collected by Sam Blowsnake, ca. 1912
translated by Oliver LaMère
The following story is directly from Paul Radin's Notebook 58, a manuscript with numbers corresponding to the pages of a lost syllabic text. Pages 104-107 were found as a single loose page fragment inserted in another notebook (#59). The translation is in the style and hand of Oliver LaMère.
(1) There a village was. The chief was there and one who was there who was a brave man. The chief had ten sons and two daughters. One day the brave man came and asked the chief for one of his daughters that he might marry her. The brave man was impossible to kill. (2) Therefore they were afraid of him. He had many wives, for when he would ask thus for one and it was refused him, he would kill them. That was why they feared him. So he was told that his request for the woman was granted, but before night the woman ran away. (3) The brave man was deserted. The woman kept on in her flight as she had no special place to go to. She preferred death than to marry him, as the one that asked for her had already a long lodge full of women and he abused them. He made slaves of them, and sometimes he would kill one and eat her. (4) That was why she did thus. This man really commanded the villagers around at will, but they benefited by him in wars, as it was impossible to kill him.
Thus sometime had passed and the little girl that was there had grown up. She was the chief's youngest child. (5) She was old enough to get married. Then again the brave man came there. He came to ask to marry here. They granted him his request as he would kill her if they refused him. Therefore they were afraid of him. So he took her home with him to the long lodge. In the evening she stepped out, which he supposed was for a few minutes, (6) but she did not return. He ran to the chief's lodge in search of her. When he got there he asked for her. They said that she had not returned. Thus it was she had disappeared. The young girl kept right on, satisfied to die wherever she would. Thus she thought is why she kept on. As she had traveled a long way, finally, she became exhausted. Then in the distance she saw a high hill. (7) "Oh my! If I could only reach that hill and die there, I would be satisfied," she thought. Finally, she got there. "Here I can lie nicely in a prominent land mark," she thought. She started to climb the hill on her hands and knees. With great difficulty she climbed to the top. There on top she went and lay down. There she meant to die. (8) There in this hill lived one with his younger sister. And he said, "Now then, my younger sister, how could we let one die in our lodge, so go after her," he said. Then a woman came to her. "Younger sister, come home with me, as my older brother told me to come after you," she said. (9) She looked up and there unexpectedly stood a beautiful woman that was speaking to her, immediately she arose. The other turned and walked away and she followed her and she began to descend the hill, but there was no lodge in sight, so she thought it would be a long ways off. There in a ravine was a little spring of water and when they reached it, there unexpectedly a door swung open. (10) There they entered, and there unexpectedly was a nice lodge. The inside was crystal, and there was the woman's older brother. "Now then, younger sister, give some food to your younger sister and my younger sister," he said. So she dished food from the boiled food that was there. Dried corn with blueberries and beans without backs mixed it was. (11) Thus she dished out for him. Then when she was through eating, he said, "Now then my younger sisters, it is good that you live here. This is your lodge, and all the things that are in it are yours. So do as you please," he said to them. So there they remained. The man's scalp lock or queue was very long, (12) and his hair was very blue, and it was very good to look upon. He was a very handsome man, and every day they would take turns in combing his hair and braiding their older brother's queue. The girl was very poor at first, her skin only enwrapped her bones when she first arrived. (13) Before long, she became like her former self.
Then finally the brave man began to hunt for them. He intended to find them wherever they might be. And sometimes he would go by there, but he would not discover them. Then the man told them, "Younger sisters, the brave man that you fled from is looking for you," he said. The first princess that had fled was the one that was there first. (14) She had not recognized the younger one when she came because she was small yet when she left. Therefore, they did not know each other. Then he said, "Now then, younger sisters, you must go home. Our parents and my younger brothers are worrying about you ever since you came. (15) Never are they in good spirits. They are always mourning. They are always weeping, and you are at an age when women have what is called menses and it would not be right for you to be in that condition here. Therefore, you should go home, and when you get home you must marry the man that you fled from because he tried to marry you. He was always afraid of me, (16) and you in turn shall rule him. When he hears that you have returned home, he will come over right away, and he will ask, 'Are you going to marry me or not?' And you must answer, 'No, we are not going to marry you,' and then if he tries to harm you, and then if you say, 'Older brother Bluehorn, we are going to be harmed!' (17) I will arise up even there in your presence. Then there you must marry him," he said. "Now then, in your travel homeward, you may set the time when you wish to arrive home," he said. Then his sisters said, "Well older brother, it took us a long time to get here, therefore we would like to get back this evening at sunset," they said. (18) Then he said, "If you are willing to walk so far, although it is very near, but you have said it. It is just over the hill," he said. "So you may stop and rest every once in awhile and go on again. You must try and not tire yourselves, as it is very near," he said to them. (19) "And as often as I take a notion, I will come and see you, as I have grown use to you," he said. "And if you care to, you can come over and comb my hair every once in awhile as it is not far," he said. Then they came away. On the way they would take long rests and would only start again after a good rest. All day they did thus. In the evening they reached the edge of the clearing around the village, (20) and there they waited till dark and arrived home at night. Unexpectedly, they arrived home together. "Oh my, it is good that you have been alive. We thought that you had died somewhere," they said. Then the next morning they were told that the brave man had never given up hope. "If you have been getting along well, you had better go again. (21) And knowing that you are alive and well, we will get along without worry," they said. "He is looking for you all the time, and he says that if you are alive, he will find you. And as he had not found you, we were sure you were dead," they said. "Somewhere you must have died, we always thought," they said. (22) Even as they were talking, he had heard of them and he came. "Now then, you have done well to come back. You had done me wrong, although you are worthless women," he said. "Now then, what are you going to do? Are you really going to refuse to marry me?" he said to the oldest one. (23) "No! I am not going to marry you," she said, and the others talked much in fear, telling her to accept him. "Well, you really mean to say that?" he asked. "Yes, I really mean to say that!" "Ah, you worthless woman! I am a man, but you have caused me to say many words," he said, and he raised up his war club. (24) The woman cried out, "Older brother Bluehorn, I am about to be killed!" she said. "All right," he said, and rose up even there. Unexpectedly, he said, "Say Bluehorn, you brave man, I will not do anything. I did not know that these were your younger sisters. I will not do anything, but I will do as you tell me to do. (25) Bluehorn, you brave man, what can I do for you? Name it," he said. He was very afraid of him. He even sat down where he was at the door. Then Bluehorn said, "Stand up!" he said to him, and he stood up. (26) Then he said to him, "Go and sit between my younger sisters," he said to him. "All right!" he said. "These you shall stay with and you must always do as they tell you," he said to him. "All right," he said. He was very afraid of him. "All the women that you have in the longhouse, you must return them where you got them," he said to him. (27) "All right," he said, and went on out. One at a time he took them home. Not until evening did he return all of them. Then he returned. Bluehorn remained there overnight. Then the chief said to Bluehorn, "Now then, my son, you have done us a good thing, and we have nothing to make you happy with, but you may have charge of the village," he said to him. (28) "Now then, it is good, but I am not in a position to do that because how could I come here and live, as He did not create me that way," he said. "It is good. I took pity on you so I did this, and besides there is nothing else to trouble you in the future," he said to them. (29) They expressed their thanks.
Then it was night. So they went to bed. His sisters made a bed with the man. He asked, "Bluehorn, did you tell them to do this? They say they are going to lie down with me." "Yes," he told him. "Bluehorn, they are putting their arms around me, did you tell them to do it?" he asked again. "Yes," he answered again. (30) After sometime in the night, he asked again, "Bluehorn, your younger sisters are teasing me, did you tell them they could do so?" he asked. "Yes, I told them to do that," he said. Again about daybreak he said, "Bluehorn, your younger sisters have taken my breech cloth away from me, did you tell them to do it?" he asked again. (31) "Oh!" he said (in disgust), why do you talk so? Whatever they are doing, I told them to do it, so don't say that anymore. Whatever they do to you, don't say anything. Don't tell me about it," he said. He dreaded to have him tell him their next act, is why he said that. They had taken his breech cloth away from him and he dreaded to hear anymore of it was why he said it. (32) Then the next morning Bluehorn started for his home.
Then thus it was, the brave man became a slave. No matter how small a thing he would do, he would always get permission from the women. Still he was a great man, he was a good hunter. He would pack home a deer one day and the next day he would pack home a bear. Thus he did alternately. They benefitted very much by him. (33) And finally he became the chief. As they benefitted very much by him and he was very good natured. Finally, one of the women gave birth to a child, as they were both pregnant. And nearly at the same time the other one also gave birth to one. They both had boys. (34) The brave man was very proud of them, as he had never had any children by his former wives. Therefore, he was very fond of them. Then Bluehorn came there to see his nephews. He was very fond of them. He would never let go of them. He would stay there awhile and go home again, (35) but he would soon return again. From that time on he went back and forth. He was very fond of his nephews. Before long, they were big. As they grew older they were very active, and when they were able to walk, they were more so. (36) And finally they would play outside. Then Bluehorn made them four whittled arrows apiece and bows. From that time on they would shoot arrows and would go farther away from their lodge. And they began to go farther and farther out. The women would take turns in going to comb their older brother's hair, every day, (37) as it was very near. Bluehorn was a spirit and they were empowered by him, so it seemed very near to them. Finally, the boys would go to their uncle's lodge, and he was very glad to see them. From that time on, they did not leave any part of the earth untrod. (38) Then the oldest of the two sisters thought that the younger one was getting the most attention from their brother and she became jealous of her younger sister. And the one's child was always the greater of the two in everything.
(39) One day, as the older one went over to comb her older brother's hair and as she attended to his hair, it felt so soothing that he fell asleep. There were four lodge poles in the lodge and it was in the middle of this that he fell asleep. And as he slept and as his queue was very long, (40) she made it into four parts and she tied each one to the four poles. She tied them very tight so that she would be unable to get loose. Thus she did and came out and left the door open. After she got beyond hearing distance, she said, "Thunders, you always longed for Bluehorn, (41) here I have tied him up for you!" she said shouting. Right away the Thunders started to come, and immediately they got to him. They battled for a long time. They were unable to kill him for a long time, not until he had killed four were they able to tie him up. They bound him with irons. The man was tied with his back bent backwards very much. Then they took him home. (42) His nephews were on the eastern edge of the continent at the time, and the younger one said, "Say, I believe that is at our uncle's place. I wonder why they are doing that," he said. "Say, let's go back there," they said and started to run. When they arrived there, unexpectedly the door was open. (43) When they came there they said, "Oh my, our uncle must be harmed!" They entered the lodge and unexpectedly it was filled with smoke. "Oh my, our uncle!" they said, and unexpectedly, there lay four dead Thunders. "Oh my, the homely things, I suppose that they were the ones who did it," they did say. (44) They threw them outside. And when the smoke had cleared away, the lodge used to be nice and neat, but unexpectedly, it was all blackened. And his queue, which was tied to the poles, was burnt in two and the stubs remained on the poles yet. (45) "Oh my, this is the work of the jealous one," they said. Then their mothers came there and they knew that it was their mother that had done it, as the younger one told them of it. Then they struck her with their bows and killed her. And they burnt up the four dead Thunders. "Where could they escape to? (46) They shall repent," they said. "Now then, let us go as our uncle must be thinking about us," they said.
