Redhorn Contests the Giants (§4 of the Redhorn Cycle)
Text of Paul Radin
(123) Now, once again, the people cried, "Here are some men coming this way who are weeping." So all went to the edge of the village to see them. The latter got nearer and nearer, carrying a sacred pipe ahead of them. When the men got very near they asked, "Where does the chief live?" "In the middle of the village, in that long lodge there, that is where he lives," said the people. "This is one of the chief's friends," they said, pointing to Turtle. Then the suppliants went toward Turtle and directed the stem of the pipe towards his mouth. "Ho!" said he. They told him that giants had come upon them and that they were coming to him for assistance to help them against these giants.1 Then Turtle went home and constructed a drum and all night they heard him drumming. His friends, however, said, "We need not go there until he calls." So they stayed away. But he did not call them. In the morning, he went out but his friends did not go along,2 so that very few indeed followed him. (124) What could he do with these few followers? The result was that those who had asked for help were beaten again.
Some evenings afterwards it was said, "They are coming again." One of the villagers, however, asked the newcomers why they didn't call upon the chief who lived at the end of the village beyond. So they went there and found Turtle in the chief's house. They suspected, however, that Turtle was there on purpose, so they directed the pipe toward Red Horn. But the latter said, "My friend, you smoked it for them before, you may smoke it again." "Ho!" said Turtle, and the pipe was stuck into his mouth. Turtle made a drum again and danced that night. In the morning they went to encounter the giants. The one who was helping the giants most was a giantess with red hair, just like Red Horn's hair. Turtle said to Red Horn, "My friend, the giantess has hair just like yours and she is the one that is securing victory for her people because she is a very fast runner. When they play ball she does all the work. Coyote and the Martin are also married to giantesses and these also greatly aid them."
On this occasion the chiefs had come along so most of the people accompanied them and, consequently, they had many good runners.
Then said Turtle to Wolf, "My friend, let us go and match the ball-sticks." This they accordingly did, placing Red Horn's ball-stick together with that of the giantess so that he might play against her. Storms-as-he-walks' stick was matched against that of a giant, Wolf's stick against that of Coyote, and Otter's against that of Martin.3 Just then, the giant chieftainess said, "When shall we be ready to play ball? I am getting rather anxious." To which Turtle replied, "Just as soon as my friend comes we shall start." Then the chieftainess said, "Who is your friend that it takes him so long to come?" "Wait till he comes! You certainly will laugh when you see him." "Why, what is there funny about him that I should laugh?" said the giantess. "Just wait till he comes," said Turtle, "just wait till he comes, and then you will see."
Soon after that he came and Turtle said to him, "My friend, let us go over there and look at the sticks of the ball players." "Very well," said he. They went and found the giantess there and, when she saw him, she most certainly laughed and bowed her head.4 "There you are," said Turtle. "I thought you said you would not laugh?" "Yes," said the giantess, "but I did not laugh at him." "Well," said Turtle, "look at him again." The giantess looked again and the small heads he was wearing in his ears stuck their tongues out at her. Again she laughed and bowed her head. Then Turtle made fun of her.
Soon after the people said, "Now, come, start the game." Then said Turtle to He-who-wears-human-heads-as-earrings, "My friend, let us, you and I, start the game." So they gave a war-whoop and tossed the ball to the giants while the others stood guard. Coyote was placed opposite Wolf. Then Turtle said to Red Horn, "As soon as the ball comes near, hit the giants' sticks." "Ho!" said Red Horn.
The ball was tossed up and when it came near the ground, Red Horn stuck his stick out keeping the others away from Turtle. Turtle caught the ball. Then he ran among the giants swinging his stick. "Big black cowards," he (125) said, "stand back or I will knock some of you down!" The giants' sticks rattled about him but he came out with the ball. He threw the ball low making it rise higher and higher. It lit just beyond where Wolf and Coyote were standing. Coyote seized it and started to run around the others. Turtle stood in the distance saying, "My friend is going to do something, my friend is going to do something!" He meant Wolf. Wolf watched Coyote very carefully and then struck him in the flank with his shoulders. Up in the air he sent him flying. Turtle gave a whoop as he saw this, for it was just what he wanted Wolf to do when he said, "My friend is going to do something." Turtle then got the ball again and sent it through the goal into the very midst of the giants. Thus they won the first point. Turtle shouted, "Come on! come on! It is such fun to play ball!"
