The Meteor Spirit and the Origin of Wampum

from the collection of W. C. McKern

Original manuscript pages: | 228 | 229 | 230 | 231 | 232 | 233 | 234 | 235 | 236 | 237 | 238 | 239 | 240 | 241 |

(228) A Winnebago village was there, but one man didn't know his name. The chief of that village had one son. He urged his son to fast, so that some day his people could make good use of him. "Try to get the help of the spirits so that you can be of some use in life." So he fasted at the lodge (partitioned off). There he fasted according to the advice of his father. He had a dream. The spirits above and under the ground all came and blessed him. A certain spirit came to him and told him to give up fasting as all the great spirits had blessed him already. The next morning he told his father all about his dream and the word of the spirit telling him to stop, since all the great spirits had blessed him. His father denied it. He did not believe it. He told him that he only fasted a short time, while he, the chief, had fasted many times and still didn't know much. So the boy started all over again. The next night, the spirit came to him again. He said he was sent to tell him to stop fasting. Again he told this to his father. Again the chief did not believe him. So he started a third time. The same (229) thing happened again. "Every spirit above and below has blessed you. So they sent me to tell you to stop. If you don't, trouble will come to you." The next morning he told his father again. Still the father did not believe him, and spoke to his son as before. The boy fasted a fourth time. That time, the Grizzly Bear Spirit came and blessed him. He said, "You shall have all things that you wish for. You shall be a great warrior. You can even turn into a grizzly bear at any time you wish. You can do anything that the Grizzly Bear Spirit can do. You can go to some other enemy and kill four of the best warriors that they have, even within their village. You can kill four of your own peoples' warriors right in the midst of your own people." He also mentioned the names of famous warriors he should kill. If he killed these four, he would get what was promised him by the bear. So he killed one man amongst his own people. Next morning he killed the second one. This around the village. Then the old people said, "Something has happened to us." So they offered each other tobacco to attack this menace to the village, but all refused to fight this man. They did not know who was doing this. That is why they did not accept the tobacco. They were (230) greatly afraid. He killed the third one. Then they investigated, but they could not find out who was doing this. He killed the fourth one. So he fulfilled his bargain with the Bear Spirit. He was under the control of the fake spirit. That is why the good spirit urged him to stop fasting. They knew that this would happen. That is why they urged him to stop.

Every day they held a council to try and find out who was killing their young men right in their midst. There was an old lady who lived on the edge of the village alone with her grandson. This boy was under age, but he could shoot with a bow and arrow. The boy knew of what they spoke, searching for the murderer. He came home and told his old grandmother of the search for the man who was killing the people. "I know of that," he said. "If they ask me, I shall tell them who it is." But the old lady refused to listen to him. "You have not fasted, and have no spirit powers," she said. Someone else heard what the boy said, and this was told at the council, what the boy had said. Then they filled a pipe with tobacco and went to the old lady's house. There they offered the pipe to the young boy. He said to offer it to his grandmother. "If she accepts the pipe, then I will tell the story." So (231) they took him to the chief's place. He took his bow and arrows along. Then they came to the chief's place. Then they asked him to tell what he knew of the one who was killing their men. "Yes, I know who is doing that; I know all about it. You, chief, told your son to fast, and when he fasted, all the spirits above and below blessed him and told him to stop fasting. He told you that he dreamed of every spirit, but not believing, you told him to fast again." So he said to the chief, "You told him that he did not fast enough, that having fasted all your life, you had learned little, and so you would not believe that all the spirits, above and below, had blessed him. So he fasted a second time, and the spirit again told him, on behalf of all the spirits, to stop fasting, but something happened to him. All the spirits had blessed him. He would be courting trouble to fast again. Still you refused to believe. So he fasted a fourth time. This time, the spirit of the grizzly bear blessed him. He promised him everything, but, in order to get this blessing, he had to kill four of his own people." The son was still in the fasting compartment, in the same (232) house where the council was being held. "That is the reason why the Messenger Spirit came and tried to stop the fasting. It is your own fault by forcing your son to fast four times. He is the one who has killed these men."