Then they started. In the evening they got to a village, and on the end was a small oval lodge and there they entered. "My grandsons, I have boiled for you and it is ready. (47) After you have eaten, then I will tell you a few things," she said. Then she dished out for them and gave them food. When they were through eating, they handed back the dish to her. Then she said, "My grandsons, it has been four days since your uncle was taken by here. He went by singing the Prisoner's Song, and he sang of his nephews. He said his nephews were clever and he sang of them. (48) 'My nephews, see my bones!' he did sing, and then his feet were eaten," she said. Ah, the boys' hearts became very sore. "Ah, they must have made our uncle suffer very much," they did say. There they slept all night and started on again the next morning. They traveled all day. In the evening, (49) they again came to a village. There on the end of the village was a small oval lodge and there they entered. It was an old woman that lived there. "My grandsons have come," she said. "Now then grandsons, I have boiled for you and it is cooked. When you get through eating then I shall tell you a few things," she said. Then she dished out for them. When they had finished eating, (50) they handed back the plate to her and then, "Now then, grandsons, it has been three days since your uncle was taken by here. Up to his knees they ate of him, and he sang the Captured One's Song, as he went by. He was bound with irons. He sang of his nephews, 'My nephews, you were always cleaver, (51) therefore, try and get to see my bones.' Thus he sang by here," she said. "Oh, the homely fellows that they are that are doing it! They must have caused our uncle to suffer very much," they said. Then the next morning they started again, and traveled all day. Again in the evening they came to a village. There at the end of the village was an oval lodge and there they entered. (52) Then said the old woman that was there, "My grandsons, I have boiled for you and it is already cooked. When you have finished eating, then I shall tell you a few things. Then she dished out food for them and gave it to them. When they had finished eating and had given back the dish to her, then, "Now then, my grandsons, since your uncle was taken by here, (53) it has been two days. Above his knees he was eaten up. He went by singing the Captured One's Song. He sang of his nephews as he went by, 'My nephews, you are cleaver. You must at least see my bones,' he said, as he went by here," she said. "Oh my uncle! If there was something I was unable to accomplish, they would have made my heart very sore, the homely fellows!" they did say. (54) They began to get angrier. Then the next morning they went on again and traveled all day again. Along in the evening they came to a village. There at the end of the village was an oval lodge where they entered. There was an old woman inside. She said, "Now then, my grandsons, (55) I boiled for you and it is cooked. When you get through eating, then I shall tell you a few things," she said, and dished out food for them. When they had finished eating and had given back her dish, then she said, "Now then, my grandsons, your uncle was taken by here even this morning. Up to his thighs he was eaten up, (56) and even some of his thighs were eaten. He went by singing the Captured One's Song. He sang of his nephews, 'My nephews, you were always clever. You must see my bones,' he said as he went by," she said. Then they said, "Now then, they shall repent, whatever they are that did it. They knew me, but they did it. (57) If they did it because they are willing to combat us, in the morning when we reach them, I am going to bring back my uncle," he said, and the other one also said the same. They both said it.
Then the next morning they were already started. Already they reached him. There was a very large village. (58) There they went under the earth. Where their uncle was sitting, there they came up from the earth and in each of his ears they entered. "Uncle, we have come," they said. "Oh my nephews, I said they were clever," he said. In the middle of a long lodge, (59) he was bound. He was bound with iron, and the long lodge was seated fully. They were in the midst of the smoke made by their smoking. And the attendants were putting on the kettles as they were about to boil him. Then there they arose and stood. "Now then, we shall fight as you have caused our uncle much pain. And you have done it to us," they said. (60) And they scattered in every direction and the doors were overcrowded. "Try and save yourselves," they said to one another. Then they broke up his iron fetters and they carried him and started home. One would carry him and the other would fight. After they had started away, then they chased them. (61) There the younger fought them, and he just slaughtered them as he was maddened with anger. He did it in his utmost anger at them, that was why he slaughtered many of them. So they finally gave up. "Let us stop as we are being slaughtered. Let us stop," said one, so they stopped and went back and he started to give chase to them again. (62) And he nearly killed all of them. When he was going to let up on them, he ordered them about, as there was only a few left and there he got together and ordered them about and talked to them. "Never again as you go on in time, should you cease to take care in this. Whatever you kill, don't kill any of the Creator's good spirits that he created. (63) Don't do this again. I could end you as you have done wrong, but it would be a wrong to the Creator, that is why I have not ended you. This you must look out for in the future," he said to them. He was speaking to the Thunders.
Then he went home, (64) and on the way, he caught up to them. There they stayed all night with their uncle, and the amount that was eaten of him there came back to him. From there they started on again and they got to the next village. They saw them and they said, "They are taking their uncle back with them," they said. Again, the amount that was eaten of him when they got there, (65) that much came back to him again. When they got to the village the third time, again there was a great commotion. "They are taking back their uncle with them. This must be the reason he sang of them when he was taken by here. They are surely clever," they were saying. Again the amount that was eaten off of him there came back to him again. Then when they got back to the fourth village, (66) there he became whole, like his former self. When they saw them there again, they marveled at them. "Thus it is, is why he sang about his nephews when he went by. He sang that they were clever and he spoke the truth," they were saying. From there the three of them went home together. Their uncle had become like his former self. (67) Then they arrived back to their uncle's place.
Unexpectedly, there their mother was in mourning, with her hair loose and very pitiable. Then when their uncle entered, the lodge became as it used to be. The inside was all black, but it became crystal again. (68) There his sister was, very pitiable. Then he said, "Oh my, my younger sister, if I had really died, thus my sister would have been. Very pitiable is my younger sister," he said. And there he fixed up his sister. He seemed to get cloth from anywhere. Very much dry goods he placed before his sister. (69) Then he said, "Now then, how can she remain in death? So therefore, my younger sister, you go and get your older sister," he said. So she went out and went where she had been thrown, and there unexpectedly the flies were making a great commotion over her. Her bones only were enwrapped by her skin. Then she stood her up. (70) "What a nice thing you are doing. Arise and go forth. You have done a great wrong." When she said thus, she walked forth. Then she told her to go to the lodge. When she entered there, again her son said, "Mother, if you had really died, I would not have cared. You have caused uncle to suffer very much. You have done a very shameful thing. (71) It was not our wish, but uncle said so, therefore you have come to life. You must never again get jealous of anyone," he said. Then she said, "My older brother, you younger sister, and my son, it would suit me better if I had died. I have done a shameful thing, so let me die. I am ashamed of what I have done. (72) It is not right, therefore, just let me die. I would die. I do not wish to continue my life," she said. Then Bluehorn said, "My younger sister, nevertheless you will live, as you have come to know that you have done wrong and you will never do it again. (73) So therefore don't think anything about it. In peace you shall live together in the future," he said to her. Then all the things that he had given his younger sister, he also gave her the same amount. Then he said again, "Now then, my nephews, what you have done for me, I am thankful for. And if there is anything that I could please you with, it is this. (74) I give you this lodge as your prize. This you may ever live in. And as for myself, I will go and lie deep somewhere, my life on earth has not resulted well, and this may not be the only time that such may happen to me. And my nephews, if you had not done this, it would have been shameful, (75) as I would really have been killed," he said. Then their uncle went back under the earth and clear to the bottom of the earth he went and lay. He was one of the chief Waterspirits, that was why he was called "Bluehorn." He was a Buffalo Spirit. He was the chief of the buffaloes, but he was a Waterspirit, it is said. (76) From that time on the boys lived in the lodge and they would always go to it as their home.
Then the boys began to roam over the earth and from that time on they considered no one a spirit. All the things that ought not to be, they killed. (77) And sometimes they would return to their father's place. Then they would go again and would not return for a long time. Finally, one day they said to their parents, "Mother, father, we are going to travel around over the earth and whenever your life on earth is ended, (78) then you can go and live in our uncle's lodge as uncle gave it to us, but we are not able to live anywhere," they said. There they gave their lodge away. Then they started and they never stopped anywhere. They went over all the earth. There they were going once when unexpectedly they saw a lodge in the distance. When they got near it, (79) unexpectedly, it was a beaver lodge. "Well, go and head it off, as I will go to the mouth of the hole and start it up," said the oldest one. There they headed it off from either side. Then one of them went and caved the big hill in which it was, and on it rushed. There the other waited for it and speared it to death. (80) It was a bob-tailed Waterspirit. There they cut it to pieces and boiled it, and there they ate very much. They ate it up. There was this bad Waterspirit on top of the earth which they had killed. There this one lay and it went so that it was impossible for any people to go by there. (81) This is what they had killed.
There they had just eaten the spirit up and started to climb a big hill, and when they got to the top, there unexpectedly they met something which they feared. "Now then Flesh, it is what is called a Lo de we. [rucewe]. So try and save yourself," he said and started to run. (82) They looked back and there unexpectedly it was chasing them yet. On it chased them and would not let up on them, and they fled all over the earth, and there was no refuge anywhere on earth for them. As they were the only ones that were feared, but even they were being chased. (83) Therefore, it was getting very difficult, and he would not let up on them. Finally, they said, "What are we going to do?" they asked one another. "Whom could we run to for refuge," they said, but they did not know of anything. "We have not let any spirits live on earth, (84) but even us he is doing this to. So what else could help us?" they said. Then the youngest one said, "Say, I think something. We are not the greatest ones. The Great One must have made us, so the best thing we can do is go to him. Thus I think," he said. "Now then, you have spoken the truth. I did not know of it. (85) There we shall go," they said. So they went up. Finally, where the Maker of Things is, there they arrived. The thing was still chasing them, and as soon as they got there they entered in. "Now then, my children, you have done well, as I wanted you here," he said. (86) "Our father, a thing called rucewe has chased us, and we had no refuge, therefore we have run to you for refuge, as we wish to live," they said. "Now then, my children, you shall live. I have sent him myself, as I wished this of you. (87) I wanted you to come here as I wanted to talk to you. He is outside and it is a bird. It is a chief bird, and he has never done anything wrong. Therefore, I had him to work for me, and he has come back fulfilling the work. And all the work that was desired of you, you have accomplished all of it. (88) All the spirits on earth were the ones that thought thus of you. The Great Spirits that I made, I made eight of them, and one of them was harmed before you lived. Then all of my creation gathered together. (89) Then they said thus, that you would live a clever life. All that there were, each of them donated some of his holiness. All the things that you have seen, they are the cause of your living a holy life. In the beginning, your uncle, one with knife inlaid arms, (90) the red star, he was the one you were intended to help. Therefore you have lived thus. They did it that you might overcome the Bad Spirit, and I also added a big part out of my holiness, and thus you lived. (91) And thus you have done. Thus far you have taken the parts of the spirits that I created, and you also helped the poor people that I created. You have done well in this, and this is the third time you went and lived among them, but you did not know of this. (92) You thought that you lived of yourselves. And the good spirits that I made, you began to get near to them also. You made me uneasy. You might do something dreadful I thought. So that is why I wanted you to come here. So I sent this bird down there to you. Now you have ended all the things that were not good, (93) you have at last. The people will live in peace. And wherever you would be contented, there you should settle down from now on. That earth belongs to the people. You have cleared it all up for them so let them live in it themselves from now on," he said to them. (94) There he let the bird come in and it was a male turkey. He was one of the kind that has long hanging skin on their heads. He spread his tail feathers and made a noise in his stomach and held all his feathers out and looked big, and dragged his wing feathers on the ground and walked about. Thus he was doing when they saw him and became afraid of him. (95) "Now then, our father, it is good," they said.
