The Woman Who Became an Ant

retold by Richard L. Dieterle

The daughter of a chief had nine girl friends who were greatly loved and respected by the whole village, so much so that they were often asked to decide things. Soon they began to run the village. One day the princess called her friends together and said, "It is not right that we should be chiefs in our village, my brothers are far better qualified than we are. What if we had a crisis? We are not warriors, so how are we to protect the village? Let us go on an extended visit to another village, for only in our absence can the people learn to rely on others." They all agreed that this would be for the best, and they further agreed that if anyone decided to turn back, it would not be held against her. Four days later, they slipped out of the village and walked until evening overtook them, whereupon they built themselves a grass lodge for the night. The next morning when they woke up they found that one of the girls was no longer there. "She must have turned back," they said. So they took up her pack and went on. Every morning this happened, until the fifth morning they realized that the women who had disappeared had in fact been killed. Now they were carrying two packs each. This went on and on, night after night, until finally only the princess herself was left. She set out by herself carrying everyone's pack. In the evening she came to a hill, where she found a small hole that she was able to enter and stop up with a stone. There she felt safe, but in the darkness she could hear something outside. It tried to get in, but the stone was enough to stop it. In the morning it was still there, and spoke to her: "I will be back tomorrow. When I return you will either be my wife, or your life is forfeit!" Then he left. After it became quiet, she pushed out the stone, then fled with all the speed her legs could muster.

Then, unexpectedly, she saw ahead of her a man who was making arrows from the sticks he was gathering. In her distress she sought his aid with all she had to offer: "Husband, something is after me!" Nevertheless, he kept silent. She spoke again, "Brother-in-law, something is after me!" He said nothing. A third time she appealed to him, "Uncle, something is after me!" He did not react. Finally she said, "Brother, something is after me!" He looked up and said, "All right, my sister!" He took her and placed her within the blanket he was wearing. Then her pursuer came singing,

You One Legged One,
Give back the woman to me,
Legs stuck together,
Legs stuck together.

The Crawfish  

He sang this three times, and each time the man ignored him as if he were not even there. But the fourth time the pursuer ridiculed him, the man pulled out his warclub and smashed him to bits. All that was left was a small animal. Unexpectedly it was a crawfish. The victor uttered his decree: "You will ever after live in mud. You shall walk backward as befits such as you." For walking backward is the devil's walk, the walk of Herešgúnina. Then the man addressed the princess: "I waited here for you, as I pitied your plight: you had no refuge."

They walked together to his abode, which was a great hill. He declared to her there, "Sister, I am one of the great spirits, and you shall never again have to live in fear or want." After they went into the hill, he noticed that he was out of meat. He explained to her that all that was necessary to get meat was for her to stand atop their hill and sing a song, which he then taught her. So she went to the top of the hill and sang,

Buffalo come here,
My brother the One Legged One will shoot you;
Buffalo, come!

A great cloud arose in the west and the thunder that shook the ground became ever louder as a great herd closed upon them. The man merely sat in the doorway and shot them without even going outside. Of the many animals he killed, he took only their tongues. The rest he left to a great hoard of wolves and ravens who soon gobbled up all the remaining meat.

One day he told her, "It is not seemly that we should live here a man and a woman while I do not yet have a wife. I shall go away just long enough to get a bride, but while I am gone, beware of other spirits, for I am one of the greatest spirits that Earthmaker has created and I am held in great envy by many. Take care that you are not fooled: they may ask you to do things, but don't do anything that they suggest." With this advice, he set out in search of a wife. No sooner had he left than someone else entered. "Younger sister, has my older brother already left? After he hunts, I always come by for tongues," he said. So she cooked up some of the delicacy, and when he was finished with his meal he suggested that they stock up some meat, as his older brother might be gone for awhile. "So, sister," he said, "just go up the hill and sing to the buffalo, and I'll kill a dozen or so." She flatly refused. "I understand," he said, "for there are many spirits who are jealous of our family and will attempt to fool you. My brother and I are really the only great spirits." "Well, then," she replied, "let me see your arrows." He had his quiver behind his back, and from it he drew an arrow and showed it to her. Then he put it back and again he presented the next arrow, which was just like the first. He showed her many such arrows, and she became convinced that he was equal to the task. She finally consented, and went atop the hill and sang,

Buffalo come,
My brother the Trickster will shoot you;
Buffalo, come!

