The Big Stone
Wanąpixareka, The Rough Bead

retold by Richard L. Dieterle

BROTHER AND SISTER lived together in an oval lodge. The young man loved his sister very much, and every morning he would comb her hair. They lived well, since the brother was an excellent hunter. The man had the power to see into the future, so he knew that difficult times were upon them and that their only hope for survival was to rigorously prepare themselves for what was to come. "My sister," he said, "if we are to live, you must act the part of a man, changing your clothes and cutting your hair in the fashion of men." These things she did, since she knew her brother had foresight. They took her female clothing and hid it in the hollow of a tree where no one might find them. He taught his sister to shoot, and she proved to be an apt student. In hunting ability she was at least the equal of her brother. He even made a hollow stick for her to urinate through, and she could send a stream farther than he could. He also gave her rather strange instructions: "When one of us gets out of bed at night to go outside, the other must get up and follow the first. However, after a time, the second person must double back and occupy the bed of the first to leave."

The next day they went out hunting together. When the first returned, there, unexpectedly, was an old man sitting inside the lodge, and the hunter said, "My grandfather has come!" He spoke and said, "Yes, my grandson, I have come." The hunter began to cut the meat on a basswood mat, and boiled it up for him to eat. Then her brother came in and did just as she had done. The grandfather thought to himself, "They said he had a sister, but these are both men." He watched closely since he suspected that one might be a woman dressed in men's clothing. Since the second person to arrive seemed to be the weakest, he watched that one the most intently. Grandfather addressed the sister as "older brother" (Kunu). When they were asleep that night, the old man slipped up to where the brother was sleeping and carefully felt his private parts. Unexpectedly, he turned out to be a man. A little later, the brother got up to go outside, and according to plan his disguised sister followed. However, she doubled back and lay in her brother's bed, leaving her own bed to him. Grandfather craftily said, "I have a bad side, so I can only warm my other side by shifting over to the opposite side of the lodge." They said it didn't matter to them, since they would be asleep. After they fell back to sleep, the old man went to the other side of the lodge and felt the private parts of the one who slept on that side. Much to his surprise this one too turned out to be a man. The next morning the two young people went out hunting. The old man looked high and low for where the women's clothes were hidden, but could find nothing in the lodge. Things fell out as they had the day before, and they ate the boiled meat of the hunt. When they went out to urinate, the old man spied on them and unexpectedly they both did it like they were men. After four attempts to find the clothes of the woman, finally he was able to locate them. Grandfather thought to himself, "One of them is my wife."

However, the brother knew what had transpired, and told his sister, "The old man has found your clothes, so now our only chance is to flee. Take this path until you reach a village. You must tell people that your brother had you come there in order to marry the princess. The old man will chase you first. When a partridge flies up to the top of a tree, you will know he is near, since the partridge belongs to him." He then told her everything that would happen, then they went their separate ways. Grandfather soon caught up to the sister, and asked her, "If you killed something, could I pack it back for you? I just thought you might need some help, that is why I ask." Just then a partridge flew up into a tree. He said to her, "Grandson, shoot him for me." She shot the arrow and hit the bird directly in the head, and gave it to him. Her skill convinced him that she was in actuality a man, and he made his excuses for staying behind, while in fact he doubled back to pick up the trail of the other sibling, thinking to himself, "This one is surely my wife." Finally the old man caught up to him. He said, "Grandson, if you should kill anything, I will pack it for you." Just then a partridge flew to the top of a tree. "Grandson, shoot it for me," he urged. The man shot his arrow, but it struck the bird in the wing, so that it was only with some difficulty that he finally tracked it down and dispatched it. Grandfather thought to himself, "This one is truly my wife." When evening came they set up camp. The young man went out hunting and came back with a deer. They ate and the old man was getting ready to sleep, but the grandson kept him awake all night telling him stories. This happened a second and a third night, but on the fourth night the brother fell asleep for just a moment, but it was long enough for the old man to check his private parts. Unexpectedly, he proved to be the man. At this point, grandfather was convinced that the other one was in fact the woman, so he turned back to find her.