And when they came away, they brought the male turkey with them. That is why they exist on earth. Then they looked about for a place to live. They went down the Missouri looking for a place to live. (96) Then when they got to where the Missouri empties into the Mississippi, then they went up that river again. Then where the Wisconsin River empties into the Mississippi, opposite the river is a high cliff with perpendicular banks. There within it they live. (97) There both of them lived, it is said. Here of late years some Indians fasted there and they blessed them. Therefore, they know just exactly where they live, they say. Then as they lived there, once Flesh said, "Well, younger brother, (98) I have had a good dream. We often dream of things, but a man was given to me, I dreamt. So I will give a feast," he said. Then on their center lodge poles they painted all kinds of animals. Then he had no more than finished it, than he shot it with an arrow and he shot down a big bear. (99) This they singed and boiled. "Now then, as there are no people, we will partake of the feast ourselves," he said. So when they had it cooked, they broke some twigs and put them on it and there they ate it. They dished it out on some twigs and ate it. (100) "Now then, I am going to walk (going to war) and who else could be my attendant except you?" Then there they went up the river. They went up the Mississippi River. Then a little distance down the stream from La Crosse, he told him to go and scout around, so he went. "Now then, war chief, the one you came for is quite unaware of any danger," he said. (101) Thus he did four times. He went to see him four times. Then when they arrived there, he called on his younger brother to do the killing. So he approached very softly to a hill that was there and shot at it. There it started to run. There he shot at a Waterspirit on the run. Thus did Flesh's younger brother and Flesh went along on top of the hill. (102) The spirit would try to enter other spirit's homes, but they would not open the door for him. Finally, Flesh said, "You use to talk so much, why don't you kill it?" he said. So there he killed it. Then he said, "I thought in his attempts to enter the other homes, if some of them opened up for him, then we would have two, is why I did it, (103) as I thought if this was the only one, it would not be enough for us," he said. "Well, you are right. I did not think of that," he said. Then under a cliff that was there, there they cut it up. There they skinned it and cut it up and boiled it. (104) Then Little Ghost said, "Say Flesh, here the people will roam and here they shall ever see our
The following was discovered as a fragment in another notebook (#59) and is now reunited with its proper text.
works. So here let us draw ourselves," he said. "All right! We shall do that," they said. After they had the food on to boil, they took some of the blood that was spilled over the ground, (105) and there they drew the Waterspirit. They drew his face round, and they drew its tail very long, and they drew its body very long. Then there they drew their own pictures. So there they have been seen lately, (106) and it was the work of the Twins. It is on the Mississippi River, just below La Crosse. There they did their last work, and this was it, and just down the stream from this are the Twins even now. This is the last story acted. (107) It is an act that was done lately and they were even among the people. Thus it is meant. Therefore, the blood that they pictured themselves with, some of it was scrap[ed] off and mixed with medicine because it was Waterspirit blood that they had used.
Now then, it is ended.1
Commentary. "a brave man" — this is a literal translation of the Hočąk, wąk-wawošewe, which means, "brave" or "warrior." This warrior proves to be the sun.
"ten sons and two daughters" — the number 12 would appear to have no other significance that the number of moons in a year. On the other hand, if the chief represented the Thunder Clan and his wife, say, the Waterspirit Clan, then his sons could represent the remaining 10 clans (Eagle, Hawk, Pigeon, Buffalo, Bear, Wolf, Deer, Elk, Snake, and Fish). The two daughters could then represent the two moieties. Alternatively, then, the 12 offspring could just be the 12 clans of the Hočąk nation.
"he would kill them" — meaning that he would kill her. We do not have the Hočąk text, but the expression in Hočąk is most likely, t'ewahis'aže. The -wa- infix, normally a prefix, denotes the object of the verb, and is usually taken to be plural, but may also be singular, as in the common, wa'ų-, "he did this." Its real meaning is, t'e, "to die"; wa-, "it, them, etc."; -hi, "to cause, to make"; -s'a, "always, usually, habitually, would"; so the whole expression means, "he would cause her/them to die." When it comes to conjunction with the moon or Morning Star, the sun does not accept "no" for an answer. Morning Star and the moon are destined for conjunction with the sun. This conjunction can be view metaphorically or allegorically in at least two ways: as marriage, because the sun and moon (or Morning Star) are united; or as death, because the sun takes its conjunct and causes it to disappear so that it no longer rises from the earth (inhumation).
"the woman ran away" — it is clear from the subsequent action that this woman is the elder sister mentioned below. She proves to be the Morning Star in this allegory. She leaves before nightfall, that is while it is still day. In fact the Morning Star is first seen in the light of the morning when it starts to separate from the sun, just as she is doing in this allegory. She doesn't have far to go, as the lodge of Bluehorn is the blue sky with which he is identified.
"eat her" — the sun is noted for his ravenous appetite, not only in Hočąk thought, but in world mythology. The sun appears to swallow up whatever comes into conjunction with it. Moons in particular are thought to be food for the evil spirits, who are said to eat away the full moon until nothing is left.
"he took her home with him" — the Brave is the Sun, so his taking her (the Moon) home with him is a simple allegorical description of conjunction.
"in the evening she stepped out" — when the moon leaves conjunction, it is first seen in the evening as a sliver. Clearly, Evening Star, another expression of Bluehorn, is not in the sky, or she would have encountered him almost immediately.
"as she had traveled a long way" — as the moon leaves conjunction it travels in the opposite side of the celestial sphere from the sun, finally reaching opposition.
"climbed to the top" — the moon climbs higher and higher in the sky as it leaves conjunction.
"she meant to die" — after reaching this height and distance, the moon begins to wane or "die."
"a woman came to her" — this proves to be Morning Star. The Hočąk Morning Star is a male deity who is on occasion portrayed in a positive light, however, this story is pro-Waterspirit, and takes a different point of view. However, by making Morning Star a sister of Bluehorn, and thus disguising and mitigating "her" impact, what the myth is exploring is the astronomy of conjunction, especially as it pertains to Bluehorn. In this capacity, Morning Star serves as a sister to the moon and to Bluehorn (as the blue sky). The journey of the elder sister to her lunar sibling is an allegorical description of Morning Star rising into the sky until it comes into proximity with the waning ("dying") moon.
"a beautiful woman" — this certainly fits the appearance of Morning Star.
"to descend the hill" — the waning moon gets ever closer to both the sun (ignored in this part of the allegory) and the horizon, the base of the "hill" (celestial sphere).
"a little spring of water" — this is a scherzo. What we really have is a representation of the Te Ją, the Ocean Sea at the edge of the world. The door to Bluehorn's lodge is the place of conjunction, which is sometimes expressed as living on or beneath the earth (mą), or as being submerged into the Ocean Sea, here symbolized by a spring (also denoted by the word mą).
"a door" — this is the door to Bluehorn's lodge, the abode of the blue sky. Both the moon and Morning Star have achieved conjunction, but the allegory proceeds without mentioning the sun. The door for the blue sky would be where it enters the celestial sphere. It is therefore where the blue sky rises in the east. This is where both the moon and Morning Star descend. The door is used to replace the sun. Since whatever is in conjunction does not rise into the sky, they may be thought of as residing not in the sun (or "fire") but on or in the earth.
"the inside was crystal" — this is the standard description of the abode of a Waterspirit, who would also live inside a hill. This is reinforced by the stream that flows out of the hill.
"the boiled food" — this takes place at the edge of the world where the sun (fire) meets the Ocean Sea (water), so naturally things here are boiled, an image exploited more than once in this story (1, 2), as well as in related myths (1).
"dried corn with blueberries and beans without backs" — Indian corn was polychrome, which means that some of its was white, and because it has been processed (specifically, dried), it is in the form of individual kernels. The term for dried corn, wa-rus-gu, appears to mean, "corn taken to grow," that is, seed corn. Morning Star is like a kernel, and most of the time it is not in the sky ("growing"). Then it is very much like seed corn. It is kept stored below ground, rather like the Morning Star when in conjunction. When Morning Star does "grow" it never achieve any great height, and does not come anywhere near the zenith during its sojourn in the sky. Its brilliant white recalls not only popcorn, which is prepared from dried corn, but the fact that the stem meaning "corn" is wa-, which also means "snow." Blueberries (has-tį-nįk) are also small (nįk) and can be dried (hastįk´-dawús) to be stored underground. They are spherical and when unripe, are reddish, making them an analogue to Evening Star, the Red Star, which before it "matures," is low on the horizon and reddish in color. Like corn, the blueberry bush does not grow high above ground. However, most importantly, blueberry is blue, the important symbolic color of Bluehorn contained in his very name, and denoting not only waters ("juice"), but the rounded dome of the blue sky. Beans without backs are crescent shaped like the moon, and their green color is also the color with which the crescent moon is inscribed on the white deerskins offered in sacrifice to that deity. So the three boiled foods mixed together correspond to the three deities who live in a state of conjunction together in the lodge of Bluehorn.
"queue was very long" — Bluehorn proves to be a Waterspirit, as well as a figure of the blue sky. So the blue not only stands for the sky, but for water, the special spiritual possession of the Waterspirits, and represented by the color blue. Waterspirits in their normal form have extremely long tails as a rule, so long that they are often portrayed as wrapping around hills. The long blue queue may also serve to represent the same thing, the long channels of water often hidden underground, that emerge as springs.
"his hair was very blue" — this represents the blue sky as well as water, both exemplifying the emblematic color of the Waterspirits. The Hočąk he not only means "horn," it also means "top," so the name Hečoga, "Blue-horn," would also be homonymously, "Blue-top." The blue top of the world is the sky.
"her skin only enwrapped her bones when she first arrived" — this describes the condition of the crescent moon as it leaves conjunction, reduced only to a sliver. She has not run far away in terms of the length of her path, as the lodge of Bluehorn, the Evening Star, is not far from her native village.
