Partridge's Older Brother

retold by Richard L. Dieterle

There was once a village in which lived a chief who had an older boy and two younger daughters. As much as the sisters loved the boy, the chief's son loved them in turn even more. He spent much of his time making arrows, and had now reached an age where he began to fast. He had four birds, a robin, a partridge, an owl, and a black hawk. These were his prized companions whom he addressed as "brothers." They were very fond of him in turn. One morning the chef's son awoke to find that he had apparently wet his bed the night before. He was very embarrassed. Again the succeeding morning he found the same thing had happened, so when he went to bed that evening he resolved to stay awake all night long. Late that night a woman snuck up to his bed, stood over him and urinated. He said nothing, wondering who it could be. The next night he put wet arrow paint by his bed so that he could find out who was doing this by marking her with the indelible paint. That night, just as before, she came again, but this time the young man reached up and touched her face with the paint. The next morning and even the day after, he looked for the culprit in vain, so he told his father of all that had happened to him and what he had done to mark the woman. The chief commanded that all the young women be brought before him, but after a thorough search, none of them were found to have a mark on them. The next day the chief ordered that all the widows of the village present themselves, but none of them were found to be marked either. Then, on the third day, he decreed that all married woman be brought before him, but they too were found to be without blemish. Finally, the chief required all old women to appear before him, but none of them had a mark. This was very puzzling, since there were no other tribes or villages nearby. However, the young man recalled that he had never looked at his older sister. She had, in fact, always turned her face from him as of late. So one night he behaved clumsily with the fire brand so as to set her skirt on fire, and when she turned to put out the flames, he saw the arrow paint on her face. However, he was too ashamed to say anything.

The next morning he said to his father, "Today I am going away, so make ready a canoe for me." This he did, and they loaded everything that he owned into it, including his four birds. His older sister even helped in this work. So he pushed off and paddled away, but he had not gone very far when suddenly he noticed that his older sister was in the boat with him. He quickly paddled to the shore and told her, "You did a shameful thing to me, so get out!" He left her behind on the shore and went his way, but had not gone very far when, unexpectedly, she reappeared in his canoe. So he dropped her off on the shore once more. Nevertheless, the strange occurrence happened yet again, so this time when he left her he checked behind him in the canoe. There he found a small birch bark dish which he promptly threw out. Then from the shore he heard a female whoop: "Hey-yoo! You are a difficult man to get! You will never see your village again!"

After traveling all day, he stopped for the night and made himself a grass lodge. This place was full of cherry trees ripe with fruit, and this made Robin very happy indeed. As they were getting ready to leave the next morning, Robin sat there quietly and seemed depressed. The young man asked, "Younger brother, you are very quiet — what troubles you?" Robin replied, "This is such fine country for me, I would be happy if I could have stayed here." "So be it, then: you stay here and we'll manage all right without you." He thanked the young man, and the three remaining brothers pushed off to continue their journey. That evening he made a grass lodge in an area full of poplar trees and many other trees whose branches were loaded with buds. Partridge [inset] said, "Older brother this is a very nice country." The next morning as they were getting ready to leave, Partridge was quiet and seemed depressed. "You seem very quiet this morning," the young man observed, "is something bothering you?" Partridge answered, "I am so pleased with this country that I would like to stay here forever." "By all means," he said, "I see no harm in it." Then the young man went on with just two of his brothers. That evening they made camp. The area was a plain full of snipes and other little birds. During the night Owl went hunting, killing and eating many small birds. The next morning, he was very quiet and the young man noticed this. "What is troubling you Owl?" he asked. Owl replied, "My older brother, it is so nice here that I wish to remain behind." The young man told him, "You may certainly do so." They bid Owl farewell, and the two remaining brothers set off for their daily travels. That evening they made camp. Black Hawk would go out hunting ducks which he would kill in midair by pecking them. They ate many ducks for dinner, but the next morning Black Hawk was very quiet. The young man asked, "Why are you so quiet?" Black Hawk responded, "The hunting is so good here, I would like to stay behind." "All right," said the young man, and set off alone.

