Hare Burns His Buttocks (§9 of the Hare Cycle)

Version 1 (from the Published Hare Cycle)

retold by Richard L. Dieterle

Hare went out again, and came upon a path so perfect that it was like no other he had ever seen. "I wonder who could have made such a path?" he mused to himself, so he set about making a trap of nettle weeds to see if he could capture this being. Later when he checked his trap he found it broken, so he made another of sinew strings, but the path maker broke that one too. The next trap was of basswood rope, but even that could not hold the mysterious path maker. Finally, he had to resort to making a trap from Grandmother's braided hair. Not long after he set this new trap, he heard singing off in the distance:

Hare, come and untie me! Hare, come and untie me!
What will the people do?
Hare, come and untie me! Hare, come and untie me!

Grandmother overheard it, and taking a poker, she scolded Hare and whacked him a couple of times with it. "Ow!" Hare cried out, and ran away to where he heard the singing. Despite his best effort to untie the trap, it was just too hot, so he came back with a knife. He backed cautiously towards it and cut it free, but it was so hot that it scorched his buttocks, leaving them ever after a burnt color. The being he had trapped was the sun.1

Version 2 (of the Nebraska Hocągara)

retold by Richard L. Dieterle

Hare did many things for the two-legged walkers, but he also pulled many pranks. He lived as an orphan with his grandmother, who was Earth. One day Wašjingéga (Hare) came upon a track that was large indeed, and he thought that it must belong to a very big animal. Every morning he used to get up and run out to it to see what he could find, but he could never so much as catch a glimpse of whatever made the tracks. So one day he decided to set a trap for it. He had a good trap that he had made from nettles, but the next day when he went to visit his trap, he found that it had been completely torn asunder. Then he tried a trap of deer sinew, which was much stronger, yet that too was broken. Then he tried a trap of basswood bark, which makes good rope, but even that was broken. So when Wašjingéga returned home the third time, he asked, "K'ak'a, what could I use for rope that nothing could break? I have tried everything for a trap, but whenever I check it, it is broken. That is why I ask." Grandmother replied, "I know of one thing that cannot be broken. Wait a moment and I will get it for you." She pulled some hair off her body and presented that to Wašjingéga. He made rope out of it, and from the rope he made a new snare.

The next day when Wašjingéga checked his trap, there unexpectedly was a bright, shiny object that was so hot that he could not even get close to it. This creature chanted:

Wašjingéga let me go,
I must travel on my path;
I must travel on my path,
Wašjingéga let me go!

So Wašjingéga ran home and told his grandmother everything that had happened. She was horrified and said, "Grandson, the being that you have trapped is the sun. The Creator did not make him for this purpose. If he does not go his way, then many things will die, and many others will be deprived of their blessings." So Wašjingéga ran back to see if he could set him free, but he was so hot that Wašjingéga could not even get close to him. The only way that Wašjingéga could approach the sun and free him was to back towards him, but in doing so, he was scorched. That is why ever after a rabbit's hide comes right off him when he is skinned, just as if it had been scorched; and the tail of the rabbit comes off easiest of all.2

Version 3 (§4 of the Russell Hare Cycle) [incomplete]

narrated by Jacob Russell

translated by Richard L. Dieterle

Jacob Russell, 1899

(55) The next morning he started off again. After he had done that, he came into an enormous trail. "What made this?" Now then, he went to the place where the sun sets and the next morning he arrived there. (57) Also he said, "So, now then, now ho!" he said to her. "It would be good to gather up the wood. It would be good if you kept the fire burning." Now then, one night she intensely wished for the wood to be gathered up. Now very much had been gathered. "Little grandson," she said to him, "thus always the fire must be kept up," she said to him. (59) So the young man proceeded in this way. Still the fire was strong in the fireplace and the flames reached very high. The woman said to him, "Still, if at any time you get sleepy, let me know," she said. "Okay." Therefore, in order not to fall asleep, he told her things. Still the woman, now ho! ... [the MS runs out at this point]3