Meanwhile, the sister had found the chief's lodge and said, "My brother has sent me and told me to ask for the hand of your daughter in marriage." The chief was pleased and said, "It is good." The princess had a little boy for a brother. This boy became very attached to the suitor who was masquerading as a man. Eventually, the grandfather reached the village himself, and asked after the suitor. After he was told that his "grandson" had married, he became a bit perplexed. When he located her, he said, "Grandson I became very lonesome, that is why I am here." That night the old man was allowed to sleep at the foot of the bed. He was hoping to make his usual explorations, but before anyone could fall asleep, the little brother-in-law came in the lodge and just sat there. Grandfather told him, "Little boy, hadn't you better get some sleep?" The boy coolly responded, "I never sleep." Four times the grandfather tried to persuade the boy to sleep, but he never complied. The fourth time, grandfather asked him to step outside. The boy walked out first with the old man behind him, then unexpectedly the grandfather grabbed the boy hard by his neck, but with a loud noise, the boy shook free. Grandfather said, "Don't take offense, I was just teasing you." The boy replied, "No you weren't just teasing me, you were trying to kill me! If I were trying to kill someone, I would do this ..." Then suddenly he struck him with such a hard blow that the old man was scattered over the whole face of the earth. His body is the dark, rough stones that lay upon the ground. He had been abusing the humans. Whenever he lay with a woman she would die. The boy was one of the Thunders. The woman who was masquerading as a man told the princess the truth: "This is the one we were running from. My brother told me that if we were to survive, I must do as I have done." The princess graciously replied, "You may go and lie with my brother that he may become your husband." This was at night. Then she changed out of men's clothing back into the apparel of a woman and married the Thunderbird. When her brother finally arrived in the village, they gave him the princess to marry. There, in that village, they remained the rest of their lives.1

Commentary. "nt" — the title that Radin supplies on the cover of Notebook 35 and in the two typescripts is "The Big Stone." In Hocąk this should be Inixetega (in syllabic script, i ni xe te K). However, at the title spot at the top of the first page of Notebook 35 is the following in syllabic script: w nl i xA Le K. This is not in the hand of Sam Blowsnake. Two heavy bars, //, fall between the /i/ and the presumed /x/, occluding the first part of the letter. Only two lower case syllabic letters could preceed a syllabic /A/, /x/ or /r/. It clearly appears to be the former, reinforced by the fact that it was written in after the /A/ had been written, since it is superimposed on the lead line of the /A/, as can be seen below.

(It should be mentioned that the letter /i/ is usually represented by a dot only.) So this means that an original w nl i A Le K, had been corrected to make the /A/ into an /xA/. Transliterated, it is a change from wanapihareka to wanapixareka. The letter /x/ is the palatal /k/ which often sounds like an /h/. So the partly occluded letter is almost certainly an /x/. Once thus understood, we can see that this is a personal name, Wanąpixareka, from wanąpi, "beads"; xarék, "rough"; and -ka, a definite article used to form personal names. (The word wanąpi is "hand (nąp) made (-hi) thing (wa-).") This gives us the rather odd name, "Rough Beads"; however, of the grandfather in this story, to whom the English title "Big Stone" refers, it is said, "His body is the dark, rough stones that lay upon the ground." Therefore, the name "Rough Beads" is in keeping with his nature. This is discussed further below.

"in the fashion of men" — as we learn in the denouement section of the myth at its end, by inference, that both the brother and his sister are Nightspirits (or Hąhe, "Nights"). Nightspirits are said to cause the darkness of night, and are not mere passive associates of the nocturnal. This is why Thunders and Nightspirits are husband and wife — they are both agents of darkness, the Thunders coming as they do with the dark clouds and never the light ones, the dark clouds that occlude the sun and cut off its light, much the same sort of anti-solar activity that the Nightspirits perform nocturnally.

