Heną́ga and Star Girl
retold in Hočąk style by Richard L. Dieterle
There was a village north of Sturgeon Caves in Nįšakisųjᵋra (Wisconsin Dells). It was a large village of many bark lodges. There lived a grandmother and her little grandson, Heną́ga. The old woman was known simply as Ną́ni, "Mother." She had not only been the wife of the chief, she had been the mother of the one who came after him. Now she hoped mightily that her grandson might become great himself, thus she wished. He was tall and handsome, and all the young women hoped that he would court them. Yet he never gave a thought to courting women. He thought to himself, "I too must become chief," and so he set himself to be the best in everything he did.
One day, unexpectedly, Heną́ga stumbled into the village. He bled from many wounds, and he nearly fell over. It was like nothing. The people picked him up and carried him to Ną́ni's lodge, and there she tended to him. He told them how he had surprised a large bear in a berry patch, and after a great struggle, killed it. The crier went out immediately and said, "Heną́ga has killed a great bear. All of you who can pack, carry back all you can carry," he said. And the villagers were thankful, and carried back much meat. Greatly did they feast that night. They all spoke much of how such a young one had done well.
Then, the next day, the chief came to his lodge and he carried with him a good necklace made of the claws of the bear that Heną́ga had killed. But Heną́ga said, "It is not meet that I should wear such as this, for I have not yet been blessed by the Spirits. I have yet to go out and cry to the Spirits, so it is not good that I should wear the things of a real man," he said. Ną́ni said, "It is good, what you have said," she said. "My dear grandson," she said, "that is the only way that a man can gain wisdom. Those who were blessed with Life and with War, they hungered themselves nearly to death that the Spirits might pity them. You will fast, and if some Spirit pities you, you will come to do mighty things, and the people will remember you always. Take up the charcoal and ashes, and remember to give a good offering of tobacco to the Spirits." Thus she spoke.
In the course of time, Heną́ga set out for the spot where he would cry to the Spirits. It was a hill just beyond Devil's Lake in the Baraboo region, a hill where they always said that Thunderbirds blessed people. There is where he went. It was a long way, and along the trail grew many berry bushes, but not a single berry did he eat. He hungered greatly, but did not break his fast. As the Sun was setting, he climbed the heights of the Baraboo bluffs, and there he cried to the Spirits. And again on the next day at sunset, he blackened his face, and climbed the heights to seek a blessing. Day after day, he did this, and at no time did he ever eat. Thus it was. Four days he did this, then four days again. Finally, he had fasted so long that he was greatly weakened. He was so weak that he could not rise, except that he was able to pull himself up using a birch sapling next to where he sat. Having risen, he could not stand, and fell down to the ground. Then, unexpectedly, there he heard a voice. "Human, I take pity on you. You have nearly fasted yourself to death. I am a great one among the Thunders, and I bless you with Life and War Powers. You shall be great among the people. You will soon do a great thing for them, and will save them from strong enemies," he said. Then Heną́ga attempted to rise, but was too weak to stand. The Spirit spoke again, saying, "Do not let your heart be sore, grandson. You shall be strong again. Behold the mąką́ that I have set beside your head. It is Thunderbird medicine. Eat of it and you will become as mighty as a black bear. Hokéčoga, the blue heron, will appear before you. Follow him. He will lead you to a rock that is surrounded by water. There you will find a cave, and in the cave dwells Hinų́ga the Star Girl of Fox Point. To reach her you must get by the Waterspirit that guards her. Once you have reached her, she will tell you what you are to do." Thus did the Spirit speak, and he revealed himself to Heną́ga. He was like nothing: he was tall, and his body was like black granite, and upon his head he had white eagle feathers. He could not look upon his face, for the brilliant lightning that flashed from his eyes made Heną́ga's eyes small. Then the Spirit spoke again, saying, "Heną́ra, I give you this medicine arrow. You must never use it against a human being," he said, and then, unexpectedly, he turned into a cloud, and drifted slowly away into the sky.
After a morsel of the Thunder medicine had restored his strength, he encountered Blue Heron. Heną́ga ran after the heron over hill and dale, and just when he was about to collapse from exhaustion, the heron stopped and perched upon a pine tree atop Lone Rock. No sooner had he landed than the waters of the river began to swirl. Things of every kind rose up from the bottom of the river, until finally, there appeared a great Waterspirit. Blue Heron jumped into the air, and swept low over the surface of the waters, and when the Waterspirit saw him, he gave chase. While the Waterspirit was thus distracted, Heną́ga made a great leap from the shore to the island. When she saw a young man leap onto the island, Star Girl's heart was made very glad. She called out to him, and he went to her. She said to him, "My heart is made glad to see you, but it is not good that you may have trapped yourself on this island," she said. He asked her how she had ever come to this place, so she told him her story.