Hocąk-English Interlinear Text

Version 4

"While running here and there over the earth to see what work was still to do, Wash-ching-geka [Wašjįgega] found a pass or trail where some huge thing had gone by. 'I must find out what this is,' said he; 'maybe it is some great animal that will run over the people and kill them. So he blocked up the pass with trees and stones; but when he came there again, lo! the big thing had burst through them. Then he went to his grandmother and told her about it, and she made a net which he spread across the pass. Next day he heard some one crying aloud and singing this song:

The Song of Sun Caught in the Net
Wašjįgé hįrúškąne!*
Hare let me loose!
Wašjįgé hįrúškąne!
Hare let me loose!
Hiteknį́kwaraka, ki'ųnį́nįkwaraka,
Your uncles, your aunts,
Jagú kišką-įranihekje?†
What will they do?
Jagú kišką-įranihekje?
What will they do?
Wašjįgé hįrúškąne!
Hare let me loose!
Wašjįgé hįrúškąne!
Hare let me loose!4

*the text has, hį(ki)rúškąne.
†the text has, cakúk'ikąįranihek'ce(že). At the end of the sentence there is the following note: k'išką́, to do something yourself.

Who was it that Wash-ching-geka had caught—who but the sun! For the sun used to go through that pass every day, and now he was fast in Wash-ching-geka's net! 'Go you and set him loose!' cried the grandmother, and she scolded the Little Hare and beat him over the head with her cane. 'What will all your little-fathers and your little-mothers do without the sun? Go set him loose!' So Wash-ching-geka tried to untie the net. But the sun was so hot that the Little Hare could not face him. He could only back up, turning away his head; and so his hinder parts were so scorched that, to this day, the skin of the hare's hind-quarters is tender and easily broken."5

Commentary. "a poker" — the sun is neither a brother nor husband to Earth (Grandmother), and Hare's capture of (him and) his disk is a danger to the world order. Hare therefore does not threaten his grandmother when she strikes him with a poker. The poker is used to free the hot embers from a "trap" that prevents them from properly burning and heating the lodge. So this is the proper instrument, as Hare must play the role of the poker himself. Thus the poker is like the cane, not merely in shape, but as an instrument of mobility (freeing the embers by moving ashes away from them) and balance (restoring the proper position of fire and ash). The poker thus frees the fire, which is the sacred possession of the Thunderbird Clan, the clan of the chief, from excessive proximity to ash, a thing of the earth and therefore of the lower moiety. A trap is the opposite of both a cane and a poker, since it causes immobility and imbalance.

"off her body" — in Danker's thesis, the White texts explicitly say that it is her pubic hair (šąhína), and that "she plucked it bare."6 The sun has a mystical identity with the lodge fire, which is the sacred possession of the Thunderbird Clan. All fires were started from the original fire in their possession. The clouds, which are the manifestation of the Thunders, dominate the sun in some sense, since they occlude it. Yet the fire that is in the possession of the celestial Thunders is something of that sacred fire of the sun which manifests itself as the lightning that hides within the clouds. The lightning and the Thunders have an attraction to grass, as Menaige (ca. 1850) says here,

... the Indians say whenever the lighting kills or blasts anything, they "eat it"; as a pasture field being struck the grass turns yellow or is "eaten" by the Thunders; that is the substance is extracted and taken up.7