"No!" he objected, "sing 'One Legged One'." She then sang the correct song four times, and just as before the buffalo thundered towards the hill. When the buffalo came up, he shot only one arrow, for that was all he had. When she had demanded to see his arrows, he had shown her the same one over and over again. After he shot his single arrow, he turned and ran away. A buffalo squeezed the woman between his horns and they carried her off to their village.

Some time later, her brother was on his way home with a woman who was very white and well tattooed. He saw the buffaloes' dust and knew immediately that his sister had been abducted. He tried to hurry, but he was being constantly held up by his bride. She stopped frequently to urinate until she had so exasperated her husband that he hit her with his bow. Instantly she turned into a spotted prairie frog.

When he got home he saw the door open, and recognizing the arrow he said, "Trickster has done this!" He called the buffalo four times, and only on the last call did they bring her back, carrying her between their horns. He shot each buffalo who had carried his sister, then scolded her, "You did not do as I told you!" "You are right, brother," she said, "it seems Trickster got the better of me." When the buffalo had carried her between their horns, her waist had been squeezed so narrow that it was like an ant's. Her brother therefore appointed her to be the spirit queen of the ants, and that is why ants have ever after had the narrowest of waists.1

Commentary. "nine girl friends" — by one way of counting, these girl friends correspond to the number of Hocak clans. At the same time, the number of celestial bodies that move with respect to the background stars also number nine.

# Clan
1 Bird
2 Buffalo
3 Bear
4 Wolf
5 Deer
6 Elk
7 Waterspirit
8 Snake
9 Fish
# Celestial Object
1 Sun
2 Moon
3 Morning Star of Venus
4 Evening Star of Venus
5 Jupiter
6 Saturn
7 Mars
8 Morning Star of Mercury
9 Evening Star of Mercury

The princess herself will have been a member of the Thunderbird Clan, since that is the clan which supplies the chief. However, it should be noted that the Thunderbird Clan is a member of the Bird "Clan," which constitutes the whole of the Upper Moiety. It is not clear whether the astronomical bodies are meant to map onto the clans so that each clan has some special association with a celestial object. Nor is it really very likely that the nine women correspond to the celestial objects mentioned, since it is not clear that they even knew of the planet Mercury. The women seems more likely to be identified with moons. This is largely because each woman is carrying a pack, and the moon in its crescent phase is compared to a woman carry a pack (usually of wood, see 1, 2, 3). As we learn below, the pursuer is revealed to be a (celestial) crawfish, which appears to be Mars. The crawfish must come into conjunction with each moon to kill her, so he must come into conjunction with all ten of them. So there will have been ten consecutive conjunctions of Mars with the Moon such that after each conjunction the Moon was carrying a larger pack. This means that the Moon is progressively getting darker and darker until it is nothing but a sliver. It achieves this final state when it approaches conjunction with the Sun. So each conjunction of the waxing Moon, as it happens, moves closer and closer to the Sun with each conjunction that it has with Mars, until finally, the tenth Moon is carrying all the packs, which is to say, nearly totally dark.