As soon as the chief's son heard this, he went after the young boy. The boy had his bow and arrow. He pursued him all over the village. The boy ran over the roofs of the lodges. The village was close to the river, and the boy escaped by diving under the water. The chief's son, chasing him, dove in after him. The boy shot the chief's son with a bow and arrow and killed him. The chief's son was turned into a spotted grizzly bear. They took him out of the river and burned him. They even scraped up his blood from the ground and burnt that too. This was necessary to keep him from returning to life. The chief then sent for the boy. "You have done well," he said, "to save the village. I will make you my son. You will be the head chief and have control over the village from now on." So he became the acting chief of the village.

So he became a full grown man. He planned to go out (233) against the enemy, and set a certain day. A four-day fast was planned, offered to his spirits, in order to get favorable aid for his war expedition. At each fast he prepared four bear and four deer. So he instructed men to hunt for the bears and deer. He had "medicine" enabling him to kill grizzly bears, so they all joined in on the hunt. Many went on this hunt. On the way to the war path, as was customary, they gave him tobacco and asked him where he was going and all about it. But he did not tell them. A second time they asked him, but he did not tell them anything. Then some, because of this, went back. A third time they presented tobacco and made their enquiries, but he did not answer. Some more turned back. A fourth time they asked him, after presents. He said he was going somewhere against an enemy, but he would not tell them where, or any of the details. They could turn back if they wanted to. All but ten men turned back. All summer they traveled, so far they went. The fifth time they presented him with tobacco, and made this enquiry. "We are going there to [play] a game," he said. "There is an open place in the woods near a high cliff of rocks. Go until you see this, then come back and report to me." (234) Two he sent on this scouting errand. They found the place which he had described, so they returned to the leader. So they all started out again. After a while they stopped. He told his men to help him so that they might win. I am going to run and jump on top of that cliff and crush it down. This shall be a sign. If I can crush the rock down, then I shall win." This he did, and they all gave a war whoop. "You have seen this sign. We are going to win."

So they started out again. Then they came to a place where there were many teepees. It was a village of Giants. He sent a man to the chief of the Giants to gain permission to set up camp nearby. The Giant chief's lodge was in the center of the village. So he went there and got permission to camp. "Our chief sent me to ask where we may set up our tents." "You may camp anywhere you wish," said the chief. So they picked out a place to camp. The Giants got together and talked the matter over, as to what kind of games they were to play. One of the Giants got up, "Let us have a game of broad jump. I will jump for our party." This they all (235) agreed to. So they sent a Giant messenger to the Indians to announce a game for the next morning. They accepted the challenge. When they were asked, they said that they were perfectly willing. When he got back to his people, he laughed. "They are willing. They are not afraid of us," he told them. The others said, "They must have some power, since they are not afraid of us and came so far to meet us." The next day, they met together and prepared for the game. The Indian leader claimed that he was worth four Giants. He would wager himself against four of them. So the wager was accepted and they prepared to jump. Some of them did not want to put up four Giants against the one Indian, but finally they accepted. "There is no use arguing about the matter," they said, "for now that they are here, they cannot get away." There was a big slate rock; they set this rock at a certain place from which to jump. "You take the first turn," said the Indian leader to the Giants. The Giant leaped and his feet reached into the rock up to his ankles. The Indian had appointed someone to mark how far they jumped. He reported that the Giant had sunken up to his ankles in the rock. The Indian chief then jumped and sank to just below his knees (236) in the rock. Then he said, "In the next game, put up your really good men, so that you can really see my prowess in a real contest."