"Once upon a time, Nąjusučka ("Red Hair"), the Red Star, looked down at night on Fox Point. There sat a lodge in a stand of giant hemlock trees, and, unexpectedly, he saw in the moonlight a beautiful young woman combing her long black hair. He immediately fell in love with her. He descended to earth disguised as a lost hunter. When she saw him, she thought that he was like nothing. She fell in love with him, and they were soon married. In the course of time, she gave birth to Hinų́ga. After some years had passed, Red Hair's wife died. She was buried by the Old River Bed. Then Red Hair said, 'It is about time that I returned to where I came from,' he said, but unexpectedly, before he could depart, a hawk flew down from Dead Woman's Hill. This was Kerejų́sepka, 'Black Hawk,' and he demanded from Red Hair that he first give him Hinų́ga as his wife. Red Hair refused him, for he had knowledge that all of Black Hawk's offspring would be bad comets who would destroy the good Spirits and then the whole earth itself. Black Hawk's anger was like nothing. He bit off Red Hair's head, and dropped it on top of Indian Head Rock. Black Hawk kept his head alive using medicine herbs that grew on the cliffs of Sacred Mound. There his head lived in great misery. Hinų́ga refused to marry Black Hawk, so he handed her over to the Waterspirit until she would consent to marry him," she said. And thus it was.
Star Girl had become pitiable, and was almost ready to give herself to Black Hawk. She asked him to free her father's soul, and Heną́ga was confident that he could succeed, since he had been given great blessings, but he told her that first he had to return home to make ready. She consented, and Heną́ga returned to Ną́ni's lodge where he ate venison with stewed corn. When he told Ną́ni of his mission, she was pleased, but his clan brothers were sore of heart, for they knew that no one who fought against the Spirits ever fared well. Thus the old people had always said.
So Heną́ga set off at night, and by the time the Sun rose, he was at the foot of Sacred Mound, and there he destroyed the bad medicine herbs, all of them. Once he had done this, he hid himself in a thicket. Then, when the Sun stood straight, Black Hawk flew over Sacred Mound, and unexpectedly, he found that all his herbs had been uprooted. He was furious, for he knew that Red Hair was no longer in his power. Now his head would surely die. Black Hawk tore out whole trees looking for the one who had done this, but could not find him. Finally, he flew off to Castle Rock. There he met his friend, Wągᵋručka, the Giant. Heną́ga was running fast along the trail that led to the Council Grounds. As he was running along, he could hear in the distance the Giant and Black Hawk coming towards him. And so Heną́ga slipped into the cave between the Hornet's Nest and the Toadstool, and there made a small fire. Into this fire he offered some tobacco to the Spirit who had blessed him, and asked him for help. All of a sudden, thunder clouds gathered around the head of the Giant, and he stumbled off the trail. There, unexpectedly, he fell into quick sand and could not escape. The Thunders struck him, and he became paralysed and turned into stone. This is what we now call "Stand Rock." Black Hawk dodged the lightning bolts, and plunged through the opening of the cave, but Heną́ga had his invincible arrow cocked. He shot Black Hawk in the head and knocked out his brains. The hawk's body rolled to the rock wall's edge, and there became what is now known as the "Demon's Anvil." While this was happening, the Waterspirit had moved from Lone Rock to see the kill. The Thunderbird saw him there, and fired many thunderbolts at him. The Waterspirit fled to the Whirlpool Chambers on the east side of the river. Many of the thunderbolts landed on the rocks, cleaving them apart. The river spilled through this chasm with great might and formed what is now known as "Witches Gulch." There the Waterspirit was swept into shallow water by the flood, and there the Thunder killed him.
Heną́ga boarded his canoe downstream to the cave in Lone Rock where he had left Star Girl. However, no one was there, so he went across to the beach to look for tracks, but none could be found. After searching long for her, he returned home. His heart was flattened.
Once he had arrived home, he told Ną́ni how he had defeated Black Hawk and Giant with the help of the Thunderbird. When it was told what he had done, they made preparations for a great feast. Soon, runners were sent to the other Hočąk villages. Before long, his village was full of people who greeted him. Many gifts were offered him, and many important men appeared to honor him, but the loss of Star Girl flattened his heart, and he would not come out of his lodge. Ną́ni told him that we seldom attain what we want most in life, but the Spirits had blessed him beyond all other men, and that he must always do what is best for the people. So Heną́ga came out of his lodge to acknowledge the people, even though his heart was still sore. It was now nighttime. Some of the people there pointed to the sky, and there, unexpectedly, was a bright new star. Heną́ga's heart soared, for now he knew that Hinų́ga has been saved, and that with her presence in the sky, the Spirits had blessed everyone. Thus, the song is sung,
|Heną́ga's love for Hinų́ga||never lost its virtue;|
|Hinų́ga smile for Heną́ga||never lost its brilliance.1|
Commentary. "Sturgeon Caves" — most places referenced in this story are identified in footnotes to the text, but in this case nothing is said of its location or identity, and nothing can be found otherwise.