# Date Disk
- 20 Nov. 1706 99.03% 0.07%
1 17 Dec. 1706 95.52% 4.48%
2 13 Jan. 1707 77.34% 22.66%
3 10 Feb. 1707 61.96% 38.04%
4 10 Mar. 1707 47.19% 52.81%
5 8 April 1707 37.18% 62.82%
6 5 May 1707 22.93% 77.07%
7 3 June 1707 17.79% 82.21%
8 1 July 1707 8.13% 91.87%
9 30 July 1707 5.41% 94.59%
10 28 Aug. 1707 2.95% 97.05%
- 26 Sep. 1707 1.06%
Solar Conjunction

The first moon is full, or so essentially so that it cannot be readily discerned from one that is 100% disk illuminated. When the last moon is at moonset, the Sun is only 5° below the horizon, so the glare in the sky would have made both the sliver of a moon, and Mars with which it was in conjunction, impossible to easily make out. All of these moons are waxing moons which means that their "packs" are getting larger and larger as the nights progress. However, as we are considering only their conjunction with Mars, the series of moons, as can be seen in the table, have larger and larger packs as the months progress. The black shadow of the Moon can be located on her back since each of these moons is moving towards the horizon with its lighted face facing the direction of its motion. So the light part of the Moon is the front of the moving Moon and its dark part is its back.

"killed" — each of these moons set after conjunction and so "die."

"carrying everyone's pack" — so the tenth moon in the series is carrying the largest "pack," inasmuch as its is 97% dark.

"a small hole" — that is, the Moon (now at solar conjunction) enters into the earth and disappears for a short time from the sky.

"a stone" — this is the sun. When the moon goes to earth she is simultaneously with the sun. In one lacrosse myth, where the ball denotes the sun, the ball is a red stone.

"hear" — in astronomy codes sound stands for light. Mars moves in relation to the stars only very slowly, so it will be outside in the sky for months after the moon goes to earth in conjunction.

"in the morning" — at this time Mars rises around midnight in the east, so it is present near the sun in the morning.

"quiet" — in the sound-for-light symbolism, quiet denotes darkness. We see this even in Western symbolism, where the dark of the moon is called luna silens.

"she pushed out the stone" — when it becomes dark ("quiet") the moon, after its short period on earth, pushes away from the "stone" sun and dissociates from conjunction.

"fled" — the moon now moves swiftly way from the earth (cave) and sun (stone).

"ahead of her a man" — this describes the end of another circuit of the moon who is still being chased by Mars. The man she sees ahead of her is Morning Star (Lucifer).

"arrows" — the word for arrows is the same as the word for time, . In an astronomical code, when someone works on arrows, it usually means that he has some governance over time. This figure turns out to be Herešgunina, the Hocąk devil. It is said in one of the Twins myths that he has a book in which he marks the lives of human beings shorter than Earthmaker had originally intended. In this respect, then, he explicitly governs at least human time.

"my sister" — in astronomy myths, the brother of the Moon is usually Evening Star, identified under his name "Bluehorn" or "Red Star." In one myth, Herešgunina plays the role of Lucifer, that is, the Morning Star. In this role, he is the twin (and therefore brother) of Evening Star, so completely like him that the two of them cannot be told apart even by their sister. So it should follow that if Moon is sister to Evening Star, that she should also be sister to Morning Star, that is, Herešgúnina, or as he is also known, "One Legged One." Just as the moon comes out of conjunction again next to the Evening Star, so the moon in decline goes into conjunction next to the Morning Star.

"placed her" — since the fleeing moon is the moon as it reaches the end of its journey near conjunction with the sun, she is now held by Morning Star in the east.

"the blanket he was wearing" — Morning Star is known as Wa'įkipíraka, "Wrapped in Blankets." This appears to be an allusion to this appellation, which is given him because when the star is near the horizon, it is typically enveloped with clouds.

"One Legged One" — this is an avatar of the Hocąk devil, Herešgúnina. So she is being pursued by a bad spirit only to fall into the hands of the chief of the bad spirits.

"crawfish" — one wonders if the crawfish, being red, is not the planet Mars.

"walk backward" — a reference to the retrograde motion that occurs during parts of the journey of Mars through the stars?

"for walking backward is the devil's walk" — here the walking is on the Road of Life and Death which symbolizes the righteous way in which to live (traveling the path of righteousness, as Westerners would say). In one variant of the myth of the creation of Herešgúnina, it is said that he was created with his legs on backward. This signifies that his tracks on the Road of Life and Death point exactly the wrong way, and those who follow after his trail and example, will end up walking the path of life in the wrong (immoral) direction.

