker; containing lists of the Hocąk clans: The Hocąk Migration Myth, Hocąk Clans Origin Myth, Origin of the Hocąk Chief; about Morning Star: Morning Star and His Friend, Little Human Head, Grandfather's Two Families, The Origins of the Milky Way; featuring Herešgúnina (the Bad Spirit or One Legged One) as a character: The Creation of Evil, The Creation of the World, The Creation of Man, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Lost Blanket, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Woman Who Became an Ant, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Journey to Spiritland, Šųgepaga, The Spirit of Gambling, The Two Brothers, The Origins of the Milky Way, The Buffalo's Walk; see also Black and White Moons, The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hocągara; about One Legged One: The Creation of Man (v. 2), The Woman Who Became an Ant, The Green Man; cf. The Spirit of Gambling; featuring cranes as characters: The Crane and His Brothers, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Spirit of Gambling, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, The Story of the Medicine Rite; mentioning raccoons:Lake Wąkšikhomįgra (Mendota): the Origin of Its Name, The Spirit of Maple Bluff, Raccoon and the Blind Men, The Were-fish, Trickster and the Mothers, Grandfather's Two Families; about giant raccoons: Lake Wąkšikhomįgra (Mendota): the Origin of Its Name; relating to dogs or wolves: The Gray Wolf Origin Myth, A Man and His Three Dogs, White Wolf, Wolves and Humans, The Wolf Clan Origin Myth, The Old Man and His Four Dogs, Worúxega, The Dogs of the Chief's Son, The Dog that became a Panther, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Wild Rose, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Canine Warrior, The Dog Who Saved His Master, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, The Big Eater, Why Dogs Sniff One Another, The Healing Blessing, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Trickster Loses His Meal, Sun and the Big Eater, Redhorn's Sons, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Hog's Adventures, Holy One and His Brother, The Messengers of Hare, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Grandmother's Gifts, The Hocąk Migration Myth, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth, The Old Man and the Giants, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, Kunu's Warpath, Morning Star and His Friend, Black Otter's Warpath, Black Otter’s Sacrifice to a Thunder, Chief Wave and the Big Drunk, The War of Indian Tribes against White Soldiers, Peace of Mind Regained (?); mentioning mountain lions (Cougars, Pumas, Panthers): The Dog that became a Panther, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Four Steps of the Cougar; mentioning fishers: Redhorn's Father, The Dipper; mentioning bladders: Bladder, Adventures of Redhorn's Sons (elk), The Birth of the Twins (turkey), The Two Boys (elk); mentioning red oaks: The Children of the Sun, Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Turtle's Warparty (v. 1), Trickster Gets Pregnant; mentioning snow: Waruǧábᵉra, The Glory of the Morning, Holy One and His Brother, Wolves and Humans, Grandfather's Two Families, The Four Steps of the Cougar, Brave Man, Redhorn's Father, The Old Man and the Giants, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Great Walker's Warpath, White Wolf, North Shakes His Gourd, The Fleetfooted Man, Lake Wąkšikhomįgra (Mendota): the Origin of Its Name, Witches, Shakes the Earth, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Trickster Gets Pregnant, The Raccoon Coat, Silver Mound Cave, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married; mentioning sweat lodges or sweat baths: The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Lost Blanket, The Green Man, Hare Establishes Bear Hunting, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, The Thunderbird, Snowshoe Strings, Waruǧábᵉra, The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka, The Birth of the Twins (v. 2), Lifting Up the Bear Heads, The King Bird, Little Human Head, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, White Wolf, The Shaggy Man, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, The Dipper, The Two Boys, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (v. 2).

Other stories (besides v. 4) in the Longtail/Dorsey set: II. The Captive Boys; III. The Man who Visited the Upper and Lower Worlds; IV. The Fatal House; V. The Two Brothers; VI. Iron Staff and His Companions; VII. Rich Man, Boy, and Horse; VIII. The Man with Two Heads.

