Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle

Based on the translation of Oliver Lamere

(1) There was an oval shaped lodge. A man lived there with his wife. This woman had one little younger brother. The man really loved his brother-in-law. (2) When he returned from the hunt, he would cook for him. Which ever one was the best, he would be happy to cook it for him. He would slit up deer ribs and boil them for him. He loved him very much. (3) The man said, "Brother-in-law, I will not let you fast. Those that do very much fasting, indeed, soon after may even die. They had dreamt about evil spirits, and so I will not be the cause of his starving to death. (4) Again, it was for him that I did this. I try to kill something — every single day I have been doing this," he said. Greatly did he care for him. And before he went on a hunt, (5) he would speak a good word on his behalf. One day, the woman was not happy. "Indeed, even I, he considers very much the less than my brother." She was jealous. When her husband went away somewhere, she would abuse her brother. (6) Nor would she give him anything to eat. It was rather early in the morning when the man went hunting, he would get back at night, so this would be before the little boy got up. (7) So he would be made to fast. She was doing this to her brother. And she would do this to him repeatedly. When she wanted to pack wood, she would make him go inside. She would throw him outside. She would make him fast, and then when she wanted to pack wood, she would make him come in. (8) And then she cut off the stinking part of the deer ankle and threw it at him, and would say, "You who eats the stinking part of the deer ankle, cook and eat that!" she would say to him. She would never give him anything to eat there. (9) And when his brother-in-law came home, only he ate. He would say, "My brother-in-law certainly eats a lot! It seems like I just barely got back in time, I think. After all, it is for him that I'm hunting," he would say, (10) to which she replied, "I try to get him to eat, but he just won't do it, so he is hungry when you get back and try to eat, he causes you to think something misleading," she said, but in reality, she was treating him very abusively there, but she kept that from her husband.

(11) Then one day she threw him outdoors again, and he was blessed. Someone from up above said, "Little boy, my nephew, I bless you. Some day I will help you when you have a hard time," (12) it was said to Deer Ankle (Casīkąga). Then one day this one, his sister, again went to pack wood, and when he was alone, a woman came in, a red-haired woman, a woman of a very light complexion with curly hair. (13) She came and sat down opposite him. The boy sat down, feeling bashful. He didn't know what to do. Then the woman did this: she struck him with a piece of coal that she had thrown. (14) Again she did it. Four times she did this. Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle said, "Why do you do this to me? Hoją́, I am very poor, but now you are piling on," he said. But the woman said, (15) "I know that you are poor. That is why I came. Neither did I leave to do this, nor did I come to do this. To take you home with me, that is what I came to do," she said. But Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle said, "I don't know where you came from. (16) Besides, if I did that my older sister would knock me down," he said. Then the woman said, "Your sister won't know anything about where we have gone. (17) To end the abuse is why I am saying this. I came after you," she said. "Alright, then, if you think it best," he said. Then he went home with her. They came to a certain place. (18) On their way, they came to a spring of water. As the woman was walking ahead, she stood still. She said, "Stand here in the water," she said to him. There he stood. She washed him naked in the spring. (19) Then she stretched his scalp lock. And she also enlarged him. She made him as big as herself. Then she went home with him. There they came a big hill. When they arrived at the foot of the hill, (20) a door began to open there. Unexpectedly, there was a longhouse inside the hill. The woman lived there. Then she said to him, "I bless you. It was for this reason that I went forth. (21) For as long as this earth exists, for that long a time will you yourself live. We will be together," she said. They got married.

Then, from where he had been, the brother-in-law returned, but when he got back, he was gone. He asked his wife, (22) "What has happened to my brother-in-law?" he said. The woman said, "Niží, I went to pack wood, but when I got back, he was not present. I don't know where he went," she said. After that the man did not eat. (23) "I thought all along that you had not been feeding him, as I said before. That is why he has gone off somewhere. Somewhere in the wilderness, my brother-in-law is suffering to death," he said, and he did not eat. She would give it to him, but he would refuse it. (24) "I will not take it. You even begrudged my brother-in-law food, so you can eat alone," he said. Then very early the next morning, he fasted and went searching for his brother-in-law, where he imagined he might have gone. (25) He ran all day. At night he would go home crying. Thus it was. He never ate, as his brother-in-law, whom he loved, was lost. And it was a long time. Now he went along with a cane, (26) as he was tired. In the evening, at a hill, he would arrive at its summit.

Then one day the wife of Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle said, "You must have a strong mind. (27) Your brother-in-law by now is exhausted. Very much does he cry. Now, with dark eyes, he still keeps on. There again he is on his way. Why not go over there and talk to him? (28) You should go tell him, 'My dear brother-in-law, I am living right here. You are making yourself very miserable. Ever since I came to this place, I have lived here, and indeed a woman went after me. She lives in this hill, (29) and I live inside. I'm getting along very well. I will remain here always, for as long as the world endures. You yourselves will be poor on this earth. Don't worry yourself any more. (30) When you get home, you must eat, and whatever you enjoy, do that. There is a town over here. Go there. You can marry the princess, (31) or else in any case, there you may do with my sister as you please. This is not a matter that I care about. My sister did not use me right, but I don't care about that. That, in any case, is for you to do there.' Tell him, 'But sometimes you must pour tobacco for us, (32) and if you put red feathers in the wilderness, we will get them,' you must tell him," she said. So then he went out. (33) Unexpectedly, he was coming there. He was weeping. His brother-in-law was coming, singing his name, and shouting. When he got very near, he suffered a bout of blindness, and collapsed. He took profound pity on his brother-in-law. He was very poor. When he got home, (34) he said, "Brother-in-law, I am here, so be strong," he said. He looked intently, and unexpectedly, there was his brother-in-law. Again he began to cry once more. "My brother-in-law, it is good, I've found you! I thought you had died some place. I thought I was going to die." (35) Then Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle said, "Brother-in-law, I am living here in peace. A woman blessed me, and it is with her that I am living. As long as the earth exists, that long I myself will be here." (36) He told him what she had told him to say to him. He was very thankful.

He went home. When he got back, he ate what his wife gave to him. Then in the morning, he said, after his meal, (37) "Hąhą́, when I leave this second time, I will not return ever again, as you were stingy with food. So you can eat your food alone," he said, and after that he went out, and so it was. (38) Then he went to the town of which he had been told. There where he went, he married the princess. And so it would be for Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle.

Sometime, at a fitting time of the morning, in the middle of the lodge they would find boiling kettles full of food. (39) Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle would eat. These were generated when people gave feasts. They were doing the Buffalo Feast. She (the princess) was a Buffalo Woman. In the course of time, the woman had a child. (40) It was a little girl. In time, she grew bigger. She walked. She would do thus: sometimes she was in human form, then again she would be a calf. This woman would do thus: (41) on a nice day she would go out on top of a hill and play with her young one. Sometimes they would wake up to find the center of the lodge full of tobacco. When they did, the buffalo poured out tobacco. (42) Eats Stink Part of Deer Leg would take possession of it there. Thus they would do occasionally. The woman said, "We have some kin. I came from a town there. (43) My parents are from a town where they are chiefs. Some are there. Also there is a band of four brothers. They used to summon me there, but I would not consent to go. Since my brothers had forbidden me to do this, (44) in this case my parents were in favor of it, because they were afraid of them. These men were bad. That's why I ran away from them. They heard that I had now come here to this place and married, that's why those men are angry. (45) So they will come here. As soon as they come they will do it, and I will return with them. It will be alright if you don't go. If you do go, they will kill you. (46) You should stay here. Then said Deer Ankle, he said, "Well, I'll ask you something, and if you do it, then I will not show up there: when you go, you must leave behind my little daughter, then I won't show up there," he said. (47) However, the woman did not do it. Furthermore, he therefore said, "Well, in that case I'll go with you. There's some doubt that they will kill me," he said. "Well, it's alright," she said. "Well, I'll give you a few pointers, as you say that you are bound to go. (48) The men will come. They are not good for killing. Their bodies are made entirely of bone. Only in the throat is there an opening, and also there is an opening hole only in the rectum. (49) They are entirely of bone. When they come tonight, they will dance all night. Then in the morning they will go home. I will go with them. In the morning, (50) after rising and dining, they will go into the heavens. And at noon, we will land on the earth. When you get there, they will say to you, 'Which of them is your wife?' they will say to you. (51) Four of them will be sitting there. They will all look alike. I will be one of them. If you make a mistake there they will kill you. But at some point I will try to give you a sign. (52) If you figure it out, they will say, 'He is another one,' and start to run. Then, where we started from, there on the way will be a buffalo chip. They will turn this over, and there they will go underground. (53) There we will travel underground. Then his little daughter said, "Father, I shall always be in contact with you," she said, "and when you guess about us, (54) I too will try to give you a sign." Then the woman said, "Then again when we leave there, we will stop again at noon. When you get there again, they will ask you to guess which is your daughter. (55) There will be four of them. They will all be alike. They will do this to you four times. If you guess right four times, then we can travel together," she said to him.

(56) Then one day they showed up. Right away, sure enough, they had already taken his wife away. They also picked a fight. Sure enough, that night they danced. (57) His wife was also there to take a part with them, and also his daughter. When it became daylight, they started to run. He also ran, since he knew which way his wife and also his daughter were going to go. (58) His daughter, as she said, was heard up above. So he remained below. At noon, when he had just climbed a hill, there, unexpectedly, they were sitting. (59) They said to him, "Hąhó, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle has just come up the hill," they said. The man who had said it was the one who was after the woman. "He will be another one," he said. He got there. Unexpectedly, there four female buffalo were sitting. (60) "Hąhó, your wife, the one you are going about chasing after, which is she?" He looked at them. "Hurry up!" they said to him, but he took his time looking at them. Finally, with great effort, he discovered the sign. (61) "This is the one," he said, and pointed at her. "Korá, he will be another one," they said, and they started to run again. Again he ran after them. And in time they traveled underground. (62) However, his daughter was constantly crying out, so he could always hear her. Again, finally, he caught up to them around noon. There he was asked again to guess which was his daughter. He guessed it right again, and once more they began to run. (63) He took hold of his arrows and took them with him. Then, once more, after the morning around noon, he caught up to them. Again he had to guess which was his wife, and he guessed correctly. (64) Once more they ran away from him. Four times they did this to him. Then they went along with him.

Finally, they reached home. It was a big village that they went back to. It was a Buffalo Spirit village. (65) They were saying, "The princess has come back with a human." They went towards a longhouse in the center of the village, and they went in there. They were very happy. The woman's parents were very glad. (66) The human would be there. In the morning, their criers would call out things to these Great Ones. In the evening, they would always cry out. Sometimes the Old Man would occasionally be invited to a feast. When he returned, he would be invited to Medicine Rite Feasts. (67) Therefore, he used to bring things back. He would bring a bear. They would eat fat. By this they meant plants that grew in the swamp. This is what they meant. When they said "bear", which they called "fat eating", that is what they meant. (68) When he came back carrying some in his arms, they would eat a great deal of it. His little daughter was also very fond of it. He told her that he forbade it. "If you do it, it will cut up your mouth," he told her. (69) The woman said, "Why are you telling her that? It's enough that you're not eating. Furthermore, she does it because she likes it, this alone among all food is delicious, these bears," the woman said. (70) The man said, "These are not bears, they're plants." The woman said, "Your mouth doesn't usually do right by you. These things are not easy to get. (71) Only good hunters can kill such as these. They're a very shy animal." The man said, "Not these, these things aren't hard to get. Every day as I go around, these things are found wherever I go. (72) They can't run away. I could cut as whole bunch of them and bring them home," he said. The woman said, "These things are very rare. How can that be? (73) They are not easily killed. If you can do this, then you had better do so." "Alright, I'll mow some," he said. Then one day, when he was about in the swamps, he mowed own a lot of them and brought them home. Then they said, "The human has come back having killed a lot of bears," they said. (74) He went to his son-in-law's. "The son-in-law has brought back a bear that he's killed." They were very pleased. "Hohó, it is a great thing. It is good, son-in-law," the old man said. (75) "We could eat it, of course, but I will give a feast with it. They always invite me to feasts. In the past, I have never greeted them return. Now I shall greet them in return," he said. (76) Then at night he gave a Medicine Feast. All night he drummed. In the morning when the invitations came, they said how very grateful they were to him. And he knew they were thankful. (77) Thus he would do it very often, giving a feast. Finally, they would eat it. One day, he went with his daughter. They went there to the edge of the lake. There there were a lot of these plants to be fund, and there they went. (78) When his daughter saw the plants, she said, "Father, there are a lot of bears. They will run away," she said, and she returned, running back. He went there in their midst and sat down, (79) and using his knife, he started cutting them. The little girl, finally, went there and watched him. Surprisingly, he was sitting in their midst and cutting them. (80) The little girl returned home. She went there to her mother. She said to her, "Niží, mother, father was sitting in the middle of bears and was killing them, but they didn't run away," she said. (81) Then he brought back a lot. They thanked him. They were always longing for them, but for him it was merely play. Therefore, they loved him all the more. He was a great help to that village. (82) Then sometime in the morning, when they would wake up, there would be different large kettles there. It was rice, dried corn, corn mixed with fruit, these kinds the humans would leave when they did the Buffalo Feast; and tobacco as well. (83) Tobacco would be offered when they did the Buffalo Feast. Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle would eat there.

In this village, half the village was for the Bad Buffalo. (84) So the four buffalo, these very ones, were sons of the chief. They were very much Bad Buffalo. They bossed around the Good Buffalo a lot. (85) In the evening, the bad ones would come out from there. They said, "Hąhó, in the morning, your son-in-law will be on top of the hill." He [the old man] was saying, "Now Kųnų will get jealous," he was saying, (86) "but he would not be able to strike hard," he was saying. "Hagagasgéžą," they were saying, "our son-in-law!" They were all sad and quiet. So they sat with their heads held down. Then the son-in-law said, (87) "Why do you keep so quiet and sad? It might be that I won't be killed," he said, that is, he said to his wife. He went out from there, and there he laid on his stomach and thought. Something said to him, (88) "Why are you afraid? I told you that I blessed you. It is I. As I told you before, I would help you. I am not vulnerable to death." He looked at him, and to his surprise, he was an owl, a little Ō’ṓšį Owl who had said it. (89) "I blessed you. Kill me, and skin me, and make a necklace. You will wear me inside your shirt. And never let go of me, always wear me around your neck," he said. (90) So he killed it, skinned it, and wore it as a gorget inside his shirt.