Then he told his men to cut the Giants' heads off. Twenty-four they got, two each for the ten men and four for the leader. This done, they returned to the camp. Then he instructed them to put the heads won on the fire and dry the brains. That evening the Giants held another council. One got up and said, "You people know how I am. This other fellow tried and lost the game. I shall stand for you this time, and I shall out jump them. I shall win." So they all agreed. Then they sent a messenger to inform the Indians of their decision. The Indians expressed a willingness to the plans. Then the Indian leader instructed them to shake the Giants' heads. Something rattled inside, so he instructed them to open them and see what was inside. So they took out the wampum and were glad.

Then they were commanded to the place of the conflict. They saw then a larger rock than the one placed there formerly. They bet the same way as they did before. Again the Giants wanted to refuse, but finally accepted the common terms because they thought (237) that they would surely win. Again the chief selected a man to mark the extent of the Giants' representative jumping. The Giant was again to jump first. The Giant jumped and came down upon the rock, where he sank up to his knees. This was reported to the Indian leader. The Indian chief then jumped and sank into the rock to his crotch. So again they won and cut the heads off those Giants forfeited to the winners. They burned the bodies and toasted the heads again, as before.

After the game was over, towards evening, the Giants held another council. The old men of the Giants were afraid. They had never heard of men on this world having so much prowess. They must have great spirit power. But the young Giants were not afraid of them. One rose and said, "You people know that I am a better jumper than these two. But they volunteered and lost. Now let me jump against this man." "All right, you shall represent us," they said. Then they sent a messenger to the Indian chief with the challenge. He accepted willingly. The Indians next morning opened the Giants' heads and obtained pure wampum. This made them very glad. So again they repaired to the gaming place. The bet was made in the same way as before. (238) The Giant was again told to jump first, and an Indian was sent over to watch the result of the Giants' jumping. The Giant jumped and sank into the rock up to his waist. The Indian jumped and sank into the rock up to his neck. The Indian chief killed the Giants themselves; he bit them on the legs and broke them. When they shouted, he cut off their heads. Then the Giants protested that he should not make them suffer by breaking their legs first, but he answered that, having won the game, he would do as he pleased with the Giants. So this he did throughout the game.

Then the Giants held a fourth council. They were now much afraid. A Giant arose: "I should have jumped in the first place, since I have often beaten all three of these others, as you all know." So they accepted his offer to jump for them. A messenger took the challenge to the Indian's camp. The Indian chief expressed himself as always glad to receive such a challenge, and accepted it. Every morning they opened up the newly dried heads to get the wampum, and rejoiced. Just before they started for the game, the chief sent an Indian out to get some cattail heads (sohí). Then he (239) told all the men to stand back farther and make more room for the contest. When all was ready, they arranged the wagers as formerly. "Stand far back," said the chief. The Giants again consented to jump first. The Giant jumped on the rock and sank in up to the crown of his head. Then the Indian chief prepared to jump. He said, "Now, my brothers, I'll show you how to jump so that you will know who I am. Our Father alone gave me powers. So I have that power to live with." Then he ran and jumped into the middle of the Giants' village. The whole village was tramped into the ground and the Giants all killed. Then he spread cattail floss over the site of the village and set fire to it. All that remained was burned. That is the reason he told his own men to stand back when he got ready to jump. They had some white deer skins. Into these they placed the wampum from the Giants' heads. The place of the village was turned into a lake. The cliff of rock which he pushed down into the ground, was called "Shaped Like a Deer Tail" (Časį́čkuhą). It is on the east bank of the Wisconsin River.

So they prepared to return home. Although all summer they had been traveling, he (240) told them that they could arrive home any time they wished. "We have traveled a long while," said one, "Let's be back by tomorrow morning." "We can be home sooner than that," said the chief, "but since you have set that time, so be it. No matter whether we walk fast or slow, we should be there tomorrow morning." So they started. Early in the morning they arrived. Their people in the village thought that they had all been killed. They did not bring any scalps home, but they had plenty of wampum.