He had not traveled very far when he saw a man sitting on the edge of the water. He had a very large stomach, but his legs were very slim terminating in unusually long feet. He had a big head and very hairy arms. His teeth had human hair stuck between them. The boy came to shore, but thought to himself, "I will surely be killed, what can I do?" Then he got the idea of picking up oysters and boiling them in his kettle. With these aboard, he rowed up to the strange creature, who was fast asleep. He paddled right up to him and said, "My friend is here!" He awoke and replied, "My friend, I am traveling through this part of the country, and if I chance upon a deer, I have food for some time. Is the direction that I am going the direction that you came from?" The young man answered, "Yes it is. When I hunt, I usually just take the tongues of animals. I have some right here if you wish to have them." The stranger replied enthusiastically, "All right!" He ate all of them and liked them very much. As he had never eaten these before, he was very grateful. The stranger said, "My friend, there is a village over there not far away. I was there last night, that was why I was sleeping when you came up." The young man replied, "My friend, it is good. Let's go over there." The stranger said, "All right." The young man asked, "How long will it take to eat all these villagers up?" "Well," replied the stranger, "it is a very big village." The young man then told him, "Although you sleep, I never do. I can also make myself invisible even in the day time, and I cannot be killed. In my body there is no death, but if my boat is broken up and burned, then I shall die. How can they kill me then? How is it with you?" The stranger then revealed his own secrets: "They cannot kill me either. No human knows how I might be killed. If they burn things that have a bad odor, such as hair and dandruff, and burn red cedar with them, and when blowing a flute and shouting at me, then I would die." The young man said confidently, "Then clearly no one can kill either one of us. But before we proceed, we had better look into things at the village. When we go there, we will take just as many villagers as we need for that night and no more, otherwise they are liable to scatter. I will scout ahead, and as I go, I will get smaller. Then I will disappear." The young man crossed the lake, and just as he said, he looked smaller on the other side. As he progressed, he finally disappeared altogether. Then the stranger said to himself, "My friend is indeed clever: just as he said, he got smaller and smaller and finally disappeared completely. He must be wákącąk (holy) indeed, for I can't do that myself."

When the young man arrived in the village he immediately asked where the chief's lodge was. When he found it, he went inside and asked the chief, "Did anyone from your village turn up missing last night?" The chief replied, "Many people here have been killed. All that could be found of them was their heads. We think that no human could have done this, but that it must be some kind of animal." Then the young man told him everything that had happened and how he had tricked the strange being into revealing how he might be killed. Then the young man told him, "Since we now know how to kill him, gather together some warriors and I'll lead him into an ambush at the willow grove after dark." The chief replied, "Young man, it is good!" As he returned to the stranger, the young man gradually got bigger. When he arrived, the stranger said, "What a clever fellow you are. You spoke the truth about what you told me." Then the young man told him, "It is a large village indeed. I stayed there for awhile. They're lots of fat ones living there, so if we can get one we will be in food for some time." As soon as it was dark, they set out. While the young man was paddling the boat the stranger was walking on the water beside it. When they arrived on the other shore, the young man directed them to the willow grove. The stranger noted that the place was permeated by a strange odor. Then, suddenly, there was a loud shout and the sound of a flute. The strange being wobbled, then collapsed dead. They took his body and burned it up completely. The young man was greeted as a hero in the village, and they all wanted him to be their chief. They urged him to marry the chief's daughter. so he did, and became chief in his own right. He was a good hunter, a good chief, and much beloved of the people. In time, he had a baby boy. The old chief approached him and said, "Those whom you left behind will now be lonesome for you. You should return to them." The young man replied, "I had a sister who said I would never see my village again. She had turned into a devil." But the chief reiterated, "Nevertheless, you should return home now." So they made the necessary preparations and headed back for his native village.