Thus he did, and in the morning he went to the place where they asked him to go. He took his arrows and was already on the way. (91) There was a buffalo, and he was a very white one. As he came, he bellowed and raised his tail. The ground was hard, but he walked on it like it was mud. This kind of buffalo (the Bad Buffalo) were cheering him on: "Hohó, Kųnųgo-o-o-o! When he gets jealous, this is the sort of thing he does. (92) He does just a bit of that, but he will not be able to strike very hard," they were saying. He came on towards him, his horns held low. As he stood there, the buffalo struck him with a loud thud. (93) But he only raised him a little, and he landed on the ground. This time he started for the buffalo, it is said. He kept his arrows at the ready and he kept holding to his side. He held close to the throat, jaw, tail, and (94) scalp lock of the buffalo and even with that he kept running around him. And finally from his throat he opened his jaws and there he shot him. (95) There the arrow disappeared. He bellowed and started to run. His tail swung as he did, so he made another one disappear into his rectum. He ran home and died.

(96) The Bad Buffalo made quite a racket crying. Then the dead one's parents said, "The human is more clever. Thus it is, we failed to do it. An important person was coming to you. (97) You went somewhere to find him in order to kill him, but there he killed you. This one came to you in order to kill you. Having discovered where your lost one is, there is only one thing you are bound to do, so go ahead and do it," they said, but Heną́ga said, (98) "Koté, a you-with-him thing! Tomorrow, I will kill him," he said. "Do not do this thing," they said, and his father said that thus he would be killed. He was greater than the one who was killed, (99) and better than him. That is why he would not relent. The crier came out again. "Hąhó, son-in-law in the morning you are wanted again at the top of the hill. Heną́ga will get jealous." (100) In the morning he went out again. Once more, there were a great many spectators. And again the human was the first to be struck, but he was not killed. And the third one (Hagága) yet again he killed.

(101) Then at night that old man said, speaking to his sons, "Your brother-in-law is doing difficult things. He must be worn out. Make a sweat bath for him so that he might relax. (102) They put a stone in for him. And when the steam bath was made ready, he pulled off his clothes. There he pulled off the necklace, and hung it there on the cross piece of the lodge. When he got through, (103) he had forgotten his own necklace. In the morning he had already gone. There he had already arrived as he was. They made you think that they were formidable, but this one was more so. When he came walking, he strode upon swampy ground. (104) He held his head very low. His horn touched the ground. As he stood there, he was struck. He was made to suddenly disappear. His body shattered into pieces which fell from above piece by piece. He was killed.

(105) The sons-in-law cried tumultuously. And that night, that woman lay facing the wall, crying. Then someone said, "Stop your crying, and put me outside," something said. And again she began to cry. Then again he said, (106) "What one is it that said it?" Again she cried, and again it spoke, but this time she watched very closely, and again she cried, then suddenly next to the wall between the tent and pole sat a skinned bird who was doing the talking. "Put me outside. (107) Stop your crying and I will go after your husband for you," he said. So she took it and set it outside. After awhile, unexpectedly, he came back in. The woman was very surprised. For a long time, she was unable to speak. (108) When she spoke, she said, "My husband, if you are really alive, I love you with a double love," she said. "I am alive," he said. Then they all saw him, and they were really surprised. (109) They all awoke and had a meal. Spies arrived. Unexpectedly, the one who had been killed had come back there alive. They had come there concerning his mode of death. They came to see them because they wanted the woman in marriage. (110) Unexpectedly, her husband was there. They went home and told them about it. The one who was left (but who had done it) was instead anxious to kill him once more. So the human son-in-law said to them, (111) "In the morning, all who belong here, as soon as I kill him, I want you to immediately retreat to your lodges, as I will kill them all," he said. So his servant went about at night in secret to inform them. So thus it was. (112) In the morning, again at the usual time, Stinking Part of Deer Leg was already there. So immediately the jealous one also went after him. Thus it was. When he started, he brought his head to the ground and he plowed up mud from the ground as he crouched himself down. (113) Wherever there was any small clump of earth, he would crush it to pieces as he came on. As he had killed him before, so he expected to do so again as he came forward. Then he came up to him, and he was struck low to the ground. Before he had knocked him to pieces, (114) and so he expected to do this again. No sooner had he begun to turn back, he landed on the ground. Thus he did, and he bellowed, and he struck his throat through his jaws, and he held himself sideways. Then the man took his arrows, (115) and he ran around him. Finally, he rotated back to his jaws and throat, and one of the arrows that he sent there disappeared within. Then he uttered a bellow, and swinging his tail, he started to run, (116) and again he made one disappear into his rectum. Then he left him to roll over. Then he started for the rest of them. With his shooting he very nearly killed them all. He spared only two of them. (117) It was a little female, and a male, these he left unharmed. He said to them, "I thought about ending you altogether, but I thought the Creator would not be pleased, so I did not end you. (118) I thought that the people would not have anything to call 'Bad Buffalo' any more, so therefore, you shall lie somewhere very deep under the ground. Not a second time will you come to earth here again," he said to them. (119) Then he came back to the village.

They were very thankful. He had been their brother. They had loved their son-in-law even for nothing, but now they did so all the more. (120) Then again he seems to have also killed a good many "bears". Then one day the old man said, "My daughter, this son-in-law must have come from somewhere, and they may be lonesome for him. (121) About now, it would be better if you considered where he was and where he had come from." Deer Ankle said, "I am also of the view that I should go. I don't know how they are doing at the place whence I came. (122) The two people who raised me were alone. I don't even know where they are now. And furthermore, I don't even know if I have parents. I remember being a solitary child. (123) Therefore, his relatives I myself don't know," he said.

Then [there] one day in the spring of the year, there was a great deal of noise and commotion at the end of the village. They were whooping, and it was the young men, women, and kids who were doing this. (124) Then the old man said, "My daughter, Mr. Son-in-Law should never go to where that noise originated," he said. The woman told her husband, "They say that you should never go to where that noise is coming from. That's what my father said," she told him. (125) And he asked, "Why did he said that? State his reasons, and if they were told to me, then I would know, and if it's not good, then I would not go there," he said. So she told him: (126) "That noise there is the people on earth making ready to come and shoot buffalo. Here they make offerings which arrive here. That is what they are taking. They do it when someone takes one of the things. They shout when he takes one of the offerings, and when he does so, (127) the buffalo start to come, and when they are ready, they go there and get killed. When he takes offerings, he is selling himself. All who take the offerings will go and (128) meet the humans where they are getting ready to come and shoot buffalo. If you take a liking to one of the things and take it, you will also have to go and get killed. So you should not go there. It is best for you," she told him. (129) "," he said. Nevertheless, he used to be around there. However, all the time the noise was kept up there. One day, "Korá, they make so much noise it makes me wonder," so he went over there. There he went, and unexpectedly, on a nice piece of ground as it happened, (130) there the things would appear. When one of the things appeared there, someone would walk over there, and if they took it, they would utter a shout. There were many good things: (131) belts and white deerskins, red feathers, tobacco, and human clothes of every description. There he stood looking at them. As he was standing there, a deer tail headdress appeared. It was truly fine. He took it. (132) They all shouted for him. He went home. When he got home, the old man cried in distress, "Hagagasgéžą, this is why I had forbidden it! So I wished very much that you had stayed home, but it happens that you have done it," he said. (134) Then all those who were to go were ready. Then the old man said, "Now, my daughter, you will go along. How will Mr. Son-in-Law fare if he goes alone? Go with him. (135) They don't like a one-sided offering for an exchange," he said.

Then they left. Also going was the human whom they made into a buffalo. And this was just the kind of buffalo whose looks no one likes. They don't shoot them. (136) These small buffalo, were also a bit skinny, so they would not kill them. Then they went, and the buffalo were males and the females just how they were, when they had obtained (these forms) for themselves. The males said to the females, (137) "In any case, do no tease the princess, but let her alone be with the human, as for this we were created by the creator. This sort of thing the humans don't do," they said. (138) So there only the human's wife did they never tease. The others, in any case, did as they pleased. And finally, one day, they said, (139) "We shall come to the people here tomorrow morning," they said. "Once we get there, you princess, and your husband, are always to remain in front, so they will not do it (to you)," they said. Then when they laid down there in a round valley, (140) they sat down in a clearing. Then the people came upon them. There in the chase they were shooting. For the moment, they were not being hurt. He did not know how they were getting along. (141) Three times they would do this to them. Then there when they were about to shoot them again for the fourth time, he wanted to see how the people were doing this. So he let himself fall behind. Sure enough, he saw them. (142) He was very pleased with their ways. And for a long while he had not seen people, so he was very glad to see them. Thus he kept lagging behind. Then finally there, they all came homeward. All the buffalo that had survived were coming along all strung out. (143) He was way behind. Last among those chasing were two young men. When they started to shoot at them, they did it from behind. (144) Finally, the young man said, "Korá, the homely one who did this will take this [arrow] away with him. I'll kill him," he said, and chased him. There he caught up to him and killed him. However, unexpectedly, it was a human being. (145) "Hohó, korá, hagagasgéžą, we have committed a crime," they said. "Korá, it was by chance that you did it," said the other one. And thus it was. There they had killed him, but the buffalo when they are killed, and their bodies are eaten up, they come back [to life], (146) but when he died never [was it so] — he really died. The buffalo have most assuredly blessed the humans. So they offer tobacco again, and they are remembered in turn with buffalo jerky.1

Syllabic Text

Index to Notebook 20 at APS (Radin)

Commentary. "a man lived there with his wife" — as will become evident during the course of the commentary, the story is partly an allegory centering on the planet Mars. The man is Mercury and his wife is the star Aldebaran. The likely starting date for this myth is the year 1620. On 30 April, Mercury is astride his wife Aldebaran when the sky is dark enough for Mercury to be easily observed.

StarryNight 7.6 Software
Mercury in Conjunction with Aldebaran, 2055 Hrs. 30 April 1620

Mars at this time is too close to the Sun to be seen, which is a reverse of the usual situation in which Mars is in conjunction with Aldebaran and Mercury is too close to the Sun to be seen. The situation seen here in 1620, where Mercury is plainly visible in a darkened sky next to Aldebaran, is a very rare occurrence. An hour and a half earlier, at which time they were just visible after sunset, they were high enough in altitude (12° 17') that they will have been clear of any horizon clouds (see Wide View).

"his brother-in-law" — this is his hicą́ra (or hī́cąwą́). This relationship is very close in any case, as it is one of the joking relations:

A man was not permitted to take even the slightest liberties with any of his near relatives or with his mother-in-law or his father-in-law, but a curious exception to this rule was permitted for his father's sister's children (hitcûⁿckế and hitcûⁿjốŋk‘); his mother's brother's children (hitcûnckế and hitcûⁿjốŋk); his mother's brothers (hidék‘); and his sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. In the two cases last named not only was a man permitted to joke with those relatives but he was supposed to do so whenever he had an opportunity. Under no circumstances were any of these individuals supposed to take offense. This relationship was of course reciprocal. If a person attempted liberties with people who did not belong in the category of the "joking relationship" they would stop him immediately, saying, "What joking relation am I to you" (Djagú nîŋk‘ idajitcgadjaⁿ)?2

Since his brother-in-law was younger, the relationship approaches that of maternal uncle and nephew, which is the closest bond possible.

In the astronomy allegory, Mars is the brother-in-law of Mercury. It's not that Mars and Mercury have an observational affinity, but given that they are both being tracked using Aldebaran as a marker, they each are assigned a relative that makes them in consequence brothers-in-law. Nevertheless, that they are both planetary "stars" gives them a strong affinity, one which is stronger than between each of them and any non-planetary star.

"cook" — Mercury being close to the Sun is naturally associated with cooking.

"I will not let you fast" — normally, a young man is encouraged to fast since that is the only way in which he can get the necessary support of the Spirits in order to make it successfully through life. In stories where the protagonist is an incarnate Spirit, he usually does not fast, regardless of the urgings of his kinsmen. Here, oddly, we find that the young man is actively encouraged not to fast. This would suggest to the audience that he is in some way being taken as a Spirit, and that more particularly, his brother-in-law does not feel that he will need the aid of the Spirits to succeed in life.

From an astronomical point of view, with the brother being Mars (as we shall show), a planet cannot help but "eat" any star which it occults.

"went away" — if we accept the proposition that the sister is a fixed star, the mobility of both Deer Ankle and her husband would imply that they are planets, since only they are capable of changing positions in relation to other stars. This helps explain why they are portrayed as having such an affinity for one another.

"pack wood" — given that the Hocąk homeland of Wisconsin is called the Wazija, "the Great Pinery," the horizon is usually lined with the profile of the vast pine forest. Therefore, when Aldebaran is low in the sky, when it is going into or coming out of conjunction with the Sun, it will dip into the forest at the horizon. Consequently, during this period, she may be spoken of as seeking wood, and packing it on her back.

"throw him outside" — every two years, approximately, Mars is with Aldebaran, but in the interstitial years, he works his way to the opposite side of the celestial sphere on his circular journey up the ecliptic.

"the stinking part of the deer ankle" — a translation of cā-sīką-ną̄x, from , "deer"; sīką, "ankle"; ną̄x, "smelly (heavy disagreeable odor) like urine." Deer have a number of glands in the area around their ankles (and other places as well).

  Corey Haas, © 2021
  The Tarsal Scent Gland

The tarsal gland consists of an aggregation of large sebaceous (oil) glands and some enlarged sudoriferous (sweat) glands. It secrets an oily material with a strong smell of ammonia. This ammonia smell results, in part from the habit of adult animals of both sexes of deliberately urinating on the gland tufts. When excited, the deer raises the hairs of the tufts, and the glands then emit the musky odor.3

So the word ną̄x is an exact descriptor of the output of these glands. The irony of this lies in the fact that the deer of both sexes find the scent to be sexually attractive and exciting. So the ną̄x factors in reproduction. It plays a role in stimulating successful mating, and is therefore, in the broad sense, a catalyst of reproduction. The whole myth centers around the esoteric workings of the cycle of sacrifice and its role in the reproduction of game species, which is to say, food. The process of eating is symbolically internalizing the nature of what is eaten — "you are what you eat" — so the hero of this story becomes the catalyst of reproduction.

The irony of the story is what is seductive to deer is repulsive to humans. In the normal course of events, the deer has given itself up to the human as its own kind of seductive sacrificial offering; but in this case, the recipient gets an anti-offering. A normal offering is an inducement, specifically to a counter-offering, but this offering leads more towards starvation.

The tarsus is situated at the lower part of the body. In feasts in which the status of warriors is recognize by the cuts of meat with which they are presented, the head always goes to the best among them. Since the head is the highest part of the animal, it is considered fitting that it be presented to the highest status individuals. The lowest part of the deer happens to correspond to the very worst cut of meat, and ought to be considered inedible, since it is high in dangerous bacteria. So being given an unsavory cut of meat is an act of denigration, but being given the lowest part of an animal is doubly so.