The chief then got married and settled down, taking over the control of the village. He was an expert hunter. Any game that he wanted, he could bring home from a hunt. No enemy could prevail against him. He was wakárĕkuč. He had some children, one grown son. His son was like the father, a mighty hunter and warrior. Then the chief assembled the people in a council. He said, "I am going home. Don't worry about me. I shall leave my son here to defend you, even as I have. I knew that you people would be in trouble. Two times I knew this. From now on you will never see a Giant in (241) this country. From now on people will call you Hočąk and you will never have trouble as long as you live." So he spoke to them. "I am the spirit of Wajijĕ́ (Comet). I am going back to my own place. I came to defend you from the evil plans of these Giants. If any Indian has a dream of a comet, he can kill any kind of game, he has that spiritual power. So he went away.

That is all.1

Commentary. "partitioned off" — McKern writes, "This place = hakitcót’amp‘." In contemporary orthography, this would be hakičót’ąp. Apparently, in the presumed original Hočąk language version of this story, it was stated that the boy lived in a partitioned part of the lodge, a fairly common theme that usually suggests to the audience that the person is really an incarnate spirit.

"he did not believe it" — frequently, bad spirits interfere and offer false blessings. Therefore, the supplicant has to be on his guard. Those experienced in fasting generally know how to recognize such deceptions.

"the fake spirit" — it is hard to interpret this. The young man seems to have been blessed with grizzly bear powers, as subsequent events show that he is able to do those things promised to him. It would seem more appropriate to call it a fake blessing, in that it was not really beneficent. That a Grizzly Bear Spirit could be a bad spirit is not beyond the pale of imagination.

"they offered the pipe" — this is the standard way in which supplication is performed. If the person offered the pipe refuses it, it means that he will not grant their wishes.

"his grandmother" — women do not normally smoke, but it is said that post-menopausal women are "just like men."

"I know all about it" — that he would know all about someone else's blessing, shows that he is in fact an incarnate spirit.

"over the roofs of the lodges" — the lodges in a village are not even near to being contiguous, so we should understand this to mean that he ran in the air higher than the roofs of the lodges. We later learn that he is the Meteor-Comet Spirit.

"a spotted grizzly bear" — this is not a recognized variety of grizzly bear (or any other kind of bear). It is said that among Waterspirits, those who bear spots are the Bad Waterspirits. The same distinction appears to have been made here.

"crush it down" — the Hočągara seem to be acquainted with the fact that meteorites (or comets) can cause massive damage on occasion when they hit the ground. In another myth, it is said that the Thunderbirds created the hills and valleys by stamping down the originally perfectly flat earth. This symbolizes conquest, with the enemy represented as having been made low ("valleys") and underfoot. This is why crushing down part of the landscape symbolically represents and foretells victory.

wampum — the Giants seem to play a generic role symbolizing The Enemy. Eating symbolizes capture, as we see in the Fast Eating Contest, where the failure to eat all the food set before the warparty means that the food remaining represents enemy individuals who have escaped death (soul-capture) or physical, literal capture. Those who were captured are represented by the food that reaches the stomach, which is to say that they have been assimilated into the body politic. This paradigm can be applied to the Giants. It is said that when Redhorn cured his Giant wife and his in-laws of cannibalism, it was by inducing them to vomit up the fist-sized ice ball contained in their stomachs. This had been, it was stated explicitly, the cause of their cannibalism. Since the Giants' stomach contains ice, and ice (cold) is a preservative, it follows that those who are captured by the Giants (consumed by them) are both preserved and dead. They are dead, because they have been assimilated by the enemy, yet they are preserved in their life, if not their proper identity, by being assimilated into the "stomach" or body politic of the tribe who captured them and there physically preserved only (rather like zombies). The fate of captives who are not assimilated is torture and death, and the primary means of this is fire. In the end they are burned up. This is the opposite of freezing, and the fate of prisoners who are spared is the opposite, therefore, of those who are not.