Here the pubic hair catches and "eats" the Fire, leaving its mound bare. This fire is implicated in reproduction. The Sun is called Hąpwira, "the Day Luminary"; but hąp also means "light." In symbolism, Hąp is a metaphor for life, so much so that Radin usually translates this metaphor as "Light-and-Life." It is clear to casual observation that the light of the Sun produces life in conjunction with other things such as water and soil. This allows Hąp, "Day" to also be at once "Life." When Earth plucks her pudenda, she returns it to its prepubescent phase, where it has no pubic hair, the mark of sexual maturity. This is the opposite of her real condition, since she is post-menopausal, unreproductive for the opposite reason: too many years rather than too few. It is the Sun that marks these years in winters, the period in which it is at its weakest and lowest in the sky. It keeps , "time," but now , "Earth," keeps it in its grasp. Just as earth in winter is un(re)productive, so now the sun in the grasp of the un(re)productive pubic hair of , which is out of the time of productivity, causes the sun to fail in its productivity. When the Sun is at its proper power, during the time of heat and reproduction, when flora and fauna flourish under its fire, the Earth's "hair" is in full growth. Reproduction is the Upper Moiety function in relation to the Earth Moiety. However, as noted above, the relationship between the trapped Sun and Earth is too close to be permanent; similarly, there has to be balance and separation between the two moieties, expressed in the difference between high and low. The Upper cannot be trapped in its freedom of hierarchical action and control by the reproductive demands of the Earth (Lower). Therefore, the distinction between upper and lower cannot be abridged as it is in this myth.

"it scorched his buttocks" — when Hare traps the sun, another image of fire and chieftainship, he does so by means of part of the body of earth. The result is that once again the being of the sky and fire is made too close to the earth. The result is an imbalance of which Hare is now the guilty party. Yet Hare's task is to unite the upper (fire) world with the lower earth world in proper balance to effect the structure found in Hocąk society between the moieties. The sun burns the buttocks of Hare, so that when Hare sits the burnt portion touches the earth. The rabbit is particularly noted for its reproductive proclivities, and the union of Hare with Earth (Grandmother) is the right kind of balance between the burnt (upper) and earth (lower): it is the balance of the upper and lower mating with one another, which in Hocąk culture is the exchange of marital partners between the upper and lower moieties. It is thus Hare's lower extremities that at once unite the upper (Sun) with the lower (Earth) as well as having been involved in separating them from their politically incorrect association. The proper separation of the upper and lower is political (control), their proper unity is sexual.

"I must travel on my path" — the trap prevents the sun from ascending to its normal high station in the heavens. The attribute of height, which was important in the ant episode, stood for status, and the cane, which is action at a remove, for a kind of stratifying power. It is this power, similarly portrayed, that belongs also to the Thunderbird Clan (associated with clouds and chieftainship), who are said to have created "the hills and valleys" (stratification) by the power of their feet or warclubs, both of which are analogous to the cane. The opposite, in some sense, of the trap's abuse of power is the restriction characteristic of legitimate power. The sun is impeded by the earth-trap from exercising its function of bringing Light-and-Life (Hąp), and from moving down the perfect path. Thus, direction is interfered with as well as mobility. The role of the Thunderbird chief is to give just this direction on the Road of Life and Death, and the interference by the earth moiety in his direction of affairs is the complementary sin to that of the higher authorities using oppression through excessive denigration of the people of the earth moiety.

Comparative Material. The related Omaha have a Hare story with the same episode. "Once upon a time a rabbit dwelt in a lodge with no one but his grandmother. He was accustomed to go hunting early in the morning. Inevitably a person with very long feet had preceded him, leaving a trail. The rabbit desired to find out who this party was, and got up one morning very early, but even then he had been preceded, so he laid a snare that night so as to catch this early bird, laying a noose where the footprints used to be seen. Rising early the next morning he inspected his trap, and found he had caught the sun. Now he was very much frightened, and the sun said to him: 'Why have you done this? You have done a great wrong. Come hither and untie me.' Finally the rabbit mustered up courage and bending his head down rushed at the sun and severed the rope with his knife, but the sun was so hot that the rabbit scorched the hair between his shoulders, so that it was yellow, and from that time the rabbit has had a singed spot on his back between his shoulders."8

