The Journey to Spiritland

by Richard L. Dieterle


Version 1a (of the Thunderbird Clan)

by J. F. [John Fireman ?]


Hočąk-English Interlinear Text


(7) As you walk along towards the west where the Ghost Controller is, you will eventually see him. As you proceed, you'll make a request. What follows is what you will say. In the future, as you are walking along, you will have the means of obtaining life that Earthmaker put in our possession. (8) So as you proceed, this will be your will and purpose.

At first as you go along, you will think about which side it's going to be. The road will branch off. You must go to the right, at no time should you turn left. This one to the left leads to a bad place. And at this place again there will be a man who acts as the road guard. You will point your pipe at him, and he will be grateful.

Then there will be a person who inspires terror. He will be wearing men's clothes, but he will be without a head. He will smoke tobacco with you. You will ask of him, "Grandfather," you will call him, (9) "my grandfather, when I was setting out, my grandfather told me, ask your grandfather to point out which road I'm going to tread on, he said." When you say that, he will tell you. He will tell you which way you are to travel. That's the way that you will go.

Then you will pass on, and again as you go along you will come there to where there will be a bad fire. The one in charge would be wearing men's clothing from which nothing is lacking. You must take your pipe there and point it at him. He will be grateful. Once it is smoked, you will say this to him, "Grandfather said that if I asked this of you, my grandfather, he said that they will let you pass."

And once you get passed, as you go along, there will be an oval lodge. (10) An old woman will be there. Point the pipe at her. She will smoke it. After it is smoked, you will say to her, "My grandfather said that you would let me pass." Your grandmother will let you pass by. Your head will not be gray. You will have all your senses and will not lose consciousness.

When you arrive there where the Ghost Controller is, whenever it is that you get to the village of ghosts where the Ghost Controller is, about then you should go and when you reach there, ask him a question. You will say to him, "Grandfather," you'll say, and you will hand him the pipe. After he has smoked it — "Grandfather, my grandfather said that you would show me where the road is that will reach Earthmaker, our Father." (11) He is going to tell you, "This is it," he is going to say to you. That way you'll go.

Once you have reached Earthmaker, you will stop and hand the pipe to him. After he has smoked it — "Earthmaker, my Father, how have I been living?" "You yourself know. You have done well," he will say to you.1


Version 1b (of the Thunderbird Clan)

by J. F. [John Fireman ?]


Hočąk-English Interlinear Text


This story begins with an address to the ghost of a clansman recently deceased.


(12) Hąhó-o-o-o! Surely you are listening. You have become like a ghost-spirit. All your clansmen here on earth you have made pitiable, they have been made lonely. They made your food well, and they made you take it along with you, and with it the pipe, tobacco, and the messenger to use in sending a message. (13) The very first request will be that your clan be able to conduct warfare on the earth. And that they might use however much life you have left behind on earth. And again, that your relatives on earth might use as many of the things as you left behind. And as well, your relatives would make use forever of all the food that you will miss from now on, this which is behind you on earth. And then you will make the request, when you reach the one in charge; you'll speak to him, and if he smokes the pipe, you'll make this request.

(19) And on this walk you're going to take, never look behind you. If anything passes in front of you, gnaw it in two and go on. And then you'll pick it up, and not looking back, you throw it behind you. Then you are going to pass by this. There, as you go along, there will be a man there dressed in male apparel. (20) And then you'll say, "Grandfather, this is the pipe." When you say this to him, he will thank you. You will say to him, "Grandfather said that I should ask of you which [road] to take, he said." Then you will go to that cross road. The one to the left reaches the bad one; the one to the right, that's the one that you'll travel on when you go. As you go along, you will come to a large oval lodge. And when you make her smoke the pipe, if you can get her to, you'll say to her, "Grandmother," as you will be speaking to an old woman, "my grandfather said that thus you would let me pass by." Once it is done, she will do it.

Then you are going on to where the ghost village is. When you get there, you should hand the pipe to the one who is in charge of ghosts. (21) If he smokes it for you, then you must request what I said, and you must speak this way. "The clan that I belong to, and all my relatives on earth, I have made pitiable. I have made them lonely. Grandfather said that I should make these requests. Grandfather said, they should come just in front of him bringing heads as war honors. And then again, whatever of life I left behind there on earth, let my relatives use it. And let the people in this village use all the things of mine which I have left behind on earth. Concerning what relates to me, all the food that I missed, such as remains, let my relatives on earth make use of this. I was to ask you this, that it will not be any time soon that they will come here." Hąhó-o-o-o-o ha-e!(13) "Grandfather, when I was coming here, my relatives were made pitiable." You must say to the Ghost Controller when he smokes the pipe that in all humility it was you who made them talk this way. (14) "Grandfather, my grandfather said that this is what I would say. All those of my clan are to be pitied; I would that they be able to use on earth just what I left behind there. Let them use it. My very first request is that they might make use of war powers, and that they might have good luck through them. And let my relatives on earth use as much of my life as I left behind. All the clothing items that I missed by coming here, as much as is on earth, let them use; all of that sort of thing, including all the food which I missed by coming here. And never will a second one be done any time soon. These I would ask of you, it is said. Hąhó-o-o-o, há-a-a!"2


Version 2 (of the Bear Clan)

In the Bear Clan they say that the dead person will first come to a lodge oriented in the path of the sun. There a great-grandmother will test the deceased with many questions. He is to ask her to give to his clan all those things he would have enjoyed in life had it not been cut short. As he leaves this lodge he will eventually reach the lodge of Herešgúnina and his fire. The guides for the soul will meet him there. Off to his right, in the blue sky he will see the footprints of those who passed into life before him. He is to step carefully into each of these prints. Soon he will come to the celestial forest of Wašgeja which is broken here and there by meadows. In this beautiful land the spirits who gather up souls shall guide him to Earthmaker. The departed gives Earthmaker the offerings in his charge and in return the god directs him to the lodge of his ancestors, whose door faces the midday sun.3


Version 3 (of the Wolf Clan)

After a Wolf clansman dies, a blue mark is painted on his forehead. The food prepared for the deceased during the Four Slumbers will last him through eternity. His soul journeys to the west and he must never look back, since that would mean that he longs for something here on earth. When he arrives at his destination, his kinsmen will be there, and they will ask him, "What did our relatives say just before you left?" And he should reply: "It will be some time before they will come to see you."4


Version 4 (of the Medicine Rite)

by Jasper Blowsnake


Jasper Blowsnake

Hočąk-English Interlinear Text


(169) This road I'm going to tell you about, what I will tell you is how you will go, I will say that in speaking to you. (170) Now the very first thing that you will encounter will be a ravine on the land there. It is no good to go around it, that's the way it is. It will be that way to each end of the earth, all the way to the water. After you look at the ends of it, you will see that it is no good to try to circumvent it. You thought that grandfather did say, "You will ask, which way shall I go?". Plunge right through. Then you'll go through just fine. The footprints in the Medicine Road plainly show the way, and you will step in these. You will proceed just fine. The next thing that you will come to there is a great thicket of brushwood, and a great thicket of weeds, that's all. Stop there, as it is impossible to get through the impenetrable tangles, but nevertheless, you will try to go through. You will look at it from one end to the other, but it will be such that you cannot get around it there. Grandfather said to me, "Plunge right through," and I would go through. Thus, you should go. Nothing will happen to you anywhere. (171) But then evil little birds will constantly make noise in both your ears, but he said, "You should simply listen." Then go on. Foul bile or phlegm will try to stick to you. Do not try to brush it off. Pay no attention to it. You might forget yourself and brush it off. That is not the thing to do. If you do the right thing, it will mean life itself for you. Again, there half the land will be burning with fire. It's such that you can't pass through this way, and it is such that it is no good to try to get around it this way. Plunge on through, and you'll get through it. You brought to mind what grandfather said, "Thus will you pass through it." Plunge through it and you will go on. As you go through to the other side, nothing will happen to you. You will go well to the other side. Never be discouraged. This is life. Then go on. The fourth one is perpendicular cliffs, if you were to go that way, it would seem as if you could not pass through. (172) They are such that it is no good to try to circumvent them at either end, as each juts into the Ocean Sea. You brought to mind what grandfather said, "Thus will you pass through it." Plunge through it, and if you try this, you will go on. Nothing will happen to you anywhere. You will pass through well. You will obtain life. This is what they are trying to accomplish.

You will encounter something, a hill that will come into view. Go towards it. You will come to the hill, the foot of the hill. There it will be, what you're going to eat. There you're going to eat dried bear ribs mixed with spirit food, good looking, and full of Hąp (Light-and-Life). When you're through eating, you'll climb the hill, and when you reach the top, you'll look back. And you are going to look to your front, and you're going to look to your front! Ahead of you will be a thicket of hazel brush (?). These [the people ahead] will take hold of you and lead you. They will do this. If you look behind, you will not see anyone, as you are the only one going behind. Then again you will see a hill there. The destination is a nice land, with red stones, to that one you will go. (173) It will be sitting there at the foot of the hill where you are going, a greasy kettle of food will be sitting there. When you are through eating, you will direct your gaze to your front. They will be less than what you saw before, that way it will be. And when you look back to where you had been alone before, there will be some following you. And then you should go on. You'll go towards a hill, the third hill that you will see in sight. When you get to the foot of the hill, there will be a red willow break and clusters of reeds, ever since you left, this is what you will have been headed towards. At the foot of the hill the kettles will be filled with what you're going to eat, it will be perfect. There you are going to eat. You'll climb the hill, and half way up you will rest. You will notice from there reddish smoke. As you are standing on the top of the hill, you are going to look ahead. The many that you saw ahead of you before may not be so numerous now. (174) If you look behind you where once only you yourself had been following them, now many will be following behind you. They will take hold of you and lead you. And then you should go on. Ahead the fourth hill will come into view. You should go towards it. As you go this way, you will come to a good country of white poplars. You will come to the foot of the hill. Food will be there, and the kettles will be perfect. There you are going to eat. And when you have finished eating, as you are climbing the hill, you are going take rest breaks four times. Then, once you've climbed it, you'll stand on top of it. If you look to the front there, there will not be anyone in front; when you look in back of you, the place that you started from will appear but a short distance away. In back of you, they will be following you all the way back to the place where you started from.