The other and "opposite" kind of preservation is dehydration. This is accomplished by a kind of slow cooking, usually by exposure to the sun, which turns meat into jerky by drying it out. So when the humans (Hočągara) capture an enemy soul (Giant's head) he is assimilated (by being dehydrated). The result is wampum. Although wampum is not strictly money, as it is not a fixed medium of exchange, it is without doubt a trade commodity of great value. So the absorbed enemy is of great value to the tribe once he has been preserved, that is, once his Giant essence of ice has been dehydrated from him.

The icy essence of the giants with its water removed is shells, that is, brittle, ice-like coatings over an animal whose own consistency recalls the marrow-like substance of the brain. It is slow cooking that creates the wampum-shells. The marrow-like snail "cooks" by a process akin if not identical to digestion, and the result is the excretion of a substance like bone: the shell that forms the exoskeleton of the animal. It is not unreasonable for people to think that the marrow, which is laid out like a snail as a rule, produces the bone that forms its own exoskeleton. These animals are aquatic, and human (or Giant) bones also live in an environment of moisture, the primary component of which is blood.

It should also be pointed out that in Lévi-Strauss' dichotomy of the Raw vs. the Cooked, the Enemy (Giants) are the Outside, uncivilized force that corresponds to the Raw, and their marrow essence is here literally cooked until the process of dehydration allows them to be preserved within the Inside, the body politic. Thus here, the Cooked is rendered in myth as the process of assimilation into civilization, a literal representation of our expectations when we apply Lévi-Strauss' classic dichotomy.

As we may now see, the mythical procedure of slow cooking brains in order to transform them into wampum represents the dehydration of the essence of the Giants (the brain) to turn them into valuable objects. This itself is a metaphor for the adoption of captive enemies, or at least foreigners, into the victor's body politic. Hall had argued that the LNG maskettes, which are worn on the ears, were given out to honorary adoptees in order to cement alliances. It is interesting that the two accounts of the generation of valuable shells from the head-cooking of Giants, which were told in English, employ the word "wampum" to describe the shells produced by this process. The standard word for wampum in Hočąk is worušik, which means, "that which is worn on the ears." In Mississippian times, the prized artifact, usually made of shell, was the LNG prosopic earpiece, clearly a kind of worušik. This dovetails with Hall's theory that they were employed in adoption ceremonies. Such adoption may have symbolized the acceptance of a community, through its leader, into a vast network of trade. This helped to effect the acceptance of pochtecas into the host community, where they lived for a number of months to complete their long distance trade objectives.

"sohí" — McKern adds below the line, "prairie chicken feathers. Used like cotton over babies." In other words, cattail heads are called "prairie chicken (so) feathers (hi)."

"Our Father" — this would be Earthmaker himself, whom most other Central Siouan tribes call Wakaⁿda.

"a lake" — McKern adds, "(Winnebago ?)," wondering if this is not a foundation myth for Lake Winnebago (Wisconsin). It is as if the Hočągara understood the concept of a crater lake. Here we also see an interesting formula: burned Giants (with cattail floss) = water. Giant's brain - water = shells. Elsewhere, we are told that it is a ball of ice in the Giant's stomach that makes him a cannibal: Freezing (stomach + water) = cannibalism. The Giants are cured when they vomit up the snowball. This would seem to suggest that the Giants are ice, since removing ice from the core of their being destroys their essential identity as man-eaters. "Burning" ice yields water.

"Časį́čkuhą"kuhą means literally, "under, below, beneath." What is below or under the deer tail (ča-sįč) is the deer's rump (ča-šįč). This may be a convenient astronomical reference, as Čašįč is the name given to the Pleiades star cluster. Since, as we later learn, the chief is Wojijega, the Meteor-Comet Spirit, we will not be surprised to find meteor showers located in the region of the Pleiades. These are the Taurids, which seem to be fragments from the comet Encke, which has been breaking up over the last several dozens of millenia.2 The Northern Taurids are active from October 12 - December 2, with a maximum from November 4-7. They occur about 5 times an hour.

The Radiants of the Taurids
Starry Night Software

"wakárĕkuč" — McKern defines this as, "defender of his people, bravest man of all."