That night they reached the place where he left the black hawk. After they had set up their lodge, the black hawk told him, "Your sister has eaten up the entire village. Only your youngest sister is still alive, and she is made a slave. Your older sister is looking for you so that she can kill you." Black Hawk had killed many ducks there and they had much duck meat for dinner that night. The next night they arrived at the place where he had left the owl. The owl also told him, "Older brother, your sister has eaten the whole village." That night they dined on many small birds. After another day's travel, they arrived at the place where he had left the partridge. The partridge told him the same bad news that his other brothers had related. The next night he arrived at the robin's place. The robin [inset] said much the same as the other birds, but added, "The bad woman had nearly gotten me. She has our other sister watching for you. She is suppose to say, 'My brother, my husband,' when referring to you, but when she refuses, she is raked with claws, for the older one has turned into a grizzly bear." Then the young man replied, "She will die when she meets me!" Robin added, "The problem is that she is invulnerable: no one knows how she might be killed." So the young man turned himself into a bird and flew very high, descending at last right next to his younger sister. She had no intention of informing her sister, and warned him instead, "It is no use, let's make a run for it." So he took her back with him.

When he got back, he took down his medicine bundle, and took out a round black stone and put it on the ground. Then he said to it, "My stone, get larger." Every time he spoke thus, it grew larger. It gradually grew taller and taller. Then he put his sister, his wife, his son, and his avian brothers on top of it. Finally, he made it grow so tall that the top of it reached the clouds. The top of the stone had the shape of a nest. Once again the young man turned into a bird. The older sister was asleep on ground into which she had cut four strips. She saw a bird flying above, and wondered to herself if that could be her brother, but in the end she dismissed it as being just a bird. Then he turned himself from a bird to a fluffy feather, and in that form he floated to the ground. As she slept her heart throbbed visibly against her side, so he shot her there. When her heart was struck with the arrow, she groaned and rolled over. Then she arose in a bad humor. She ambled back to the lodge and on the way bit a tree in two. The young man followed after and yelled, "You evil woman, you will die!" She burst into the lodge and said, "Sister, I thought I warned you to tell me when he got back!" But the sister was not there. She turned and chased after her brother as he fled back towards the rock. He escaped to the top, but she made a mighty leap, and almost made it to the top. As she slid back down, she wore down the rock a bit with her claws. She kept jumping up and wearing the rock down as she slid back. Finally, one of the birds asked, "Younger sister, did she say where her death lay?" She replied, "If the little finger on her left hand could be split down the middle, then she would die." The human brother said, "Ah, that will be easy!" Again the were-grizzly jumped up the face of the rock and was almost at them, but again she slid down. As she was sliding, the young man fired a shot that split her left hand's little finger exactly in two. She fell to the earth with a resounding thud. Then the young man made the stone shrink until they were all level with the ground once again. They built a great bonfire and burned her up completely until nothing was left of her but white bones. These they pounded into a fine powder. They took the powdered bone back to the deserted village and poured a little into each lodge. That night they all slept in the chief's lodge. Before sunrise they could hear the sound of people falling as they tried in vain to get up. It went on like that until daylight. At first they could not find the people, but after looking around, they found them all laying there asleep. They woke them up, and gradually they began to remember that they had been killed. They cried for joy on finding themselves alive once again. The young man even fixed up his sister. Before she was revived, she was quite pretty, but now she was even more beautiful than she had ever been.

In time they returned to his wife's village. This is where the birds made their home. Nevertheless, they came to wander over the whole earth as they do even to this day. The young man and his wife told everyone in the wife's village all the amazing things that had happened to them. They knew that he was holy. Thus he became chief over both villages, and would move back and forth from one to the other.1

Commentary: "the stranger was walking on the water beside it" — the description of the strange being that the young man meets sounds very much like a human model of a crane, with hair in place of feathers. His walking on water recalls the appearance of wading birds who often look like they are walking across water as they take off. Like many spirit beings, the stranger is a bit dull witted, being fooled by perspective into thinking that his friend is shrinking as he leaves.

"wearing the rock down" — this would create a striation pattern down the face of the rock, just like that of the Devils Tower. In the Kiowa parallel below, the rock is given just this identity.

"the little finger on her left hand" — this sounds straightforward, but in fact it is very complicated. Bears have "hands" whose smallest digit is on the inside, rather than the outside, as in most other mammals. It is as if their left and right hands had been switched. So what is the left hand? What is the little finger?