As we shall see, much of this myth is an allegory about Mars. It can be seen that the disk shaped tarsal gland does have some affinity in shape and color to the planet Mars (see below). However, most of this story is an allegory of the progress of Mars through the night sky. Here the allegory traces the adventures of Mars as it crosses the Sagittarius Milky Way.

Corey Haas, © 2021
StarryNight 7.6 Software
The Tarsal Scent Gland Superimposed Over the Sagittarius Milky Way
with the Superimposition of the Celestial Path of Mars, 1 March - 1 October 1638

It can be appreciated that this part of the Milky Way very much resembles a deer leg where it bends at the tarsus, and the glands fit well over the Great Rift created by the dust cloud that occults this region. The path of Mars over a span of years, varies from being above the ecliptic, to being below it. The path traced in the reconstruction for 1638 shows Mars in retrograde motion, cutting through the whole of the tarsal gland area, then passing below the ecliptic and M8, the Lagoon Nebula. Generally, the range of variation above and below the ecliptic spans the area occupied by the tarsal gland when superimposed over its corresponding part of the Sagittarius Milky Way. In what sense, then, does Mars "eat" this tarsal area of the Milky Way? When in the course of its travels across the sky, Mars eclipses a star, it appears to engulf it, as if it were eating the star. The star vanishes for a period, then is gradually expelled from the rear or "rectum" of Mars, as if it had been digested. Digestion becomes figurative for what was probably appreciated by Hocąk astronomers: that the star disappeared because Mars passed by in the foreground and so occulted the star's light. The same figurative description can be given of Mars' course across the Sagittarius Milky Way near the ecliptic where it resembles the tarsus of a deer. Thus, Mars, when it passes over this region, eats the stinking part of the deer ankle (tarsus).

"threw it at him" — given that Aldebaran is a fixed star, how is it that she can "throw" what we have identified as the Great Rift at the planet Mars? The answer lies in an inverted but nevertheless close parallel from Classical mythology. In the story of the death of Orion, the constellation next to Aldebaran's Taurus, it is said that the celestial hunter was stung in the heel by a scorpion, and so fell to earth. This actually describes the action of the Scorpion Constellation (Scorpius) rising while its antipodal constellation, Orion, sets with the Sun and "dies" by disappearing from the sky. Deer Ankle's sister, Aldebaran, throws him outside when she is not packing wood, that is, when they are high in the sky. Mars then goes on his sojourn down the ecliptic to the opposite side of the celestial sphere. When Aldebaran is disappearing into the "lodge" of the Earth with the rising Sun, her opposite antipodal star, Antares, is rising with the setting Sun. So the return of Aldebaran to the lodge of the Earth tosses up Antares and the Sagittarian Milky Way. Even though Mars is moving away (generally) from Aldebaran in a circle following the ecliptic, yet it turns out that relative to the horizon at sunrise, Mars is barely moving:

Date (at Sunrise) 11/23/1626 12/23/1626 1/23/1627
Altitude 15° 59' 18° 40' 17° 56'
Distance from Great Rift 43° 39' 22° 49'

So the illusion is that the Great Rift (the deer ankle) is being tossed up from below the horizon sailing upwards to meet a planet Mars that maintains an altitude that shifts less than 3°. So it's the "deer ankle" that moves up to strike Mars, rather than Mars moving towards it; and like a seesaw, it is the decline of Aldebaran into the earth that "causes" the rise of the Great Rift deer ankle from the earth lodge into the sky where it collides with Mars. This continues in the same pattern until 1630, when Mars becomes an evening star. So just as the celestial scorpion stings Orion and causes him to disappear into the earth, so in reverse, the return of Aldebaran to her earthen lodge causes the celestial deer ankle to be thrown up so that it strikes Mars.

"outdoors again" — he returns once again to the same place. In astronomical terms this is the Great Rift.

"my nephew"Ai ttAo dKe (hicųšgé) in Hocąk (p. 11) — inasmuch as this is not a usual form of address on the part of a Spirit giving a blessing to a mortal, we might take this literally: the human is the Spirit's nephew. This would make the boy a Spirit incarnate himself. In the surface story, the boy is not a Spirit, since when he dies he goes to the human Spiritland. However, esoterically, he is Mars, who must surely count as a Spirit. He is blessed, as it turns out (see below) by a Burrowing Owl, who gets its name from the unique practice among owls of nesting in a burrow in the ground. If the stars are born by rising out of the earth in the east, then esoterically, Mars and Aldebaran are children of the earth, and a burrowing owl can be at least metaphorically a brother of the earth, which would make Mars his nephew.

"Casīkąga" — notice, perhaps owing to a sense of politeness, ną̄x, "stinking"; and ruc, "eating"; are left out. The name derives from , "deer"; sīką, "ankle"; and -ga, a definite article suffix used in personal names. The matter of his personal name is taken up in greater detail below.

    Alan D. Wilson
    A Wood Bison

"a red-haired woman, a woman of a very light complexion with curly hair" — the "red" hair (more properly red-brown) is an attribute of buffalo, as is having curly (black) hair. In astronomy, the stars are Buffalo Spirits (see below), and star people are always portrayed as being of very light complexion, as we might expect from the face of a star. So it is formulaic that the human manifestation of a Star Spirit have a bright white face. Buffalo hair becomes more curly in the winter:

In the winter months the coat is thickly furred with exceedingly close and curly hair, almost resembling a fine brown wool. The skins at that season are valuable as "buffalo robes," and have for a long time been in great request, but owing to the diminution in numbers of the animals, they are becoming exceedingly scarce.4

Curly Hair, who is one of the primary characters in "Redhorn's Father," is a Buffalo Spirit.

"she struck him with a piece of coal" — when the spirit woman throws a cold piece of charcoal (ū́xį́nį-hoisep) at Deer Ankle, she is doing what the male head of the household would normally do to insist that a boy, who has reached puberty, fast and seek a dream from the spirits. In this context, charcoal is expected to be used by the fasting vision seeker to blacken his face in order to appear more pitiable to the Spirits. However, we know esoterically that he is the Spirit known to us as "Mars". Since she turns out to be a Spirit herself, her selection of the mortal as her mate is a de facto blessing. This boy does not have to fast to obtain any blessing, but he does have to marry this Princess of the Buffalo Spirits in order to realize the blessing that she is tendering him. Thus she symbolically throws the charcoal of fasting, the action that urges the adolescent to try and gain a blessing, in order to get him to focus on the blessing she is about to bestow on him. However, this is not the only significance of the act. Throwing something harmless at someone is considered to be a kind of teasing as one might expect in courtship. Mere verbal teasing is called ražíc, but if the teasing is physical it is called ružíc. Engaging in ružíc is common enough among joking relations, but in this context it represents a brazen style of courtship, in which the sexual roles are reversed. She teases him by a courting ružíc using the symbol of seeking a blessing in order to induce him to realize that union with her is the blessing to be sought.

At an esoteric level, the boy is playing the role of Mars in an allegory. So what is this charcoal in astronomical terms? The only object in the heavens that resembles a piece of charcoal traveling from one star to another, is the Moon in its last quarter. If we trace the celestial path of the Moon in the year 1633, we see how it is possible for Antares to throw the Moon at Mars:

The Celestial Path of the Moon
from Antares to Mars by Aldebaran
20 June - 3 July 1633

In the hands of Antares, the Moon is full. She casts it in a loop (along the ecliptic) towards the opposite horizon where Mars as Deer Ankle is presently residing with Aldebaran. When it passes by Mars ("strikes" him) it is mostly dark, and therefore analogous to a piece of charcoal.

"Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle" — this translates ttA riAi K. Ao nx Lo ttK, Cāsīką-honą̄ǧᵋrucka, which is his full name. Cāsīką is analyzed as above; and honą̄ǧᵋrucka is ho-, "the place at which ..."; ną̄x, "stinking (paradigmatically of urine)"; ruc, "to eat, he eats"; and -ka, a definite article used in personal names ("the x such that x is ..."). Therefore, "Stinking Deer Ankle" (Cāsīkąną̄x) is really cā-sīką-ho-ną̄x. In cāsīkąoną̄x the ą-ho resolves to ą-o, but where we have ą-o, the syllabic text shows an o. The syllabic o could be u, ų, o, or ǫ. The u letters can be rejected, but does ą-o yield o, or ǫ? It seems that the last is correct. For the word meaning "ankle prominence(s), malleoli,” Kingswan-Zeps has sīką́oš’ók (rri KAn o d’oK); but he offers the variant, sīkǫ́š’ok (rri KAon d’oK) with the same translation. Given this example, it seems reasonable to conclude that Cāsīką-honą̄ǧᵋrucka (ttA riAi K. Ao nx Lo ttK), which is the full name presented in two parts, should resolve to Cāsīkǫną̄ǧᵋrucka (or ttA riAi Kon nx Lo ttK in Kingswan's orthography).5

"a spring of water" — the only celestial feature that can resemble a spring (mą̄’í) is the Milky Way. The Hocąk origin story of the Milky Way says that it is the result of water being splashed into the sky. Throughout the world, the Milky Way is homologized to a flowing body of water, a spring, creek, or river. The Quechua name for the Milky Way encodes this fact, Mayu meaning both "Milky Way" and "River." They also say that the river Vilcanota takes its source from the celestial river and makes itself a mirror image of its source.6 The Tucano see the Vaupés River as the counterpart to the Milky Way.7 In China, the Milky Way was viewed as the counterpart of the Yellow River.8 Aborigines of the Adelaide plain in South Australia also think of the Milky Way as a river.9  The ecliptic, and therefore Mars, crosses two sections of the Milky Way: the Gemini section, and the Sagittarius section. From what follows below, it is clear at this point in the story that Mars is in the Sagittarius part of the Milky Way.

StarryNight 7.6 Software
The Conjunction of Mars and M8, 2030 hrs., 5 November 1634
Wide Vista

"she stretched his scalp lock" — Mars' conjunction with the Lagoon Nebula (M8) within the Sagittarius Milky Way can create precisely this image, as the nebulous flow behind Mars looks as if he suddenly gained a long train of hair. 1634 is not the only year in which Mars comes close enough to M8 to have it appear as a train of hair behind it. Here is a series of dates on which this proximity occurs:

Date 17 January 1612 8 December 1615 17 November 1617 26 January 1627 4 January 1629
7.6 Software

Date 25 November 1632 5 November 1634 13 January 1644 13 November 1649
7.6 Software

Although Mars reappears at roughly the same spot about biennially, its elevation above and below the ecliptic varies widely. As a result, it may be well above or below M8 when it passes through this part of the Milky Way. At other times, it may be too close to the Sun for its conjunction with M8 to be seen (as may have been the case on 8 Dec. 1615). We know that Hocąk observers were aware of M8 and its relationships to Mars since this nebula is used as a symbol in other allegorical contexts in this myth (see 1, 2).

"a big hill" — in an astronomical allegory, such as we find in this story, the only obvious hill in the night sky is the Sagittarius-Scopius Milky Way, which has the same contour as an oval lodge, to which it is also homologized (see below).

"red feathers" — it is obvious why red feathers, rather than white deerskins or other offerings, are being singled out: both Mars and Antares are unusually red. Also, feathers are symbolic of "fliers", and as stars Mars and Antares "fly" across the night sky.

StarryNight 7.6 Software
The Paths of Mercury and Mars, 28 November 1643 - 3 January 1644

"when he got very near, he suffered a bout of blindness, and collapsed" — on 28 November 1643, Mercury is on the horizon but begins to climb the "hill". As he rises day by day, he passes by Mars on 1 December, then as he ascends still higher, he finally "stalls", then "collapses" on 6 December, continually falling in altitude. Finally, having thus "collapsed" he meets up with Mars (23 December 1643).

"I am living here" — after the two brothers-in-law meet up, they move together towards the "hill" in which Mars dwells with his wife (the Scorpius Milky Way), then they part company, with Mercury returning to the Sun.

StarryNight 7.6 Software   StarryNight 7.6 Software
The Conjunction of Mercury and Aldebaran, 2052 hrs., 11 May1645   The Conjunction of Mercury and Elnath, 2052 hrs., 21 May1645
Wide Vista

"he went home" — Mercury returned to his wife Aldebaran on 11 May 1643, as shown in the reconstruction of the sky for that date.

"the town" — it is easy to identify the "town" in question: not far from Aldebaran is the tightly amassed stars that form the Gemini Milky Way.

"the princess" — there are also no competitors for this role either: the brightest and most beautiful star in that region of the Milky Way, very near the ecliptic, is Elnath. Elnath (β Tauri = γ Aurigae) is a blue star, the second-brightest in the constellation of Taurus, with an apparent magnitude of 1.65. The reconstruction shows Mercury and Elnath in conjunction.

"Buffalo Woman" — it is interesting how the story shifts from the topic of deer () to that of buffalo (). One might think that this story had some connection to the Sioux, for whom one of the words for buffalo is ta, exactly cognate to Hocąk , "deer". Both of these words derive from a Common Siouan *ta, "deer". The buffalo of the prairie were "deer" to the early Sioux inasmuch as they are the primary food item, just as deer were in the forests. However, we do not have to posit a foreign origin for this analogy in our story, but only "parallel sense development".

As a buffalo woman she is to be identified with a star. One would expect, given her status as a princess (or queen), that she would be a conspicuous star. She also has a calf, which must be a nearby star, but not as bright. Since Mars is to join both of them, and Mars' celestial path is restricted to the ecliptic, it follows that both stars must be on the ecliptic themselves. She is found (as a fixed star) next to a mą̄’í, "spring of water", which on the celestial sphere, could only be the Gemini or Sagittarius Milky Way. We know that this star is very close to the Great Rift where, as we shall see, Deer Ankle loses his gorget. This area is found in the Sagittarian Milky Way, which in one episode, is homologized to his wife's lodge. So his wife is a prominent (princess) star located near by, or in, the Sagittarian Milky Way, and very near the ecliptic. There seems to be only one star that fulfills these requirements, and that is Antares, the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius, and the fifteenth-brightest star in the sky. Antares illuminates some of the ρ Ophiuchi cloud complex found to its front. So much of the star has been ejected into the surrounding space adjacent to this cloud, that it has formed its own Antares Nebula around the star. The ρ Ophiuchi cloud can be seen with the unaided eye, and forms a fuzzy area that can be homologized to the curly hair of buffalo. The ρ Ophiuchi clouds appears as an adjunct to the Milky Way itself, although the two "clouds" have very different constituents. Apart from Antares being a variable star, its most prominent feature is its distinctive red color. Its color and brightness immediately bring to mind Mars. The very name of the star is Ἀντάρης, "like Mars," or "rival of Mars", from ἀντί, ἀντ-, "opposite, (mutually) opposite to, against; equal to, like, similar"; and Ἄρης (Ares), the Greek counterpart to both the Roman God of War, and the planet Mars.10 Mars and Antares are biennially spatially opposite, but also divergent in their contrasting planetary and stellar natures; yet a novice could be excused for confusing the two owing to their similarity of color and the prominence of their brightness. Consequently, it is not surprising that Antares is seen as a princess among the buffalo, nor is it inappropriate to see her as a mate and feminine stellar counterpart of Mars. Just as Mars was a brother to bright red Aldebaran, so now he is a husband to bright red Antares. The attractive character of Antares is reflected not only its opposition to the character of Aldebaran, but in the fact that they are spatial opposites on the celestial sphere: the rising of one is the setting of the other, and conversely.