"Nįšakisųjᵋra" — for nįš-hakisųč-ra, where -ra is the definite article. Nįš means, "cliffs" and suč means, "to touch, press upon." Hakisųč is for ha-ki-sųč, where ha- is a superessive applicative. "This is a grammatical element of the verb unknown in English. It is mostly translated as 'on something' or 'over something'." (Helmbrecht-Lehmann) The infix -ki- represents the reflexive, so hakisųč means, "touching, pressing upon themselves." So the name of the Dells is, "Cliffs Pressing in upon Themselves."
"Heną́ga" — this is a birth order name for the second born male.
"the chief" — since the chief was selected from the Thunderbird Clan, which is patrilineal, it follows that Heną́ga is a member of that clan.
"the mother of the one who came after him" — the question arises as to whether Ną́ni is Heną́ga's maternal, or paternal, grandmother. Since she gave birth to the chief who succeeded her husband, her son will have been a member of the Thunderbird Clan, as we would be able to infer in any case. Inasmuch as it is hoped that Heną́ga would succeed himself to the chieftainship, it follows that he was a member of the Thunderbird Clan. Therefore, his father was also, since it is patrilinear. Consequently, the son to whom she gave birth who later himself became chief, was the father of Heną́ga. Heną́ga's mother would have been of the Lower Moiety, and her mother would have been up the Upper Moiety. So if Ną́ni was Heną́ga's maternal grandmother, she would have been of the same moiety as her husband. This is impossible, so by reductio ad absurdum, it follows that Ną́ni was not Heną́ga's maternal grandmother, and by exclusion, she must have been his paternal grandmother.
"a large bear in a berry patch" — since this myth has several characters explicitly identified with stars, we must conclude that it has an astronomical "code" to it. As it happens, the Great Rift in the Sagittarius-Scorpius Milky Way is elsewhere identified with a black bear. The surrounding Milky Way is often compared to a tree or bush, and the berries in this case could easily be homologized to stars that are found around the edges and which stand out against the milky background of the galaxy.
"killed it" — this usually refers to "cutting through" a star formation, which is only possible for a planet. The ecliptic does pass through the Great Rift, cutting through the bear. Since Venus is assigned a role later on, this incident would suggest that Heną́ga is either Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, or less likely, Mercury.
"charcoal and ashes" — people in mourning colored their face black with charcoal or ashes, black being the color of death. Therefore, when crying to the Spirits, the petitioner must make himself pitiable, which is done by donning the color of mourning to remind the spirits of human mortality. This is conducive to pity inasmuch as the Spirits never taste of death.
|The Bluffs South of Devils Lake|
"a hill just beyond Devil's Lake" — these bluffs, just to the south of Devils Lake, are some distance south of the Dells.
"not a single berry did he eat" — if berries are stars, this reinforces the idea that Heną́ga is a planet. "Eating" a star would be to engulf it, which is done by a planet passing in front of the star so as to create the illusion that it has engulfed or "eaten" the star. Therefore, in astronomical terms, this says that on his journey he did not occlude any major stars.
"mąką́" — the text has "mah-kah." This is conventionally translated as "medicine," by which is meant a substance or object of supernatural power.
|Hokéčo, the Great Blue Heron|
"Hokéčoga" — hoké means "stomach," and čo denotes a color running from blue through green in the spectrum, and -ga is a definite article used mainly for personal names. So the Great Blue Heron is called "blue stomach" in Hočąk. Cranes and herons are generally opponents of the Night Spirits and Thunderbirds, and are affiliated with Waterspirits; however, here the reverse seems to be the case.
"Hinų́ga" — this is the birth order name for the first born daughter.
"Star Girl" — as this title is capitalized, it can be taken to be an alternative name for Hinų́ga. It does in fact answer to a clan name in the Bird Clans: Wiragošgewįga.
|Fox Point||Fox Point and Louie's Bluff,
with Stand Rock and Witches Gulch to the South
"Fox Point" — the text has a footnote here: "A wooded hill between Louis’ Bluff and Castle Rock." It is a ridge located 700 meters west of the Wisconsin River in the Dells, coordinates 43.701607, -89.840868. It's approximate elevation is 912 feet.