Comparative Material: Perhaps the most striking parallel to our story is from the Dakota, recently published in a collection of stories by Zitkala-Ṣa. The ways of his sister offended him, so Cetan boarded a rawhide boat and set off downstream. That night five animals came to him and asked to be his children. They wanted to travel with him until he came to lands more suitable to them. The next day, as they went, they came to a place where there was an abundance of hickory trees, carrots, and beans of every description. There the mouse decided to live. Then they came to a land full of boulders and rocky cliffs. There the rattlesnake went to live. Then they came to a land with swamps and lakes, with lots of fish, and there the brown hawk felt at home and left them. Then they came to a place thickly wood where mice and other small animals lived in abundance. There they owl flew away to live. Finally, Cetan camped by a woodland full of deer. Here the cougar departed. Each animal had been deeply grateful to him for the transport. The next day, traveling alone once again, he came to an extremely poor village where the people were starving. They told him, "Our enemy has driven away all the buffalo." So Cetan performed a sacred rite with a buffalo hide, and no sooner had he completed it, than great herds of buffalo showed up where they lived. The village lived in great prosperity thereafter. Cetan married the chief's daughter and lived there for two winters. Not long after they had twin boys, Cetan became concerned about the fate of his parents and his native village, so they decided to go there. On there way back, they met the cougar, who gave the little twins a gift of two fawn skins. When they arrived where the owl lived, he gave the children a present of the blankets of mole skins. Next they arrived at where the brown hawk lived. He gave them presents of two robes made from the green feathers of mallard heads. Then they came to where the rattlesnake lived. He gave them two pillows stuffed with the down feathers of red birds. When they arrived in the land of the field mouse, he gave them two bags of wild rice and dried roots. After a time, they arrived at Cetan's old village, but they found that it had been rubbed out save for a single teepee. There they find Cetan's parents cowering in fear. They told him that it had been his own sister, Hawk Woman, who had rubbed out the village, and that she came daily to harass them. Cetan knew that only by great medicine could he hope to overcome her. He used each of the animals' presents as a magical means of disguising everyone. He himself took his stone ax in hand, then transformed into a stump. It was now noon, the time when Hawk Woman would come upon the village. She arrived shrieking, but she was immediately suspicious. "I have never seen this stump, nor the red bird or the two fawns here before," she said. After Hawk Woman interrogated her parents cruelly, she stepped outside the teepee. At that moment, Cetan sprang back into his form and with one blow of his stone ax, cut clean through her. However, nothing seemed to have happened to her. So Cetan swung the stone ax in a circle above his head until it generated a magical light. This light reduced Hawk Woman to cinders. After he returned his family to their normal form, he gathered up the cinders and ground them into a powder. This powder he spread over the whole area where the village had been, and like magic, all the people were restored to life. And from that time on, they all lived there in great prosperity.2

The Arapaho have a story whose ending is strikingly similar to the beginning of our story. A young man named "Light Stone," has a sister who comes to him in the dark of night to sleep with him. She does not speak, and he cannot discover her identity. Finally, one night, he brings his paint bag with him, and when the woman comes to him, he makes a paint mark on her shoulder. The next morning he sees the mark on his sister's shoulder, and is so ashamed that he eventually turns himself into a stone.3 A similar episode is said to occur in a Pawnee myth.4