StarryNight 7.6 Software   StarryNight 7.6 Software
0615 Hrs. 7 January 1644   0615 Hrs. 7 March 1644
Buffalo Woman (Antares) and Her Calf (Al Niyat) Climbing the Hill (Sagittarius Milky Way)

"on top of a hill and play with her young one" — at the beginning of the year, early in the morning before sunrise, Antares and her calf, Al Niyat, are resting on flat ground: the Scorpius-Sagittarius Milky Way lies flat at the horizon. However, at the same time in the morning about three months later, they are now seen climbing the side of a steep hill.

"bone" — this would give them a solid white appearance appropriate to stars.

"an opening hole" — these are stars that eat and defecate. In astronomy codes, when one celestial body "eats" another, what is meant is that it totally eclipses the other body. This is particularly obvious with the Moon, which "eats" stars as it eclipses them. They first enter the front side, then exit later from the back, after having been "digested". Discounting Mercury, which is too small to establish who "ate" whom, and Mars, which is decidedly red and cannot be imagined as made of bone, there are just four "stars" that can eat other stars: Morning Star, Evening Star, Jupiter, and Saturn. It is a happy coincidence that there are precisely four of them, as four is the number of wholeness and completion. That these four Buffalo Spirit brothers are Bad Buffalo, would mean, given the pattern among other such Bad Spirits, that they are either cannibals or man-eaters. These four white planets clearly eat their fellow stars, and therefore must have a mouth and an anus.

A Buffalo Herd

"they will dance all night" — one of the valences of buffalo in Hocąk symbolism is that of stars. The stars that course across the flat sky in a giant herd call to mind the vast herds of buffalo that sweep across the plains. These buffalo-stars take an arching route, emerging from the subterranean depths in the east and returning underground as they set in the west. The circumpolar stars move in a circle around the Star That Does Not Move (Polaris, the North Star) until they disappear under the light of the rising Sun. Indian dances are conducted in a circle, so the buffalo-stars replicate the pattern of people dancing. The same idea is expressed in Įcorúšika and His Brothers. The Greeks, who have circular dances themselves, also portrayed the motion of the stars as dancing. Plato in Timæus 40 mentions the dances (χορεῖαν) of the stars; Censorinus 13, describes the dance (τὸ χορεῖον) of the stars; and Euripides, Electra 467, speaks of the "æthereal choruses of the stars, the Pleiades, the Hyades" (ἄστρων τ’ αἰθέριοι χοροὶ, Πλειάδες, Ὑάδες).11

"morning" — at an exoteric level this certainly appears to be a contradiction, since the story says that they went home in the morning, then got up and went to the heavens also in the morning.

"at noon, we will land on the earth" — if taken literally, rather than supposing that noon for stars is midnight to us, from an astronomical point of view, none of these stars would be visible. When they descend to earth in other contexts, they literally become buffalo.

"they will all look alike" — this is almost never the case with stars, which differ from one another in color, brightness, size, and position. So here we have a folkloric element, found in many other stories, which in this instance has no astronomical valence, but plays upon the fact that buffalo are notoriously difficult to tell apart. It has been noted that young males are often even mistaken for females. From a frontal view, the principal way to tell the difference between a male and female buffalo, for instance, is in the horns. If the horns tend somewhat more inward, it is a female; otherwise, it is a male. Among those of the same sex, it is very difficult to tell one individual from another of similar age.

"a sign" — to tell one female buffalo from another of the same size and age would indeed require some kind of sign.

Brandon Griffin, Maverick Artworks  
A Burning Buffalo Chip  

"a buffalo chip" — what gives the stinking part of the deer ankle its ammonia odor (ną̄x) is the urine that is deliberately sprayed by the animal upon its scent glans on its ankles. The buffalo chip forms an interesting parallel to the deer urine. Buffalo excrement comes out in a stream, rather like the excrement of birds, which, as stars, the buffalo resemble. The stream of semi-liquid forms a neatly circular disk, commonly called a "patty" or "chip". This chip dries out and can be "harvested". These patties have an important use that might be a surprise to modern day urbanites. Buffalo chips were used primarily as a source of fire for people living on the plains where wood is not common. This fire was not only used for illumination at night, but as a source of heat. As the buffalo-stars eat the substance of night sown by the Nightspirits like humans sow the seeds of plants, they stream out of their bodies light, which is therefore analogous to excrement. The flaming disk of buffalo-dung-as-fuel creates an image of the Sun. It is the Sun that cooks the stars. As its fire builds under them, the sky turns a bright blue and "eats" the stars. When the Sun sets, its light is extinguished and the vast herds of buffalo-stars follow after it. The "buffalo" of the ecliptic literally follow the path of the Sun and enter below the earth through whatever portal the setting Sun itself used to submerge below the ground. The four Bad Buffalo brothers, being planet-stars, follow along the ecliptic, and so enter the earth at exactly the spot where the last light of the Sun was seen. The pathway and portal of the Sun to the underworld is marked by a symbolic disk representing the light cast off by the luminous celestial fauna that course the firmament. The light-dung is the potential energy of the Sun that has gone out as it enters the earth, but which, like an ignited buffalo chip, will emerge again a disk of flaming hot light, the same celestial light excreted by the nocturnal stars, but now converted into the heat that cooks these same buffalo-stars.

Since the dung of buffalo is used in cooking, ironically, a buffalo killed by a hunter ends up being cooked by its own excrement. Just as the deer urine is a catalyst for reproduction of food animals (see above), so the buffalo chips are a catalyst for the cooking of their meat. Both deer urine and buffalo dung are ultimately catalysts or agents for creating zootic food. Our protagonist eats the urine tainted deer ankle, just as those who eat meat cooked over buffalo chips take in a measure of the flame-transferred dung.

"underground" — in a geocentric world, the stars rise out of the earth, then return to the earth on its opposite side. It then may be deduced that they must have traveled underground before they could have risen again on the opposite horizon.

"we can travel together" — this remark shows that Deer Ankle also plays the role of a star, since that is the only way in which he could travel with other stars ("buffalo"). If he were a fixed star, there could be no question about his traveling companions, as that would be established inflexibly by his fixed position on the celestial sphere. Therefore, especially in light of the fact that he can be on earth when his Buffalo Spirit family is above, he must be a planet-star. Such stars are the only ones that can move from the earth up into the heavens and be capable of overtaking any set of fixed stars on the ecliptic. Excluding the diminutive and dualistic Mercury, which has already been identified with the brother-in-law, there remain but five visible planetary stars: Morning Star, Evening Star, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars. The first four have already been identified with the four Bad Buffalo brothers, leaving Mars, by exclusion, the only remaining possibility for the planet-star that is to be identified with Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle. The "stinking part of the deer ankle", the tarsal scent gland (see above), creates a roughly disk shaped area of reddish hue near the tarsal "ankle", making it resemble Mars more than any other planet; and it is with this gland that Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle has a special identity. So when Mars is in conjunction with the Sun it is on Earth and no longer visible in the sky. Here he will be separated from those stars that still travel in the firmament, who will now be above him. Eventually, Mars will ascend and meet these stars if they are, as these stars must be, on or near the ecliptic.

"heard up above" — as we might expect, the buffalo being stars, his buffalo-daughter makes a sound from above. However, it is not only its place of origin that is of interest in this context, but the fact that she makes a sound. In Hocąk symbolism, sound is often used to stand for light. Therefore, esoterically, the knowledgeable listener will understand that the story here is referring to a shining object above, and given the valence of the buffalo, it will be clear that a star is meant.

"in the evening, they would always cry out" — this is the standard Hocąk symbolism of sound for light. As stars, the buffalo cry out in the evening when the Sun sets.

"Medicine Rite Feasts" — this feast was always held at night, so naturally, as a star, he would always be present.

BAE 37, Plate 47   BAE 37, Plate 48    
Deerskin Offerings to the Nightspirits   The Brown (Red) Bear

"bear" — the black bear is the paradigmatic ursine. This immediately brings to mind the blackness of the night sky. This blackness is thought of as a substance. Just as the Sun scatters light into the sky, turning it blue, so the Nightspirits sow the darkness of night like one might sow seed. However, there are two other kinds of bears that are of critical importance to the color of the sky. The first of these is the Bear Spirit who occupies the cardinal point of the east where the Sun rises. This is Blue Bear named after the chromatic transformation of the sky when the Sun emerges from his underworld sojourn. His opposite on the western horizon is Red Bear, who governs the cardinal point where the Sun retires from the sky. He is the patron of the brown bear, who is the same color as the buffalo (here associated with the color red (šūc)).

"plants that grew in the swamp" — the blackness of night, which is the spiritual essence of the Nightspirits, is planted by them as they walk across the sky following the setting of the Sun on the opposite horizon. This darkness is a fixed background, rooted in the sky like an undergrowth of plants. Therefore, the darkness sown by the Nightspirits is rather more like plants than bears. The stars have been homologized to the giant herds of buffalo that roam the plains since the celestial vault lacks hills and valleys and is a smooth "flat" surface. The familiar buffalo of earth roam across vast plains that are a continuum of grass. The buffalo actually walk on what they eat. So too, it may be said of the stellar buffalo that they walk across a plain covered in the nocturnal "grass" sown by the Nightspirits.

Where are the "swamps" located? The Sun is thought to have risen and set at the eastern and western edges of the flat Earth. At the edge of the Earth runs an Ocean Sea, and in particular where the Sun sets in the domain of Red Bear, the sky turns various shades of red. The association of the red sunsets with Red Bear makes for an immediate association of the rufescent western horizon with bears. The prevalence of clouds at the horizon coupled with their position over the Ocean Sea, makes the celestial sphere there into a swamp when compared to the rest of the sky. This makes for the unusual coupling of bears with a swamp. The red bears of the horizon swallow up stars, so they do not seem to the buffalo-stars to be plants at all, but man-eating predators, bears. To the Mars figure, they are not auto-mobile, and are therefore rooted in place like plants. Unlike him, they do not travel across the celestial sphere, but ever remain in the swamp at the world's edge.

"they would eat" — we have seen that eating usually denotes the apparent swallowing that occurs when one celestial body eclipses another. The only things that non-planetary stars can eat is the substance of the nocturnal sky itself. In one story, we are told that the stars are pock marks made on the face of night by the enemies of the Nightspirits, the Cranes, who struck them with their bills ("mouths") annihilating at the puncture point the substance of the night. So the flying fauna have bitten out and swallowed up small bits of the substance sown by the Nightspirits. Eliminating the middle man, we can think of the stars themselves as mouths consuming the night-substance over which their bodies rest. So as the stars move across the dark terrain of the inverted celestial plain, they forage on the substance of the night, the darkness sown by the Nightspirits.

When the stars, as they move west, encounter the indistinct edge of the rufescent horizon's light, the dimness of the red background allows the stars to forage on it just as they had the substance of the night. But what kind of substance is this? It is more that of the day, perhaps, than that of the night. It was not sown by the Nightspirits. If anything, it is of the substance of Red Bear, lord over the western cardinal point.

"it will cut up your mouth" — since non-planetary stars twinkle (scintillate) or flicker, it is as if the black background which they are eating has cut back in turn upon the star's substance. Thus the characterization of the process as the cutting of the mouth of the star, in other words, that part of the star that had consumed the black substance of night, is now itself consumed by it, a kind of cutting back. The same applies to the rarer occasions in which stars that are bright enough can flicker in the edge of the reddened sky.

"only good hunters can kill such as these" — only bright stars such as Sirius, and of course the five planetary stars, can be seen against the red background. Since their occultation of the red light means that they have "eaten" it, it follows that they are good hunters. This makes the bright, but red Mars an interesting case. He is hard to make out against the red background, but as darkness advances, it becomes clear that he was present in the twilight. In his pre-buffalo life, he had eaten the reddish but foul part of the deer ankle, and so was reddish himself. Now, when emerging from the twilight, he carries with him the red bear meat he had taken up. As he traverses among the fixed stars of the firmament, he brings that red bear meat to them. However, he sees it as nothing but the harvesting of immobile plants that live in the swampy borderlands of the empyrean.

"very shy" — the red bears of the horizon can only be seen for a brief period before they themselves disappear into the darkness sown by the Nightspirits.

"half the village" — normally, or at least ideally, a Hocąk village is set up so that each of the two moieties occupies one half of the village circle. So the Good and Bad Buffalo Spirits are being treated here as two moieties of a single tribe. Ideally, the chief is located in the center of the village, mainly for his protection. In the astronomy allegory, the place where the greatest number of buffalo (stars) live is in the circular village formed by the Milky Way.

"he said to his wife" — a married person never spoke directly to his mother-in-law or father-in-law. Even if they were present inches away, he would always address any remarks intended for their ears to his wife. She would then reply, ideally, with "Son-in-law says ...".

"he laid on his stomach" — going out a little ways into the woods to think in the solitude of the forest is natural enough, but the idea that laying on one's stomach is conducive to contemplation is not likely a cultural feature, but part of the allegory. In an astronomy code, speaking of a stellar figure laying on the ground facing the Earth is a way of describing the star's sojourn to the edge of the world where it sets by laying on the horizon. Mars, with whom Deer Ankle is identified, is about to contact a kind of burrowing owl, and naturally he must meet him face down as one would do over a burrow.

"owl" — normally, an owl is a figure of great ill omen, so much so that parents used to frighten their children into obedience by telling them that if they did not do as they were told, they would be visited by an owl. The fearsome reputation of the owl derives from his being the archetype of darkness, who rules over the time of greatest peril for most primates. However, as discussed more below, the Burrowing Owl is much more diurnal than any other owl, and can, therefore, play a more positive role as a spiritual power. Nevertheless, events do not unfold without a sinister reversal.