Themes: the fallibility of Earthmaker: Creation of Man (v. 2), Lost Lake; spirits come to earth in order to rescue humanity from enemies who threaten their existence: The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Grandfather's Two Families, The Hare Cycle, The Hocągara Contest the Giants, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Raccoon Coat, Redhorn's Sons, The Redhorn Cycle, The Roaster, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Spirit of Gambling, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Trickster Cycle, Wojijé, Redhorn's Father, Turtle and the Merchant; a large group of brothers (usually ten) live alone together: Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, Įcorúšika and His Brothers, The Quail Hunter, Wojijé, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, The Spotted Grizzly Man; the oldest brother anounces that he is so great a spirit that his brothers have nothing to fear: Holy One and His Brother, Turtle's Warparty, įcohorucika and His Brothers; an old man is told by a Giant that his grandsons are challenged to a contest, but he keeps forgetting to tell them until the Giants (attempt to) club him, then he remembers by repeating it all day long: Sun and the Big Eater, Grandfather's Two Families; a knowledgeable person tells someone not to go to a certain place because of the danger, but that person goes there anyway: The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Fox-Hocąk War, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Two Boys, The Two Brothers, The Lost Blanket, The Thunderbird, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle; violating the prohibitions laid down by an elder brother leads to disaster: White Wolf, The Green Man, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun; a group (of brothers), a few at a time, go out looking for one of their number who is missing, but each searcher disappears in turn: Wojijé, Waruǧábᵉra, Big Eagle Cave Mystery; someone is abducted and led off into captivity: The Captive Boys, A Man's Revenge, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Lost Child, Wears White Feather on His Head, Įcorúšika and His Brothers, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Black Otter's Warpath, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Green Man, Brave Man, The Chief of the Heroka, Šųgepaga, The War of Indian Tribes against White Soldiers, Hare Gets Swallowed, Hare Acquires His Arrows, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, Wolves and Humans, The Woman Who Became an Ant, Thunderbird and White Horse, Heną́ga and Star Girl, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Traveler and the Thunderbird War (v. 5), The Boy who Flew, Testing the Slave, Soldiers Catch Two Boys, a Black One and a White One; a group of brothers disappear while following the tracks of a giant spirit animal: Wojijé (otter); a group of men hunt a raccoon and in the process are led to a spirit being: Lake Wąkšikhomįgra (Mendota): the Origin of Its Name, The Were-fish, The Spirit of Maple Bluff; a spirit's "dogs" turn out to be another kind of animal: Old Man and Wears White Feather (human), Porcupine and His Brothers (frogs), Turtle's Warparty (frogs), Chief of the Heroka (grizzly, wolf, otter, beaver), The Red Man (alligators); something is of a (symbolic) pure white color: White Bear, Deer Spirits, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4), White Flower, Big Eagle Cave Mystery, The Fleetfooted Man, Thunderbird and White Horse, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Worúxega, The Two Boys, The Lost Blanket (white spirits), Skunk Origin Myth, He Who Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, White Wolf, A Man and His Three Dogs, The Messengers of Hare, The Brown Squirrel, The Man Who Fell from the Sky, White Thunder's Warpath, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, The Dipper, Great Walker's Medicine (v. 2), Creation of the World (v. 12), Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, The Descent of the Drum, Tobacco Origin Myth (v. 5), The Diving Contest, Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men, The Animal Spirit Aids of the Medicine Rite, Grandmother's Gifts, Four Steps of the Cougar, The Completion Song Origin, North Shakes His Gourd, Lifting Up the Bear Heads, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Peace of Mind Regained, The War of Indian Tribes against White Soldiers (wolf, bird); people being chased miniaturize themselves and attempt to escape by passing through to the other side of a leaf: The Chief of the Heroka, įcohorucika and His Brothers, a spirit's brother is killed and his hide is used as an artifact by his killer: Holy One and His Brother (door flap), White Wolf (bracelets); an evil spirit engages in a contest designed to knock his opponent into the air with fatal consequences: Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, The Children of the Sun; two opponents play the game Kicking Each Other (Nąkįxjage): The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, Young Man Gambles Often, The Twins Get into Hot Water (v. 3), The Shaggy Man; the eldest and youngest brothers dominate: įcohorucika and His Brothers, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, The Story of the Medicine Rite; someone turns into a cloud: The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension, Heną́ga and Star Girl; polygamy: The Spotted Grizzly Man, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Green Man, Wazųka, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Markings on the Moon, Redhorn's Sons, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Hare Kills Sharp Elbow, Hare Gets Swallowed, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, The Spirit of Gambling. Cp. wolves are associated with water: The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Wolf Clan Origin Myth.

Songs. Bladder, Song about the Older Brother (v. 2), Bladder, Song about the Older Brother (v. 3), Buffalo Dance Songs, Clan Songs, Bear Clan, Clan Songs, Bear Clan, Song for Returning, Clan Songs, Bear Clan, Song for Starting Out, Clan Song, Bear Clan, Song of the Youngest, Clan Songs, Buffalo Clan, Clan Songs, Buffalo Clan, The Four Songs of Hojanoka, Clan Songs—Deer Clan, Clan Songs—Wolf Clan, Clan Songs—Wonáǧire Wąkšik Clan, The Crawfish's Song, Duck Song, Farewell Songs, The Four Services Songs, Grandfather Sparrow's Rain Songs, Grizzly Bear Songs, Hare's Song to Grasshopper, Hare's Song to the Wągepanįgera, Hare's Song to Wildcat, Hawk's Song, Heroka Songs, Holy Song, Holy Song II, Little Fox's Death Song, Little Fox's Death Song (for the Warpath), Little Fox's Tail Song, Love Song I (female), Love Song II (female), Love Song III (female), The Mouse Song, Nightspirit Songs, The Quail's Song, Redman's Song, Slow Song of the Heroka, Soldier Dance Songs, Song for Calling the Buffalo, Song from the Water, Song from the Water (King Bird), The Song of Bluehorn's Sister, Hocąk Text — The Song of Sun Caught in a Net, The Song of the Boy Transformed into a Robin, Song of the Frog to Hare, Song of the Thunder Nestlings, The Song of Trickster's Baby, Song to Earthmaker, The Song to the Elephant, The Sun's Song to Hare, Three Warrior Songs, Turtle's Call for a Warparty (v. 1), Turtle's Call for a Warparty (v. 2), Turtle's Four Death Dance Songs, Twins, Ghost's Song (v. 1), Twins, Ghost's Song (v. 2), Twins, Ghost's Song (The Two Brothers), Twins, the Songs of Ghost and Flesh, Twins, Song of the Father-in-Law, Victory Song, Wailing Song, Warrior Song about Mącosepka, What a Turtle Sang in His Sleep, Wolf-Teasing Song of the Deer Spirits. Songs in the McKern collection: Waking Songs (27, 55, 56, 57, 58) War Song: The Black Grizzly (312), War Song: Dream Song (312), War Song: White Cloud (313), James’ Horse (313), Little Priest Songs (309), Little Priest's Song (316), Chipmunk Game Song (73), Patriotic Songs from World War I (105, 106, 175), Grave Site Song: "Coming Down the Path" (45), Songs of the Stick Ceremony (53).