"they did not know each other" — why are there two sisters? Since we know that one of the sisters is a moon from other parallel stories, it is tempting to see them both as moons, one older and existing prior to the birth of the other. However, they cannot both be moons, as they could not be in Bluehorn's lodge simultaneously. As we learn from subsequent events, the elder sister enters Bluehorn's lodge (the blue sky), meets her lunar sister, travels with her to the village of the sun, cohabits with the sun at the same time as her lunar sister, is a sister to Bluehorn, has some special affinity to the Thunderbirds, and gives birth to one of the Twins. Almost all of these would fit the night sky. However, the night sky does not really travel with the moon, and definitely does not cohabit with the sun in his own lodge. This latter imagery belongs to conjunction, since it is the only time that the sun and moon seem to physically unite. Therefore, the elder sister, since she too is cohabiting with the sun at the same place, time, and way, as her lunar sister, must also be in conjunction. Therefore, the candidates for being the elder sister must be restricted to those astronomical objects that can come into conjunction with the sun. These would be Morning Star, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter. Of these, only Morning Star enjoys a special relationship with the Thunderbirds, and only this star (when it is in the sky at all) is always near the moon when it comes into conjunction with the sun. Furthermore, only it is bright enough to be seen along with the moon in the blue sky, the lodge of Bluehorn. The oddity here is that the Hočągara do not believe in a female Morning Star — they believe in a powerful male deity, one of the Great Ones. Nevertheless, the myth seems to explore the relationship between sun, moon, sky (and Evening Star) and Morning Star. For the purposes of the myth, the sex of Morning Star is changed. The myth is therefore fundamentally an allegory, such that there are no consequences to changing the sex of Morning Star to describe fundamental cosmic processes involving the "star" and other forces of the Upper World. "Cohabitation" is not really a sexual relation, it is a kind of intimacy that is merely analogous to it. Morning Star, as an astronomical object does in fact satisfy all the criteria for being the elder sister:
|1.||Born before her lunar sister.||Rises before the sun in the east where the day begins, whereas the moon appears after sunset in the west when it is new.|
|2.||Flees the embraces of the warrior.||Rises ahead of the sun after conjunction.|
|3.||Resides in the lodge of Bluehorn.||Appears in the day sky of the east.|
|4.||Sister of Moon.||Both shine in early daylight, often in proximity to the same "village" (of the sun).|
|5.||Sister to Bluehorn.||Morning Star is the brother of Bluehorn, and the counterpart of Evening Star.|
|6.||She is beautiful.||The Morning Star is brilliant and pure white.|
|7.||Travels with her sister back to the village of the warrior.||When going into conjunction, Morning Star approaches the sun near the eastern horizon like the moon which is nearby when both are in the sky. It is from this spot that they both originated.|
|8.||Cohabits with the sun at the same time as her lunar sister.||Morning Star can achieve conjunction with the sun at the same time as the moon.|
|9.||The sun lies between the two sisters.||The moon achieves conjunction with the sun below the horizon, whereas Morning Star reaches it above the horizon.|
|10.||Gave birth to one of the Twins.||Morning Star, by some accounts, should be the uncle of the Twins (since he is the brother of Evening Star). Morning Star is the exact counterpart to matutine Mercury (by hypothesis, one of the Twins).|
|11.||The elder sister stands opposed to Bluehorn.||Evening Star and Morning Star are mortal enemies.|
|12.||Has affinities with the Thunderbirds.||Morning Star is the founder of the Thunderbird Clan; he is associated with clouds, having the byname, "He Who is Wrapped in Blankets"; his brothers are clouds.|
|13.||The elder sister causes Bluehorn to be successfully attacked and partly dismembered.||Morning Star attacks Evening Star during a smoking contest, then beheads him.|
|14.||She is killed by the Twins.||Morning Star is killed by the Twins in other versions.|
|15.||The elder sister is revived.||The Morning Star, seemingly dead after conjunction, always reappears later in the sky.|
In the initial allegory, we might add, it becomes clear that all the action takes place along the eastern horizon where Morning Star would be found.
"what is called menses" — menstruation is associated with the moon in most cultures, not only because of a rough approximation of the time of the cycle, but because the moon governs flowing liquids owing to its own fluid waxing and waning. The moon wanes completely at the end of its cycle, and it is at this time that it leaves the blue sky (the lodge of Bluehorn) and comes into conjunction ("marriage") with the sun. The flow of blood may reduplicate a similar theme in other Bluehorn myths in which his nephews pick at the scabs on his neck where he had been decapitated. This caused his blood to flow. The blood, and his being identified as a "red star," stems from the ruddy horizon of sunset. The crescent moon, approaching conjunction, will also "bleed" in this way, albeit on the opposite (eastern) horizon. At this time and place the moon ends its monthly period with a period. Morning Star occupies this same place as it approaches conjunction.
"it would not be right for you to be in that condition here" — women who were menstruating were put in their own hut a little distant from the lodge, since it was thought that a menstruating woman could endanger the power of a man's war weapons.
"I will arise up even there in your presence" — this is a promise addressing her treatment after marriage. After conjunction ("marriage"), the moon appears in the western sky as a crescent very near the Evening Star. Once the sun starts to set, Evening Star appears with the moon out of the blue (Evening Star's "hair"). He therefore rises both as Evening Star and the blue sky in the very presence of the declining sun. The sun sets with Evening Star standing above him, with the moon nearby. His dominant position in the sky is an expression of his superior power. Similarly, the blue sky stands above the rising sun. It appears when the crescent moon is just coming out of conjunction, and the blue sky appears where Morning Star is in the sky (also after conjunction) before the sun fully rises. So Bluehorn rises up before both sisters, the moon and Morning Star, after their sojourn with the sun.
"this evening at sunset" — as they move towards conjunction, both the moon and the Morning Star rise during the wee hours of the morning, when it is dark, although not immediately at sunset.
"to walk so far, although it is very near [and] it is just over the hill" — this is where the allegory makes the text look paradoxical. The setting sun is just on the other side of the hill. This means that the door to Bluehorn's lodge, the sky, is facing east, and the setting sun is at the back of his lodge. His "lodge" with its arching vault, stretches from one horizon to the other. In a month, the moon actually walks in a circle, starting in the village of the sun and ending back there again. To return the way they came, they need only go over the hill, which symbolizes the vault of the sky. In fact the door to the sky-lodge opens on the rising point of the sun. The moon and Morning Star take different and circuitous routes, but arrive at the village of the sun (eastern horizon) together.
"so you may stop and rest every once in awhile and go on again" — in their journey towards the sun, every day their motion seems to cease when the light of the sun causes them to disappear into the blue sky.
"all day they did thus" — in keeping with the allegory immediately above, they "rest" during the daylight hours, thus making the expression "all day" (hąpserečį) quite literal.
"the edge of the clearing" — this symbolizes the horizon, where the moon, descending to the horizon the day of its conjunction, will meet the sun after the moon sets (see the commentary above). The Morning Star, of course, is nearby.
"at night" — the moon arrives at the eastern horizon ("clearing of the village") while it is still dark (night) in the days just before its conjunction ("marriage"). The actual conjunction takes place below the horizon (inside the village). Morning Star is often present as the moon travels to conjunction and the two are often seen very close to one another, low in the eastern sky.
"together" — it is possible for the moon and Morning Star to achieve conjunction at the same time.
"he was very afraid of him" — this is an image of the sky being dominant over the sun (as, for instance, the way that Zeus is superior to Apollo). In his role as Evening Star, he also stands above the sun and is literally superior. The reduction of the sun to a virtual slave is very similar to worldwide mythic themes in which the overbearing and misshapen sun is brought to heel and trimmed of its excess, a process sometimes expressed in physical terms (see below).
"go and sit between my younger sisters" — the conjunction of the sun and moon takes place below the horizon, that of Morning Star and the sun takes place in the sky, so it is as if the moon and Morning Star are on opposite sides of the sun.
"all the women that you have in the longhouse" — this shows an appreciation of the fact that many celestial objects come into conjunction with the sun. The greatest of these is the moon, to whom he now gives his full attention. In the universe of discourse established by this allegory, the wives of the sun may be the visible planets (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) with whom he has come into conjunction, or perhaps the stars of the ecliptic in whose "houses" he resides, although in this allegory, they are said to reside in his lodge.
"one at a time he took them home" — of course, if each of these wives is a moon or a zodiac star, then during their sojourn in the house of the Sun, the sun escorts them to the opposite horizon (east) where they originated. This is just another image of the relationship of sun and moon during conjunction, the one traveling with the other as an escort. Once the moon appears again in the west, the two part company.
"not until evening did he return all of them" — whenever the sun returns to his home in the west, it is just after sunset and therefore evening.
"Bluehorn remained there overnight" — Bluehorn's residence in the lodge of the sun is the conjunction of Evening Star, so is the "setting" of the blue sky. So he is there during the night, since during the day he manifests himself as the blue sky.
"He" — that is, Mą’ųna or Earthmaker, who is said to have created Bluehorn with his own hands, as he did each of the other Great Ones (Xetera).
"the next morning" — this is when the blue sky ascends.
"and nearly at the same time the other one also gave birth to one" — these prove to be the famous Twins, Ghost and Flesh. The simultaneity is designed to make them more like twins. This shows that the warrior is the sun, since the Twins are always said to be the Children of the Sun. Since they are said to be the offspring of the Sun and Moon, it should follow that one of the sisters is Moon.
"from that time on he went back and forth" — this is the cycle of conjunction wherein the Evening Star comes into conjunction with the sun, and then out again in a regular cycle. Evening Star is actually absent from the sky longer than he is present there, which to naive observers would suggest a long period of conjunction. The blue sky also has a diurnal cycle, resting in the west where the sun beds down, and arising in the east.
"whittled arrows" — the text contains the illustration shown in the inset. The vanes of the arrow were cut directly from the wood used to form the shaft. Such an arrow is called a mą ruxįnixįni or mąnuxįnixįni. This same detail is found in The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head. Elsewhere, Radin reports that this kind of arrow is, "a long arrow-like stick with a pointed end, whittled and frayed at the base like the ceremonial staff of the Bear Clan, discharged from an ordinary bow in shooting fish."2 The vanes would ordinarily be made of turkey feathers, but the Twins, and particularly Little Ghost, are antithetical to the turkey. In the Twins Cycle stories, Little Ghost is kept from fleeing to his watery refuge by having an inflated turkey bladder affixed to his head, and it is the sight of the turkey, as we will see below, that causes the Twins an irrational panic.
"the boys would go to their uncle's lodge" — on the hypothesis that they are the two twin stars of Mercury, they are so close to the sun that they are often seen in the fading blue sky.
"the one's child" — the younger sister's child would therefore be Little Ghost, and the elder's child would be Flesh. Since further on Flesh calls Ghost "my younger brother," it follows that the older sister's child was born first. Ghost ought to be associated with the west, the land of the dead, the land of ghosts.
"comb her older brother's hair" — the hair of Bluehorn is the blue sky. When the sun sets both the crescent waxing moon and Evening Star come out of the blue. The blue of the sky trails after the sun, so it passes through the crescent moon, which is something like a comb. Similarly, when the sun is rising, the blue of the sky passes up and through both the crescent waning moon and Morning Star. The hair of Bluehorn then spreads out, as though it were unbraided and combed out.