Then you should go on from there. You won't go very far before you encounter a large oval lodge. Walk right in. There will be a man there. "Hąhą́ grandson, how have you done?" he will ask you. "Grandfather, I don't know how I have done." He will tell you. (175) "Grandson, I do know. It is good," he will say. "Grandson, eat," he will say to you. From the beginning there will be a dish at this end of the table, it is going to be the meat of a horned, white haired one, having horns that are scorched here and there, mixed with spirit food. There you are going to eat. Put it in your mouth four times. Then again from a second dish you are going to eat there. Put it in your mouth four times, and then again eat from the third dish there. Put it in your mouth four times, and so then again from the fourth dish there, put it in your mouth four times.

You will be starting back from there. Your body will look like that of a dog, then like that of a flea. You will not lose consciousness for a long time. And here will be that ladder possessed by those who are in charge of the Medicine Rite. The right side will be a twisted frog's leg, dappled with Light-and-Life. At the [other] side it will be red cedar blackened by handling and made very smooth. You must grab hold of each one of these. (176) You will come to where Earthmaker is sitting. When you get there, with much love, your relatives will receive you. Never do evil clouds roll over there, never does night come, never do evil winds blow, nor is there want of anything, neither food nor meat; there no one does any work, there whatever is done is pleasant. Then Earthmaker's servants will come after you. When they take hold of you and return with you, Earthmaker will say, "You did well. If you want to go back again, you could go to any tribe of men that you want to. You can live there, if you like, or you can live there as any kind of animal whatever." Thus he will speak to you.5


Version 5 (of the Medicine Rite)

by Jasper Blowsnake


Hočąk-English Interlinear Text


(165) You will reach the point where your life falls apart. You'll get hold of the Medicine Road staff. On the right side is the frog's leg blackened by handling, there you will stand. And on the left, the chief-tree, the red cedar of smoothened bark, will be standing there blackened by handling. And when you take hold of this, the frog leg, the staff of our ancestors, it is going to be imprinted with Light and Life (Hąp). It is going to be sitting there imprinted with Light and Life as you take hold of it. Our ancestors did the rite well, your ancestors wanted that for you. Once they were down below here on earth, but now these people are up above where Earthmaker dwells. They had all done the rite well. (166) Also that is why it is said to us, "Ehé, hagagasgéžą, I might have done a part far less than what was expected," they thought, is why they did it for me.6


Version 6 (of the Medicine Rite)

by Sam Blowsnake


Hočąk-English Interlinear Text


(53) And so the whole of his creation is his witness. From the east he made long marks by hand towards the west, and then he made a mark at the base that branched off. (54) He made it short and he marked it wide. And he said, "Grandson, did you see what I marked on our Grandmother? This is the one Road that I have been speaking to you about. (55) One is long, but not wide. And one is wide, but short. The second long one that I marked is the way of Life, it is the good Road of which I spoke. It reaches to Earthmaker. (56) It is the Medicine Road.

Bad ones will come to jeer at you. They will spit on you. You will go through bad brush and thorny things. And you will go to the edge of fire. (57) As you walk along this, there by the side of the road will be a steaming bowl. There will be deer ribs, well done, boiled with sweat corn. There you will sit and eat. (58) And then you will feel good, you will be stronger, you will stretch yourself. Then you will get to another one. And when you get to the other one, you will eat. And you will come to the third one. (59) Then you will come to the fourth one. When you leave there and raise your eyes to look, you will see the clouds marked with day-yellow. You will wear that. You will get to four like that again. (60) When you go from there, you will see dishes on both sides of the road. There your feet will feel the soft earth. You will take it up and wear it. (61) When you leave there, you will see both [sides] of the road thicker with dishes. And after you leave there, you will come upon food, and there will be all kinds of spotted clouds above, and there will be soft ground. You will come to a hill there. At the foot of the hill there will be a cane of red cedar. (62) After you have climbed the hill there, you will see a fog enshrouded countryside. There it lies, and you will shout, "Ehó, ehó! Wehá, wehá!," you will say. (63) You will do that three times, and the fourth time, you will be standing on top of the hill. There you will chant like the members of the Medicine Rite. And when you look at your own body, your body will be like that of a flea. (64) And your arms will be like a peace pipe, and your head will be like a swan, and your cane will be shortened by wear, and you will stand shaking, leaning your chin on your cane.

Then you will see Earthmaker's place. (65) Grandson, on the ground that I marked, I had a second road that I had marked. The big road that branches off, the one that goes to the left, that is Herešgúnira's. (66) It is evil, pains, regret, death. If you live doing what you like without breaching rules, it is this very Road. Life ends in a very short time. (67) In the marking of this earth, I made the life that you have. I marked our Grandmother's body, and I marked it that it might reach here to Earthmaker. This is the witness. (68) You will go on the road which is long. Bad birds will make noises at you. After we are free of this rite, afterwards they will try you. Those who are envious will do it to you. They will spit on you. (69) They will tease you. Do not say anything back to them. You will go through bad brush. They may also put their hands on you. They may make you bleed. Nevertheless, go on. (70) You will go to the edge of the fire. You will be burned. But go on. Now, so for the first time they will invite you. They will make a place for you. You will taste the food of the Medicine Rite people. (71) This very body is to be strengthened for you that you might live. This is what they say. There will be a dish of deer ribs mixed with sweat corn. After you go by this, you will become a real man. (72) Very close by you will see poplar. This, your hair, will become sparse and white. That is it.

And in the marking of the sky you will see the Medicine Rite people. You will have nąpiruǧač, they say. More of your hair will turn white. (73) You will see poplar. As things proceed, you will feel soft ground underfoot, and goods will be spread out on the Medicine Road, these you will take up and you will wear them. (74) After you pass this four times, when you arrive thus far, as you start coming, food, blankets, clothing, and life itself, all will be made for you. (75) When you get to the foot of the hill, you will be old and use a cedar cane. When you start up the hill with your cane, the earth is going to be misty, and your eyes are going to be blurred. And you can move but slowly. (76) This is it: you are old. It is like climbing a hill. You do it with a cane. Then you reach the top of the hill. You have come to the end of this life. Your body is bent, and the skin of your arms is loose. (77) And your hair is going to be white, and you are going to put your chin on your cane. Your body can only go this far. There your righteous soul will go to Earthmaker. (78) This is it. Grandson, one road you will go on, the Medicine Road.

And ancestors, we greet you! I have spoken to my grandson up to this far. (79) We are done, and in turn I leave it to you. Ancestors, we greet you!"7


Version 7 (of the Bird Clan)

by Walking Cloud

"You ask me about a future life. I cannot see how a person may be taken to another world and come back and tell about it. Old people used to tell us that the dead, when washed clean by the Great Spirit, could be sent back to earth. And some believe this, even now.

One thing is certain. The body rests in the earth four days. During that time we take food and place it on the grave, that the body [soul] may not starve. After four days, the body rises and starts out alone, to the happy hunting-ground. A spirit comes to guide the body on its way, unseen. They come to a swift-running stream. They must cross it on a slender pole. If the body is that of a bad Indian, it sinks in the river and never lives more. If it is a good Indian, it walks steadily and crosses the pole. A woman stands on the farther bank, and receives the new comer. The woman asks the stranger his name. When she receives it, she says: 'You are good; you shall always live in the happy hunting-ground.' This woman is neither old or young, nor will she ever be old; for the Great Spirit placed her there at the beginning of the world, and she has always looked the same."8


Version 8 (of the Thunderbird Clan)

narrated by a member of the Bear clan


Hočąk Syllabic Text with an English Interlinear Translation


(72) Here is the tobacco, and (73) keep these in front of you as you walk, the pipe and the fire that you have along with you as you walk, and the food, things which your relatives have prepared for you. In the morning when the sun rises, you will start out. Coming to the first thing, you will come to step on a much-beloved road. As you go along there will be something, the first thing you will do when you get to it, is that you will cut across the ground there. (74) You take your Warclub, and you will strike it. You will cast it behind you and go on. You will not look back. Again you will go on. Once more you will come upon something else, animals. Again, you will cast them behind you and go on. You will not look back. Again you must go on. Once again, as you go along, you will come upon animals. (75) Again you will not look back. You will throw them behind, and go on. You will cause these things to come to those on this earth: wars, men's possessions, animals, and food.

And when you have gone from there, you will not have gone far. When you get to an oval lodge, there will be an old woman. This one will inform you. (76) "Grandson, what is your name?" she will say. You must answer, "Grandmother, when I started out, I was given these as mediators, they say." You will put the pipe to her mouth. "Grandmother, even now I have made my parents, relatives, and clansmen, lonesome for me, therefore, it is my wish that they have honors from the wars. Even now, I have made them poor, therefore, they ask for whatever life I have left behind. (77) And they asked that none of them should come here any time very soon. And all such things as they have in the summertime, again these they asked for. This, grandmother, they said to me when I was about to start stepping onto the road: they told me, grandmother, that I will go into these four steps imprinted with blue. (78) "Hąhą́ my dear grandson, you are young, but you are wise. It is good. I will boil something for you," she will say, and she will put on the kettle. She will boil rice. If you eat, you will have a headache. Then she will say, "Grandson, you have a headache. Let me cup it for you," she will say. After she cups it, there she is going to crack your head, and (79) take out your brain. Thereafter, you will forget about earth here. You will not be lonesome for your relatives. You will not live in worry over the affairs of your relatives. You shall become like in being to the various spirits (waxopini). You will think your thoughts down to the face of the earth, just down to there. You shall be as the various spirits. From this time on, the rice she boils she will make into lice. (80) For this reason, there you will be done with all bad things.