Again they played. This time Otter and Martin were guardians of the goal. The ball was tossed up and again Turtle got the ball and whirled it in the midst of the giants. Getting clear, he threw the ball but it rose gradually as it went farther and lit just beyond the place where Otter and Martin were standing. Martin seized it and ran, but again Turtle shouted, "My friend is going to do something." Otter headed Martin off and watching carefully, hit him in the flank with his shoulder sending him into the air. "Oh dear, our son-in-law!" said the giants. Then Otter put the ball through the goal.
After this, Martin began to move about and got up, using his ball-stick as a cane. "Come! come! It is such fun to play ball!" they said, and the game was started again. Storms-as-he-walks and the giant chieftainess were together at the goal as before. Turtle caught the ball and whirled it into the midst of the giants. "You women,5 you big black cowards, stand back or I will knock some of you down," he said and he whirled about. When he got clear he threw the ball low and let it rise as it went farther and farther. Just where the giantess and Storms-as-he-walks stood, there it lit. Storms-as-he-walks got the ball and ran with it, the chieftainess after him. When she caught up with him, he ran harder and caused it to thunder. The chieftainess got frightened and jumped aside. Then Turtle gave a whoop in the distance and began poking all sorts of fun at the giantess. The mother of the latter said, "You good-for-nothing woman, hit him!" Again the giantess came nearer to him but, as he ran all the harder and thundered, she screamed and jumped back. Turtle, all this time, was having his usual fun on the side, shouting at her and poking fun at her. Finally, Storms-as-he-walks ran through the goal, winning another point. "Come on! Come on! It is such fun to play ball! Let us start again."
They gave a whoop and started again. Kųnų and Turtle were at the throwing-off place. Turtle said, "My friend usually swings his stick pretty wide." And sure enough Kųnų swung his stick in such a way as to interfere with the giant's stick, giving Turtle a chance to catch the ball which he did. And then, getting clear of the giants, Turtle threw the ball to the place where Red Horn and the giantess were standing. Red Horn got the ball and ran with it, the giantess after him. Turtle, as usual, began poking fun at her and shouting. Just as she caught up to Red Horn the latter turned about and the little faces in his ears (126) stuck out their tongues at her and the eyes winked at her. She was running with upraised stick but, when she saw the faces, she laughed and let down her stick. This made Turtle shout all the more. "My friend, look back at her; my friend, look back at her!" Then he gave whoops. The mother of the giantess was talking very excitedly, "That good-for-nothing woman, she is smitten with him! She will make the whole village suffer on her account!" And so Red Horn ran through the goal, winning the point. The giants were thus beaten in all four points. The giant chieftainess was whipped by her people because she lost the game on account of her falling in love with Red Horn.
The giants wanted to try again and the chieftainess said, "I will match myself against Red Horn no matter what happens to me." Then the other chiefs, his friends, also matched themselves with the giant chiefs. The only giants not included in these were some of the very old people. Almost the whole village of giants was included. The game, however, again resulted in victory for Red Horn and his friends, the giants losing all the four points.
Then said Turtle, "My friends, something just occurred to me." "What is it?" they said. Then he said, "This giantess has the same color hair as my friend Red Horn and I think that we ought to spare her life and let my friend here marry her."6 "Ho!" they exclaimed, "if that is your desire, then let it be as you wish." Thereupon they gathered together all the giants and placed them in four circles. Then they told the giantess that they had decided to spare her life. She was very grateful.7 Turtle then said, "If we kill all these one at a time we would never get through, there are so many of them. So I think that we had better leave this to our friend, Storms-as-he-walks." Thus spoke Turtle. So Storms-as-he-walks went towards them with his club and struck the first circle. Then it thundered and the thunderbirds above said, "Storms-as-he-walks is shooting. What can he be shooting at? He said that he liked the human beings."8 Then again for the second time it thundered. "Ho-o-o! What can Storms-as-he-walks be shooting at?" they said again. Then a third and fourth time it thundered. The thunderbirds said, "Surely he has shot something."