"his body was like black granite, and upon his head he had white eagle feathers" — the black body and white head describe either the Bald Eagle or the American Swallow-tail Kite, known as the Black Hawk. The chief of the Thunderbirds is Great Black Hawk, so it may be he who is being referenced here.
"flashed from his eyes" — lightning is said to emanate from the eyes of the Thunderbirds when they blink.
"eyes small" — in Hočąk, hišja-nįk. Blind people are said to have "small eyes" just as deaf people are said to have "small ears."
|Lone Rock||Sugar Bowl, Grotto Rock, Old River Bed, and Lone Rock|
"Lone Rock" — the footnote says, "a rock island in the Lower Dells." This is located at coordinates 43.6048, -89.7504.
"Nąjusučka" — what really complicates matters here is the text's reading of "Na-joo-sootch-ga, the Red Star." The Red Star is Bluehorn, and is almost certainly the Evening Star (of Venus), so called not because it is occasionally red near the horizon (like Morning Star), but because it frequently appears out of a red background, the color of the sky at the setting of the Sun. A number of American Indian cultures also refer to the Evening Star as being red.2 Bluehorn (Hečoga) is so called because in addition to being a star, he is also the blue sky, just as Zeus was at once the planet Jupiter and the blue sky. He is distinguished from others by his very close relationship to the Hero Twins, Ghost and Flesh. However, the "horn" (he) in his name refers to hair on account of the fact that it was braided into scalp locks which resembled horns. It is the background color that makes his "horn" blue; yet it is the same that makes his star red. That would make his "hair" (background color) of two conflicting colors. Unfortunately, "Na-joo-sootch-ga" does not actually translate into "Red Star." It really means, "Red Hair." It is not likely mistranscribed, as Saunders worked closely with several Hočąk men, some of whom were Dells guides. It seems reasonable to conclude that Red Hair = Red Star, but we have already seen that the star is so called because of its background, and that hair-as-horn is also symbolic of the background of a celestial object. There is another and more famous stellar deity, Redhorn, who as his name suggests, has red hair. Radin thought that he was either Morning or Evening Star, and all archaeologists believe this to be the case, despite the fact that one myth explicitly identifies him with a fixed star, not a planet. He is probably Alnilam, the center star of Orion's Belt. When this star rises with the Sun, the Sun is in Gemini nearby, and the sky forms a red backdrop to the rising star. That Redhorn is consistently and exclusively redheaded creates an interference pattern here, making it more difficult to securely establish the identity of Red Hair / Red Star.
We might well be tempted to think that Mars is referenced this way, since Mars is literally a red "star." However, by the usually conventions of symbolism, Mars is not especially associated with the sunset or sunrise, and therefore ought not to be seen as having red "hair."
|Eric Epstein, WDNR|
|A Relic Stand of Hemlock
in Southern Wisconsin
"hemlock" — the species of hemlock found in Wisconsin is the Tsuga canadensis. The Dells are generally south of the range of this species, however,
Hemlock Relicts are small patches of mesic forest composed mostly of species that are disjunct from and generally far south of their usual Wisconsin ranges. Most documented relicts occur in southwestern Wisconsin's Driftless Area, within the Western Coulees and Ridges Ecological Landscape. Typical sites are deep, steep-sided, moist ravines, with cool northern or eastern slope exposures. Exposures of bedrock, most often Cambrian sandstones, are typically present, and contribute to the ability of this community to develop and persist in areas that would otherwise be vegetated with deciduous hardwood forests. ... Hemlock relicts are highly localized in southwestern Wisconsin. They are concentrated in a few areas, such as the drainages of the upper Kickapoo and Baraboo Rivers, and in a few of the deep gorges that cut into the flanks of the Baraboo Hills. Extremely isolated outliers are known from a few sites south of the Wisconsin River. Unusual plants and animals have been documented in a number of stands. These include periglacial relicts ...3
As a relatively rare tree, it is noteworthy that it occurs here. Troubling to mention a species of tree is usually indicative that it has a symbolic role to play. In astronomical terms, it is the Milky Way that is perhaps uniquely homologized to a tree, usually a conifer or poplar.
"long black hair" — in astronomy myths, a woman with long black hair is a moon, the black being the background color which is homologized to hair.
"Old River Bed" — this is the relatively narrow passage between Sugar Bowl and the Grotto Rock opposite. For its location on a map, see above.
"Dead Woman's Hill" — the text has, "Dead Squaw's Hill"; in Hočąk this could be expressed as, Xe Wanaǧiwira; but today it is called "Elephant Rock," or "Elephant's Back." This can be seen about 700 meters inland to the northeast in the map below. It is located at coordinates, 43.673878, -89.779574 (the tower at its summit).