Another Arapaho tale is a closer fit. "At a certain place there was once an Indian village. At one time some children were playing some little distance from camp. One girl had a sister who was a Bear. This Bear girl was playing with the children, and told her sister to take their little sister home, which was refused. The Bear girl then scratched the face of the one who refused to take the little sister home, and said, if she would tell their father and mother, the dogs would bark, and she would come and tear up all the tents and eat up all the people. The girl then went and hid in a dog-tent. The Bear girl hunted, and at last found her and threatened to eat her up. But the girl begged for her life, and promised that she wold life with the Bear girl, get water for her, and work for her; and so the Bear girl let her alone. The two then lived together in a big tent. One time, when the girl was getting water, she met three men, who gave her a rabbit. The girl took it home, and, giving it to her Bear sister, said, "Here, I killed this rabbit for you." The Bear girl took it; and while she was cooking it, the three men came and placed themselves, one on the north, one on the south, and one on the west, side of the tent, and shot and killed the Hear girl. They then took one of the Bear girl's leg-bones and put it on the girl's back, telling her if she should lose it, the Bear girl wold come to life again and come after her. They then took the girl along; and while they were walking along, the girl lost the bone three times. Every time she would see the Bear girl coking at a distance, but every time she found the bone again before the Bear girl would overtake them. The last time they were just climbing up a high mountain when the Bear girl was near; and while the travellers got on the mountain all right, the Bear girl would always roll back, and finally asked the parties on the mountain to come down, as she would not hurt then. But they staid on the mountain; and finally the Bear girl went away, and the party, including the girl, went to an Indian camp on the other side, where they remained."5

The Cherokee tell a very similar story about the Sun and Moon. The sexes of the sun and moon are reversed in Cherokee: Sun is female and Moon is male. "The Sun was a young woman and lived in the East, while her brother, the Moon, lived in the West. The girl had a lover who used to come every month in the dark of the moon to court her. He would come at night, and leave before daylight, and although she talked with him she could not see his face in the dark, and he would not tell her his name, until she was wondering all the time who it could be. At last she hit upon a plan to find out, so the next time he came, as they were sitting together in the dark of the ąsi, she slyly dipped her hand into the cinders and ashes of the fireplace and rubbed it over his face, saying, "Your face is cold; you must have suffered from the wind," and pretending to be very sorry for him, but he did not know that she had ashes on her hand. After a while he left her and went away again. The next night when the Moon came up in the sky his face was covered with spots, and then his sister knew he was the one who had been coming to see her. He was so much ashamed to have her know it that he kept as far away as he could at the other end of the sky all the night. Ever since he tries to keep a long way behind the Sun, and when he does sometimes have to come near her in the west he makes himself as thin as a ribbon so that he can hardly be seen."6

The Kiowa have a good parallel to the elevating stone upon which the hero escapes. Once seven sisters and their brother were playing a game in which the brother chased after them pretending to be a bear. As the game progresses the brother undergoes a frightening transformation from a pretended bear into the real thing. The sisters, in panic, now run for the lives. As they pass a tree stump the spirit within says to them, "Climb on top and I'll rescue you!" No sooner had they jumped on top than it began rising rapidly into the air. The bear leapt up but could not quite reach the top. It slid down the side scoring the tree as it dragged its claws down the stump. The bear kept trying, but did nothing but scratch the stump all around. The girls escaped into the heavens and became what we now call the "Big Dipper." The stump is the famous landmark, the Devils Tower.7

The Arikara also have a version of the story. A group of girls pressured a 14 year old to play the role of a bear charging out of the bush. When she assumed the role against her will, she transformed into a bear. She forewarned her sister that something bad would happen, and told her to hide. She charged among the people killing many of them, including most of her own family. She found her sister, and the two of them headed for the hills so that the bear woman could heal from her wounds. She was told to find their four surviving brothers so that the bear woman could kill them; however, when she encountered them, she let them known that their sister had morphed into a bear and was intent upon killing them all. They told their sister to find out how the bear could be killed and to let them know how to do it. So she returned and wheedled the secret out of her. She could only be killed if the two little fingers were shot off her hands, and then there could be no blood issuing from the wounds, otherwise she would arise again out of the blood. After the sister let this be known to her brothers, they induced the bear woman to bolt out of her den, when they shot her in the prescribed way. They burned the body, then fled for the hills. However, she got through it. Then they appealed to a stone to help them. The stone grew large and rose high in the air. The bear jumped and tried to grip the stone, but kept sliding down, raking the edges with her claws. That was how the brothers and sister escaped, and the stone is the famous Devils Tower, where you can see today the claw marks of the bear woman.8