"I waited here for you" — the Morning Star stays relatively stationary over the course of a month, whereas the moon takes a long circuitous journey until it ends up just where the Morning Star is found.

"they walked together" — this is another way of expressing the fact that the moon and Morning Star travel together near the time of the former's conjunction with the sun.

"a great hill" — Morning Star rises up in the sky about as high as a great hill does against the backdrop of the night sky. Just as no hill can silhouette all the way to the zenith, so Morning Star never attains such an altitude either.

"meat" — the meat that he habitually consumes, as we see, is buffalo. Both the moon and Morning Star are large and bright nocturnal celestial objects, and stars seem to slide behind them. It is as if Morning Star and the moon were engulfing stars. This occlusion is therefore readily imaged as eating buffalo, especially in the case of the moon, whose crescent resembles a gaping maw. On buffalo as stars, see below.

"stand atop their hill and sing a song" — in Hocąk symbolism, light can stand for sound, the two having an obvious similarity. Both the moon and Morning Star outshine any other two objects in the night sky.

"buffalo" — in an astronomical code, buffalo represent stars, which collectively are viewed as a great herd that traverses across the plain of the night sky. The sky itself is a great dome that is not quite fastened to the earth. So this dome does not rotate with the stars, rather the stars move across it. That buffalo are stars is proven by the fact that Evening Star (as Bluehorn) is Chief of the Buffalo (since he shines brighter than any other star in the sky).

"a great cloud arose in the west" — inasmuch as the buffalo are stars, their dust is no doubt the Milky Way. Beginning around the vernal equinox, the Milky Way lies flat on the horizon, trailing from the southwest, across the west, and all the way to the northeast like a giant cloud of dust. Morning Star is in the east, and the stars (buffaloes) are setting in the west, on the opposite side of the horizon. They rise in the east where Morning Star dwells, so when they reach the earth in the west, they head towards him.

"thunder" — collectively the light of the stars ("buffalo") is greater than that of the moon and Morning Star combined, so given that light = sound, they must thunder like a great herd of buffalo across the prairie.

"a great herd" — a reference to the thousands of stars that move in unison down to the earth in the west to cross over the earth a thunder by the lodge of Morning Star as they rise into the night prairie in the east.

"closed upon them" — As the moon travels it goes from west to east. It comes out of conjunction in the west as the sun sets, and day by day travels east until it once again joins with the sun at conjunction. As it moves east at night, the stars are moving west to set, and as the moon comes near the sun in the east during the morning hours, it runs contrary to the rising stars. So it is as if the moon were inducing the stars to come to her.

"sat in the doorway" — Morning Star is situated low in the sky, as if on a hill, and in the very place (the east) where the stars rise. The stars pass by him as if he were stationary, and when the sun rises, its light washes out ("kills") all the stars ("buffaloes").

"shot" — when the sun rises at the hill, its light rays act like arrows that slay the buffalo-stars first nearby in the east, then all over the sky. The moon, of course, supplies the bow by which they are shot. The light washes out that of the stars and so "kills" them (they disappear and cease to exist).

"tongues" — a great culinary delicacy. As an astronomical symbol, the meaning of the tongue is not obvious. Given that light is portrayed in terms of sound, it seems plausible to suppose that tongues might have something to do with light. Indeed, since they are to be eaten as a delicacy by both Moon and Morning Star, it follows that they must be the essential light swallowed by these two astronomical bodies when they occlude the background stars. To say that he cuts out their tongues is to say that he robs them of speech. Speech is their ability to communicate by sound, not just the sound itself. So by analogy, it is the ability to communicate by light, and not just the light itself. In other words, the occluded stars still retain their light — they have not been temporarily snuffed out like a candle, only to be relit later — their light has been cut off to the target to which they are "speaking." The loss of a tongue means that speech is reduced to braying, which communicates nothing and only represents noise without transferred content.