"he fell asleep" — when Morning Star ascends into the sky, which is here Bluehorn's lodge, that means that Evening Star is no longer in the sky. Therefore, if we think of Evening Star as Bluehorn's eyes, then his eyes are no longer open. In some allegories about conjunction, the astronomical object, because it no longer rises from the earth, is represented as being dead. Sleep is akin to death, so sleep can have the same symbolic valence. Bluehorn as Evening Star is absent, but Bluehorn as the blue sky is still present. Sleep satisfies both conditions, being a kind of unconscious, present-but-absent condition. Sleep also exemplifies immobility, so it can also function as an image of the immobility of the blue sky, at least with respect to clouds.
"in the middle" — this is normally where the fire would be. We are to understand that he occupies the center which would be occupied by the fire, which in astronomical codes symbolizes the sun. The middle of Bluehorn's lodge, where he is identified with the blue sky, should be the zenith, which is central to the sky and the "lodge." It is equidistant from each of the four quarters, where four Waterspirits dwell. Just as Waterspirits are posted at defining directional points, so too is Waterspirit Bluehorn posted in the "middle" (zenith), the position of command over the cardinal points.
"she tied each one to the four poles" — the poles of a lodge will have been set at right angles to each other, thus forming an image of the four quarters. It is to the four quarters that the sky is "tied." In other Bluehorn stories, where the allegory focuses on his role as Evening Star, his opponent is Morning Star. It is the theory of those allegories that Morning Star achieves conjunction with Evening Star and carries Bluehorn's head behind his own. In this story, where Morning Star is played by a sister rather than a doppelgänger, we still see Morning Star manipulating the head of Bluehorn.
"you always longed for Bluehorn" — as we later learn, Bluehorn is a prominent Waterspirit. Waterspirits are the great enemy of the Thunderbirds. Thunderbirds call Waterspirits "beavers," and on the rare occasions in which they are able to kill one, they always eat him. The Thunders are spirits who dwell in the rain clouds from which perch they weal the lightning bold. As dark clouds they are inimical to the blue sky, which they occlude.
"shouting" — it is appropriate that morning Star call for the Thunders that bring the clouds as Morning Star has the byname "Wrapped in Clouds." Also Morning Star is one of the brothers of Bladder, whose other brothers all became clouds. Morning Star himself was founder of the Thunderbird Clan, which shows a powerful connection to the Thunders whom Morning Star in this myth summons to capture Bluehorn.
"his back bent backwards" — this is another image of the vault of the sky. As in the counterpart image of the queue being tied to the four corners, here again the sky is anchored in place. For a similar image of the sky from ancient Egypt, see the material on the goddess Nut in the Comparative Material below.
"the eastern edge of the continent at the time" — the context implies that the Twins are far away, and it will take quite some time for them to catch up to the abductors. The Thunders reside in the west, whereas Morning Star and the crescent (waning) moon reside on the eastern horizon. This is where the Twins wold be. They are situated as far away as it is possible to be.
"filled with smoke" — this not only shows that the Thunderbirds used the lightning weapon, but refers to the lingering clouds which are often symbolized by smoke.
"it was all blackened" — the lodge, which is also the blue sky, is made dark by the fire of the Thunders, and under interpretation, by the dark clouds which contain it.
"burnt in two" — this shows that the Thunderbirds attacked him using their lightning weapons.
"the stubs remained on the poles" — so there were four knots of blue hair at the base of each pole. Bluehorn is a Waterspirit, and blue is the emblematic color of his supernatural race. It is said in the creation myth that Waterspirits hold down the earth by resting on its cardinal "corners." Thus, they are called "Island Weights." The four unharmed knots of blue hair at the cardinal points symbolize the four Waterspirit Island Weights. Just as they hold down the earth, here they had symbolically held the sky in place as well, a sky that has now been abducted by the spirits of the dark clouds.
"they knew that it was their mother that had done it" — the use of "their mother" to refer to the mother of just one of the Twins reflects the fact that in the Crow-Omaha system of kinship, a mother's sister is also considered to be a mother (hi'ųni), and is so addressed. The mother's older sister could be specifically addressed as nąnįxete ("big momma"), and the mother's sisters would be termed hi'ųninįk ("little mothers").
"the younger one told them" — the moon approaching conjunction is a crescent near Morning Star, and therefore is able to witness everything from her vantage point.
"they struck her with their bows and killed her" — the use of a bow may make reference to the nearby crescent moon, the other mother. However, the bow is a mą-čgu-ra, "the one such that - it puts pressure on - arrows." The word for arrow (mą) also means "time," and the bow of the Twins here propels time, which leads to the inevitable conjunction of Morning Star with the sun. The crescent Moon is also a measure of time, its approach to conjunction itself may serve to indicate the passage of time. It is, as it were, the crescent of mortality, foreshadowing the lethal effects of time like the bow strung and crescent shaped, foreshadows the imminence of impending death. Conjunction is often viewed as death, since the body in conjunction, like that of the dead, does not rise from the ground in which it is buried.
"they burnt up the four dead Thunders" — the Thunderbirds inhabit dark, rain-bearing clouds, potentially armed with lightning. In relationship to a cloud, a dead Thunder would mean that the cloud had lost its capability to precipitate or discharge lightning. After the storm that overcame the blue sky, now a few lingering grayish clouds remain. These the sun will have burned off. The Twins, as the two stars of Mercury, are always close to the sun, and as we learn from fuller version of their story, they were actually made of the stuff of the spirits transported to them by the sun. When the Twins appear, they have the sun's light in tow, and the powerful heat that goes with it. So the Twins are thought of as the agents who have caused the lingering clouds of the storm to be burned up by the Fire at their command.
"on the end" — the chief is placed in the center of the village where it is hardest for enemy warparties to reach him. Those who have no prominence and are the least important members of society, find themselves on the dangerous periphery. They must rely on the spirits to protect them, and the spirits usually take pity on them. Consequently, many stories are set at the periphery of villages, not only for this reason, but to illustrate how merit may overcome low social standing.
"his feet were eaten" — the Thunders represent the clouds that carry rain and which typically occlude the whole of the sky, overwhelming it and taking it "prisoner" so to speak. As the clouds come over the blue sky, they occlude it piece by piece, a process that is similar to eating. First they occlude the portion of the sky nearest the horizon, which is analogous to feet, since the rim of the sky is what its vault rests upon. This whole episode recapitulates the assault of the Thunderbirds upon the blue sky (Bluehorn) in a new set of symbols. For an interesting Hindu parallel to the loss of feet in a myth of this type, see below.
"grandsons" — in the manuscript, to the upper left of this word is written in small letters, "real."
"there was a very large village" — the spirit village of the Thunders is in the west where the sun sets.
"under the earth" — in astronomy and its code in this myth, there are only three ways that stars can get under the earth: nocturnal setting, annual setting of non-circumpolar stars, and conjunction with the sun. Only the first and third would apply to the two stars of Mercury. The blue sky itself also seems to set, the black of night gradually displacing the blue as it trails after the setting sun. But Bluehorn is also Evening Star. He is in conjunction, so he is sitting on earth in the west. With the sun beneath the horizon, the twin Mercuries are actually below him.
"in each of his ears" — this image evokes that of the ears of Redhorn, whose lobes each sport a living head. Since all three are together, Evening Star and the two Mercuries are in conjunction with the sun at the same time.
"he was bound" — this could also apply not only to Bluehorn as sky, but to his role as Evening Star, since Evening Star in conjunction is, as it were, bound to the earth, since he does not rise into the sky for some time.
"smoke" — this is part of the image of the Thunderbirds that we have seen before, the smoke standing for the clouds in which they are enshrouded.
"boil" — both the blue sky and Evening Star follow after the sun when they set, and Evening Star as it goes into conjunction appears to fall into the sun at the horizon, where the Te Ją (Ocean Sea) is found. This is a cosmic model of boiling, with the Fire under the Water, an image seen elsewhere (1, 2).
"the doors were overcrowded" — this same image of a mad rush to the exit is also seen in Įčorúšika's assault on the Waterspirits, the opposites of the Thunderbirds. So this is the mirror image of the harrowing of "hell" by Redhorn.
"he was speaking to the Thunders" — in the end, this is what Earthmaker accuses the Twins of doing. So the speech of Ghost proves to be hypocritical.
"the amount that was eaten of him there came back to him" — allegorically, this is a description of the recession of the clouds from the blue sky. The parts that they had occluded ("eaten") are now restored.
"her hair loose" — Hočąk women wore their hair in a bun at the back of their head, so this proper form of the hair was made disheveled. Disheveling the hair, most usually by cutting it, was done in mourning the death of a family member. In addition, the mourner was also expected to coat her face with charcoal to make it black. The moon in conjunction is black all over, like one with her hair down and her face blacked.
"cloth" — the moon may be considered to be clothed in light. The cloth is what she will use to restore herself as she comes out of conjunction.
"flies" — Morning Star is like the flies, she is a winged creature, now (thought to be) black, who hovers low to the ground. Like the maggot of a fly, she began as a white creature. Her fly-like nature is due to conjunction, which is also her metaphorical death.
"when she said thus, she walked forth" — here the state of death is the analogue to conjunction. Morning Star is here on earth reduced to a fraction of her former substance, as the Morning Star gets weaker and weaker in light as she goes towards conjunction, so to extrapolate, she must be reduced to nearly nothing at conjunction. As long as Evening Star is not in the sky, for a portion of that period, Morning Star will be visible, that is, allegorically, "alive."
"uncle said so" — in order for Morning Star to be out of conjunction, that is, un-dead, Evening Star must not be in the sky, something that is determined completely by Bluehorn.
"to the bottom of the earth" — for the blue sky, during the day, Bluehorn is located at the zenith, but at night he is located at the nadir. As a Waterspirit of the center, he would be expected to dwell in the underworld as well, and occupy its central and lowest point, the inverted counterpart to his central position as the day sky.
"the chief Waterspirits" — superficially, this suggests that he was one of the Waterspirits of the cardinal directions, in which case he should be associated with the west. However, the myth stresses more than once that he is associated with the center.
"why he was called Bluehorn" — the horns of Waterspirits are often portrayed as branching, a reflection of the cladistic structure of stream channels. A spring is called mą in Hočąk, the same word used to denote arrows. Mą in both senses is a metaphorical horn: and as we have seen, his hair (the blue top or sky) is also called a "horn" (he). So he is really called "Bluehorn" (He-čo-ga) for multiple reasons.
"a Buffalo Spirit" — this is a surprising revelation. The buffalo is strongly associated with the land, and the dry land of island earth is said to be a buffalo. The buffalo turn out in this context to be stars. For the rationale for this see the Commentaries to "Bluehorn Rescues His Sister" and "The Green Man." With his identity as a red star (see below), this would make Bluehorn a god of all three realms of earth, sky, and water; of the above and the below both.