"female clothing" — apropos what has been said in the previous entry, the unique outer appearance (but definitely not the inner essence) of the female Night is the moon. As a female deity, Moon is part of the outer appearence because it is superimposed upon the black background of the nocturnal sky. So the moon and stars are like clothing, and the female Moon is therefore appropriately a kind of female garment. However, the moon wanes to complete oblivion for two or three nights a month. This is when the female Nights lose their "clothing."

"hollow of a tree" — as the moon wanes, it gets ever closer to the earth, which in the environment of the woodland Hocągara, is the trees. Eventually, it unites with the sun and the earth, and disappears from view. It is as though the moon has been stuffed inside a tree; and when it returns to the sky, it comes out of those same trees.

"hunting ability" — in Hocąk symbolism, especially in the Medicine Rite, Hąp, "Light," is used to denote Life. Radin often translated it, where appropriate, as "Light-and-Life." Therefore, the Nights, who bring darkness, are the extinguishers of light, and therefore are killers, since in extinguishing hąp, they extinguish metaphorical Life.

"she could send a stream farther than he could" — Nightspirit women are naturally associated with the great female deity of the night, Moon. Lunar women are often associated with urination (see 1). This is because the moon, in world mythology, is itself strongly bound up with fluidity, since it waxes and wanes, and its halo portends rain. Therefore, the moon in its rain powers, is necessarily bound up with the Thunders, whose clouds actually produce the rain. The female Nights are the mates of the Thunders, which brings these associations in full circle. The female Nights, therefore, are better at "urination" than their male counterparts. The Nights generally could also be associated with the dew that tends to appear in the mornings after the cooling of the intervening night.

"the second person to arrive seemed to be the weakest" — among the Nights, the females walk across the sky first, in the leadership position. For this reason, when the Sore Eye Feast is done in honor of the Nightspirits, and the circuit of the lodge is made by all those in attendance, the sisters lead the procession.

"he was able to locate them" — as lightning, the grandfather is particularly adept at finding trees and what they contain. As a form of luminary (wi) itself, lightning has an affinity to the moon, the luminary of the night (hąhe-wi-ra).

"this path" — the Nights arise in the east and travel west. In the far west where the sun sets at the edge of the world, is the dwelling place of the Thunders. It is they and they alone with which the Nights intermarry. In this story, she does in fact end up in a village of the Thunderbirds where she marries.

Quail (Partridge)
Colinus virginianus

"partridge" — the American "partridge" is the same as the quail or bobwhite (the genus Colinus). The quail is called wanįk žožuc, with variants, wanįk žožucge, and wanįgežožucge, where the terminal -ge indicates a generic name, and žo- is an emphatic reduplication of žuc, which means "whistle"; the word wanįk (wanįge before a consonant in a hyphenated expression), simply means "bird." So wanįk žožucge means, "the whistling bird par excellance." Miner gives the name for partridges as sikaksik, which seems to be from siką, "ankle," and ksik, "slim" (although the loss of the /ą/ in favor of an /a/ is an issue).

"the partridge belongs to him" — we learn from the story "The Quail Hunter," that "whenever a quail sings 'bobwhite' we know that it will soon rain." Therefore, as in that myth, the quail in effect summons the Thunders.

The "bob-bobwhite" call of the quail

The grandfather, as argued below, is identical to lightning. The quail/partridge as the whistling bird may associate itself with the whistling of the wind that comes with lightning and the thunderstorm. However, what seems more likely, is that because the call of the male is during the mating season, which occurs in the spring and summer, it is associated with rain as opposed to snow. 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 1890-1900.2

Deaths by Lightning, 1890-1900
Month Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Total 3 5 48 157 555 974 1,060 795 227 54 11 3

Outside the mating season, the quail would likely summons the Thunders in vain.

"the head" — this probably should have been more specifically "the eye." The Thunders shoot lightning from their eyes, and the partridge/quail as the herald of the Thunders can be treated as a counterpart, especially if the grandfather is to be identified with lightning. She is a Nightspirit, the essence of darkness, so her shot hits the head, counterpart of the seat of lightning, the opposite of darkness. The shot of her brother is likewise symbolic, as we see in the next entry. The female Nightspirit is more naturally associated with light, since the brightest source of light at night is the moon, which is a female deity.