"I shall go away" — the Morning Star eventually disappears into superior conjunction, which to the earth bound observer appears as the star falling into the ground and the sun simultaneously. It is then absent from the sky, and about 50 days later, the Evening Star is seen in the west. After inferior conjunction, 8 days after the Evening Star disappears from the sky, the Morning Star again appears.

"no sooner had he left than someone else entered" — the theme of the impostor is played out in myths about Morning Star and Evening Star (The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun). There the two stars are identical twins; here they are not given that degree of resemblance, since the role of Evening Star is now played by Trickster. The Morning Star and the Evening Star are never in the sky simultaneously, which is what occurs in the relationship between One Legged One and Trickster.

"older brother" — Trickster presents himself as One Legged One's younger brother — the only man created before Trickster was Herešgúnina, the devil.

"she flatly refused" — in the west where Evening Star dwells, the moon gradually comes out of conjunction with the sun after a period where it is not seen in the sky at all. At first she is on the ground, and stays there for a couple of days. Then only gradually does she ascend and separate herself from the sun.

"an arrow" — this single arrow appears to be the sun itself. The sun represents for Morning Star thousands of rays to be shot at the stars, but that is because the sun is rising and its light is slowly washing out that of the stars. However, in the west where Evening Star resides, the sun does not rise, but sets. So it occludes only those stars over which it sets, and does the opposite of washing out their light.

"went atop the hill and sang" — this means that the moon rose higher and higher each day as it climbed out of conjunction, and every day it got brighter until it "sang."

"ran away" — Evening Star eventually disappears in his turn during inferior conjunction, and soon is replaced in the sky by Morning Star.

"between his horns" — the shape inscribed from the tip of one horn to the next is a crescent, a shape associated with the moon.2

"very white and well tattooed" — his bride is also a lunar figure like his sister, and like the moon itself, she is white with markings. Moon-as-bride is merely a variant of Moon-as-sister.

"the buffaloes' dust" — another reference to the Milky Way (see above).

"urinate" the fact that she constantly urinates is a reflection of the moon's governance of moisture in world mythology.3 In many myths the servants of the moon are also evil spirits. See also, "The Big Stone."

"he hit her with his bow" — her being struck with a bow, then turned into a creature of both the earth and water, reflects the moon's decline as a bow in the sky destined to rest in the earth and waters. It also further associates her with the moon.

"spotted" — spots are often indicative of stars. Among Waterspirits, the spotted variety are evil spirits. The choice of a spotted frog may satisfy both the demand that she be a denizen of the night sky, and that she be a lieutenant of Herešgunina.

"frog" — Eliade says, "The frog is a lunar animal, for a great many legends speak of a frog to be seen in the moon,4 and it is always present in the innumerable rites for inducing rain."5

"the spirit queen of the ants" — she is an ant because her waist was squeezed down to a sliver. This was done when she was carried between buffalo horns. The buffalo horn is a crescent, and if we take space for time, then the time between the two crescents is the time during which the moon is in conjunction with the sun. This is the time when the moon is on or in the earth. The buffalo are both celestial and terrestrial in this story. As the moon descends into the sun and earth at conjunction passing by certain stars in the sun's "house." Then during conjunction, it seems to disappear from the sky and go to ground. After two or three days, it can be seen now in the evening after sunset as a very thin crescent, but just a little past the same stars that it was around in the east during the morning when it fell into conjunction. So when she was on or in the ground, her "waist," the time between her two full lobes, was squeezed as thin as it could get, which temporally is like the spatial squeezing of the waist of an ant.