"the boys lived in the lodge" — if we are right to think of the Twins as morning and evening stars Mercury, they too come into conjunction with the sun, but do so (mysteriously) simultaneously. They are therefore also on the earth, from the standpoint of visual astronomy. Thus they now live under the day vault, and roam the earth. They are no longer in the sky.
"you can go and live in our uncle's lodge" — that is, when they come into conjunction they can live underground there at the doorway of the blue sky.
"beaver" — powerful spirits refer to Waterspirits as "beavers."
"speared it" — in hunting, the bow is used almost exclusively. Spears are used mainly for fishing.
"bob-tailed" — Waterspirits are normally portrayed with enormous tails which are meant to reflect the length of rivers and underground springs. This Waterspirit represents a short course of water.
"Lo de we." — this is set down in the text in syllabary, and in very small letters directly above is written, "Indian letters." It is written this way throughout, probably because LaMère did not know how to pronounce it, the syllabic /o/ being ambiguous between an /o/ and a /u/, and the /d/ being ambiguous between /c/ and /j/. Radin says in a manuscript note that a rucewé is, "a man the skin of whose head is cut off and is hanging down over his face, which is bloody & fearful looking."3 This refers in the present context to the snood or wattle of the male wild turkey, which looks just like the rucewé in Radin's sense. When turkeys display before hens or rivals, their wattle fills with blood, which makes it a vivid red color, giving the bird, "a much more martial and terrifying appearance."4
"Maker of Things" — in Hočąk this is Wažągųzera, a title of Earthmaker (Mą’ųna), the chief deity and creator of the world.
"it is a chief bird" — later we are told that he is a turkey. The reason why the turkey is the foremost of avians is that his feathers are used on the arrow, making the arrow both a turkey and the deadliest of birds.
"I made eight of them ... it was a male turkey" — every word of this passage running from page 88 on to 94, is underlined. This was probably underlined by Radin ex post facto, perhaps to indicate either its importance or its standing as a gloss. In the published version, it is not in any way singled out. The "eight" referred to are the Great Ones (Xetera). Elsewhere they are given as Bluehorn, Trickster, Bladder, Turtle, Redhorn, Hare, Sun, and Grandmother Earth.
"one with knife inlaid arms" — as I have argued elsewhere, this attribute probably identifies him with owls. The same is said of his doppelgänger and of his two nephews, the Twins.
"the red star" — the Evening Star. On the reason for its being called "red," see Bluehorn.
"the Bad Spirit" — this is Herešgúnina, Earthmaker's opposite. The episode alluded to here is given in full in the Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, where it is Herešgúnina who plays the role of Morning Star. As to surface structure, it is not at all consistent with the present story, where Morning Star is played by a disloyal sister of Bluehorn. However, both stories are in their deep structure about a conflict between Bluehorn, who is also Evening Star, and Morning Star. It is interesting that in both allegories Morning Star is "played" as if by an actor, by someone other than Morning Star under his usual identity. This may be because it was not desired to impute evil motives and actions to this deity, even though his allegorical representations were impossible to render in any other way. The identity of Morning Star with Lucifer may be an esoteric secret of recent provenience, but the identity of Morning Star as a sister of Evening Star is inconsistent with this. It is not likely to be a species of esoteric knowledge. Apart from a disguise, this role may have originated from a myth derived from another tribe and "translated" into Hočąk symbolism.
"long hanging skin" — this is a "snood," also called a "wattle."5 As we saw above, it is compared to a man who has been partly scalped.
"stomach" — the display made by the wild turkey is fundamentally a mating ritual. However, seeing a mating display will cause aggression in a arrival gobbler, who will usually attack, as turkey are an unusually pugnacious bird.6 The noise made by the tom during his "strut" must partly emanate from his lungs; but the crop (a "stomach" of sorts) may well be involved. "If any one will pass his hand over a tame gobbler engaged in strutting, he will at once notice that the bird feels as though he were full of air. Parts of him are. In the region of the crop, and long the sides under the wings, he feels like a big, feathery bladder."7 The noise produced has been described as "thunder-like,"8 and following Audubon, it has come to be characterized as a "pulmonary puff."9 "This sound," says Jordan, "is produced as the gobbler in expelling the air from its lungs, at the beginning of the strut, the sounds and motions of which have never been satisfactorily described. While going through the strut the gobbler produces a number of notes and motions that are of interest; first the wings are dropped until the first six or eight feathers at the end of the wings touch the ground; at the same time the tail is spread until like an open fan and erected at right angles to the body; the neck is drawn down and back until the head rest against the shoulder feathers, and the body feathers are all thrown forward until they stand about at right angles to their normal place. At the same time the body is inflated with air, which, with the drooping wings, spread tail, and ruffled feathers, gives the bird the appearance of a big ball. Having blown himself up to the full capacity of his skin, the gobbler suddenly releases the air, making a puff exactly as if a person, having inflated the cheeks to their full capacity, suddenly opens the mouth. As the puff is given, the bird steps quickly forward four or five paces, dragging the ends of the stiff wing feather along the ground, making a rasping sound; he throws forward his chest, and, gradually contracting the muscles, forces the air from his body with a low, rumbling boom, the feathers resuming their normal position as the air is expelled."10 This is exactly what is being described in the story as the display that so frightened the Twins.
"they brought the male turkey with them" — this suggests that what initially appears to be an opposition between the turkey and the Twins might also be an affinity in some respects.
"why" — because the turkey chased them to Earthmaker's abode, where they were pacified, they are now able to live in a sacred mound or cliff here on earth.
"there within it they live" — this site is not precisely known, but is not the same as Paint Rock (which see below). It is at the confluence of the Nikusa (Mississippi River) and Nikuséxununįkra (the Wisconsin River).
"dream" — the dream spoken of is not likely a night dream, since in this context fasting visions are also called "dreams."
"a man was given to me" — when the spirits bless a man with success on the warpath expressed in killing an enemy warrior, the spirit is said "to give him a man."
"a feast" — a feast is always given before a warparty departs for the warpath. During this feast, the Fast Eating Contest takes place, during which the eating of the meal foreshadows the "eating" (killing) of the enemy warriors whom the warparty expects to encounter.
"he shot it" — certain sacred pillars that have images of game animals on them, seem to possess this magical hunting power when shot with an arrow. That the pole belongs to the lodge of two Great Spirits no doubt makes it holy and vests it with such a potential. However, a human is said to have been able to produce the same effect by shooting a sacred stalagmite in a cave devoted to the Little Children Spirits (q.v.).
"a big bear" — astronomically speaking, is this an asterism? Elsewhere we do find the image of a bear projected onto the night sky. The lodge pole would be a Cosmic Column, and the shooting of the bear by the Children of the Sun would be its annual setting.
"they singed and boiled" — when a star group sets annually, it will set with the sun into the Te Ją (Ocean Sea), where metaphorically, it will be boiled and singed. This is a familiar image of conjunction (see 1, 2 above).
"unaware" — this is the formulaic utterance of the scout when he reports back to the warleader.
"he called on" — the warleader always appoints those who will make up the actual assault team. In this case it can only be Ghost.
"a hill" — Waterspirits typically live in a hill, just as we saw with Bluehorn earlier.
"you are right" — this illustrates the fact that it is the ghost (or soul) that supplies most of the intuitive capability to the person, rather than the flesh.
"scraped off" — this is a rare case where the Indians (not necessarily the Hočągara) vandalized the pictographs rather than just the white people. Waterspirit blood has powerful properties that can be used in magical concoctions and therefore would be greatly sought after.
"just below La Crosse" — this locale is on the Nikusa (Mississippi River), just north of Niučjeja (Prairie du Chien). Where they made their painting is called "Paint Rock." What we learned above [see the inset map there] is that their sacred mound or cave is located in the steep cliffs opposite the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers, and, as the myth says, "just down the stream from this [Paint Rock] are the Twins even now." For extensive remarks on this site, see the Commentary to "Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins" (1, 2).
Plot Elements. "Bluehorn Rescues His Sister" is a version of this myth. For a table of isomorphisms, see "Plot Elements" for that story.
Comparative Material. The episode of the betrayal has a most extraordinary parallel in the Irish myth of Bláthnait and Cúrói:
|"Bluehorn's Nephews"||"Aided Conrói Maic Dáiri"11|
|1. An unconquerable warrior (Brave Man) comes to the village to claim a woman for his wife. None dare refuse him. He takes two sisters this way.||1-3. Cúrói is the greatest warrior in the siege of Falga, but receives no prize from the spoils. As a result, he seizes the best prizes, including the woman Bláthnait, and carries them off.|
|3-6. Both sisters flee the warrior and come separately upon the abode of Bluehorn, who lives within a hill. They live with him as his sisters.||4. CúChulainn follows a flock of blackbirds until he chances upon Bláthnait. They renew their love.|
|Comment: In both cases the female figures are alienated from their warrior husband and seek refuge with his competitor. In the Hočągara, the warrior husband is deserted in favor of a chaste relationship; in the Irish, he is deserted in favor of the opposite, a relationship of increased sexual passion. In other versions of the Bluehorn myths, whenever Bluehorn arrives at his lodge, he is preceded by a flock of black swallows. The Irish god Bran ('Blackbird') is an underworld deity, as Bluehorn himself as a Waterspirit dwells in a subterranean abode. In both stories the travelers seem to be supernaturally guided to their destinations.|
|7. Bluehorn tells them they must return and marry the warrior, but that should he threaten them with death, they are to summon him and he will reduce the warrior to submission.||They set plans to murder Cúrói, and CúChulainn agrees to return to her on Samain to carry out the deed.|
|Comment: In both stories the women must return to their lawful husband, but their defender agrees to return and subjugate the warrior at the appropriate time.|
|They find it necessary to summon Bluehorn, and when he arrives, he completely cows the warrior into submission.||3. Cúrói, when he was carrying off Bláthnait, was confronted by CúChulainn. Cúrói pounded him into the ground, shaved his head, and rubbed cow dung on it. CúChulainn went into seclusion for a year on account of the humiliation.|
|Comment: The Irish correlate is an episode that occurs immediately after CúRói claims Bláthnait as his own. In the Hočąk version, the defender humiliates the husband, in the Irish, the converse is the case.|
|14. [The oldest sister became jealous of the younger.] "One day when she had gone over to comb his hair, the combing felt so soothing that he fell asleep. In the lodge, in the middle of which he fell asleep, there were four lodge-poles. As he was sleeping the sister divided his very long queue into four strands and tied each one of them to a pole. So tightly did she tie them that it was quite impossible for them to become loose. When she had finished doing this she went outside of the lodge, leaving the door open. After she had gone beyond hearing distance she exclaimed, 'Thunderbirds, you have always longed to seize hold of Blue Horn, here he is now. I have tied him up for you!' Thus did she shout."||4. "This was the token that was between her and CúChulainn, namely, to pour the milk of Iuchna's cows down the river in the direction of the Ulstermen, so that the river might be white when she was washing him. ... 5. "She [Bláthnait] was then searching his head in front of the stronghold. 'Come into the stronghold,' said she, 'and get washed before the hosts come back with their burdens.' Just then he lifted up his head and saw the host of Ulster coming towards him along the glen, both foot and horse. 'Who are these?' said he. 'Herds of kine and cattle,' said she. ... 6. Thereupon he went inside, and the woman washed him, and she bound his hair to the bedposts rails, and took the sword out of his scabbard and threw open the stronghold."|
|Comment: The role reversals observed in the last episode still hold. In both stories, the female betrays her man to his enemies. In the Irish, he is seated in a bath; in the Hočągara, the victim is a Waterspirit. Moreover, they both agree even on the bizarre detail that the woman combs, then binds the victim's hair to nearby posts.|
15. "Immediately the Thunderbirds began coming, soon they were there and upon him. The combat lasted a long time. Indeed, for a long time, they were unable to kill or seize him. Not before he had killed four of them were the Thunderbirds able to tie him up and bind him with iron bonds."