The Dakota have a close parallel to the present story. Rabbit lived alone with his grandmother. Whenever he went out hunting he noticed that someone with a big foot had left tracks before him. Rabbit decided to find out who this was, so he woke up early one morning and went out as usual. Just the same, the one with the big foot had already been out and left tracks before him. He spoke to his grandmother, saying, "Whenever I go out to set my traps, someone is out there before me, scaring away the game. I want to make a trap to catch him in." "What did this being every do to you that you would trap him?" she asked. "It doesn't matter," he said, "it is enough that I don't like him." Rabbit went out very early and made a crude trap with his bowstring. He later returned, and discovered that he had indeed caught the intruder. This being was the sun itself. Rabbit ran home to tell his grandmother that he had caught something, although he did not know what it was. She told him to return and find out. When he got back, Sun yelled, "Untie me you fool! What's the idea of ensnaring me in the first place?!" Rabbit became frightened, and decided he had better set this being free, so he ducked his head down and cut the string holding the sun. The sun immediately sailed up into the sky, but not before scorching Rabbit's back. This is why rabbits today have a yellow patch on their back between their shoulders.9

This Cherokee version shares two important features with the Hocąk: the burning of the tail, and the making of a web to capture the sun. In the beginning, all was darkness and night in the world where humans and animals dwelt. Fox revealed that he knew that on the other side of the world there was an abundance of light, but the beings there were selfish and would keep it all to themselves. Possum stepped forward and said he would obtain this treasure for the world. When he got to the other side, he found a great light hanging from a tree, and not being greedy, he took but a small portion of it, and hid it in his bushy tail. Unfortunately, it was very hot, and scorched all his fur off, and so it is still to this day that possums have no hair on their tails. Then the buzzard tried to steal a small piece of the sun, but when he hid it in his head feathers, they too were all burned off, so that buzzards today have no feathers on their heads. Then Grandmother Spider patiently prepared to attempt the deed herself. She first created a thick walled pot of clay. After that, she made a web so long that it stretched to the other side of the world. Her web was so fine, and she so small, that no one noticed. She grabbed the whole sun, put it in her pot, and scrambled along the web back to our side of the world. Everyone rejoiced in the light of the new sun. So it was that Grandmother Spider brought the sun and fire into the world in which the Cherokee lived, and taught them the art of pottery making as well.10

A Micmac tale substitutes the moon for the sun. Once Hare was a great hunter who every day went out to set his traps. In time he noticed that someone was stealing everything that he had trapped, so he was determined to capture the culprit. He made a trap using his bowstring and placed it in a way that would be sure to trap the raider. He lay there under cover of the brush, waiting. Then it suddenly became very dark, like on a cloudy night. He could hear someone coming. Then suddenly there was a blinding white light. He tied the string to a sapling, then ran home in fear, but his grandmother told him that he had better return, or the captive would make good his escape. When he returned, the bright light bothered his eyes. He tried throwing snowballs at him, but they just sizzled and evaporated when they hit him. Then he threw some gray clay, but that seemed to have no effect. This made the captive angry, and he demanded to be released immediately. Indeed, he told him that if he did not release him, that he would cause Hare's whole tribe to be rubbed out. So Hare made him promise never to visit the earth again, but to stay in the heavens. This man was the moon. So he agreed, and Hare released him. Because Hare had seen the moonlight directly, ever since rabbits have pink eyelids and blink profusely when they see a strong light. The moon, on the other hand, never could wash off the gray clay marks which can be seen on his body even to this day.11