1 Paul Radin, "The Bladder," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Notebook #27: 1-60.

2 Charlie N. Houghton, Untitled, in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3892 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, ca. 1908) Winnebago III, #11a, Story XXXV: 333-360 (286-313).

3 "The Morning Star, A Winnebago Legend," collected by Louis L. Meeker (National Anthropological Archives, 1405 Winnebago, A.D.S., Nov. 22, 1896); "The Morning Star," in David Lee Smith, Folklore of the Winnebago Tribe (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997) 105-110.

4 Kathleen Danker and Felix White, Sr., The Hollow of Echoes (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978) 27-28. Informant: Felix White, Sr.

5 From this point on, the translation is based on Dorsey's interlinear translation that preceeds his free translation.

6 Philip Longtail (Sįcserecka), Buffalo Clan, "Watequka and His Brothers," with interlinear translation by James Owen Dorsey, 4800 Dorsey Papers: Winnebago 3.3.2 (Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives, October and November, 1893) Story I, 13-14, interlinear, 7-9.

7 Reuben David St. Cyr, with interlinear translation by James Owen Dorsey, 4800 Dorsey Papers: Winnebago 3.3.2 (Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives, 1886) under "Notes," 9-10.

8 Louis L. Meeker, “Siouan Mythological Tales,” Journal of American Folklore, 14 (1901): 161-164.

9 Marino, A Dictionary of Winnebago, 375, s. v. rek.

10 Radin, "The Bladder," note just prior to p. 33 of the English translation.

11 Radin in Houghton, Untitled, Winnebago III, #11a, Story XXXV: 340 nt 2.

12 Robert Emmerich, Ingrid Giez, Otto L. Lange, Peter Proksch, "Toxicity and antifeedant activity of lichen compounds against the polyphagous herbivorous insect Spodoptera littoralis," Phytochemistry, 33, #6 (12 August 1993): 1389–1394.

13 Mary Carolyn Marino, A Dictionary of Winnebago: An Analysis and Reference Grammar of the Radin Lexical File (Ph.D. Thesis, University of California, Berkeley, December 14, 1968 [69-14,947]) 168, s. v. dex.

14 Charles Phillips, The Mythology of the Aztec and Maya, David M. Jones, consultant (London: Anness Publishing, 2006) 19.

15 Munroe S. Edmonson, The Book of Counsel: The Popol Vuh of the Quiche Maya of Guatemala. Middle American Research Institute, publication 35 (New Orleans: Tulane University Press, 1971) 11-12.

16 Susan Milbrath, Star Gods of the Maya: Astronomy in Art, Folklore, and Calendars (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999) 266.

17 For the creation myth, see Popol Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life, trs. Dennis Tedlock. Revised Edition (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996 [1985]) 63-73.

18 Mary Miller and Karl Taube, An Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya (London: Thames & Hudson, 1993) 164, s. v. "Tezcatlipoca."

19 Miller and Taube, An Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya, 167-168, s. v. "Tlaltecuhtli."

20 "A Youth Destroys Áchiyalátâp̣a," in Edward S. Curtis, The North American Indian (Norwood: The Plimpton Press, 1907-1930) 17:178.

21 Carl Kerényi, The Gods of the Greeks (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1979 [1951]) 159-160. The primary sources are Apollodorus, Epitome 1.20; Pindar, Pythian Odes 2.21-46, and Scholia on 2.21; Diodorus Siculus 4.69.4; Scholiast on Eurippides, Phoenissæ 1185; Scholiast on Homer, Odyssey 21.303; Scholiast on Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica 3.62; Hyginus, Fabula 62; Servius on Virgil, Ænæas 6.286; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Thebaid 4.539; First Vatican Mythographer 14; Second Vatican Mythographer 106.