As soon as the giants had been killed, the people left the place where the game had been played. They were living in the first village that had been attacked by the giants. "We are not being treated very well here, so let us go with you and live in your village," they said. So they went home with the victors.
Some time after these things had happened some of the villagers again said, "Look! Many people are approaching carrying large packs on their backs." They went out to meet them. These were giants coming to try their strength at games again. "Where is the chief's place?" they asked and it was pointed out to them. Then one of their number went over to the place designated and said, "Chief, where shall we camp?" And the chief said, "You can camp just (127) there where you are stopping." So the giants prepared a camp for themselves there. In the evening, one of them came with a gourd dangling from his belt and said that he wished to ask the people to play a game with them. "What game do you want to play?" they asked him and he answered, "Let us play the game called Who can shoot farthest." said Turtle. But he turned toward Red Horn and said, "My friend, we, you and I, will shoot with them." "All right," said Red Horn.
So, in the morning, they started for the giants' lodge. Turtle went to a place where bows were to be found and bent them back and forth and said, "Hi! the bows are not very good, but I shall use this one anyway." So he took one and said, "Come, all you who are going to take part in this shooting." "Two of us will take part in the shooting against you," the giants answered.
When they were ready the people crowded round, almost up to the target. One of the giants shot first. "It has fallen short," said the judges. Then Turtle shot and sent his missile far past that of the giant. Then one of the giants shot again. "It has fallen short," said the judges again. Then Red Horn shot. "It has gone way beyond the giant's," said the judges. Then another giant shot but it fell short again. Then Turtle took his bow, and, drawing the arrow back as far as he could, he let go and shot. "Ouch!" He had shot off one of his own claws. "Oh, well," said he, "if I hadn't done that, what would people use as arrow points hereafter?"9 This ended the game for the day. Then they went home.
In the evening a man with gourds dangling from his belt approached again and said, "Chief, the giants wish again to play a game with you." "All right. What do they want to play?" the chief asked and the gourd-carrier answered, "Dice." Then said Turtle, "Let me play with them." So, in the morning, he and the others went over again and the giants asked, "Who is going to play with us?" Turtle replied, "Who do you suppose will play with you but myself?" When they were all ready, the giants got out the dice which consisted of snowbirds. When they took them out they wiped them and said, "It has been so long since we played dice that they are turning yellow." Turtle also got out his dice, which consisted of eight little red turtles, wiped them and said, "Mine are also turning yellow for I have not used them for a long time."
"Well, start in," said the people. So the giant threw his dice up first, and when they came down they all fell with their backs up and their wings hanging down. The giant was speaking to his dice and was saying, "Fall alike! Fall alike in the plate!" Just before they fell into the plate, Turtle shouted, "Half!" and they fell half and half. "Say, Turtle, that is not fair," the giants said to him. But he said, "When people gamble they always shout for their own side. You can do the same thing with mine if you like." So saying, he threw his little red turtles in the air and they came down with their backs up and their limbs down. The giants shouted "Half! Half!" but it was no good. They fell (128) into the plates, all alike. Then the giant threw his up again. This time they held Turtle's mouth but before they fell into the plate he drew half of them over by snuffling. Four times each of them threw the dice up and each time the giants were only able to get half, but Turtle always got the full number. Thus the giants were defeated again.
Then the giants held a council, and in the council one of them said to the chief, "You used to let me play a game called Who can stay under the water longest and whenever I won, remember you used to have big feasts. But of late you have not thought about me at all." "He is right," said the others and so, the next evening the gourd-carrier went to the people and said, "The giants wish to play a game with you again." "What do they want to play?" the people asked. "They want to see who can stay under the water longest," he answered. "Oh my! We can't stay under," said Turtle. In secret, of course, he was very much pleased.10
When the gourd-carrier had left Turtle said, "My friends, if they want to stay under the water for four years, I am willing to do so." In the morning they went to the giants and the latter asked, "Well, how many of you are going to take part in this?" And the people answered, "Two."
