A Prophecy About the End Time

by Stella Stacy (Mountain Wolf Woman)
transcribed and translated by Sheila Shigley

Hōcąk - English Interlinear Text

(00:14) “The last (final) time, when it is time, something will be born/provided [?],” that’s what he said there, the Prophet.

(00:27) “If, all of this, that you’re looking at, however carefully you behave, in this way you should do. (00:37) Something will be born/provided, in the final time(s),” he said. “Something from across the way you should all look around in search of your own [?]. (00:52) However, it will be good for you, you will know [...], so therefore/there look around in search of your own.” (00:57) So this Prophet said even that.1

Commentary. Like many prophesies (vide the Delphic Oracle), what the Prophet is predicting is obscure and open to interpretation and speculation.

"born/provided"cų̄, "to give birth, to bear a child" (Radin, Marino, Miner), "to have, to possess" (Radin, Marino), "to have plenty, to be provided with" (Helmbrecht-Lehmann), "plenty" (Marino), "to be plentiful, to be available" (Miner), "to abound" (Dorsey), "to have many (much)" (White Eagle, Miner), "many" (Marino), "much" (Gatschet).

Tenskatawa, the Shawnee Prophet

"the Prophet"Žawąnų in Hōcąk. Fraenkel, in his introduction to this audio tape, says, "Savanawa prophesizes about the end of the world." Savanawa appears to be a corruption of Žawąnų, a variant of Šawáno[ra], "Shawnee, 'Glad Ones' [a pseudo-etymology]," (McKern). It is reasonable to conclude, as Fraenkel seems to believe, that the prophet of this story is the Shawnee Prophet, Tenskwatawa, the brother of Tecumseh. Owing to this prophet's fame, "Shawnee" (Žawąnų) came to be a word for "prophet." This is a familiar process: the words kaiser and czar come from Cæsar, for instance.

"[...]" — the word belonging here is herają́ge, whose meaning is not known.

"in search of your own" — "It is said that the Shawnee prophet said that there would come a time when a woman would prophesy and that she should be immediately killed. The end of the world would be near then. Then he is said to have said that a little boy would prophesy and that one was to give ear to what he said. The Peyote people claim that their ceremony is the fulfillment of this prophesy and that it is true."2 So the Hōcągara have believed that the Shawnee Prophet had preached, as in our present story, about the end times, and that he had said that the world is destined to be destroyed. Given the context, the little boy who should be heard is someone from the Indian nations. So the Prophet is telling them to look among their own for this prophet. Members of the Native American Church, apparently, interpreted the little boy as being the peyote button, whose consumption causes visions.

Comparative Material. ...

Links: ...

Stories: about the Shawnee Prophet: The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hocągara, The Shawnee Prophet Predicts a Solar Eclipse, The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension, A Miraculously Cured Man Finds the Prophet; about seers: The Seer, The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension, Witches, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hocągara, A Prophecy About the End Time, A Prophecy, Great Walker and the Ojibwe Witches, The Shawnee Prophet Predicts a Solar Eclipse, A Prophecy About the First School, The Claw Shooter, Waruką́ną, The Tap the Head Medicine, The Diving Contest.

Themes: ...


1 Reading and translation by Sheila Shigley, from the audio tape in the American Philosophical Society: 10-04. Fraenkel, Gerd. Stacy, Stella. "Prophecy about the end of the world and the behavior every man owes to himself," recorded 13 July 1959, 1 .mp3; 00:00:14 - 00:01:01. Copy made by Gerd Fraenkel of an original tape held at the Archives of Languages of the World, Indiana University. This program comes from original tape 528.6. APS accession number 7210; APSdigrec_2181; Recording Number: 02; Program Number: 33.

2 Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1923]) 23.