"two times" — McKern adds parenthetically, "bear and Giants."

Comparative Material. ...

Links: The Meteor Spirit, Supernatural & Spiritual Power, Spirits, Celestial Spirits, Blue Bear, Bear Spirits, Giants.

Stories: featuring Wojijéga (the Meteor Spirit) as a character: The Roaster, Wojijé, The Raccoon Coat, The Green Man; about stars and other celestial bodies: The Dipper, Įčorúšika and His Brothers, The Seven Maidens, Morning Star and His Friend, Little Human Head, Turtle and the Witches, Sky Man, Wojijé, The Raccoon Coat, Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, The Star Husband, Grandfather's Two Families, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun, The Origins of the Milky Way, The Fall of the Stars; mentioning (spirit) bears (other than were-bears): White Bear, Blue Bear, Black Bear, Red Bear, Bear Clan Origin Myth, The Shaggy Man, Bear Offers Himself as Food, Hare Visits His Grandfather Bear, Grandmother Packs the Bear Meat, The Spotted Grizzly Man, Hare Establishes Bear Hunting, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Redhorn's Sons, The Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, The Messengers of Hare, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Hočąk Migration Myth, Red Man, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, Lifting Up the Bear Heads, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, The Two Boys, Creation of the World (v. 5), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Brown Squirrel, Snowshoe Strings, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, East Enters the Medicine Lodge, Lake Winnebago Origin Myth, The Spider's Eyes, Little Priest's Game, Little Priest, How He went out as a Soldier, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Trickster's Tail, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Warbundle Maker, cf. Fourth Universe; mentioning grizzly bears: Blue Bear, Brass and Red Bear Boy, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Were-Grizzly, The Spotted Grizzly Man, The Roaster, Wazųka, Little Priest's Game, The Story of How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, Migistega's Magic, The Woman who Loved her Half-Brother, The Two Boys (giant black grizzly), Partridge's Older Brother, The Chief of the Heroka, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Dipper (white grizzly), Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, The Creation of Man (v. 9), The Creation of Evil, cp. The Woman Who Fought the Bear; about fasting blessings: Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Difficult Blessing, The Boy Who Became a Robin, The Boy who would be Immortal, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, The Seer, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Nightspirits Bless Jobenągiwįxka, Disease Giver Blesses Jobenągiwįxka, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, Black Otter's Warpath, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Aračgéga's Blessings, Great Walker's Medicine, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Thunderbird and White Horse, The Man who was Blessed by the Sun, Holy Song, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Paint Medicine Origin Myth, The Plant Blessing of Earth, The Blessing of Šokeboka, Heną́ga and Star Girl, The Tap the Head Medicine, The Sweetened Drink Song, Ancient Blessing; featuring Giants as characters: A Giant Visits His Daughter, Turtle and the Giant, The Stone Heart, Young Man Gambles Often, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, Morning Star and His Friend, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, The Old Man and the Giants, Shakes the Earth, White Wolf, Redhorn's Father, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Roaster, Grandfather's Two Families, Redhorn's Sons, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Little Human Head, Heną́ga and Star Girl, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Origins of the Milky Way, Ocean Duck, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Wears White Feather on His Head, cf. The Shaggy Man; mentioning wampum: Young Man Gambles Often, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), Little Human Head, Turtle and the Giant, Snowshoe Strings, The Chief of the Heroka, The Markings on the Moon, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (v. 2), Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Blessing of Kerexųsaka, Black Otter's Warpath (bone-bead belt); set at Časį́čkuhą (Below the Deer Tail): The Spiritual Descent of John Rave's Grandmother.