When all was in readiness, Turtle, Otter and the two giants, dived under the water. After a few minutes, Turtle began to let himself float upwards. However before doing this he made bubbles and at the sight of this the giants said, "Look, Turtle is about to come up !" Then they began to shout thinking of the victory they were going to win. "Turtle is coming up! Turtle is coming up!" the giants shouted. But before coming to the surface of the water, he let himself down again and landed on his back. "Ho, he is dead!" the giants shouted in glee. Yet in truth he was fast asleep. About noon one of the giants came up and, soon after, the other one floated up and long after that, Otter and Turtle came up. Turtle exclaimed, "I am so sleepy." Thus they won again.
Then the giants had another council and they decided to have a wrestling match. So the gourd-carrier went to the people and said, "They wish to play a game with you again." "What do they wish to play?" the people asked and the gourd-carrier answered, "They wish to wrestle." "Friends," some of the people said, "we shall not be any good at this game."11 In the morning, how ever, they went over to the giants anyway.
Turtle, Storms-as-he-walks and Red Horn, were to take part in the wrestling. About noon Storms-as-he-walks was getting rather tired, and as he got very tired, he thundered. His uncle up above in the sky heard it but he said to the other thunderbirds, "Don't go over there because he said he preferred the human beings." In thundering, Storms-as-he-walks was calling upon his fellow thunderbirds. (129) That is why his uncle spoke in this fashion to the others, for he knew that if they came to his aid he would be able to throw his opponent. Because his uncle said this, Storms-as-he-walks could not get any of the other thunderbirds to come down. Finally his feet swung from under him and he was thrown. Turtle cried, "Ho — Ho!" Not long after that Red Horn began to get tired. Finally he also was thrown. Again Turtle said, "Ho — Ho! my friends." Then Turtle said, "The one I am wrestling with has been trying for a long time to fall down but I am holding him up." Saying this he lifted the giant up and holding his head downward he bunted him on the ground, breaking his neck. Turtle, however, as well as his friends, lost the game and they were all killed.
Up to this time they had been the only ones to play successfully. When they were killed all those remaining in the village were also killed.a
Radin's Notes to the Text
1 Giants are mentioned in only a few Winnebago folktales. They are quite common in central and northern Algonquian mythology.
2 Turtle is never associated with any successful warparty, partly because he is represented as always going alone.
3 Cf. Introduction, pp. 42f.
4 To indicate his superiority and attraction.
5 Among the Winnebago, although the position of women is very high, this is a term of depreciation used by men.
6 It was, of course, a common practice for enemy women to be spared and be incorporated into the victorious group. In times of crisis, however, their position was very insecure.
7 For an interpretation of her role cf. Introduction, pp. 42f .
8 Cf . p. 123 of this cycle.
9 The most common type of arrowpoint formerly was a straightened turtle claw.
10 This motif is also associated with Turtle in the most famous of all folktales connected with him, Turtle's Warparty.
11 This is a stereotyped way of indicating defeat.
Commentary. "directed the stem of the pipe towards his mouth" — this is a symbolic act of supplication, and to receive the pipe is to grant the request being tendered.
"he did not call them" — it is customary to send out invitations to the best warriors to join the warparty. Of course, to succeed one needs sufficient force as well as a properly conceived plan. Turtle is doomed to failure because he has neither.
"Giantess" — this Giantess is known elsewhere as "Pretty Woman." That her hair is red suggests that in astronomical codes she may play the role of the dawn. During the time that Redhorn (Alnilam) rises with the sun (not long after the solstice), the sun and therefore the dawn are about as far north as they will get. This allies her initially with the Giants, who are North Spirits. However, since she is destined to leave the north, her allegiance to the Giants is tenuous.
"Coyote" — in "Įčorúšika and His Brothers", Wears Faces on His Ears (Redhorn) is betrayed by seven of his brothers, some of whom are coyotes.
"the ball-sticks" — this game throughout the Americas is replete with astronomical symbolism, which is important since Redhorn is identified with a star in Orion (judging from what is said in "Įčorúšika and His Brothers").
"the small heads he was wearing in his ears" — thus Redhorn is also known as Įčo-horúšik-ka (in normal speech, Įčorúšika), "Wears Faces on His Ears."