16. Afterwards, they ate part of him.]
|"He rose up straightway against them, and slew a hundred men of them with kicks and blows of his fists. ... 9. They were slaying one another by the fortress, and CúChulainn shore off the man's head, and the fortress was aflame ..."|
|Comment: He puts up an extraordinary fight considering his immobility, but in the end his enemies overcome him, and partly dismember him.|
|16. The nephews hear the noise of fighting but arrive too late.||"... Ferchertne, Cúrói's poet, was by his horses in the glen, and he said: 'Who is the youth that ... [is] by the side of Cúrói's fortress? If Dáre's son were alive, it would not burn ...' 10. Then Ferchertne came."|
|Comment: The devoted followers of the victim perceive the battle from afar, but arrive too late to save him.|
|They kill the older sister when they realize what she has done.||14. "After that she was crashed against the rock, that is, the promontory of Cenn Bera. For the man Ferchertne made a rush towards her and caught her between his arms, so that her ribs broke in her back; and he hurled her down the cliff before him, so that the rock crushed them both .."|
|Comment: The betraying woman is killed by the devoted followers for her iniquity.|
The similarities between the two stories are quite striking. The notion of direct borrowing seems highly unlikely, so the convergence of the story lines over so long a span must be attributed to parallel allegorical meaning.
Stories from India centering upon the Twins (Aśvins), the Sun (Vivasvant), and his two wives (Saranyū and Chāyā), also show striking parallels with the present story. This is one such story as told by Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty,
Before Saranyū abandoned Vivasvant, she bore him twins, a boy and a girl, named Yama and Yamī; she left him then because she was "unsatisfied with her husband's form". Meanwhile, Chāyā, the shadow wife, mistreated her twin stepchildren, and the boy, Yama, kicked her, whereupon she uttered a curse that his foot might fall off. When Yama reported this to his father, Vivasvant realized that Chāyā was not his true wife, for a mother could not harm her child that way; he modified the curse so that Yama did not lose his foot but became the first mortal, king of the dead in the underworld. Then Vivasvant went to Saranyū's father, Tvaṣṭṛ, who told him that Saranyū had fled because he blazed too fiercely; Vivasvant asked Tvaṣṭṛ to place him upon his lathe and trim his form, and this was done; when Vivasvant had been given a handsome body by Saranyū's father in this way, he went to seek his wife. He found her in the form of a mare; taking the form of a stallion, he approached her. She turned to face him, to protect her hindquarters, and his seed entered her nose. In this way the twin Aśvins were born. Then Saranyū resumed her own form and went back home with Vivasvant and the Aśvins.12
In the Hočąk tradition, Big Eater, the first horse, is the brother of the Twins and the offspring of the Sun. It is useful to set these parallels out on a table:
Saranyū and the Twins
|The two wives of the Sun are related to one another or are identical in appearance.||Brave claims two sisters for his wives.||Vivasvant has two wives who are doppelgängers.|
|At least one of the wives of the Sun flees him because of his fierce nature.||Each sister, the betrothed of Brave, flee him because of his fierceness.||Saranyū flees Vivasvant because he blazes too fiercely.|
|At least one wife hides from the Sun.||Both of the betrothed of Brave hide from him in the lodge of Bluehorn.||Saranyū hides from Vivasvant by changing into a horse.|
|A relative of the wife suppresses the Sun's fierceness so that he does not offend his wives.||Bluehorn intimidates Brave so that he does not offend his wives.||Trvastr cuts Vivasvant down so that he does not offend his wife.|
|The wife who fled later returns to a reformed Sun.||Bluehorn's sisters marry Brave after Bluehorn has cowed him.||Saranyū returns to her original form and goes back to the trimmed Vivasvant.|
The wives of the Sun bear him twins.
The wives of Brave bear him two boys simultaneously.
Saranyū bears Vivasvant twins, Yama and Yamī, and later the twin Aśvins.
|The negative wife deceives a relative of the Twins.||The elder sister betrays Bluehorn.||Chāyā pretends to be Vivasvant's wife.|
|Of the Sun's wives, one is positive towards the Twins and the other is negative towards one of them.||Brave has two wives, the younger is positive towards the Twins, and the elder is negative towards one of them.||Vivasvant has two wives, one (Saranyū) is positive towards his children and the other (Chāyā) is negative.|
|There is friction between the negative wife and one of the Twins.||The elder sister resents the superiority of her co-wife's twin son.||Chāyā mistreats the twins.|
|The negative wife causes one of the Twins, or his relative, to lose a foot.||Thunderbirds abduct Bluehorn at the behest of the elder sister, then eat his feet and later even his legs.||Chāyā curses Yama's foot to fall off.|
|The Twins take revenge against the negative wife for her transgression.||The Twins kill the elder sister for her transgression.||Yama kicks Chāyā for her transgressions.|
|The foot of the Twin or his relative is restored.||The Twins get Bluehorn back and his lost parts are restored.||Vivasvant mitigates the curse on Yama so that his foot is restored.|
|The two Divine Twins roam the world to rescue people from their enemies.||The two Twins roam the world to rescue people from the evil spirits.||[The two Aśvins roam the world rescuing people.]|
The Hindu version adds two sets of twins, whereas the Hočąk assigns Bluehorn to the role of the one who trims down the excess of Sun. There are numerous other Indo-European parallels to the story of Sun and his shadow wife.
In the story of the betrayal of Bluehorn by his sister, there is an obvious parallel from the Hebrew Bible in the story of Samson and Delilah.
Judges XVI.16. And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death; 17. That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mothers womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man. 18. And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand. 19. And [Delilah] made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. 20. And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him. 21. But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house. 22. Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven. 23. Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand. 24. And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us. 25. And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport; and they set him between the pillars. 26. And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, "Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them." 27. Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. 28. And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, "O Lord God, remember me, pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes." 29. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of he one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. 30. And Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistine." And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell up the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.13
Samson has seven "locks" or ringlets (machlāhphāh) of hair, which certainly must correspond to the four braids of Bluehorn's hair. In this story, however, they are simply shaven off. Nevertheless, we have many of the same themes: a woman that Samson trusts causes him to be captured by his mortal enemies, they bind him with metal bonds, later he bows over (nātāh), he loses parts of his body, they make him into a public spectacle (like the Prisoner's Song of Bluehorn), yet some of what is lost is grown back, and in the end, he is able, through the help of God(s), to slay his enemies more than ever.
The ancient Egyptians pictured the sky as the goddess Nut arched over the earth. Nut was originally the goddess of the day sky, but later of the sky generally. The inset picture shows the goddess Nut being lifted up by Shu, the god of the air. He is flanked by two versions of the god Khnum, one of the creator gods. Beneath is the consort of Nut, the god of the earth, Geb. The four limbs of Nut represent the four quarters, and are therefore similar to the four braids of Bluehorn's hair. The four limbs of Nut are thought of as supports, the four braids of Bluehorn as ties. Shu as god of the air has some similarity to the Thunders, but instead of attacking and occluding the sky, he is thought of as supporting it. He is induced to this by the two Khnums. Everywhere, the Egyptian version sees the sky as supported, and the Hočąk sees it as under attack. The two who assist in the Hočąk version, are merely fighting on the side of the sky. In a late text, Venus is said to be a daughter of Nut, whereas in the Hočąk the role of the Morning Star is played by his sister.
Links: Bluehorn, The Twins, Celestial Spirits, Buffalo Spirits, Waterspirits, Thunderbirds, Rušewe, Earthmaker, Bird Spirits, Moon, Sun, Gottschall, Rock Spirits.