"Kerejų́sepka" — the Black Hawk is the American Swallow-tail Kite (see the Glossary).
"comets" — the word for comets, wajijĕ́, denotes not only comets, but meteors – basically, moving celestial objects with tails. If Black Hawk stands for a constellation, the suggestion that his offspring would be wajijera would seem to imply that there is a meteor radiant within his constellation.
as Seen from the Land Side
|The Wisconsin River
from Fox Point to Castle Rock
"Castle Rock" — a promontory on the west side of the Wisconsin near the beginning of the Dells. For its location, see the topographical map above. Its coordinates are 43.804974°, -89.8992926°, with an elevation of 869 feet (265 meters).
"Wągᵋručka, the Giant" — wąk-ruč literally means, "man-eater," but is conventionally translated as "Giant" inasmuch as the Wągᵋručge are said to be four times the height of a typical human.
|The Stand Rock Amphitheater|
"Council Grounds" — perhaps better known as the "Amphitheater," this is a particular site in the Dells, very near Stand Rock. In olden times, the Hočągara used this natural amphitheater with its good acoustics for councils and sacred rites, and in the XXᵀᴴ century, it was used for powwows and dance performances for the general public in which guest tribes were allowed to perform.
|The Hornet's Nest||The Toadstool|
"Hornet's Nest" — a crude tour guide map shows this rock formation to be approximately at coordinates 43.674109, -89.810957.
"Toadstool" — according to the story, it should be located near Hornet's Nest. The formation is shown directly above.
|Sugar Bowl Island with Indian Head Rock at the Upper Right
Grotto Rock is to the Right
"Indian Head Rock" — a rock formation at the top right corner of the Sugar Bowl. It is located at coordinates 43.605900, -89.755064. For the location of the Sugar Bowl on a map, see above.
|Louis’ Bluff (Xe Wakąčą́k)|
"Sacred Mound" — in earlier times when the Fox Indians were in the area, it was known as "Fox Mound," but in recent times as, "Louie's Bluff" or "Louis’ Bluff." To the Hočągara it was Xe Wakąčą́k, "Sacred Hill."4 Louis’ Bluff is located at coordinates 43.692027, -89.824524.
|Alfred R. Waud, 1872||Starry Nights Software|
|Stand Rock||Stand Rock with Louis’ Bluff in the Background||The Big Dipper
8 Aug. 1766 at Sunrise
"Stand Rock" — a famous rock formation in the Lower Dells (coordinates 43.675224, -89.814809), with an elevation of 912 feet (278 meters). We don't really have enough information to say what Stand Rock might correspond to in terms of constellations. However, Stand Rock does have an interesting similarity to the Big Dipper (Ursa Major). The foot star would be Alkaid, which swings down to within 3-4° of the horizon. Although Alkaid is a circumpolar star at the latitude of Four Lakes, given the forested and irregular elevation of the visible horizon, this star will seem to sweep down into the earth. Giants are said to live in the north and the Dipper certainly stays in the north, circling tightly around the North Star. Nevertheless, owing to a general lack of information about the characters of this story, the identity of Stand Rock remains a matter of conjecture.
|Little Eagle Atop Demon's Anvil with Louis’ Bluff in the Background||A Hočąk Couple at Demon's Anvil|
"Demon's Anvil" — located near Stand Rock, placed at (by Google Earth) 43.675748, -89.815308.
|Whirlpool Chambers||Stand Rock, Witches Gulch, Elephants Back, Steamboat Rock, and Coldwater Canyon|
"Whirlpool Chambers" — a whirlpool created in the course of the creek running through Coldwater Canyon in the southern part of the Upper Dells.
|Susan Clark Slaymaker||Susan Clark Slaymaker||Susan Clark Slaymaker|
|Witches Gulch||The Phantom Chamber, Witches Gulch||The Diamond Grotto, Witches Gulch|
"Witches Gulch" — a spooky narrow gulch (coordinates 43.675868, -89.801311), whose creek empties into the Wisconsin River in the Upper Dells. The photos immediately above probably came from the studio of H. H. Bennett.
"star" — the footnote says, "Venus." This is a disappointing result, for at least two reasons. First, the Hočągara recognized the Evening and Morning Stars of Venus as distinct celestial and spiritual objects. Second, both the Evening Star, called the "Red Star," and Morning Star are both males, and are brothers. I am not aware of any culture in which Morning Star is the daughter of Evening Star. Bluehorn, while he has sisters, has neither a wife nor a daughter. On the other hand, Redhorn in some myths has a wife and a daughter. He too has had his head taken, although it is usually kept in a fireplace (symbolic of solar conjunction). When Alnilam rises with the Sun, the Sun is in the nearby constellation Gemini. As a consequence, Alnilam rises through the red of the sunset for sometime thereafter. However, it is hard to see how Venus could have been the offspring of a fixed star. It would make more sense to conclude that Morning Star is the offspring of Evening Star, who would also have been both a red star and red haired, although the latter is suppressed by the blue hair that is his by virtue of his identity with the clear sky.