"tongues" — the thrusting out of the tongue, which is seen as humorous, is probably of symbolic import. Redhorn in another story, wipes his tongue and cures a wound with his saliva. Elsewhere, he licks his hands before running them through hair, which has the effect of making hair longer and either red or yellow. He is He-Šuč-ka, "Red-Horn", a reference to his braid of red hair formed into a queue or scalp lock. Given the stellar character of Redhorn, the hair is almost certainly the red clouds of sunrise out of which he rises as he parts from the sun in midsummer. The clouds are not only variable in size, but at dawn are both red and yellow. So the red horn is the red clouds of sunrise when Alnilam makes its heliacal rising. The protruding tongues may have the same valence, since tongues are not only red, but are wet, just as are clouds. By assonance, the word for tongue can be tied to the word for the "fire" that is responsible for the reddening of the clouds on the horizon. The word meaning "to stick out the tongue", rezínąp, is very similar to rezínąnąp´, which means, "to blaze", rather like English with its "tongue of fire."
"Otter" — the astronomical role of Otter is that he created the largest part of the Milky Way (see The Origins of the Milky Way). In a diving contest with the Giants, the Giant came up from the water with such force that the spray created the smaller part of the Milky Way. Otter, however, came up with even greater force, creating the larger half. The Giant's half is near to the Big Dipper, which is the Marten among the Hočągara.
"sending him into the air" — astronomically, Marten is one and the same as the Big Dipper (Ursa Major). As a circumpolar constellation, he never sets and revolves closely around Polaris, the Pole Star. Therefore, inasmuch as Polaris is the North Star, Marten is a North Spirit, just like the Giants. He is close to the northern part of the Milky Way, the smaller part that was created by a Giant who splashed the sky as he emerged from a diving contest against Otter. Therefore, it is appropriate for Marten to be an in-law of the Giants themselves. His "flying through the air" is a way of reminding those following the esoteric code that he was put in the stars as a constellation.
"black" — Turtle calls the Giants "black" because they painted themselves from head to toe in this color. It symbolizes death.
"thundered, she screamed and jumped back." — it almost never thunders during a snow storm, so the Thunders are themselves seasonal in the same way. This statistic was tabulated for the years 1890-1900.b
|Deaths by Lightning, 1890-1900|
Seasonally, as the sun moves along the horizon (and the dawn with it) from winter to summer, it closes with the season in which thunder is found. The peak of this season is around the summer solstice. Obviously, the dark clouds of the Thunders are inimical to both the sun's light and the dawn. So as the dawn moves north, the skies thunder, she then turns around, heading back south to where the Thunders cannot reach her.
"winked" — the two faces on Redhorn's earlobes are most likely the two stars that closely flank Alnilam in Orion: Alnitak and Mintaka. Mintaka is also Kunu. Stars are commonly represented as eyes. As stars, Alnitak and Mintaka would twinkle. On the eye model, therefore, the twinkling of the stars could be represented as winking.
"let my friend here marry her" — if the red-haired Giantess is the dawn, her defection from the Giants to become the wife of Redhorn is explained by the fact that once Redhorn parts from the sun in midsummer, the sun itself moves across the horizon moving steadily towards the south. The south is where Orion is found, and therefore the Giantess (as Dawn) has assumed the patrilocal residence of her husband.
"Red Horn" — he is chosen to compete because he is the spirit of the arrow itself.
"what would people use as arrow points hereafter?" — Turtle's remark alludes to the fact that the Hočągara made big game arrowheads out of snapping turtle claws.
"snowbirds" — these birds are, as there name indicates, prognosticators of an impending snow storm. The Giants are associated with the north and are said to be man-eaters because they contain a chunk of ice within their stomachs. The snowbirds are to the Giants as the red turtles are to Turtle.
"killed" — this is the only time that the Giants are triumphant in the five contests (lacrosse, shooting, dice, submergence, wrestling). Storms as He Walks is a Thunderbird, and therefore embodies the rain clouds. When Storms as He Walks falls under the power of the Ice Giants (as they are sometimes called), he is allegorically under the power and domain of North Spirits. Where they live it is perpetually cold, and where a winter climate rules, the clouds neither rain nor thunder. It is as if the Thunders have been dispatched by the North Spirits who in their own land control the weather themselves. The only time that Redhorn falls under the power of the North Spirits is when he is found in the north. As we learn from "Įčorúšika and His Brothers", Wears Faces on His Ears (another name for Redhorn) is doubtless to be identified with Alnilam of the constellation Orion. Orion is normally found in the south. However, during the summer (May-June) when Orion undergoes heliacal setting and disappears altogether for a time from the sky, Orion-Redhorn is "underground" in the north. His position can be easily inferred from the position of the Milky Way, since Orion is just to the right of the galaxy. It is obvious to inspection that Orion's portion of the Milky Way is clearly in the north during this time. So the north dwelling Giants have gained control of Redhorn during the summer, and have literally thrown him to the ground. Turtle is the only one of the group whom the Giants are unable to defeat. This is because winter is the season of war, and Turtle as the founder of warfare, is quite at home in the domain of the North Spirits.