Comparative Material: To the first part of the story, the Osage have a good parallel. "Seven sisters live together near a creek. They go in turn after water. The youngest goes and sees by the path a dead turkey. Following mornings the other sisters go in order of age and see in succession a dead deer, buffalo, bear, elk and another buffalo. They eat all the animals and make tallow from the buffalo. While butchering the buffalo they get excited and look out. Youngest sister sees Mountain Lion coming with a deer on his back, which he lays down and goes off. They run away and each has little dog. Mountain Lion brings another bear. He is mad that the deer is not eaten and eats it himself. Mountain Lion starts after the women. The oldest sister gives out and tells sisters to kill her little dog and put tallow on it. Mountain Lion eats the dog and starts after sisters again. This takes place until all the dogs have been killed, and have been eaten by Mountain Lion. The oldest girl gives out and is killed and eaten by Mountain Lion. This happens to all the sisters in succession, except the youngest. She goes on crying all day and comes to lodge where a bad man lives. She asks the man to save her. He calls his dogs and tells them about Mountain Lion. He says if he looks at Mountain Lion with his left eye they are to kill him. Mountain Lion comes and asks for the girl. The man says that she is not there and he goes nearer. Man looks at him with his left eye and the dogs kill him in no time."6

The first half of this waiką has a very close Omaha parallel. There the woman is pursued by a skull as in the Hocąk story, Little Human Head; but they both agree that she is saved by the man only when she correctly states her relationship to him. The relationship, however, is that of grandfather, not brother as in the Hocąk waiką. The Omaha story ends with the woman herself dying as a result of keeping forbidden valuables that jump out of the skull's funeral pyre, the latter episode finding a corresponding episode in the Hocąk waiką, "Little Human Head." The Omaha story mentions nothing at all about the events in the Hocąk waiką after the pursuer is transformed into a crawfish.7

Another Omaha story is a better overall parallel. There were four brothers and a sister living together. The brothers were very attentive to their sister, combing her hair every day and even painting her. In return, she used to call the animals. She would stand on a platform and sing a song, and soon a great herd of all kinds of animals would show up, and the brothers would shoot as many as they needed for food. One day all the bothers went off on an expedition, but before leaving, they warned their sister that if she were visited by a man in their absence, not to do anything he told her. In time, Ictinike showed up, and presented himself as one of her kinsmen. He asked her to do some things for him, since he was her kinsman, but she refused. Finally, he persuaded her. After he convinced her that he was a skilled archer, she even called the animals for him. However, Ictinike's quiver was full of reeds that wobbled when he shot them. When the animals appeared, he was not able to hit a single one of them, and a large elk swept up the girl between his horns and carried her off. When the brothers returned, they surmised what had happened. The youngest went out in search of their missing sister, and heard her crying, seemingly from under the ground. He ran back and told his brothers what he had heard, and they all went to the site. There the oldest struck the ground with his club after uttering a magic formula. He made a small crack in the ground. Each brother did the same, and the crack widened. Finally, the youngest brother struck the ground in the same fashion, and this time the crack opened into a chasm, and below they could see all the animals and their sister fastened to the lodge as its door. They shot all the animals except a male and female pair of each, and then they rescued their sister.8

Links: Herešgúnina, Trickster, One Legged One, Buffalo Spirits, Frogs, Ants.

Stories: mentioning ants: Hare Kills a Man with a Cane, Trickster and the Honey, The Markings on the Moon (v. 2); featuring Herešgúnina (the Bad Spirit or One Legged One) as a character: The Creation of Evil, The Creation of the World, The Creation of Man, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Lost Blanket, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Journey to Spiritland, Šųgepaga, The Spirit of Gambling, Bladder and His Brothers, The Two Brothers, The Origins of the Milky Way, The Buffalo's Walk; see also Black and White Moons, The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hocągara; about One Legged One: The Creation of Man (v. 2), Bladder and His Brothers (in v. 2 as Wareksankeka), The Green Man; cf. The Spirit of Gambling; featuring white faced (lunar) women: The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Roaster; about buffaloes and Buffalo Spirits: Buffalo Clan Origin Myth, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, White Fisher, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Bluehorn's Nephews, Redhorn's Father, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, The Buffalo's Walk, Trickster's Buffalo Hunt, The Blessing of Šokeboka, The Creation of the World (v. 3), The Annihilation of the Hocągara I, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Red Feather, Wazųka, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth, Holy One and His Brother, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, The Story of the Medicine Rite, Black Otter's Warpath; featuring Trickster as a character: The Trickster Cycle, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Trickster's Warpath, Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Trickster Soils the Princess, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Trickster Concludes His Mission, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster, The Elk's Skull, Trickster and the Plums, Trickster and the Mothers, The Markings on the Moon, The Spirit of Gambling, The Green Man, The Red Man, Trickster Takes Little Fox for a Ride, Trickster Loses His Meal, Trickster's Tail, A Mink Tricks Trickster, Trickster's Penis, Trickster Loses Most of His Penis, The Scenting Contest, The Bungling Host, Mink Soils the Princess, Trickster and the Children, Trickster and the Eagle, Trickster and the Geese, Trickster and the Dancers, Trickster and the Honey, Trickster's Adventures in the Ocean, The Pointing Man, Trickster's Buffalo Hunt, Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb, Trickster Visits His Family, The Coughing Up of the Black Hawks, The Petition to Earthmaker, Waruǧábᵉra, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge; mentioning frogs: The Stone that Became a Frog, Hare and the Dangerous Frog, The Two Boys, Snowshoe Strings, Turtle's Warparty, Porcupine and His Brothers, Young Rogue's Magic.