The Burrowing Owl
Athene cunicularia

"a little Ō’ṓšį Owl" — Sheila Shigley points out that Dorsey recorded this as hąpókoóšina (< hąpók-ō’ṓšį-na), which he identified as the Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia), "one of the most conspicuous and charismatic owl species in North America. Their habit of using subterranean structures for nesting and shelter is unique among owl species."12 In the plains, these owls usually occupy the burrows of the prairie dog. Thus the Osage call them "the servants of the prairie dog." In recent times they are rather rare in Wisconsin.13 Their preferred habitat is often grazed, even today, by buffalo.14 They have an odd, but in our context, pertinent, relationship to buffalo: they "may line burrow entrance and nest chamber with cow manure, but no real nest [is] built."15 It is obvious that before cattle were introduced to the plains, the bovine manure with which they lined their nests from time to time was that of the buffalo. "Burrowing Owls use shredded manure to line their nests and burrow entrances, possibly to mask nest odors as a predator-avoidance strategy."16 Those nesting sites lined with dung had 5.5 times the success rates as those which were not.17 This means that buffalo dung greatly enhances the reproductive success of the Burrowing Owl. The buffalo calving season runs from mid-April to early July, which overlaps with the nesting season of the Burrowing Owl, which runs from spring to early August. The buffalo-as-stars are night fliers who spend half of their lives living underground, which is also true of the Burrowing Owl. The chip that the buffalo remove to enter the underworld is exactly what the Burrowing Owl must pass through when it descends from the sky into its own underworld home. So the Burrowing Owl is the avian counterpart of the sidereal buffalo.

The Burrowing Owl is rare in Wisconsin,18 and is fundamentally a western bird.19 Therefore, it is more associated with the setting than the rising Sun. The identity of the Bird Spirit as the Burrowing Owl helps us to better understand the image of the buffalo chip. Functionally, the buffalo chip is the fiery disk that sits/sets upon the ground. There is where the owl burrows underground, lining its chamber with buffalo chips. The Buffalo Spirits as stars follow it through this burrow, a burrow belonging to a winged being who resides there at the same time that the stars are underground themselves. When the stars lift up the buffalo chip and descend underground, they symbolically lift up the Sun to rise in their place.

The reinterpretation of the Great Rift as the burrow of the owl creates an ingenious isomorphism of the deer ankle with the avian burrow. The deer ankle contains the scent gland that invites reproduction, but this seductiveness is made complete by excreting urine over the gland to produce a pungent attractive odor. Without this process, the creation of new deer would likely fail. Similarly, the owl uses the excrement of the deer's counterpart, the buffalo, to line his burrow. The resultant ną̄x is in this case a repellent, but one designed to preserve the lives of the young owls inside the burrow by warding off predators. The two instances of ną̄x are pinned to the same astronomical structure. So the same astronomical structure, the Great Rift, serves to unify the deer ankle and the owl burrow and draw forth the inference of how these structures use ną̄x of complementary excrement, each in its own way, to further the reproduction of their species. Yet in contrast, the first meeting of Mars as Deer Ankle with the inedible tarsus gland is a curse, but his second meeting at this same Great Rift is a blessing from a nocturnal flier whose burrow is a transformation of the gland and its paradoxical ną̄x.

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(Naked Eye Setting)
  StarryNight 7.6 Software
(Naked Eye Setting)
The Burrowing Owl (M8)
and His Burrow (The Great Rift)
Wide Vista
  The Trifid and Lagoon Nebulæ Forming a Necklace
of a Skinned Owl Around the Neck of Mars
Wider View

During sojourn of Mars across the ecliptic (shown in green in the replica above), every other year (minus a month and about a fortnight)20 shows up at a unique spot on the celestial sphere. This region lies in the constellation of Sagittarius, where the center of the Milky Way is crossed by the ecliptic. The bright center of the galaxy is completely eclipsed by a great black cloud of dust which creates a split in the Milky Way as it appears to viewers on earth. This dark tunnel is called the "Great Rift". On the edge of the Great Rift, near its opening, is a fuzzy gray patch which bears its cloudy character in its name "nebula". This nebula is designated "M8", but has been known less esoterically as the "Lagoon Nebula". The gray Lagoon Nebula is readily homologized to an owl, and the downward angled tunnel of the Great Rift makes a perfect burrow. Not only does Mars biennially approach this astronomical owl and its burrow, but in some years will eclipse parts of the nebula. So the Burrowing Owl and Dear Ankle have an intimate relationship in their astronomical analogues.

"a necklace" — as Mars travels along the ecliptic, there is precisely one place where he appears to have a feathery gorget hanging from his neck, and that is where the planet crosses just above the cloud-like Lagoon Nebula (M8) situated near where the edge of the Sagittarius Milky Way crosses the ecliptic.

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The Lunar Horns of Kųnų (Jupiter)
30 October 1646
Wide Vista
  The Celestial Paths of the Moon, Mars, and Jupiter
30 October - 27 November 1646
Wide Vista

"his horns held low" — the confrontation begins in the constellation of Cancer as Jupiter is just rising. The sharply crescent Moon forms a suitable analogue to a pair of buffalo horns. These "horns" of the Moon are actually attached to the planet and drag on the ground of the horizon. Initially, Jupiter's light is occulted by the crescent Moon, but as time passes, the two separate.

"struck him with a loud thud" — given that the crescent Moon functioned as a set of horns, this likely refers to the next Moon, which passes by Mars, although it does not actually touch the planet. Its passage must be inferred, since it is across from Mars during the daylight, when neither of them is visible. See the depiction of the path of the Moon from Jupiter to Mars above.

"he started for the buffalo" — on 24 November 1646, Jupiter reversed its direction and began its retrograde, allegorically expressed as the buffalo Kųnų fleeing from his opponent. Mars reverses course on 17 December and begins its retrograde motion. The story pictures this process as Deer Ankle chasing after the Bad Buffalo. Both retrograde motions can be seen in the depiction below:

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The Simultaneous Retrogrades of Mars and Jupiter, 10 Oct. 1646 - 8 June 1647 (Enlarge)
Close-up of the Retrograde of Jupiter

"he kept running around him" — this describes just one planetary process: retrograde motion. The confrontation between the very white stellar buffalo and Deer Ankle is an allegorical portrayal of the interaction of Jupiter and Mars. The reason that Jupiter is rotating around Mars is an illusion that Jupiter is going backwards, then circling back and resuming its forward motion. This "forward" motion is downward in relation to our horizon, since Jupiter is headed for conjunction with the Sun, where it will appear to fall to earth where the Sun sets.

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Mars Behind Jupiter in Prograde, 24 March 1647
Expanded View
  The Conjunction of Jupiter with the Sun
Expanded View

"there he shot him" — as Mars ran around Jupiter on 3 March 1647 he swung around into prograde motion while Jupiter was still in retrograde. Allegorically, Deer Ankle was now facing Kųnų and it was about then that he shot the buffalo through his open jaws.

"his rectum" — on 23 March 1647, Jupiter had switched to prograde motion, which then allowed Deer Ankle to shoot the Bad Buffalo through his anus, as that area was now in front of him given Jupiter's about face.

"died" — death for humans is associated with darkness and life with hąp, "light". With planets, it's the reverse: conjunction with the greatest light, Hąp, "Sun", is death, and is simultaneously burial, as they meet the Sun at the horizon under which they subsequently disappear. This happened to Jupiter when it set at 0722 hrs. on 7 August 1647. The mercurial Mars had rushed by horizon and Sun long before, but being human was not heir to the same fate.

"a racket crying" — this again is the use of sound to represent light. Inasmuch as the Bad Buffalo are stars, they radiate a good deal of light, and the planets, who are counted among them, radiate even "louder".

"having discovered where your lost one is" — this has a very different translation in the text: "Knowing thus ...". These phrases translate a single word: waruką́ną. Miner translates this as, "to go into a trance to recover a lost thing." The implication is that he went into a trance to find the location of the woman that he (along with his brothers) was courting, and having done so, discovered that she was with another man. Thus, he knew that if he took her anyways, this man would come after him. In this context, waruką́ną forms an interesting pun with wa-rukąną́, which means, "to woo someone"; and may bring to mind the astronomically pertinent rukąnąką́nąp, "to be shiny".

"he was greater" — the younger of adult males is conventionally assumed to be the stronger, since age is debilitating to muscular strength. So each in turn will be stronger than the one before. The strength and age of the four star brothers is not dependent on their apparent magnitude. On that scale, Mars is a puny -2.92 magnitude, less than any of the four brother planets.

Birth Order Kųnų Heną Haga Naǧi
Star Jupiter Morning Star Saturn Evening Star
Date 14 Nov 1646 3 June 1648 10 July 1648 7 March 1652
Magnitude -6.13 -7.08 -4.21 -7.08

The story says nothing about how powerful the remaining stars are in relation to the first two. That they should sort according to age is merely the normal expectation, which in this case is not the primary concern.

"in the morning" — here day is being substituted for night. The stars "sleep" in the earth, then "wake up" and rise from their beds as the Sun sets, making their evening equivalent to our morning.

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Mars and Morning Star, 25 May - 26 June 1648. Conjunction 4 June 1648.
Expanded View

"Heną́ga" — this is a birth order name for the second born son. Nothing is said of the overconfident Heną save that he was, like his elder brother, a fatality at the hands of Deer Ankle. Heną is to be identified with Morning Star (Venus), which is the next planet encountered by Mars in its progression through the zodiac. Heną is indeed more powerful than Jupiter, as Morning Star is usually deemed to be the most powerful celestial body after the Sun.

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The Celestial Paths of Mars and Saturn, 1 - 20 July 1648
Conjunction 10 July 1648
Expanded View

"the third one" — in the sequence of planets with which Mars comes into conjunction, the third is Saturn whose birth order name in the allegory will have been Haga. The fact that nothing is said of the details of the encounter, shows that the version of the myth that we possess may not be the full account. However, it is minimally adequate for establishing the astronomical course of events. As to order of magnitude and speed of travel across the celestial sphere, Saturn should be the weakest of the brothers, but the myth is silent on his standing in that regard. After the death of Hagága-Saturn there is a long hiatus in the combat narrative that corresponds to a similar interlude in the astronomy between the passing of Saturn and the encounter with Evening Star, the "Chief of the Buffalo Spirits," and therefore ruler over all the stars in the firmament.21

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Deer Ankle (Mars) Hangs Up His Owl Gorget (M8) and Enters the Sweat-bath, 22 - 27 October 1651

"hung it there" — in late October of 1651, Mars enters into the Sagittarius Milky Way, which resembles an oval lodge. There, in the open space within (the Great Rift), Deer Ankle (Mars) has above him the owl gorget which has already been identified with the Lagoon Nebula (M8). This is easily homologized to Deer Ankle hanging his owl gorget above him on a cross beam (cišúrut’ǫbeja).

"the steam bath" — it can be appreciated that the Sagittarius Milky Way forms a suitable analogue to a cloud of steam. Mars moves a short way from where he left the Lagoon Nebula into the center of the adjacent cloud of stars by 27 October 1651.

"this one" — by exclusion, all the other brothers having been met and killed, this final brother must be Evening Star (of Venus). As it happens, Evening Star is the next one that Mars encounters after leaving the "sweat bath" of the Sagittarius Milky Way.

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Mars in Pisces, Venus in Aquarius: the Lunar Horns of Naǧi (Evening Star), 10 February 1652   The Conjunction of Mars with Evening Star, 6 March 1652

"his horn touched the ground" — as with Jupiter (above), the horns are formed by the crescent of the Moon of 10 February 1652, which in this case is barely visible.

"disappear" — as Evening Star sets with Mars their angular separation is 23' 49". Under ideal conditions by people with good vision, some separation can be seen between two celestial objects at about 11' 40" (= 700") of arc.22 However, to old men, who are the ones likely tracking Mars, it may have seemed that Mars disappeared into Venus, especially given the differential in brightness (-7.08 vs. -2.92). However, by "suddenly disappeared", may have been meant that their closest approach to one another occurred just as they were setting. By June of that year, Mars did indeed disappear into the Sun.

"shattered into pieces" — a translation of the word gicecexjį, which is unique in the literature, although it is regularly derived from gicé, "to break, crack, or tear (a piece off) a soft substance by striking" (Miner). By reduplicating the last syllable, -cé, an emphatic is formed; but adding -xjį is another way to form an emphatic, so gicecexjį represents a double emphatic. Lamere's translation suggests that he was atomized, however, unlike something hard and brittle that can shatter, gicé implies that the substance is soft. The idea may be to emphasize the force of the impact, which is a function of the size and speed of Evening Star.

Date in 1652 at 1950 hrs. 6 March 13 March 20 March 27 March 3 April 10 April
Angular Separation
of Venus from Mars
0° 23' 53" 3 19' 56" 6° 40' 43" 10° 1' 57" 13° 23' 07" 16° 43' 57"

Evening Star flies up the ecliptic at the rate of about 3° 21' a night. Mars, on the other hand, at that same time of night, gradually sinks below the local horizon. So Venus clipped Mars at a high velocity, enough to make the character of the impact seem explosive.

"he was killed" — Evening Star keeps ascending for months, but Mars gradually falls from the sky and into the western land of the dead and the setting Sun (early May 1652).

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M8 (Lagoon Nebula) Homologized to an Owl Skin Between the Tent and Its Pole

"between the tent and pole" — as shown above, the position of M8, the Lagoon Nebula, can be homologized to an owl skin suspended between the central lodge or tent pole and the liner of the tent. The Milky Way here serves especially well as an image of a lodge or a tepee, and the dark column formed by the Great Rift serves nicely as a pole. The same imagery was used in "Snowshoe Strings" (1, 2).

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Evening Star's Lunar Horns,
23 November 1653
Expanded View
  The Paths of Mars and Venus as Evening Star Plunges to Earth,
23 Nov. 1653 - 27 April 1654

"head to the ground" — Evening Star is setting in the scene shown above, so his lunar horns follow after him and scrape the ground. The setting of Venus on 23 November 1653 is described as Evening Star "crouching", and since the Moon follows him, it soon hits the mud of the horizon.

"he was struck low to the ground" — from his starting point on 23 November 1653, Evening Star takes quite some time to reach Mars, as Venus pulls up even on 5 February 1654 at 1621:24 hrs, which is still daylight, and therefore not observable. So the question of collision becomes a question of when they came closest to one another. As we can see from this table, which begins at sunset (1719 hrs) on 7 February, in the constellation of Pisces, they "collide" at a very low altitude:

Time on 7 Feb. 1654 1719 hrs. 1820 hrs. 1920 hrs. 2020 hrs. 2107 hrs. 2120 hrs.
Altitude of Venus 40° 19.216' 31° 23.386' 21° 17.599 10° 35.901 2° 13.840' 0° 3.578'
Altitude of Mars 40° 0.646' 31° 15.115' 21° 15.158 10° 35.702' 2° 13.448' 0° 2.804'
Angular Separation
of Venus from Mars
1° 18' 39" 1° 18' 34" 1° 18' 30" 1° 18' 26" 1° 18' 23" 1° 18' 23"

On February 8, at sunset, they have clearly passed by each other. Therefore, they are closest just as they set at 2120 hrs. No sooner do they collide, than Venus is on the ground. They had first reached this degree of proximity at 2107 hrs, just 13 minutes before they set.