Comparative Material. The Ioway have an interesting parallel in which the Giants are replaced by a race of bears. "Human-head-earrings left this place and went on to another place where the people were tormented by a race of low built bears called Mątaswíjé who played lacrosse on the ice with the people betting their lives and killing the losers. The bears were always accompanied by their females who were so swift that the young men could not get away from them. Old Turtle was the one who played in the center, throwing the ball for the game to start. Human-head-earrings and Blackhawk hid until the former got the ball and fled, though a she bear almost caught him. One of his earbobs looked back, stuck out its tongue and made faces until the she bear laughed and blushed and finally gave up. The other bears accused her of liking Human-head-earrings so that she let him make a goal. The bears finally lost the game and were accordingly killed. After several years had elapsed another company of giants came, and by an error Blackhawk was allowed to wrestle with one of them instead of Turtle who was a great athlete. The giants won, and Human-head-earrings and his two friends were slain."c [Next Episode]
"four circles" — After recounting in outline the story found in the Redhorn Cycle, Robert Hall draws a comparison to the myth and ritual of the Skidi Pawnee.
For attentive readers this story should start to have a familiar ring. Red Horn leads his team in defeating the giants, who are placed in four circles that are destroyed one at a time, and then marries the woman who is the champion of the giants' team. This recalls the story of the red-colored Skiri Pawnee Morning Star defeating the beasts guarding the four quarters of the earth, an act represented in the ritual of the Morning Star sacrifice (chapter 11) by the destruction of four circles, and then marrying Evening Star.d
Although Hall leans towards the idea (following Radin) that Redhorn is either Morning or Evening Star, a contention with which I disagree, the placing of the Giants into four such circles could still show Pawnee influence. The question is how much of the Pawnee context is taken along with it?
Links: Storms as He Walks, Redhorn, The Redhorn Panel of Picture Cave. An American Star Map, The Sons of Earthmaker, Pretty Woman, Turtle, Turtle Spirits, Wolf & Dog Spirits, Giants, Coyote, Otter, Thunderbirds, Snowbirds, Bird Spirits, Gourd Rattles.
Links within the Redhorn Cycle: §3. Redhorn and His Brothers Marry, §5. The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father.
Stories: mentioning Redhorn: The Redhorn Cycle, Redhorn's Sons, The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Redhorn's Father, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Spirit of Gambling, The Green Man, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, cp. The Cosmic Ages of the Hočągara; featuring Giants as characters: A Giant Visits His Daughter, Turtle and the Giant, The Stone Heart, Young Man Gambles Often, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Morning Star and His Friend, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Old Man and the Giants, Shakes the Earth, White Wolf, Redhorn's Father, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Roaster, Grandfather's Two Families, Redhorn's Sons, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Little Human Head, Heną́ga and Star Girl, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Origins of the Milky Way, Ocean Duck, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Wears White Feather on His Head, cf. The Shaggy Mann; having Wolf as a character: Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, A Man and His Three Dogs, Redhorn's Sons, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, The Dogs of the Chief's Son, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Kunu's Warpath, Morning Star and His Friend, The Healing Blessing, The Origins of the Milky Way; mentioning coyotes: Wojijé, The Raccoon Coat, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Redhorn's Sons, Trickster and the Eagle; featuring Turtle as a character: The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Turtle's Warparty, Turtle and the Giant, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, Turtle and the Merchant, Redhorn's Father, Redhorn's Sons, Turtle and the Witches, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Trickster Soils the Princess, Morning Star and His Friend, Grandfather's Two Families, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Kunu's Warpath, Redhorn and His Brothers Marry, The Skunk Origin Myth, The Hočąk Migration