Themes: a princess as the sole survivor of a group of friends whom she persuaded to travel with her: Little Human Head; a malevolent spirit chases after a group of women: Little Human Head, The Seven Maidens; a person's life will be spared if and only if she can tell a stranger what his true biological relationship is to her: Little Human Head; a woman faced with the choice of marrying an evil spirit or death, runs away: Little Human Head, Bluehorn's Nephews, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister; someone fleeing enemies hides in a crevice of a cliff: Shakes the Earth, Turtle's Warparty, Porcupine and His Brothers, Little Human Head, Heną́ga and Star Girl; preoccupation with making arrows: The Man who went to the Upper and Lower Worlds, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Brave Man; a good spirit tricks a woman: The Spirit of Gambling; Trickster hunts buffalo: Trickster's Buffalo Hunt; a herd of buffalo attack someone: Holy One and His Brother; someone is abducted and led off into captivity: The Captive Boys, A Man's Revenge, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Lost Child, Wears White Feather on His Head, Įcorúšika and His Brothers, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Bladder and His Brothers, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Black Otter's Warpath, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Green Man, Brave Man, The Chief of the Heroka, Šųgepaga, Hare Gets Swallowed, Hare Acquires His Arrows, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, Wolves and Humans, Thunderbird and White Horse, Heną́ga and Star Girl, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Traveler and the Thunderbird War (v. 5), The Boy who Flew, Testing the Slave; someone has a very pale complexion: Big Eagle Cave Mystery, The Roaster, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle; a woman struck with a bow turns into a frog: Snowshoe Strings; 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, Partridge's Older Brother (bear), 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), Hare Kills a Man with a Cane (ant); a woman sings a song that brings the buffalo to her: Bluehorn Rescues His Sister.

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, "The Woman Who Became an Ant," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Notebook #52.

2 Marija Gimbutas, The Gods and Goddesses of Old Europe, 7000-3500 BC. Myths, Legends and Cutlt Images (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1974) 91-93.

3 Mircea Eliade, Patterns in Comparative Religion (New York: Meridian, 1958) 159-161.

4 Robert Briffault, The Mothers. 3 vols. (London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1927) 2: 634-635.

5 Briffault, The Mothers, 2: 634-635. A. Haggerty Krappe, "Les Péléiades," Revue archéologique, Sme Serie 36 (1932) 321 nt 2. Eliade, Patterns in Comparative Religion, 160-161.

6 "16. The Mountain-Lion and the Seven Sisters," in George A. Dorsey, "Traditions of the Osage," Field Columbian Musem, Anthropological Series, 7, #1 (Feb., 1904): 53-54.

7 Roger Welsch, Omaha Tribal Myths and Trickster Tales (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1981) 276-279.

8 Frank La Flèsche, "Ictinike, the Brothers, and the Sister," in Rev. James O. Dorsey, "¢egiha Texts," Contributions to North American Ethnology, 6 (1890): 82-83.