The following is a story from the Bungee people of Canada that has many of the elements of the Hocąk waiką. "Before the Creation, the world was a wide waste of water, and there was no light upon the earth, the sun being only an occasional visitor to this world. Anxious to keep the sun from wandering away very far, the god Weese-ke-jak constructed an enormous trap to catch the sun, and the next time the sun came near the earth he was caught in the trap. In vain he struggled to get free, but the cords by which he was held were too strong for him. The near proximity of the sun to the earth caused such heat, that everything was in danger of being burned. Then Weese-ke-jak concluded to make some sort of a compromise with the sun before he would consent to give him his liberty. It was stipulated that the sun was only to come near the outer edges of the earth in the mornings and evenings, and during the day to keep farther away, just near enough to warm the earth without scorching it. But now another difficulty presented itself, the sun had not the power to unloose the band by which he was held, and the intense heat prevented either Weese-ke-jak or any of his creations from approaching the sun to cut the band and set him free. The beaver at that time was rather an insignificant creature, having only a few small teeth in his head, and being covered with bristly hair like a hog, his tail being only a small stump about two or three inches long. He offered to release the sun, and succeeded in gnawing through the cords that held the sun before being quite roasted alive. The cords being severed the sun rose from the earth like a vast balloon. Weese-ke-jak in gratitude for his deliverance from the burning rays of the sun rewarded the beaver by giving him a beautiful soft coat, and fine sharp teeth of a brown colour, as if scorched by fire. This is how the beaver came by his hatchet-like teeth and furry coat."12

The Paiutes tell a similar story. The heat of the Sun was so oppressive that Cottontail resolved to do something about it. To strengthen himself, he went on a perpetual warpath, and soon became a strong warrior. Then he sought out the Sun. When he got within range, he took careful aim with his best arrow and did not miss. The arrow tore the flesh of the Sun, but unlike other beings, the Sun did not bleed in wet blood, but spilled forth its inner fire. The flood of fire spread across the earth, burning everything in its path. Cottontail ran for his life, and along the way asked each plant how they would cope with the fire, but none had any answer except that they would burn. Finally, he came across the desert yellow brush, which then was a rich green color. It offered to shield Cottontail, who promptly concealed himself below its foliage and dug up some dirt for further protection. The fire passed over, and the brush survived, but as a consequence of the heat, turned from green to yellow, a color it now always has when the Sun is at the height of its power. Cottontail did not escape without having been scorched just behind his neck. Ever after, rabbits have had a burnt spot on the back of their necks. After having been shot, the Sun became very cautious when it rose, never rising in the exact same spot, but shifting every day just a little to the north or to the south.13

In a Gosiute tale, the power of the Sun is so overweening that it burns the surface of the earth. It even burned Cottontail's back. Cottontail tried in vain to shoot him with conventional arrows, but they evaporated before impact. So Cottontail reached into his own guts and pulled out a stone, and with this as an arrowhead, he shot and killed the Sun.14

The Western Shoshone have much the same story as the closely related Gosiute. In the beginning the Sun was too low in the sky and burned everything on earth, but Big Cottontail and his brother Little Cottontail resolved to kill the Sun. Finally, they reached the eastern edge of the world where the Sun rose. Their arrows would not work because the heat of the Sun burnt them up. But Big Cottontail was able to slay the Sun by shooting a sagebrush torch at him. Then Big Cottontail fled down his rabbit hole. After the body of the Sun cooled off, the Cottontail brothers butchered it. They made the Moon out of the Sun's ball bladder, and stars were made from other parts, probably the eyes. Then they revived the Sun and cast him higher in the sky; but because they were short, they did not cast him high enough and that is why we still have hot days.15

There is a Wyandot (Huron) myth of the same type. "There was a child whose father had been killed and eaten by a bear, and his mother by the Great Hare. A woman came and found the child and adopted him as her little brother, calling him 'Chakabech.' He did not grow bigger than a baby, but he was so strong that the trees served as arrows for his bow. When he had killed the destroyers of his parents, he wished to go up to heaven, and climbed up a tree. Then he blew upon it and it grew up and up till he came to heaven and there he found a beautiful country. So he went down to fetch his sister, building huts as he went down to lodge her in, brought her up the tree into heaven, and then broke off the tree low down, so that no one can go up to heaven that way. Then Chakabech went out, and set his snares for game, but when he got up at night to look at them, he found everything on fire, and went back to his sister to tell her. Then she told him he must have caught the sun. Going along by night he must have got in unawares, and when Chakabech went to see, so it was, but he dared not go near enough to let the sun out. By chance he found a little mouse, and blew upon her till she grew so big that she could set the sun free, and the sun released from the trap went again on his way, but while he was held in the snare, day failed down here on earth."16