Myth, Porcupine and His Brothers, The Creation of Man, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, The Father of the Twins Attempts to Flee, The Chief of the Heroka, The Spirit of Gambling, The Nannyberry Picker, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, The Markings on the Moon (v. 2), The Green Man, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Coughing Up of the Black Hawks, The Petition to Earthmaker, The Origins of the Milky Way; mentioning turtles (other than Turtle): Turtle's Warparty, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Porcupine and His Brothers, Redhorn's Sons, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Healing Blessing, The Spider's Eyes, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth, The Mesquaki Magician; featuring Otter as a character: Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Turtle's Warparty, The Origins of the Milky Way, Redhorn's Sons, The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men (v. 2), Kunu's Warpath, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Morning Star and His Friend; mentioning otters: Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Fleetfooted Man, The Dipper, The Two Children, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Turtle's Warparty, The Origins of the Milky Way, Redhorn's Sons, Kunu's Warpath, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, The Woman who Loved Her Half Brother, The Chief of the Heroka, The Animal Spirit Aids of the Medicine Rite, The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men (v. 2), Wojijé, Holy Song II, Morning Star and His Friend, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, The Story of the Medicine Rite; with Storms as He Walks as a character: Redhorn's Sons, Kunu's Warpath, Redhorn and His Brothers Marry, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty; mentioning snowbirds: Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Redhorn's Sons; featuring Pretty Woman (or a Giant princess with red or yellow hair): Redhorn's Sons (red hair), Redhorn's Father (red hair), The Hočągara Contest the Giants (red-yellowish hair), The Roaster (yellow hair), Morning Star and His Friend; mentioning Thunderbirds: The Thunderbird, Waruǧábᵉra, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Traveler and the Thunderbird War, The Boulders of Devil's Lake, Thunderbird and White Horse, Bluehorn's Nephews, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed (vv. 1, 2), The Man who was a Reincarnated Thunderbird, The Thunder Charm, The Lost Blanket, The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Story of the Thunder Names, The Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Eagle Clan Origin Myth, Pigeon Clan Origins, Bird Clan Origin Myth, Adventures of Redhorn's Sons, Brave Man, Ocean Duck, Turtle's Warparty, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Quail Hunter, Heną́ga and Star Girl, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, Redhorn's Sons, The Dipper, The Stone that Became a Frog, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, The Warbundle of the Eight Generations, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Origin of the Hočąk Chief, The Spirit of Gambling, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Black Otter's Warpath, Aračgéga's Blessings, Kunu's Warpath, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, The Glory of the Morning, The Nightspirits Bless Čiwoit’éhiga, The Green Waterspirit of the Wisconsin Dells, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Big Stone, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Song to Earthmaker, The Origins of the Milky Way; mentioning lacrosse (kísik): Redhorn's Father, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Morning Star and His Friend, The Roaster, Redhorn's Sons, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, The Shaggy Man, How the Thunders Met the Nights; mentioning drums: The Descent of the Drum, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, The Buffalo's Walk, The Spirit of Maple Bluff, Tobacco Origin Myth (v. 5), Young Man Gambles Often, Trickster and the Dancers, Redhorn's Father, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, The Elk's Skull, Ghosts, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Great Walker's Medicine, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 1b), Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, Trickster and the Geese, Turtle's Warparty, Snowshoe Strings, Ocean Duck, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Hog's Adventures, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts.