Comparative Material. There is no doubt that our myth has an astronomical code, since so many of its principals are stars. There is also little doubt that the myth tries to touch base with all the major rock formations encountered along the Dells of the Wisconsin River. This rather suggests that an attempt is being made to map astronomical features on the celestial sphere onto topographic features within Hočąk territory. Such projects are fairly common. Among the Oglala Lakota, for instance, the Black Hills are mapped onto the celestial sphere, with various topological features being identified in a systematic way with constellations seen in the sky above.5
Links: Thunderbirds, Waterspirits, Celestial Spirits, Giants, Bluehorn (Red Star),
Stories: mentioning Thunderbirds: The Thunderbird, Waruǧábᵉra, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Traveler and the Thunderbird War, The Boulders of Devil's Lake, Thunderbird and White Horse, Bluehorn's Nephews, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed (vv. 1, 2), The Man who was a Reincarnated Thunderbird, The Thunder Charm, The Lost Blanket, The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Story of the Thunder Names, The Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Eagle Clan Origin Myth, Pigeon Clan Origins, Bird Clan Origin Myth, Adventures of Redhorn's Sons, Brave Man, Ocean Duck, Turtle's Warparty, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Quail Hunter, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, Redhorn's Sons, The Dipper, The Stone that Became a Frog, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, The Warbundle of the Eight Generations, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Origin of the Hočąk Chief, The Spirit of Gambling, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Black Otter's Warpath, Aračgéga's Blessings, Kunu's Warpath, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, The Glory of the Morning, The Nightspirits Bless Čiwoit’éhiga, The Green Waterspirit of the Wisconsin Dells, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Big Stone, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Song to Earthmaker, The Origins of the Milky Way; about stars and other celestial bodies: The Dipper, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, The Seven Maidens, Morning Star and His Friend, Little Human Head, Turtle and the Witches, Sky Man, Wojijé, The Raccoon Coat, Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, The Star Husband, Grandfather's Two Families, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Children of the Sun, The Origins of the Milky Way, The Fall of the Stars; in which Waterspirits occur as characters: Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth, Traveler and the Thunderbird War, The Green Waterspirit of Wisconsin Dells, The Lost Child, River Child and the Waterspirit of Devil's Lake, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Bluehorn's Nephews, Holy One and His Brother, The Seer, The Nannyberry Picker, The Creation of the World (vv. 1, 4), Šųgepaga, The Sioux Warparty and the Waterspirit of Green Lake, The Waterspirit of Lake Koshkonong, The Waterspirit of Rock River, The Boulders of Devil's Lake, Devil's Lake — How it Got its Name, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Waterspirit of Sugar Loaf Mounds, Lakes of the Wazija Origin Myth, Waterspirits Keep the Corn Fields Wet, The Waterspirit Guardian of the Intaglio Mound, The Diving Contest, The Lost Blanket, Redhorn's Sons, The Phantom Woman, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Great Walker's Warpath, White Thunder's Warpath, The Descent of the Drum, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Snowshoe Strings, The Thunderbird, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (v. 2), The Two Children, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, Paint Medicine Origin Myth, Waruǧábᵉra, Ocean Duck, The Twin Sisters, Trickster Concludes His Mission, The King Bird, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Great Walker's Medicine (v. 2), Peace of Mind Regained, The Story of the Medicine Rite, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Spiritual Descent of John Rave's Grandmother, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Shaggy Man, The Woman who Married a Snake (?), Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, The Sacred Lake, Lost Lake; mentioning black hawks: Origin Myth of the Hawk Clan (v. 2), The Dipper, The Thunderbird, Partridge's Older Brother, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother, Waruǧábᵉra, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Morning Star and His Friend, The Coughing Up of the Black Hawks, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth, The Animal Spirit Aids of the Medicine Rite, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing, The Race for the Chief's Daughter; 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 Hočąk Arrival Myth, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Trickster and the Geese, Holy One and His Brother (kaǧi, woodpeckers, hawks), Porcupine and His Brothers (Ocean Sucker), Turtle's Warparty (Thunderbirds, eagles, kaǧi, pelicans, sparrows), Kaǧiga and Lone Man (kaǧi), The Old Man and the Giants (kaǧi, bluebirds), The Bungling Host (snipe, woodpecker), The Red Feather, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Waruǧábᵉra, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Black and White Moons, The Markings on the Moon, The Creation Council, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna (chicken