"the wing"ex hypothesi, the grandfather is lightning. His bird then becomes, as the herald of the Thunders, an earthly counterpart to a Thunderbird. The Thunderbirds cause thunder by the flapping of their wings. So the brother has struck the grandfather's bird at the place symbolic of the noise of lightning. In complement to the female Nightspirit who has disabled the visual aspect of lightning, the male Nightspirit has disabled its audial aspect.

"a loud noise" — this indicates to the listener what we learn explicitly at the end of the story: that the boy is a Thunder.

"teasing" — if this were teasing, it would be ružic, "teasing by action," as opposed to ražic, "verbal teasing." Such teasing is appropriate only among those who have a "joking relationship" with one another, and since the grandfather has no kinship relation at all to the boy, no form of joking, let alone ružic, is in any way appropriate.

"dark" — it is this darkness that gives the grandfather a claim to be related to the Nightspirits and Thunders, for whom darkness is an essential part of their make up.

"rough" — as we have seen above, the name for the grandfather, and the original title of this story in Hocąk, was Wanąpixareka, "Rough Beads." He is identified with small, rough stones, and given his name, these stones ought to be about the size of beads. As a lightning figure, the grandfather ought to be identified with thunder stones, which are usually said to be smooth. The problem of their texture is easily solved, however, since the stones are internal in the Thunderbirds, and are therefore like the gastroliths called "gizzard stones" found inside mundane birds. The gizzard, or ventriculum, is the second stomach in a bird where stones are stored and used in mastication, a necessary evolutionary expediency, since birds do not have teeth. Common Loons, for instance, usually have 10-20 pea-sized stones in their gizzards for this purpose.3 In New England, the size ranges from 7.0-23.1 mm, with the mean at 12.5 (the mean is 10.7 in the southeast).4 Studies show that the stones found in the gizzard are hard,5 since the task to which they are put involves a great deal of friction. In order to masticate food, the gizzard crushes it within a set of rotating, grinding stones. The earliest scientific studies showed the great force of this process:

The Abbé [Lazzaro] Spallanzani [1729-1799] introduced a garnet, which is a very hard and angular stone, into the gizzard of a Wood Pigeon, and, in the course of a day, it was ground perfectly smooth, by the action of the gizzard. He also introduced a leaden ball stuck full of tin points, and another with fine lancets, into the gizzard of a Turkey, and in about 18 hours, the whole of the points were rubbed down. The gizzard also possesses an amazing power of compression. [René-Antoine Ferchault de] Réaumur [1683–1757] introduced into the gizzard of a Turkey tubes of tinned iron, seven lines in length, and two in diameter, closed with solder at each end; some were indented by the action of the gizzard, and others crushed flat. Similar tubes, introduced into the teeth of a vice, required the weight of about 440 lb. to produce the same effect.6

Stones may start off rough, but due to the tumbler-like action of the gizzard, in time they become rounded and smooth, even smoother than stream-polished rocks.7 So the smooth stones associated with the Thunders are merely typical of stones that have resided in the bird's gizzard, worn into round or oblong beadlike pebbles. Stones that have become so rounded and smooth that they have lost most of their grinding virtues are passed out the anus or regurgitated. Perhaps surprisingly, human stone artifacts are often enough taken into a bird's gizzard where they are worn smooth. This highly significant story is passed on to us by the flintknapper and experimental archaeologist Larry Kinsella,

I recently heard a story about a woman who worked in a plant that processed turkeys. They raised the birds near the plant in an area where there were Stone Age sites. This woman, after 30 years of working there, had found 32 arrow points amongst the gizzard stones that she would deliberately try to look through. She estimated approximately 80,000 turkeys had gone through her hands. So that would come to about one polished gizzard stone arrow point for every 2,500 turkeys!8