"he held himself sideways" — that is, they are roughly parallel to one another.

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Mars Opposite Evening Star During Its Retrograde in Ares, 5 April 1654
Expanded View

"he ran around him" — the pronoun "he", which is understood, is really Venus, which is about to enter into its retrograde motion. Evening Star sails above Mars, then turns in retrograde at an altitude of 28° 1.7' at sunset on 5 April, and comes back towards Mars.

"he rotated back" — Evening Star peels off into a rapid nosedive, passing by Mars 7° 12' away on 6 April.

"jaws and throat" — now Evening Star (Naǧi) is coming for Mars (Deer Ankle) head first. Thus he gets shot through his jaws on 5 April, the one day in which Venus is still above (in front of) Mars.

"rectum" — after 6 April, Mars finds himself behind Evening Star, and so shoots him from behind. This proves fatal, as Evening Star falls from the sky, colliding with the Earth and Sun around 20 days later.

"he started for the rest of them" — the rampage of Mars spans a two year period framed by the planet's conjunction with the Sun (see the depiction below). The description of his victory is formulaic: the hero always kills all of the Bad Spirits save two, a young male and female pair. These he allows to regenerate the race, since they had been created by Earthmaker, and furthermore, had they been annihilated, there would be nothing to answer to the name for which they are designated. Genocide is therefore always avoided.

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The Rampage of Mars Across the Zodiac, 31 December 1654 - 16 August 1656
Expanded View

"the old man said" — what the old man says is also formulaic, and probably reflects what fathers-in-law always said when it was time for the son-on-law, in this patrilocal culture, to return to his own place of residence. This usually occurs after the first child reaches an age where he or she can walk. The old man then announces to the couple that the husband must have come from somewhere where they are lonesome for him, and that he should then consider his return.

"I should go" — the odd thing about this part of the narrative is that Deer Ankle agrees that he should return, then gives several reasons why such an attempt would be difficult. As the story develops, we can see that he does not in fact make an attempt to go home. So the whole incident seems pro forma: an effort to show that all parties observed proper custom and etiquette, while suggesting in an awkward way that patrilocation in Deer Ankle's case would not have been feasible.

"Mr. Son-in-Law" — the word being used is Watohociga, where watohoci means, "son-in-law". The suffix -ga is usually reserved for personal names, but is here used in a kinship term, apparently to upgrade it to a higher level of respect and to make it function as his name.

Deer Tail Headdress (Osage)    
George Catlin, 1834  

"a deer tail headdress" — the deer tail headdress (or roach) was almost always died red, and frequently supplemented by porcupine quills.

Notice that the man who was identified with the lowest part of the deer now succumbs to the temptation of joining the end of the deer, the opposite in another dimension from the head, with his own head. Here the spatial counterpart of the ankle, the tail, becomes a high status acquisition, and physically surmounts the head. Indeed, the ammonia odor of the deer ankle's ną̄x, originates very near the tail of the deer when it urinates on its own ankles to give them the cervid-attractive scent so unattractive to humans. In an inversion of the initial relationship of what is seductive to a deer being what is repulsive to a human, we now find that what is seductive to a human is repulsive to the deer, who must die to supply the head ornament that, appropriately enough, leads to the death of the human as a reciprocal buffalo sacrifice. Just as the hero of this story swallowed the deer ankle, so now the dimensional counterpart of the deer ankle, the tail, now "swallows" the top of the human's head. But what is it "swallowing"? The head contains the brain, which is viewed as a substance known as nąsurugóp. This word is derived by internal sandhi from nąsu-horugóp, "head marrow." This shows that the head is viewed as a form of marrow. We find that the term for marrow in Hocąk is horugóp, a descriptive term meaning, "that which is scraped out." This refers to the fact that the marrow in the center of animal bones has to be scraped out in order to be eaten. The marrow is generally taken as being the seat of the life soul. It is a clear, viscus fluid, and therefore resembles semen, with which it was readily identified the world over. This is why the Hero Twin, Ghost, is so found of water. So the head of the human, which is full of the substance in which the life soul dwells, is united with the area of the deer which is an entry way for reproduction in females. The man Deer Ankle is now united with the complementary element, the tail whence comes the urine that itself is the complementary element needed by the deer ankle tarsus gland to produce is seductive scent needed for reproduction. This story develops the idea that sacrifice is an act of seduction, and that seduction is the catalyst required for reproduction. The only way to get herds of buffalo is to seduce them to leave their celestial (or subterranean ?) Spiritland and come to earth to be made ultimately into food. The complementary excrement to the deer's urine in the complementary species of big game (buffalo), is the buffalo chip. It is used to process the food (by cooking) that allows the body to reproduce its somatic substance. Sacrifice, with its seduction and initiation of big game fecundity, is in this case, with the unity of head and tail, a model of reproduction as well as an initiator of the process.

This ingenious image, which functions as a focal point of the entire myth, also has an astronomical valence. The most obvious feature of such headdresses is their traditional red color, which they share with the planet Mars. As it happens, the Hocągara have an asterism that they call the "Deer Rump" (Cāšį́c), known to Western astronomy as the "Pleiades", an intense cluster of stars that has the shape and white brilliance of the Virginia (White-tail) Deer's tail. Miner's informants told him that cāšį́c wākére is what the deer tail headdress was called, although our story calls it cā sįc wakere, the only difference being between the /š/ of the former and the /s/ of the latter. Šį̄c means "rump", strictly speaking, except in birds, where it means "tail" (as in the word for peacocks, wanįk-sį́c-seréc, "long tail bird"). That the headdress can be called cāšį́c wākére or cāsį́c wākére indifferently, shows that not much of a distinction is made between sį́c and šį́c, just as in English, when "tail" is used metaphorically for the buttocks.

D. Gordon E. Robertson   StarryNight 7.6 Software
A White-Tailed Deer Flagging   Mars and the Pleiades (Deer Rump), 2300 Hrs., 27 February 1658

StarryNight 7.6 Software  
Mars' Celestial Path, 27 June 1657 to 27 February 1658  

The Pleiades are a tight cluster of six visible stars, or seven for those of good eyesight, that are located almost directly across the ecliptic from the bright red star Aldebaran of the Hyades. They are a bright white compact patch of stars with the vaguely triangular shape of the Cašįc, "Deer Rump." This is the kind of view that a trailing hunter would get, since a fleeing deer "flags" as it departs. This flagging consists of raising its tail straight up, exposing both its own white underside and the white spot on the rump. A fawn instinctively follows this bright patch as its mother flees danger. So the Hocąk name is apt.

We can trace the celestial path of Mars in 1657 - 1658. On 27 June 1657, Mars was in prograde motion in the constellation of Pisces when on 3 September of that year, it reversed course into retrograde motion. On 6-8 of November, it made a wide arch back into prograde motion. This had the effect of strongly shifting it towards the ecliptic, which it crossed on 1 December, 1657. Hitherto, it had been "flying low" in relation to the Sun's path. On 27 June, for instance, it had been 3° 9' 47" below the ecliptic. By the time it reached the Pleiades on 27 February 1658, it was 1° 22' above the ecliptic and 2° 32' 54" of angular separation from Merope, the nearest star in the Pleiades. So here is where we find Deer Ankle crossing over the outskirts of the village and claiming the deer tail headdress for himself. Although the Pleiades can be homologized to a hook (), yet it has the roughly triangular shape characteristic of the deer tail. That the typical deer tail/rump roach is died red, makes its affinity to Mars all the more compelling.

"then they left" — the father of Deer Ankle's wife had already convinced them that his daughter, Antares, should go with him. Mars and Antares go to earth (are with the Sun) at about the same time on 5 December 1660.

"a round valley" — this describes the Beehive Cluster (M44) in Cancer. This clusters forms a rough circle.

"he let himself fall behind" — this is another way of describing retrograde motion. As it happens, on 30 November 1661, Mars went into retrograde just behind the Beehive Cluster in Cancer. The illusion is that night by night Mars is falling behind the stars with which it had started out before the retrograde motion. He now falls gradually behind the "buffalo" of the round valley (M44) until he is quite some distance from them.


StarryNight 7.6 Software
The Celestial Path of Mars with Respect to the Beehive Cluster, 0656 Hrs., 30 November - 17 February 1662

"from behind" — we see in this final scene Mars being overtaken by the Sun's rays, from behind. The rays make a suitable homologue to arrows. However, the perfection of this ending is found in the fact that Mars "dies" at the very center piece of this myth: the Great Rift, which is the stinking part of the deer ankle after which he is named, as well as being the place where he was blessed and where he first died by leaving his owl pendant (M8).

StarryNight 7.6 Software   StarryNight 7.6 Software
Mars "Dies" from the Sun's Arrow-Rays
1623 Hrs., 11 December 1662
  Mars Occults the Lagoon Nebula
1623 Hrs., 11 December 1662

The myth comes to its most profound end when Mars becomes one with the Lagoon Nebula (M8). In death Deer Ankle unites with the Burrowing Owl pendant.

"they come back [to life]" — they go to their Spiritland, but, as we have seen, when they accept the sacrifices offered by humans, they are obliged to return to life in the flesh and become sacrifices themselves.

"he really died" — that is, he went to Spiritland, but does not have the capability of returning to life. Mars comes to earth and disappears from the sky around 11 December 1662, made to vanish by the "arrows" of light cast by the Sun which catches up to it from behind.

Comparative Material: The Ponca have a story very similar to this one, but it has a number of inversions. In their story the sister is helpful rather than cruel. In this story, the boy of the Hocąk tale is a young man, but he is sick. When his village packs up to move on, he tells them to leave him behind. After they have been gone for a time, his youngest sister makes the long trip back to the old village site, and there finds her brother still alive. He regains his health, and dresses in a courting costume. That night a woman shows up and he marries her. He did this so his sister would have an agreeable companion. He does the same thing the next night, and likewise a woman shows up. He marries her as well. Both wives have sons. One day the boys were playing with each other, and one said, "Your mother is a Corn Woman." The other replied, "Your mother is a Buffalo Woman." That night, the Buffalo woman left her husband, taking their child with her. The man was fond of his child, so he followed after them. Every time he caught up to them, she would, by morning, give him the slip. The mother and her son were traveling as buffalo. The man suddenly display the power to change into a feather, and by this means was able to overcome obstacles. Finally, the Buffalo Woman let him enter into the Spirit village whence she had come. Her sisters built a separate tepee for them. One day the woman's mother made a sweat bath for him, but by her powers, she made the heating stone enormous, but the man changed into a feather and placed himself in the fold of the tent. They tried to kill him with heat, but they failed. The next day, the mother assembled all the Buffalo Spirits into a herd. The man's son said, "You must pick out from the herd which one is your wife." They all looked exactly the same. Just the same, he was able to pick her out. The next day, they told him that he had to pick out his son in a race among six buffalo. His son told him in advance how to recognize him, so there too he was successful. The next day, he was to run a race for his life against the mother. She was winning the race, but as she neared the finish line, he changed into a feather, and landed back in his own lodge. Then again, she was frustrated. The next day, he played another game with the buffalo bulls. All fled but one. That one was enraged and pawed the ground. He charged and would have gored the man, save that he turned into a feather and landed on the opposite side of the bull. There he strung his bow and killed the buffalo. He next killed his mother-in-law.23

The Crow have a version of this story. A man went wandering and chanced upon Old Man Coyote, who showed him a buffalo mired in mud. Old Man Coyote suggested that the man have sex with the animal, so the wanderer did just that. Then Old Man Coyote showed him an elk stuck in the mud, and he did the same to her. One day while he was gambling, a boy approached and asked him if he could have some share of the winnings. Not long afterwards, another boy asked the same thing. The boys explained that they were his sons by the mired buffalo and elk cows. The man had the boys bring him their mothers, and he judged the buffalo woman to be the better looking, so he married her. She consented only on the condition that he never say a harsh word to her. Not long after, he forgot himself and did just what was forbidden, so she and her son turned into buffalo and left him. The man set out to find them, but on the way encountered Old Man Coyote, who told him to place a breath feather of an eagle on his head, and this feather would be his life. He tracked them to a large buffalo herd, where he made contact with his son. The boy told him that he would be required to recognize him among the herd, so he gave his father a means for picking him out. When the trial took place, the man was successful, but that made the boy's buffalo uncles enraged, and they charged him from opposite directions. When they were about to gore him, the feather rose in the air, and instead they collided with one another with injurious effect. Finally, after many attempts, they gave up and let him take his wife and child back to his village.24

A weaker parallel is found among the Blackfeet (Bloods). A hunter came upon a buffalo cow stuck in the mud and had sexual intercourse with her. She later gave birth to a son, who eventually went in search of his father. The chief of the village where he sought him out made a line-up of men of a certain age, and the boy was asked to pick out his father. This was done several times before he found him. The child then induced his father to meet his mother. He led him to her, and told him to stand still when she charged at him. When she did, and he did not react, she suddenly transformed into a human. They lived together as a family, but one day the father broke a taboo never to strike her with a fire stick. Having done so, she turned back into a buffalo, as did her son, and the two of them left the man behind. The man, much repentant, followed after them. When he reached the buffalo village, he asked the chief if he might see his child again. He was required to pick him out of a line-up more than once, and each time, thanks to tips given him by his son, he was able to do so. However, the last time, the buffalo were to dance, and the son's friend imitated the boy's dance exactly, so that the human had to guess which of them was his son. Unfortunately, he guessed wrong, and the whole herd turned on him and trampled him to death. However, his bones were gathered up and placed in a sweat bath where he was made whole again. He and his family were given powers by this Buffalo Spirit, and they founded the Bull and Horn Society and the Matoki ritual.25

The Arapaho have a closer parallel. A man is married to a buffalo woman, but one day decides that he wants a second wife, so he returns with an elk woman. Each of these women have boys, who quarrel over their mothers' standing. The two women become jealous of one another. The elk woman performs a feat by transforming bark into pemmican, but buffalo woman duplicates this feat. First elk woman runs away, but she is persuaded to return; then the same happens with the buffalo woman. Finally, the buffalo woman leaves for good. The man follows after them, discovering that they have transformed into buffalo and calf. Finally, he catches up to them after they have joined a herd. He makes contact with his son who warns him about the leader of the herd. The calf boy then tells the leader that his father has sought him out, but the leader says that he cannot have him back without first being able to pick him out of the herd. The calf boy finds a way to inform his father of how he might be recognized, and the father succeeds in this and other trials of recognition. However, in a final trial, he fails, and the buffalo trample him to death. The man had the power to raise a great cloud of dust when he was in trouble and did so on this occasion, as a result the villagers saw that he had perhaps perished, so they attempted to find his body. In this endeavor they had the help of animals and birds. A bluebird eventually finds a small part of his body, and brings it back to a sweat bath where he is revived. His son by the elk woman alternately shoots red and black arrows into the air, yelling, "Look out father!" each time he shoots one. Finally, after the last black arrow is shot, the man emerges completely restored from the sweat bath.26