This is a parallel from the Dogrib tribe. "Men Chapewee after the Deluge formed the earth and landed the animals upon it from his canoe, he stuck up a piece of wood which became a fir-tree, and grew with amazing rapidity until its top reached the skies. A squirrel ran up this tree, and was pursued by Chapewee, who endeavoured to knock it down, but could not overtake it. He continued the chase however, until he reached the stars, where he found a fine plain, and a beaten road. In this road he set a snare made of his sister's hair, and then returned to earth. The sun appeared as usual in the heavens in the morning, but at noon it was caught by the snare which Chapewee had set for the squirrel, and the sky was instantly darkened. Chapewee's family, on this said to him: 'You must have done something wrong when you were aloft, for we no longer enjoy the light of day.' 'I have,' replied he, 'but it was unintentional.' Chapewee then endeavoured to repair the fault he had committed, and sent a number of animals up the tree to release the sun by cutting the snare, but the intense heat of that luminary reduced them all to ashes. The efforts of the more active animals being thus frustrated, a ground mole, though such a groveling and awkward beast, succeeded by burrowing under the road in the sky until it reached and cut asunder the snare which bound the sun. It lost its eyes, however, the instant it thrust its head into the light, and its nose and teeth have ever since been brown as if burnt."17

The following parallel is Maori. "The young hero, Maui, had not been long at home with his brothers when he began to think, that it was too soon after the rising of the sun that it became night again, and that the sun again sank down below the horizon, every day, every day; in the same manner the days appeared too short to him. So at last, one day he said to his brothers: 'Let us now catch the sun in a noose, so that we may compel him to move more slowly, in order that mankind may have long days to labour in to procure subsistence for themselves'; but they answered him: 'Why, no man could approach it on account of its warmth, and the fierceness of its heat'; but the young hero said to them: 'Have you not seen the multitude of things I have already achieved?' ... When his brothers heard this, they consented on his persuasions to aid him in the conquest of the sun. Then they began to spin and twist ropes to form a noose to catch the sun in, and in doing this they discovered the mode of plaiting flax into stout square-shaped ropes (tuamaka); and the manner of plaiting flat ropes, (paharahara); and of spinning round ropes; at last, they finished making all the ropes which they required. Then Maw took up his enchanted weapon, and he took his brothers with him, and they carried their provisions, ropes, and other things with them, in their hands. They traveled all night, and as soon as day broke, they halted in the desert, and hid themselves that they might not be seen by the sun; and at night they renewed their journey, and before dawn they halted, and hid themselves again; at length they got very far, very far, to the eastward, and came to the very edge of the place out of which the sun rises. Then they set to work and built on each side of this place a long high wall of clay, with huts of boughs of trees at each end to hide themselves in; when these were finished, they made the loops of the noose, and the brothers of Maui then lay in wait on one side of the place out of which the sun rises, and Maui himself lay in wait upon the other side. The young hero held in his hand his enchanted weapon, the jaw-bone of his ancestress — of Muri-ranga-whenua, and said to his brothers: 'Mind now, keep yourselves hid, and do not go showing yourselves foolishly to the sun; if you do, you will frighten him; but wait patiently until his head and fore-legs have got well into the snare, then I will shout out; haul away as hard as you can on the ropes on both sides, and then I'll rush out and attack him, but do you keep your ropes tight for a good long time (while I attack him), until he is nearly dead, when we will let him go; but mind, now, my brothers, do not let him move you to pity with his shrieks and screams.' At last the sun came rising up out of his place, like a fire spreading far and wide over the mountains and forests; he rises up, his head passes through the noose, and it takes in more and more of his body, until his fore-paws pass through; then were pulled tight the ropes, and the monster began to struggle and roll himself about, whilst the snare jerked backwards and forwards as he struggled. Ah! was not he held fast in the ropes of his enemies! Then forth rushed that bold hero, Mau-tikitiki-o-Taranga, with his enchanted weapon. Alas! the sun screams aloud; he roars; Maui strikes him fiercely with many blows; they hold him for a long time, at last they let him go, and then weak from wounds the sun crept along its course. Then was learnt by men the second name of the sun, for in its agony the sun screamed out: 'Why am I thus smitten by you! oh, man! do you know what you are doing? Why should you wish to kill Tama-nui-te-Ra? Thus was learnt his second name. At last they let him go. Oh, then, Tama-nui-te-Ra went very slowly and feebly on his course."18