This next parallel story is from the Sarcee people who are Athabascan speakers. Once there was a woman whose husband caught her being raped by a bear. He shot the bear and she kept the skin as a robe. She later gave birth to bear children who were later killed for devouring their playmates. Their mother told her sister to get a good guard dog for protection, then she wrapped herself in the bearskin and became a bear herself. She killed everyone in the village except her sister who was safeguarded by the dog. Her six brothers were all out on the warpath at the time. When they returned, the surviving sister told them what had happened to the village. They told her to find the most tender spot on the bear sister's body. She reported back that it was her paws, so the young men planted sharp sticks in front of her teepee. The bear woman told her sister to fix a fire, but the sister told the bear to do it herself, which angered her so much that she bolted out of the tent, only to be impaled fast on the stakes. Nevertheless, she escaped before they could burn her, and gave chase. One of the brothers told them to close their eyes and they would be transported to above. When they ascended, the siblings formed the stars of the dipper constellation, and the dog was the star nearby. When the bear sister had seen that they had escaped, she was turned into a great rock.9

Links: Were-Grizzlies and Other Man-Bears, Bear Spirits, Crane and Crane Spirits, Redman, Partridge (II), Bird Spirits, Black Hawks, Hawks. See Glossary, s.v. Quail.

Stories: featuring were-bears as characters: The Were-Grizzly, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Spotted Grizzly Man, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Turtle's Warparty, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother, The Roaster, Wazųka, Porcupine and His Brothers, The Shaggy Man; mentioning grizzly bears: Blue Bear, Brass and Red Bear Boy, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Were-Grizzly, The Spotted Grizzly Man, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Roaster, Wazųka, Little Priest's Game, The Story of How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, Migistega's Magic, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother, The Two Boys (giant black grizzly), The Chief of the Heroka, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Dipper (white grizzly), Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, The Creation of Man (v. 9), The Creation of Evil, cp. The Woman Who Fought the Bear; featuring partridges: The Big Stone, Black and White Moons, The Spirit of Gambling, The Quail Hunter; mentioning black hawks: Hawk Clan Origin Myth (v. 2), The Dipper, The Thunderbird, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother, Waruǧábᵉra, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Morning Star and His Friend, The Coughing Up of the Black Hawks, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth, Heną́ga and Star Girl, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing, The Race for the Chief's Daughter; mentioning hawks: Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Holy One and His Brother, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Thunderbird, Creation Council, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother, Waruǧábᵉra, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, The Magical Powers of Lincoln's Grandfather; mentioning robins: The Boy Who Became a Robin; in which owls are mentioned: Owl Goes Hunting, Crane and His Brothers, The Spirit of Gambling, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, The Glory of the Morning, The Chief of the Heroka, Waruǧábᵉra, Wears White Feather on His Head, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Annihilation of the Hocągara I, The Green Man; about Bird Spirits: Crane and His Brothers, The King Bird, Bird Origin Myth, Bird Clan Origin Myth, Wears White Feather on His Head, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Thunderbird, Owl Goes Hunting, The Boy Who Became a Robin, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Foolish Hunter, Ocean Duck, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Quail Hunter, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Hocąk Arrival Myth, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Trickster and the Geese, Holy One and His Brother (kaǧi, woodpeckers, hawks), Porcupine and His Brothers (Ocean Sucker), Turtle's Warparty (Thunderbirds, eagles, kaǧi, pelicans, sparrows), Kaǧiga and Lone Man (kaǧi), The Old Man and the Giants (kaǧi, bluebirds), The Bungling Host (snipe, woodpecker), The Red Feather, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Waruǧábᵉra, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Black and White Moons, The Markings on the Moon, The Creation Council, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna (chicken hawk), Hare Acquires His Arrows, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing (black hawk, owl), Heną́ga and Star Girl (black hawk), The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth (black hawk, kaǧi), Worúxega (eagle), The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men (eagle), The Gift of Shooting (eagle), Hocąk Clans Origin Myth, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, The Hocąk Migration Myth, Blue Jay, The Baldness of the Buzzard, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster (buzzards), The Shaggy Man (kaǧi), The Healing Blessing (kaǧi), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (kaǧi), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Įcorúšika and His Brothers (Loon), Great Walker's Medicine (loon), Roaster (woodsplitter), The Spirit of Gambling, The Big Stone (a partridge), Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, The Story of the Medicine Rite (loons, cranes, turkeys), The Fleetfooted Man, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4) — see also Thunderbirds; mentioning red cedar (juniper, waxšúc): The Journey to Spiritland (vv. 4, 5) (used to ascend to Spiritland), The Seer (sacrificial knife), A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga (sacrificial knife), Redhorn's Sons (coronet of Thunders, lodge), Aracgéga's Blessings (coronet of Thunders), The Twins Disobey Their Father (trees found on cliffs of Thunders), Hawk Clan Origin Myth (purifying smoke), The Creation Council (purifying smoke), The Dipper (incense), Sun and the Big Eater (arrow), The Brown Squirrel (arrow), Hare Kills a Man with a Cane (log used as weapon); mentioning willows: The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4), The Lame Friend, Holy One and His Brother, and cp. also Tree Spirits; mentioning teeth: The Animal who would Eat Men, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, Hare and the Dangerous Frog, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, The Two Boys, The Birth of the Twins, The Twins Disobey Their Father, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Dipper, Wolves and Humans, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Children of the Sun, The Green Man, Holy One and His Brother, The Brown Squirrel, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge of the Medicine Rite, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, East Shakes the Messenger, Lifting Up the Bear Heads, White Wolf, Buffalo Clan Origin Myth; mentioning flutes: The Love Blessing, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, Disease Giver Blesses Jobenągiwįxka, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, The Warbundle of the Eight Generations, The Were-fish (v. 1), Disease Giver, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth, Redhorn's Sons.

This waiką has very strong similarities to The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother.

Themes: an orphan rises from obscurity to become chief: The Red Man, The Red Feather, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Roaster, The Chief of the Heroka, The Nannyberry Picker; a young man grows up with one or more birds whom he loves very much: The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds; a lover sneaks into a lodge every night, but conceals his/her identity: Waruǧábᵉra; a sister entertains an illicit love for her brother: The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother; a woman abuses someone with whom she is living: The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Quail Hunter, Snowshoe Strings, The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka, Bluehorn's Nephews, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Were-Grizzly; a sister, from whom a young man is fleeing, keeps mysteriously appearing in his boat even after he ejects her: The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother; a rejected sister prophesies that her brother will never see his village again: The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother; frustrated love: White Flower, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Twin Sisters, The Phantom Woman, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Stone Heart, Snowshoe Strings, Heną́ga and Star Girl, Trickster Soils the Princess, Sunset Point, The Message the Fireballs Brought, Rainbow and Stone Arch; marriage to a yųgiwi (princess): The Nannyberry Picker, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Big Stone, Redhorn's Sons, The Seduction of Redhorn's Son, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, The Roaster, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, White Wolf, The Two Boys, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Shaggy Man, The Thunderbird, The Red Feather, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, The Birth of the Twins (v. 3), Trickster Visits His Family, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, Redhorn's Father, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Morning Star and His Friend, Thunderbird and White Horse, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, Shakes the Earth, The Nightspirits Bless Ciwoit’éhiga; several animal brothers of a human help him in his escape and return to his village: The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother; a (magical) round, black stone: How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Green Man, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Tecumseh's Bulletproof Skin, The Dipper; anthropophagy and cannibalism: A Giant Visits His Daughter, Turtle and the Giant, The Witch Men's Desert, The Were-Grizzly, Grandfather's Two Families, The Roaster, Redhorn's Father, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, The Lost Blanket, Young Man Gambles Often, White Wolf, The Shaggy Man, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The First Fox and Sauk War, The Fox-Hocąk War, The Hocągara Contest the Giants, Morning Star and His Friend, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Seven Maidens, Šųgepaga, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Shakes the Earth, The Stone Heart, Thunder Cloud is Blessed; cannibal were-grizzlies: The Were-Grizzly, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother, The Roaster, Were-Grizzlies and Other Man-Bears; a human turns into a (spirit) animal: How the Thunders Met the Nights (Thunderbird), Waruǧábᵉra (Thunderbird), The Dipper (hummingbird), Keramaniš’aka's Blessing (blackhawk, owl), Elk Clan Origin Myth (elk), Young Man Gambles Often (elk), Sun and the Big Eater (horse), The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Were-Grizzly, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother (bear), Porcupine and His Brothers (bear), The Shaggy Man (bear), The Roaster (bear), Wazųka (bear), The Spotted Grizzly Man (bear), Brass and Red Bear Boy (bear, buffalo), White Wolf (dog, wolf), Worúxega (wolf, bird, snake), Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle (buffalo), The Brown Squirrel (squirrel), The Skunk Origin Myth (skunk), The Fleetfooted Man (otter, bird), A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga (otter), The Diving Contest (Waterspirit), The Woman who Married a Snake (snake, Waterspirit), The Omahas who turned into Snakes (four-legged snakes), The Twins Get into Hot Water (v. 3) (alligators), Snowshoe Strings (a frog), How the Hills and Valleys were Formed (v. 3) (earthworms), The Woman Who Became an Ant, Hare Kills a Man with a Cane (ant); a hero floats down upon his enemies in the form of a feather: The Thunderbird, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father; a being is vulnerable in a highly unusual way: River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, Snowshoe Strings, The Green Man, The Dipper, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, Migistéga's Death (v. 2), The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension; a spirit being cannot be killed because his death lies outside his body: The Green Man, Ocean Duck; certain beings are thought to be invulnerable (but may not be): The Adventures of Redhorn's Sons, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Annihilation of the Hocągara I, Great Walker's Warpath; someone is, or can become, invisible: Sunset Point, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge; powerful spirit beings act somewhat dim witted: How the Thunders Met the Nights, Hare Kills Sharp Elbow, The Thunderbird, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, The Dipper; ground up bones of evil spirits are used to resurrect their victims: Grandfather's Two Families, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother; someone kills his own kinsman: The Chief of the Heroka (wife), The Red Man (wife), Worúxega (wife), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (wife), Bluehorn's Nephews (mother), The Green Man (mother), Waruǧábᵉra (mother), The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother (sister), The Were-Grizzly (sister), Crane and His Brothers (brothers), White Wolf (brother), The Diving Contest (brother), The Twins Get into Hot Water (grandfather), The Chief Who Shot His Own Daughter (daughter), The Birth of the Twins (daughter-in-law), The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle (daughter-in-law), Snowshoe Strings (father-in-law); persons brought back from the dead are more attractive in appearance than before their death: The Red Feather, The Shaggy Man.


1 Paul Radin, "Partridge's Older Brother," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) #7.

2 Zitkala-Ṣa, "The Hawk Woman," Dreams and Thunder: Stories, Poems, and The Sun Dance Opera. Ed. P. Jane Hafen (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001) 27-33.

3 Adopted, "Light-Stone," in George A. Dorsey and Alfred L. Kroeber, Traditions of the Arapaho (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997 [1903]) Story 85: 181-189.

4 Dorsey and Kroeber, Traditions of the Arapaho, 189 nt.

5 "13. The Bear Girl," in H. R. Voth, "Arapaho Tales," Journal of American Folk-Lore 25 (1912): 43-50 [49].

6 "The Moon and the Thunders," in James Mooney, History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees (Asheville, North Carolina: Bright Mountain Books, 1992 [1891/1900]) Story 8: 256-257.

7 N. Scott Momaday in New Perspectives on the West

8 Arthur Morrisette, "The Young Woman Who Became a Bear," in Douglas R. Parks, Myths and Traditions of the Arikara Indians (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996) 146-152. For the interlinear text, see Arthur Morrisette, "10. The Young Woman Who Became a Bear," in Douglas R. Parks, Traditional Narratives of the Arikara Indians. 4 vols. Vol. 1, Stories of Alfred Morsette: Interlinear Linguistic Texts (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1991) 1:107-120.

9 S. C. Simms, Traditions of the Sarcee Indians, Journal of American Folk-Lore, 17 (1904): 180-182 [181-182].