The Skidi Pawnee have a similar story, summarized by G. A. Dorsey: "A youth having magical power conferred by the wind unites himself to a female buffalo, with whom, on separation, he leaves a shell gorget. The result of this alliance is a calf, who, when mature, in company with his mother, goes in quest of his human father. The latter, recognizing the shell, follows his child and wife to the buffalo village: he performs the tasks imposed by the leaders of the herd, namely, the recognition of the calf and cow among many similar, and the winning of a race; attempts to kill him fail; he is then accepted, and turned into a buffalo; in this shape he vanquishes a former lover of his wife. He is made to resume human shape, and sent to his people, to arrange terms on which the leaders of the buffalo are willing to surrender a drove; presents are accepted, and the buffalo sent. His buffalo wife lives with him as a woman in the village until he proves unfaithful, when she deserts him. The calf, being both buffalo and man, acts as mediator between the two."27

The Wichita have a rather different version. This is the summary given by G.A. Dorsey:

Village is divided into two parts, each governed by chief. In space between parts games are played. Young-Boy-Chief is son of chief of south village. Other chief has daughter. Boy spends his time in watching other boys play. Girl always stays at home. Young-Buffalo-Woman comes, and on way finds piece of dry grass like white, soft feather. She is dressed differently from other women and is tattooed on face. Young woman goes to ground and sees Young-Boy-Chief, who is on lookout for chief's daughter. She drops dry grass and wind rolls it toward young man. She plays in double-ball game and always is ahead. Dry grass rolls between legs of Young-Boy-Chief. and when he throws it away it returns. It bothers him, and he takes it with him to lodge. Woman leaves game and goes to tipi. after bathing in creek. People have no food, and woman brings kidney and corn bread from her left side and gives them to eat. She puts back fat and then takes same things from her right side and eats them. Young-Boy-Chief searches for woman and finds her in last lodge. He tells woman he has mistaken her for daughter of chief, but they begin to live as husband and wife. He says his marriage is to be kept secret. They live together long time, but when she is pregnant Young-Boy-Chief ceases to go to see her. Child is born and woman waits for him to come and see it. Boy grows and asks who father is.' Woman will not say, but finally takes him to Young-Boy-Chief's home, where many older men sitting around him. Child calls him father and he asks men to remove woman and child. Woman takes child on back and starts toward north. When away from village they become Buffalo. Young-Boy-Chief follows and overtakes them. Woman gives him kidney and bread to eat and tells him of troubles he will have at her home. He will have to meet her four husbands, who are brothers, and that her younger sister will offer herself as wife. He will have to pick out from other buffalo his wife, his wife's uncles, father, and mother, and his child. She tells him how to distinguish each of them. On fourth day they come to wife's home in buffalo village on high hill. Young-Boy-Chief is asked to have sister for wife, but pays no attention. Next day he performs all tasks required of him and is permitted to retain his wife. Young-Boy-Chief likes new home better than old one. Long afterward Buffalo chief goes to other people to trade. People are to wear their best dresses when killing Buffalo. If meat only taken and hide left Buffalo live again, and best dresses belong to Buffalo. Young-Boy-Chief has to do as other Buffalo. He has many children by Buffalo wife. Whenever Buffalo come to people they show their desire to trade.28

The Arikara have a long story in which the evil sister is replaced by a strange woman who attaches herself to the protagonist's back. George Dorsey summarizes: "Young man out hunting dreams of two buffalo bulls turning into sticks and of buffalo cow turning into ring. In morning he sees cow and lies with her. Finds ring in grass and wears it on his wrist. He makes sticks and plays game with young men, winning many things. Goes hunting and sees old woman, who induces him to carry her across river on his back. He can not throw her off and he goes home with her fast to his back. Medicine-men are sent for, but they can do nothing. Poor boy puts on old robe and goes to young man's lodge with bow and four arrows of different colors. He shoots black arrow and splits woman in two. With red arrow he takes her off boy. The other arrows he places on boy's back to remove sore place. Old woman is then burned. Next day crying and voice are heard near where woman burned. Young man finds ring has gone. White tipi with woman and child inside appears where others were. Young man goes to see it and woman with new buffalo robe passes by him, having child. Young man makes bundle of eagle feathers and follows them. They become buffalo. Calf communicates with father, and woman finally becomes reconciled to him. They come to hill on which Buffalo bull, boy's grandfather, is waiting for them. Man puts two eagle feathers on his horns. He sends them on to next hill and at last they come to hill with four Buffalo bulls, chiefs of Buffalo camp. Man puts feathers on their heads. They are sent into village and Buffalo become mad because man has not feathers enough to go around. Man made to sit on hill until they decide what to do with him. He sticks flint knife into ground and asks gods to form stone .around where he sits. Buffalo devise various ways for killing him, but do not succeed in doing so. They decide to send man with Buffalo cow and calf to Indian village for presents. Buffalo bull turns man into Buffalo. Buffalo follow them. Man finds village and tells errand. People bring eagle feathers and native tobacco, which man takes to Buffalo. Buffalo willing to be slaughtered and man tells chiefs. Four times people go and kill Buffalo. Leader of Buffalo gives man sticks to play with. Sticks and ring different kinds of people. Man lives long life. Buffalo calf starts Buffalo ceremony among people."29

The Sanskrit story from the Mahābhārata about Cyavana's courtship of Sukanyā is very similar to the episode in which Cāsīkǫną̄xka must pick out his wife from among four identical female buffalo. In the Sanskrit story, the Aśvins (the hippomorphic Divine Twins) transform the holy man Cyavana so that he looks exactly like one of them. Sukanyā must choose which among them she shall have as her husband. Just as in the present story, she makes the correct choice only because Cyavana covertly makes a sign to her.30

Links: Buffalo Spirits, Owls, Bird Spirits, The Redhorn Panel of Picture Cave. An American Star Map.

Stories: about buffalo and Buffalo Spirits: Buffalo Clan Origin Myth, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, White Fisher, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Bluehorn's Nephews, 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 Hocągara I, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Red Feather, Wazųka, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth, Holy One and His Brother, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, The Story of the Medicine Rite, Black Otter's Warpath; mentioning white buffalo: Brass and Red Bear Boy, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Thunderbird and White Horse; in which owls are mentioned: Owl Goes Hunting, Crane and His Brothers, The Spirit of Gambling, The Glory of the Morning, The Chief of the Heroka, Partridge's Older Brother, Waruǧábᵉra, Wears White Feather on His Head, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Annihilation of the Hocągara I, The Green Man; about Bird Spirits: Crane and His Brothers, The King Bird, Bird Origin Myth, Bird Clan Origin Myth, Wears White Feather on His Head, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Thunderbird, Owl Goes Hunting, The Boy Who Became a Robin, Partridge's Older Brother, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Foolish Hunter, Ocean Duck, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Quail Hunter, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Hocąk Arrival Myth, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Trickster and the Geese, Holy One and His Brother (kaǧi, woodpeckers, hawks), Porcupine and His Brothers (Ocean Sucker), Turtle's Warparty (Thunderbirds, eagles, kaǧi, pelicans, sparrows), Kaǧiga and Lone Man (kaǧi), The Old Man and the Giants (kaǧi, bluebirds), The Bungling Host (snipe, woodpecker), The Red Feather, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Waruǧábᵉra, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Black and White Moons, The Markings on the Moon, The Creation Council, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna (chicken hawk), Hare Acquires His Arrows, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing (black hawk, owl), Heną́ga and Star Girl (black hawk), The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth (black hawk, kaǧi), Worúxega (eagle), The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men (eagle), The Gift of Shooting (eagle), Hocąk Clans Origin Myth, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, The Hocąk Migration Myth, Blue Jay, The Baldness of the Buzzard, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster (buzzards), The Shaggy Man (kaǧi), The Healing Blessing (kaǧi), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (kaǧi), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Įcorúšika and His Brothers (Loon), Great Walker's Medicine (loon), Roaster (woodsplitter), The Spirit of Gambling, The Big Stone (a partridge), Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, The Story of the Medicine Rite (loons, cranes, turkeys), The Fleetfooted Man, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4) — see also Thunderbirds; mentioning Rock Spirits: The Big Stone, The Green Man, The Creation of the World, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Seer, The Roaster, Wojijé, The Raccoon Coat, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Hare Kills Flint, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, A Woman Turns into a Rock; mentioning blind people: A Raccoon Tricks Four Blind Men, Raccoon and the Blind Men, Hare Visits the Blind Men, The Raccoon Coat, Big Eagle Cave Mystery, The Roaster, Owl Goes Hunting; mentioning sweat lodges or sweat baths: The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Lost Blanket, The Green Man, Bladder and His Brothers (v. 1), Hare Establishes Bear Hunting, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, The Thunderbird, Snowshoe Strings, Waruǧábᵉra, The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka, The Birth of the Twins (v. 2), Lifting Up the Bear Heads, The King Bird, Little Human Head, White Wolf, The Shaggy Man, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, The Dipper, The Two Boys, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (v. 2); mentioning feasts: Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (Chief Feast), The Creation Council (Eagle Feast), Hawk Clan Origin Myth (Eagle Feast), Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth (Waterspirit Feast), A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga (Mąką́wohą, Waną́cĕrehí), Bear Clan Origin Myth (Bear Feast), The Woman Who Fought the Bear (Bear Feast), Grandfather's Two Families (Bear Feast), Wolf Clan Origin Myth (Wolf Feast), Buffalo Clan Origin Myth (Buffalo Feast), The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits (Buffalo Feast), Buffalo Dance Origin Myth (Buffalo Feast), The Blessing of Šokeboka (Feast to the Buffalo Tail), Snake Clan Origins (Snake Feast), Blessing of the Yellow Snake Chief (Snake Feast), Rattlesnake Ledge (Snake Feast), The Thunderbird (for the granting of a war weapon), Turtle's Warparty (War Weapons Feast, Warpath Feast), Porcupine and His Brothers (War Weapons Feast), Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega) (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), Big Thunder Teaches Cap’ósgaga the Warpath (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), White Thunder's Warpath (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Fox-Hocąk War (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), Šųgepaga (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (Warbundle Feast, Warpath Feast), Black Otter's Warpath (Warpath Feast), Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth (Warpath Feast), Kunu's Warpath (Warpath Feast), Trickster's Warpath (Warpath Feast), The Masaxe War (Warpath Feast), Redhorn's Sons (Warpath Feast, Fast-Breaking Feast), The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits (Fast-Breaking Feast), The Chief of the Heroka (Sick Offering Feast), The Dipper (Sick Offering Feast, Warclub Feast), The Four Slumbers Origin Myth (Four Slumbers Feast), The Journey to Spiritland (Four Slumbers Feast), The First Snakes (Snake Feast), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse (unspecified), Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts (unnamed); mentioning red feathers (as an offering to the spirits): The Red Feather, Bear Clan Origin Myth (v. 4), Big Thunder Teaches Cap’ósgaga the Warpath, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Elk's Skull, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, The Nightspirits Bless Jobenągiwįxka, Great Walker's Medicine, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Twins Visit Their Father's Village, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, The Waterspirit of Rock River, The Were-fish (v. 1), Disease Giver, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth ; 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, Bluehorn's Nephews, 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, 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.