"This idea that man could stay the Sun's daily course is to be met with in the Fiji Islands, where, on the top of a small hill, a patch of reeds grew. Travelers who feared that they would not reach the end of their journey before the Sun set, were wont to tie the tops of a handful of these reeds together to detain the Sun from going down. It has been thought that by this act they may have imagined they could entangle the Sun in the reeds for a time and thus stay his course."19

The snare made of secret things recalls the famous Icelandic (Norse) Eddic myth of Greipnir, the snare made of impossible things: "It was made of six things: of the sound of the cat, and of the beard of women, and of the roots of the rock, and of the sinews of the bear, and of the breath of the fish, and of bird's spit ..."20

There is an Ojibwe myth, "Little Brother Snares the Sun," which has been presented in one collection as being Hocąk. See Little Brother Snares the Sun.

Links: Hare, Earth, Sun, The Sons of Earthmaker.

Links within the Published Hare Cycle: §8. Hare Kills a Man with a Cane, §10. Hare Gets Swallowed.

Links within the Russell Hare Cycle: §3. Hare Kills a Man with a Cane, Version 2.

Stories: featuring Hare as a character: The Hare Cycle, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Necessity for Death, The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Hare Acquires His Arrows, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, Hare Kills Wildcat, The Messengers of Hare, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, Hare Kills Flint, Hare Kills Sharp Elbow, Hare Visits His Grandfather Bear, Grandmother Packs the Bear Meat, Hare Visits the Bodiless Heads, Hare Visits the Blind Men, Hare Kills a Man with a Cane, Hare Gets Swallowed, The Hill that Devoured Men and Animals, Hare Establishes Bear Hunting, Grandmother's Gifts, Hare and the Grasshoppers, The Spirit of Gambling, The Red Man, Maize Origin Myth, Hare Steals the Fish, The Animal who would Eat Men, The Gift of Shooting, Hare and the Dangerous Frog, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, The Coughing Up of the Black Hawks, The Animal Spirit Aids of the Medicine Rite, The Petition to Earthmaker; featuring Sun as a character: Sun and the Big Eater, Grandfather's Two Families, The Big Eater, The Children of the Sun, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Birth of the Twins, The Man who was Blessed by the Sun, The Origins of the Milky Way, Red Cloud's Death; featuring Grandmother Earth as a character: Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Maize Origin Myth, Grandmother Packs the Bear Meat, Grandmother's Gifts, Owl Goes Hunting, Hare and the Grasshoppers, Hare Acquires His Arrows, The Plant Blessing of Earth, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth, Hare Visits the Blind Men, Hare Visits His Grandfather Bear, Hare Visits the Bodiless Heads, Hare Gets Swallowed, Hare Kills Wildcat, Hare and the Dangerous Frog, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, The Necessity for Death, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, Hare Steals the Fish, Hare Kills Sharp Elbow, Hare Kills Flint, The Gift of Shooting, The Creation of the World, The Creation of Man (vv 4, 6), Hare Establishes Bear Hunting, Redhorn's Father (?); mentioning basswood: The Children of the Sun, Redhorn's Father, Bear Clan Origin Myth (v. 3), The Big Stone, The Fox-Hocąk War, The King Bird, Hare Kills Wildcat, Turtle's Warparty, The Birth of the Twins, The Messengers of Hare, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store.

