Pigeon Hawk (Kirikirisgega)
by Richard L. Dieterle
Pigeon Hawk, a powerful war deity,1 is a younger brother of Great Black Hawk, Chief of the Thunders. In conformity with his nature as spirit chief of pigeon hawks, his favorite food is pigeon.
When he was a nestling, a human captured him and treated him well as a pet. When he matured, the human gave him his freedom. This man was captured some time later by the Bad Thunderbirds, who intended to eat him. Kirikirisgega intervened through his older brother, and the man was set free. This man, in recognition of his achievements, was granted a copy of the Thunderbird Warclub.2
When the wind tried to help Turtle defeat the Giants they agreed to have a race. The Giants turned themselves into kirikirisge birds, so the wind turned himself into a black hawk and was victorious.3 Similarly, a man fleeing his enemies first turned himself into a hummingbird, then into a kirikirisge bird, and finally into a black hawk before escaping.4 In a lacrosse game with lives at stake, Little Pigeon Hawk took the ball, but was overtaken by Black Hawk, who cleaved him in two with his stick.5
Links: Hawks, Great Black Hawk, Black Hawk, Black Hawks, Thunderbirds, The Thunderbird Warclub, Bird Spirits, Giants, Turtle, Minks.
Stories: mentioning pigeon hawks (kirikirisge): The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse; 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, Partridge's Older Brother, 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 black hawks: The Thunderbird, Partridge's Older Brother, Creation Council, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother, Waruǧábᵉra, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Race for the Chief's Daughter; about Bird Spirits: Crane and His Brothers, The King Bird, Bird 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, The Boy Who Became a Robin, Partridge's Older Brother, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Foolish Hunter, Ocean Duck, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Quail Hunter, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Hočąk Arrival Myth, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Trickster and the Geese, Holy One and His Brother (blackbirds, woodpeckers, hawks), Porcupine and His Brothers (Ocean Sucker), Turtle's Warparty (Thunderbirds, eagles, kaǧi, pelicans, sparrows), The Dipper (Thunderbirds, kingfishers, hummingbirds, black hawks), Kaǧiga and Lone Man (kaǧi), The Old Man and the Giants (kaǧi, bluebirds), The Bungling Host (snipe, woodpecker), The Red Feather, Eagle Clan Origin Myth, 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, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, The Hočąk Migration Myth, Blue Jay, The Baldness of the Buzzard, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster (turkey buzzard), The Shaggy Man (blackbirds), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (blackbirds), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Įčorúšika and His Brothers (Loon), Great Walker's Medicine (loon), Roaster (woodsplitter), The Spirit of Gambling, The Big Stone (a partridge), Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, The Green Man (owls), The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4) — see also Thunderbirds, and the sources cited there.
Genealogy: Thunderbirds (+ Pigeon Hawk).
1 Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 ) 323.
2 Paul Radin, "Winnebago Tales," Journal of American Folklore, 22 (1909): 300-303. Informant: Joseph LaMère, Bear Clan.
3 Paul Radin, "Spear Shaft and Lacrosse," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) #36: 1-81.
4 Paul Radin, "The Thunderbird," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Notebook #16: 1-103 (syllabic text with interlinear translation); Paul Radin, "The Thunderbird," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Winnebago IV, #8o, Version 1: 1-12, Version 2: 1-11. Interlinear Hočąk and English on unnumbered pages. Told by James St. Cyr (Thunderbird Clan?), who obtained it from an unidentified Frenchman.
5 John Harrison, The Giant or The Morning Star, translated by Oliver LaMere, in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3892 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Winnebago III, #11a, Story 8: 92-117.