Themes: Turtle agrees to avenge the losses of those who have petitioned his aid as a warrior: Trickster Soils the Princess, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Turtle and the Witches; Turtle leads a warparty out immediately, without any planning or approval: Spear Shaft and Lacrosse; contests with the Giants: Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Redhorn's Father, White Wolf, The Roaster, Young Man Gambles Often, Little Human Head, Redhorn's Sons, Morning Star and His Friend, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Old Man and the Giants, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, Shakes the Earth, The Origins of the Milky Way, The Shaggy Man, Grandfather's Two Families; a being has red hair: Redhorn's Sons, Redhorn's Father, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (vv. 1 & 2), The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Heną́ga and Star Girl, A Wife for Knowledge, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle; red as a symbolic color: The Journey to Spiritland (hill, willows, reeds, smoke, stones, haze), The Gottschall Head (mouth), The Chief of the Heroka (clouds, side of Forked Man), The Red Man (face, sky, body, hill), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse (neck, nose, painted stone), Redhorn's Father (leggings, stone sphere, hair), The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father (hair, body paint, arrows), Wears White Feather on His Head (man), The Birth of the Twins (turkey bladder headdresses), The Two Boys (elk bladder headdresses), Trickster and the Mothers (sky), Rich Man, Boy, and Horse (sky), The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits (Buffalo Spirit), Bluehorn Rescues His Sister (buffalo head), Wazųka (buffalo head headdress), The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth (horn), The Brown Squirrel (protruding horn), Bear Clan Origin Myth (funerary paint), Hawk Clan Origin Myth (funerary paint), Deer Clan Origin Myth (funerary paint), Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (stick at grave), Pigeon Clan Origins (Thunderbird lightning), Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks (eyes), Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (scalp, woman's hair), The Race for the Chief's Daughter (hair), The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy (hair), Redhorn Contests the Giants (hair), Redhorn's Sons (hair), The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle (hair), A Wife for Knowledge (hair), Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle (hair), The Hočągara Contest the Giants (hair of Giantess), A Man and His Three Dogs (wolf hair), The Red Feather (plumage), The Man who was Blessed by the Sun (body of Sun), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (body of the Warrior Clan Chief), Red Bear, Eagle Clan Origin Myth (eagle), The Shell Anklets Origin Myth (Waterspirit armpits), The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty (Waterspirits), The Roaster (body paint), The Man who Defied Disease Giver (red spot on forehead), The Wild Rose (rose), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (warclub), Įčorúšika and His Brothers (ax & packing strap), Hare Kills Flint (flint), The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head (edges of flint knives), The Nannyberry Picker (leggings), The Seduction of Redhorn's Son (cloth), Yųgiwi (blanket); a spirit has faces on each earlobe: The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, The Dipper (hummingbirds), Redhorn's Father, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Morning , The Hočągara Contest the Giants; a challenger comes shaking a gourd rattle: Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Roaster, Grandfather's Two Families, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, White Wolf; shooting claws: The Claw Shooter, Mijistéga and the Sauks, Battle of the Night Blessed Men and the Medicine Rite Men; birds used as implements in a game of chance: Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Roaster, The Spirit of Gambling, Redhorn's Sons; turtles used as implements in a game of chance: Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Redhorn's Sons, The Roaster; Turtle acts improperly to influence in his favor the outcome of a game of chance: Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Spirit of Gambling, Redhorn's Sons; people make a lot of noise in order to divert someone from his goal: The Four slumbers Origin Myth, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Trickster and the Geese, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse; certain spirits help the Giants in a (lacrosse) game with human lives at stake because they have married Giant women: Redhorn's Father, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Morning Star and His Friend, Redhorn's Sons.; a Giant (Wągeručge) princess has her game disturbed by her attraction to a hero: The Roaster, Redhorn's Father, Morning Star and His Friend, Redhorn's Sons; marriage to a Giant: A Giant Visits His Daughter, The Stone Heart, A Giant Visits His Daughter, Young Man Gambles Often, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Roaster, Redhorn's Sons, Redhorn's Father, White Wolf; Turtle remains submerged under water for a very long time: Porcupine and His Brothers; a (spirit) animal uses one of its body parts as an arrow(head): Porcupine and His Brothers; Turtle is killed: The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty; a hero and his friends are killed because the Giants are victorious in a wrestling match: White Wolf.
a Paul Radin, Winnebago Hero Cycles: A Study in Aboriginal Literature (Baltimore: Waverly Press, 1948) 123-129.
b Arthur Judson Henry, "Loss of Life and Property by Lightning," in Lightning and Electricity of Air; in 2 Parts, Weather Bureau Bulletin, #26 (Part II), Weather Bureau Document #197 (Washington, D. C.: U. S. Weather Bureau, 1899) 45-74 .
c "6. Wąkx!istowi, the Man with the Human Head Earrings," Alanson Skinner, "Traditions of the Iowa Indians," The Journal of American Folklore, 38, #150 (October-December, 1925): 427-506 .
d Robert L. Hall, An Archaeology of the Soul: North American Indian Belief and Ritual (Urbana & Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1997) 149.