hawk), Hare Acquires His Arrows, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing (black hawk, owl), The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth (black hawk, kaǧi), Worúxega (eagle), The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men (eagle), The Gift of Shooting (eagle), Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, The Hočąk 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, Įčorúšika 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, and the sources cited there; featuring Giants as characters: A Giant Visits His Daughter, Turtle and the Giant, The Stone Heart, Young Man Gambles Often, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Morning Star and His Friend, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Old Man and the Giants, Shakes the Earth, White Wolf, Redhorn's Father, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Roaster, Grandfather's Two Families, Redhorn's Sons, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Little Human Head, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Origins of the Milky Way, Ocean Duck, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Wears White Feather on His Head, cf. The Shaggy Man; about fasting blessings: Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Difficult Blessing, The Boy Who Became a Robin, The Boy who would be Immortal, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, The Seer, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Nightspirits Bless Jobenągiwįxka, Disease Giver Blesses Jobenągiwįxka, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, Black Otter's Warpath, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Aračgéga's Blessings, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, Great Walker's Medicine, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Thunderbird and White Horse, The Man who was Blessed by the Sun, Holy Song, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Paint Medicine Origin Myth, The Plant Blessing of Earth, The Blessing of Šokeboka, The Tap the Head Medicine, The Sweetened Drink Song, Ancient Blessing; about the origins of bodies of water: Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, Lakes of the Wazija Origin Myth, The Green Waterspirit of the Wisconsin Dells, Lost Lake; mentioning caves: Big Eagle Cave Mystery, Blue Mounds Cave, Silver Mound Cave, The Woman Who Married a Snake, Little Human Head, The Waterspirit of Sugar Loaf Mounds, Hare Establishes Bear Hunting, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, A Giant Visits His Daughter, Kunu's Warpath, Soft Shelled Turtle Weds, The Story of the Medicine Rite; set in the Wisconsin Dells: The Twin Sisters, White Flower, The Green Waterspirit of the Wisconsin Dells, Red Cloud's Death, Yellow Thunder and the Lore of Lost Canyon, Sunset Point, The Story of the Medicine Rite, Mighty Thunder; mentioning the Sugar Bowl and/or Indian Head Rock: Red Cloud's Death.
Themes: a person who fasts receives blessings from the spirits: The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Nightspirits Bless Jobenągiwįxka, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, Redhorn's Sons, The Boy Who Became a Robin, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, The Seer, Maize Comes to the Hočągara, The Warbundle of the Eight Generations, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Boy who would be Immortal, The Thunderbird, Lake Wąkšikhomįgra (Mendota): the Origin of Its Name, The Waterspirit Guardian of the Intaglio Mound, Great Walker's Medicine, Šųgepaga, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna, A Man's Revenge, Aračgéga's Blessings, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, The Man who was Blessed by the Sun, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, The Man who Defied Disease Giver, White Thunder's Warpath, Black Otter's Warpath, A Man and His Three Dogs, The Oak Tree and the Man Who was Blessed by the Heroka, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum, The Diving Contest, The Plant Blessing of Earth, Holy Song, The Tap the Head Medicine, The Blessing of Šokeboka, The Completion Song Origin, Paint Medicine Origin Myth, The Nightspirits Bless Čiwoit’éhiga, Sunset Point, Song to Earthmaker, First Contact (v. 1), The Horse Spirit of Eagle Heights; 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, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, 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, Aračgéga'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, Sunset Point, The Rounded Wood Origin Myth, A Peyote Vision, The Healing Blessing; spirits bless a man with an artifact:Waruǧábᵉra (warbundle, warclub), The Warbundle of the Eight Generations (warbundle, flute), The Blessing of a Bear Clansman (warbundle), The Thunderbird (warclub), The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds (warclub), The Rounded Wood Origin Myth (ceremonial object), Origin of the Decorah Family (drum), Paint Medicine Origin Myth (magical paint), The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth (flute and gourd), Disease Giv, Ancient Blessing (pot, ax, spoon), The Blessing of the Bow (bow and arrows); someone turns into a cloud: Bladder and His Brothers, The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension; a being has red hair: Redhorn's Sons, Redhorn's Father, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (vv. 1 & 2), The Hočągara Contest the Giants, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, A Wife for Knowledge, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle; attempting to