Polished Gizzard Stone Cahokia Points
© photo by Peter A. Bostrom

Small arrowheads from the Mississippian culture of Cahokia have been found with the characteristic smoothing of gastroliths, probably performed inside the gizzards of turkeys [see inset]. It has been suggested that even larger stone artifacts have been transported in the gizzards of the South American rhea.9 That the rough and sharp weaponized stones such as arrowheads can be recovered from birds in a smooth state, makes it clear to the hunter that the smooth thunder stone, the ultimate weapon, could plausibly issue from inside a supernatural bird, and originate as a small, rough stone.

"stones" — since lightning is a kind of stone, it is likely that only a Thunderbird could successfully break up a stone-being like the grandfather. Shortly after this event, we are told that the boy was indeed a Thunder. The grandfather seems to be the sort of rough black rock (flint) out of which thunder stones are made. Thunder stones were thought to be the essence of lightning, the association no doubt being established by the fact that striking flint gives off sparks reminiscent of lightning, suggesting that such is its spiritual essence, a kind of material equivalence in which the rock and its darting fire transmute from one to the other under the right circumstances. For more on thunder stones, see the Commentaries to "How the Thunders Met the Nights," and the "Dipper."

"whenever he lay with a woman she would die" — on the supposition that the grandfather is lightning (as the thunder stone), he not only has strong affinity to Nights by virtue of being black, but because his motion through the air embodies lightning, he is also the opposite, the source of the brightest light. Striking rocks together, a sudden friction, produces sparks, which are lightning in miniature. This is especially true of rough flint rocks. When the phallus becomes hard and ejaculates through friction, the result is a source of life; but when the flint rock itself ejaculates through friction, it produces "lightning." Lightning, as the product of the thunder stone, or sparks as the product of flint, are not ejaculates of life and reproduction, especially to Nightspirits. Light is the opposite of darkness, so lightning illuminates the night, "killing" the essence of the Nightspirits who are walking about spreading darkness. Thus, the ejaculate of black stones is fatal to the Nights.

"this was at night" — this is an allusion to the fact that the woman is a Nightspirit (whose emblems are reproduced in the inset).

"married the Thunderbird" — this proves that the woman, the boy's sister, was a Nightspirit, since the Thunders only marry women of this spirit race.

"her brother finally arrived" — as mentioned above, in the hierarchy of the Nightspirits, the women lead in the trek across the night sky so that it is the men who always arrive last of all in the west (where the Thunderbird villages lie).

"the princess" — this means that the brother is a Nightspirit, since the princess, being in the same village as the boy who is identified as a Thunder, is herself a Thunder, and Thunders only marry Nightspirits. That he is himself a Night is also shown by the fact that he is the brother of a Nightspirit.

Comparative Material. The strange power of the evil spirit to cause the death of any woman with whom he lay, is reminiscent of the curse placed upon King Minos of Crete in the Greek myth, who ejaculated scorpions, millipedes and other poisonous vermin, so that whoever lay with him did not survive the experience.10

Links: Rock Spirits, Thunderbirds, Nightspirits, Partridge, Bird Spirits, Lightning.