Stories: with Bluehorn (Evening Star) as a character: The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, Children of the Sun, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Grandfather's Two Families, The Man with Two Heads, Sun and the Big Eater, The Green Man (?), Brave Man (?); mentioning the Twins: The Twins Cycle, The Man with Two Heads, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun, The Two Boys, The Two Brothers, The Lost Blanket; about two brothers: The Two Children, The Twin Sisters, The Captive Boys, The Twins Cycle, The Two Brothers, The Two Boys, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun, The Lost Blanket, The Man with Two Heads, Snowshoe Strings, Sunset Point, The Old Man and the Giants, The Brown Squirrel, Esau was an Indian; about two sisters: The Twin Sisters, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Old Man and the Giants, The Dipper, The Markings on the Moon, The Man Who Fell from the Sky, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts; 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, Redhorn's Father, The Woman who became an Ant, 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 Hočągara 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; about Rušewe: Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins; about turkeys: The Birth of the Twins, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, Black and White Moons, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I, Old Man and Wears White Feather; 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, 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 Hočąk Chief, The Spirit of Gambling, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, 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; in which Waterspirits occur as characters: Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth, Traveler and the Thunderbird War, The Green Waterspirit of Wisconsin Dells, The Lost Child, River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Holy One and His Brother, The Seer, The Nannyberry Picker, The Creation of the World (vv. 1, 4), Šųgepaga, The Sioux Warparty and the Waterspirit of Green Lake, The Waterspirit of Lake Koshkonong, The Waterspirit of Rock River, The Boulders of Devil's Lake, Devil's Lake — How it Got its Name, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Waterspirit of Sugar Loaf Mounds, Lakes of the Wazija Origin Myth, Waterspirits Keep the Corn Fields Wet, The Waterspirit Guardian of the Intaglio Mound, The Diving Contest, The Lost Blanket, Redhorn's Sons, The Phantom Woman, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Great Walker's Warpath, White Thunder's Warpath, The Descent of the Drum, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Snowshoe Strings, The Thunderbird, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (v. 2), The Two Children, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, Paint Medicine Origin Myth, Waruǧábᵉra, Ocean Duck, The Twin Sisters, Trickster Concludes His Mission, The King Bird, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Great Walker's Medicine (v. 2), Heną́ga and Star Girl, Peace of Mind Regained, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Spiritual Descent of John Rave's Grandmother, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Shaggy Man, The Woman who Married a Snake (?), Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, The Sacred Lake, Lost Lake; mentioning Earthmaker: The Creation of the World, The Creation of Man, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Lost Blanket, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna, The First Snakes, Tobacco Origin Myth, The Creation Council, The Gray Wolf Origin Myth, The Journey to Spiritland, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Seven Maidens, The Descent of the Drum, Thunder Cloud Marries Again, The Spider's Eyes, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Fourth Universe, Šųgepaga, The Fatal House, The Twin Sisters, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Elk Clan Origin Myth, Deer Clan Origin Myth, Bear Clan Origin Myth, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, The Masaxe War, The Two Children, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Petition to Earthmaker, The Gift of Shooting, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Stone Heart, The Wild Rose, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Lame Friend, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed, The Hočąk Migration Myth, The Necessity for Death, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, The War among the Animals, Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, Blue Mounds, Lost Lake, The Hočągara Migrate South, The Spirit of Gambling, Turtle and the Giant, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Bird Origin Myth, Black and White Moons, Redhorn's Sons, Holy Song, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, Death Enters the World, Man and His Three Dogs, Trickster Concludes His Mission, Story of the Thunder Names, The Origins of the Milky Way, Trickster and the Dancers, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, East Enters the Medicine Lodge, The Creation of Evil, The Blessing of Kerexųsaka, Song to Earthmaker, The Blessing of the Bow, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth, The Origin of the Cliff Swallow; dealing with menstrual pollution: Hare Kills Wildcat, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, The Roaster, The Red Man; about bodiless heads: Hare Visits the Bodiless Heads, Little Human Head, The Red Man; about stars and other celestial bodies: The Dipper, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, The Seven Maidens, Morning Star and His Friend, Little Human Head, Turtle and the Witches, Sky Man, Wojijé, The Raccoon Coat, Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, The Star Husband, Grandfather's Two Families, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Children of the Sun, Heną́ga and Star Girl, The Origins of the Milky Way, The Fall of the Stars; mentioning ruxįnixįni (whittled) arrows: The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head; mentioning springs: Trail Spring, Vita Spring, Merrill Springs, Big Spring and White Clay Spring, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Bear Clan Origin Myth, vv. 6, 8, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, Blue Mounds, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Lost Child, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Wild Rose, The Omahas who turned into Snakes, The Two Brothers, Snowshoe Strings, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Nannyberry Picker, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, The Two Boys, Waruǧábᵉra, Wazųka, The Man Who Fell from the Sky, Turtle and the Witches; set on the Mississippi (Nį Kuse): The Two Children, Trickster Concludes His Mission, The Hočąk Migration Myth, Oto Origins, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, Traveler and the Thunderbird War, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing, The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle; set on the Wisconsin River (Nįkúse Xųnųnį́gᵋra): Turtle and the Merchant, The Chief of the Heroka, The Lame Friend, The King Bird, Lakes of the Wazija Origin Myth, The Green Waterspirit of the Wisconsin Dells, The Scalping Knife of Wakąšučka, The Sioux Warparty and the Waterspirit of Green Lake (v. 1), The Chief Who Shot His Own Daughter, Gatschet's Hočank hit’e; mentioning La Crosse, Wisconsin (Hinųguás): The Masaxe War, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe (v. 2).
Themes: attempting to procure a bride through intimidation: The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, The Spotted Grizzly Man, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Heną́ga and Star Girl, Thunder Cloud Marries Again; a powerful man becomes tyrannical: Wazųka, The Spotted Grizzly Man, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Manawa Village Origin Myth, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Iron Staff and His Companions; polygamy: Bladder and His Brothers (v. 2), The Spotted Grizzly Man, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Green Man, Wazųka, The Markings on the Moon, Redhorn's Sons, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Hare Kills Sharp Elbow, Hare Gets Swallowed, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, The Spirit of Gambling; someone depressed by prospects at home goes (at a run) into the wilderness to die: White Wolf, The Moiety Origin Myth, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister; to escape a dangerous person, someone runs into the wilderness: The Father of the Twins Attempts to Flee, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, The Two Boys; a woman faced with the choice of marrying an evil spirit or death, runs away: The Woman Who became an Ant, Little Human Head, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister; a woman runs away from her polygamous betrothed out of fear: Wazųka, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister; someone who is exhausted, struggles to reach the summit of a hill, where (s)he is content to die: Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, The Healing Blessing, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth; a doorway is unexpectedly found in the side of a hill which serves as a lodge for a powerful spirit: He Who Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, The Shaggy Man, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Thunderbird and White Horse; someone about to be killed cries out to a spirit to whom he is related, and is saved: Porcupine and His Brothers, Waruǧábᵉra, The Seven Maidens; jealousy: The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Diving Contest, Hog's Adventures, Wazųka, He Who Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, The Fleetfooted Man, Redhorn's Sons, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Lost Blanket; a woman abuses someone with whom she is living: Partridge's Older Brother, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Quail Hunter, Snowshoe Strings, The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka, He Who Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Were-Grizzly; summoning the spirits to take an opponent as a sacrifice: Ocean Duck, The Shaggy Man; someone kills a close female relative for her betrayal of him or his uncle: Waruǧábᵉra (sister), The Red Man (wife), The Chief of the Heroka (wife), The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion (wife), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (wife); someone kills his own kinsman: The Chief of the Heroka (wife), The Red Man (wife), Worúxega (wife), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (wife), The Green Man (mother), Waruǧábᵉra (mother), Partridge's Older Brother (sister), The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother (sister), The Were-Grizzly (sister), Crane and His Brothers (brothers), White Wolf (brother), The Diving Contest (brother), The Twins Get into Hot Water (grandfather), The Chief Who Shot His Own Daughter (daughter), The Birth of the Twins (daughter-in-law), The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle (daughter-in-law), Snowshoe Strings (father-in-law); someone is abducted and led off into captivity: The Captive Boys, A Man's Revenge, The Lost Child, Wears White Feather on His Head, Įčorúšika 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, 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, The Woman Who Became an Ant, 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; the Thunders seek to eat a human being: Hawk Clan Origin Myth, The Adventures of Redhorn's Sons, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds; a man injured by the Thunderbirds regenerates (in four days): Waruǧabᵉra, Redhorn's Sons, The Adventures of Redhorn's Sons; traveling over the whole earth: Deer Clan Origin Myth, The Pointing Man, Trickster and the Dancers, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Necessity for Death, Death Enters the World, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Twins Cycle, The Two Boys, The Lost Blanket, The Two Brothers; the war between Thunderbirds and Waterspirits: Traveler and the Thunderbird War, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Boulders of Devil's Lake, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, Brave Man, The Lost Blanket, Ocean Duck, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, The Thunderbird, Heną́ga and Star Girl, Waruǧábᵉra, The Waterspirit of Sugar Loaf Mounds; powerful spirits refer to strong animals by names denoting smaller and weaker animals: How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Two Boys, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Waruǧábᵉra, The Thunderbird, The Lost Blanket, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, Redhorn's Sons (cf. the inverse theme, Buffalo Spirits calling grass "bears" in, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle); a Waterspirit that has been killed for food is called a "beaver" by spirits: The Thunderbird, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Waruǧábᵉra, The Twins Disobey Their Father, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy; the youngest offspring is superior: The Mission of the Five Sons of Earthmaker, Young Man Gambles Often, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Twins Cycle, The Two Boys, The Children of the Sun, The Creation of the World (v. 12), The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, How the Thunders Met the Nights, He Who Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Sun and the Big Eater, Buffalo Clan Origin Myth, Bear Clan Origin Myth (vv. 4, 7), Snake Clan Origins, South Enters the Medicine Lodge, Snake Clan Origins, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth; in order to get him to take refuge in his lodge, a great spirit causes another spirit to think that someone dangerous is pursuing him: Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins; head hunting: White Fisher, Big Thunder Teaches Čap’ósgaga the Warpath, A Man's Revenge, How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Little Priest's Game, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Young Man Gambles Often, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), The Dipper, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Porcupine and His Brothers, Turtle's Warparty, Ocean Duck, The Markings on the Moon, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka, Thunderbird and White Horse, The Man with Two Heads, Brave Man, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Redhorn's Sons, Fighting Retreat, The Children of the Sun, Heną́ga and Star Girl, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, The Were-Grizzly, Winneconnee Origin Myth; a nephew avenges the quasi-death of his uncle: Waruǧábᵉra, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Man with Two Heads, The Children of the Sun; men whose bodies are (partly) covered with pieces of flint (or knives): Hare Kills Flint, Hare Gets Swallowed, The Children of the Sun, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka; powerful spirits (who are brothers) set out for the Mississippi where they kill a Waterspirit: Trickster Concludes His Mission, The Two Children, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins.
1 "Blue Horn's Nephews," in Paul Radin, The Evolution of an American Indian Prose Epic. A Study in Comparative Literature, Part I (Basil: Ethnographical Museum, Basil Switzerland, 1954) 80-84. Apparently the story was obtained by Sam Blowsnake of the Thunderbird Clan from an anonymous older member of the tribe ca. 1912 (Ibid., 21). Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, ca. 1912) Winnebago IV, #9: 2-12 (missing the first two of its typewritten pages, and concluding just before the adventures of the Twins). See "Blue Horn's Nephews" in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, ca. 1912) Notebook 58: 1-104 (missing its ending). The lost ending of this story (pp. 104-107) was found inserted between pp. 107 and 108 of "Coonskin Coat," in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Notebook 59.
2 Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 ) 66.
3 on the interstitial page between 267 and 268, in Sam Blowsnake, Waretcáwera (the Twins Cycle), in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n. d.) Winnebago V, #11: 251-284.
4 A. W. Schorger, The Wild Turkey: Its History and Domestication (Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1966) 105; T. Schjelderup-Ebbe, "Instinctive Behaviour and Reactions of Peacocks, Turkeys, and Domestic Hens," Scandinavian Science Review 3, #2 (1924): 108-116.
5 Schorger, The Wild Turkey, 103-105.
6 Schorger, The Wild Turkey, 154-158.
7 Edwyn Sandys and Theodore S. Van Dyke, Upland Game Birds (New York: Macmillan, 1902) 112; Schorger, The Wild Turkey, 251.
8 George W. "Fusil" Baines, "Wild Turkey Shooting," in William Bruce Leffingwell, Shooting on Upland, Marsh, and Stream (New York: Rand, McNally & Company 1890) 343-73 .
9 John James Audubon, Ornithological Biography, 5 vols. (Edinburgh: Adam Black, 1831-1839) 1.3.
10 Charles L. Jordan, in Edward Avery McIlhenny, The Wild Turkey and Its Hunting (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1914) 126.
11 R. I. Best, "The Tragic Death of Cúrói Mac Dári," Ériu: The Journal of the School of Irish Learning, Dublin, v. 2, pt. 1 (1905): 18-31.
12 quoted from Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, Women, Androgynes, and Other Mythical Beasts (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980) 176. This story is found in Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa 103-105, Matsya Purāṇa 11, Padma Purāṇa 5, 8. See also Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook Translated from the Sanskrit (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1975) 15-16.
13 Judges 16:16-29.