procure a bride through intimidation: The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, The Spotted Grizzly Man, Bluehorn's Nephews, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Thunder Cloud Marries Again; men fight one another over women: Iron Staff and His Companions, The Green Man, A Man's Revenge, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister; someone is abducted and led off into captivity: The Captive Boys, A Man's Revenge, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Lost Child, Wears White Feather on His Head, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Bladder and His Brothers, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Black Otter's Warpath, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Green Man, Brave Man, The Chief of the Heroka, Šųgepaga, Hare Gets Swallowed, Hare Acquires His Arrows, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, Wolves and Humans, The Woman Who Became an Ant, Thunderbird and White Horse, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Traveler and the Thunderbird War (v. 5), The Boy who Flew, Testing the Slave; someone is captured by Waterspirits: Įčorúšika and His Brothers, Holy One and His Brother, Traveler and the Thunderbird War (v. 5), Redhorn's Sons, The King Bird; a powerful spirit lives in a cave: Big Eagle Cave Mystery, Blue Mounds Cave, Silver Mound Cave, The Woman Who Married a Snake, Little Human Head, The Waterspirit of Sugar Loaf Mounds; head hunting: White Fisher, Big Thunder Teaches Čap’ósgaga the Warpath, A Man's Revenge, How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Little Priest's Game, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Young Man Gambles Often, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), The Dipper, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Porcupine and His Brothers, Turtle's Warparty, Ocean Duck, The Markings on the Moon, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Red Man, The Chief of the Heroka, Thunderbird and White Horse, The Man with Two Heads, Brave Man, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Redhorn's Sons, Fighting Retreat, The Children of the Sun, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, The Were-Grizzly, Winneconnee Origin Myth; being carried (off) by a bird: The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster, The Baldness of the Buzzard, Thunderbird and White Horse, The Boy who Flew, Hare Acquires His Arrows, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (v. 1), The Old Man and the Giants; a severed head (in a fireplace) is not dead: The Chief of the Heroka, The Red Man, The Children of the Sun; someone fleeing enemies hides in a crevice of a cliff: The Woman Who Became an Ant, Shakes the Earth, Turtle's Warparty, Porcupine and His Brothers, Little Human Head; a being is transformed into stone: The Twin Sisters, The Seer, A Woman Turns into a Rock, The Raccoon Coat; the war between Thunderbirds and Waterspirits: Traveler and the Thunderbird War, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Boulders of Devil's Lake, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, Brave Man, The Lost Blanket, Ocean Duck, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, The Thunderbird, Waruǧábᵉra, Bluehorn's Nephews, , The Waterspirit of Sugar Loaf Mounds; frustrated love: White Flower, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Twin Sisters, The Phantom Woman, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother, Old Man and Wears White Feather, Partridge's Older Brother, The Stone Heart, Snowshoe Strings, Trickster Soils the Princess, Sunset Point, The Message the Fireballs Brought, Rainbow and Stone Arch; someone is, or becomes, a star: The Seven Maidens, The Dipper, Grandfather's Two Families, Morning Star and His Friend, Turtle and the Witches, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, The Star Husband.
1 "The Legend of Hey-nah the Hero," in Captain Don Saunders, Driftwood and Debris: Riverside Tales of the Dells of Old Wisconsin by the River Guides, 2d ed. (Wisconsin Dells: Wisconsin Dells Events, 1959) 80-86.
2 Both the Delaware and the Osage call Morning Star, "The Red Star." Dorcas S. Miller, Stars of the First People: Native American Star Myths and Constellations (Boulder: Pruett Publishing Co., 1997) 56 (Delaware), 263 (Osage). In keeping with the same principle, the Fox call the Evening Star Maskuigwawa, "Red-eyed." William Jones, Ethnography of the Fox Indians, Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 125 (Washington, D. C.: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1939) 21. The Pawnee Big Star, which they describe as red, is probably the Morning Star (of Venus). Hall, Archaeology of the Soul, 87. Like the Hočągara, the Seminole refer to Evening Star as "the Red Star." Miller, Stars of the First People, 280. The Yucatec Maya refer to Venus as Chak ek, "Great/Red Star," the term chak meaning both "red" and "great." J. Eric S. Thompson, Maya History and Religion (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1970) 252. Milbrath, Star Gods of the Maya, 201. Hall, Archaeology of the Soul, 87b.
3 Wisconsin DNR > Topics and Keywords > Wisconsin's Endangered Resources > Endangered Resources Review > Rare Species and Natural Communities > Communities > Southern Forests > "Hemlock Relic". Viewed: 3.10.2017.
4 Frank A. Weinhold, Louis’ Bluff. The Story of a Wisconsin Landmark (Online Text, 1993) Introduction.
5 Ronald Goodman, Lakota Star Knowledge: Studies in Lakota Stellar Theology (Rosebud Sioux Reservation: Siñte Gleska University, 1992) 7-19, 29.