Stories: mentioning Rock Spirits: The Green Man, The Creation of the World, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Seer, The Roaster, Wojijé, The Raccoon Coat, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Hare Kills Flint, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, A Woman Turns into a Rock, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle; mentioning the Rough Rock Spirit (Big Stone): Spear Shaft and Lacrosse; 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, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, The Warbundle of the Eight Generations, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Origin of the Hocąk Chief, The Spirit of Gambling, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Black Otter's Warpath, Aracgéga's Blessings, Kunu's Warpath, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, The Glory of the Morning, The Nightspirits Bless Ciwoit’éhiga, The Green Waterspirit of the Wisconsin Dells, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Song to Earthmaker, The Origins of the Milky Way; about the interrelationship between Thunderbirds and Nightspirits: How the Thunders Met the Nights, Ocean Duck, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Sun and the Big Eater, The Nightspirits Bless Ciwoit’éhiga, Black Otter's Warpath; mentioning Nightspirits: The Nightspirits Bless Jobenągiwįxka, The Nightspirits Bless Ciwoit’éhiga, The Origins of the Sore Eye Dance, The Rounded Wood Origin Myth, How the Thunders Met the Nights, Fourth Universe, Battle of the Night Blessed Men and the Medicine Rite Men, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Ocean Duck, The Origins of the Nightspirit Starting Songs, Black Otter's Warpath, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Sun and the Big Eater; featuring partridges (quails) as characters: The Quail Hunter, Black and White Moons, The Spirit of Gambling, Partridge's Older Brother; 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, 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 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, 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 basswood: The Children of the Sun, Redhorn's Father, Bear Clan Origin Myth (v. 3), The Fox-Hocąk War, Hare Burns His Buttocks, The King Bird, Hare Kills Wildcat, Turtle's Warparty, The Birth of the Twins, The Messengers of Hare, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store.

Themes: an evil spirit unexpectedly appears to humans and is believed by them to be one of their own relatives: The Quail Hunter; internal stones: How the Thunders Met the Nights, Tecumseh's Bulletproof Skin; a female survives execution by assuming the attributes of a male: The Annihilation of the Hocągara II (inverse: male/female), Berdache Origin Myth (inverse: male/female), Bird Clan Origin Myth (inverse: male/female); an old man is, or becomes, a rock: The Raccoon Coat, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, The Seer, Red Cloud's Death; striking of an enemy whose body scatters over the face of the earth as a shower of stones: Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Hare Kills Flint; an evil spirit is smashed to pieces by a club: The Red Man, Waruǧábᵉra, Hare Kills Flint, Hare Kills a Man with a Cane; 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, Partridge's Older Brother, 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.


1 Paul Radin, "The Big Stone," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Notebook 35 (handwritten English translation); Winnebago IV, #7e (typescript); Winnebago IV, #8h (typescript).

2 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 [20].

3 Jack F. Barr, "Aspects of Common Loon (Gavia immer) Feeding Biology on its Breeding Ground," Hydrobiologia, 321 (1996) 119-144.

4 J. Christian Franson, Scott P. Hansen, Mark A. Pokras, and Rose Miconi, "Size Characteristics of Stones Ingested by Common Loons," The Condor, 103, #1 (Feb., 2001) 189-191 [190a].

5 Franson, et alia, "Size Characteristics of Stones Ingested by Common Loons," 190a, say that the typical stone is quartzite. However, birds ingest soft stones often enough, but they are little represented in gizzard samples because they so quickly grind up. Richard V. Dietrich, ZooGems & Curios > Gizzard Stones. Viewed, August 10, 2009. Personal communication from Oliver Wings to R. V. Dietrick, 2004.

6 Thomas Wood, The Mosaic History of the Creation of the World (New York: M'Elrath & Bangs, 1891 [1824]) 360.

7 "Light scattering measurements on gastroliths, suspected gastroliths, and stream-polished rocks are compared using the Kirchhoff approximation for scattering by rough surfaces. The results for suspected and known gastroliths are very similar. Stream-polished rocks, however, exhibit greater surface roughness. Light scattering appears to be a practical method for rapidly and non-destructively characterizing gastroliths." From the Abstract to Roger G. Johnston, Kim Manley, and Cheryl L. Lemanski, "Characterizing Gastrolith Surface Roughness with Light Scattering," Optics Communications, 74, #5 (Jan., 1990) 279-283.

8 From the website: Lithic Casting Lab > Recent Additions, p. 4 > #129: 1-31-2003, POLISHED GIZZARD STONE CAHOKIA POINTS. Viewed, August 11, 2009.

9 Robert L. Carneiro, "An Instance of the Transport of Artifacts by Migratory Animals in South America," American Antiquity, 24, #2 (Oct., 1958) 192-193.

10 Antoninus Liberalis, Transformations 41.