You will step into the four steps. There the road forks, that is why one steps. The best thing is to walk in the ones filled with blue. All your relatives went there. And you will go on it. As you go along, there you will come to a fire that cuts across from one end of the earth to the other. There is a bridge that will not be easy to cross. (81) The bridge will be swinging back and forth, but you shall cross over it. They will take you. The ones that they told you about, these will take you over and care for you. We have told you of very good things. If they lie in the telling of it, if he leads one of the ghosts astray, there he will fall and burn. However, you will go on with great ease. (82) And as you go on, they will come to meet you there. You are going there to the village, and you are going to its ruler, and there you will make the requests for what we want. There you may attend to the tobacco, the food, and the animals. Whatever things of that kind, you will ask for. There, everyone of your relations, as many as there are who died, are there in the longhouse where you will enter.

Ho-o-o-o! Ha-a-a-a!9


Version 9

of the Bear Clan

from the collection of W. C. McKern


Original manuscript pages: | 35 | 36 |

When a member of the bear clan died, the bear leader painted his face with the bear clan colors, transverse stripes on the forehead and a blue stripe lengthwise on the chin. After the paint was applied, the leader sang to the corpse. Then he spoke to the corpse:


(35) My brother, you are going to leave all your relatives on this earth. After four days, you will start on your journey. You will see a trail to the west; follow that trail. Before you come to our old grandmother's house, you will see beside the trail the fireplace of an evil spirit. A man will guide you past that danger. Do not go close to that fire place. Walk straight by there. Then you will come to our old grandmother's house on your way out west. There you will come before you reach the village of the dead (ghosts). When you come to her house, enter and sit by the fire opposite her. She will be cooking something for you. She will give you a wooden bowl of food and a wooden spoon with which to eat it. When she gives this to you, do not eat all of it. Tell our old grandmother, "Give this food which I leave to my relatives who remain alive." "That is good," the old woman will then say, "some eat all the food, and their relatives grow weak from lack of food." Then she will say, "My grandchild, I have to do this. For this was I placed here by the Creator, to remove the brains of those who come this way."

When you come to the village of the dead, go and sing the songs of your bear brothers, so that (36) your relatives will know who you are. Sing about Čoną́ke, so that the people there shall know that one of the soldier police has come. When you arrive there, you will see a longhouse where all your relatives are waiting for you. These shall take you to the leader of the ghosts. Then he will say to you, "What did you do while you were alive? If you did well while living, then you will remain here for four years. After that you will go to remain with the Great Father. If you did wrong on the earth, you must remain here all the time."

When you go before the Great Father, say to him, "All that was mine I left with my relatives on earth. Of all that the Great Father gave to me, I used but little. The remainder I left for my people that they might grow stronger. This I did so that they shall live their allotted time on earth." When, after four years, you go to the Great Father, say to him: "Send my relatives on earth, those who remain alive, plenty of game and fruits, and all manner of foods. Give them success in warfare and let their days be long and healthful."10


Version 10

of the Bear Clan

from the collection of W. C. McKern


Original manuscript pages: | 42 | 43 | 44 |


Certain ones who know old traditions and myths have the privilege to give the speech to the dead.


(42) That we are to have the benefit of what you did not use while you were living, we place a bundle of tobacco in your left hand. When you come to our old grandmother, before you come to the village of ghosts, give half of the tobacco to the old lady, and when you get to the village, give the rest of the tobacco to the leader there, and tell him what I am telling you now, that we must get the benefit of that which you did not use while living. You must not stay with us but (43) four nights before leaving us. On the fourth night, four persons will take you to the village of the dead. Just before you come to our own grandmother's lodge, you will see a fireplace, that of an evil spirit. They will guide you safely past that fire. Go straight by this, but you come to evil. Then you will come to the lodge of our old grandmother. They call that old lady "grandmother." You will come to her lodge. She will know that you are coming. As soon as you reach her door, she will invite you to come in. She will ask you to sit opposite her. She will say, "Grandson, did your relatives tell you anything to ask me?" You shall say, "Yes, they tell me to ask you something, because I made them feel bad when I left. They say, because our Great Father above gave us long life, I left them before I used up all the Great Spirit promised us, that we should live a long life. They begged me for this life that they might have what I had not lived up." The old lady will say, "That is true, what they said to you. It's true that our Great Spirit above gave me power and strength and put me here to keep the fire burning here, that the fire might never go out, and cannot be extinguished by any (44) of the four winds, that they should benefit from my being here forever. Our Great Spirit placed me here to ask such questions, although I know beforehand what you are to ask, it is my duty to ask you these things." (43) She will cook some food for you. And when she cooks, she will place it in a wooden bowl with a wooden spoon. You should (44) only eat four mouthfuls and thank our grandmother. "Grandmother, you are right. This is what they meant when they told me how to do it. That which I do not eat should be returned to my relatives who remain alive. That they may be strong and that none may follow me soon." Then give her tobacco. Then she will thank you. And she will say, "The Great Spirit has placed me here to do this. I am going to do it to you, because it is my duty. And I am going to take something out of your head. This is the brain that I take from your head. This is so that you will not wish to go back to your relatives. And from there, when she lets you go, you will go on to the village of ghosts. And when you get there, where the chief is, he will ask you the same questions as were asked by our grandmother. You must give tobacco to the chief and the chief will say the same as the old lady said. And from there they will show you where to find your relatives there, of the Bear Clan. You will find them in a long lodge, you grandfather, grandmother, sisters, brothers — all will be there.10a


Commentary."Ghost Controller"— this is the only known story in which such a personage has been encountered. From what is said further on, he appears to be a spirit who is chief over the village of the ghosts, which is the penultimate stop on the way to Earthmaker.

"the means of obtaining life" — this is a formulaic utterance of the Medicine Rite that refers to tobacco. Earthmaker gave man, and only man among the beings of creation, control over tobacco, since he felt pity for the weakness of his last creation. Tobacco has an addictive sway over the spirits, and they readily grant their powers to those mortals who offer it to them. Thus, tobacco is a means by which humans are able to obtain Life.

"this" — the object of his endeavor will be to give the tobacco as an offering to the Ghost Controller. This should help him on his way.

"without a head" — before the arrival of the white man, the standard "trophy" of war was not the mere scalp, but the whole head. His lack of a head would immediately suggest that the man had been killed in action. That he has connection with warriors is reinforced by his having earlier been called "a person who inspires terror," a characterization of warriors. He also recalls Bluehorn (Red Man) who lived for years without a head. This seemed theoretically possible, since the organ of mind was thought to be the heart rather than the brain.

"your head will not be gray" & "brain" (v. 8) & "to remove the brains (v. 9)" — Radin adds, "because it's white already." However, there may be another explanation. In some accounts, on the Spiritland trail is a person known as "Old Woman" (Hitokénįgeną́ka) or "Spirit Woman" (Hinųk-xop'ini). In recent sources, she uses the white medical technique of "cupping" (see below) by which blood is withdrawn to diminish sanguineous humours. As a result, the ghost loses all corporeal desires, a state befitting his new incorporeal existence. In other sources, that hint at a time before cupping, she performed her task of decorporealization by cracking open the ghost's head and scooping out his brains. The old woman on the road to Spiritland that we encounter here may be Old Woman. After his brains have been removed, he is still conscious and in possession of his senses, because (as noted in the previous entry) the organ of mind is the heart. Apparently the brain had more to do with desire and memory than with sensation and consciousness. That the ghost has had his brain removed would explain why his hair is no longer gray (but red). See Spirit Woman.

"a ghost-spirit (nąǧirak-waxopini)" — the term nąǧirak refers to the ghost, the incorporeal manifestation of the departed person. It could also be translated as "soul," as opposed to wanąǧí, which is both ghost and corpse. The term waxopini refers to spirits, which is to say immortal divinities. So the soul has become a kind of immortal divinity, but without the powers of waxopini who are not nąǧirak.

"the messenger" — this is a term used especially in the Medicine Rite for the drum. The message to be sent is that the people desire certain blessings in connection with their loss. The pipe and tobacco are an inducement to grant them.

"you have left behind" — it is obvious that it is believed that each individual was allotted an entitlement to a certain measure of life, and that, as we see in what follows, that he was also given a measure of material good and honors to go with it. That life is measured out in advance is seen in "The Twins Get into Hot Water," where Herešgúnina is found to be writing marks in the Book of Life.

And he was marking out life spans. When anyone was born, he wrote it in the book. He was marking them out very short. "Koté, why don't you make them long?" they asked him. Thus has the Maker of Things made me this way. It is a short life that I have control over. If they were all long, they would overcrowd the world. Then they would be helpless. They will not have enough food. Therefore, in this way, thus I am created by Earthmaker. He made me to decrease the people."11

The concept is complex and interesting. It represents a kind of inertia: all things being equal, a person will receive an allotment of goods, honors, and years of a certain quantity set out by Earthmaker; however, this is not pure destiny, since spirits may exercise their powers to alter the course of events and cut lives short. This means that for a life cut short, there is a reserve of entitlement left over. These entitlements belong to the deceased, and since he is embedded in a clan system, they secondarily belong to his clan. Therefore, it is logical that what the clansman was entitled to have, but loss from the unforeseen contingent events of life on earth, therefore ought now to belong to the clan, and most specifically, to his relatives. Therefore, the spirits may release this pool of life, honor, and material things to his relatives, to be added on to what Earthmaker had originally allotted to them. Needless to say, this grant is also subject to the vagaries of terrestrial life and may also be cut short; nevertheless, if things go well, the deceased may succeed in increasing the well-being of his clan.

"(19)" — near the bottom of p. 13, sentence 9, in the original text, the reader is referred to p. 19 where the text resumes.

"gnaw it in two and go on" — it is both interesting and odd that the sojourner is asked to cut the animal in two (rakųnųk´). The prefix ra- in this word means, "by mouth, lips, teeth, tongue, speaking, singing, etc." (Marino), and kųnųk means, "to cut, burn, or break something long in two, leaving a clean break" (Miner); so rakųnųk´ is defined as, "to bite in two something long, leaving a clean break" (Miner). Since the sojourner is not carrying a cutting implement, he is reduced to bisecting whatever crosses his path by gnawing it in two. This recalls the ritual practiced by the Warrior Clan of eating the center of a fish and leaving its head and tail in two pieces on the plate. Bisecting the animal in this fashion seems to give the captor a special power over it, which is here indicated by the fact that he is now able to magically give this reward to his clansman on earth by merely throwing it behind him. For the significance of this practice, see the Commentary and Comparative Material to "Wonáǧire Wąkšik Clan Origin Myth"; see also the Commentary to "Hare Visits the Bodiless Heads."

"not looking back" — this is space for time: if the ghost were to look back he would be directed towards the past. The offering of what crosses his path is something that will redound to the benefit of his relatives in the future. Therefore, he must be forward looking to effect things to occur in that direction in time. To frame time spatially and in terms of looking is also found in Greek mythology. The reason that Charon, the ferryman of the dead, has his face turned backward is that the dead have no future, only a past. Therefore, they take into their minds only what is temporally behind them, there being nothing in their future for them to perceive. Consequently, when Orpheus looks back at his wife Eurydice as they leave Hades, he has relegated her to the past, of the time behind him. As a result her future is terminated and she can only dwell in the underworld with the rest of the ghosts.

"the bad one" — this is Herešgúnina, the chief of the Bad Spirits. See below.

"heads" — before the introduction of the practice of scalping, the convention was to take the head of the slain enemy. The war honor (wonáǧire woirokipina) does not consist in taking the head, but in one or more of several actions, such as being the first to touch the slain, the second to touch him, etc. Killing an enemy counts only as the fourth and lowest war honor. The head is taken not as a mere trophy, but as a means of enlisting the soul of the slain enemy warrior as a servant to his conqueror. Among other things, such a servant will help souls of his clansmen as they journey on the road to Spiritland. This is the probable reason why heads are mentioned rather than just war honors. Radin adds this note in the interlinear text: "The ghost is requesting for the old man, scalps etc. As he is too old to go on the warpath the younger people should present them to him." In this context, the heads might be construed as a war honor tendered the old man.

"(13)" — the text concluding on page 22 of Notebook 77.31, now resumes on page 13.32.

"ravine" — the raconteur, Jasper Blowsnake, gives a running commentary in English.12 He says that the ravine symbolizes death. At some point in his life, the initiate will lose someone he loves, perhaps a child. Then he will fall into depression and despondency. He must forge ahead, for on the other side of this chasm lies the Medicine Lodge. In this he must have faith and it will renew his spirits; otherwise he will find his own grave in this ravine. What is of the greatest interest here is that the events are understood by Blowsnake not to be about (just ?) what actually happens to the soul after death, but is an allegory about the obstacles that members face in daily life.

"all the way to the water" — as the dry land is encircled by the Ocean Sea (Te Jąra, "the Encircling Lake"), a ravine that goes the whole length of the earth will eventually reach water at both ends, no matter which direction it cuts (see "Ocean Sea" below).

"a great thicket of brushwood, and a great thicket of weeds"Jasper Blowsnake tells that this is another symbol of death, perhaps of a wife. If the initiate becomes disheartened and does not continue on the Road to the Medicine Rite, then he will find his own grave here.

"evil little birds" — Blowsnake tells us that these evil birds symbolize those who will gossip about the initiate's joining the Rite. They will say that in the past he has not acted in an upright way and has even spoken against the Rite. He is to pay them no mind, and is not go get angry.

Phlegm was selected because it is a mouth-excrement, and therefore analogous to foul words which also issue from the mouth with ill effects. Brushing them off is analogous to refutation or some other counter-action. To become embroiled in this is to become bogged down short of the objective. See Bird Spirits.

"burning with fire" — this fire, Blowsnake tells us, symbolizes the death of the initiate's wife. He and his children will be left alone and he will feel the most intense grief of his life. He must plunge through this fire, however, otherwise his children will be left all alone.

"perpendicular cliffs" — according to Blowsnake, these represent death, the death of all of one's life companions in old age. This is the hardest to bear. The initiate now must show the greatest resolution and persevere, then he will be able to find the footsteps of those who went before him in the Rite.

"juts" — the Hočąk word is hot'ąp´, which Radin translates as "step into." This recalls Dorsey's "he leapt into." Elsewhere, Radin renders it as "he came into it." This highly temporal aspect is reflected in Miner's improved definition, "to come into a place suddenly." However, in Hočąk space and time are strongly homologized. The projection of the cliffs into the Ocean Sea are to be viewed as the spatial analogues to suddenness.

"the Ocean Sea (Te Jąra)" — like the ancient Greeks, the North American tribes almost generally believed that the land was an island ("Turtle Island") surrounded by a sea. The Hočągara called this sea "the Encircling Lake." It is not likely that they knew of salt water. Cliffs that extend from one end of the land to the other will reach the Ocean Sea on each end of the earth (see above).

"a hill" — Blowsnake tells us that this represents the place in life where the initiate will be constantly extended invitations to feasts in connection with the Rite. He will be truly on the Road, and all the people that he sees in front of him are those who have gone before in this venerable tradition.

"hazel brush" — in the original MS, the Hočąk word is put in brackets, and in the translation of CW 72.50, a question mark is placed after "hazel." The Hočąk is hóksikságikjanéną. Hazel and hazel brush are denoted by huksik, which is well attested. There is a well known alternance between /o/ and /u/ in Siouan languages, so hoksik could be an alternant form. The remainder of the expression seems to be hagi-kjanéną, where hagi means, "to be, it is." This would make the first member of the compound hoksiksi, so that if we remove the effects of sandhi, the whole would be hoksiksi-hagi-kjaneną. The form hoksiksi seems to be an emphatic created by reduplication of the stem ksi, so that it should have meant something like, "hazel brush thicket." It seems to have been an old word whose exact meaning was not perfectly clear to the narrator Jasper Blowsnake. He has no comment upon what the hazel thicket symbolizes. The word ksi as a homonym means, "to develop a habit, to overdo" (Marino). Perhaps the members here are leading him away from excesses, or old habits that are contrary to the precepts of the Rite.

"hill" — Blowsnake's commentary says that this is a stage in life where the initiate's status has been greatly increased and invitations to feasts are frequent. The beautiful scenery reflects the fact that he will be better taken care of.

"a nice land" — Blowsnake tells us, "The countryside through which you are passing will be better than that through which you passed after you descended from the first hill. What is meant here is that you will be better taken care of. More feasts will be extended to you and greater respect paid you." (RLD 261)

"red stones" — red symbolizes Hąp, "Light-and-Life"; the stones are symbols of immortality.

"a greasy kettle" — to the Western ear, this may sound unappetizing; but in a hunter-gatherer society, people undergo a great deal of exercise, with men consuming about 4400 calories per day. Therefore, fattening foods are highly desirable. A greasy kettle reflects the high quality of the food, food such as bear meat. Such meals are high in energy and taste.

"a third hill" — Blowsnake contends that the bull rushes and red willows symbolize the gray hair of the initiate at this stage of life. He tires easily and his eyes have grown dim. Only the oldest members of the Rite now lie ahead of him, while there are many younger members who will invite him to feasts and try to learn from his vast store of wisdom.

"reddish smoke" & "fog enshrouded" — the Hočąk is mąna šojožu. This turns out to be homonym. The word (-na is the definite article), has a multiplicity of meanings, in this case "smoke," but also "year, time." It turns out that "the time of reddishness" or "the reddish time of year" is the term that the Hočągara use for Indian summer, perhaps from the change of color in the tree leaves. Blowsnake comments, "The red haze spreading over the land as you stopped halfway on the hill, signifies the Indian summer. You have reached that period in life where you tire easily and your eyes have become dim."

"the fourth hill" — according to Blowsnake, this symbolizes the time at which the initiate is now the oldest member of the Lodge. Therefore, everybody is behind him and no one is in front of him. He is old, so he must rest a great deal on his journey. (The commentary of Jasper Blowsnake concludes here.)

The Contrasting Sides of the Leaves
of the White Poplar
"white poplars" — this either is, or foreshadows, the land of Wašgeja, the celestial country of white poplars. See the Bear Clan version above. In the ancient West, the poplar was also the tree of the underworld. See the Comparative Material below. One reason why there was an association between the poplar and the dead is to be found in the ancient Western belief that the tree turns its leaves at the solstice, which is the beginning of the end of the sun.13 The white poplar (Populus alba) is so-called from the light color of the underside of its leaves, which caused Cook to opine, "The striking effect of light combined with dark was, at least in part, the reason why the tree was assigned to the limbo between the Upperworld and the Underworld. As having no fruit, also, it was appropriate to the realm beyond."14

"a horned, white haired one" — the white haired, horned animal eaten by the sojourner is probably a Waterspirit, as the scorching of its horns suggests that it was killed by lightning, the weapon of its mortal enemies, the Thunderbirds. Compare taǧáǧap, the word used here for "scorched," with the near homonym, tahahap, "flashes of lightning" (Marino). White is the color of holiness.

"dog" — the basic idea is that a dog's ribs tend to show through his flesh like an old human. However, one of the other important roles of the dog is to be a tracker. Since the member of the Rite is following in the footsteps and along the path of those who proceeded him, he is like a dog tracking its quarry. There is another interesting resonance between the departed member and the dog: when a dog is sacrificed as a messenger to Disease Giver, he is buried at the foot of a tree in ground that has been purified with the smoke of the red cedar.15 Here the member turns into a dog just as he reaches the base of the ladder, one of whose sides is made of red cedar. It is as if the member is the equivalent of a sacrifice, and like the warrior lost in battle, he acquires the special prerogative due his sacrifice by being allowed to live again.

"flea'" — this is what the Hočągara call the ča-kiris-ge. The explanation of these transformations is given elsewhere in Jasper Blowsnake's account of the Medicine Rite (The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth). There Grandmother (Earth) symbolically undergoes the aging process in a matter of seconds. "When [Hare] looked towards the east, she was shaking nervously, her life span almost reached, her body was like a flea's. Her arms were like pipe stems. It was as if she had a swan on her head. She was bald, with a hollow in the soft part of her neck. Her hair was soft and thin." The flea and dog are in part to represent the narrowness of the body of an extremely aged person. The -kiris- in the Hočąk name for the flea denotes trembling, which is here referenced as a feature of old age. Nevertheless, fleas are also extraordinary jumpers. The Medicine Rite member is now ready to make the great leap, which is also symbolized (see next entry) by the frog's leg of the ladder that he will use for his final ascent.

"a twisted frog's leg" & frog's leg — in version 5, Radin treats the term for frog's leg, wakągošge hu, as though it referred to a plant, describing it in his interlinear translation as "a kind of plant." In the translation in RLD 171, he treats the frog's leg as though it were one and the same as the red cedar tree mentioned earlier, despite the fact that one is said to be on the right and the other on the left. What is being represented, as it is said explicitly in version 4, is a ladder (hirutíra). The confusion here arises from the word hu, which in Hočąk has the primary meaning, "stem." Plants are synecdochically said to be "stems" (hura), but so too are the legs of animals. The long-legged spotted frog is, for instance, called wakągošge hu-serejera, "the long-stemmed frog." The mythographers have been able to play upon this ambiguity so that the right rail of the ladder is a frog "stem," ambiguous between a wooden rail and a literal frog's leg. In version 4 the frog's leg is said to be twisted (hirupínipini). The twisting creates a spiral. This is a spatialized version of the temporal spiral, which is circular motion projected through another dimension. Earthmaker's creation of the earth, which spun incessantly, inscribed a spiral as he cast it down from heaven. The frog is noted for its ability to jump, so its leg can stand as a symbol of a great leap. This is the leap from a lower world to the upper world where the ghost is to dwell. The spiral as a vehicle of his ascent symbolizes the holy power by which he is transmitted to the upper world. The frog is also known for his quick darting tongue by which he is able to ingest the winged creatures of the higher world. It is by the tongue of his fellow Medicine Lodge members that the departed spirit has acquired the knowledge to make his ascent, and to take into himself the nature of the winged creatures of the world above. The frog is an amphibian, a creature born confined within the water, but which undergoes a transformation that makes him capable of leaving the water for the other world of the land. The essence of this transformation can be symbolized in the frog's leg by which it leaps from the pond. In the Twins Cycle, Ghost begins as a creature of the water, who like an amphibian, gradually learns to live in the alien world of dry land. Similarly, the ghost leaves the lower world of its entrapment in the wet body, and at death seeks the dry realm above where no cloud darkens the sky. The frog is further noted for his ability to make loud vocalizations. In Hočąk symbolism, sound can symbolize light. So it is wholly appropriate that the frog's leg be dappled with Hąp, the reification of the Life he will achieve by his ascent. The concomitance of the spiral column (twisted frog's leg) and the ladder is found in a Greek example from a similar context (see Comparative Material below).

"red cedar" — this is a sacred wood used, among other things, for purification. See the Glossary entry under "red cedar," and the next entry.

"blackened" — the trip to Wašgeja, the land of Earthmaker, is also an allegory of progress along the Road of Life and Death. We are now at the end of this road, where life and death meet. Death, in the theory of the Medicine Lodge, is just another kind of life, and for the wise, the Road is a circular track. Black, among other things, functions as a symbolic color of death. The opposite leg of the ladder is made of juniper. Juniper, in Hočąk wax-šúč, is literally "red cedar." Red, in contradistinction, is the color of life. The right side of the ladder is dappled with Light-and-Life, and therefore is symbolic of the same; the left side is black, and therefore is symbolic of death. The ladder, therefore, unifies in a single instrument both life and death. The ladder is a road of ascent, and is therefore the vertical counterpart to the terrestrial Road of Life and Death, over which the allegory has traveled. The ascent up the ladder just is the jump from earthly to celestial life, the transmutation that is death. The left side of the ladder is the dark color of death on the outside, but inside it is of red cedar, and therefore exemplifies the color of life. Inside death is life, and this life is the means of ascent. Death is surface and superficial, at a deeper level this death is really a life of a different and holy kind, as the waxšúč is a holy wood. Since it is smooth and black, it should shine, just as a frog's leg would from its coating of slime. Shining is the reflection of light, so its surface radiates Hąp, Light-and-Life. Therefore, even the side symbolic of death, which conceals life within, is itself enwrapped in the radiating light of life. The left side of the ladder becomes a spatial analogue of the endless cycle of life and death that ever revolves through the temporal circle of reincarnation.

"very smooth" — it's worth repeating here what was said on the matter of smoothness in the commentary on "The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head." Radin tells us, "Smoothness is an attribute of perfection and sacredness."16 Perfection seems to be exemplified by that which extends in a uniform line. Roughness is a surface such that if a line were drawn over it, it would move up and down over the contours of the surface. Analogously, flames that are not straight over time, that waver due to the wind, are considered unpropitious. Smoothness is the spatial counterpart to unwavering flames — it exemplifies extension in a uniform line in every direction, just as propitious flames exemplify extension in a uniform line over time. This uniformity of extension need not be straight, as one of the sacred forms is a circle, which curves in a uniform direction (its curvature), and is especially sacred because it has neither beginning nor end. A spiral (see above), which is also sacred, has uniform extension in two dimensions, in one a straight line, in the other, a uniform curvature. A funnel is also sacred, inasmuch as its curvature changes uniformly along its axis, and is to a tubular spiral as acceleration is to velocity. Perhaps more fundamentally, this uniformity is a kind of purity in the sense that it is unadulterated by alien influences. White, for instance, is the color of sacredness because it is "blank" or unadulterated, having neither tone nor tint (gray is not white), that is, having no intrusive color added to itself. All this is a special case of ritual purity, which Mary Douglas analyzed as everything being in its proper place.17

"your life falls apart"wąkšigo'įna rujúrošguré, a Hočąk idiom meaning "to die of old age."

"a part far less" — what this means is that the sojourner on the Medicine Road could still succeed even if he did a lot less than what his teachers, his predecessors (including the ancestors), had taught him to do. The idea that the spirits are forgiving of ritual shortcomings is a theme widely attested in Hočąk literature. Be this as it may, the Hočągara have a reputation for rigor in their ritual observations.

"his witness" — Susman adds, "to what you must do — that [you] must live up to it." In other words, Earthmaker's creation is a witness to what you have promised to do as a member of the Medicine Lodge.

"towards the west" — the west, the land where the sun is extinguished, is the land of the dead. It is in this direction that the Road of Life and Death extends.

"and he said" — this is the mentor and sponsor speaking to the initiate (apparently the narrator, Sam Blowsnake). He it was who made the marks on the ground to represent the two main roads that human beings may take in their lives, roads that are modeled in the journey to Spiritland.

"Grandmother" — the earth, because of its age (in part), is known as "Grandmother."

"Road" — in the allegorical journey, the Road symbolizes a way of life, here the lifestyle set down by the Medicine Lodge. It may also be the case that the journey to Spiritland, while modeled on the progression of the member through the stages of achievement in the Medicine Rite, is to be taken literally as the soul's itinerary on the path to the Otherworld. It is typical that related processes are seen to model one another, and equally natural that people in traditionalist, and indeed all other cultures, think in terms of analogy (modeling).

"like a peace pipe" — not only will the arms be thin, but like the feathers that hang down from the peace pipe, the skin will hang down from the stem-like arms. Allegorically, this represents the time in the life of the member when he has become very old.

"Herešgúnira's" & "the fireplace of an evil spirit" — this is the Hočąk Satan, the counterforce to Earthmaker. See the subject entry under Herešgúnina. We are told that the road to Herešgúnina's place is wide and short, and therefore the easy way, in other words, vice is easier than virtue. That it branches off near the base of the Road (of Life and Death) is an implicit warning to children that they can go off on the wrong course early in life. However, in light of Lankford's work on the Milky Way as the path of the dead, the forking of the Milky Way at the star Deneb (the Cygnus Rift) leads to a short wide branch to the left which physically matches the dead end road to the Devil. This is also the first that we have heard of Herešguniga's fireplace, which in this context must surely be the star Deneb.

"tease" — the stem of this word (nį-ražíč-ire-kjané-ną) is ražič, which means "to tease with words" (Radin, Miner). It is in contradistinction to ružíč, which is to tease physically, as by jostling or throwing objects.

"they will invite you" — at this point, and for awhile afterwards, the account seems to have become de-allegorized. He is now talking about what will happen to the experienced member of the Medicine Rite in this life, that is, while he still lives on earth.

"a real man" — the term is wąk-giesge-eja (> wąkiesgeja). The word éja means "at," that is, occupying a particular position in time or space. "At real manhood" denotes middle age. The term giesge, translated here by Susman as "real," is a word that Radin and Marino found to be of doubtful meaning. They tentatively give "recognized" as its meaning. The connection between "real" and "recognized" is clear enough: when a man has come into himself, has become real or genuine, he is recognized by his peers. Reaching the status of a respected member of the Medicine Rite would normally occur at middle age. This also shows in an obvious way that the Pilgrim's Progress sketched out here is allegorical.

"poplar (wašge)" — the sighting of poplar trees indicates that he is entering Poplarland (Wašgeja), the country where Earthmaker dwells.

"nąpiruǧač" — (also, nąbiruǧáč, nąpiruǧač, nąbiruxač, nąpiruxač, nąbiruxaj), translated by Susman as "gifts." The stem ǧač means "to taper like a tree" (Lipkind, Miner). The prefix ru-, "by means of the hands pulling towards the body," was affixed to the stem ǧač, so that the resulting word ruǧáč had come to mean "to spread" (Lipkind, Miner). This may be because the most common thing that was rolled up, then spread out later, is a hide, which tapers slightly from top to bottom. The whole expression nąpiruǧač is from nąp-hirugač, where hirugač is also found as a free-standing word, probably meaning "to sacrifice," although this is uncertain (Miner). The prefix hi- is defined as "by means of," indicating that the sacrifice was carried in a hide bundle that was spread out with its contents arranged as an offering to the spirits. In some cases, the hide itself, with optional symbolic markings, was the offering. As to the initial syllable, the most common meaning of nąp is "hand, fingers, claw." Since nąpiruǧajera are set out by hand, it is tempting to see nąp as meaning "hand." However, it is likely that the word nąp was affixed to hirugač because it is a significant homonym. The word nąp also means, "to enjoy, be glad of something" (Marino), and "to start out, go out" (Marino). The nąpiruǧač is handed over gladly (of free will) by going out. The idea of going to the Outer World, which is the horizontal counterpart of the upper and lower worlds in which the spirits dwell, is integral to the nąpiruǧač. Nąpiruǧajera are sacrificial offerings that are normally placed out in the wilderness (partly for the pragmatic reason that they may be completely alienated from the giver). Should anyone find them by accident, he is entitled to keep them, since such serendipity is not viewed as coincidental, but spiritually predestined. Nąpiruǧajera are normally offered to the spirits that they may grant the sacrificer some benefit in return (see "Įčorúšika and His Brothers" {1, 2}). It is clear that the Medicine Lodge was engaged, therefore, in presenting nąpiruǧač to its departed members, or at the very least, to the dead generally. The return on the investment is realized in the afterlife inasmuch as every departed member can expect to receive nąpiruǧajera from his living successors. Allegorically, nąpiruǧajera also represent gifts given to those who lead or host the rite itself, as is appropriate to the older members of the Lodge.

"a cane" & "the staff of our ancestors" — at this point in the narration in version 6, the symbolism of the cane (hisakųra) is more transparent. The cane is designed as an extra limb, so to speak, as an aid in walking. This is made more explicit in version 5, where the frog's leg rail of the tree is said to be a staff (hirokikanąk), yielding the identity of leg = cane. Walking, which is done with the aid of the staff or cane, is a metaphor for progress in the Medicine Rite and all the rewards which it brings to the members in the course of time. However, no member of the rite walks this "Road" alone. He does it with the help of others who have taught him the sacred learning of the rite passed down through the ages, and so in version 5 the aid for walking this Road is called the "staff of our ancestors." This is why he has a cane: it symbolizes the help that others have given him in traversing the Road of Life and Death; this is why the cane is made of sacred cedar wood: the knowledge and aid given to the sojourner in the Medicine Lodge is sacred. Waxšuč is red cedar, its color is the symbolic hue of Life, and its holiness is devoted to gaining Life for the traveler on the Medicine Road. The cane, here a symbol of sacred assistance, is also an implement of balance, which is a metaphor and physical model for moral rectitude. For more on the symbolism of the cane, see also the commentary to "Hare Kills a Man with a Cane."

"you" — this is an interview conducted in 1887 by Reuben Gold Thwaites, the editor of Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

"body [soul]" — the Hočąk word that means both "(dead) body" and "soul" is wanąǧí. Properly speaking, its meaning should be rendered as "dead person." Sometimes when we speak of a dead person we are referring to the body, as when we say, "the dead man was placed in a casket"; other times we are referring to the soul, as when we say, "dead people live in heaven."

"the happy hunting-ground" — this is really an Algonquian expression. The Hočągara focus on villages of the dead where dancing is the most enjoyable activity.

"woman" — this appears to be Spirit Woman, who elsewhere is believed to be extremely aged.

"you will cast it behind you" — when space is symbolic of time, what the dead see before them is only the past. Therefore, in this inverted world, what is behind the dead is the future which they do not see. Consequently, whatever they throw behind them is thrown into future time. He is enjoined to not look behind him when he does so, since this would place the sacrificed offering in the past, not the future where the living reside.

"old woman" — also known as Spirit Woman, she is a kind of gate-keeper on the path to Spiritland.

"mediators" — the Hočąk is wirorak, a word meaning, "messenger, caller," and used metaphorically for the drum. Here it refers to the pipe and tobacco, the typical offering to the spirits. In acts of supplication, it is traditional to present the pipe stem to the recipient, and if he accepts it, it signifies the acceptance of the petition. Therefore, tobacco smoking acts as a mediator between the suppliant and the recipient of the petition. Smoke is especially paradigmatic of this process. Offerings are made into the fire in order that they be carried to the spirits in the rising smoke. So the smoke itself is a messenger and mediator between the human and the divine.

"the summertime" — since winter is sometimes a period of starvation, it is hoped that they will enjoy the prosperity natural to summer all year round.

"cup" — as the name suggests, the cup is a medical appliance, that in recent times was literally a cup, but in earlier times could be a gourd or an animal horn. The practice of cupping predates the humor theory, and was used in ancient Egypt to draw evil spirits from the head.

The ancient Greeks used a gourd for cupping, and at the apex of the gourd was a small aperture where the lips could be applied for producing a vacuum. It was Hippocrates himself who gave instructions for the shape and application of the cups. He recommended that they should be small in diameter, conical in shape and light in weight, especially when the disease being treated was deep seated. If the disease were nearer the surface, the cups were to be wider.18

There were two forms of cupping, called "wet cupping" and "dry cupping." The former involved making an incision on the area to be cupped so that the device would literally draw out blood; in the latter, the object was to cause a blister, which represented the displacement of the blood to a desired innocuous site. In recent times, when glass cups were used, the standard procedure was that

... both the site and the cup were warmed in water. Cups were then placed on the skin with one edge raised approximately one and a half inches. It was usually the lighted torch that was then placed under the center of the glass for two seconds and then quickly withdrawn to create a vacuum. The vacuum created would also pull the glass away from the operator’s fingers. The skin then rose slowly into the glass, occupying one-third of the volume. The glass was left on for a minute then removed ...19

It is this form of the medical practice that was borrowed by the Hočągara, although where glass cups were unavailable, they might well have resorted to such expediencies as gourds and horns. This speculation receives support from Schoolcraft who describes the use of cupping among the Hočągara:

They frequently cup a patient for headache, and other local pains. The operation is performed by scarifying with a flint, knife, or lancet, and applying the tip of the horn of the ox or buffalo; a vacuum is next produced by the operator applying his mouth to the small end of the horn, and exhausting the air; the operation is thus performed as efficaciously as by the use of cupping-glasses.20

See also above.

"lice" — apparently the "rice" has been lice all along, and that eating lice causes the ghost to have a headache. After his brain is removed, he apparently eats the lice as if it were rice, and thereafter never experiences anything bad (šišik). The meaning of this is obscure.

"the road forks" — it is said that on the road to Spiritland, there is a fork the left branch of which leads to the realm of the Devil, Herešgúnina. Lankford has argued convincingly that this bifurcation of the way represents the split in the Milky Way that occurs at the site of the star Deneb (the Cygnus Rift), the Galaxy being the celestial pathway of the dead.21 See the Commentary to "The Dipper."

"the ones that they told you about" — in the wake, warriors recount their exploits and all the enemy warriors whom they killed in battle, they offer as guides to the deceased in his journey to Spiritland. It is at this particular point in the journey that they appear to aid the ghost.

"from lack of food" — the supposition is that what is left over corresponds to food resources that will be given to his relatives. If he eats it all, then his kinsmen will be in want.

"Čoną́ke" — this is the old name for the Bear Clan.

"Great Father" — this is the only known instance in which Earthmaker is so called. It is clearly influenced by the title of respect given to the heads of state of the various colonial powers.

"all the time" — this is a singular view, as is the idea that if someone has merely done well, he might return to the living. This is normally reserved for those who were killed in action.


Comparative Material. Very similar material is to be found in the Ojibwe trickster cycle, known as "the origin myth of Wenebojo." Wenebojo was the eldest of triplets. Through inattention, his neglect caused the death of his two brothers. His second brother, Nekadjíwegìjik, was the first to die and to make a path to Spiritland. Wenebojo observed the departure of his brother and made note of where he went and what he did. First, he observed that there were four manido (spirit beings) posted along the path. On the way, the brother made signs. He first placed an otter on the right side of the road, then, later, he put an owl on the left side. Farther on he placed two serpents facing one another who shot flames from their mouths. The road runs between them. He went for a long ways, then created the fourth sign, a narrow river which most travelers can jump across. There is a log, which is really a snake, that lies across this stream, but since the current is strong, the log bounces up and down all the time. Continuing on, his brother came to a hill. At the top of it was a strawberry with a spoon stuck in it. This was placed there by the Devil. When you see the strawberry, a voice will say, "Eat this first." Should you comply, you will end up taking the forked road to the left leading to the Devil's land of no return, where food can only be obtained by rooting for it like a pig. The brother took the right hand fork and went over a hill. After that, Wenebojo lost sight of him. Ever after, the dead have followed Wenebojo's brother to Spiritland.22

The White Poplar
The Black Poplar

Concerning Wašgeja and the poplar, we have extensive Greek and Roman parallels. The white poplar (Populus alba) in particular was associated with the land of the dead. A myth was told of how Ploutos became infatuated with Leukē, the daughter of Okeanos, and carried her off to his subterranean realm. After her death, Ploutos caused a white poplar (λεύκη/leúkē) to appear in the Elysian Fields as a fitting memorial to her.23 Herakles, when he ventured into the Underworld, saw there a white poplar growing beside the river Acheron.24 The tree was explicitly described as "dedicated to the dead,"25 "chthonian" (χθόνιον),26 and sacred to Hades.27 The white poplar was also used in the rites of the chthonian Dionysos.28 Its leaves could be used to garland the dead.29 Polyphemos, the brother-in-law of Herakles, was said to have a tall white poplar growing over his tomb.30 The black poplar (Populus nigra) was also associated with the dead and the Otherworld. Like Earthmaker's Wašgeja, Persephone had her own forest of black poplars (aígeiros) and willows (another tree of the dead) on the far side of Okeanos.31 In the memorial games on the occasion of his father's death, Æneas and his men crowned their heads with fronds of poplar leaves.32 Pliny (naturalis historia, 35.160) says that Varro was buried after the fashion of the Pythagoreans in a bed of myrtle, olive, and black poplar leaves. The spot where the funeral pyre of Cæsar Augustus had been made, was planted over with black poplars.33 We see poplars used to commemorate the dead in myth. The Heliades, the daughters of Helios and Clymene, when their brother Phaëthon fell from the solar chariot to his death, were transformed into poplar trees rooted by the river Eridanus, where they mourned his loss with tears of amber.34

An ancient depiction of the Greek myth of the Heliades mentioned in the previous entry, shows the concomitance of the ladder and the spiral column that we find in the Hočąk description of the final ascent into the Wašgeja. In the Arrentine mould shown below, we see the Heliades transformed (left side) after the fall of their brother Phaëthon (right side).35

The Pottery Mould from Arretium (Arezzo)

This mould, which is 8 cm tall and 19 cm in diameter, displays the earliest known depiction of myth of Phaëthon and the Heliades. This Roman representation is probably based upon a Hellenistic model. The theme of the fall of Phaëthon was a popular subject in funerary art, and was often chosen as the subject in the symbolic decoration of sarcaphagi.36 Cooks remarks,

It is noticeable that no indication of locality is given except the twisted column and the ladder. The action, doubtless, takes place on the banks of the Eridanos, a river usually identified with Padus or the Rhodanus, but also set in the sky as the constellation Eridanus or Flumen. The scene is thus at once earthly and heavenly. Is it a mere coincidence that we have already found both the spiral column and the ladder used as links between earth and heaven?37

It was said that Phaëthon was originally named Eridanus, and that he gave his name to the river into which he fell.38 The ladder and spiral column seems to suggest the ascent of the Heliades — whom some have identified with the Hyades39 — whose death-trees are also present on the nocturnal riverbank of the astral Eridanus. Although the meaning of the ladder and spiral column is not perfectly clear, their appearance here is in the context of death, transformation, ascension, and even poplars — all themes present in the Hočąk myth in which these same symbols appear in a like context.


Links: Earthmaker, Red Bear, Herešgúnina, The Redhorn Panel of Picture Cave. An American Star Map, Cosmography, Ghosts, Bird Spirits, The Spirit Woman (Hinųkxop’ini), Lice.


Stories: mentioning ghosts: The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Holy One and His Brother, Worúxega, Little Human Head, Little Fox and the Ghost, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, The Lame Friend, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Hare Steals the Fish, The Difficult Blessing, A Man's Revenge, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Two Roads to Spiritland, Sunset Point; about journeys to and from Spiritland: The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Sunset Point, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Lame Friend, Two Roads to Spiritland, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Holy One and His Brother, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, The Foolish Hunter, Waruǧápara, The Thunderbird, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, White Wolf, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Two Brothers, The Lost Blanket, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Man who went to the Upper and Lower Worlds, The Petition to Earthmaker, Wears White Feather on His Head, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Thunder Cloud Marries Again, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, Aračgéga's Blessings, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, The Man Whose Wife was Captured; featuring Herešgúnina (the Bad Spirit or One Legged One) as a character: The Creation of Evil, The Creation of the World, The Creation of Man, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Lost Blanket, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Woman Who Became an Ant, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Šųgepaga, The Spirit of Gambling, Bladder and His Brothers, The Two Brothers, The Origins of the Milky Way, The Buffalo's Walk; see also Black and White Moons, The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara; mentioning Earthmaker: The Creation of the World, The Creation of Man, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Lost Blanket, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna, The First Snakes, Tobacco Origin Myth, The Creation Council, The Gray Wolf Origin Myth, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Seven Maidens, The Descent of the Drum, Thunder Cloud Marries Again, The Spider's Eyes, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Wonáǧire Wąkšik Clan Origin Myth, Fourth Universe, Šųgepaga, The Fatal House, The Twin Sisters, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Elk Clan Origin Myth, Deer Clan Origin Myth, Bear Clan Origin Myth, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, The Masaxe War, The Two Children, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Petition to Earthmaker, The Gift of Shooting, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Stone Heart, The Wild Rose, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Lame Friend, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed, The Hočąk Migration Myth, The Necessity for Death, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, The War among the Animals, Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, Blue Mounds, Lost Lake, The Hočągara Migrate South, The Spirit of Gambling, Turtle and the Giant, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Bird Origin Myth, Black and White Moons, Redhorn's Sons, Holy Song, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, Death Enters the World, Man and His Three Dogs, Trickster Concludes His Mission, Story of the Thunder Names, The Origins of the Milky Way, Trickster and the Dancers, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, East Enters the Medicine Lodge, The Creation of Evil, The Blessing of Kerexųsaka, Song to Earthmaker, The Blessing of the Bow, The Origin of the Cliff Swallow; 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, Waruǧápara, 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), Hare Acquires His Arrows, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing (black hawk, owl), Heną́ga and Star Girl (black hawk), Worúxega (eagle), The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men (eagle), The Gift of Shooting (eagle), Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, Wonáǧire Wąkšik 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 Fleetfooted Man — see also Thunderbirds; mentioning Red Bear: Brass and Red Bear Boy, The Spotted Grizzly Man, The Creation of the World, Bear Clan Origin Myth (v. 7), Red Bear; mentioning lice (and nits): Little Human Head, Trickster Gets Pregnant, The Spotted Grizzly Man, Ocean Duck; mentioning trees or Tree Spirits: The Creation of the World, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun, Visit of the Wood Spirit, The Boy who would be Immortal, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Woman who Became a Walnut Tree, The Old Woman and the Maple Tree Spirit, The Oak Tree and the Man Who was Blessed by the Heroka, The Pointing Man, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster, The Baldness of the Buzzard, Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb, Trickster Loses His Meal, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Waruǧápara, The Chief of the Heroka, The Red Man, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Blessing of the Bow, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, The Spirit of Gambling, Peace of Mind Regained, The Necessity for Death; mentioning red cedar (juniper, waxšúšˇ): The Seer (sacrificial knife), Redhorn's Sons (coronet of Thunders, lodge), Aračgéga's Blessings (coronet of Thunders), The Twins Disobey Their Father (trees found on cliffs of Thunders), Partridge's Older Brother (smoke fatal to evil spirit), Wonáǧire Wąkšik Clan Origin Myth (v. 2) (purifying smoke), The Creation Council (purifying smoke), The Dipper (incense), Sun and the Big Eater (arrow), The Brown Squirrel (arrow), Hare Kills a Man with a Cane (log used as weapon); mentioning willows: The Lame Friend, Holy One and His Brother, Partridge's Older Brother, and cp. also Tree Spirits; pertaining to the Medicine Rite: The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Battle of the Night Blessed Men and the Medicine Rite Men, Holy Song, Holy Song II, Maize Origin Myth, The Necessity for Death, Hog's Adventures, Great Walker's Warpath, see also Stories from Jasper Blowsnake's account of the Medicine Rite; mentioning the Wolf Clan: Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Bear Clan Origin Myth, The Gray Wolf Origin Myth, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, Little Priest's Game, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth; mentioning drums: The Descent of the Drum, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, The Buffalo's Walk, The Spirit of Maple Bluff, Tobacco Origin Myth (v. 5), Young Man Gambles Often, Trickster and the Dancers, Redhorn's Father, Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, The Elk's Skull, Ghosts, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Great Walker's Medicine, Redhorn Contests the Giants, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Soft Shelled Turtle Gets Married, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, Trickster and the Geese, Turtle's Warparty, Snowshoe Strings, Ocean Duck, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Hog's Adventures, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts; 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, Waną́čĕrehí), 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), Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle (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 Čap’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-Hočąk War (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), Šųgepaga (Winter Feast = Warbundle Feast), The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2) (Warbundle Feast, 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 First Snakes (Snake Feast), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse (unspecified), Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts (unnamed); mentioning the Ocean Sea (Te Ją): Trickster's Adventures in the Ocean, Hare Retrieves a Stolen Scalp (v. 1), Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Rounded Wood Origin Myth, The Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, Trickster and the Children, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, Wears White Feather on His Head, White Wolf, How the Thunders Met the Nights (Mąznį’ąbᵋra), Bear Clan Origin Myth (vv. 2a, 3), Wolf Clan Origin Myth (v. 2), Redhorn's Sons, Grandfather's Two Families, Sun and the Big Eater, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father (sea), The Dipper (sea), The Thunderbird (a very wide river), Wojijé, The Twins Get into Hot Water (v. 1), Redhorn's Father, Trickster Concludes His Mission, Berdache Origin Myth, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Morning Star and His Friend, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed.

Stories from Jasper Blowsnake's account of the Medicine Rite (The Road of Life and Death) in notebook order: The Shell Anklets Origin Myth (v. 1), Keramaniš’aka's Blessing, The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle, The Blessing of Kerexųsaka, Historical Origins of the Medicine Rite, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge of the Medicine Rite, Lifting Up the Bear Heads, East Enters the Medicine Lodge (v. 1), The Creation of the World (v. 12), The Creation of Man (v. 8), Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, East Enters the Medicine Lodge (v. 2), Testing the Slave, South Enters the Medicine Lodge (v. 2), The Descent of the Drum (v. 1), The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Couǧing Up of the Black Hawks, The Animal Spirit Aids of the Medicine Rite, The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men (v. 2), East Shakes the Messenger, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (v. 4), The Messengers of Hare (v. 2), North Shakes His Gourd, Grandmother's Gifts, South Seizes the Messenger, Four Steps of the Cougar, The Messengers of Hare (v. 1), The Island Weight Songs, The Petition to Earthmaker, A Snake Song Origin Myth, The Completion Song Origin, Great Walker's Medicine (v. 2), Great Walker and the Ojibwe Witches, The Diving Contest, The Sweetened Drink Song, The Plant Blessing of Earth, Tobacco Origin Myth (v. 3), The Tap the Head Medicine, The Claw Shooter, Tobacco Origin Myth (v. 4), Peace of Mind Regained, A Wife for Knowledge, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth (v. 2), The Descent of the Drum (v. 2), South Enters the Medicine Lodge (v. 1), Death Enters the World.


Themes: a man continues to function without his head: The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Man with Two Heads, The Children of the Sun, The Red Man, White Fisher, The Chief of the Heroka; an old woman cooks a meal of rice which turns out in reality to be lice: Ocean Duck; a traveler on the road to Spiritland comes to what appears to be an impassible obstacle, but when he forges ahead, he succeeds in overcoming it: Ghost Dance Origin Myth II, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts; a ghost is instructed to say that it will not be soon that others of his clan shall follow: The Four Slumbers Origin Myth; something is caused to live again on earth by being thrown to the side (or over the shoulder) by a spirit (or ghost): Redhorn's Father; something is of a (symbolic) pure white color: White Bear, Deer Spirits, 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, He Who Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, 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; red as a symbolic color: 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), Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle (hair), The Hočągara 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), Įčorúšika 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); someone traveling long distances assumes successive animal forms as each becomes fatigued, until he finally reaches his destination: The Thunderbird, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Witches; visiting Earthmaker: The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, The Lame Friend, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Lost Blanket, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Petition to Earthmaker, Trickster Concludes His Mission, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins.


Notes

1 The original interlinear text is found in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Notebook 77: 7-11; a neatly written corrected MS is found in Winnebago III, #3: 99-102; a typed English translation is found in Winnebago III, #3: 46-49. A loose English translation is found in Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1923]) 99.
2 The original interlinear text is found in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Notebook 77: 11-14, 19-21; a neatly written corrected MS is found in Winnebago III, #3: 103-107; a typed English translation is found in Winnebago III, #3: 49-51. A loose English translation is found in Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 99.
3 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 104-105. His informant was Henry Cloud.
4 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 19.
5 For the original handwritten interlinear text (with commentaries in English) see Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Winnebago II, #6: 169-176; for the revised phonetic text (without the commentaries), see Winnebago III, #6: 362.91-372.140. Both a Hočąk text and an English translation are published in Jasper Blowsnake (Thunderbird Clan), "The Journey of the Ghost to Spiritland: As Told in the Medicine Rite," in Paul Radin, The Culture of the Winnebago as Described by Themselves (Baltimore: Special Publications of the Bollingen Foundation, #1, 1949) 66-72. A loose English translation is also given in Paul Radin, The Road of Life and Death: A Ritual Drama of the American Indians. Bollingen Series V (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973 [1945]) 257-264; and in Sam Blowsnake (ed. Paul Radin), Crashing Thunder. The Autobiography of an American Indian (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983 [1926]) 105-110. This story is discussed in Claude Lévi-Strauss, "Four Winnebago Myths," Structural Anthropology, vol. 2, trs. Monique Layton (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976) 198-210.
6 For the original handwritten interlinear text, see Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Winnebago III, #1: 165-166; for a handwritten phonetic text, see Winnebago II, #1: 184-185. A typed phonetic text is found at Winnebago II, #5: 203-204. A loose English translation is also given in Radin, The Road of Life and Death, 171.
7 Sam Blowsnake, Unititled account of the Medicine Rite, in Amelia Susman, Notebooks (Philadelphia, American Philosophical Society, January 13-17, 1939) Book 9, 52-79.
8 Walking Cloud, "Narrative of Walking Cloud. In an Interview with the Editor," Reuben Gold Thwaites, ed., Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Vol. 13 (Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society, 1887) 463-467 [467]. Reprinted (typescript) in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3863 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Winnebago I, #6: 173-178.
9 Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman #3897 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Winnebago V, #24: 72-82 (Hočąk syllabary), 72-82 (English translation). This has been published in English translation in Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 95-96.
10 W. C. McKern, Winnebago Notebook (Milwaukee: Milwaukee Public Museum, 1927) 35-36; this is a rewrite of 23-25 (q.v.).
10a W. C. McKern, Winnebago Notebook (Milwaukee: Milwaukee Public Museum, 1927) 42-44.
11 Sam Blowsnake, "Waretcáwera," in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, ca. 1912) Winnebago V, #11: 164-200 [175-178]. An English translation is published in Paul Radin, The Evolution of an American Indian Prose Epic. A Study in Comparative Literature, Part I (Basil: Ethnographical Museum, Basil Switzerland, 1954) 93-94.
12 This is found in Winnebago II, #6: 169b, 170 verso, 171 verso, 172 verso; and is published in Radin, The Road of Life and Death, 257-264.
13 Varro, rerum rusticarum 1.46; Pliny, naturalis historia 2.108, 16.87, 18.266 f. Arthur Bernard Cook, Zeus. A Study In Ancient Religion, 3 vol. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1914–40) 2.469-470 nt 7.
14 Cook, Zeus, 2.471. As to its lack of fruit, see scholiast to Homer, Odyssey, 10.510.
15 Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1923]) 484.
16 Paul Radin, The Evolution of an American Indian Prose Epic. A Study in Comparative Literature, Part I (Basil: Ethnographical Museum, Basil Switzerland, 1954) 9.
17 Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966).
18 Gunwant Sandhu, "Bleeding Out the Evil Spirits," in Proceedings of the 13th Annual History of Medicine Days, March 19-20, 2004. Ed. W. A. Whitelaw (Calgary: Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, 2004) 270-275 [271].
19 Sandhu, "Bleeding Out the Evil Spirits," 273.
20 Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, Information Respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States, 4 vols. (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Company, 1856) 4:242-243.
21 George E. Lankford, Reachable Stars: Patterns in the Ethnoastronomy of Eastern North America (Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2007) 224-225.
22 Tom Badger, "The Wenebojo Origin Myth," trs. by Julia Badger, in Victor Barnouw, Wisconsin Chippewa Myths and Tales (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1977) Story 5: 18-19.
23 Eratosthenes apud scholia to Theokrates 2.121; interp. to Servius in Vergil, Æneid 5.134; scholia A. B. D. to Iliad 13.389; Eustathius in Iliad, p. 938, 63 f.; Servius in Vergil, Georgica 2.66 (codex G); Servius in Vergil, Æneid 8.276. Cook, Zeus, 2.468-469.
24 Cook, Zeus, 2.469.
25 Scholium L to Iliad 16.482. Cook, Zeus, 2.467 nt 4, 2.471.
26 So-called in the definitions given to λεύκη in Harpokration (s.v.) and Souidas (s.v.). Cook, Zeus, 2.471.
27 Eustathius in Iliad, p. 938, 64 f. Cook, Zeus, 2.471.
28 Cook, Zeus, 2.392 nt 4, 2.471.
29 As was the case with Idmon, son of Apollo and the seer to the Argonauts, who was garlanded with white poplar in death. Valerius Flaccus, Argonauticon 5.10 f. Cook, Zeus, 471.
30 Apollonius of Rhodes 4.1475 ff. Cook, Zeus, 471-472.
31 ἄλσεα Περσεφονείς μακραί τ᾿ αἴγειροι καὶ ἰτέαι ὠλεσίκαρποι, "the groves of Persephone — tall poplars, and willows that shed their fruit," Odyssey 10.509; referenced by Pausanias 10.30.6. Cook, Zeus, 472.
32 Vergil, Æneid 5.134. Cook, Zeus, 472.
33 Strabo, 236. Cook, Zeus, 472.
34 Scholia H. Q. V. to Odyssey 17.208; Apollonius of Rhodes, 4.603 ff.; Scholia to Apollonius of Rhodes, 4.603; Diodorus Siculus 5.23; Strabo 215, Dionysius Periēgētes 288 ff.; Lucian, de saltatione 55, de electro 1 ff.; Philostratus, Imagines 1.11; pseudo-Aristotle, de mirabilibus auscultationibus 81; Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Ἠλεκτρίδες νῆσοι; Nonnus, Dionysiaca 2.152 ff., append. proverb. 3.8; Hesychios, s.v. ἤλεκτρος; Etymologicum Magnum: 425, 18 ff., 427, 6 ff. Vergil, Æneid 10.190; Hyginus, Fabulæ 152, 154; Pliny, naturalis historia 37.31; Valerius Flaccus, Argonauticon 5.429; Vatican Mythographer 1.118, 2.57. Vergil, in his Eclogues (6.62), turns the sisters into alders, and Euripides, Hippolytus 732 portrays them as having turned into oaks (φηγός).
35 Edward Robinson, Annual Report of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 23 (1898) 89, #63. See Catalogue of Arretine Pottery, by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, George Henry Chase (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916) 72-73, #66. P. Hartwig, "Eine Aretinische Gefässform mit Scenen aus der Phaethonsage," Philologus, 58 (1899) 481-497. Cook, Zeus, 2.474, fig. 366.
36 Georg Knaack, "Quaestiones Phaethonteæ," in Philologische Untersuchungen, 8 (Berlin: 1886): 22-78 [71-77].
37 Cook, Zeus, 2.476.
38 Servius in Vergil, Æneid 6.59. Cook briefly discusses the spiral column at 2.107, and the ladder at 2.124 ff.
39 Claudian, Panegyricus de Sexto Consulatu Honorii Augusti 173 ff.