Themes: a young man builds and maintains a very large fire at the behest of a woman, and in order to stay awake, he tells her stories throughout the night: The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter; only after repeated tries does an old woman succeed in making a net strong enough for her grandson to capture a spirit being: The King Bird; an old woman strikes a man with a poker for his misbehavior: Moiety 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, Winnebago Hero Cycles: A Study in Aboriginal Literature (Baltimore: Waverly Press, 1948) 102-103. Paul Radin, The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology (New York: Schocken Books, 1956) §13, pp. 75-76. The original Hocąk text is missing, but the English translation of Oliver LaMère is preserved in Paul Radin, "The Hare Cycle," Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3851 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Winnebago IV, #1: 65-69.

2 Kathleen Danker and Felix White, Sr., The Hollow of Echoes (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978) 26-27. Informant: Felix White, Sr.

3 Jacob Russell, Stories from the Hare Cycle, in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Winnebago III, #14, Freeman #3893 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) 55-59. Phonetic text only.

4 the text is based on Susman's revision of Natalie Curtis' phonetic rendering. "Song of Sun caught in the Net to Waccįkéka," in Amelia Susman, Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1939) Book 10, Song 2, p. 84.

5 Natalie Curtis Burlin, The Indians' Book: an Offering by the American Indians of Indian Lore, Musical and Narrative, to Form a Record of the Songs and Legends of Their Race (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1907) 249-250.

6 Kathleen Ann Danker, The Winnebago Narratives of Felix White, Sr.: Style, Structure and Function, (Ph.D. Thesis, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, May, 1985 [8521450]) 172-173, 185, 202, 223.

7 Thomas Foster, Foster's Indian Record and Historical Data (Washington, D. C.: 1876-1877) vol. 1, #2, p. 3, col. 3.

8 William Tyler Olcott, Sun Lore of All Ages: A Collection of Myths and Legends concerning the Sun and Its Worship (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1914) 218-219. Taken from, J. W. Powell, Wyandot Government, First Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1879-80: 57-69.

9 Lewis Spence, Myths of the North American Indians (London: George G. Harrap & Company, 1916) 301-302.

10 "Grandmother Spider Steals The Sun," a story of unknown provenance. From the website, "ccr crystal dragon," http://groups.msn.com/ccrcrystaldragon/indiansandanimals.msnw.

11 Glenn Welker, "Some Adventures of the Little Hare," at http://www.indigenouspeople.net/rabbmoon.htm.

12 Olcott, Sun Lore of All Ages, 219-220. Taken from, Journal American Folk-Lore, 19 (1906) 80-81.

13 "Why the Sun Rises Cautiously," in William R. Palmer, Why the North Star Stands Still and Other Indian Legends (Springdale, Utah: Zion Natural History Association, Zion National Park, 1978 [1946]) 25-29.

14 Commodore, "Cottontail and His Brother Shoot the Sun," in Anne M. Smith, Shoshone Tales (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1993 [1939]) 22-23.

15 Annie Bealer, "Cottontail Shoots the Sun," in Smith, Shoshone Tales, 97-98.

16 Olcott, Sun Lore of All Ages, 215-216.

17 Olcott, Sun Lore of All Ages, 216-217.

18 Sir George Grey, Polynesian Mythology and Ancient Traditional History of the New Zealand Race, as Furnished by their Priests and Chiefs (London: Murray, 1855) 24-26.

19 Olcott, Sun Lore of All Ages, 221.

20 Gylfaginning 25, 34 (Snorri Edda).