Themes: a person who fasts receives blessings from the spirits: The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Nightspirits Bless Jobenągiwįxka, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, Redhorn's Sons, The Boy Who Became a Robin, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, The Seer, Maize Comes to the Hočągara, The Warbundle of the Eight Generations, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Boy who would be Immortal, The Thunderbird, Lake Wąkšikhomįgra (Mendota): the Origin of Its Name, The Waterspirit Guardian of the Intaglio Mound, Great Walker's Medicine, Šųgepaga, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna, A Man's Revenge, Aračgéga's Blessings, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, The Man who was Blessed by the Sun, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, The Man who Defied Disease Giver, White Thunder's Warpath, Black Otter's Warpath, A Man and His Three Dogs, The Oak Tree and the Man Who was Blessed by the Heroka, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, The Diving Contest, The Plant Blessing of Earth, Holy Song, The Tap the Head Medicine, The Blessing of Šokeboka, The Completion Song Origin, Paint Medicine Origin Myth, The Nightspirits Bless Čiwoit’éhiga, Song to Earthmaker, First Contact (v. 1), The Horse Spirit of Eagle Heights; a spirit is quoted as he gives someone a blessing: Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), Traveler and the Thunderbird War, The Nightspirits Bless Jobenągiwįxka, Disease Giver Blesses Jobenągiwįxka, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, The Blessing of a Bear Clansman, Aračgéga's Blessings, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, Great Walker's Medicine, Buffalo Dance Origin Myth, Thunderbird and White Horse, The Plant Blessing of Earth, The Completion Song Origin, The Man who was Blessed by the Sun, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, The Difficult Blessing, The Blessing of Šokeboka, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Bow Meets Disease Giver, Heną́ga and Star Girl, Sunset Point, The Rounded Wood Origin Myth, A Peyote Vision, The Healing Blessing; someone is deceived by a spirit: The Greedy Woman, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Seven Maidens, Big Thunder Teaches Čap’ósgaga the Warpath, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, The Lost Blanket; a (step-)father is too demanding of his son: Moiety Origin Myth, The Boy Who Became a Robin, Origin of the Decorah Family; blessings from a Grizzly Spirit: Brass and Red Bear Boy, Little Priest's Game, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts; a man is able to turn into a spotted grizzly: The Spotted Grizzly Man; an orphan rises from obscurity to become chief: The Red Man, Partridge's Older Brother, The Red Feather, The Roaster, The Chief of the Heroka, The Nannyberry Picker; an old woman scolds her orphan grandson for being presumptuous even though he later turns out to be the most capable person in the village: White Wolf, The Roaster, Brass and Red Bear Boy, The Red Feather; a warparty gives its leader tobacco so that he might reveal to them what victories the spirits have placed in his hands: White Thunder's Warpath, Šųgepaga, Great Walker's Warpath, The Dogs of the Chief's Son; contests with the Giants: Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Redhorn's Father, White Wolf, The Roaster, Young Man Gambles Often, Little Human Head, Redhorn Contests the Giants, Redhorn's Sons, Morning Star and His Friend, The Reincarnated Grizzly Bear, Sun and the Big Eater, The Big Eater, The Hočągara Contest the Giants, The Old Man and the Giants, Shakes the Earth, The Origins of the Milky Way, The Shaggy Man, Grandfather's Two Families; good and bad spirits play the game, See who can Dive Deepest into the Earth: The Green Man, The Roaster; the heads of Giants are found to be full of wampum: Young Man Gambles Often, Morning Star and His Friend (v. 2), Turtle and the Giant; prisoners have their bones broken by their captors: The Green Man, The Raccoon Coat, Old Man and Wears White Feather; the bodies of Giants wagered in a game, are burned up using cattail floss as fuel: The Roaster, Redhorn's Father, Grandfather's Two Families.


1 W. C. McKern, Winnebago Notebook (Milwaukee: Milwaukee Public Museum, 1927) 228-241.

2 Jozef Klačka, "Meteor Streams of Comet Encke. Taurid Meteor Complex," Astronomy and Astrophysics (1.2.2008): 1-7 [1]. Fred Lawrence Whipple, "Photographic Meteor Studies. III. The Taurid Shower," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 83 (1940): 711–745.