Themes: 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, Bluehorn's Nephews, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Were-Grizzly; when the kill is divided one person unjustly gets only the feet: The Brown Squirrel; a spirit is quoted as he gives someone a blessing: Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), Traveler and the Thunderbird War, The Nightspirits Bless Jobenągiwįxka, Disease Giver Blesses Jobenągiwįxka, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Aracgéga's Blessings, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, Great Walker's Medicine, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Thunderbird and White Horse, The Plant Blessing of Earth, The Completion Song Origin, The Man who was Blessed by the Sun, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, The Difficult Blessing, The Blessing of Šokeboka, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Bow Meets Disease Giver, Heną́ga and Star Girl, Sunset Point, The Rounded Wood Origin Myth, A Peyote Vision, The Healing Blessing; someone has a very pale complexion: The Woman Who Became an Ant, Big Eagle Cave Mystery, The Roaster; blessings from Buffalo Spirits: The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth, Brass and Red Bear Boy, The Blessing of Šokeboka, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth; a being has red hair: Redhorn's Sons, Redhorn's Father, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (vv. 1 & 2), The Hocągara Contest the Giants, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Heną́ga and Star Girl, A Wife for Knowledge; red as a symbolic color: The Journey to Spiritland (hill, willows, reeds, smoke, stones, haze), The Gottschall Head (mouth), The Chief of the Heroka (clouds, side of Forked Man), The Red Man (face, sky, body, hill), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse (neck, nose, painted stone), Redhorn's Father (leggings, stone sphere, hair), The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father (hair, body paint, arrows), Wears White Feather on His Head (man), The Birth of the Twins (turkey bladder headdresses), The Two Boys (elk bladder headdresses), Trickster and the Mothers (sky), Rich Man, Boy, and Horse (sky), The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits (Buffalo Spirit), Bluehorn Rescues His Sister (buffalo head), Wazųka (buffalo head headdress), The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth (horn), The Brown Squirrel (protruding horn), Bear Clan Origin Myth (funerary paint), Hawk Clan Origin Myth (funerary paint), Deer Clan Origin Myth (funerary paint), Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (stick at grave), Pigeon Clan Origins (Thunderbird lightning), Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks (eyes), Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (scalp, woman's hair), The Race for the Chief's Daughter (hair), The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy (hair), Redhorn Contests the Giants (hair), Redhorn's Sons (hair), The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle (hair), A Wife for Knowledge (hair), The Hocągara Contest the Giants (hair of Giantess), A Man and His Three Dogs (wolf hair), The Red Feather (plumage), The Man who was Blessed by the Sun (body of Sun), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (body of the Warrior Clan Chief), Red Bear, Eagle Clan Origin Myth (eagle), The Shell Anklets Origin Myth (Waterspirit armpits), The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty (Waterspirits), The Roaster (body paint), The Man who Defied Disease Giver (red spot on forehead), The Wild Rose (rose), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (warclub), Įcorúšika and His Brothers (ax & packing strap), Hare Kills Flint (flint), The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head (edges of flint knives), The Nannyberry Picker (leggings), The Seduction of Redhorn's Son (cloth), Yųgiwi (blanket); a being has curly hair: Redhorn's Father; someone goes out searching for a missing person who was dear to them: The Woman who Married a Snake, Waruǧábᵉra, A Man's Revenge, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Snowshoe Strings, Brass and Red Bear Boy; a doorway is unexpectedly found in the side of a hill which serves as a lodge for a powerful spirit: The Shaggy Man, Bluehorn's Nephews, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Thunderbird and White Horse; a human being physically travels to Spiritland without having died: The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Sunset Point, Snowshoe Strings, The Thunderbird, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Star Husband, White Wolf, Waruǧábᵉra, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Shaggy Man, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Aracgéga's Blessings, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, The Lost Blanket, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Petition to Earthmaker, The Boy who would be Immortal, Thunder Cloud Marries Again, Rainbow and the Stone Arch (v. 2), Trickster Concludes His Mission; a hungry young man accidentally finds his way to the lodge of the daughter of a spirit and soon marries her: The Old Man and the Giants; a human marries a spirit: The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy (a Thunderbird, a Nightspirit, and two Waterspirits), The Thunderbird (a Thunderbird), How the Thunders Met the Nights (a Nightspirit), The Shaggy Man (a Bear Spirit), White Wolf (a Wolf Spirit), The Woman who Married a Snake (a Snake Spirit), The Star Husband (stars), Little Human Head (a Louse Spirit), The Phantom Woman (Waterspirit); someone has to guess the identity of a person from among a group of people all of whom look exactly alike: Redhorn's Father; marriage to a yųgiwi (princess): The Nannyberry Picker, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Big Stone, Partridge's Older Brother, Redhorn's Sons, The Seduction of Redhorn's Son, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, The Roaster, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, White Wolf, The Two Boys, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Shaggy Man, The Thunderbird, The Red Feather, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Trickster Visits His Family, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, Redhorn's Father, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Morning Star and His Friend, Thunderbird and White Horse, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, Shakes the Earth, The Nightspirits Bless Ciwoit’éhiga; someone can transform himself into a buffalo at will: The Annihilation of the Hocągara I, Brass and Red Bear Boy; a knowledgeable person tells someone not to go to a certain place because of the danger, but that person goes there anyway: The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Fox-Hocąk War, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Two Boys, The Two Brothers, The Lost Blanket, Bladder and His Brothers, The Thunderbird; a young man follows the detailed instructions of a wise woman and as a result succeeds in a difficult mission: Waruǧábᵉra, Trickster Soils the Princess; The Message the Fireballs Brought (sexual role reversal); people chase one another underground: Įcorúšika and His Brothers, The Seduction of Redhorn's Son, Redhorn's Sons, Iron Staff and His Companions; a human has an easy time hunting something that the spirits find hard to get: The Thunderbird, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Waruǧábᵉra, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds; powerful spirit beings act somewhat dim witted: How the Thunders Met the Nights, Hare Kills Sharp Elbow, The Thunderbird, Partridge's Older Brother, The Dipper; a man pleases his father-in-law with his hunting prowess: The Thunderbird, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Little Human Head; as part of a blessing, a spirit orders the beneficiary to kill him and make magical use of his body: A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, White Wolf, The Seer, Paint Medicine Origin Myth, The Elk's Skull; powerful beings give a human a charm which they say will bring him benefits: White Wolf, The Lost Child, The Thunder Charm, Witches; something is of a (symbolic) pure white color: White Bear, Deer Spirits, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4), White Flower, Big Eagle Cave Mystery, The Fleetfooted Man, Thunderbird and White Horse, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Worúxega, The Two Boys, The Lost Blanket (white spirits), Skunk Origin Myth, White Wolf, A Man and His Three Dogs, The Messengers of Hare, The Brown Squirrel, The Man Who Fell from the Sky, Bladder and His Brothers, White Thunder's Warpath, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, The Dipper, Great Walker's Medicine (v. 2), Creation of the World (v. 12), Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, The Descent of the Drum, Tobacco Origin Myth (v. 5), The Diving Contest, Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men, The Animal Spirit Aids of the Medicine Rite, Grandmother's Gifts, Four Steps of the Cougar, The Completion Song Origin, North Shakes His Gourd, Lifting Up the Bear Heads, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Peace of Mind Regained; jealousy: The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Diving Contest, Hog's Adventures, Wazųka, The Fleetfooted Man, Bluehorn's Nephews, Redhorn's Sons, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Lost Blanket; an evil spirit engages in a contest designed to knock his opponent into the air with fatal consequences: Bladder and His Brothers, The Children of the Sun; 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, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Children of the Sun, The Creation of the World (v. 12), The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Įcorúšika and His Brothers, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, How the Thunders Met the Nights, Sun and the Big Eater, The Story of the Medicine Rite, 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; violating the terms of a blessing does harm: The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Necessity for Death, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp, White Wolf, The Dog that became a Panther, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Disease Giver Blesses Jobenągiwįxka, The Greedy Woman, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark (meadow lark); striking of an enemy whose body scatters over the face of the earth as a shower of stones: Hare Kills Flint, The Big Stone; a mortal is returned to earth from the spirit village that he is visiting: Waruǧábᵉra, The Thunderbird, Two Roads to Spiritland, The Shaggy Man, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Snowshoe Strings, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, White Wolf, The Foolish Hunter, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Petition to Earthmaker; someone returns from the dead: Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Sunset Point, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, White Fisher, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Shaggy Man, The Two Brothers, The Two Boys, White Wolf, The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Waruǧábᵉra, The Lost Blanket, The Old Man and the Giants; scattering of animals from their primordial village into permanent exile: Wolves and Humans, The Shaggy Man, The War among the Animals; good people (and spirits) completely annihilate a race of bad spirits except for two, whom they allow to live (so that they do not undo the work of the Creator): Grandfather's Two Families, Sun and the Big Eater, Įcorúšika and His Brothers, How the Thunders Met the Nights, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Redhorn's Father, Morning Star and His Friend; a human turns into a (spirit) animal: How the Thunders Met the Nights (Thunderbird), Waruǧábᵉra (Thunderbird), The Dipper (hummingbird), Keramaniš’aka's Blessing (black hawk, owl), Elk Clan Origin Myth (elk), Young Man Gambles Often (elk), Sun and the Big Eater (horse), The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Were-Grizzly, Partridge's Older Brother (bear), The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother (bear), Porcupine and His Brothers (bear), The Shaggy Man (bear), The Roaster (bear), Wazųka (bear), White Wolf (dog, wolf), Worúxega (wolf, bird, snake), The Brown Squirrel (squirrel), The Skunk Origin Myth (skunk), The Fleetfooted Man (otter, bird), The Diving Contest (Waterspirit), The Woman who Married a Snake (snake, Waterspirit), The Omahas who turned into Snakes (four-legged snakes), The Twins Get into Hot Water (v. 3) (alligators), Snowshoe Strings (a frog), How the Hills and Valleys were Formed (v. 3) (earthworms), The Woman Who Became an Ant, Hare Kills a Man with a Cane (ant).

Calling grass "bears" is the inverse of the following theme: 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 Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Waruǧábᵉra, The Thunderbird, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, Bluehorn's Nephews, Redhorn's Sons.


1 Paul Radin, "Dear Ankle Smelling Feet," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Notebook #20: 1-146.

2 Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1923]) 133-134.

3 William T. Hesselton and Ruth-Ann Monson Hesselton, "White-tailed Deer. Odocoileus virgianus" in Joseph A. Chapman and George A. Feldhamer, edd., Wild Mammals of North America (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1982) Chap. 45, 878-901 [879]. 

4 Sir Samuel White Baker, Wild Beasts and Their Ways: Reminiscences of Europe, Asia, Africa and America (London and New York: Macmillan & Company, 1890) 283-284.

5 My thanks to Sheila Shigley for her thoughts on an earlier draft of this comment. 

6 Gary Urton, At the Crossroads of the Earth and the Sky: An Andean Cosmology (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981) 56, 69. Arnold Lebeuf, "The Milky Way, a path of the souls," in Astronomical Traditions in Past Cultures, edd. Vesselina Koleva and Dimiter Kolev. Proceedings of the First Annual General Meeting of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture, Smolyan, Bulgaria, 31 August - 2 September 1993 (Sofia: Institute of Astronomy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, National Astronomical Observatory, Rozhen, 1996) 148-161 [151].

7 Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff, "Astronomical Models of Social Behavior Among Some Indians of Colombia," in Anthony F. Aveni and Gary Urton, Ethnoastronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the American Tropics, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 385 (New York: New York Academy of Sciences, 1982) 165-181 [168]; Arnold Lebeuf, "The Milky Way, a path of the souls," in Astronomical Traditions in Past Cultures, edd. Vesselina Koleva and Dimiter Kolev. Proceedings of the First Annual General Meeting of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture, Smolyan, Bulgaria, 31 August - 2 September 1993 (Sofia: Institute of Astronomy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, National Astronomical Observatory, Rozhen, 1996) 148-161 [151].

8 Lebeuf, "The Milky Way, a path of the souls," 151.

9 Edwin C. Krupp, Beyond the Blue Horizon: Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets (New York: Harper Collins, 1991) 257-258, 272.

10 Ernest Klein, A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1971) 38c, s.v. "Antares"; 49a, s.v. "Ares"; Henry George Liddell, and Robert Scott, and Henry Drisler, A Greek-English Lexicon (New York: Harper, 1897) s.v. ἀντί, C, p. 140b; Ἄρης, I, p. 216a-b.

11 Sir George Cornewall Lewis, An Historical Survey of the Astronomy of the Ancients (London: Parker and Bourn, 1862) 61 nt 230.

12 Carie Marie Wingert, Seasonal Food Habits of Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) in Human-altered Landscapes (San Luis Obispo: A Thesis presented to the Faculty of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science in Biological Sciences, May 2012) 1.

13 Samuel D. Robbins, Jr., Wisconsin Birdlife: Population and Distribution Past and Present (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991) 341-342.

14 David S. Klute, Loren W. Ayers, Michael T. Green, William H. Howe, Stephanie L. Jones, Jill A. Shaffer, Steven R. Sheffield, and Tara S. Zimmerman, Status Assessment and Conservation Plan for the Western Burrowing Owl in the United States, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Biological Technical Publication BTP-R6001-2003, Appendix A, 87. Nicole M. Korfanta, L. W. Ayers, S. H. Anderson, and D. B. McDonald, "A Preliminary Assessment of Burrowing Owl Population Status in Wyoming." Journal of Raptor Research 35 (2001): 337-343.

15 Audubon Guide to North American Birds (Online) > Burrowing Owl, Athene cunicularia.

16 E. A. Haug, B.A. Millsap and M.S. Martell, "Burrowing Owl (Speotyto cunicularia)". in A. Poole and F. Gill, editors, The Birds of North America, No. 61 (Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences, and  Washington, DC: The American Ornithologists’ Union, 1993); J. A. Dechant, M. L. Sondreal, D. H. Johnson, L. D. Igl, C. M. Goldade, P. A. Rabie, and B. R. Euliss, "Effects of Management Practices on Grassland Birds: Burrowing Owl" (Jamestown, North Dakota: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, 1999); Klute et al., Status Assessment and Conservation Plan for the Western Burrowing Owl in the United States, 25.

17 G. A. Green and R. G. Anthony, "Nesting Success and Habitat Relationships of Burrowing Owls in the Columbia Basin, Oregon," Condor 91 (1989): 347-354; Klute et al., Status Assessment and Conservation Plan for the Western Burrowing Owl in the United States, Appendix A 77.

18 Most of Robbin's narrative on the Burrowing Owl is devoted to historical sightings in order to establish the grounds for including it at all among Wisconsin birds. Robbins, Wisconsin Birdlife: Population and Distribution Past and Present, 341-342.

19 Klute, et alia, Status Assessment and Conservation Plan for the Western Burrowing Owl in the United States, 7.

20 This is a reproduction of the "Mars Fact Sheet" at NASA (Planetary Science > Planetary Fact Sheets).

Mars Earth Ratio
  Semimajor axis (106 km) 227.923 149.596 1.524
  Sidereal orbit period (days) 686.980 365.256 1.881
  Tropical orbit period (days) 686.973 365.242 1.881
  Perihelion (106 km) 206.617 147.092 1.405
  Aphelion (106 km) 249.229 152.099 1.639
  Synodic period (days) 779.94 - -
  Mean orbital velocity (km/s) 24.07 29.78 0.808
  Max. orbital velocity (km/s) 26.50 30.29 0.875
  Min. orbital velocity (km/s) 21.97 29.29 0.750
  Orbit inclination (deg) 1.851 0.000 -
  Orbit eccentricity 0.0935 0.0167 5.599
  Sidereal rotation period (hrs) 24.6229 23.9345 1.029
  Length of day (hrs) 24.6597 24.0000 1.027
  Obliquity to orbit (deg) 25.19 23.44 1.075
  Inclination of equator (deg) 25.19 23.44 1.075

The sidereal orbit period of Mars is 2 years minus 43.5 days.

21 "Blue Horn's Nephews" in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, ca. 1912) Notebook #58: 75.

22 Physics & Astronomy, Georgia State University > John W. Wilson, Ph.D. > Learning About Binary Stars > Observing Visual Binary Stars > "Angular Resolution".

23 Nudáⁿ-axa, "The Corn-Woman and the Buffalo-Woman," in Rev. James O. Dorsey, "¢egiha Texts," Contributions to North American Ethnology, 6 (1890): 157-162.

24 Stephen C. Simms, Traditions of the Crows. Fieldiana, Anthropological Series by the Field Columbian Museum (1903): Story 12, 289-290.

25 Clark Wissler and D. C. Duvall, Mythology of the Blackfoot Indians (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995 [1908]) 117-119.

26 Black Horse, "Blue-Feather, Buffalo-Woman and Elk-Woman," in George A. Dorsey and Alfred L. Kroeger, Traditions of the Arapaho (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997 [1903]) Story 145, 395-404.

27 Wonderful-Sun, "The Man Who Married a Buffalo," in George A. Dorsey, Traditions of the Skidi Pawnee, The Memoirs of the American Folklore Society, 8 (1904): 284-293.

28 Man Who Harms While Jesting, "Young-Boy-Chief Who Married a Buffalo," in George A. Dorsey, The Mythology of the Wichita (Washington: The Carnegie Institution, 1904) Story 29, 199-206, 337-339 (Summary).

29 Hawk, "The Buffalo Wife and the Javelin Game," in George A. Dorsey, Traditions of the Arikara (Washington: The Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1904) Story 29, 94-101.

30 Mahābhārata 3.123; Jaiminīya Brāhmaṇa 3.123-125; Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa