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Title: Seneca Fiction, Legends, and Myths

Compiler: Jeremiah Curtin

J. N. B. Hewitt

Release date: December 30, 2020 [eBook #64176]

Language: English

Credits: Jeroen Hellingman and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at for Project Gutenberg (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)


Newly Designed Front Cover.


Original Title Page.





Smithsonian Institution,
Bureau of American Ethnology
Washington, D. C., August 17, 1911.

Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith the Thirty-second Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, comprising an account of the operations of the bureau during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1911.

Permit me to express my appreciation of your aid in the work under my charge.

Very respectfully, yours,

F. W. Hodge,

Dr. Charles D. Walcott,
Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. [5]




Systematic researches 9
Special researches 24
Publications 29
Illustrations 30
Library 31
Property 32
Recommendations 32


Seneca Fiction, Legends, and Myths; collected by Jeremiah Curtin and J. N. B. Hewitt; edited by J. N. B. Hewitt        37

Index        815 [7]





The operations of the Bureau of American Ethnology for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1911, conducted in accordance with the provisions of the act of Congress approved June 25, 1910, authorizing the continuation of ethnological researches among the American Indians and the natives of Hawaii, under the direction of the Smithsonian Institution, were carried forward in accordance with the plan of operation approved by the Secretary June 15, 1910.



The systematic ethnological researches of the bureau were continued during the year with the regular scientific staff, consisting of nine ethnologists, as follows: Mr. F. W. Hodge, ethnologist-in-charge; Mr. James Mooney, Dr. J. Walter Fewkes, Mrs. Matilda Coxe Stevenson, Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt, Dr. John R. Swanton, Dr. Truman Michelson, Dr. Paul Radin, and Mr. Francis La Flesche. In addition, the services of several specialists in their respective fields were enlisted for special work, as follows:

Dr. Franz Boas, honorary philologist, with several assistants, for research in connection with the preparation and publication of the Handbook of American Indian Languages.

Miss Alice C. Fletcher and Mr. Francis La Flesche, for the final revision of the proofs of their monograph on the [10]Omaha Indians for publication in the Twenty-seventh Annual Report.

Miss Frances Densmore, for researches in Indian music.

Mr. J. P. Dunn, for studies of the tribes of the Middle West.

Mr. John P. Harrington, for researches among the Mohave Indians of the Colorado Valley.

Rev. Dr. George P. Donehoo, for investigations in the history, geography, and ethnology of the tribes of Pennsylvania for incorporation in the Handbook of American Indians.

Mr. William R. Gerard, for studies of the etymology of Algonquian place and tribal names and of terms that have been incorporated in the English language, for use in the same work.

Prof. H. M. Ballou, for bibliographic research in connection with the compilation of the List of Works Relating to Hawaii.

Mr. James R. Murie, for researches pertaining to the ethnology of the Pawnee Indians.

The systematic ethnological researches by members of the regular staff of the bureau may be summarized as follows:

Mr. F. W. Hodge, ethnologist-in-charge, in addition to conducting the administrative work of the bureau, devoted attention, with the assistance of Mrs. Frances S. Nichols, to the final revision of the remaining proofs of part 2 of the Handbook of American Indians (Bulletin 30), which was published in January, 1911. This work met with so great popular demand that the edition of the two parts became exhausted immediately after publication, causing the bureau much embarrassment owing to the thousands of requests that it has not been possible to supply. To meet this need in part, the Senate, on May 12, adopted a concurrent resolution authorizing the reprinting of the entire handbook, and at the close of the fiscal year the resolution was under consideration by the Committee on Printing of the House of Representatives. The Superintendent of [11]Documents has likewise been in receipt of many orders for the work, necessitating the reprinting of part 1 some months after its appearance, and about the close of the fiscal year another reprint of this part was contemplated. Much material for incorporation in a revised edition for future publication was prepared during the year, but lack of funds necessary for the employment of special assistants prevented the prosecution of this work as fully as was desired.

The bureau has been interested in and has conducted archeological explorations in the pueblo region of New Mexico and Arizona for many years. Since the establishment of the School of American Archæology in 1907, following the revival of interest in American archeology, by the Archæological Institute of America, that body likewise commenced systematic work in the archeology of that great region. In order to avoid duplication of effort, arrangements were made between the bureau and the school for conducting archeological investigations in cooperation, the expense of the field work to be borne equally, a moiety of the collections of the artifacts and all the skeletal remains to become the property of the National Museum, and the bureau to have the privilege of the publication of all scientific results.

Active work under this joint arrangement was commenced in the Rito de los Frijoles, northwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in July, 1910, work having already been initiated there during the previous summer by the school independently, under the directorship of Dr. Edgar L. Hewett. In August, 1910, Mr. Hodge visited New Mexico for the purpose of participating in the work on the part of the bureau, and remained in the field for a month.

The great prehistoric site in the Rito de los Frijoles is characterized by an immense circular many-celled pueblo ruin, most of the stone walls of which are still standing to a height of several feet, and a series of cavate dwellings hewn in the soft tufa throughout several hundred yards of the northern wall of the canyon. Accompanying the great [12]community ruin and also the cavate dwellings are underground kivas, or ceremonial chambers. In front of the cavate lodges were originally structures of masonry built against the cliff and forming front rooms, but practically the only remains of these are the foundation walls and the rafter holes in the cliff face. The débris covering these structures has been largely cleared away and the foundations exposed, and the walls of about two-thirds of the great pueblo structure in the valley have been bared by excavation. At the western extremity of the canyon, far up in the northern wall, is a natural cavern, known as Ceremonial Cave, in which are a large kiva, remarkably well preserved, and other interesting remains of aboriginal occupancy. This great archeological site in the Rito de los Frijoles is important to the elucidation of the problem of the early distribution of the Pueblos of the Rio Grande Valley, and there is reason to believe that when the researches are completed much light will be shed thereon. There is a paucity of artifacts in the habitations uncovered, aside from stone implements, of which large numbers have been found.

At the close of the work in the Rito de los Frijoles the joint expedition proceeded to the valley of the Jemez River, near the Hot Springs, where a week was spent in excavating the cemetery of the old Jemez village of Giusiwa. About 30 burials were disinterred here, and a few accompaniments of pottery vessels and other artifacts were recovered; but in the main the deposits had been completely destroyed by aboriginal disturbance, caused in part by covering the burials with heavy stones and partly by displacing the skeletons previously buried when subsequent interments were made. Giusiwa was inhabited in prehistoric times and also well within the historical period, as is attested by its massive, roofless church, built about the beginning of the seventeenth century. Nevertheless, no indication of Spanish influence was found in the ancient cemetery, and it is assumed that burial therein ceased with the coming of the missionaries and the establishment of [13]the campo santo adjacent to the church. All collections gathered at Giusiwa have been deposited in the National Museum.

Other immense ruins on the summits of the mesas bounding the valley on the west were examined with the view of their future excavation. The exact position of the Jemez tribe among the Pueblo peoples is a problem, and both archeological and ethnological studies thereof are essential to its determination.

On completing this reconnaissance excavation was conducted in a cemetery at the great stone pueblo of Puye, on a mesa 8 miles west of the Tewa village of Santa Clara. About 50 burials were exhumed and sent to the National Museum, but artifacts were not found in abundance here, and as a rule they are not excellent in quality. In the joint work in the Rito de los Frijoles the expedition was fortunate in having the cooperation of Prof. Junius Henderson and Prof. W. W. Robbins, of the University of Colorado at Boulder, who, respectively, while the excavations were in progress, conducted studies in the ethnozoology and the ethnobotany of the Tewa Indians, and also on the influence of climate and geology on the life of the early inhabitants of the Rito de los Frijoles. At the same time Mr. J. P. Harrington continued his researches in Tewa geographic nomenclature and cooperated with Professors Henderson and Robbins in supplying the native terms for plants and animals used by these Indians as food and medicine in ceremonies and for other purposes. The expedition was also fortunate in having the services of Mr. Sylvanus G. Morley in connection with the excavations in the Rito, of Mr. K. M. Chapman in the study of the decoration of the pottery and of the pictographs of the entire upper Rio Grande region, of Mr. Jesse L. Nusbaum in the photographic work, and of Mr. J. P. Adams in the surveying. Valued aid was also rendered by Messrs. Neil M. Judd, Donald Beauregard, and Nathan Goldsmith.

The scientific results of the joint research are rapidly nearing completion and will be submitted to the bureau for publication at an early date. [14]

Throughout almost the entire year Mr. James Mooney, ethnologist, was occupied in the office in compiling the material for his study of Indian population covering the whole territory north of Mexico from the first white occupancy to the present time. By request of the Nebraska State Historical Society he was detailed in January, 1911, to attend the joint session of that body and the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, at Lincoln, Nebraska, where he delivered three principal addresses bearing particularly on the method and results of the researches of the bureau with the view of their application in local historical and ethnological investigations.

On June 4 Mr. Mooney started for the reservation of the East Cherokee in North Carolina to continue former studies of the sacred formulas and general ethnology of that tribe, and was engaged in this work at the close of the month.

At the beginning of the fiscal year Dr. J. Walter Fewkes, ethnologist, was in northern Arizona examining the great cave pueblos and other ruins within the Navaho National Monument. He found that since his visit in 1909 considerable excavation had been done by others in the rooms of Betatakin, and that the walls of Kitsiel, the other large cliff-ruin, were greatly in need of repair. Guided by resident Navaho, he visited several hitherto undescribed cliff-dwellings and gathered a fairly good collection of objects illustrating prehistoric culture of this part of northern Arizona, which have been deposited in the National Museum. In order to facilitate the archeological work and to make the region accessible to students and visitors it was necessary to break a wagon road from Marsh Pass through the middle of the Navaho National Monument to the neighborhood of Betatakin, and by this means the valley was traversed with wagons for the first time.

On the return journey to Flagstaff, Doctor Fewkes visited the ruins in Nitsi, or West Canyon, and examined Inscription House, a prehistoric cliff-dwelling of considerable size, hitherto undescribed, the walls of which are built [15]of loaf-shaped adobes strengthened with sticks. On account of the size and great interest of these ruins, it is recommended that the area covered thereby be included in the Navaho National Monument and the ruins permanently preserved, and that either Betatakin or Kitsiel be excavated, repaired, and made a “type ruin” of this culture area. Along the road to Flagstaff from West Canyon, Doctor Fewkes observed several ruins and learned of many others ascribed to the ancient Hopi. He visited the Hopi pueblo of Moenkopi, near Tuba, and obtained considerable new ethnological material from an old priest of that village regarding legends of the clans that formerly lived in northern Arizona. He learned also of a cliff, or rock, covered with pictographs of Hopi origin, at Willow Spring, not far from Tuba, the figures of which shed light on Hopi clan migration legends.

Returning to Flagstaff, Doctor Fewkes reoutfitted in order to conduct investigations of the ruins near Black Falls of the Little Colorado River, especially the one called Wukoki, reputed to have been the last habitation of the Snake clans of the Hopi in their stubborn migration before they finally settled near the East Mesa. A little more than a month was spent at these ruins, during which time extensive excavations were made in numerous subterranean rooms, or pit-dwellings, a new type of habitations found at the bases of many of the large ruined pueblos on the Little Colorado. Incidentally several other pueblo ruins, hitherto unknown, with accompanying reservoirs and shrines, were observed. The excavations at Wukoki yielded about 1,800 specimens, consisting of painted pottery, beautiful shell ornaments, stone implements, basketry, wooden objects, cane “cloud blowers,” prayer sticks, a prayer-stick box, an idol, and other objects. The results of the excavations at Wukoki will be incorporated in a forthcoming bulletin on Antiquities of the Little Colorado Basin.

On the completion of his work at the Black Falls ruins, Doctor Fewkes returned to Washington in September and [16]devoted the next three months to the preparation of a monograph on Casa Grande, Arizona.

At the close of January, 1911, Doctor Fewkes again took the field, visiting Cuba for the purpose of gathering information on the prehistoric inhabitants of that island and their reputed contemporaneity with fossil sloths, sharks, and crocodiles. A fortnight was devoted to the study of collections of prehistoric objects in Habana, especially the material in the University Museum from caves in Puerto Principe Province, described by Doctors Montoné and Carlos de la Torre. With this preparation he proceeded to the Isle of Pines and commenced work near Nueva Gerona. In this island there are several caves from which human bones have been reported locally, but the Cueva de los Indios, situated in the hills about a mile from the city named, promised the greatest reward. A week’s excavation in this cave yielded four fragments of Indian skulls, not beyond repair; one undeformed, well-preserved human cranium; and many fragments of pelves, humeri, and femora. The excavations in the middle of the cave indicated that the soil there had previously been dug over; these yielded little of value, the best-preserved remains occurring near the entrance, on each side. The skulls were arranged in a row within a pocket sheltered by an overhanging side of the cave, and were buried about 2 feet in the guano and soil; beneath these crania were human long-bones, crossed. Several fragments of a single skull, or of several skulls, were embedded in a hard stalagmitic formation over the deposit of long-bones. No Indian implements or pottery accompanied the bones, and no fossils were found in association with them. So far as recorded this is the first instance of the finding of skeletal remains of cave man in the Isle of Pines. Their general appearance and mode of burial were the same as in the case of those discovered by Doctors Montoné and Carlos de la Torre.

Doctor Fewkes also examined, in the Isle of Pines, about 30 structures known as cacimbas, their Indian name. [17]These are vase-shaped, subterranean receptacles, averaging 6 feet in depth and 4 feet in maximum diameter, generally constricted to about 2 feet at the neck, and with the opening level with the surface of the ground. Although these cacimbas are generally ascribed to the Indians, they are thought by some to be of Spanish origin, and are connected by others with buccaneers, pirates, and slavers. They are built of masonry or cut in the solid rock; the sides are often plastered and the bottoms commonly covered with a layer of tar. On the ground near the openings there is generally a level, circular space, with raised periphery. The whole appearance supports the theory that these structures were used in the manufacture of turpentine or tar, the circular area being the oven and the cacimba the receptacle for the product.

Doctor Fewkes found that the Pineros, or natives of the island, employ many aboriginal terms for animals, plants, and places, and in some instances two Indian words are used for the same object. An acknowledged descendant of a Cuban Indian explained this linguistic duality by saying that the Indians of the eastern end of the Isle of Pines spoke a dialect different from those of the western end, and that when those from Camaguey, who were Tainan and of eastern Cuban origin, came to the Isle of Pines at the instance of the Spanish authorities they brought with them a nomenclature different from that then in use on that island.

Several old Spanish structures of masonry, the dates of which are unknown, were also examined in the neighborhood of Santa Fe, Isle of Pines. The roof of a cave at Punta de Este, the southeastern angle of the island, bears aboriginal pictographs of the sun and other objects, suggesting that it is comparable with the cave in Haiti, in which, according to Indian legend, the sun and the moon originated, and from which the races of man emerged.

Doctor Fewkes has now collected sufficient material in Cuba to indicate that its western end, including the Isle of Pines, was once inhabited by a cave-dwelling people, [18]low in culture and without agriculture. His observations support the belief that this people were in that condition when Columbus visited the Isle of Pines and that they were survivors of the Guanahatibibes, a cave-dwelling population formerly occupying the whole of Cuba and represented in Porto Rico and other islands of the West Indies.

Doctor Fewkes also visited several of the coral keys southwest of the Isle of Pines, but, finding no aboriginal traces, he crossed the channel to Cayman Grande, about 250 miles from Nueva Gerona. The Cayman group consists of coral islands built on a submarine continuation of the mountains of Santiago Province, Cuba. A cave with Indian bones and pottery, probably of Carib origin, was found near Boddentown on the eastern end of the island, and a few stone implements were obtained from natives, but as these specimens may have been brought from adjacent shores they afford little evidence of a former aboriginal population of Cayman Grande. The elevation of the Cayman Islands, computed from the annual accretion, would indicate that Cayman Grande was a shallow reef when Columbus visited Cuba, and could not have been inhabited at that time. The discoverer passed very near it on his second voyage, when his course lay from the Isle of Pines to Jamaica, but he reported neither name nor people.

Doctor Fewkes returned to Washington in April and spent the remainder of the year in completing his report on Casa Grande.

Dr. John R. Swanton, ethnologist, devoted the first quarter of the year chiefly to collecting material from libraries and archives, as the basis of his study of the Creek Indians. From the latter part of September until early in December he was engaged in field research among the Creek, Natchez, Tonkawa, and Alibamu Indians in Oklahoma and Texas, and also remained a short time with the remnant of the Tunica and Chitimacha in Louisiana, and made a few side trips in search of tribes which have been lost to sight within recent years. On his return to Washington, Doctor Swanton transcribed the linguistic and ethnologic material collected during his field excursion, read the proofs of Bulletins [19]44, 46, and 47, added to the literary material regarding the Creek Indians, collected additional data for a tribal map of the Indians of the United States, and initiated a study of the Natchez language with the special object of comparing it with the other dialects of the Muskhogean family. Doctor Swanton also spent some time in studying the Chitimacha and Tunica languages.

From July, 1910, until the middle of April, 1911, Mrs. M. C. Stevenson, ethnologist, was engaged in the completion of a paper on Dress and Adornment of the Pueblo Indians, in the elaboration of her report on Zuñi Plants and Their Uses, and in transcribing her field notes pertaining to Zuñi religious concepts and the mythology and ethnology of the Taos Indians.

Mrs. Stevenson left Washington on April 12 and proceeded directly to the country of the Tewa Indians, in the valley of the Rio Grande in New Mexico, for the purpose of continuing her investigation of those people. Until the close of the fiscal year her energies were devoted to the pueblo of San Ildefonso and incidentally to Santa Clara, information particularly in regard to the Tewa calendar system, ceremonies, and material culture being gained. Mrs. Stevenson finds that the worship of the San Ildefonso Indians includes the same celestial bodies as are held sacred by the Zuñi and other Pueblos. From the foundation laid during her previous researches among the Tewa, Mrs. Stevenson reports that she has experienced little difficulty in obtaining an insight into the esoteric life of these people, and is daily adding to her store of knowledge respecting their religion and sociology. A complete record of obstetrical practices of the Tewa has been made, and it is found that they are as elaborate as related practices of the Taos people. The San Ildefonso inhabitants do not seem to have changed their early customs regarding land tenure, and they adhere tenaciously to their marriage customs and birth rites, notwithstanding the long period during which missionaries have been among them. It is expected that, of her many lines of study among the Tewa [20]tribes, the subject of their material culture will produce the first results for publication.

After completing some special articles on ethnologic topics for the closing pages of Part 2 of the Handbook of American Indians, Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt, ethnologist, pursued the study of the history of the tribes formerly dwelling in the Susquehanna and upper Ohio valleys. Progress in these researches was interrupted by the necessity of assigning him to the editorial revision and annotation of a collection of about 120 legends, traditions, and myths of the Seneca Indians, recorded in 1884 and 1885 by the late Jeremiah Curtin. At the close of the year this work was far advanced, only about 150 pages of a total of 1,400 pages remaining to be treated. As opportunity afforded, Mr. Hewitt also resumed the preparation of his sketch of the grammar of the Iroquois for incorporation in the Handbook of American Indian Languages.

As in previous years, Mr. Hewitt prepared and collected data for replies to numerous correspondents requesting special information, particularly in regard to the Iroquois and Algonquian tribes. Mr. Hewitt also had charge of the important collection of 1,716 manuscripts of the bureau, cataloguing new accessions and keeping a record of those withdrawn in the progress of the bureau’s researches. During the year, 378 manuscripts were thus made use of by the members of the bureau and its collaborators. Exclusive of the numerous manuscripts prepared by the staff of the bureau and by those in collaboration with it, referred to in this report, 12 items were added during the year. These pertain to the Pawnee, Chippewa, Zuñi, and Tewa tribes, and relate to music, sociology, economics, and linguistics.

The beginning of the fiscal year found Dr. Truman Michelson, ethnologist, conducting ethnological and linguistic investigations among the Piegan Indians of Montana, whence he proceeded to the Northern Cheyenne and Northern Arapaho, thence to the Menominee of Wisconsin, and finally to the Micmac of Restigouche, Canada—all [21]Algonquian tribes, the need of a more definite linguistic classification of which has long been felt. Doctor Michelson returned to Washington at the close of November and immediately commenced the elaboration of his field notes, one of the results of which is a manuscript bearing the title “A Linguistic Classification of the Algonquian Tribes,” submitted for publication in the Twenty-eighth Annual Report. Also in connection with his Algonquian work Doctor Michelson devoted attention to the further revision of the material pertaining to the Fox grammar, by the late Dr. William Jones, the outline of which is incorporated in the Handbook of American Indian Languages. During the winter Doctor Michelson took advantage of the presence in Washington of a deputation of Chippewa Indians from White Earth, Minnesota, by enlisting their services in gaining an insight into the social organization of that tribe and also in adding to the bureau’s accumulation of Chippewa linguistic data. Toward the close of June, 1911, Doctor Michelson proceeded to the Sauk and Fox Reservation in Iowa for the purpose of continuing his study of that Algonquian group.

The months of July and August and half of September, 1910, were spent by Dr. Paul Radin, ethnologist, among the Winnebago Indians of Nebraska and Wisconsin, his efforts being devoted to a continuation of his studies of the culture of those people, with special reference to their ceremonial and social organization and their general social customs. Part of the time was devoted to a study of the Winnebago material culture, but little progress was made in this direction, as few objects of aboriginal origin are now possessed by these people, consequently the study must be completed by examination of their objects preserved in museums and private collections. A beginning in this direction was made by Doctor Radin during the latter half of September and in October at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City. During the remainder of the fiscal year Doctor Radin was engaged in arranging the ethnological material gathered by him during the several years [22]he has devoted to the Winnebago tribe, and in the preparation of a monograph on the Medicine ceremony of the Winnebago and a memoir on the ethnology of the Winnebago tribe in general. In June, 1911, he again took the field in Wisconsin for the purpose of obtaining the data necessary to complete the tribal monograph. Both these manuscripts, it is expected, will be finished by the close of the present calendar year.

By arrangement with the Commissioner of Indian Affairs the bureau was fortunate in enlisting the services of Mr. Francis La Flesche, who has been frequently mentioned in the annual reports of the bureau in connection with his studies, jointly with Miss Alice C. Fletcher, of the ethnology of the Omaha tribe of the Siouan family. Having been assigned the task of making a comparative study of the Osage tribe of the same family, Mr. La Flesche proceeded to their reservation in Oklahoma in September. The older Osage men, like the older Indians generally, are very conservative, and time and tact were necessary to obtain such standing in the tribe as would enable him to establish friendly relations with those to whom it was necessary to look for trustworthy information. Although the Osage language is similar to that of the Omaha, Mr. La Flesche’s native tongue, there are many words and phrases that sound alike but are used in different senses by the two tribes. Having practically mastered the language, Mr. La Flesche was prepared to devote several months to what is known as the Noⁿʹhoⁿzhiⁿga Ieʹta, the general term applied to a complex series of ceremonies which partake of the nature of degrees, but are not, strictly speaking, successive steps, although each one is linked to the other in a general sequence. While at the present stage of the investigation it would be premature to make a definite statement as to the full meaning and interrelation of these Osage ceremonies, there appear to be seven divisions of the Noⁿʹhoⁿzhiⁿga Ieʹta, the names, functions, and sequence of which have been learned, but whether the sequence thus far noted is always maintained remains to be determined. [23]From Saucy Calf, one of the three surviving Osage regarded as past masters in these ceremonies, phonographic records of the first of the ceremonies, the Waxoʹbe-awathoⁿ, have been made in its entirety, consisting of 80 songs with words and music and 7 prayers. All these have been transcribed and in part translated into English, comprising a manuscript exceeding 300 pages. In order to discuss with the Osage the meaning of these rituals, Mr. La Flesche found it necessary to commit them to memory, as reading from the manuscript disconcerted the old seer. At Saucy Calf’s invitation Mr. La Flesche witnessed in the autumn, at Grayhorse, a performance of the ceremony of the Waxoʹbe-awathoⁿ, the recitation of the rituals of which requires one day, part of a night, and more than half of the following day. It is Mr. La Flesche’s purpose to record, if possible, the rituals of the remaining six divisions of the Noⁿʹhoⁿzhiⁿga Ieʹta. He has already obtained a paraphrase of the seventh ceremony (the Nikʼinoⁿkʼoⁿ), and hopes soon to procure a phonographic record of all the rituals pertaining thereto.

In connection with his ethnological work Mr. La Flesche has been so fortunate as to obtain for the National Museum four of the waxoʹbe, or sacred packs, each of which formed a part of the paraphernalia of the Noⁿʹhoⁿzhiⁿga Ieʹta, as well as a waxoʹbe-toⁿʹga, the great waxoʹbe which contains the instruments for tattooing. Only those Osage are tattooed who have performed certain acts prescribed in the rites of the Noⁿʹhoⁿzhiⁿga Ieʹta. The rites of the tattooing ceremony are yet to be recorded and elucidated. While the waxoʹbe is the most sacred of the articles that form the paraphernalia of the Noⁿʹhoⁿzhiⁿga Ieʹta rites, it is not complete in itself; other things are indispensable to their performance, and it is hoped that these may be procured at some future time.

While not recorded as one of the ceremonial divisions of the Noⁿʹhoⁿzhiⁿga Ieʹta, there is a ceremony so closely connected with it that it might well be regarded as a part thereof; that is the Washaʹbeathiⁿ watsi, or the dance of the standards. The introductory part of this ceremony is [24]called Akixage, or weeping over one another in mutual sympathy by the members of the two great divisions of the tribe. There is no regular time for the performance of the Washaʹbeathiⁿ ceremony. It is given only when a member of the tribe loses by death some specially loved and favored relative and seeks a ceremonial expression of sympathy from the entire tribe. It is the intention to procure the songs and rituals of this ceremony, and specimens of the standards employed in its performance.

Altogether Mr. La Flesche has made excellent progress in his study of the Osage people, and the results are already shedding light on the organization and the origin and function of the ceremonies of this important tribe.



The special researches of the bureau in the field of linguistics were conducted by Dr. Franz Boas, honorary philologist, one of the immediate and tangible results of which was the publication of Part 1 of the Handbook of American Indian Languages. It seems desirable to restate at the present time the development of the plan and the object of this work.

Through the efforts of the late Major Powell and his collaborators a great number of vocabularies and a few grammars of American Indian languages had been accumulated, but no attempt had been made to give a succinct description of the morphology of all the languages of the continent. In order to do this, a series of publications was necessary. The subject matter had to be represented by a number of grammatical sketches, such as are now being assembled in the Handbook of American Indian Languages. To substantiate the inductions contained in this grammar, collections of texts are indispensable to the student, and finally a series of extended vocabularies are required. The plan, as developed between 1890 and 1900, contemplated the assembling in the bulletin series of the bureau of a series of texts which were to form the basis of the handbook. Of this series, Doctor Boas’s Chinook, Kathlamet, and Tsimshian [25]Texts, and Swanton’s Haida and Tlingit Texts, subsequently published, form a part, but at the time Swanton’s Texts appeared it was believed by Secretary Langley that material of this kind was too technical in character to warrant publication in a governmental series. It was, therefore, decided to discontinue the text series in the bulletins of the bureau and to divert them to the Publications of the American Ethnological Society and the Columbia University Contributions to Anthropology. Other series were commenced by the University of California and the University of Pennsylvania. The method of publication pursued at the present time, though different from that first planned, is acceptable, since all the material is accessible to students, and the bureau is saved the expense of publication.

Doctor Boas has been enabled to base all the sketches in the first volume of his handbook on accompanying text series, as follows:

  • (1) Athapascan. Texts published by the University of California.
  • (2) Tlingit. Texts published by the Bureau of American Ethnology, but too late to be used systematically.
  • (3) Haida. Texts published by the Bureau of American Ethnology.
  • (4) Tsimshian. Texts published by the Bureau of American Ethnology and the American Ethnological Society.
  • (5) Kwakiutl. Texts published by the Jesup Expedition and in the Columbia University series.
  • (6) Chinook. Texts published by the Bureau of American Ethnology.
  • (7) Maidu. Texts published by the American Ethnological Society, but too late to be used.
  • (8) Algonquian. Texts published by the American Ethnological Society.
  • (9) Sioux. Texts in Contributions to North American Ethnology.
  • (10) Eskimo. Texts in “Meddelelser om Grønland,” but not used systematically.


Although Doctor Boas has urged the desirability of undertaking the publication of the series of vocabularies, no definite steps have yet been taken toward the realization of this plan, owing largely to lack of funds for the employment of assistants in preparing the materials. It is hoped, however, that such a series of vocabularies, based on the published grammars and on the series of texts above referred to, may be prepared for publication in the near future. Much of the preliminary work has been done. There are, for example, extended manuscript dictionaries of the Haida, Tsimshian, Kwakiutl, Chinook, and Sioux, but none of them is yet ready for the printer.

The work on Part 2 of the Handbook of American Indian Languages is progressing satisfactorily. The sketch of the Takelma is in page form (pp. 1–296), but Doctor Boas has undertaken the correlation of this sketch with the Takelma Texts, which meanwhile have been published by the University of Pennsylvania, and a considerable amount of work remains to be done to finish this revision. The Coos grammar is in galleys. The Coos Texts are at the present writing being printed by the American Ethnological Society, and here also references are being inserted. Dr. Leo J. Frachtenberg has continued his collection of material for the handbook with commendable energy and intelligence. The field work has been financially aided by Columbia University, partly through a gift made by Mrs. Henry Villard and partly through funds provided by Mr. Homer E. Sargent. It has also been possible to utilize for the work on the Alsea the collections made at a former time by Prof. Livingston Farrand on an expedition supported by the late Mr. Henry Villard. On his last expedition Doctor Frachtenberg was able to determine that the Siuslaw is an independent stock, although morphologically affiliated with the Alsea, Coos, and Siuslaw group. He also collected extensive material on the Alsea and Molala.

The most important result, which is appearing more and more clearly from the investigations carried out under the direction of Doctor Boas, lies in the fact that it will be possible to classify American languages on a basis wider than [27]that of linguistic stocks. In 1893 Doctor Boas called attention to the fact that a number of languages in northern British Columbia seem to have certain morphological traits in common, by which they are sharply differentiated from all the neighboring languages, although the evidence for a common origin of the stocks is unsatisfactory. Doctor Boas and his assistants have followed this observation, and it can now be shown that throughout the continent languages may be classed in wider morphological groups. It is interesting to note that phonetic groups may be distinguished in a similar manner, but these do not coincide with the morphological groups. These observations are in accord with the results of modern inquiries in Africa and Asia, where the influence of Hamitic phonetics on languages of the Sudan and the influence of Sumerian on early Babylonian have been traced in a similar manner. Analogous conditions seem to prevail also in South Africa, where the phonetics of the Bushman languages have influenced the neighboring Bantu languages. In this way a number of entirely new and fundamental problems in linguistic ethnography have been formulated, the solution of which is of the greatest importance for a clear understanding of the early history of the American Continent.

The Handbook of American Indian Languages as planned at the present time deals exclusively with an analytical study of the morphology of each linguistic family, without any attempt at a detailed discussion of phonetic processes, their influence upon the development of the language, and the relation of dialects. Doctor Boas recommends that the present Handbook of American Indian Languages be followed by a series of handbooks each devoted to a single linguistic stock, in which the development of each language, so far as it can be traced by comparative studies, should be treated.

The study of aboriginal American music was conducted among the Chippewa Indians by Miss Frances Densmore, who extended her field of work previously begun among that people and elaborated the system of analyzing their songs. After spending several weeks on the Lac du Flambeau [28]Reservation in Wisconsin she accompanied the Chippewa from that reservation to the Menominee Reservation in the same State, where the Lac du Flambeau Chippewa ceremonially presented two drums to the Menominee. This ceremony was closely observed, photographs being taken and the speeches of presentation translated, and the songs of the ceremony were recorded by Miss Densmore on a phonograph after the return of the drum party to Lac du Flambeau. Many of the songs are of Sioux origin, as the ceremony was adopted from that people; consequently the songs were analyzed separately from those of Chippewa origin. Numerous old war songs were recorded at Lac du Flambeau, also songs said to have been composed during dreams, and others used as accompaniments to games and dances. The analytical tables published during the year in Bulletin 45, Chippewa Music, have been combined by Miss Densmore with those of songs collected during the year 1910–11, making a total of 340 Chippewa songs under analysis. These are analyzed in 12 tables, showing the structure, tone material, melodic progression, and rhythm of the songs, the rhythm of the drum, the relation between the metric unit of the voice and drum, and other points bearing on the development and form of primitive musical expression. This material is now almost ready for publication. The Sioux songs of the Drum-presentation ceremony, similarly analyzed, constitute the beginning of an analytical study of the Sioux music, which will be continued and extended during the fiscal year 1911–12.

Miss Alice C. Fletcher and Mr. La Flesche conducted the final proof revision of their monograph on the Omaha tribe, to accompany the Twenty-seventh Annual Report, which was in press at the close of the fiscal year. This memoir will comprise 658 printed pages and will form the most complete monograph of a single tribe that has yet appeared.

Mr. J. P. Dunn, whose studies of the Algonquian tribes of the Middle West have been mentioned in previous reports, deemed it advisable, before continuing his investigation [29]of the languages of the tribes comprising the former Illinois confederacy, to await the completion of the copying of the anonymous manuscript Miami-French Dictionary, attributed to Père Joseph Ignatius Le Boulanger, in the John Carter Brown Library at Providence, Rhode Island. Through the courteous permission of Mr. George Parker Winship, librarian, the bureau has been enabled to commence the copying of this manuscript, the difficult task being assigned to Miss Margaret Bingham Stillwell, under Mr. Winship’s immediate direction. At the close of the fiscal year 20½ pages of the original (comprising 95 pages of transcript), of the total of 155 pages of the dictionary proper, were finished and submitted to the bureau. It is hoped that on the completion of the copying the bureau will have a basis for the study of the Miami and related languages that would not be possible among the greatly modified remnant of the Indians still speaking them.

Prof. Howard M. Ballou, of Honolulu, has continued the preparation of the List of Works Relating to Hawaii, undertaken in collaboration with the late Dr. Cyrus Thomas, and during the year submitted the titles of many early publications, including those of obscure books printed in the Hawaiian language.

Mr. John P. Harrington, of the School of American Archæology, proceeded in March to the Colorado Valley in Arizona and California for the purpose of continuing his studies, commenced a few years before, among the Mohave Indians, and incidentally to make collections for the United States National Museum. Mr. Harrington was still among these Indians at the close of July, and the results of his studies, which cover every phase of the life of this interesting people, are to be placed at the disposal of the bureau for publication.



The general editorial work of the bureau continued in immediate charge of Mr. J. G. Gurley, editor. The editing of Part 2 of Bulletin 30, Handbook of American Indians, [30]was conducted by Mr. Hodge, while the editorial supervision of Bulletin 40, Handbook of American Indian Languages, was in charge of Doctor Boas. At the close of the fiscal year the Twenty-seventh Annual Report was nearly ready for the bindery; more than one-third of Bulletin 40, Part 2, was in type (mostly in pages); and Bulletin 47, a Dictionary of the Biloxi and Ofo Languages, by Dorsey and Swanton, was in page form. Some progress had been made in the revision of the galley proof of Bulletin 46, Byington’s Choctaw Dictionary, a work requiring the expenditure of considerable time and labor. Much of Mr. Gurley’s time during the year was given to the work of editing and proof reading the Twenty-seventh Annual Report and its accompanying paper, the monograph on the Omaha tribe, by Miss Fletcher and Mr. La Flesche, above referred to. The following publications were issued during the year:

Bulletin 30. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (F. W. Hodge, editor), Part 2.

Bulletin 37. Antiquities of Central and Southeastern Missouri (Gerard Fowke).

Bulletin 40. Handbook of American Indian Languages (Franz Boas, editor), Part 1.

Bulletin 43. Indian Tribes of the Lower Mississippi Valley and Adjacent Coast of the Gulf of Mexico (J. R. Swanton).

Bulletin 44. Indian Languages of Mexico and Central America and their Geographical Distribution (Cyrus Thomas and J. R. Swanton).

Bulletin 45. Chippewa Music (Frances Densmore).

Bulletin 50. Preliminary Report on a Visit to the Navaho National Monument, Arizona (J. Walter Fewkes).

Bulletin 51. Antiquities of the Mesa Verde National Park: Cliff Palace (J. Walter Fewkes).



The preparation of the illustrations for the publications of the bureau and the making of photographic portraits of [31]the members of visiting deputations of Indians were in charge of Mr. De Lancey Gill, illustrator. Of the 246 negatives made, 120 comprise portraits of visiting Indians. In addition, 372 photographic films, exposed by members of the bureau in connection with their field work, were developed and printed. Photographic prints for publication and exchange were made to the number of 1,469, and 22 drawings for use as illustrations were prepared. Mr. Gill was assisted, as in the past, by Mr. Henry Walther.



The library of the bureau has continued in the immediate charge of Miss Ella Leary, librarian. During the year that part of the southeastern gallery of the lower main hall of the Smithsonian Building which was vacated by the National Museum was assigned to the use of the bureau library, and three additional stacks were built, providing shelf room for about 2,500 volumes. Nearly that number of books which had been stored, and consequently made inaccessible, were placed on the new shelves. The policy carried out from year to year of increasing the library by exchange with other institutions has been continued, and special effort made to complete the collection of serial publications. Especially to be noted is the completion of the sets of publications of the Maine Historical Society and the Archives of Pennsylvania, both rich in material pertaining to the Indians. As in the past, it has been necessary for the bureau to make use of the Library of Congress from time to time, about 200 volumes having been borrowed during the year. Twelve hundred books and approximately 650 pamphlets were received, in addition to the current numbers of more than 600 periodicals. Of the books and pamphlets received, 148 were acquired by purchase, the remainder by gift or exchange. Six hundred and eighty-nine volumes were bound by the Government Printing Office, payment therefor being made from the allotment “for printing and binding * * * annual reports and bulletins of the Bureau of American Ethnology, [32]and for miscellaneous printing and binding,” authorized by the sundry civil act. This provision has enabled the bureau, during the last two years, to bind many volumes in almost daily use which were threatened with destruction. The catalogue of the bureau now records 17,250 volumes; there are also about 12,200 pamphlets, and several thousand unbound periodicals. The library is constantly referred to by students not connected with the bureau, as well as by various officials of the Government service.



As noted in previous reports, the principal property of the bureau consists of its library, manuscripts, and photographic negatives. In addition, it possesses a number of cameras, phonographic machines, and ordinary apparatus and equipment for field work, stationery and office supplies, a moderate amount of office furniture, typewriters, etc., and the undistributed stock of its publications. The sum of $304.62 was expended for office furniture (including bookstacks at a cost of $205) during the fiscal year.



For the purpose of extending the systematic researches of the bureau and of affording additional facilities for its administration, the following recommendations are made:

A question having arisen in the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives as to the purpose for which an increase of $2,000 in the bureau’s appropriation in 1909 was intended, the work of excavating and repairing antiquities existing in national parks and monuments has been curtailed. The importance of elucidating the archeological problems connected with these ancient remains and of repairing the more important of them for visitors and for future students is so apparent that the need of continuing this work is generally recognized; consequently an estimate of $4,000 “for the exploration and preservation of antiquities” has been submitted for the next fiscal year. [33]

Ethnological research in Alaska is urgently needed by reason of the great changes taking place among the Indians and the Eskimo since the influx of white people a few years ago. Unless this investigation is undertaken at once the aboriginal inhabitants will have become so modified by contact with whites that knowledge of much of their primitive life will be lost. It is recommended that the sum of $4,500 be appropriated for this work.

The more speedy extension of ethnological researches among the remnants of the Algonquian tribes formerly occupying the Middle West is desired. In a number of cases these tribes are represented by only a few survivors who retain any knowledge of the traits, language, and customs of their people; hence it will be impossible to gather much of this information unless the work is extended more rapidly, as the funds now at the bureau’s disposal for this purpose are inadequate. The additional sum of $1,000 is recommended for this purpose.

As previously stated, the demand for the Handbook of American Indians has been so great that many schools and libraries have necessarily been denied. The need of a revised edition is urgent, but the revision can not be satisfactorily undertaken and the latest information incorporated without the employment of special ethnologic assistants—those who have devoted special study to particular tribes—and editorial and clerical aid. It is recommended that the sum of $3,800 be appropriated for this purpose.

The bureau is constantly in receipt of requests from schools, historical societies, compilers of textbooks, etc., for photographic prints of Indian subjects, since it is generally known that the bureau possesses many thousands of negatives accumulated in the course of its investigations. As no funds are now available for this purpose, it is recommended that a reasonable sum, say $1,000, be appropriated for the purpose of furnishing prints for educational purposes. In most cases applicants would doubtless be willing to pay the cost, but at present the bureau has no authority for selling photographs. [34]

The manuscripts accumulated by the bureau form a priceless collection; indeed many of them, if lost, could not be replaced, since they represent the results of studies of Indians who have become extinct or have lost their tribal identity. It is therefore urgently recommended that the sum of $1,350 be appropriated for fireproofing a room and for providing metal cases for the permanent preservation of the manuscripts.

F. W. Hodge,
Ethnologist-in-Charge. [35]





Part 1

Collected by JEREMIAH CURTIN and J. N. B. HEWITT; edited by J. N. B. HEWITT [39]




Introduction        43

Part 1. Material Collected by Jeremiah Curtin


1. The sister and her six elder brothers 75
2. The child and his uncle 81
3. Djogeon and his uncle 84
4. The woman who married a great serpent 86
5. The ghost woman and the hunter 90
6. Hahnowa and his forces on the warpath 92
7. The old man’s grandson and the chief of the deserted village 95
8. The man who married a buffalo woman 98
9. A woman and her bear lover 102
10. The fox and the rabbit 105
11. The snake with two heads 106
12. A hunter pursued by Genonsgwa 106
13. The grandmother and her granddaughter 111
14. The woman who became a snake from eating fish 111
15. Gaqga makes a journey and kills many people 113
16. Ohohwa and the two sisters 115
17. A great snake battle 117
18. The Ongwe Ias and his younger brother 118
19. Haieñdoñnis and Yenogeauns 121
20. The man with a panther-skin robe and his brother with a turkey-skin robe 127
21. Deadoeñdjadases and the old woman’s grandson 135
22. Hatʻhondas (the Listener) 139
23. The story of the Ohohwa people 144
24. The chestnut tree guarded by the seven sisters 147
25. The otter’s heart and the claw fetishes 151
26. The seven sisters who produce wampum 154
27. The forsaken infant and Gaha 160
28. The old man and the boy 162
29. The story of the girls who went for a husband 166
30. The creation of man 168
31. Ganiagwaihegowa 169
32. The man who became a fish, and a Ganiagwaihe 169
33. A dead man speaks to his mother through the fire 172
34. The potent boy 176
35. The faithless wife and the three old men 180
36. The Dagwanoenyent and her husband 187
37. A raccoon story [40] 191
38. The self-sacrifice of two dogs for their master 193
39. The three young women 195
40. Hinon and the Seneca warriors 197
41. Hodadeñon and Yenyentʻhwus 199
42. The uncle and his nephew 223
43. Hinon saves a woman from suicide 228
44. The crawfish and the raccoon 229
45. The race between the turtle and the bear 229
46. The woman who became a man-eater through the orenda of her husband’s dogs 231
47. Ganyadjigowa 236
48. Hadentʻheni and Hanigongendatʻha 251
49. Dagwanoenyent 261
50. The shaman and his nephew 262
51. The horned snake and the young woman 268
52. The man pursued by his sister-in-law 270
53. The story of bloody hand 273
54. The seven stars of the dipper 276
55. The story of the two brothers 277
56. Hodionskon 283
57. The cannibal uncle, his nephew, and the nephew’s invisible brother 285
58. Doonongaes and Tsodiqgwadon 296


59. Genonsgwa 341
60. The grandmother and her grandson 347
61. Heart squeezing and the dance of naked persons 355
62. Hotʻho, the Winter God 356
63. Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa and his three brothers 357
64. The moose wife 361
65. Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa 365
66. The porcupine’s grandson and the bear 365
67. Genonsgwa 369
68. Hinon Hohawaqk and his grandmother 372
69. Hagowanen and Otʼhegwenhda 376
70. Okteondon and Haieñtʻhwus. Part I 389
71. Okteondon and Haieñtʻhwus. Part II 399
72. Uncle and nephew and the white otters 401
73. Deoyadastatʻhe and Hodjowiski 406
74. A genesis tradition 409
75. The two brothers and the mice fetishes 415
76. The orphan 417
77. The great worm and Hinon 420
78. The chipmunk and the bear 421
79. The great white beaver and the Lake of the Enchanted Waters 422


80. Ganon, the Seneca war chief 428
81. Hatcinondon: A historical tradition 432
82. Godiont and the Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa 436
83. Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa [41] 437
84. Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa 437
85. Genonsgwa 437
86. Genonsgwa 439
87. Genonsgwa 440
88. Genonsgwa 440
89. Genonsgwa 441
90. Bald Eagle sends Mud Turtle around the world 450
91. The poor hunter and Djogeon 452
92. The man killed by the three hunters 453
93. Hinon and the Iroquois 456


94. A shaman’s deed 457
95. Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa (modern) 457
96. Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa 458
97. The vampire skeleton 458


98. A tale of the sky world 460
99. Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa and Hotʻhoh 462
100. The morning star and the cannibal wife 464
101. The woman and the cannibal thunder 469
102. Gaqga and Sgagedi 472
103. Dagwanoenyent and Gaasyendietʻha 474
104. Dagwanoenyentgowa Sʻhagodigendji and Yenonsgwa 481
105. The twelve brothers and their uncle, Dagwanoenyent 485
106. Ongwe Ias and his brother, Dagwanoenyent 488


107. Notes on the medicine nikahnegaah 491

Part 2. Seneca Legends and Myths, Collected by J. N. B. Hewitt

108. The legend of Hayanowe (He-the-fleet-footed) 495
109. Oñgweʻ Hañgesʹʻhäʼ and Gajihsondis (Skin-of-man and Spike-hitter) 501
110. Gajihsondis, the Amulet-hitter 519
111. The legend of Honenhineh and his younger brothers 525
112. The legend of Godasiyo 537
113. A legend of an anthropomorphic tribe of rattlesnakes 539
114. The twins: grandsons of Gahoⁿʻdjiʼdāʹʻhoⁿk 543
115. The legend of the misogamist 555
116. The acts of the seventh son, Djĕñgoʹʻseʻ 565
117. The legend of Hodadeñon and his elder sister 573
118. The legend of Gādjĭsʹdodoʻ and Sʻhogoⁿʻʹgwāʼs 586
119. The legend of Deodyatgaowen (Deodiăʼtgaōʹweĕⁿʻ = His-body-is-bifid or two-cleft) 607
120. An address of thanksgiving to the powers of the Master of Life 632
121. A corn legend and a flood story 636
122. The legend of man’s acquisition of corn 642
123. The bean woman (a fragment) 648
124. The legend of Onenha (the corn) [42] 649
125. The origin of white corn, or kaneñhageñat 652
126. The origin of the Porcupine people or clan 654
127. The origin of the Bear songs and dances 658
128. The origin of the Pigeon songs and dances 663
129. The legend of Hahadodagwatʻha 666
130. The story of Hahskwahot (= It-standing-stone) 680
131. The legend of Genonsgwa 681
132. The legend of the Stone Coats (Genonsgwa) 682
133. The story of the white pigeon, the chief of the pigeons 694
134. The weeping of the Corn, and Bean, and Squash people 701
135. Sʻhagowenotʻha, the spirit of the tides 705
136. Sʻhagowenotʻha (text), with interlinear translation 715
137. The legend of Doädanegeñ and Hotkwisdadegeña 743
138. The legend of Doädanegeñ and Hotkwisdadegeña (text), with interlinear translation 756

Notes        791 [43]


Collected by Jeremiah Curtin and J. N. B. Hewitt; edited by J. N. B. Hewitt




The Seneca

The following brief description of the Seneca is taken, with slight alterations, from the article on that tribe in the Handbook of American Indians:

The Seneca (= Place of the Stone) are a noted and influential tribe of the Iroquois, or the so-called Five Nations of New York. When first known they occupied a region in central New York, lying between the western watershed of the Genesee r. and the lands of the Cayuga about Seneca lake, having their council fire at Tsonontowan, near Naples, in Ontario co. After the political destruction of the Erie and Neuters, about the middle of the 17th century, the Seneca and other Iroquois people carried their settlements westward to L. Erie and southward along the Alleghany into Pennsylvania. They are now settled chiefly on the Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Tonawanda res., N. Y., and some live on Grand River res., Ontario. Various local bands have been known as Buffalo, Tonawanda, and Cornplanter Indians; and the Mingo, formerly in Ohio, have become officially known as Seneca from the large number of that tribe among them.

In the third quarter of the 16th century the Seneca was the last but one of the Iroquois tribes to give its suffrage in favor of the abolition of murder and war, the suppression of cannibalism, and the establishment of the principles upon which the League of the Iroquois was founded. However, a large division of the tribe did not adopt at once the course of the main body, but, on obtaining coveted privileges and prerogatives, the recalcitrant body was admitted as a constituent member in the structure of the League. The two chiefships last added to the quota of the Seneca were admitted on condition of their exercising functions belonging to a sergeant-at-arms of a modern legislative body as well as those belonging to a modern secretary of state for foreign affairs, in addition to their duties as federal chieftains; indeed, they became the warders of the famous “Great Black Doorway” of the League of the Iroquois, called Kaʻnhoʻhwădjiʼgōʹnăʻ by the Onondaga.

In historical times the Seneca have been by far the most populous of the five tribes originally composing the League of the Iroquois. The Seneca belong in the federal organization to the tribal phratry known by the political name Hoñdoñnīsʹʻĕⁿʼ, meaning, ‘they are clansmen of the fathers,’ of which the Mohawk are the other member, when the tribes are organized as a federal council; but when ceremonially organized the Onondaga also belong to this phratry. In the federal council the Seneca are represented by eight federal chiefs, but two of these were added to the original six present [44]at the first federal council, to give representation to that part of the tribe which had at first refused to join the League. Since the organization of the League of the Iroquois, approximately in the third quarter of the 16th century, the number of Seneca clans, which are organized into two phratries for the performance of both ceremonial and civil functions, have varied. The names of the following nine have been recorded: Wolf, Hoñnatʻhaiioñʹnĭʻ; Bear, Hodidjioñniʹʼgā; Beaver, Hodigĕⁿʹʼgegāʼ; Turtle, Hadiniăʹʻdĕñʻ; Hawk, Hadisʻhweⁿʹʼgaiiuʼ; Sandpiper, Hodiʼneʻsiʹiuʼ, sometimes also called Snipe, Plover, and Killdeer; Deer, Hadinioñʹgwaiiuʼ; Doe, Hodinoⁿʹʼdeogāʼ, sometimes Hoñnoñtʹgoñdjĕⁿʻ; Heron, Hodidaioⁿʹʼgāʼ. In a list of clan names made in 1838 by Gen. Dearborn from information given him by Mr Cone, an interpreter of the Tonawanda band, the Heron clan is called the Swan clan with the native name given above. Of these clans only five had an unequal representation in the federal council of the League; namely, the Sandpiper, three, the Turtle, two, the Hawk, one, the Wolf, one, and the Bear, one.

One of the earliest known references to the ethnic name Seneca is that on the Original Carte Figurative, annexed to the Memorial presented to the States-General of the Netherlands, Aug. 18, 1616, on which it appears with the Dutch plural as Sennecas. This map is remarkable also for the first known mention of the ancient Erie, sometimes called Gahkwas or Kahkwah; on this map they appear under the name last cited, Gachoi (ch = kh), and were placed on the N. side of the W. branch of the Susquehanna. The name did not originally belong to the Seneca, but to the Oneida, as the following lines will show.

In the early part of December, 1634, three Dutchmen made a journey (the itinerary of which was duly recorded in a Journal1) in the interests of the fur-trade from Fort Orange, now Albany, N. Y., to the Mohawk and the “Sinnekens” to thwart French intrigue there. Strictly speaking, the latter name designated the Oneida, but at this time it was a general name, usually comprising the Onondaga, the Cayuga, and the Seneca, in addition. At that period the Dutch and the French commonly divided the Five Iroquois tribes into two identical groups; to the first, the Dutch gave the name Maquas (Mohawk), and to the latter, Sinnekens (Seneca, the final -ens being the Dutch genitive plural), with the connotation of the four tribes mentioned above. The French gave to the latter group the general name “les Iroquois Superieurs”, “les Hiroquois d’eu haut”, i.e. the Upper Iroquois, “les Hiroquois des pays plus hauts, nommés Sontouaheronnons” (literally, ‘the Iroquois of the upper country, called Sontouaheronnons’), the latter being only another form of “les Tsonnontouans” (the Seneca); and to the first group the designations “les Iroquois inférieurs” (the Lower Iroquois), and “les Hiroquois d’en bas, nommés Agnechronnons” (the Mohawk; literally, ‘the Iroquois from below, named Agnechronnons’). This geographical rather than political division of the Iroquois tribes, first made by Champlain and the early Dutch at Ft. Orange, prevailed until about the third quarter of the 17th century. Indeed, Governor Andros, two years after Greenhalgh’s visit to the several tribes of the Iroquois in 1677, still wrote, “Ye Oneidas deemed ye first nation of sineques:” The Journal of the Dutchmen, [45]mentioned above, records the interesting fact that during their visit to the tribes they celebrated the New Year of 1635 at a place called Enneyuttehaga or Sinnekens. The first of these names was the Iroquois, and the second, the Mohegan, name for the place, or, preferably, the Mohegan translation of the Iroquois name. The Dutch received their first knowledge of the Iroquois tribes through the Mohegan. The name Enneyuttehaga is evidently written for Onĕñiuteʼagāʹʼgeʻ, ‘at the place of the people of the standing (projecting) stone.’ At that date this was the chief town of the Oneida. The Dutch Journal identifies the name Sinnekens with this town, which is presumptive evidence that it is the Mohegan rendering of the Iroquois local name Onĕñʹiuteʼ, ‘it is a standing or projecting stone’, employed as an ethnic appellative. The derivation of Sinnekens from Mohegan appears to be as follows: aʻsinni, ‘a stone, or rock’, -ika or -iga, denotive of ‘place of’, or ‘abundance of’, and the final -ens supplied by the Dutch genitive plural ending, the whole Mohegan synthesis meaning ‘place of the standing stone’; and with a suitable pronominal affix, like o- or wă-, which was not recorded by the Dutch writers, the translation signifies, ‘they are of the place of the standing stone.’ This etymology is confirmed by the Delaware name, Wʼtassone, for the Oneida, which has a similar derivation. The initial w- represents approximately an o-sound, and is the affix of verbs and nouns denotive of the third person; the intercalary -t- is merely euphonic, being employed to prevent the coalescence of the two vowel sounds; and it is evident that assone is only another form of aʻsinni, ‘stone’, cited above. Hence it appears that the Mohegan and Delaware names for the Oneida are cognate in derivation and identical in signification. Heckewelder erroneously translated Wʼtassone by ‘stone pipe makers.’

Thus, the Iroquois Onĕñiuteʼāʹgăʼ, the Mohegan Sinnekens, and the Delaware Wʼtassone are synonymous and are homologous in derivation. But the Dutch, followed by other Europeans, used the Mohegan term to designate a group of four tribes, to only one of which, the Oneida, was it strictly applicable. The name Sinnekens, or Sennecaas (Visscher’s map, ca. 1660), became the tribal name of the Seneca by a process of elimination which excluded from the group and from the connotation of the general name the nearer tribes as each with its own proper native name became known to the Europeans. Obviously, the last remaining tribe of the group would finally acquire as its own the general name of the group. The Delaware name for the Seneca was Mexaxtĭnʹnĭ (the Maechachtinni of Heckewelder), which signifies ‘great mountain’; this is, of course, a Delaware rendering of the Iroquois name for the Seneca, Djiionoñdowānĕñʹʻākă, or Djiionoñdowānĕñʻroñʹnoⁿʼ, ‘People of the Great Mountain.’ This name appears disguised as Trudamani (Cartier, 1534–35), Entouhonorons, Chouontouaroüon = Chonontouaronon (Champlain, 1615), Onentouaronons (Champlain, 1627), and Tsonontouan or Sonontouan (Jes. Rel., passim).

Previous to the defeat and despoliation of the Neuters in 1651 and the Erie in 1656, the Seneca occupied the territory drained by Genesee r., eastward to the lands of the Cayuga along the line of the watershed between Seneca and Cayuga lakes.

The political history of the Seneca is largely that of the League of the Iroquois, although owing to petty jealousies among the various tribes the Seneca, like the others, sometimes acted independently in their dealings with aliens. But their independent action appears never to have been a serious and deliberate rupture of the bonds uniting them with the federal government of the League, thus vindicating the wisdom and foresight of its founders in permitting every tribe to retain and exercise a large measure of autonomy in the structure of the federal government. It was sometimes apparently imperative [46]that one of the tribes should enter into a treaty or other compact with its enemies, while the others might still maintain a hostile attitude toward the alien contracting party.

During 1622 the Montagnais, the Algonkin, and the Hurons sought to conclude peace with the Iroquois (Yroquois = Mohawk division?), because “they were weary and fatigued with the wars which they had had for more than 50 years.” The armistice was concluded in 1624, but was broken by the continued guerrilla warfare of the Algonkin warriors; for this reason the Seneca (“Ouentouoronons d’autre nation, amis desdits Yrocois”) killed in the “village of the Yrocois” the embassy composed of a Frenchman, Pierre Magnan, and three Algonquian ambassadors. This resulted in the renewal of the war. So in Sept. 1627, the Iroquois, including the Seneca, declared war against the Indians and the French on the St. Lawrence and its northern affluents by sending various parties of warriors against them.

From the Jesuit Relation for 1635 (p. 34, 1858) it is learned that the Seneca, after defeating the Hurons in the spring of 1634, made peace with them. The Hurons in the following year sent an embassy to Sonontouan, the chief town of the Seneca, to ratify the peace, and while there learned that the Onondaga, the Oneida, the Cayuga, and the Mohawk were desirous of becoming parties to the treaty.

In 1639 the war was renewed by the Hurons, who in May captured 12 prisoners from the Seneca, then regarded as a powerful people. The war continued with varying success. The Jesuit Relation for 1641 (p. 75, 1858) says the Seneca were the most feared of the enemies of the Hurons, and that they were only one day’s journey from Ongniaahra (Niagara), the most easterly town of the Neuters.2 The Relation for 1643 (p. 61) says that the Seneca (i.e. “les Hiroquois d’en haut”), including the Cayuga, the Oneida, and the Onondaga, equaled, if they did not exceed, in number and power the Hurons, who previously had had this advantage; and that the Mohawk at this time had three villages with 700 or 800 men of arms who possessed 300 arquebuses that they had obtained from the Dutch and which they used with skill and boldness. According to the Jesuit Relation for 1648 (p. 49, 1858), 300 Seneca attacked the village of the Aondironnon, and killed or captured as many of its inhabitants as possible, although this people were a dependency of the Neuters who were at peace with the Seneca at this time. This affront nearly precipitated war between the Iroquois and the Neuters.3

The Seneca warriors composed the larger part of the Iroquois warriors who in 1648–49 assailed, destroyed, and dispersed the Huron tribes; it was likewise they who in 1649 sacked the chief towns of the Tionontati, or Tobacco tribe; and the Seneca also took a leading part in the defeat and subjugation of the Neuters in 1651 and of the Erie in 1656. From the Journal des PP. Jésuites for 1651–52 (Jes. Rel., Thwaites’ ed., XXXVII, 97, 1898) it is learned that in 1651 the Seneca, in waging war against the Neuters, had been so signally defeated that their women and children were compelled to flee from Sonontowan, their capital, to seek refuge among the neighboring Cayuga. [47]

In 1652 the Seneca were plotting with the Mohawk to destroy and ruin the French settlements on the St. Lawrence. Two years later the Seneca sent an embassy to the French for the purpose of making peace with them, a movement which was probably brought about by their rupture with the Erie. But the Mohawk not desiring peace at that time with the French, perhaps on account of their desire to attack the Hurons on Orleans id., murdered two of the three Seneca ambassadors, the other having remained as a hostage with the French. This act almost resulted in war between the two hostile tribes; foreign affairs, however, were in such condition as to prevent the beginning of actual hostility. On Sept. 19, 1655, Fathers Chaumonot and Dablon, after pressing invitations to do so, started from Quebec to visit and view the Seneca country, and to establish there a French habitation and teach the Seneca the articles of their faith.

In 1657 the Seneca, in carrying out the policy of the League to adopt conquered tribes upon submission and the expression of a desire to live under the form of government established by the League, had thus incorporated eleven different tribes into their body politic.

In 1652 Maryland bought from the Minqua, or Susquehanna Indians, i.e. the Conestoga, all their land claims on both sides of Chesapeake bay up to the mouth of Susquehanna r. In 1663, 800 Seneca and Cayuga warriors from the Confederation of the Five Nations were defeated by the Minqua, aided by the Marylanders. The Iroquois did not terminate their hostilities until famine had so reduced the Conestoga that in 1675, when the Marylanders had disagreed with them and had withdrawn their alliance, the Conestoga were completely subdued by the Five Nations, who thereafter claimed a right to the Minqua lands to the head of Chesapeake bay.

In 1744 the influence of the French was rapidly gaining ground among the Seneca; meanwhile the astute and persuasive Col. Johnson was gradually winning the Mohawk as close allies of the British, while the Onondaga, the Cayuga, and the Oneida, under strong pressure from Pennsylvania and Virginia, sought to be neutral.

In 1686, 200 Seneca warriors went W. against the Miami, the Illinois in the meantime having been overcome by the Iroquois in a war lasting about five years. In 1687 the Marquis Denonville assembled a great horde of Indians from the region of the upper lakes and from the St. Lawrence—Hurons, Ottawa, Chippewa, Mississauga, Miami, Illinois, Montagnais, Amikwa, and others—under Durantaye, DuLuth, and Tonti, to serve as an auxiliary force to about 1,200 French and colonial levies, to be employed in attacking and destroying the Seneca. Having reached Irondequoit, the Seneca landing-place on L. Ontario, Denonville built there a stockade in which he left a garrison of 440 men. Thence advancing to attack the Seneca villages, he was ambushed by 600 or 800 Seneca, who charged and drove back the colonial levies and their Indian allies, and threw the veteran regiments into disorder. Only by the overwhelming numbers of his force was the traitorous Denonville saved from disastrous defeat.

In 1763, at Bloody Run and the Devil’s Hole, situated on Niagara r. about 4 m. below the falls, the Seneca ambushed a British supply train on the portage road from Ft Schlosser to Ft Niagara, only three escaping from a force of nearly 100. At a short distance from this place the same Seneca ambushed a British force composed of two companies of troops who were hastening to the aid of the supply train, only eight of whom escaped massacre. These bloody and harsh measures were the direct result of the general unrest of the Six Nations and the western tribes, arising from the manner of the recent occupancy of the posts by the British, after the surrender of Canada by the French [48]on Sept. 8, 1760. They contrasted the sympathetic and bountiful paternalism of the French régime with the neglect and niggardliness that characterized the British rule. Such was the state of affairs that on July 29, 1761, Sir Wm. Johnson wrote to General Amherst: “I see plainly that there appears to be an universal jealousy amongst every nation, on account of the hasty steps they look upon we are taking towards getting possession of this country, which measures, I am certain, will never subside whilst we encroach within the limits which you may recollect have been put under the protection of the King in the year 1726, and confirmed to them by him and his successors ever since and by the orders sent to the governors not to allow any one of his subjects settling thereon … but that it should remain their absolute property.” But, by the beginning of the American Revolution, so well had the British agents reconciled them to the rule of Great Britain that the Seneca, together with a large majority of the people of the Six Nations, notwithstanding their pledges to the contrary, reluctantly espoused the cause of the British against the colonies. Consequently they suffered retribution for their folly when Gen. Sullivan, in 1779, after defeating their warriors, burned their villages and destroyed their crops.

There is no historical evidence that the Seneca who were on the Ohio and the s. shore of L. Erie in the 18th and 19th centuries were chiefly an outlying colony from the Iroquois tribe of that name dwelling in New York. The significant fact that in historical times their affiliations were never with the Iroquois, but rather with tribes usually hostile to them, is to be explained on the presumption that they were rather some remnant of a subjugated tribe dependent on the Seneca and dwelling on lands under the jurisdiction of their conquerors. It is a fair inference that they were largely subjugated Erie and Conestoga.

The earliest estimates of the numbers of the Seneca, in 1660 and 1677, give them about 5,000. Later estimates of the population are: 3,500 (1721); 1,750 (1736); 5,000 (1765); 3,250 (1778); 2,000 (1783); 3,000 (1783), and 1,780 (1796). In 1825 those in New York were reported at 2,325. In 1850, according to Morgan, those in New York numbered 2,712, while about 210 more were on Grand River res. in Canada. In 1909 those in New York numbered 2,749 on the three reservations, which, with those on Grand r., Ontario, would give them a total of 2,962. The proportion of Seneca now among the 4,071 Iroquois at Caughnawaga, St Regis, and Lake of Two Mountains, Quebec, can not be estimated.


Characterization of Contents

The Seneca material embodied in the following pages consists of two parts.

Part 1 comprises the matter recorded in the field by the late Jeremiah Curtin in 1883, 1886, and 1887 on the Cattaraugus reservation, near Versailles, New York, including tales, legends, and myths, several being translations of texts belonging to this collection made by the editor. This work of Mr. Curtin represents in part the results of the first serious attempt to record with satisfactory fullness the folklore of the Seneca.

The material consists largely of narratives or tales of fiction—naïve productions of the story-teller’s art which can lay no claim to be called myths, although undoubtedly they contain many things that characterize myths—narratives of the power and deeds of one or more of the personified active forces or powers immanent in and [49]expressed by phenomena or processes of nature in human guise or in that of birds or beasts. They do not refer to the phenomena personified as things unique, but as equaled or fully initiated by human personages made potent by orenda, or magic power, hence they describe a period long after the advent of man on earth, and in this respect do not exhibit the character of myths.

Again, in some of the narratives the same incident or device appears as common property; that is to say, these several stories employ the same episode for the purpose of expansion and to glorify the hero as well as his prowess. An instance in point is that in which the hero himself, or others at his order, gathers the bones of the skeletons of other adventurous heroes like himself, who failed in the tests of orenda and so forfeited their lives to the challenger, and, hastily placing them in normal positions with respect to one another, quickens them by exclaiming, “This tall hickory tree will fall on you, brothers, unless you arise at once,” while pushing against the tree itself. Sometimes it is a tall pine that so figures in these accounts. Again, a pupil of a sorcerer or a noted witch is forbidden to go in a certain direction, while permission is given to go in any other direction. But at a certain time the budding hero or champion wizard goes surreptitiously in the forbidden direction, and at once there is collision between his orenda, or magic power, and that of the well-known wizards and sorcerers dwelling in that quarter. This pupil is usually the only living agent for the preservation of the orenda of some noted family of wizards or witches. The hero, after performing certain set tasks, overcomes the enemies of his family and then brings to life those of his kindred who failed in the deadly strife of orendas.

The identifications and interpretative field notes accompanying Mr. Curtin’s material by some mischance were not made a part of the present collection. Their loss, which has added greatly to the work of the editor, is unfortunate, as Mr. Curtin possessed in so marked a degree the power of seizing readily the motive and significance of a story that his notes undoubtedly would have supplied material for the intelligent explanation and analysis of the products of the Indian mind contained in this memoir.

The texts recorded in the Seneca dialect by Mr. Curtin were very difficult to read, as they had been recorded with a lead pencil and had been carried from place to place until they were for the greater part almost illegible. The fact that these texts were the rough field notes of Mr. Curtin, unrevised and unedited, added to the difficulty of translating them. Fortunately, in editing a large portion of one of these manuscripts, the editor had the assistance of his niece, Miss Caroline G. C. Hewitt, who speaks fluently the Seneca dialect of the Iroquois languages. [50]

Part 2 also consists of Seneca legends and myths, which are translations made expressly for this work from native texts recorded by Mr. Hewitt in the autumn of 1896. Two of the texts so translated appear here, revised and edited, with a closely literal interlinear translation in English. The matter of Part 2 constitutes about two-fifths of the whole, containing only 31 items, while there are 107 in Part 1; but the latter narratives are uniformly much longer than the former.

The Seneca informants of Mr. Hewitt in the field were Mr. Truman Halftown, Mr. John Armstrong, and Chief Priest Henry Stevens, all of the Cattaraugus Reservation, N. Y. These worthy men, who have all passed away, were uniformly patient, kind, and interested. They were men whose faith in the religion of their ancestors ennobled them with good will, manliness, and a desire to serve.

Special attention is drawn to the freedom of these Seneca narratives from coarseness of thought and expression, although in some respectable quarters obscenity seems to be regarded as a dominant characteristic of American Indian myths and legendary lore. This view is palpably erroneous and unjust, because it is founded on faulty and inadequate material; it is, moreover, governed largely by the personal equation.

To form an impartial and correct judgment of the moral tone of the myths and legends of the American Indian, a distinction must be made between myths and legends on the one hand and tales and stories which are related primarily for the indecent coarseness of their thought and diction on the other; for herein lies the line of demarcation between narratives in which the rare casual references to indelicate matters are wholly a secondary consideration and not the motives of the stories, and those ribald tales in which the evident motive is merely to pander to depraved taste by detailing the coarse, the vulgar, and the filthy in life.

It is, indeed, a most unfortunate circumstance in the present study of the spoken literature of the North American Indians that the headlong haste and nervous zeal to obtain bulk rather than quality in collecting and recording it are unfavorable to the discovery and acquisition of the philosophic and the poetic legends and myths so sacred to these thoughtful people. The inevitable result of this method of research is the wholly erroneous view of the ethical character of the myths and legends and stories of the American Indian, to which reference has already been made. The lamentable fact that large portions of some collections of so-called American Indian tales and narratives consist for the greater part of coarse, obscene, and indelicate recitals in no wise shows that the coarse and the indelicate were the primary motives in the sacred lore of the people, but it does indicate the need of clean-minded collectors of these narratives, men [51]who know that the obscene can not be the dominant theme of the legendary lore of any people. Such men will take the necessary time and trouble to become sufficiently acquainted with the people whose literature they desire to record to gain the confidence and good will of the teachers and the wise men and women of the community, because these are the only persons capable of giving anything like a trustworthy recital of the legendary and the poetic narratives and the sacred lore of their people.

Should one attempt to acquire standard specimens of the literature of the white people of America by consulting corner loafers and their ilk, thereby obtaining a mass of coarse and obscene tales and stories wholly misrepresenting the living thought of the great mass of the white people of the country, the procedure would in no wise differ, seemingly, from the usual course pursued by those who claim to be collecting the literature of the American Indian people by consulting immature youth, agency interpreters, and other uninformed persons, rather than by gaining the confidence of and consulting the native priests and shamans and statesmen.

To claim that in American Indian communities their story-tellers, owing to alleged Christian influence, are editing the mythic tales and legends of their people into a higher moral tone is specious and is a sop thrown to religious prejudice for the purpose of giving color to the defense of an erroneous view of the moral tone of such myths and legends.

It is notorious that in this transition period of American Indian life the frontiersman and the trader on the borderland have not been in general of such moral character as to reflect the highest ideals in thought or action. Few genuine native legends and myths show any so-called “moral” revision from contact with “white people.” It is, of course, undeniable that the coarse, the rude, and the vulgar in word, thought, and deed are very real and ever-present elements in the life of every so-called Christian community; and they are present in every other community. But this fact does not at all argue that it is useful to collect and record in detail the narratives of these indecent aspects of life in any community, because the wholesome, the instructive, and the poetic and beautiful are, forsooth, far more difficult to obtain.

Except in the case of novices in the work it may be stated that the moral tone or quality of the mythic and legendary material collected in any community is measurably an unconscious reflex of the mental and moral attitude of the collector toward the high ideals of the race.

It is a pleasure to make reference here to the work of Mr. Frank Hamilton Cushing, Dr. Washington Matthews, and Mr. Jeremiah Curtin, who, in order to study with discrimination and sympathy the [52]spoken literature of the American Indians, took the necessary trouble to learn the motif of the narratives of mythic and legendary origin of these people; hence they did not feel it incumbent upon them to apologize for the moral tone of the legends and myths they recorded and published, for their own mental attitude toward the wholesome, the worthy, and the noble was such as to enable them to discover and to appreciate the same qualities in the thinking of the people they studied. To expound like the priest, to speak like the prophet, and to think like the myth-maker, were among the gifts of these men which enabled them to understand the motives underlying the myths and legends of the tribal men of the world, while they were at the same time fully alive to the scientific use and value of these same poetic narratives when analyzed and interpreted sympathetically.

Mr. Curtin obtained his Seneca material from the following persons of the Seneca tribe, many of whom have since died: Abraham Johnny-John, Solomon O’Bail, George Titus, John Armstrong, Zachariah Jimeson, Andrew Fox, Henry Jacob, Henry Silverheels, Peter White, Black Chief, and Phoebe Logan. He recorded an extensive vocabulary of the Seneca, with which he had become familiar by intensive study of its structure.

Mr. Curtin, with the mind of a master, fully grasped the importance and the paramount significance of the intelligent collection, and the deeper sympathetic study, of legends and myths in general, and of those of the American Indians in particular, in the final establishment of the science of mythology.

To the editor it is one of the delightful memories of his early official life to recall the many instructive hours spent with Mr. Curtin in discussing the larger significance and the deeper implications which are found in the intelligent study and interpretation of legends, epics, and myths—the highest type of poetic and creative composition. And for this reason he has so freely cited from the writings of Mr. Curtin the meaning and the value which such a study and analysis had for Mr. Curtin and has for those who like him will fully appreciate that “the Indian tales reveal to us a whole system of religion, philosophy, and social polity. … the whole mental and social life of the race to which they belong is evident in them.”

The following quotations give all too briefly, perhaps, his philosophic views on these questions in his own deft, inimitable way. It is believed that these citations will enable the reader and the student to gain some clear idea of the pregnant lessons Mr. Curtin drew from the analysis and interpretation of the legends and myths which he recorded, as well as of his method of studying and expounding them. The Seneca collection herewith presented forms only a small portion of his recorded mythic material.

A few tens of years ago it was all-important to understand and explain the brotherhood and blood-bond of Aryan nations, and their relation to the Semitic [53]race; to discover and set forth the meaning of that which in mental work, historic strivings, and spiritual ideals ties the historic nations to one another. At the present time this work is done, if not completely, at least measurably well, and a new work awaits us, to demonstrate that there is a higher and a mightier bond, the relationship of created things with one another, and their inseverable connection with That which some men reverence as God, but which other men call the Unknowable, the Unseen.

This new work, which is the necessary continuation of the first, and which alone can give it completeness and significance, will be achieved when we have established the science of mythology.4

Again, he asks: “How is this science from which men may receive such service to be founded?”

On this point Mr. Curtin is clear and instructive, maintaining that such a science of mythology can be founded—

In one way alone: by obtaining from races outside of the Aryan and Semitic their myths, their beliefs, their view of the world; this done, the rest will follow as a result of intelligent labor. But the great battle is in the first part of the work, for the inherent difficulty of the task has been increased by Europeans, who have exterminated great numbers among the best primitive races, partially civilized or rather degraded others, and rendered the remainder distrustful and not easily approached on the subject of their myths and ethnic beliefs.

Its weightiest service will be rendered in the domain of religion, for without mythology there can be no thorough understanding of any religion on earth, either in its inception or its growth.5

The next citation shows Mr. Curtin’s complete mastery of the subject in hand, and his conclusions are well worth the careful consideration of every student of mythic and legendary lore. In reference to the collection of myths and tales and beliefs he presents the following wise conclusions:

There is everywhere a sort of selvage of short tales and anecdotes, small information about ghosts and snakes, among all these races, which are easily obtained, and most Europeans seem to think that when they have collected some of these trivial things they have all that the given people possess. But they are greatly mistaken. All these people have something better. There was not a single stock of Indians in America which did not possess, in beautiful forms, the elements of an extensive literature with a religion and philosophy which would have thrown light on many beginnings of Aryan and Semitic thought, a knowledge of which in so many cases is now lost to us, but which we hope to recover in time … if civilized men instead of slaying “savages,” directly and indirectly, will treat them as human beings, and not add to the labor of those workers who in the near future will surely endeavor, singly or in small groups, to study the chief primitive races of the earth and win from them, not short insignificant odds and ends of information but great masses of material; … these races possess in large volume some of the most beautiful productions of the human mind, and facts that are not merely of great, but of unique, value.6 [54]

But we have no tale in which it is clear who all the characters are; the modifying influences were too great and long-continued to permit that. Though myth-tales are, perhaps, more interesting … in their present form, they will have not their full interest for science till it is shown who most of the actors are under their disguises.

This is the nearest task of mythology.

There are masterpieces in literature filled with myths, inspired with myth conceptions of many kinds, simply colored by the life of the time and the nations among which these masterpieces were written and moulded to shape by artists, made strong from the spirit of great, simple people, as unknown to us as the nameless heroes who perished before Agamemnon. How much mythology is there in the Iliad and the Odyssey, in the Æneid, in the Divine Comedy of Dante, in the works of the other three great Italian poets? How much in Paradise Lost? How could “King Lear” and “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” or the “Idylls of the King,” have been written without Keltic mythology? Many of these literary masterpieces have not merely myths in their composition as a sentence has words, but the earlier ones are enlarged or modified myth-tales of those periods, while the later ones are largely modeled on and inspired by the earlier.7

Again he declares:

It should be remembered that whatever be the names of the myth-tale heroes at present, the original heroes were not human. They were not men and women, though in most cases the present heroes or heroines bear the names of men and women, or children; they perform deeds which no man could perform, which only one of the forces of Nature could perform, if it had the volition and desires of a person. This is the great cause of wonderful deeds in myth-tales.8

With reference to the work already done in American Indian mythology, Mr. Curtin remarks:

We have now in North America a number of groups of tales obtained from the Indians which, when considered together, illustrate and supplement one another; they constitute, in fact, a whole system. These tales we may describe as forming collectively the creation myth of the New World.… In some cases, simple and transparent, it is not difficult to recognize the heroes; they are distinguishable at once either by their names or their actions or both. In other cases these tales are more involved, and the heroes are not so easily known, because they are concealed by names and epithets. Taken as a whole, however, the Indian tales are remarkably clear.9

As to the content of these American Indian tales and legends, Mr. Curtin says:

What is the substance and sense of these Indian tales, of what do they treat? To begin with, they give an account of how the present order of things arose in the world, and are taken up with the exploits, adventures, and struggles of various elements, animals, birds, reptiles, insects, plants, rocks, and other objects before they became what they are.… According to the earliest tales of North America, this world was occupied, prior to the appearance of man, by beings called variously “the first people,” “the outside people,” or simply “people,”—the same term in all cases being used for people that is applied to Indians at present. [55]

These people, who were very numerous, lived together for ages in harmony. There were no collisions among them, no disputes during that period; all were in perfect accord. In some mysterious fashion, however, each individual was changing imperceptibly; an internal movement was going on. At last a time came when the differences were sufficient to cause conflict, except in the case of a group to be mentioned hereafter, and struggles began. These struggles were gigantic, for the “first people” had mighty power; they had also wonderful perception and knowledge. They felt the approach of friends or enemies even at a distance; they knew the thought in another’s heart. If one of them expressed a wish, it was accomplished immediately; nay, if he even thought of a thing, it was there before him. Endowed with such powers and qualities, it would seem that their struggles would be endless and indecisive; but such was not the case. Though opponents might be equally dextrous, and have the power or the wish or the word in a similar degree, one of them would conquer in the end through wishing for more effective and better things, and thus become the hero of a higher cause; that is, a cause from which benefit would accrue to mankind, the coming race.10

… Among living creatures, we are not to reckon man, for man does not appear in any of those myth tales; they relate solely to extra-human existences, and describe the battle and agony of creation, not the adventures of anything in the world since it received its present form and office. According to popular modes of thought and speech, all this would be termed the fall of the gods, for the “first people” of the Indian tales correspond to the earliest gods of other races.11

In the theory of spiritual evolution, worked out by the aboriginal mind of America, all kinds of moral quality and character are represented as coming from an internal movement through which the latent, unevolved personality of each individual of these “first people,” or gods, is produced. Once that personality is produced, every species of dramatic situation and tragic catastrophe follows as an inevitable sequence. There is no more peace after that; there are only collisions followed by combats which are continued by the gods till they are turned into all the things, animal, vegetable, and mineral—which are either useful or harmful to man, and thus creation is accomplished. During the period of struggles, the gods organize institutions, social and religious, according to which they live. These are bequeathed to man; and nothing that an Indian has is of human invention, all is divine. An avowed innovation, anything that we call reform, anything invented by man, would be looked on as sacrilege, a terrible, an inexpiable crime. The Indian lives in a world prepared by the gods, and follows in their footsteps—that is the only morality, the one pure and holy religion.12

This creation myth of the New World is a work of great value, for by aid of it we can bring order into mythology, and reconstruct, at least in outline, and provisionally, that early system of belief which was common to all races: a system which, though expressed in many languages and in endlessly varying details, has one meaning, and was, in the fullest sense of the word, one—a religion truly catholic and œcumenical, for it was believed in by all people, wherever resident, and believed in with a vividness of faith, and a sincerity of attachment, which no civilized man can even imagine, unless he has had long experience of primitive races.13 [56]

The war between the gods continued till it produced on land, in the water, and the air, all creatures that move, and all plants that grow. There is not a beast, bird, fish, reptile, insect, or plant which is not a fallen divinity; and for every one noted there is a story of its previous existence.

This transformation of the former people, or divinities, of America was finished just before the present race of men—that is, the Indians—appeared.14

In some mythologies a few personages who are left unchanged at the eve of man’s coming transform themselves voluntarily. The details of the change vary from tribe to tribe, but in all it takes place in some described way, and forms part of the general change, or metamorphosis, which is the vital element in the American system. In many, perhaps in all, the mythologies, there is an account of how some of the former people, or gods, instead of fighting and taking part in the struggle of creation and being transformed, retained their original character, and either went above the sky or sailed away westward to where the sky comes down, and passed out under it, and beyond, to a pleasant region where they live in delight. This is that contingent to which I have referred, that part of the “first people” in which no passion was developed; they remained in primitive simplicity, undifferentiated, and are happy at present. They correspond to those gods of classic antiquity who enjoyed themselves apart, and took no interest whatever in the sufferings or the joys of mankind.15

Everything in nature had a tale of its own, if some one would but tell it, and during the epoch of constructive power in the race,—the epoch when languages were built up and great stories made,—few things of importance to people of that time were left unconsidered; hence there was among the Indians of America a volume of tales as immense, one might say, as an ocean river. This statement I make in view of materials which I have gathered myself, and which are still unpublished,—materials which, though voluminous, are comparatively meager, merely a hint of what in some tribes was lost, and of what in others is still uncollected.…

From what is known of the mind of antiquity, and from what data we have touching savage life in the present, we may affirm as a theory that primitive beliefs in all places are of the same system essentially as the American. In that system, every individual existence beyond man is a divinity, but a divinity under sentence,—a divinity weighed down by fate, a divinity with a history behind it, a history which is tragedy or comedy as the case may be. These histories extend along the whole line of experience, and include every combination conceivable to primitive man.16

During eight years of investigation among Indian tribes in North America, I obtained the various parts of that Creation myth mentioned in this introduction, from tribes that were remote from one another, and in different degrees of development. Such tales I found in the east, in the central regions, and finally in California and Oregon. Over this space, the extreme points of which are 3,000 miles apart, each tribe has the Creation myth,—one portion being brought out with special emphasis in one tribe, and another portion in a different one. In tribes least developed, the earliest tales are very distinct, and specially valuable on some points relating to the origin and fall of the gods. Materials from the extreme west are more archaic and simple than those of the east. In fact the two regions present the two extremes, in North America, of least developed and most developed, aboriginal thought. In this is their interest. They form one complete system.17 [57]

To sum up, we may say, that the Indian tales reveal to us a whole system of religion, philosophy, and social polity.…

Those tales form a complete series. The whole mental and social life of the race to which they belong is evident in them.18

The results to be obtained from a comparison of systems of thought like the Indian and the Gaelic would be great, if made thoroughly. If extended to all races, such a comparison would render possible a history of the human mind in a form such as few men at present even dream of,—a history with a basis as firm as that which lies under geology.… We must make large additions indeed to our knowledge of primitive peoples. We must complete the work begun in America.… The undertaking is arduous, and there is need to engage in it promptly. The forces of civilized society, at present, are destroying on all sides, not saving that which is precious in primitive people. Civilized society supposes that man, in an early degree of development, should be stripped of all that he owns, both material and mental, and then be refashioned to serve the society that stripped him. If he will not yield to the stripping and training, then slay him.19

In the United States, little was accomplished till recent years; of late, however, public interest has been roused somewhat, and, since Major Powell entered the field, and became Director of the Bureau of Ethnology, more has been done in studying the native races of America than had been done from the discovery of the country up to that time.18

Of course there is no true information in the American ethnic religion as to the real changes which affected the world around us; but there is in it, as in all systems like it, true information regarding the history of the human mind. Every ethnic religion gives us documentary evidence. It gives us positive facts which, in their own sphere, are as true as are facts of geology in the history of the earth’s crust and surface. They do not tell us what took place in the world without, in the physical universe, they had no means of doing so; but they do tell us what took place at certain periods in the world of mind, in the interior of man.20

An ethnic or primitive religion is one which belongs to people of one blood and language, people who increased and developed together with the beliefs of every sort which belong to them. Such a religion includes every species of knowledge, every kind of custom, institution, and art. Every aboriginal nation or human brood has its gods. All people of one blood and origin are under the immediate care and supervision of their gods, and preserve continual communication and converse with them. According to their own beliefs, such people received from their gods all that they have, all that they practice, all that they know. Such people, while their blood is unmixed and their society unconquered, adhere to their gods with the utmost fidelity.

The bonds which connect a nation with its gods, bonds of faith, and those which connect the individuals of that nation with one another, bonds of blood, are the strongest known to primitive man, and are the only social bonds in prehistoric ages.21

A good deal has been given to the world of late on mythology by able writers who with good materials would attain good results; but as the materials at their disposal are faulty, much of their work with all its cleverness is mainly a persistent pouring of the empty into the void. [58]

We have seen attempts made to show that real gods have been developed by savage men from their own dead savage chiefs. Such a thing has never been done since the human race began, and it could never have been imagined by any man who knew the ideas of primitive races from actual experience or from competent testimony. The most striking thing in all savage belief is the low estimate put on man when unaided by divine, uncreated power. In Indian belief every object in the universe is divine except man.22

Vegetable gods, so called, have been scoffed at by writers on mythology. The scoff is baseless, for the first people were turned, or turned themselves, into trees and various plants as frequently as into beasts and other creatures. Maize or Indian corn is a transformed god who gave himself to be eaten to save man from hunger and death. When Spanish priests saw little cakes of meal eaten ceremonially by Indians, and when the latter informed them that they were eating their god, the good priests thought this a diabolical mockery of the Holy Sacrament, and a blasphemous trick of Satan to ruin poor ignorant Indians.

I have a myth in which the main character is a violent and cruel old personage who is merciless and faith-breaking, who does no end of damage till he is cornered at last by a good hero and turned into the wild parsnip. Before transformation this old parsnip could travel swiftly, but now he must stay in one place, and of course kills people only when they eat him.

The treasure saved to science by the primitive race of America is unique in value and high significance. The first result from it is to carry us back through untold centuries to that epoch when man made the earliest collective and consistent explanation of this universe and its origin.

Occupying this vantage-ground, we can now throw a flood of light on all those mythologies and ethnic religions or systems of thought from which are lost in part, great or small, the materials needed to prove the foundation and beginnings of each of them. In this condition are all ancient recorded religions, whether of Greece, Rome, Egypt, Chaldea, Persia, or India.23

Again, in speaking of the first people, the ancients, or the man-beings of the oldest myth, or rather cycle of myths, in America, Mr. Curtin continues his exposition of the significance of these poetic figures:

After they had lived on an indefinite period, they appear as a vast number of groups, which form two camps, which may be called the good and the bad. In the good camp are the persons who originate all the different kinds of food, establish all institutions, arts, games, amusements, dances, and religious ceremonies for the coming race.

In the other camp are cunning, deceitful beings, ferocious and hungry man-eaters—the harmful powers of every description. The heroes of the good camp overcome these one after another by stratagem, superior skill, swiftness, or the use of the all-powerful wish; but they are immortal, and, though overcome, can not be destroyed.…

When the present race of men (that is, Indians) appear on the scene, the people of the previous order of affairs have vanished. One division, vast in number, a part of the good and all the bad ones, have become the beasts, birds, fishes, reptiles, insects, plants, stones, cold, heat, light, darkness, fire, rain, snow, earthquake, sun, moon, stars—have become, in fact, every living thing, object, agency, phenomenon, process, and power outside of man. Another [59]party much smaller in number, who succeeded in avoiding entanglement in the struggle of preparing the world for man, left the earth. According to some myths they went beyond the sky to the upper land; according to others they sailed in boats over the ocean to the West—sailed till they went out beyond the setting sun, beyond the line where the sky touches the earth. There they are living now free from pain, disease, and death, which came into the world just before they left, but before the coming of man and through the agency of this first people.…

This earliest American myth cycle really describes a period in the beginning of which all things—and there was no thing then which was not a person—lived in company without danger to each other or trouble. This was the period of primæval innocence, of which we hear so many echoes in tradition and early literature, when that infinite variety of character and quality now manifest in the universe was still dormant and hidden, practically uncreated. This was the “golden age” of so many mythologies—the “golden age” dreamed of so often, but never seen by mortal man; a period when, in their original form and power, the panther and the deer, the wolf and the antelope, lay down together, when the rattlesnake was as harmless as the rabbit, when trees could talk and flowers sing, when both could move as nimbly as the swiftest on earth.

Such, in a sketch exceedingly meager and imperfect, a hint rather than a sketch, is the first great cycle of American mythology—the creation-myth of the New World. From this cycle are borrowed the characters and machinery for myths of later construction and stories of inferior importance; myths relating to the action of all observed forces and phenomena; struggles of the seasons, winds, light and darkness; and stories in great numbers containing adventures without end of the present animals, birds, reptiles, and insects—people of the former world in their fallen state.…

To whatever race they may belong, the earliest myths, whether of ancient record or recent collection, point with unerring indication to the same source as those of America, for the one reason that there is no other source. The personages of any given body of myths are such manifestations of force in the world around them, or the result of such manifestations, as the ancient myth-makers observed; and whether they went backwards or forwards, these were the only personages possible to them, because they were the only personages accessible to their senses or conceivable to their minds.…

Since they had passions varying like those of men, the myth-makers narrate the origin of these passions, and carried their personages back to a period of peaceful and innocent chaos, when there was no motive as yet in existence. After a while the shock came. The motive appeared in the form of revenge for acts done through cupidity or ignorance; strife began, and never left the world of the gods till one quota of them was turned into animals, plants, heavenly bodies, everything in the universe, and the other went away unchanged to a place of happy enjoyment.

All myths have the same origin, and all run parallel up to a certain point, which may be taken as the point to which the least-developed people have risen.24

And Mr. Curtin further says:

At that period the earth … was occupied by personages who are called people, though it is well understood at all times that they were not human; they were persons, individuals.25


To trace the ancestral sources of a people’s thought and character, a careful and critical study of the myths, and later of the mythology of that people, first exclusively and then comparatively, is required. This study deals with ideas and concepts expressed by three well-known Greek terms, mythos, epos, and logos, and also with those expressed by the term resulting from the combination of the first and the last of these words. These are among many words of human speech which comprise all human experience and history. It is remarkable also that each may be translated into English by the term “word.”

The word “mythology” is a philosophic term composed of two very interesting and instructive Greek words, mythos and logos.

The first term, mythos, denoted whatever was thoughtfully uttered by the mouth of savage and barbaric men—the expression of thought which had been shut in to mature—a story of prehistoric time, a naïve, creative concept stated in terms of human life and activity—a poem. In matters of religion and cosmogony such an utterance was final and conclusive to those men.

The second term, logos, having at the beginning approximately the same meaning as mythos, became in Greek philosophic thinking the symbol or expression of the internal constitution as well as the external form and sign of thought, and so became “the expression of exact thought—… exact because it corresponds to universal and unchanging principles,” reaching “its highest exaltation in becoming not only reason in man but the reason in the universe—the Divine Logos, the thought of God, the Son of God, God himself” (Curtin). The logos is thus the expression of the philosophy of men measurably cultured; it is the intelligent exegesis of the content of the mythos in terms of objective and subjective reality; it is scientific because it is logical; it is the later literary criticism—the analytic and synthetic treatment of myths and epics. So, in the experience of every people having an ethnic past, mythos and logos represent two well-defined stages of human thought—the naïve and the philosophic—and also the elder time and the modern. So mythology may be defined as the science or the logic of the myth; it belongs to times of relatively high culture and does not flourish in savagery, for savages have only myths. It may be well to note that a third stage of thought is expressed in the Greek term epos, which is the adornment or garbing and dramatizing of the myth concepts in poetic form, in story, saga, and legend—the epic.

Only modern research with its critical exegesis and sympathetic interpretation brings down the study of the concepts of the myths of the fathers measurably to the character of a science.

The highest type of poetry expresses itself in myth, in the epos, and in the logos. For men of undeveloped thought, of inchoate [61]mentation, this is the mental process through which they dimly apprehend the significance of the complex and closely interrelated phenomena of life and of environing nature, and the medium by which they harmonize the ceaseless functioning of these with their own experience, with the activity of their own subconscious mind, and with the divine promptings and visions vouchsafed them by the dawn of their own superconscious intellect.

The initial step of the process is the ingenuous act of the imagination in personifying, yea, in ideally humanizing, the bodies, elements, and forces of environing nature; as, for instance, the picturing by the Iroquois and their neighbors, the Algonquian, of snow as the living body of a man formed by the God of Winter, whose breath was potent enough to drive animals and birds into their winter retreats and some even into hibernation, represented as the hiding of the animals from his brother, the Master or God of Life.

The next step in the process is the socialization of this vast company—the imputation of life, soul, purpose, and a rational rôle to them constitutes the epic, which is also the poet’s handiwork.

As the basis of religious expression, Seneca-Iroquoian myths and legends, in common with those of all other men, are to most people the empty tales of superstition, the foundations of idolatry, because its gods and deities, forsooth, have never actually existed. But myths are fictitious only in form and dress, while they are true in matter and spirit, for truth is congruity between reason and objects, and hence is eternal and universal.

The human side of these personifications of the processes and phenomena of nature in some instances has become so real and so natural that these beings no longer act or function in terms of the processes of nature only, but as the thaumaturgic fetishes of potent sorcerers, performing wonderful feats of orenda, as they are represented as doing in a large number of these narratives. Now, these accounts are certainly not myths and are not legends in the true sense of the term, but are, rather, fictitious narratives or tales of reputed individual human achievement, quite incredible, of course, as authentic acts of mankind. They center about the reputed affairs of a human being, or do so at least in the view of the modern story-teller.

In the collection of Seneca narratives of Mr. Curtin eight relate to the Genonsgwa (the Stone Coats or Stone Giants), six to Hiʹʼnoⁿʼ (Hinon) or the Thunder People, six to the Dagwanoenyent or Whirlwind People, five to the Shagodiioweq or Wind People, and three to the Djogeon or Dwarf People. It is probable that the two groups of “wind” peoples originally arose from a single personage. From single personages like Hiʹʼnoⁿʼ or Thunder, Shagodiioweq or the Wind, and Dagwanoenyent or the Cyclone or Whirlwind, the [62]story-tellers of to-day have created large bodies of fictitious people, representing a reversal of the original process by which the first great concepts were formed.

But truth seemingly was not readily appreciable by primal men until it was dramatized in saga, in legend, and in myth, in formulas, rites, ceremonies, customs, and material symbols based on those narratives; in short, it had to be couched in terms of human expression and activity. These symbols and figurative expressions bore the fashion and impress of the time and the place, and so before truth so dramatized can be fully understood it must be carefully freed from the garb and trappings of local and temporal use and need; in brief, the literal unreality of myth must be lifted from the substantive and the spiritual realities it symbolizes.

And, for this reason, a deity embodying or representing one of the great recurrent processes of nature or one of the seemingly changeless features of the universe is something vastly more than a mere figment of the human brain; for, although conceived in terms of man, the “deity” in his own sphere and function is limitless in power, incomprehensible in mode of life and action, and abides without beginning of days or end of years—properties which make the god divine and infinitely superior to man, the creature of divine power.

One of the fundamental teachings of the study of the myths of the American Indians is that the so-called Genesis or Creation myths relate the activities and exploits, in more or less detail, of the “elder people,” the “first people,” whom men later call the gods. Rightly understood and sympathetically conceived, these events are not predicated of human beings as such. These narrations explain in just what manner the present order of things in nature arose; they detail what took place in a condition of things different from the present, and which were, in the minds of their relators, the necessary antecedent processes resulting in the establishment of the present order of nature. They treat only of the “first people.” None relate to human beings and none treat of things done since man appeared on earth.

Human in form and in feeling, and yet most divine, were the gods and deities of the ancient Seneca and the other Iroquoian peoples. While the divine social and political organization was necessarily for psychological reasons a close reflex or replica of the human, and although both gods and man derived descent from an original first parent, yet the first divine ancestor was a self-existing god, and the first man was the creature of one of these divine Powers.

The expression of the mythic—the cosmogonic, the cosmologic—in terms of human function and attribute and activity is well illustrated in the legends and myths of the Iroquoian peoples. In these [63]sagas the personifications of the elements and forces of nature are classified as human by the use of the term oñʹgwe, “a human being or mankind” (for the word has both a singular and a plural signification), to designate them.

The task of classifying these narratives, even tentatively, is not an easy one, for the proportion of these stories which seem to be unquestionably fiction to those which are myths and legends is relatively much larger than might be suspected without some investigation. It is clearly wrong to call everything legend or myth when the evidence from the facts seems to forbid such action. For it is evident that very many of the narratives are fiction—stories composed and related to amuse, to mystify, or to glorify some hero, or perhaps to spread the fame of some noted sorcerer and his fetishes.

The setting and the framework of the narrative or story may be taken from a myth and one or more myth episodes incorporated in it, but the result is a fabrication because it does not rest on facts of human experience.

Now, for example, the narratives concerning the so-called Stone Coats, Stone Giants, or the Genonsgwa are not myths but legends. These beings do not figure in the Creation Myth of the Iroquois, but are a brood of beings whose connection with Stone is due to false etymology of a proper name in a myth.26 This is an interesting and instructive example of forgotten derivations of words and names and the resultant new conceptions.

In the Genesis myth of the Iroquoian peoples the Winter Season, by personification, was placed in the class of man-beings with the name, “He-who-is-clad-in-ice,” or “He-who-is-ice-clad.” Now it so happens that the word for ice and for chert or flint stone is derived from a common stem whose fundamental meaning is “glare,” “crystal,” or “what is ice-like.” But the myth-tellers, in order to add an air of the mystical to their recital, did not fail to play on the double meaning of the word for ice, and so represented the Winter Man-being as “The Flint-clad Man-being” rather than as “The Ice-clad Man-being.” And the results of Winter’s cold and frost were told in terms of flint or chert stone, and so bergs and cakes and blocks of ice became in the narration objects of flint and chert stone. Winter’s cold is conveyed from place to place by means of cakes and bergs of ice, which are transformed by the poet into canoes of flint or stone. And in time the stone canoe is transferred from myth to the realm of fiction and legend to glorify the fame of some human hero.

And in the thinking of the Iroquois the Flint-clad Man-being became separated and distinct from the Man-being of the Winter. [64]At this point the fictitious Man-being who was Stone-clad parted company forever with the personified nature force or process that was frost-bearing and ice-clad. The former was gradually reduced to a peculiar species of mankind—the stone giant, for he was represented as stone-clad, while the latter retained his first estate as one of the chief characters in the Genesis myth of the Iroquoian peoples.

The ordinary Iroquoian concept of the Stone Coat or Stone Giant indicates, to the student at least, that the Winter God, the Great Frost Giant of the common Iroquoian Genesis myth, was its source. Aside from the evident etymologic connection, the most significant feature is the constant tradition that the home land of these anthropoid monsters is in the regions of the north where this same authority usually places the burial place of the Winter God after his defeat and death at the hands of his twin brother, the Life God, sometimes called the Master of Life.

The tales which relate how the Stone Coat people are made from perverse men and women first by carefully covering the body with pitch and then by rolling and wallowing in sand and down sand banks repeatedly, shows how utterly forgotten is the true source of this interesting concept among the story tellers and their hearers. There is no doubt that the original “Stone Coat” was the “Ice-Clad Winter God.” In the Curtin collection there are eight stories which refer to the Genonsgwa, or Stone Coats, sometimes called Stone Giants, but there is nothing in them to connect these peculiar fictitious monsters with the original conception. In none are the operations of the winter process predicated of these fictitious beings. They are merely exaggerated human figures and not symbols of a process of nature, their deeds are the deeds of men, and are not the acts of a process of nature expressed in terms of human activity.

And thus is founded the race of the Stone Giants or Stone Coats, or more popularly the Giants. When once these fictitious beings were regarded as human monsters they soon became confused with cruel hermits and bloodthirsty sorcerers who because of evil tastes were cannibals and dwelt apart from the habitations of men, who shunned and feared them, and the tales about them became narratives that do not detail the activities of the Winter God—the personified process of nature; and so, like their human prototypes, they increased and multiplied mightily, and so were as numerous as the leaves on the trees.

The persons or figures produced by the attribution of human life and mind to all objective and subjective things were, by virtue of the reality of the elements they embodied, the deities or the gods of this system of thought. In brief, they were composed of both the metamorphosed and of the unchanged first or ancient people who in distinctive character were conceived of as the formal and outward expression [65]of human mind. In the course of time these deities or gods are said to have taught their people the arts and crafts and the elements of their culture and their faith, thus revealing their will and the things which were to be in the future. This divine knowledge, this wisdom of the gods, was obtained or revealed in dreams or visions and by theophanies. But a knowledge of the activities of the people holding these views makes it evident that the doctrines and the arts and the crafts taught by the gods and the institutions founded by them for the people are in fact the activities of the people themselves which had been unconsciously imputed to these deities. Of course, the gods can teach and can reveal only what has been before imputed to them by the people.

The original and chief person in the myth was not a human being, although he was represented as possessed of the form, the desires, and the volition of a person. He is reputed to have performed acts which no human being had the power to perform, acts which only the functioning of a process of nature or of life could accomplish.

In some of these narratives human beings, bearing human names, have been substituted and the heroes and heroines of these stories are men, women, and children.

The substitution of human beings in the stead of the personified forces or processes of nature supplies the reason that apparently wonderful superhuman deeds are accomplished by the human substitutes, whereas the acts portrayed are those of natural forces, not of human brain and brawn.

The stories of the Dagwanoenyent, or Flying Heads, Cyclones, and Whirlwinds, of the Genonsgwa, or Stone Coats (the Frost Giants, or Gods of Winter, but originally named Tawiskaron), and of the Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa, or Wind God, purport to relate historical events, although they are mythic and legendary in form. But unlettered peoples do not transmit history. The writing of history presupposes not only the art of writing but also some kind of permanent social and political organization. Individual experiences fade rapidly, for lacking the needful general interest they do not unite with others in forming even some phase of the local history of a group. The experiences of individuals and even of small unimportant groups of people also lack the interest necessary to bring about their transmission as history. Hence such uncivilized peoples leave to their posterity no authentic accounts of the events of their times, for only in song and saga, where poetry mingles with fact, do they attempt to transmit the narratives of historical events and experiences.

But with the organization and development of society into greater complexity of social and governmental organization there arises the need for the transmission of a record of tribal or communal experiences [66]in which a certain number of persons are intensely interested—tribal wars, feats and acts and sayings of great leaders and reformers, and other noteworthy public events claim permanency of record, and thus history is written.

Popular tradition treats historical events in a naïve poetical way, and authentic historical experiences may thus be preserved. Through poetic treatment oral tradition becomes legend, so that one of the clearest criterions of legend is the fact that it frequently relates things that are not credible. Legend is the tradition of men who have not the art of writing and is a particular form of poetic narrative. So that in origin and nature history differs from legend because of difference of spheres of interest. Private and personal affairs and experiences and things that are of some interest to the common people and heroes, great personages, and public events and affairs are made attractive to the popular minds by means of poetic treatment. Legend is oral tradition in use among folk who do not make use of writing or other graphic art to secure permanency of record, while history is the written record of events and achievements and thoughts of men, which always presupposes the existence and the practice of graphic or scriptorial art.

Now, oral tradition, or legend, is not transmitted without important variation in details from generation to generation, and so it is an untrustworthy medium for the conveyance of historical events.

The saga, or popular story, may become sacred legend—that is, a characteristically “sacred” narrative about the “first people,” or the gods—or it may remain simply a story or tale. These two classes of story or narrative had specific names among the Seneca and their congeners of the Iroquoian stock. The sacred legend was called Kăʹkāāʼ, or Kăʹkarăʼ by the r-using dialects of the Iroquoian tribes. The literal meaning of this noun is not known; in the Onondaga dialect the k-sound would be replaced by the g-sound. These legends are “sacred” to the extent that they would not be related except during certain seasons of the year for the fear of breaking a religious taboo, forbidding strictly the telling of this class of narrative. The transgression of this prohibition was punished by the offended and vexed “first people,” concerning whom the myths or stories are related, although modern story-tellers, with scarce an exception, who have forgotten the true and logical reason for the inhibition mistakenly declare that the aforesaid penalty would be inflicted by the toads or snakes or by some other subtle animal.

The myths of the American Indian refer to an order of things which preceded the present order, and to a race of man-beings who dwelt first in the world above the sky and later in small number only on this earth and who were the so-called “first people,” “the ancients.” [67]It is evident that myths of origins project backward to an assumed condition of things the story of a day or of a year, and creation is described as Spring on a universal scale, that is, it explains the manner in which the order of things, existent where the stories are told, came about, as a Rebirth of Nature. But no one will contend that there were human eyewitnesses of what the narratives report.

The wise men, prophets, and priests of tribal men painted these tales with the glamour and witchery of poetry. Myths are the poetic judgments of tribal men about the phenomena of life and the outside world and embody the philosophy of these men about the problems and mysteries of the universe around them and in their own lives. So, in order to understand these narratives, it is necessary to study them with the deepest sympathy. But our sympathy with the viewpoint of the myth narratives of tribal men should not veil the realities of science from our minds.

Piloted by science in seeking to know the truth about the universe, scholars do not expect to discover it in the myth-lore or the folk-lore of tribal men. To study the birth and the growth of opinions forms one of the most instructive chapters in the science of mind or psychology.

The Seneca name Sʻhagodiioweʹʻgōwā or Sʻhagodiioweʹqgōwā designates one of the famous “man-beings” who are of the lineage of the “first people.” Some unknowing Indian interpreters render this term erroneously by the English words “false face,” which is a translation which effectually conceals the literal meaning of the expression, which is freely “The Great Ones Who Defend Them.” But as an appellative the term is also applied to a single one of these fictitious beings. The plural concept is evidently a late development, and probably arose after the establishment of societies whose members, when ceremonially attired, must for one thing wear a wooden mask having as its essential mark a wry mouth. So it is clear that the expression “false face” applies to the members of such societies and not at all to the man-beings so impersonated. The Iroquoian myth of Creation knows only one man-being, who assumed the duty of protecting mankind from pestilence and disease. He was the God of the Air or the Wind, sometimes appearing as the Whirlwind. Ceremonially he is addressed as Sʻhedwásōʹdăʻ or as Etʻhiʻsōʹdăʻ, both meaning “He Who Is Our Grandfather.”

It would seem that the pluralizing of the concept has resulted in a marked forgetting of the original objective reality represented in the concept, which in turn detracts from the high esteem in which the original Wind God was held. The Onondaga name of this personage is Haduʹʼiʼ; the Mohawk, Akoñʹwărăʼ. Both these names have arisen from something peculiar to members of the so-called “False Face Societies,” the first meaning, from the common postures [68]assumed by the members, “hunch-backed,” and the second, “mask,” from the wooden mask worn by the members of the society when in session. So the expression of the evil side of the manifestations of the Power of the Wind or Air, Pestilence, Disease, and Death may safely be predicated of this member of the “first people.”

A god or deity exerts or maintains its influence over the mind and heart of man because it is something more than a mere creature of the human brain. The god exercises certain attributes, peculiarities and forces which place him outside the sphere of human knowledge and experience and competence into a class by himself; he embodies in himself, according to belief, the power to function as a process or force of the universe plus the attributed human faculties and aspect.

Some of the French writers among the early explorers in North America refer to a native belief in “the ancients of animals,” which, it was stated, were regarded as the type and the progenitors of each particular species of animal. But this statement gives only a glimpse of a larger faith. These so-called “ancients of animals” were indeed only a part of the great company of “the ancients,” “the ancestors,” or “the first people,” each being a personified element or process of life or of outside nature, who became by fated metamorphosis the reputed progenitors of all faunal and floral life on the earth.

But an interpretative understanding of the Genesis myth of the American Indians shows that these “ancients,” these primal “ancestors,” were regarded as “human beings,” as belonging to that class of animate beings to which the Indian himself belonged. Yet, these “ancients” were the “gods,” “the beings,” or “the existences,” of anthropic form, character, and volition, whose metamorphosis later produced, according to the Indian philosophy, the present order of things on earth. So, the “first beings,” conceived as “human beings,” were indeed the gods—the personified agents of the powers, processes, and phenomena of nature.

It is this principle of transformation, or metamorphosis, that in part explains why there are represented largely “anthropic gods” with “animal masks” in Central America, Mexico, India, China, Egypt, Babylonia, and Assyria, and not many true “animal gods” with “human masks.”

But in some places there arose confusion between these poetic creations of a childlike faith and the lineal ancestors of men. When pride of birth and of position dominated the minds of aristocratic men they sought to trace their pedigree to the gods, and so they blindly claimed descent from these primal gods, who, in their anthropic aspect, were mere fictions of the mind, and so in time and in some lands this process resulted in what is usually called “ancestor worship.” This is, therefore, never a primitive faith, but only a decadent culture. [69]

All early men of inchoate mentation, of self-centered thinking, shared their needs and afflictions, their woes and ambitions, their sufferings and aspirations, and their joys and blessings with their gods, feeling that their gods who bore their own likeness by the unconscious imputation of human nature to them were endowed with the attributes, whims, virtues, and frailties of human nature. They believed that their gods must be men—man-beings, men like themselves—else these deities could not foresee and understand their necessities and so could not sympathize with men everywhere. Hence an Iroquois, thinking and speaking of their deities only in terms of human speech and thought, designates a god or other spirit of his faith by the word denoting man, human being, or mankind.

Of the gods and deities of Iroquois myths the editor has written:

Like most American Indian mythologies, the Iroquoian deals with three great mythic cosmical periods. In the first dwelt a race of gigantic anthropic beings—man-beings, let them be called, because though they were reputed to have been larger, purer, wiser, more ancient, and possessed of more potent orenda (q. v.), than man, and having superior ability to perform the great elemental functions characterizing definitely the things represented by them, they nevertheless had the form, mien, and mind of man, their creator; for unconsciously did man create the gods, the great primal beings of cosmic time—the controllers or directors, or impersonations, of the bodies and phenomena of nature—in his own image. To these man-beings, therefore, were imputed the thought, manners, customs, habits, and social organization of their creators; notwithstanding this, man regarded them as uncreated, eternal, and immortal; for by a curious paradox, man, mistaking his own mental fictions, his metaphors, for realities, explained his own existence, wisdom, and activities as the divine product of the creations of his own inchoate mind. The dwelling-place of the first great primal beings, characterized by flora and fauna respectively identical with the plant and animal life appearing later on the earth, was conceived to have been the upper surface of the visible sky, which was regarded as a solid plain. Here lived the first beings in peace and contentment for a very long period of time: no one knows or ever knew the length of this first cosmic period of tranquil existence. But there came a time when an event occurred which resulted in a metamorphosis in the state and aspect of celestial and earthly things; in fact, the seeming had to become or to assume the real, and so came to pass the cataclysmic change of things of the first period into that now seen on the earth and in the sky, and the close of this period was the dawn of the gods of this mythology.27

So the character and the nature of the deities and spirits of the faith of the Iroquois peoples were a direct reflex of those attributes of the people themselves. It may be inferred in general that the more primitive and cultureless the people are the more crude, the more barbaric and savage will be their conceptions of their gods and the nature and functions of these naïve creations, but, conversely, it is only with the possession of a higher degree of intelligence that come nobler, more refined, grander, and more spiritual ideas of their gods. This admits of no exception. [70]

Whatever, therefore, the final terms are in which men at any time and place define their deities, the premises of their reasoning about them is always quite the same—namely, to define the unknown man in terms of the known men themselves—but this known quantity, man, is variable and inconstant, changing with time and place. All powers and functions and attributes of mind and body, inherent in man and distinctive of him—no matter whether beneficent or evil—men imputed to their gods in more or less idealized form.

Guided by inchoate reasoning, the crude thinking of unscientific minds, all early men, responsive to external stimuli and the internal yearning for truth, ascribed to their gods and spirits not only all human functions and attributes measurably idealized, but also all their arts and social and religious institutions were likewise attributed, probably quite unconsciously, to their gods and deities. These anthropic features and activities and anthropopathic mind were not ascribed, of course, to other men, but rather to the so-called “first people”—the personified, animated and humanized phenomena and processes of nature, of the environments of their experience. Thus, the social and institutional organization of the gods becomes a somewhat idealized epitome or reflex of the human society as it existed and exists among the people in whose minds these divine organizations had their origin. By so doing men painted, either consciously or unconsciously, in their religious activities and in their god-lore a faithful picture of the earliest culture and civilization of their own ethnic progenitors.

Hence, when authentic historical records are wanting the student may by close and sympathetic analysis and interpretation of the myths and the religion of a people acquire a fairly accurate knowledge of the history and culture of such a people. In this manner, indeed, the gods verily become the revealers of all history and the teachers of the arts and crafts and industries and the true founders of the institutions—human and divine—to that people. In this interaction of the human mind with the forces and phenomena of life and environing nature lies the true source of inspiration and prophecy. The history of the gods is the history of man. Because the gods, in general, symbolize universal processes in life and nature they and their attributes and functions in time become more or less highly idealized creations of the conscious, the subconscious, and the superconscious thinking of men.

The lesson of these myths and legends is that man is other than the material world; that while he is in it he is not of it; that while he feels nature’s elemental activities impelling him and impinging on his senses, his apprehensive yearning heart sees the beckoning finger of a higher and nobler destiny. [71]

All bodies of myths agree perfectly on one fundamental principle, transformation, through which all things on this earth have become what they are.

This principle of metamorphosis indicates the mental process by which these things were represented as becoming what they seemed to be—animated things, subjectively endowed with human form, thought, and volition, to explain the phenomena of life and surrounding nature.

I desire to record here my grateful acknowledgment of the assistance rendered by Mr. F. W. Hodge, ethnologist in charge of the Bureau of American Ethnology, in the form of valuable suggestions in connection with the work and in other ways. I wish also to express my appreciation of the courtesy of Messrs. Little, Brown & Co., of Boston, in giving the bureau permission to use freely the material contained in the instructive “Introductions” written by the late Jeremiah Curtin for his interesting books, published by that company under the titles: “Myths and Folk-Tales of the Russians, Western Slavs, and Magyars”; “Myths and Folk-Lore of Ireland”; “Hero-Tales of Ireland”; and “Creation Myths of Primitive America.” [73]

1 The manuscript of this Journal was discovered in Amsterdam in 1895 by the late Gen. James Grant Wilson, who published it in the Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the year 1895, under the caption “Arent Van Curler And His Journal of 1634–35.” But the Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts, edited by the learned Mr. A. J. F. van Laer, show that van Curler could not have made the journey, as he did not reach Rensselaerswyck until 1637, then a youth of only eighteen. It seems probable that Marmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert, the surgeon of the fort, was the author of the Journal. Consult the Introduction to this same Journal as published in “Narratives of New Netherland, 1609–1664,” ed. by J. Franklin Jameson, in Original Narratives of Early American History (Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1909). 

2 This village of Ongniaahra (Ongiara, Onguiaara, and Ondgiara are other forms found in the literature of the Jesuit Fathers) was situated very probably on or near the site of the village of Youngstown, New York. It is the present Iroquoian name of this village, but not of the river nor of the Falls of Niagara. 

3 The Aondironnon probably dwelt at or near the present Moraviantown, Ontario, Canada, although some Iroquois apply the name to St. Thomas, some distance eastward. Another form of the name is Ahondihronnon. The nominal part that is distinctive is thus Aondi or Ahondin, as written in the Jesuit Relations. The modern Iroquoian form is ĕⁿʻ.tiʹhĕⁿ, ‘The middle or center of the peninsula.’ 

4 Curtin, Jeremiah, Myths and Folk-Tales of the Russians, Western Slavs, and Magyars, p. vii, Boston, 1890. 

5 Ibid., p. x. 

6 Ibid., pp. x–xi. 

7 Curtin, Jeremiah, Myths and Folk-Tales of the Russians, Western Slavs, and Magyars, p. ix, Boston, 1890. 

8 Ibid., p. xvii. 

9 Curtin, Jeremiah, Hero-Tales of Ireland, pp. ix, x, Boston, 1894. 

10 Curtin, Jeremiah, Hero-Tales of Ireland, pp. x, xi, Boston, 1894. 

11 Ibid., p. xi. 

12 Ibid., pp. xii, xiii. 

13 Ibid., p. xiii. 

14 Curtin, Jeremiah, Hero-Tales of Ireland, p. xiv, Boston, 1894. 

15 Ibid., p. xv. 

16 Ibid., p. xvi. 

17 Ibid., pp. xlix-l. 

18 Curtin, Jeremiah, Hero-Tales of Ireland, p. xlviii, Boston, 1894. ↑ a b

19 Ibid., pp. xlvi, xlvii. 

20 Curtin, Jeremiah, Creation Myths of Primitive America, pp. xxxi–xxxii, Boston, 1898. 

21 Ibid., p. xxxii. 

22 Curtin, Jeremiah, Creation Myths of Primitive America, pp. xxxvii–xxxviii, Boston, 1898. 

23 Ibid., pp. xxxviii–xxxix. 

24 Curtin, Jeremiah Myths and Folk-Lore of Ireland, pp. 22–27, Boston, 1890. 

25 Ibid., p. 22. 

26 For an extended etymologic demonstration of the facts stated in the text, consult articles Tawiskaron and Nanabozho by the editor in the Handbook of American Indians (Bulletin 30 of the Bureau of American Ethnology). 

27 Handbook of American Indians, pt. 2, p. 720. 



a as in father

ā preceding sound, prolonged

ă as in what

ä as in hat

ǟ next preceding sound, prolonged

â as in all

ai as in aisle

au as ou in out

c as sh in shall

ç as th in wealth

d pronounced with the tip of the tongue touching the upper teeth, as in enunciating English th in with; the only sound of d employed in writing native words

e as in they

ĕ as in met

f as in waif

g as in gig

h as in hot

i as in pique

ī next preceding sound, prolonged

ĭ as in pit

k as in kick

n as in run

ñ as ng in ring

o as in note

q as ch in German ich

r slightly trilled; this is its only sound

s as in sop

t pronounced with the tip of the tongue touching the upper teeth, as in enunciating the English th in with; this is its only sound

u as in rule

ŭ as in rut

w as in wit

y as in ye [74]

dj as j in judge

hw as wh in what

tc as ch in church

ⁿ marks nasalized vowels, thus eⁿ, oⁿ, aiⁿ, ĕⁿ, äⁿ, âⁿ

ʻ indicates an aspiration or soft emission of breath

ʼ marks the glottal stop, äʼ, ĕⁿʼ

tʻh In this combination t and h are separately uttered, as th in the English words hothouse, foothold. [75]





1. The Sister and Her Six Elder Brothers

Once there was a lodge, which extended east and west, with two doors, one at each end. The fire burned in the middle of the lodge, which was occupied by a sister and her six elder brothers. Three of the brothers used the eastern doorway, and the other three the western doorway, for entering and leaving the lodge, while the sister made use of both doorways.

The eldest brother said, “What would you say, my brothers and sister, if I should take a wife?” “We do not know,” they replied; “perhaps nothing, if she does not abuse us.” So he went to bring the young woman. He addressed her old mother, saying, “Are you willing that thy daughter and I should marry?” She replied, “Certainly, if you will not ill-treat her, but have pity on her.” Then the young man went to his home, where he said, “She will come.”

Now, the mother made marriage-bread for the occasion. When it was ready the maiden, bearing the bread on her back by means of the forehead strap, started for the place where abode the six brothers and their sister. They received her bread and ate it with a relish.

Then the elder brother said to his wife: “Now, I will tell you. In this room you must never cross to the other side of the fire; and when you desire to go out of doors you must invariably leave by this eastern doorway. But when you desire to enter the lodge you must enter at the other side, through the western doorway.”

Then it came to pass that the brothers began to hunt, as was their custom.

Some time after this event the bride said, “Oh, pshaw! What the man [her husband] thinks is indeed of small account,” and went directly through the lodge to the western doorway, the thing which she had been forbidden to do.

Now, her husband, the eldest brother, was hunting, and he came to a deep gully over which a log extended. In crossing on this log he fell off in such a way that his body was caught so that his head hung down into the gully.

When night came on his brothers began to fear, saying, “Oh, why does not our elder brother return! Let us go seek him.” So they prepared torches and started. Following his tracks, in time they arrived at the place where the body of their elder brother was hanging. It was found that he was barely alive. After carefully extricating [76]him from the perilous situation they carried him home, where they properly cared for him, giving him food and drink and dressing his wounds.

The next morning the younger brothers said one to the other, “The woman who is dwelling here has abused us in this matter; therefore let her return to her home.” Overhearing this speech, the young woman replied, “It is well. Now, I shall go home.” And, arising in her place, she departed.

The fifth brother started in pursuit of her; and as he was about to grasp her, she let her skin robe fly back in such a manner that it took out the eyes of her pursuer. When the other brothers became aware of this misfortune which had befallen him, they were very angry and started in pursuit of the young woman. Just as they were about to grasp her, again she let her skin robe fly back so that it took out the eyes of all the pursuing brothers. Then, indeed, they were very miserable.

And now all the work about the lodge fell to the lot of the little girl, the young sister of these blind brothers. These ate whatever their young sister, all alone, was able to get for them—weeds and roots of various kinds. She was in the habit of running around out of doors.

One day when she had gone for water she saw some boys coming, paddling in a canoe and making a great noise as they drew near, laughing and shouting. When they arrived where she was they exclaimed, “Come hither. Get aboard and let us have some fun.” But she replied, “No; it will not be possible for me to do so. I will not do so, because I am taking care of my elder brothers. They would become too miserable should I leave them.” But they persisted, saying, “Now, anyway, for a short distance you can leap into this canoe.” She finally decided to comply with their request, and saying, “Indeed, yes!” she got aboard the canoe at once. Then they started back, and when they arrived at a bend of the river the little girl said, “Now I will get out of the canoe.” But her captors, saying, “Come still a short distance farther,” started on.

Matters continued in this wise until they had gone a long distance. Then the little girl began to weep. Looking back, she saw a man ugly beyond measure, being very filthy in body and exceedingly fat, with a very broad face and an enormous stomach. Then the little girl looked to the bow of the canoe to see the man who had been sitting there, but he was gone; and she wept aloud. The canoe went directly toward the middle of the lake. While paddling along they saw an island on which stood a lodge. On landing, the ugly man said: “Let us enter the place where thy grandmother has her lodge. And, moreover, you must continue to reside here. There lives here, too, another girl, who will be your companion. You two may play [77]together.” The little girl entered this lodge, and the old woman said, “I am thankful that my granddaughter has arrived.”

Some time after this event the little girl who was already in the lodge said to the newcomer: “Do you know what will happen to us in this place? We two shall die here, for they will kill us both and devour our bodies.” So the little girl who had just arrived began to think much about her situation.

After a while the little girl who was first at the lodge said to the newcomer: “Now, verily, they are about to kill one of us. It is not certain which it will be—whether you or I. Tomorrow will decide. The one to be killed will be ordered to bring water, and will be killed here.” So when night came the newcomer could not sleep; she was thinking during the entire night.

When day began to dawn the son of Dagwanoenyent11 looked down at her through the smoke-hole, and said to her: “It is I who will aid you. When you go after water you must look for three white chert stones as large as you can hold in your hands, and you must take a doll with you. When you dip up the water you must set up the doll nearby. Then your grandmother will think that it is you standing there when she shall go there to strike you with her club. Now, do not fail to do all these things as I have directed you.”

In the morning the old woman raised her voice, saying to the little newcomer, “Hurry! Arise and draw water.” Then the old woman set the kettle over the fire. The girl went to the spring and began to draw water. While she was drawing water she carried the three white chert stones and placed them side by side in the designated place and set up the doll there, too. She did all that she had been directed to do by the son of Dagwanoenyent. She was surprised to see a canoe make a landing there; in it was a young man. Placing the stones in the canoe, she got aboard, as requested by the young man. Then the canoe started off.

When the canoe was being paddled far from the island the old woman exclaimed,Go-o-o-oh! My grandchild has been gone a long time,” and, calling loudly for her, she went out to search for her. She ran around over the entire island looking for her, but was not able to find her. Then it was that she saw the doll standing near the spring; on striking it a blow with her club she discovered that she had been tricked. Thereupon she said, “She is somewhat of a witch. Verily, the son of Dagwanoenyent has stolen her away from me; and he is a very ugly and filthy man.”

Now she went to the lodge to procure her fishhook and then to the bank of the lake at the canoe landing. After unwinding the fishline she cast it after the fleeing canoe; the hook caught on the canoe and she began to pull on the line. So, while the two were paddling they felt the canoe going backward. The young man said, “Do you overturn [78]the canoe for there is where the hook has caught on it.” So the young woman overturned the canoe and, seizing one of the white chert stones, she struck the hook, and while the old woman was pulling on the line it gave way. Then the old woman said, “Oh, it is sorrowful! The son of Dagwanoenyent and the young woman I shall soon punish for this.”

Then the old woman made another fishhook and it caught on the fleeing canoe, and again the young man and the young woman felt the canoe going backward. Again the youth said, “Turn the canoe over again and you will find the fishhook.” So she did this, and taking one of the white chert stones, she struck and again broke the old woman’s fishhook. Once more the canoe went forward, and the old woman pulled on the line, which suddenly gave way, whereupon she said derisively, “Yeʹʼhe!2 Nevertheless I shall kill you both.”

Then she made another fishhook and, going to the shore of the lake, she cast the line again toward the canoe, to which it became fast. Again the young man said to his young companion, “Overturn the canoe and there you will find the fishhook.” This she did quickly and, seizing a white chert stone, struck the fishhook a blow which broke it. This was the last of the three stones which the young man had told her to bring with her. They had now arrived at a point near the mainland.

The old woman now resorted to drinking up3 the water of the lake, and as she drew in the water the canoe started back toward her. When they drew near the young man, the son of Dagwanoenyent, seizing a knife, ripped the old woman’s body in two and she died. Then the two turned their canoe around and soon reached the mainland.

They went together to the place where stood the lodge of the young man’s mother, who was an elderly woman of the Dagwanoenyent people. Near the lodge stood a large hollow stump, in which the young man concealed his wife for the time being, and then he alone went to the home of his mother. When he entered the lodge his mother’s pets, some wolves, began to howl. The young man reprimanded them, saying, “Djisʹnen! [Oh, stop it!] you miserable dogs,” and, seizing a club, he struck them several blows, whereupon they fled under the old woman’s couch. The old woman said, “They smell you, verily, for you smell like a human being.” The young man replied, “Oh, pshaw! You know, indeed, that I have been in places where human beings live;” he continued, saying, “I am not certain what your mind would think if I should marry a woman, a person of the human race.” The old woman said, “Aha! Certainly, I suppose. Where is she now?” The young man replied, “Over yonder, a short distance.” Then the old woman said, “It is well. In what place is she?” She went out of doors and her son pointed, [79]saying, “Yonder, in that stump.” Going to the place, the old woman took her daughter-in-law out of the stump, and they two went into the lodge of the Dagwanoenyent woman, and then the wolves began to bark (howl). The young man scolded them, saying, “it is disagreeable. You wretched dogs! you wolves!” Thereupon these domestic animals ceased and went under the bed.

Some time after this the young woman proved to be pregnant, and in the fullness of time she gave birth to male twins. It was not long before the twins were quite large.

Then the old woman, their grandmother, said, “Let there be made for them sticks—lacrosse sticks for playing ball.” This was done and they began to play ball. Again their grandmother said, “Perhaps it is time that there should be made also bows and arrows;” and she added, “Now, you two must continue to shoot at this thing,” and she gave them a raccoon’s foot, taken from the bundle which she kept hidden away. And the two did shoot at it in great glee, and this continued for some time.

Then the old woman, their grandmother, said to them, “Do not ever go toward the north. It will be dangerous for you.” But one of the boys said, “Let us go there.” So they went there. Now in that northern place there stood a very large and tall pine tree; in its top rested the nest of a Dagwanoenyent, who was an old man. As soon as the two boys arrived directly under the nest the old man shouted, “Yeʹʼhe! I have detected you two, my grandchildren.” Then this disobedient little boy in reply said, “So be it. What then shall happen?” Now it is reported that this old Dagwanoenyent answered, “Would you two be willing that it should rain, and that the raindrops should be mixed with spears (darts).” “Certainly,” replied this boy, and immediately he with his twin brother crawled far under a rock lying not far away, where they concealed themselves.

Verily, it did rain and the raindrops were mingled with darts. As soon as this rainstorm ceased each of the boys picked up a spear, and then they started for the home of their grandmother, where they soon arrived. The boy said, “He shall suffer for this.” His grandmother saw the spear or dart that he had. The boy continued, “Tomorrow, he himself in his turn shall suffer for this. I in my turn shall detect this, my grandfather.”

Next morning, when daylight came the boys started. When they had arrived near the tree the boy requested a mole to assist him, and it complied with his request. The two boys entered its body and it carried them unobserved to the place where stood the tree. Then the boy came forth and, leaping up, shouted, “Yeʹʼhe! Grandfather, I have detected you, Yeʹʼhe!” The old man asked, “What shall it be that shall happen?” The boy said in reply, “Would you be willing that it do so (it is hard to tell what you would think about it, [80]should it rain fire).” The old man said, “Ho! Certainly, I can do nothing about it. Come then, so be it.” And the boy shouted, saying, “Let it rain fire,” and at once it began to rain fire.

Then the boy hid himself with his brother under the rock. In a very short time the body of the old man took fire and the dead Dagwanoenyent fell down there. Then the boy and his twin brother went home again to their grandmother. Now the younger of the twins began to relate what had taken place on their journey. He said that his elder brother, the other twin, had killed Dagwanoenyent. The old woman said, “Now he was, indeed, my elder brother”; and she wept and kept saying, “You two have killed my elder brother.”

After a while, as the twins were again going from place to place to play, they saw a cave which seemed to be a lodge. At once one of the boys said to his brother, “Let us enter it.” On going in they were surprised to find a number of persons who were all blind, and in very wretched condition, for indeed they were scarcely alive. The elder twin asked the inmates of the cave, “What great calamity has taken place that you are all blind?” One of them answered, “It is a fact that our eyes have been taken from us by those false women who are making a robe spangled with human eyes, and furthermore Shagowenotha has robbed us of our sister younger than we are.” The elder twin then asked the blind people, “In what direction do the eye-robe-making women live?” His uncle (his mother’s brother) replied, “Directly thither, toward the north.” The boy said, “I shall make the attempt to go to get them.”

So they two, the twins, started. In time they arrived at the lodge of the women who were making a robe of human eyes; and one of the twins said, “I shall go there.” When they reached the place where these women obtained their water, he transformed himself, becoming a very small, young, blue duck. When the youngest of these sisters, the makers of the robe of human eyes, came to draw water she of course saw this pretended duck and chased it around, but failed in her attempt to catch it. Thereupon the water became turbid and she wholly lost sight of the duck. The young water girl started back to the lodge. Having arrived there, she related what she had seen, saying, “Verily, indeed, I think there must be something hidden here (in my body). I do not know what it is that stirs about inside.” The eldest of the sisters asked her, “How long has it been so?” The youngest sister answered, “Just now.” So the eldest sister examined her, and then said, “Indeed, you are pregnant, it would seem.” In a very short time she began to have labor pains, and it became evident that she would give birth to a child. She did give birth to a male child, a fine boy, and all the sisters were pleased.

Then, it is said, the new-born infant began to cry, and to quiet him they showed him various things. They kept this up during the [81]night, so they did not get any sleep. In the early morning all fell asleep from weariness. The infant, however, was covered with the unfinished robe of human eyes. Just as soon as all were asleep the pretended infant quickly rose, and, taking the robe of human eyes, he started away. He soon arrived where he had left his twin brother to await his coming. Then he said, “Come; let us start.”

When they arrived at the place where the lodge of their uncles stood they at once began to put the eyes back into the heads of their owners. Everyone first made a selection from those on the robe of human eyes of the eyes which were his. They were able to put eyes back into the heads of all the blind uncles. Whereupon the latter were able to recognize one another—their nephews and their brother-in-law, the son of Dagwanoenyent, and also their sister.

After this they began to hunt, and they dwelt there together. They were happy and contented. And finally, it is said, they became rabbits.4


2. The Child and His Uncle

Once there was a child who was left alone in a lodge in a forest; he was enjoying himself by playing around the lodge. At last he was surprised to hear what seemed to him the voice of a man, which said: “Is there no tobacco? Is there no tobacco? I should like to smoke again.” Then the child said to himself: “It would seem, indeed, that there is some one around here saying, ‘Tobacco. Give me tobacco, for I want to smoke again.’ Yet I have always thought that I am alone here. In any event, I shall look around from place to place. It seems that there is another story (loft) in this lodge, and that it is from that place that this man is speaking.” But, forgetting his resolution to look for the man, he continued to play until nightfall.

The next morning, while he was again playing around the lodge, he was once more surprised to hear the man saying, “Is there no tobacco? I should like to smoke again.” Then the boy said, “Oh, pshaw! I forgot this thing, but I think that I shall search this place tomorrow to learn what this talking may mean.”

So the next morning he looked around in many places. Finding the loft in the lodge, he climbed up into it, and while he was searching the place he was surprised to find a man lying down who was so lean that he appeared to be merely dried bones covered with skin. The boy said to him, “What is it that you want?” And the skeletonlike man replied, “The only thing I desire is tobacco, for I want to smoke again.” The boy, answering, said, “Where is it that tobacco may be found in abundance?” The man replied: “It is to be found in a certain place which is, beyond measure, one of forbidding difficulties and frightful aspect; and I know that in that place [82]dwell Seven Sisters and an old woman, their mother and tutor. These people are immune from the effects of normal orenda or magic power; and it is these people who have the tobacco.” After a pause he added: “Along the way through which the path thither goes are obstructions of the most appalling character. In the first place, there stands a Tree, a Pine Tree, whose leaves drop on the intruder, piercing his body and causing him to die. Some distance beyond this point are two living things, which are called Osigwaon; that is, two huge Rattlesnakes, which occupy each side of the path, and which bite with deadly effect any intruder. Still farther beyond stands a great rock, through an opening in which passes the path, and there stand two great living things, two Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa, which also have the power to kill any intruder who may succeed in reaching this point. Farther on flows a river, on the other side of which stand two Blue Herons, whose duty it is to give an alarm by loud cries to the Seven Sisters and their mother on the approach of any intruder; and these, on hearing the alarm, issue from their lodge in great fury, carrying their war clubs, with which they quickly dispatch the unwelcome intruder. Still farther on toward the lodge stands a tree, on which hangs the dried skin of a human being, which, on the approach of an intruder, sings, thereby giving the inmates of the lodge warning of the approach of any person whatsoever, and these at once issue from their home, bearing their war clubs, to kill the unwelcome guest.” After a long pause the man of skin and bones continued: “This is the number of the things which have the power to kill persons along the pathway to the place where the tobacco is to be found.”5

Then the boy replied: “That is all right, for it will not prevent me from going after the tobacco, and then you shall be able to smoke. At all events, I will go after the tobacco; I will start tomorrow.” Early the next morning he started on his perilous journey toward the place where the tobacco could be found.

In time he arrived at the place where the first obstacle barred his way, the Pine Tree having the magic power (orenda); this he found had been transformed into a hickory tree. After looking at it for some time, he finally rushed past it just as it was, although he boastingly exclaimed, “It shall not fall on me.” And truly when he had got beyond the tree he stopped and found that not a thing had touched him.

Continuing his course, finally he came to the spot where the two Rattlesnakes stood guard over the pathway. Going into the bushes which surrounded the path, to hunt for two chipmunks, he killed two. Returning to the two Rattlesnakes, he gave a chipmunk to each, saying, “You must not in any manner enchant me. I recompense [83]you with these chipmunks for the favor I ask of you.” Seizing the proffered chipmunks, the Rattlesnakes began to swallow them.

Starting onward again in his journey, the boy continued his course until startled by seeing the two Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa standing in the narrow opening of the great rock. Going into the forest, he procured some lichens, which he cut up. Making his way to the place where the two Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa were standing, he said to them, “Do not enchant me; for this favor I will recompense you with this tobacco,” and, casting it to them, they received it, and he passed them and kept on his journey.

He had gone a long distance when he came to the place at which the two Blue Herons were on guard on the farther bank of the river, at the end of the log-crossing. Immediately he went along the river a short distance and then began fishing; soon he took two fish. Returning to the spot where the two Herons were, he said to them, “You must not give the alarm, for I will recompense you with these fish for the favor which I ask of you”; he gave each a fish and then passed on.

Not far from there he came to the tree on which the entire dried skin of a woman hung. For a moment he stood there and then he said, “Come hither, thou mole; I am hungry (wearied).” Then the mole came forth from out of the ground and the boy said to it, “I am entering your body and I want you to go along beneath the surface of the ground and come out directly under the place where that woman’s skin hangs yonder.” So he entered the body of the mole, which went along at once under the surface of the ground. When it reached the place where stood the tree it came out directly under the woman’s skin. Then the boy came out of the body of the mole and, addressing the dried skin of the woman, said, “You must not tell that I am here. Do me this favor and I will recompense you with wampum.” Then he went into the forest and peeled off some slippery elm bark, which he formed into cylinders resembling wampum; placing these in his pouch he returned to the spot where the woman’s dried skin hung. When he arrived there he said to the dried skin, “Now, I am bringing you a wampum belt,”6 and he attached the belt to the tree beside which she then stood, as he had requested her to descend from her usual position.

Again entering the mole, the boy went to the lodge, into which he went without anyone knowing of his presence; no one of the Seven Sisters nor their Mother knew of his entrance into their lodge. There he found a kettle of hominy seasoned with the flesh of the bear (gan­nyaʹgwai-geon owa ne shaʹgat), which he began to eat. But he was surprised to hear a voice coming out of the fire say, Odegwiyo hodekhoni. Then the old woman said, “This is certainly provoking: it is perhaps true that Odegwiyo has indeed come into the lodge.” At once she got her war club, with which she furiously struck the burning [84]fire a blow, saying that it was probable Odegwiyo was concealed therein, as the voice issued from the fire. Just then the boy was greatly surprised to hear outside of the lodge the voice of the dried woman’s skin singing, “I have detected (out-eyed) Odegwiyo.”

The old woman shouted to her daughters, “Have courage, my children, and do your duty,” and then she derisively added, “Odegwiyo, you indeed have courage,” signifying her contempt for the orenda, or magic power, of the boy. Her children rushed out of the lodge, each one carrying her war club, and they sought for the boy outside of the lodge, but could find no trace of him. When they had about given up trying to find him, the dried-skin figure of the woman again began to sing, “Verily, I have told a falsehood”; and the old woman answered, “Forsooth, this is discouraging,” and struck the dried skin of the woman a terrible blow. The empty skin flew away, alighting on the top of another and larger tree.

In the meantime the boy got possession of the tobacco and at once went out of the lodge, carrying it in a band which he had around his neck. He had not gone far when the old woman said, “I have been saying this for a long time. Now, Odegwiyo is yonder indeed carrying away the tobacco.” They pursued him for some distance, but as he had outwitted them and had shown them that he possessed as powerful orenda as they had, if not greater, they soon gave up the chase. [Text incomplete.]


3. Djogeon (Dwarf-man) and His Uncle

Djogeon lived in the woods with his uncle. When the boy was old enough to learn, his uncle taught him how to shoot; for this purpose he took him out to hunt. When the uncle grew too old to hunt the nephew then went alone.

About noon one day while following an elk, a woman sitting on a log at the edge of an opening in the forest called to Djogeon, saying, “Come here and rest: I know you are tired.” At first he paid no attention to her, but after she had called to him the third time he went to her and sat by her side. She talked to him, and before he realized it she had his head in her lap and had begun searching therein for vermin.

He soon fell asleep, and when she was satisfied that he was sleeping soundly she put him into a basket which she placed on her back and started off with great speed, traveling until the sun had almost set. Then stopping, she put her basket down and roused the young man, asking him, “Do you know this place?” “Oh, yes,” said he, “my uncle and I used to hunt here. I know the place very well.” They spent the night there. [85]

The next morning she searched again in his head until he fell asleep; then putting him into the basket again, she hurried on as before until late in the afternoon. She stopped at a lake and, putting the basket down, she again awakened the young man, asking him, “Do you know this lake?” “Yes; I have fished here many times with my uncle,” replied the young man. Then, taking out of her basket a canoe no larger than a walnut, she struck it with her hand repeatedly until it became large enough to hold both. Then they both boarded it and paddled across the lake. “We will now go home,” said she. “I have a mother and three sisters; all the latter are married and live in the same lodge. We will go to them,” she declared.

Djogeon and his companion traveled on until they reached her mother’s lodge. When they stood at the door her mother saw the stranger with her daughter and cried out, “Welcome, son-in-law. I am glad you have come.” Djogeon became the young woman’s husband, and they lived happily until one night the old woman had a frightful dream, rolling out of her couch and over the floor to the edge of the fire. Then her son-in-law jumped up and asked his mother-in-law, “What is the matter? Are you dreaming, mother-in-law?” She paid no attention to him but rolled about, muttering to herself. Then he said, “I will make her listen,” and, taking the pestle for pounding corn, he hit her a heavy blow on the head. She started up, saying, “Oh! I have had such a bad dream. I dreamed that my son-in-law would kill the Ganiagwaihegowa.” “Oh,” said he, “I will attend to that in the morning. Now go to sleep, mother-in-law.” The next morning the old woman told her son-in-law he must kill the bear and bring it back quickly. So he sought and killed the bear without much trouble and brought it home.

The next night she dreamed that he must make a great feast for the Dagwanoenyent,7 and that he must invite them all to a feast and provide so much food that they would not be able to eat it all. The next day he hunted and killed a great many elk, deer, and bear. There was an abundance of food, the lodge being full of meat, and still there was more. Then he went out and called all the Dagwanoenyent to come to a great feast prepared for them to eat their fill. They answered him, all agreeing to be at the feast. Soon they began to appear, one after another; they came in such numbers that the shelves, the floor, and the seats were filled with them. They began to eat, and ate with a terrible appetite. The old woman went around urging them, saying, “Eat, eat your fill. I want all to have plenty to eat in my lodge.” They ate, and the old woman still urged them, hoping that the supply would run short and her son-in-law would be killed. The son-in-law, with his wife, her three sisters, and their husbands went out to have more food brought in case of need. [86]At last the Dagwanoenyent ate until their jaws could move no longer and their tongues refused to stir. They said, “We have had enough. Mother, mother, enough.” When he heard these words the young son-in-law motioned to the walls and roof, saying, “I want the roof and walls of this lodge to become flint.” The old woman and the Dagwanoenyent, seeing that they were caught, flew around in every direction. The old woman begged for mercy. “Mother-in-law, you had no mercy on me, so I will not let you out,” answered Djogeon. Then he said, “I want this house to become red hot.” As it grew hot the Dagwanoenyent flew about with terrible speed, knocking around the walls and making such a noise as had never been heard in the world before. At last all was still in the lodge.

Then the nephew with his wife and her three sisters and their husbands set out for the lodge of Djogeon’s uncle. They went by the road over which he and his wife had come. When they reached the lake it was covered with thin ice, which could barely hold up a small bird. The young man took eight puffballs from an oak tree and, making himself and his friends small, each one entered a ball; and when the eight balls stood side by side on the ice by the edge of the lake, he said, “Let the west wind blow,” and the west wind obeyed, sweeping them over the lake to the other side. Then they came out of the balls and, resuming their natural size, continued their way until they reached the lodge of Djogeon’s uncle.


4. The Woman Who Married a Great Serpent

A woman and her only daughter lived together in a fine bark lodge on the outskirts of a village. The daughter was attractive in form and feature, but haughty and proud in her bearing. Many young warriors had made proposals of marriage to her through her mother. Her customary reply was, “That man is not as fine looking and handsome as I want a man to be.” Her mother, however, remonstrated with her often on her too haughty manner and selfish pride, but she disdainfully disregarded her mother’s advice.

One day the mother and daughter started off into the forest to gather wood. When they were far from home darkness came upon them, which was so intense that the mother said to her daughter, “I think we may as well gather bark to make a temporary shelter and wood to make a fire, so that we can remain overnight in this place.” So they constructed a temporary lodge and kindled a cheerful fire, and made the necessary preparations to stay there overnight. After preparing and eating their evening meal they sat down on opposite sides of the fire to rest and converse together.

Suddenly, while the mother was dozing, a man came and stood beside the girl. When she looked up at him she was amazed and [87]charmed by his great beauty of face and form. He wore a wampum sash around his body and a fine headdress with black eagle plumes waving over it. His entire person seemed to shine with paint and oil. Without ceremony he informed the young woman that he had come to marry her and that he would await her answer. Answering him, the young woman said, “I will first tell my mother what you have said, and when I get her reply I will talk to you again.” The strange man stood near the fire while waiting for an answer from the two women.

The young woman told her mother what he had said to her, and her mother answered, “You must do as you yourself like. You have already refused a great many men without good cause, so far as I know. Now, therefore, it is for you to decide what you must do in this case. You must please yourself.” With this equivocal response the girl went back to the man and gave him her mother’s answer, adding, “I have decided to become your wife. You may follow me to my mother”; then she took her seat at his side. When they had been to talk to the mother they returned to the fireside. He seemed to the mother also a very handsome man; so she agreed to the marriage and the two became husband and wife.

Then the young man said to his young wife, “I want you to accompany me to my own lodge tonight.” Then removing the beautiful wampum sash, he gave it to her for her mother, saying, “This shall be a sign for your mother that we are married.” The mother received it and hung it up, for she was much pleased with it. Then the man and his wife started off toward his lodge. As they traveled on the wife could see in the distance a large clearing, at one end of which she saw a lodge which her husband pointed out to her as his. They went into it, and the people within seemed to be delighted to see her; so she sat down in her husband’s seat. They passed that night and the next day together. On the second day the young husband said, “I am going out to hunt.”

He went out. When he closed the door the young woman heard a very strange noise; she did not know what to think of it. Then all became still. In the evening she heard sounds of the same kind. Then the door was flung aside and a tremendous serpent, with his tongue darting from his mouth, entered the lodge and placed his head in the lap of the young woman, asking her to hunt in it for vermin. She found in his head a large number of bloodsuckers, angleworms, and other noisome insects.8 She killed all she found, whereupon then the serpent slowly withdrew from the lodge and disappeared.

In a moment the young woman’s husband came into the lodge and he appeared to her handsome as ever. He asked his wife, “Were you afraid of me when I came in a short time ago?” She replied, “No; I [88]was not afraid at all.” The next day he went hunting again. As he started out of the lodge and closed the door she again heard the same strange sounds that she had heard the day before. About midday she went forth to get fuel for the fire and to bring water to the lodge. While thus engaged she saw a huge serpent sunning himself upon the rocks; then another, and soon another; and she began to be very homesick and disheartened.

In the evening her husband came home as before. After he had gone out to hunt the third time she began seriously to think of escaping from the terrible place in which she found herself, and firmly resolved to try to do so. She went into the forest to gather wood, and while standing there she heard a voice; turning toward the direction from which it seemed to come she saw a very old man. When she looked into his face he said: “My poor grandchild, you are very unfortunate. The seeming man to whom you are married is evil and wicked. We have tried many times to kill him, but he is very cunning and crafty, hence we have not yet been able to destroy him. He is one of seven brothers. They are all great sorcerers, and like all such evil persons their hearts are not in their bodies. Their hearts are tied in a bunch of seven, which is carefully hidden9 under the couch of the eldest one. You must now get it and escape with it. My friends and I will help you all we can. Do as I have instructed you.”

Going quickly to the lodge, she found indeed the seven hearts tied in a bunch, which hung under the couch as the old man had said. Placing it under her robe, she fled out of the lodge as rapidly as possible and ran at top speed. Soon she heard a voice calling to her, “Stop! Come back!” but she rushed on as fast as she could. Then the voice said, “You may think that you can, but you can not escape me, no matter how you may try.” All her strength seemed to leave her: but at that moment her grandfather was at her side, saying, “I shall aid you now, my grandchild,” and, taking hold of her robe, he pulled her out of the water. Then for the first time she saw that she had been in the water all the time. A great black cloud was above them, and she saw the Lightning flash, and the Thunder began to shoot his arrows, and the Wind lashed the water into great foaming waves. In a few moments the young woman saw that her grandfather had killed a great and terrible serpent. She saw also standing on the shore men resembling her grandfather, who thanked her for the aid she had been to them in killing the great serpent and his progeny; for the old grandfather had blasted the bunch of hearts with the lightnings and had shot them with his arrows, thus killing the serpent and his offspring. These other men drew the great serpent out of the water and cut him in pieces. They stuck the head on a pole, whereupon the head appeared to her more fierce and ugly [89]than before. Then her grandfather said, “Now, my grandchild, you must go home with us.” After packing suitable loads of the serpent’s flesh they started for home, each with a load of the meat on his back.10

In a short time they came to what seemed to her to be a lodge, which they entered; there the young woman saw an old man whose hair was as white as snow and whose manner and voice were kind. To him the leader of the party said, “This woman of the human family has helped us to kill the great serpent and his progeny.” The old man, looking up at her, said, “My granddaughter, I am indeed thankful for the great help you have given us in killing that awful serpent and his wicked progeny.” While she was sitting there the old man said, “My granddaughter, come here to my side.” When she stood beside him he rubbed her body up and down with his hands, fortified with his orenda. Whereupon several young serpents crawled from her; these were killed at once by the men. Then the old man, remarking “You are now entirely well,” bade her to be seated.

While she remained in this lodge the younger people went out to hunt when they had the inclination to do so. They would bring corn for her to eat, as they knew she could not eat their food, which was in large measure the flesh of the serpents. They would tell her where they had gathered the corn, and they told her also the names of the people from whom they had taken it; she recognized the names of some of the people mentioned.

One day the old man said to his sons, “Perhaps it would be better for you to take the young woman with you to hunt. She shall thus secure more orenda.” The sons agreed to this, saying, “It is well.” They told her that one of their number was missing, saying, “Deep in the great waters there is a terrible bloodsucker lying on a rock. One of our number shot at it, but he was not quick enough to avoid the rush of the great bloodsucker, and he was caught by it. He lies there on the rock, and we can not save him, nor can we kill the bloodsucker. But you will go with us, will you not?” She consented to go, and they started for the place.

When they arrived at the place they looked down into the water, far into its depths, and there they saw the great bloodsucker. All these men went high up into the clouds and shot arrows down into the water at the great bloodsucker, but they all failed to hit it. Then they asked the young woman to shoot an arrow. Willingly she took her bow and arrows and shot into the water at the monster. The great bloodsucker moved. At her second shot there was a terrible struggle and commotion in the water. When all became quiet again, and while she was still up in the clouds with the men, they saw that the great bloodsucker was dead. Just as soon as the monster [90]died their brother got loose and came up to them, and they all rejoiced and then went to their home.

After the woman had been with them about a year the old man said to his sons: “I think that it is time that this young woman should go home to her mother,” and to her the old man said, “You must not do any kind of work—pounding or chopping. You must keep quiet for ten days at your home.”

When the time was up they took her toward home. She thought that they walked along as ordinary people do. When they neared her mother’s lodge they told her to do just as her grandfather had requested her to do. She then saw that she was standing in water. A heavy shower of rain had just passed over the earth. Her mother’s home was near at hand and, bidding her well-going, they left her. She reached home in due time and her mother was delighted to see her long-lost child.

She observed her grandfather’s injunction for nine entire days without any desire to break his command. But on the tenth day the women of her family urged her to help them in their work. At first she refused, saying that she could not do so. They urged her so hard, however, that finally she struck one blow with the corn-pounder, whereupon the mortar split in two and the corn fell to the ground. The orenda of the Thunders had not entirely left her yet. This was why the old man had enjoined her not to work for ten days.


5. The Ghost Woman and the Hunter

Once there was a young man in a village who was an orphan; he had neither relatives nor home. He lived in first one lodge and then in another.

Once in the fall of the year when warriors were preparing to go to hunt deer the orphan wanted to go but could not get a chance to do so; no one wanted him as a companion. So he was left alone in the village. When all the men had gone he determined to go, too, and he went off by himself. Toward night he came to a sort of clearing and saw a lodge on one side of it near the bushes; he looked into it but he could see no one. In the dooryard was a pile of wood and everything inside was comfortable; so the orphan decided to pass the night there. It looked as though the other hunters, too, had passed a night there. He made a fire, arranged a place to sleep, and lay down. About midnight he heard some one coming in and, looking up, he saw that it was a woman. She came in and stood gazing at him, but she said nothing. Finally she moved toward his couch but stopped; at last she said: “I have come to help you. You must not be afraid. I shall stay all night in the lodge. I know you are going out hunting.” The orphan said, “If you help me, you may stay.” “I have passed [91]out of this world,” said she; “I know that you are poor; you have no relatives; you were left alone. None of the hunters would let you go with them. This is why I have come to help you. Tomorrow start on your journey and keep on until you think it is time to camp, and then I will be there.” Toward daybreak she went out, starting off in the direction from which she said she had come.

In the morning after preparing and eating some food he started on. In the afternoon when he thought it was about time to stop he looked for a stream. He soon found one and had just finished his camp as it became dark. In the forepart of the night the woman came, saying, “We must now live together as man and wife, for I have been sent to live with you and help you.” The next day the man began to kill all kinds of game. The woman stayed with him all the time and did all the necessary work at the camp.

When the hunting season was over, she said, “There is no hunter in the woods who has killed so much game as you have.” They started for home. “We shall stop,” said she, “at the first lodge, where we met”; and they slept at the lodge that night. The next morning she said: “I shall remain here, but you go on to the village, and when you get there everybody will find out that you have brought all kinds of meat and skins. One will come to you and say, ‘You must marry my daughter.’ An old woman will say, ‘You must marry my granddaughter,’ but do not listen to them. Remain true to me. Come back next year and you shall have the same good luck. [This was at a time when the best hunter was the best man, the most desirable husband.] The next year when getting ready to hunt, a man will try to come with you, do not take him. No one would take you. Come alone. We will meet here.” Before daylight they parted and he went on his journey with a great load of meat on his back.

In the village he found that some of the hunters had got home, while others came soon after. All told how much they had killed. This lone man said, “I will give each man all he wants if he will go to my camp and get it.” Accepting his offer, many went and brought back all they could carry. Still there was much meat left. Everyone who had a daughter or a granddaughter now asked him to come and live with the family. At last the chief came and asked him to marry his daughter. The orphan was afraid if he refused harm would come to him, for the chief was a powerful man. At last he consented and married the chief’s daughter.

The next fall the chief thought he had the best hunter for a son-in-law and a great many wanted to go with him, but the son-in-law said, “I do not think I shall go this year.” All started off, one after another. When all had gone he went alone to the lodge where he was to meet the woman. Arriving there he prepared the bed, and early in the night the woman came in; stopping halfway between [92]the door and the couch, she said, “I am sorry you have not done as I told you to do. I can not stay with you, but I decided to come once more and tell you that I know everything you did at home and I can not stay.” She disappeared as suddenly as she came.

Day after day the orphan went hunting, but he saw no game. He ate all his provisions, and had to shoot small game—squirrels and birds—to eat, for he was hungry. Returning home, he told the people that he had seen no game. This woman who had befriended the orphan, it was said, was a ghost woman.


6. Hahnowa (the Turtle) and His Forces on the Warpath

Hahnowa dwelt alone in his own lodge. He was a great warrior and had led many war parties successfully.

One day the thought again came to him that he should go on the warpath. So following the lead of his desire, he made the necessary preparations and then boarded his canoe and paddled away along the river, singing as he went along, “I am on the warpath. I am on the warpath.” When he had gone but a short distance from his lodge he was hailed by a man who came running to the bank of the river calling out, “Hallo, friend! Stop a moment! I will go too. We will go on the warpath together.” So Hahnowa stopped at the landing, and there on the bank stood an elk, which said to Hahnowa, “I should like to go with you on the warpath.” Hahnowa replied: “Before giving my consent, I desire to see you run, for we might be defeated and then we shall have to run for our lives, and unless we can escape through our speed we shall be killed and scalped. Now, therefore, run to that mountain and return.” The elk ran with great swiftness to the mountain and was back again in a very short time. But Hahnowa said, “You can not go, for you do not run fast enough. Only swift runners may go with me.”

Reentering his canoe, Hahnowa started off, singing, “I am on the warpath. I am on the warpath.” In a short time a man hailed him, saying, “Come back to the landing. I should like very much to go with you on the warpath.” So Hahnowa turned and made a landing. Then he said to his friend, “You must run to show me your speed, for you can not go with me unless you can run very swiftly. Therefore run to that second mountain and back at your highest speed.” Then Senon11 showed his great orenda and started off, but he had not got fairly started before Hahnowa called him back, saying, “Come back; that is enough. You can go.” So they two got into the canoe and started off, the Hahnowa singing, “I am on the warpath. I am on the warpath. But you, brother, smell quite strong.”

As they paddled along they saw another man, who hailed them. Making a landing, they asked the man what he desired. In reply he [93]said, “I see that you are on the warpath and I want to accompany you.” The Turtle answered him, “If you are a good runner, I will take you. To test your speed you must run to yonder second mountain and back.” So Kahehda,12 for it was he, turning, started on a run. In this attempt his feet crossed and he stumbled and fell. But he quickly arose and had taken but a few steps farther when Turtle called to him to stop, telling him, “You will do. Come to the canoe.”

So the motley crew started off, with the Turtle singing, “We are on the warpath. You, brother, smell pretty strong. You, brother, have plenty of arrows.”

They had not proceeded far when a man from the bank hailed them, saying, “Stop! Come to the land, for I want to go with you on the warpath.” So the Turtle and his friends landed and the Turtle informed Degiyahgon13 that he must show great speed in running to be acceptable as a companion on the warpath, and he said, “Run as swiftly as you can to yonder second mountain and return.” Degiyahgon was instantly off, breaking and crashing through the boughs and shrubbery as he rushed headlong on his way. When Degiyahgon returned, the Turtle said, “You have failed in your trial of speed,” and he and his friends again got aboard of their canoe and sailed away, singing as before.

They had not proceeded far when a man hailed them from the shore, saying, “Bring the canoe to the land, for I desire to accompany you on the warpath.” The Turtle replied, “I shall first come to see you run, for we can take only swift runners, as something may happen while we are gone which will make it necessary for us to run for our lives. So go to that second mountain yonder and return as speedily as it is possible for you to do so.” So Sigwaon14 raised himself to run, when Turtle exclaimed, “Oh, you will do! You may come with me, too.”

So the picked band of warriors again started, the Turtle singing, “We are on the warpath. You, brother, smell pretty strong. You, brother, have many arrows. And you, brother, have a black face.”

It was now nearly night and they were going to make war on the Seven Sisters, whose dwelling place was not far distant. They soon arrived at the place and disembarked. The Turtle told his companions that each must choose the place best suited to his particular method of fighting. So Senon declared that he would sit near the fireplace and that he would attack with his odors the first person who approached the fireplace. Kahehda chose the pile of wood for fuel, boasting that he would attack with his arrows the first person who came out for wood. Sigwaon on his part chose the skin bucket in which the shelled corn was kept, declaring that he would assault the first person who should come for corn. Lastly, Turtle exclaimed [94]that he would station himself near the spring and that if anyone went to draw water he would fight him.

So in the early morning of the next day the mother of the Seven Sisters arose and took a fire poker to stir up the fire on the hearth. Then Senon, who was posted there, at once attacked her with his foul odors. The aged woman fell back nearly stifled and unable to open her eyes. Her daughters, the Seven Sisters, hearing the commotion, arose quickly to assist their mother. Seeing the man fighting their mother, they at once attacked him. At first he bravely repelled their assault, but they got clubs and fought until they had killed him, and they then threw his body out of doors.

Now they started to make the fire, and one of their number went out to bring in firewood. When she reached down to pick up a piece of wood she felt a severe blow on the arm, and found her arm full of hedgehog quills. She at once repelled this attack, and while she was fighting Kahehda her sisters came to her assistance. On seeing what had caused the trouble they took up pieces of wood and attacked Kahehda standing among the logs. They hit him repeatedly on the head until they had killed him, and then they threw his body away.

Then one of the sisters needed dried shelled corn to prepare for making bread for the day’s meal. Going to the bucket where it was kept and putting her hand into it, she instantly felt a sharp blow, and looking into the bucket she saw therein a huge Hagonsadji.15 She called her sisters to her assistance, who at once responded. Arming themselves with clubs they struck Hagonsadji many blows until he was dead, but by this time the sister who had been bitten by Hagonsadji was dead.

Then the aged mother of the Seven Sisters asked one of the daughters to bring water from the spring. Going to the spring, she stooped down to draw up the water, whereupon she was seized by Turtle. He caught her by the toe and held on persistently; she tried repeatedly, but she could not get him off. Then she walked backward, dragging him along. When she arrived at the lodge her mother was very angry and shouted, “Throw him into the fire and let him burn up.” Then Turtle laughed out loud and said, “You can not please me more than by casting me into the fire, for I came from fire and I like to be in it rather than in anything else.” So the old woman changed her mind and said, “I will take him to the creek and drown him.” Thereupon Turtle cried out in great agony, “Oh! do not do this. I shall die; I shall die if you do.” He begged hard for his life, but it apparently availed him nothing. So the old woman and the six living sisters, seizing Turtle, ruthlessly dragged him along to the neighboring creek and cast him into it, thinking that he would drown; he, of course, naturally sank to the [95]bottom. But in a few moments he rose to the surface of the water in midstream and, holding out his claws as if exhibiting scalps, he exclaimed in derision, “I am a brave man, and here is where I live,” and he at once sank out of sight.


7. The Old Man’s Grandson and the Chief of the Deserted Village

A certain grandfather and his grandson lived together. They were the only people of their tribe left. All the others had been killed by sorcerers.

When the boy became old enough he had bows and arrows given him by his grandfather, and he would go out hunting. As he grew older he hunted larger game, until he was old enough to kill deer. Each time the grandson brought home game the old man danced and rejoiced and told the youth the name of the game which he had brought in.

One day the grandfather said: “Now, you are old enough to marry a wife. I should like to have a woman here to cook. You must go south and find a wife. The people there are good and healthy. None of them have been killed off. For an ordinary man to reach their village it is a journey of six years, but you will go much more quickly.” The grandfather gave the young man, among other things, a pair of moccasins and sent him off.

About noon of the first day the youth came to an opening in the woods. There he found a large village in the opening. He went to one lodge and then to another, but he found that they were all vacant. Then he went to the Long Lodge,16 and he looked in; there he saw the dead body of a young woman, well-dressed, with beautiful ornaments, lying on a bench in the middle of the room. As he looked in, he thought, “I will go in and take those things. They will be good presents for my wife when I find one.” So he went in, took off the bracelets and neck ornaments and then went out. After he was outside of the Long Lodge he said to himself, “I think I will go home now and look for a wife another day.”

So he started northward, as he thought, running along quickly. After a while he came to a clearing, which, to his surprise, he found was the one he had just left; he saw the same village and Long Lodge, and he thought, “Well, I must have made some mistake in the direction.” He took his bearings again and hurried on toward home. Again he came out in the same village. “It must be that this woman brings me back because I have taken her ornaments. I will give them back to her.” So he went into the Long Lodge and put all the ornaments back on the dead body and hurried homeward. On the way he killed a bear. Skinning it and taking some of the best meat, he [96]put it into the skin and carried it with him, running as fast as he could, hoping to reach home that night. Once more he came out at the same Long Lodge in the opening at the time it began to be dark. “Well, this is wonderful,” thought he.

He made up his mind to spend the night in the Long Lodge, so he kindled a fire, spread out the skin, cooked his meat, and sat down to supper. As he ate he threw the bones behind him. Soon he heard back of him a noise which sounded like the gnawing of bones by a dog. “Perhaps it is a hungry ghost that does this,” thought the young man. “Well, I will give it some meat.” So he threw it pieces of meat and heard the sounds made as they were being eaten. After he had eaten his supper he got under the bearskin to sleep. But he soon felt something begin to pull the skin at his feet. When the fire began to die out he arose quickly and stirred up the embers, putting on more wood. All was quiet, however, and he lay down again. After a while, as the fire began to go down again, something crawled over his body and came up to his breast. He threw his arms around it, wrapping it in the bearskin covering, and sprang to his feet. A terrible struggle now began between the man and his unknown antagonist. They wrestled from that place to the other end of the Long Lodge and then down along the other side of the room. When they had almost reached the place where they started the gray of the dawn came; instantly the body in his arms dropped to the floor and lay still. He lashed the bearskin around it closely; then, leaving it on the floor, he cooked his breakfast.

After breakfast he was curious to know what was under the bearskin, for he thought it must be something connected with the woman. Opening the bearskin carefully he found nothing but a blood-clot about the size of his fist. First, he made a wooden ladle with his flint knife. Then, heating water, he dissolved in it some of the blood. Forcing open the skeleton woman’s jaws, he poured down her throat some of the blood. Again he did the same thing.

At length her breast began to heave. When he had given her half the blood she breathed, and when she had taken all the blood she said, “I am very hungry.” The young man pounded corn and made thin gruel, with which he fed her; soon she was able to sit up, and in a short time she was well again. Then she said: “This village was inhabited a short time ago. My father was the chief of it. He and all his people have gone south and they live now not far from here. Many men from the north wanted to marry me, and when I was unwilling to marry them they enchanted me in this place, so that my father and all his people had to leave, and I was left here for dead.” “Come! I will go with you to him,” said the young man.

The young man and woman set out together for the south, and they soon came to the village. The first lodge on the edge of the village was [97]inhabited by a Crow with a large family, who were very poor. The young man was left at a tree outside the lodge to converse with Crow. He told Crow the story of the Long Lodge and the recovery of the chief’s daughter. The Crow hurried over to the lodge of the chief and said to the chief and his wife, “Your daughter has come to life.” The old woman, taking a club, began to drive the Crow out of the lodge, saying: “You lying wretch! You know that no one has ever come to life after being dead more than ten days.” “Oh, well; do not beat him,” said the chief, “it may be true that our daughter has come to life, though dead twenty days.” “She has,” said the Crow, “for she is over by my lodge.” “Well, bring her here,” said the chief.

The two young people then came on invitation, and, as they were both willing, the young man became the chief’s son-in-law. After they had been married a few days the young man told his wife to go and get the best bowl her father had, for he was sick at his stomach and wished to vomit. She brought the bowl, and he vomited it full of the most beautiful wampum. This was an act which young wizards are expected to perform after marriage. “Take that now to your father,” said he. She took the bowl of wampum to her father as a gift from her husband. The old chief was delighted, and said: “That is the finest man I have ever seen. I knew that he was of good stock. This wampum will do me great good.”

Two or three days later the young man said to his wife: “You go and borrow your father’s bow and arrows, for I want to go to hunt. All the young men of the village are to hunt tomorrow, and I must go, too.” Starting very early, each one went out alone to hunt deer. The Crow went with the young man, and he said, “I will fly up high and look all around to see where the deer are.” The Crow saw ten deer some distance ahead, and, flying back, said to the young man: “I will fly behind those deer and drive them this way. You can kill all.” The young man stood behind and waited until the deer passed by; then he turned and, as all were in a line, he killed the ten with one arrow. The Crow said that in the village they never gave him anything but the refuse. “Oh!” said the young man, “you can have one deer for yourself today.” The Crow flew home with the news, and said: “What are all the other young men good for? The chief’s son-in-law has killed ten deer long before sunrise and the others have killed nothing.” None of the other hunters had good luck that day.

At night there was a feast and a dance in the Long Lodge. The disappointed hunters planned to take vengeance on the young man, the chief’s son-in-law. When going around to dance he came to the middle of the Long Lodge, by means of witchcraft they made him sink [98]deep down into the ground. But the Crow now called on his friend, the Turkey, to dig him up. The Turkey came and scratched until he dug down to the young man, and with the aid of a bark rope, which the Crow had made, together they drew him up.

The old chief now made up his mind to leave the village and the bad people, who were enemies of his son-in-law, and to go with the good people of the village to live at the lodge of his son-in-law’s grandfather. They all went and settled down there and lived happily.


8. The Man Who Married a Buffalo Woman

Near the river, at the place now called Corydon, in Pennsylvania, there lived a family of Indians. One of the boys arose very early one morning and went to the river. The air was foggy, but the boy heard paddling and soon saw two little people called Djogeon17 in a canoe, who came to the place where he was and landed. One of them said: “We came on purpose to talk with you, for you are habitually up early in the morning. We are on a buffalo hunt. There are three buffaloes, two old and one young, which run underground. If they should stop in this part of the country they would destroy all the people, for they are full of witchcraft and sorcery. In two days you must be in this place very early.”

When the time was up the boy went to the same spot on the river bank and in a short while the Djogeon came and said: “We have killed the two old buffaloes, but the young one has escaped to the west. We let him go because some one will kill him anyway. Now we are going home.” When they had said this they went away.

On the Allegany reservation the Seneca collected a war party to go against the Cherokee. One of the company was the fastest runner of the Seneca. Before they got to the Cherokee country they met the Cherokee and all the Seneca were killed except the fast runner. He ran in the opposite direction until out of their reach; then he started home by a different road from the one on which the party had set out. The third day, near noon, he came to a deer lick, and while he sat there he saw tracks which looked like those of a very large bear; he followed these until they led to a large elm tree; he found that the animal was not an ordinary bear, but one of the old kind, the great Ganiagwaihegowa,18 that eats people, and he said, “It matters not if I die, I must see it.” Climbing the tree and looking down into the hollow in the trunk he saw the creature. It had no hair; its skin was as smooth as a man’s. He thought: “I had better not attack that creature. I will go back to the deer lick.” Getting down, he ran to the lick. Then he heard a terrible noise and, looking back, he saw the animal come down from the tree. Drawing back, he ran and [99]jumped into the middle of the deer lick, sinking almost to his waist in the mud; he could not get out, but he could with great difficulty take a single step forward. He saw the Ganiagwaihegowa coming toward the lick; when it got to the place whence he leaped, it jumped after him. He dragged himself along, pulling one leg after the other; the animal sank so it could scarcely move. The man at last got to solid ground, but the Ganiagwaihegowa sank deeper and deeper. When it reached the center of the lick it sank out of sight.

The man ran some distance and sat down on a fallen tree. He did not know what to do; he was faint from hunger, having had nothing to eat, and was too tired to hunt. Soon a man approached and said, “You think you are going to die?” “Yes,” he answered. “No; you will not; I come to assist you. Go where I came from, off in this direction,” he said, pointing to one side. “You will find a fire and over it a pot; rest there and eat; men will come and trouble you, but pay no attention to them. When you sit down to eat one will say, ‘Throw a small piece over this way’; another will say, ‘Throw a bit over this way’; but pay no heed to them. If you throw even a bit, you are lost, for they will destroy you.”

He went as directed and found meat and hulled corn in the kettle. As he ate, it seemed as though a crowd formed in a circle around him, all begging for a portion. They kept it up all night, but he paid no heed to their begging.

In the morning, after he had traveled a short distance, he met the same man who sent him to the kettle, who now said to him: “I am glad that you did as I told you. Now you will live. Go toward the east, and when it is near night sit down by a tree. I will come to you.”

He traveled all day, and near sunset he found a fallen tree and sat down. Soon the man came and said: “Follow my tracks a little way and you will find a fire and a kettle with meat and hulled corn in it; you will be troubled as you were last night, but pay no heed to the words; if you escape tonight, you will have no more trouble.”

He went as directed; he found the fire and the kettle hanging over it; the kettle was filled with meat and hulled corn. That night a crowd around him begged for food as they did the night before, but he paid no attention to them. After he had started in the morning the man met him and said, “Keep on your way; you will meet no further danger, and will reach home safe and well.” After going on a little way he turned to look at his friend, and saw that instead of being a man it was Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa.19 He went along, and toward night he began to think he had better look for game. He saw a deer, which he shot and killed; then, building a fire, he roasted and ate some pieces of venison. He was now in full strength. [100]

The next day he kept on, and in the afternoon he shot a deer. When night came he lay down by the fire, but he could not sleep. After a while he heard some persons coming to his fire—a couple of women, he thought. One asked, “Are you awake?” “Yes; I am awake,” he replied. “Well, my husband and I have decided to have you marry our daughter here,” came the rejoinder. When she said this he looked at them, and they were attractive women, especially the younger one. He consented to her proposal. He did not know where to go, and thought that if he married her he would have company and could find his way home after a time. The two women stayed all night. In the morning the mother said, “We will go to my home.” They walked on until noon, when they came to a village where he thought a goodly number of people were living. He stayed with them a long time.

One night he heard a drum sounding near by and heard his father-in-law say, “Oh! Oh!” The old man seemed frightened by the call. It meant that the little Buffalo, which had escaped from the Djogeon and lived under the hill, was going to have a dance and that all must come. That morning they went to the place where the drum was beaten. The little Buffalo was chief of all these people. He had two wives. When they got to the place the whole multitude danced all night, and the little Buffalo and his two wives came out and danced. He had only one rib19a on each side of his body.

The next morning the chief and his two wives came out and went around in the crowd. Being very jealous, he pushed the young Buffalo Man away from his wives and began fighting them; then he went away again. The next morning the old father-in-law said to the man, “The two wives will soon come out and go to the stream for water; they will pass near you, but you must not speak or smile, for their husband is a bad, jealous man, and if you smile or speak he will know it at once and will harm you.” He did not, however, obey the old man’s words. The two women went for water, and as they came back they smiled and looked pleased, and the young man asked them for a drink; they gave it to him and went on. His father-in-law said, “You have not done as I told you; now the man will come out and say he has challenged a man to a foot-race, and he will name you.” Soon the Buffalo Man came out and said: “I have challenged this man to run. If I am a better runner than he, I will take his life; if he is better than I, he may take mine.” They were to begin the race early in the morning and were to run around and around the hill. The one who was ahead at sundown was to be the winner. The father-in-law said, “You must have an extra pair of moccasins to put on if yours get worn out.”

That morning the Buffalo Man came out, and saying, “Now start!” off he went. At noon his friends told his opponent to do his best, [101]for the Buffalo Man was gaining on him, and had just gone around the turn ahead. Soon the man overheard the Buffaloes tell the Buffalo Man to do his best, for the other man was gaining on him. Shortly after noon the chief’s son-in-law was only a few rods behind, and the Buffalo Man was tired; the latter began to go zigzag and soon afterward his opponent overtook him.

The latter did not know at first how to shoot the Buffalo Man. He could not shoot him in the side, for it was one immense rib; so he decided to shoot from behind. He shot and the arrow went in up to the feathers, only a little of it protruding. The two ran around once more, and as they came near the stopping place the people encouraged the man to shoot a second time. He did so, and the Buffalo fell dead. So the words of the Djogeon were fulfilled that some one would come who would kill the young Buffalo. The people crowded around the man and thanked him for what he had done.

After this the old man said to the people, “All can go where they like.” They separated, but he and his wife with their son-in-law and daughter went home. Then the mother-in-law said to the man, “Now you must get ready and go to see your mother.” They started, the man, his wife, and mother-in-law. They were ten days on the road. It was the time of sugar making. When they got near his mother’s lodge his wife said, “My mother and I will stop in these woods; your mother is making maple sugar and we will help her all we can.” The young man saw his mother and at night went to the lodge, leaving his wife and her mother in the woods.

In the night the wife and mother collected all the sap and brought a great pile of wood. The next morning when the mother and her son went to the woods they found no sap in the troughs under the trees, but when they got to the boiling place the big trough was full and a great pile of wood was near by. The work continued for some days. Then the old woman said to her son-in-law: “It is time for me to go home to my husband, and now you may be free. Have no hard feelings. I shall take my daughter with me. You must stay with your mother. There are many women about here who want to marry you, but do not marry them; there is but one that you should marry—the granddaughter of the woman who lives in the last lodge at the edge of the village. They are very poor and the girl takes care of her grandmother. You may tell the people when you get home that you saw buffalo tracks in the swamp; let them come out and shoot; the more they shoot the sooner we shall get home.”

The man told the people that he saw tracks in the swamp. The people went out, but did not get far before they overtook the Buffaloes and killed them. The man knew all the time that they were Buffaloes, but in his eyes they seemed like people. As he had been absent from his people so long, and as the rest of his company had [102]been killed, the Seneca thought him a great man. The women sought him as a husband for their daughters, but, refusing every offer, he married the granddaughter of the old woman who lived in the last lodge on the edge of the village.

When the Buffaloes were shot the people thought they had killed them, but in reality they had not done so. The Buffaloes left their carcasses behind, which the people ate, but their spirits went back to the old man and they were Buffaloes again.19b


9. A Woman and Her Bear Lover

A man and his wife with two sons—one on the cradle-board yet, and the other three or four years old—lived in the woods.

After a while the elder boy became puny and sickly. The man was much troubled by this and began to think that his wife was to blame. Every day he set out to hunt, and the woman went to get wood and to dig wild potatoes.

One day the man resolved to watch his wife; so he hid himself near the lodge instead of going to hunt. In a couple of hours the wife came out, gayly dressed, her face washed, and her hair oiled; she walked quickly to the woods. He followed her stealthily. She stopped at a large tree on which she tapped with a stick and said, “I am here again.” Presently a noise as of scrambling was heard in the tree, and a great Bear came out of the hollow in the trunk and slipped quickly to the foot of the tree. After a while the woman went away, and the Bear again climbed the tree. The man set off, seeking wild potatoes. Finding a place where there were many good ones, he dug up a large quantity.

The next day he took the woman there and dug up as many as she could carry; he then sent her home, saying that he would go hunting so that they could have a good supper. The hunter then went straight to the tree in which lived his wife’s lover, the Bear, and, tapping twice on it, said, “I am here again.” The Bear soon stuck his head out, and the man shot an arrow at him which brought him to the ground. The hunter left the skin of the Bear; he merely opened his body and took out the entrails, which he carried home.

The woman was glad and said to the little boy, “Your father has brought us a good dinner.” She cooked the entrails and the wild potatoes. They all sat down to eat, and the woman ate very heartily; but the man said that he was sick, and did not eat of the entrails. When she had nearly finished eating and her hands were full of fat, her husband said to her, “You seem to like to eat your lover.” “What?” she said. “Oh! eat more, eat plenty,” he replied. “I shall eat two or three mouthfuls more,” she said. As she was doing this, he said again, “You seem to like to eat your husband.” She heard him this time and knew what he meant. Jumping up, she ran out and vomited and vomited. Then she ran off into the woods to [103]the westward. The next day she took medicine, which caused an abortion, resulting in delivery of two bear cubs. Leaving them on the ground, she cut off her breasts and hung them on an ironwood tree.

A couple of days later the father said to the elder boy, “I think I must go after your mother; you stay in the lodge and take care of your little brother.” Then he brought a bowl of water and put feathers in it, saying, “If anything evil happens to me the feathers will be bloody.”

He started west. The first day he found the cubs and breasts on the ironwood tree, which he knew came from his wife.

After leaving the cubs the woman went on until she came to a village. She stopped in the first lodge at the edge of the village, where a family of Crows lived. The woman said that she was looking for a place to live, and, being a young woman, would like to get a husband. The old Crow said to one of his sons: “Run over to the chief’s lodge, and tell him that there is a young woman here who would like to get married. Perhaps one of his sons would like to have her.” The boy did as directed. “All right,” said the chief, “let her come over here.” The woman went over. She had her hair pulled back and tied tight at the back so there were no wrinkles on her face, and as her breasts were cut off, she looked like a young woman. One of the chief’s sons married her.

Two days later her husband appeared at the lodge of the Crows, asking whether they had seen such and such a woman. “I have come looking for my wife, who left me four days ago,” said the man. “Yes, such a woman came here two days ago. She is married to one of the chief’s sons.” “Go over,” said the Gagahgowa20 to one of his sons, “and tell the chief that his daughter-in-law’s husband has come.” The young Crow went over and delivered the message. “Have you ever been married before?” asked the chief of his daughter-in-law. “No,” replied the woman. “Then he lies,” said the chief to the Crow’s son. Turning to some of the warriors, he said: “We do not want such a fellow as that hanging around; go over and kill him.” The warriors went over to the Crow’s house, killed the man, and threw his body away.

Immediately the feathers in the bowl were bloody, and the boy knew that his father was dead. The next day he started westward, carrying his little brother on his back. Following the trail, they found the two cubs lying on the ground. Then the little fellow on the cradle-board looked at them, then at the breasts on the tree, and he knew that they belonged to his mother. They went on until they reached the Crow’s lodge, where they inquired, “Have you seen our father, who came after our mother?” “Oh, yes; the chief has killed your father, and your mother is at the chief’s lodge. She [104]is the wife of one of his sons. You run over and tell the chief that his daughter-in-law’s two sons have come after her.” He went and told his message. “Have you ever had any children?” asked her father-in-law and her husband. “No,” she said in a faint voice. “Go home,” said the chief, “and tell them my daughter-in-law never had any children. She is a young woman. How could she have two sons?” Then, turning to the warriors, he said: “Run over and kill those lying children. I do not want to have them around here.” When his sons came home the Gagahgowa said: “They will kill those two boys. It is a pity. Let us hide them.” When the warriors came the Gagahgowa said, “They have gone; they went back home, I think.”

The Crows cared for the boys. After a while the old Crow said: “Let us go away from here. Let us go far away into the woods where there will be good hunting. These little boys will bring us luck.” The Crow family moved far away into the deep woods; they planted corn and beans and had good crops. The boys grew up and hunted; they had great luck and obtained much game. The whole Crow family were fat and happy.

After several years the old chief at the village said one day: “I have not seen that Crow family for a long time. Run over, somebody, and see how they are getting along.” A runner, Haheshe,21 went over and, finding the Crow place in ruins, came back and said that their lodge had tumbled down and that they had gone away somewhere. “Go,” said the chief, “a number of you, and find them. They must be somewhere. Do not come back until you know where they are living now.” After a long search they found the Crow family living in happiness and plenty, far away in the woods. When they told the chief he said, “Let us all go there. There must be good hunting in that place.”

As soon as they were on the road it began to snow and to grow cold. It continued to snow heavier and faster, the snowflakes being almost as large as a man’s hand. The young chief and his wife hurried on ahead. She had a child on her back. They reached the Crows’ lodge almost frozen to death and covered with snow. The rest of the family were either frozen to death, buried in the snow, or forced to turn back. The snow was light near the Crows’ lodge, but as there was a great pile of deer carcasses near it, they had to carry them in. The elder brother was employed at this work when his mother and her husband came. Calling out, “My son!” she came near him. He pushed her back with a forked stick. She put her baby on him. He threw it on the ground in the snow. Just then the old woman of the Crows came out and said: “You should not do so. If your mother is wicked, you should not be likewise. Let them come in.” And Gagahgowa, the old Crow, allowed them to live there. [105]


10. The Fox and the Rabbit

One winter a man was going along quietly over a light, freshly fallen snow. All at once he saw another man coming toward him. The other man when within hailing distance shouted, “I am Ongwe Ias” (i.e., I am a man-eater). The first man decided to run for his life. Starting on a run, he circled round and round, trying to escape, but the other man, who was also a swift runner, was gaining on him. When the first man saw that he could not escape, he took off his moccasins and, saying to them, “You run on ahead as fast as you can,” he himself lay down and became a dead rabbit, half rotten, and all dirty and black.

When the second man came up and saw the black, dirty old carcass and the tracks ahead, he ran along after the moccasins. When he caught up with them and saw that only moccasins had been running on ahead of him, he was very angry, thinking, “This fellow has surely fooled me. The next time I will eat the meat anyhow.”

Thereupon the man-eater turned back. As expected, the dead rabbit was gone, and he followed the tracks. He soon came upon a man who sat rolling pieces of bark, making cords. The man-eater asked, “Have you seen a man pass by here?” No answer came from the cord-maker. Again he asked and then pushed the cord-maker until the latter fell over; whereupon he answered, “Yes; some one passed here just now.” The pretended cord-maker had sent his moccasins on again.

The man-eater hurried on, and the cord-maker, springing up, ran on a little and then turned himself into an old tree with dry limbs. He had made a circuit and came in ahead of the man-eater. When the latter came to the tree, he said, “I believe that he has turned himself into a tree;” so, punching the tree, he broke off a limb that looked like a nose, and that fell like dead wood. Then the man-eater said, “I do not think that it is he,” and started off again on the trail of the moccasins.

When he overtook the moccasins he thought, “I now believe that the tree was the man, and that he has fooled me again.” He hurried back; when he came to the spot where the tree had been it was gone, but where he had broken off the limb he found blood. Then he knew that the tree was the man he was seeking, and he followed the tracks.

When the man saw that his enemy was after him again, he fled until he chanced to come upon the body of a dead man, which he pushed on the path. When the man-eater came up, he said, “I will eat him this time; he shall not fool me again. I will finish him.” Then he ate the putrid carcass. The other man thus escaped his enemy.

[It is said that the man with the moccasins was a rabbit, while the man-eater was a fox.] [106]


11. The Snake with Two Heads

In olden times there was a boy who was in the habit of going out to shoot birds.

One day in his excursions he saw a snake about 2 feet long with a head at each end of its body. It so happened that the boy had a bird and, dividing it in two parts, he gave a portion to the snake in each mouth.

The next day he fed it again; and the youth made up his mind to do nothing but hunt birds to feed the snake. He went out every day and killed many birds and the snake grew wonderfully large. The boy, too, became a very good shot; he even killed black squirrels and larger game to feed the snake. One day the misguided youth took his little sister along with him and pushed her toward the snake, which caught her with one of its heads and ate her up.

The snake kept growing and ate larger and larger game. It devoured anything the boy brought to it. At last it formed a circle around the entire village of his people. The two heads came near together at the palisade gate, and they ate up all the people who came out. At last only one man and his sister remained. When the snake had swallowed enough persons it dragged itself off to the top of a mountain and lay there.

That night the man who was saved dreamed that he must make a bow and arrows and take certain hairs from his sister’s person and wind them around the head of each arrow; then he was to anoint the end of each arrow with blood from his sister’s catamenial flow.

When the man arrived near the mountain he shot an arrow at the monster, which struck it and worked into its body; and every arrow that the man shot did likewise. Finally the snake began to vomit what he had eaten. Out came all the people in pieces—heads, arms, and bodies, and wooden bowls—for the people had tried to defend themselves with every kind of weapon that they could grasp. The snake then began to writhe and squirm violently and at last it rolled down into the valley and died.


12. A Hunter Pursued by Genonsgwa22

Among a certain people in times past four warriors decided to go off on a hunting expedition. In order to reach their destination they had to ascend a large stream in canoes. Now, it is said these men were the inventors of bark canoes.

The eldest member of the party said, “We will go and land at a point which is called Kingfisher’s Place.” They had then been out for several days, and so after he had told them this they felt glad to know that soon they would land somewhere. They entered the [107]mouth of an affluent of the stream upon which they first started and, having arrived at their destination, the leader of the party said, “This is the place.” After they had landed and established their camp the leader said to his comrades, “Now, you must hunt and bring into the camp all the game you can.” It was then early in the summer. He told each one to do the best that lay in his power, with a strict command to observe the usual fasts and injunctions.

In the morning of the day following their arrival at the Kingfisher’s Place the leader in behalf of his men and himself besought the Stars, the Moon, and the Sun to prosper them and to give them a large measure of success in killing an abundance of game for their larder. Being expert hunters, they soon had plenty of meat and furs; the meat was dressed and properly cured, while the skins were prepared for tanning later.

One day one of the hunters said: “I am going a little farther away than usual. I am hunting elks.” But the leader said to him: “You must be careful in all that you undertake. No man must take any chances by going far out of the usual bounds, for I fear something evil may come to us.”

Now, it so happened that one of the hunters was exceedingly stubborn and would not accept advice from any source. So, without regard for the timely caution of his chief, he went farther than he had intended to go, after an elk. When night came all the hunters reached camp safe, except this stubborn man. As the others gathered around their fire at night they discussed his probable fate if he had gone too great a distance, reaching the conclusion that he had gone farther away than he had intended to go.

Now, the stubborn man had traveled all day. When night came on he erected a brush lodge and kindled a bright fire. He had encamped near a stream. Soon he heard in the distance voices which seemed to be those of human beings. Looking across the stream he saw on the farther bank what he believed to be two women, one carrying a baby which seemed to be very fretful, for the woman sat down and nursed it continually. The hunter, who was deceived as to the true character of the supposed women, was delighted to see people of any kind at that time.

Now, the women saw him at the moment he looked across the stream to learn what kind of people were making the sounds he had heard; and one of them hailed him with “Brother, how did you cross the stream?” It seemed strange to him that these women should call to him from so great a distance, but he told them to cross just below the point at which they then were and to come directly toward his fire and camp. The women kept on asking him, however, how he had crossed, but he answered only as before. Nevertheless, the women continued to say, “Tell us. You must have crossed in some [108]place.” The hunter, still dissembling, said, “Yes; I did cross right there where I have shown you.” While he talked to them he reached the conclusion that these women were not human beings, but that they must be Genonsgwa, of whom he had heard so much in the traditions of his people. Nevertheless, they were clothed like the women of his people, and one of them was quite beautiful in form and feature.

One of the women asked him if she could not stop with him overnight. The young hunter replied, “Yes; if you will come across the stream.” After looking at them more closely, he was firmly convinced in his mind that they were not women of the human species. Then one of the women said to her companion, “We will go on a little farther; perhaps we may find a ford.” Ascending the stream a short distance, they came to a footbridge consisting of a fallen log, on which the man had crossed. One of the women said to the other, “This is surely the place where he crossed.”

When the hunter saw them crossing on the footbridge, he went quickly some distance downstream and then, crossing at a ford, he again ascended the stream to a spot opposite his camp.

The moment that the women arrived at his camp fire the hunter became afraid, because of their actions. On looking across the stream they soon saw that the man was then where they themselves had just been, and one of them at once called to him: “Why do you run from us? Nothing will happen to you, so come back here. We will do you no harm.” Making no reply to these challenges, the man saw one of the women pick up his tomahawk and draw her finger across its edge, saying, “I do wonder whether this would kill a person or not?” The hunter shouted to her, “Yes; it can take a person’s life, so put it down at once, lest it do you harm.” She laid down the tomahawk and became very angry, because she saw that the hunter was determined to keep out of her way. As these women showed so great anger, the hunter felt sure they were in fact Genonsgwa.

Realizing that they were determined to reach him, the hunter told them to come across the stream directly to the point where he then stood, assuring them that he would remain there until they arrived. One of the women had requested him several times to return to the opposite side of the stream, but his only reply was, “You, yourself, come here.” This answer only made her angry. Finally the two women started for the footbridge, telling the hunter to wait for them, and again he assured them that he would do so. But when he saw them crossing he descended the stream and recrossed it at the ford; so when they arrived at the place where he had said he would await them, he was back at his own camp. [109]

The women could not walk side by side, but one had to follow the other. The younger one carried the baby. When they saw him back at his own fire, they became quite enraged, and one of them said to him, “A time will come when I shall get at you.” The hunter replied, “You kill human beings, and this is the reason why I do not want you to reach me.” One of the women tauntingly replied, “On the other hand, you are not able to kill anybody.” Then the hunter said, “You are very angry now, but I am about to show you that I can kill you.” Drawing his tomahawk, he struck a huge rock, which crumbled into small stones from the blow. “Well!” said one of the women, “I do believe that he can kill some persons.” Picking up his bow and arrows, the hunter aimed a shot at a tree, which he hit with terrific force. Seeing his skill, one of the women said, “There, he is really a man to be feared,” and she showed signs of astonishment at his feats. The younger woman exclaimed, “We have now come into contact with Thunder (i.e., Hinon), it seems.” But the elder one said: “Now, I am determined to work my will. He is dodging around in an attempt to escape, but I shall do what I intended to do at first.”

While they were talking it grew dark and, night coming on, the hunter could not see them but he could still hear them converse together. The elder woman was angry to think that he had endeavored to avoid them in every way. Having discovered who they were, the hunter was very cautious in his movements and continually on his guard lest they come on him unawares. Finding that, under cover of the darkness, they were recrossing the stream on the footbridge, he went down under the water, where he remained, going up and down in the middle of the stream bed.

When the elder woman could not find the hunter her anger was wrought up to a high pitch against him. He remained in the water until daylight, however, when coming up out of the stream he started off toward the camp of his fellow hunters. He was a very swift runner and possessed good staying powers on the race course; but when it was nearly midday he heard a voice behind him saying: “Now I have caught up with you. Now you are within my reach.” (The other members of this band were sad at the loss of this man, and so they had not gone out to hunt on this particular day.) When the fleeing hunter saw the woman overtaking him he put forth his best efforts to maintain his exhausting pace, but he felt his strength was fast failing him. At every sound of her voice he fell to the ground from the effect of her orenda.23 He knew by her manner that she was greatly enraged at him for attempting to escape from her.

Seeing that he could not possibly escape her by running he decided to climb a tree. He did this none too soon, for he had just reached a hiding place in the thick upper branches when the elder of the women [110]came to the tree. Like all Genonsgwa she could not look up into the tree, for they are prevented from doing so because of the stony covering of their bodies. In a short time the younger of the women came up bearing the baby. Having nursed the child she said, “We will now hurry.” Like her mother she could not look up into the tree, and so she did not see the man. Then the elder said, “I shall keep on for the reason that he is probably only one of a large hunting party.” As soon as the child had finished nursing she desired to know how far the man was ahead of them.

Taking a small, animate finger24 from her bosom, the elder woman placed it on the palm of her hand and asked it where the man was at that time. In reply the finger stood on end, pointing directly at the man in the tree. But the women, not understanding this, were somewhat puzzled. While they were thus perplexed the hunter, realizing in a moment the priceless value to them of the animate finger, decided to steal it, if possible. So, slyly slipping down the tree, he struck the ground with a bound, and before the two women realized what had happened he had snatched the finger from them and had made good his escape. With a wail of despair the Genonsgwa women called to the man to give them back the finger, saying, “You will cause us much unnecessary trouble if you do not return the finger to us.” But, finding the finger of great service to him, he paid no heed to their pleadings.

He could run much faster since he got possession of the finger, as it was his adviser and guide, indicating to him clearly the path to be taken. He consulted it to learn how far he was from the camp of his friends and in what direction the camp was located. After asking it these questions, he would place the finger on the palm of his hand, when it would point in a certain direction. After running some distance he would consult again this animate finger. At last it did not stand at an angle but pointed horizontally, and the hunter knew that he had arrived very near the camp of his fellows. Having reached the camp, he ate some food and regained his strength. He then told his comrades that two Genonsgwa women were following him closely, although it is said that after they lost the animate finger they could not go much faster than a slow run. When the hunter had told his story the chief of the party said, “We must gather up all our things and go home tomorrow.”

The next day, just as they had placed all their things in the canoe and had pushed off from shore, they saw the elder of the women, who called from the bank: “Give me back what you have stolen from me. If you will return what belongs to me, you shall be successful; you shall always have good luck.” She was weeping and was evidently in great distress. Then the chief of the hunting party asked: “What did you take from her? It may be true that we shall have greater [111]success if you return it to her. I think you would better do so. Show me what you took from her.” The young hunter then drew out the animate finger and showed it to him. The chief at once said, “Let her have it again.” The hunter replied: “It is well. I suppose she will never molest us again.”

Now, all the party were aware that the woman was a Genonsgwa. Placing the animate finger on the palm of his hand, the hunter held it out as far as he could over the stream toward her. In reaching over the water she lost her balance and fell into the stream. She sank at once, and all that the hunters saw was bubbles arising from the water. Then the young hunter said, “Let us be off quickly.” He retained the animate finger, which he afterward used in all his hunting expeditions.

The party reached home safe in due time. The young hunter became noted for his skill, owing to the animate finger, which he always consulted and which would always point out where he would find whatever game he wanted to kill—bear, elk, beaver, or pigeons.

So it happened that ever afterward he had a great supply of all things good to eat and of many fine furs and feather robes.


13. The Grandmother and Her Granddaughter

There was a grandmother living with her granddaughter. They had a skin of some kind for their blanket, the hair of which had largely worn off. Suddenly they found that the skin had become alive24a and was angry, and with all their might they ran for their lives. They heard the skin coming in fierce pursuit and it seemed very near to them. Then the grandmother began to sing, saying in her song, “My granddaughter and I are running our best for life; my granddaughter and I are running our best for life.” At the end of the song she could scarcely hear the sound of the animate skin following them. Not long afterward she heard it more plainly, but then they were near home. When they reached the lodge, the animate skin was so near it almost caught them. When they jumped through the door the skin clawed at them, scratching their backs, but they got in. The skin was a bear. The old woman and her granddaughter were chipmunks. Chipmunks now have stripes on their backs as the result of the scratches received by the two mentioned above.


14. The Woman Who Became a Snake from Eating Fish25

In the old times a young man and his wife lived together very happily in a village. The young man had a hunting ground one day’s journey from the village. There in the forest he had a lodge. [112]He usually asked his wife to go with him. She replied always that she would be very glad to go and to have a good time there; thereupon he said, “Let us make ready and go.” They would set out on their journey and would reach the place in the evening. After making a fire and cooking their supper they would spend the evening pleasantly.

The day after one such night the man went out and found plenty of game. He had like success on the second and third days. Everything seemed to be auspicious.

On the fourth day, while the man was gone, the woman saw many fish in the neighboring stream when she went for water and decided that she could catch some. So she caught several in the water basket. “What good luck I have had,” said she; “my husband will be surprised to have fish for supper.” She cooked and ate half of the fish and put the rest away for her husband. After a while she began to be thirsty. Going to the water basket she found it empty, so getting down on her hands and knees she began to drink from the stream. After a while she thought that she would stop drinking, but being still very thirsty, she drank more; then she drank still more, and, on raising herself, she saw that she was turning into a snake.

Meanwhile her husband came home. He did not find his wife in the lodge and seeing no water basket, he thought she had gone for water. Hurrying to the stream, he arrived there just in time to see her lower parts become those of a snake. She told him what had happened with regard to the fish—that she had had such a hunger for them that she had eaten a good many; and that she was sorry, very sorry, to leave him, but that she must go to the lake into which the stream flowed. She said, further, that in the lake was a serpent with which she had to fight a great battle, and that he might go to look on, and that he should burn tobacco for her success in the fight.

The woman floated down the stream, and her husband followed her. He saw the great battle in the lake. During this struggle the serpents would raise their heads from the water higher than a great lodge, and they fought and fought fiercely. She conquered the other serpent, but her husband did not wait to see the end. He went home.

After a while the husband was told in a dream that he must make a basswood woman and dress her up. He did this, using his wife’s clothes. The figure became just like his former wife. In another dream he was told that he must not touch the basswood woman for ten days. He refrained from touching her for nine days. But on the tenth day—she was so like his former wife—he touched her, whereupon she disappeared forever, there being nothing left in her place but a basswood stick. [113]


15. Gaqga (the Crow) Makes a Journey and Kills Many People

A man, a Gaqga, was traveling. He did not know whence he came, nor whither he was going. As he journeyed along he continually thought: “How did I come to be alive? Whence did I come? Whither am I going?”

After traveling a long time, he saw smoke through the forest, and approaching it, he found four hunters, named Djodjogis.26 Being afraid to go near them, he hid in the thickets and watched them. The next morning, after they had departed to hunt, Gaqga crept up to their camp and stole their meat, which he carried into the woods, where he made a camp for himself. He was lonely and said, “I wish there was some other people here.”

One morning he saw that some person was living west of his camp. Going to the lodge, he found a man, his wife, and five children; they were Djoñiaik27 people. Gaqga ate the youngest child first and then he ate the other four; in the meanwhile the father and the mother strove to drive him away, but they could not. Then, leaving old Djoñiaik and his wife crying for their children, he went home. Some time after this he saw another camp off in the southeast, where he found a family of Ganogeshegea28 people. Being afraid of the old people, he ran off, but they ran after him and beat him on the head until they had driven him far away. Then the man said, “Is it not a shame that such little fellows should beat me,” but he dared not go back.

Now he roamed over all the forest, but he could not find his camp. At last, saying, “Well, let it go; I do not care,” he walked on toward the north. Just before dark he saw a camp. Going cautiously toward it, he saw therein four men and a large quantity of meat. That night he hid in the woods. Next morning, looking toward the camp, he again saw the four hunters, and thought, “I will wait until they have gone to hunt and then I will get their meat.”

Soon after this he heard the hunters moving around; then all became quiet and he concluded that they had gone. He crept slowly toward the camp, but when he reached it he could not find a bite of meat. These were the same four brothers from whom he had stolen before. They had now finished hunting, and had packed their meat and started for home. Disappointed by this failure, he walked on; toward night he saw a camp, and, creeping near it, he again saw the four hunters. He listened to what they were saying. One said, “I wonder who stole our meat that day.” Another said: “I think that man is walking around in the woods. I think his name is Gaqga.” “Oh,” thought Gaqga, “they are talking about me. They will be on the watch. How can I get their meat?” Then he said, “I wish them all to sleep soundly.” They fell asleep, and he went [114]up boldly and took all their meat and hid it in the woods, saying, “This is the kind of man I am.”

The next morning the four hunters missed their meat. One said, “Who has stolen our meat?” Another said: “I dreamed that I saw Gaqga around here. I saw him go off toward the southwest.” Then all said, “Let us follow the direction given by the dream.” They started and soon came to the place where Gaqga was camped. He had been out all night and was now sleeping. One of the men said, “Let us kill him.” “No,” said another; “let him live; he did not kill us while we were asleep.” They took the meat and went away.

When Gaqga awoke he was very hungry, but the meat was gone. “Well,” thought he, “I must go and hunt for more meat,” but he could find none. About midday he heard the noises made by people. He listened and then went on to a lodge. Some one inside was singing and the song said: Gaqga is coming. Look out. Be careful, Gaqga is coming.” “Why does he sing about me?” thought Gaqga; “I will go inside and find out.” He found a man and his wife and four children. Gaqga said, “I have come to stay a few days with you.” “Very well,” replied the man of the lodge. During the night Gaqga ate all the children; then he lay down and slept. The next morning the old people said, “Where are our children?” Gaqga replied: “I dreamed somebody carried off your children, and my dream told which way he went. I will go with you to hunt them.” After they had gone some distance Gaqga said: “The man lives on that high cliff. I can not go with you for I do not like the man who lives there. I will wait here.” As soon as the father was out of sight Gaqga went away. Now he went on until he came to a place where he found many of his own people; they were having a great dance, and he sat down to watch them.

Soon Hanisheonon29 [the Muckworm] came from the east. The people stopped dancing and ran in every direction, but Hanisheonon pursued them, and, catching them one after another by the neck, threw them off dead. Gaqga, who sat watching, said: “What sort of a man is that? I wish he would see me; he can not throw me off dead in that way.” After killing many of the Gaqga people, Hanisheonon started toward the west, with Gaqga following him, but Hanisheonon kept on his course and did not regard the noise behind him. At last he stopped and, looking back, asked, “What do you want?” “I do not want anything,” said Gaqga; “I have just come to be company for you.” “I do not want your company,” said Hanisheonon. Gaqga was frightened. Both stood still. Suddenly Hanisheonon sprang at Gaqga and caught him, but Gaqga screamed so loudly that all his people who had run away from Hanisheonon heard the call and came to his aid. They flew at Hanisheonon and pecked him until he was dead. [115]


16. Ohohwa (the Owl) and the Two Sisters

Two sisters of a tribe lived near the edge of a village clearing. The chief dwelt near the center of it. The mother of these two sisters was accustomed to pick up deer droppings to put into the hominy instead of venison or fish. This was a custom practiced only by widows and by families who from some misfortune were too poor to obtain meat or fish.

One day one of the sisters asked her mother to let her have some of the droppings to mix with the hominy which she was preparing. Her aged mother, who was a widow, replied, “You should be ashamed of yourself to ask for such things, for you are a fine-looking woman and should marry the chief’s son; then you would not be obliged to seek such things for meat, for you would have a good hunter to provide you with all the meat and fish you required.”

Somewhat abashed, the daughter answered, “Well, if my sister will go, I will go; and if he will take us both, it will be well.” So they set to work and prepared the usual marriage bread, and when they were ready to start they asked their mother how the young man looked. She replied: “He is a handsome man, with a hooked nose. Beside the fire he has two deer heads, which are alive and open and shut their eyes whenever fuel is placed on the fire. This young man is very strong in magic—is possessed of potent orenda, and so he has many wild deer around his lodge. You must be very careful lest you be deceived by his uncle, who also has a hooked nose and very closely resembles his nephew. He will attempt to seduce you on the way. The first large lodge you see is the one to which you must go.”

So the daughters started and went along slowly. At last they saw a man running around old stumps trying to catch something. He did not see them coming. Shortly after they came in sight of him he stood up—protruding from his mouth was the tail of a mouse. Seeing the girls, he said, “Ho, ho, where are you two going?” “We are going to propose to the chief’s son,” they replied. “Well, what is his appearance?” was his next question. “Our mother said that he had a hooked nose,” came their answer. The wily old man said, “Look at me! Is not my nose hooked?” “Yes,” said the elder sister, “perhaps this is the man.” So they went to his lodge, which was an old, ugly-looking place. He said to them that he had to get his deer heads, so he got some old heads which his nephew had cast away. His mother and his little boy sat by the fire. He told them to keep quiet and they would have bread shortly. The child cried out, “Father, give me some bread.” The old man said, “Why do you not call me brother? I am your brother.” Then the old man shoved the little boy aside and sat down near the girls. One of them said, “We want to see the live deer you have around the lodge.” So they went [116]outside. This place was not far from that of the nephew. The old man called the deer, but they ran away. Then he said to the girls, “You are not mystically pure enough to come near those deer, for they are very subtle.”

The girls spent the night with the old man. His bed had but few skins, and one of the girls asked him, “Why do you not have a better bed?” “Oh, my mother is washing the turkey-feather blanket in the creek,” he declared.

During the night some person came to the door and said, “Old man, you are wanted at the lodge of your nephew.” The old man paid no heed to the summons. He was again summoned by the words, “Come! your nephew wants you.” Then he declared that he supposed that the people had become frightened at something and wanted him to call a council; so he started off. After he had gone the girls said, “Let us go over and see what is happening.” When they arrived at the lodge they heard loud peals of laughter, and so they peeped through crevices in the bark walls; they saw the old man dancing and before the fire a number of mice roasting on spits. As the old man passed them in his dance he would grasp one and eat it hot and burning, and everybody would laugh.

The girls ran back to the lodge of the old man and placed rotten logs full of ants in their bed in order to deceive him into thinking that they were lying there asleep. Then, taking their basket, which still contained some bread, they went outside the lodge to watch. When the old man returned they peered into the lodge to see what he would do. They saw him quietly creep into the bed between the two logs. Soon he began to be bitten by the ants. Thereupon he turned over, saying, “Do not be jealous of your sister”; but as the biting continued, he repeated his injunction. Finally, the ants made it so uncomfortable for him that he sprang out of bed, and then realizing that he had been lying between logs of wood full of ants, he bitterly upbraided his mother, although she knew nothing of the matter.

The girls then went to the lodge of the nephew, who willingly took them for his wives.

It was not long after this that the old man informed the people that they must close up the smoke-holes of their lodges, for a great pestilence was coming among them. So they did this. Then the old man, after sharpening a beech rod, carried it wherever he went. He made a great noise, saying: “Blue beech is coming. Blue beech is coming.” When he arrived at his nephew’s lodge he cast the beech rod down the smoke-hole, and it entered the breast of his nephew and killed him.

The next morning, when the people heard of the death of their chief, everyone began to weep for him. By the death of the nephew [117]the old man became the chief. He said that some one must marry the girl wives of the dead chief; so he called all the young men together, but before they could speak their minds the wily old reprobate exclaimed, “None of you will do.” He had asked each one for an expression of opinion, but would not permit anyone to answer him. Then he closed the conference by saying, “I must marry them myself.” But the girls would not remain and quickly escaped to their own home.

The old man was an owl, but the nephew was an eagle.


17. A Great Snake Battle

In old times some Indians had a great battle with snakes, and this is how it happened.

A certain man near the village of the Indians was hunting one day. He found a rattlesnake, which he mercilessly tormented. He tied a piece of bark around its body and passed another piece of bark through the body. Then, fastening the snake to the ground and building a fire, he said, “We shall fight,” as a challenge to the snake people. Afterward he burned up the snake and tormented many other snakes in this way, always challenging them to fight.

One day a man heard a peculiar noise. As he went near the apparent source of the sound, he saw a large number of all kinds of snakes going in one direction. Listening to their words, he heard them say: “We will have a battle with them. Djisdaah30 has challenged us.” They (the snakes) were going to hold a council. The man overheard them say, “In four days we shall have a battle.”

The man went back to the village and told the people what he had seen and heard. The chief sent a number of men to the place, and as far as they could see in all directions were snakes three or four feet deep, all moving toward their rendezvous. The men ran back and told the chief what they had seen. The chief said: “We can not avoid it; we have got to fight, and so we must get ready.” To do this they cut great piles of wood and drove stakes close together in the ground; there were two rows of stakes the whole length of the village, and they stacked up the wood in long piles. On the fourth day the chief told the men to set fire to the wood in several places.

When the snakes advanced to attack the village they came right on through the fire, and many of them were burned to death. So many rushed into the fire that they put it out. The live snakes climbed over the dead ones, and in spite of the resistance of the men, who were trying in every way to kill them, they reached the second row of stakes. Here again many were killed, but still the living climbed over the dead above the second row of stakes, and then the battle for life began in deep earnest. The first man they killed [118]was Djisdaah, the man who had challenged them, and then the snakes made for the village, and the men stood and fought. Finally the chief shouted that he surrendered.

Then a snake, whose body was as large as a mountain, and whose head was as large as a lodge, came right up out of the ground and said: “I am the chief of the snakes; we will go home if you agree that as long as the world stands you will not call any man Djisdaah and will not maltreat my people.” The chief agreed willingly to this, and the snakes went away.


18. The Ongwe Ias (the Cannibal) and His Younger Brother

Two brothers were in the woods on a hunting expedition, and after they had been on the hunt a good while they had success in finding game, and they had built a good sized lodge, in which they enjoyed everything in common.

The elder said to the younger brother: “Now, for the future we must live apart; let us make a partition through the middle of the lodge and have a door at each end, so that you shall have a door to your part and I a door to mine.” The younger brother agreed, and they made the partition. The elder brother said further: “Now, each will live for himself. I will not come to your room and you shall not come to mine; when we want to say anything to each other we can talk through the partition. You may hunt game as before—birds and animals—and live on them, but I will hunt men and eat them. Neither of us will ever marry or bring a woman to the lodge; if I marry, you shall kill me, if you can, but if you marry I will try to kill you.” The brothers lived thus apart in the same lodge, each going out to hunt alone.

One day while the brothers were out hunting, a woman came to the younger brother’s room. The elder brother tracked her to the lodge, caught her at the door, dragged her into his room, and killed and ate her. When the younger brother came home the elder said, “I have had good luck today near home.” The younger brother knew that he must have killed and eaten the woman, but he said merely, “It is well if you have had good luck.”

On another day the elder brother tracked a woman to his brother’s part of the lodge and, going to the door, knocked, calling out, “Let me have a couple of arrows; there is an elk out here.” The woman brought the arrows, and the moment she opened the door he killed her and took her body to his part of the lodge, where he cooked and ate it. When his brother came back they talked through the partition as before. The younger brother warned the next woman against opening the door; he told her to open it for no one, not even for himself; that he would come in without knocking. [119]

The next time the elder brother ran to the door and knocked hurriedly, calling out, “Give me a couple of arrows; there is a bear out here,” the woman sat by the fire, but did not move. Again he called, “Hurry! Give me the arrows—the bear will be gone.” The woman did not stir, but sat quietly by the fire. After a while the elder brother went into his part of the lodge. When the younger brother came home the woman told him what had happened. While they were whispering the elder brother called out: “Well, brother, you are whispering to some one. Who is it? Have you a woman here?” “Oh,” answered the younger, “I am counting over my game.” All was silent now for a time. The younger brother then began whispering cautiously to the woman, saying, “My brother and I will have a life-and-death struggle in the morning, and you must help me; but it will be very difficult for you to do so, for he will make himself just like me in form and voice, but you must strike him if you can.” The woman tied to his hair a small squash shell so as to be able to distinguish him from his elder brother. The latter again called out, “You have a woman; you are whispering to her.” The younger brother denied it no longer.

In the morning the brothers went out to fight with clubs and knives. After breaking their weapons they clenched and rolled on the ground; sometimes one was under and sometimes the other. The elder was exactly like the younger and repeated his words. Whenever the younger cried, “Strike him!” the elder cried out almost at the same time, “Strike him!” The woman was in agony, for she was unable to tell which to strike. At last she caught sight of the squash shell, and then she struck a heavy blow and finished the elder brother.

They gathered a great pile of wood and, laying the body on the pile, set fire to the wood and burned up the flesh. When the flesh was consumed they scattered the burnt bones. Then the younger brother placed the woman in the core of a cat-tail flag, which he put on the point of his arrow and shot far away to the west. Running through the heart of the upper log of the lodge, he sprang after the woman and, coming to the ground, ran with great speed and soon found where the arrow had struck. The cat-tail flag had burst open and the woman was gone. He soon overtook her and they traveled on together. He told her she must make all speed, for the ghost of his brother would follow them.

The next morning they heard the whooping of some one in pursuit. The younger brother said, “My brother has come to life again and is following; he will destroy us if he can overtake us.” Thereupon he turned the woman into a half-decayed stump and, taking off his moccasins and telling them to run on ahead,31 he secreted himself a short distance away. “Go quickly through swamps and [120]thicket and over mountains and ravines, and come to me by a round-about way at noon tomorrow,” he said to the moccasins.

When the elder brother reached the rotten stump he looked at it and, seeing something like nostrils, put his finger in and almost made the woman sneeze. Though suspicious of the tree, he followed the moccasin tracks swiftly all day and night.

At the break of day the younger brother and the woman continued their journey. At noon the elder brother came back to the place where he saw the stump and not finding it, he was in a terrible rage. He knew now that he had been deceived. He continued to follow the tracks, and on the second day the pursued couple heard his whoop again. Taking out of his pouch a part of the jaw of a beaver with a couple of teeth in it, the younger brother stuck it into the ground, saying, “Let all the beavers come and build a dam across the world, so that the waters may rise to his neck, and let all the beavers in the world bite him when he tries to cross.” Then he and the woman ran on.

When the elder brother came up, the dam was built and the water neck-deep; finding that the tracks disappeared in the water, he said, “If they have gone through I, too, can go through.” When the water reached his breast all the beavers began to bite him, and he was forced to turn back and look for another crossing. All day he ran but could find no end to the dam and cried out, “I have never heard before of a beaver dam across the world.” He then ran to the place whence he had started. The dam was gone and all that remained was a bit of beaver jaw with two teeth in it. He saw his brother’s work in this and was now raving with anger. He rushed along with all speed.

The second day after the younger brother and the woman heard his whoop again. Taking out a pigeon feather from his pouch, the younger brother placed it behind him on the ground, saying, “Let all the pigeons of the world come and leave their droppings here, so that my brother may not pass.” All the pigeons of the world came, and soon there was a ridge of droppings 6 feet high across the country. When the elder brother came up he saw the tracks disappearing in the ridge; thereupon he said, “If they have crossed I, too, can cross it.” He walked into it but he could not get through, and so he turned back with great difficulty and ran eastward to look for an opening; he ran all day, but the ridge was everywhere. He cried in anger, “I have never known such a thing.” Going back, he slept until morning, when he found that all was clean—nothing to be seen but a pigeon feather sticking in the ground. He hurried on in a frenzy of rage.

After dropping the feather the younger brother and woman ran until they came to an old man mending a great fish net. The old man [121]said: “I will stop as long as I can the man who is chasing you. You have an aunt who lives west of here, by the roadside. The path passes between two ledges of rock which move backward and forward so quickly that whoever tries to pass between is crushed, but if you beg of her to stop them for a moment she will do so and will give you information.” They hurried on until they came to the woman, their aunt, and prayed her to let them pass. She stopped the rocks long enough for them to spring through, saying: “Your path is through a river, on the other side of which is a man with a canoe; beckon to him and he will come and take you over; beyond the river is a whole army of Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa, but they will not harm you. A little dog wagging his tail will run to meet you. Follow him and he will lead you to an opening in which is your mother’s lodge. The dog will enter—follow him.”

When the elder brother came to the old man who was mending his net he passed, and, pushing him rudely, called out, “Did anyone pass here?” The old man did not answer. Then he struck him a blow on the head with his club. When he did that the old man threw the net over him and he became entangled and fell. After struggling to get out for a long time, he tore himself free and hurried on. When he reached the old woman where the rocks were opening and closing, he begged her to stop them, but she would not; so, waiting for a chance, he finally jumped, but was caught and half his body was crushed; he rubbed it with spittle and was cured. Then he hurried on in still greater fury. When he came to the river he shouted to the man in the canoe, but the man paid no heed; again he shouted, and then he swam across. On the other side he found an immense forest of withered trees, which for miles had been stripped of their bark and killed by the hammering of turtle-shell rattles by Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa, keeping time with them while dancing. These Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa, turning upon him immediately, hammered all the flesh off of him; they then hammered all his bones until there was not a trace of him left. When the mother saw her son and his wife she was very happy, and said: “I am so glad you have come. I was afraid your elder brother who took you away would kill you. I knew he would try to do so. Now you will always stay with me.”


19. Haieñdoñnis and Yenogeauns2

One day Haieñdoñnis, carrying all his small effects, was walking along through the forest. It seems that he did not know where he came from, nor did he know to what particular place he was going, although he well knew that he was going in a northerly direction. Wherever evening overtook him there he would place his bundle on the ground and get into it, when he had no hollow tree to enter, and thus spend the night. In this way he traveled many days. [122]

One morning he came to a steep precipice; here he began to wonder how he might be able to descend its face with so large a pack on his back. At last he placed his pack on the ground, and, hastening to a basswood tree standing some distance away, he stripped all the bark from it, which he slit into fine strands. Tying the strips together, end to end, he made a long strand, one end of which he fastened to a hemlock tree standing on the brink of the precipice and the other he let down over the brink. Then taking hold of the strand near the hemlock tree, he carefully lowered himself over the edge of the cliff. He was soon at the end of the strand and there he hung. His bundle pulled down the upper part of his body until he was in an almost horizontal position, with his face turned upward, so he could not see just where he was. Although he was near the ground he did not know it. Feeling that his situation was critical, he thought: “What shall I do now? Would it not be better for me to kill myself by letting go of the strand, for I can not get up, nor can I in any manner descend.” Finally he decided to let go of the rope of basswood bark and fall to the bottom of the precipice; but, as he released his grip, his pack touched the ground and his head rested on the pack. He thought, however, that he was falling all the time. At last he felt weary of falling, and said, “I will try to turn over on one side, so that I can see whither I am going.” So turning himself on one side he found that he was on the ground, and he exclaimed, “I have been greatly delayed by not knowing that the ground was at the end of the strand of basswood bark.” So saying he arose and went on.

When darkness came he found, after diligent search, a hollow tree, in which he spent the night. In this manner he traveled for many days. Finally he decided to find a place in which to dwell, and he resolved that it must be a place where the trees stood only a short distance apart. Having found such a spot, he built a small cabin, in which he put his pack. Then he began to arrange his things in order—skins and furs, ladles and bark bowls, pouch and weapons.

The next morning he went out very early to hunt for food. Soon he saw a deer walking along, and on pointing his finger at it the deer fell dead. Then he carried its carcass home on his back. He then ordered that it skin itself, and this it did. He cut the carcass into suitable portions, some of which he hung up around the inside of the cabin and some he roasted for his meal. That night he found that he had no firewood. Going out of doors, he said in a loud voice, “Let wood for fuel come and pile itself beside my doorway.” The wish thus expressed was immediately accomplished.

This remarkable man had an influence over every kind of game. When he desired a particular animal, all that he had to do was to point his finger at it, and the victim would fall dead. In this way [123]he was able to kill much game in a day. When he returned to his small cabin he did not carry the game, but would stand at the door and say, “Let the game which I have killed be piled up beside my doorway.” When this was done he would say, “Let the skins come off and the meat be quartered, put up to dry, and be smoked.” Then he would enter his cabin, paying no further attention to the game. In the morning he would find the meat hanging up to dry and a large heap of skins lying at his door. He would then spend the day in tanning the skins.

One day while he was out hunting he saw Gaasyendietʻha,32 whereupon he pointed his finger at him and Gaasyendietʻha at once fell dead. Haieñdoñnis took off his skin for a pouch. Going some distance farther, he beheld a panther. On pointing his finger at it, the panther fell dead and he then skinned it. In like manner he killed and skinned a fox. With these three skins he was enabled to make three pouches, which, on his arrival at his home, he hung on the wall of his cabin.

After a while the thought came to him, “What shall I do with these three pouches?” Then he took down the pouch made of the skin of Gaasyendietʻha and commanded it, saying, “Stand upright here.” Instantly Gaasyendietʻha stood there before him alive. Then Haieñdoñnis made the other two pouches come to life in the same manner, and there they stood inside his cabin. Meanwhile the rumor spread that Haieñdoñnis had settled down in that place and that he was possessed of potent orenda, or mighty magic power, and that he was a sorcerer through possession of this mysterious potency, which worked good for his friends and evil for his enemies.

Not far from the cabin of the mysterious Haieñdoñnis stood the lodge of a woman and her three daughters. The mother was reputed to be a great witch, and it was said that she had come there to dwell because no one in the settlement of her tribe wanted to live near her.

One day she said to her three daughters, “Let us pound corn for meal and make corn bread.” So, having prepared the corn for the mortar, they began to pound it, each using a pestle. The corn was soon reduced to meal and the mother made it into corn bread. Filling a basket with this, she said to her eldest daughter, Deyondennigongenyons,33 who was a very handsome girl, “I want you to go to Haieñdoñnis’s lodge to learn whether he will marry you or not.” They lived one-half day’s journey from Haieñdoñnis. Willingly obeying her mother, the girl started with the basket of corn bread.

Haieñdoñnis saw the woman coming with a basket on her back, and he exclaimed: “Hoho! There is a woman coming. I think that she is coming to see me. I do wonder if indeed she desires to marry me.” Then, addressing the pouch, Gaasyendietʻha, he said: “I [124]want you to go yonder and to stand beside that tree there. You, Panther, stand a little nearer to the cabin, and you, Fox, stand in the doorway of the cabin.”

As the woman drew near Haieñdoñnis sat smoking his pipe. She came quite close to Gaasyendietʻha, but as she walked with her head down at first she did not see him; but when just in front of him she noticed something, and, looking up, saw so fierce-looking a person that instinctively she turned back and fled. As she ran along the bread all fell out of her basket, so when she reached home there was none left. Her mother, Yenogeauns, asked her, “What is the matter?” But she was entirely out of breath and could not answer. Haieñdoñnis was laughing, for he saw her run all the way home.

After several days the mother said to her daughters, “We will again make corn bread.” Soon the girls had prepared and pounded the corn into meal, which the mother made into bread. Then she addressed her second daughter, Yonwithahon,34 saying: “Take this basket and go to the lodge of Haieñdoñnis and see if he will marry you. Your sister was a great coward, and so she failed.” Obeying her mother, the girl started on her journey.

Haieñdoñnis saw her coming and said: “Here comes another woman. She will soon be scattering her corn bread, too.” So he stationed the living pouches as he had before. The girl came along with her head down until she reached Gaasyendietʻha, and, seeing him, she said, “I need not be afraid,” and passed on. In like manner she passed Panther, and came to the doorway; there before her stood a man rubbing something against the door which frightened her greatly, and she screamed and fled homeward. On her way she likewise lost all the bread out of her basket. Seeing her flight, Haieñdoñnis laughed at her, too.

Haieñdoñnis hunted a good deal and was accustomed to clean intestines of the game he had killed and fill them with blood and pieces of fat and meat, and so cook them. He cooked many of these and hung them over his couch.

After a few days had elapsed the old woman said to her daughters, “Let us make another trial.” It would seem that the mother well knew what had happened to her daughters who had made the journey to the lodge of Haieñdoñnis. So they made corn bread of such kind as was customary in proposals for marriage, and they filled a basket with it. Then the wily old mother said to her youngest daughter, Yenongäa: “You make the attempt this time. Do not notice anything or fear anything, but go directly to the lodge of Haieñdoñnis.” The dutiful daughter replied with some inward misgivings: “It is well. I will try,” and, taking up the basket of bread, she started.

Now, Haieñdoñnis soon saw her coming, and he exclaimed: “Is it not wonderful what small value these people place on bread? They [125]come here with it and then run off, scattering it along the path as they flee. Now this one is coming with a basketful on her back, and I suppose that she will run off, dropping it along the way behind her.” He watched her come up to Gaasyendietʻha, and saw her look at him and then strike him, so that he fell to the ground. She saw that this seemingly ferocious figure was only the animated skin of Gaasyendietʻha. So coming up to Panther, she dealt with him as she had with Gaasyendietʻha. On arriving at the door where her second sister had thought she saw a man, Yenongäa went up to Fox and struck him a blow with her hand; down he fell, for he, too, was nothing but a pouch of fox skin, the tail of which the wind had been brushing against the flap of the doorway, the occurrence which frightened her sister. The other sisters had thought that living beings stood before them.

Now, when Haieñdoñnis saw her doing these things, he thought, “She will surely come into the lodge; so I must get my pipe and pretend to be an old man.” On entering the lodge, Yenongäa inquired, “Where is Haieñdoñnis?” Receiving no answer, she repeated her question, and then Haieñdoñnis replied in an old man’s accents. “It seems to me that I hear a woman’s voice.” So she called in a louder tone. Then he looked up, saying, “I do not think that he is at home, or that he will return before the end of ten days.” The unabashed young woman replied, “It is well. Then I will come in ten days,” and started for home.

At the end of ten days the youngest daughter again set out for the lodge of Haieñdoñnis. When she drew near he saw her, and said to himself, “Now I shall change myself into a small boy.” On this visit the young woman paid no attention to the animated pouches representing Gaasyendietʻha, Panther, and Fox, but went directly to the doorway and stood there. On making her presence known, she heard the voice of a small boy say, “Come in.” After entering the lodge she asked, “Where is Haieñdoñnis?” The answer came: “He has just gone out. He has gone to the other side of the world.” “How long will he be gone?” was her next inquiry. “Oh!” came the reply, “he said that he would be gone about ten days.” Then she assured the small boy that she would return in that time.

At the end of the time Haieñdoñnis saw her coming again, and resolved to make himself invisible this time, to deceive her. So when she had made her way into the lodge and set her basket down, she looked around but saw no one. Then, saying, “I will wait a while,” she sat down on the couch of Haieñdoñnis. The situation was so amusing that Haieñdoñnis laughed out loud, and the young woman, becoming frightened, arose and fled home, where she arrived quite ashamed of herself, for she had left her basket of corn bread. Her mother asked, “Where is the basket of corn bread?” but she made [126]no reply, knowing that her mother was aware of what had taken place. The mother then heated water and prepared to wash her daughter clean, for she saw that some of the deer intestines which hung in the lodge of Haieñdoñnis were clinging to her daughter. The old woman took them with the remark: “I am thankful to you. These are good meat. You shall go there again to-morrow.”

So the next morning she went again, and when Haieñdoñnis saw her he laughed, saying, “I think that all the intestines will go this time.” On entering the lodge she saw Haieñdoñnis in his real shape. He asked her what she was going to do with the basket of bread which she had left in his lodge. She replied, “My mother sent me to live with you as your wife.” He replied, “It is well, and I agree to it,” and from that time they lived together as man and wife. These two were evil-minded, wicked people, who were full of the orenda, or magic power, of sorcerers, and all wizards and witches in the world knew just the moment that they became man and wife.

The next morning Yenongäa said to her husband that she desired to visit her mother. Haieñdoñnis readily gave his consent to her going; so she went to her home. At once her mother began to work over her for the purpose of endowing her with much more evil-working orenda, and she instructed her, too, how to enslave her husband. She also said to her, “You must urge him to come to live with us.” The young woman returned to her husband, who, on looking at her, discovered that she was being equipped to enslave him. But he foiled her this time and every succeeding time that she undertook to do so. She went to her mother’s lodge for a long time. Finally, Haieñdoñnis became wearied by this conduct of his wife and her mother, and said to himself: “I wonder why they act in this manner. I think that it would be well for me to destroy her people.” To this he made up his mind.

The next morning she again told him that she was going to visit her mother. After she had started Haieñdoñnis followed her. By taking a circuitous route he got ahead of his wife, arriving at her mother’s lodge before she did. Rushing into the lodge, he faced the old woman. He said to her, “I have come to fight with you,” and the aged hag graciously accepted his challenge. So they at once began fighting with war clubs, and were fighting fiercely when the wife entered the lodge. She wondered how her husband had passed her. She stood there powerless to aid either one. The combatants kept on fighting until Haieñdoñnis was certain that the old mother and the two elder daughters were dead. Then addressing his wife, he said, “You go off yonder a little way,” and she willingly obeyed him. Thereupon he set the lodge on fire, and the flames were soon rising high. After the fire had died out somewhat there were a number of explosions among the embers, sounding pop! pop! Then up flew a [127]horned owl, a common owl, and a screech owl to the upper limbs of a tree standing near the scene. These were owls in human form.

Thus were the three women utterly destroyed. Then Haieñdoñnis said to his wife, “Let us go home now.” But she stood there looking in one direction; she seemed spellbound. At last her husband took her by the arm, again saying, “Let us go home,” and she turned and followed him.

It seems that those who were most skilled in the arts of sorcery and enchantment, who dwelt even to the very edge of the world, knew the exact moment Haieñdoñnis had killed the old woman and her wicked daughters, for at that moment a great shout of joy went up from the people, which was heard all over the world; they rejoiced because these women so powerful in magic and so utterly wicked were dead and burned up.

Now, Haieñdoñnis, putting spittle on his hands, rubbed with opposing orenda, or magic power, the head of Yenongäa,35 his wife. He gently pulled and smoothed her hair, which had been short before that time, and it soon became long and glossy. He had neutralized her orenda through this manipulation. Thereafter they dwelt in the lodge of Haieñdoñnis in great contentment.


20. The Man with the Panther-skin Robe and His Brother with a Turkey-skin Robe

In the olden time an uncle lived in a lodge together with two nephews, the one 2 or 3 and the other 15 or 16 years of age. They dwelt happily in a forest. When the uncle went out to hunt the elder nephew would remain at home and when the elder nephew was out hunting the uncle would not leave the lodge, for the younger nephew was too small to leave alone during the day.

One day the elder nephew said to his uncle: “Mother’s brother, will you kindly kill a turkey gobbler for me? If you will, I will make a robe for my little brother.” “How will you do that?” queried the uncle. “Oh, I shall skin him and make a feather coat for my little brother,” declared the elder nephew.

The next day the indulgent uncle brought home from his hunting a beautiful white wild turkey gobbler and his nephews were delighted to see it. Then the elder nephew skinned the fine bird, leaving the head, legs, wings, and tail attached to the skin. He rubbed and carefully prepared in the usual manner the skin with the feathers in place, and when it had been thoroughly cured and tanned with smoke he placed the turkey-skin robe on his little brother, whom it fitted very well. The boy thrust his feet into the skins of the legs and his arms into the skins of the wings. The skin was a close fit, because the little boy was just the size of a turkey gobbler, and now he looked [128]just like one. The little fellow was able to walk around looking for beechnuts and he could also fly up into trees, so his uncle and elder brother called him “Turkey Brother.”

The uncle and his two nephews lived together until the elder nephew was of an age to be married. Then the uncle said: “Oh, I am tired of cooking and of doing other kinds of woman’s work. I would like to have something prepared by a woman. You, my nephew, are now old enough to marry; so now go off among the people and seek a suitable wife. There is a chief living not far from here who has three excellent daughters, and you can get one of them for the asking.” The nephew, after a moment’s hesitation, replied, “It is well; I am willing to go to seek a wife.”

Now it happened that the Turkey Brother earnestly desired to leave home in quest of a wife, but his elder brother deprecated his desire to go at this time, saying, “Oh, my Turkey Brother, it is better that you remain at home with our uncle, who is now in need of our company—how can we leave him entirely alone?” But the Turkey Brother, unmoved by this plea, answered, “I do not want to stay with my uncle; my wish is to accompany you.” No matter how much the elder brother coaxed or how bitterly he scolded him for his great desire to leave home at this time, the Turkey Brother was determined to go at all cost, so finally he was permitted to leave. The uncle said to him: “Now, my nephew, you must have a suitable outfit of raiment and a fitting stock of weapons, for people must see that you are a great man. I will now bring what I have prepared for you for an occasion of this character.”

Then the uncle brought forth a fine coat or robe of wildcat skins and placed it on his nephew. Stepping back in order to see better how his nephew looked in it, he declared, “That is not good enough.” Then he brought out a beautiful lynx-skin robe and placed it on his nephew’s shoulders. Again stepping back to get a better notion of the set of it, he exclaimed: “This, too, is not befitting the occasion. Oh, I have another, which is just the thing for you.” Thereupon he took from his bark chest of treasures a magnificent panther-skin robe, with the head of the animal formed into a cap or hood. When the wearer of this remarkable robe became excited this head would cry out in anger. In this cap the uncle placed two loon feathers, which sang at all times. This fine robe the uncle put on the shoulders of his nephew and, after critically inspecting him, he exclaimed, “This is befitting and needful, and it will suit the purpose of your journey; now, the people will see you as you are.” To complete the outfit the uncle now brought out a pair of handsome moccasins and a pair of beautiful leggings to match them and an ornamented pouch of a whole fisher’s skin, which, whenever an enemy came near its wearer, snapped at and bit him. In this pouch was a stone pipe, the bowl of [129]which represented a bullfrog and the stem a water snake; when this pipe was smoked the bullfrog would croak and the snake would wriggle and try to swallow the frog. Lastly the uncle gave his nephew a fine bow and a quiver full of arrows, and a war club.

Then, addressing his nephew, the uncle said: “Now, my nephew, go directly toward the west. It is six years’ journey to the country whither you are going. For a long distance from here on all sides the people have been carried off, and we are the sole survivors of our tribe; this is the reason you must go so far to obtain a wife. There is a dangerous spring halfway between here and your destination; it is close to the path, but you must not under any circumstances stop there or touch the water. Farther on, about midway between the spring and the chief’s lodge, dwells an old man, a great sorcerer and robber. You must not pay any attention to him. Do not on any account stop with him or listen to him.”

The two brothers started on their long journey at sunrise. By midday they had reached the spring, although it was distant three years’ ordinary traveling. As soon as the elder brother saw the spring he became very thirsty and strongly desired to drink of the water, but the Turkey Brother exclaimed, “Our uncle warned us not to touch this spring, for it is dangerous to do so.” As they were passing on, the elder brother, looking again at the spring, became so thirsty that he went back to drink from it. Lying on his hands and face, he started to drink, when something caught him by the hair and pulled him into the water. Gripping the creature, he succeeded after a long struggle in drawing it upon the bank. It was a strange creature covered with hair and resembling a man in form and size. As it lay on the bank it gasped and piteously begged to be returned to the water, saying, “Oh, grandson, throw me back into the water!” “Oh, no! You must remain where you are,” he sullenly replied. He stooped the second time to drink, when another creature seized him, but this also he pulled out of the water. It, too, gasped, “Oh, grandson, throw me back into the water!” Without making a reply he stooped a third time to drink and was then undisturbed. The water was very sweet and wholesome. When he had drunk his fill he killed the two creatures. Then with the Turkey Brother’s help he collected a great pile of dry wood on which they placed the two creatures and soon burned them to ashes. Thereupon they continued their journey.

In the middle of the afternoon they came to a place where there were many tall trees. There they saw a poor-looking old man, who kept running around in great haste, shouting: “Oh, grandson, shoot it! Look here! Such a fine raccoon! Oh, shoot it for me! Just one arrow you need spare me.” He begged so urgently that the elder [130]brother shot an arrow at the raccoon, which struck its body. The raccoon ran into a hole in the tree, as the elder brother thought. The old man shouted: “Oh, you must get your arrow! We must find the raccoon; you must take off your garments, lest you should spoil them. You need not be afraid. I shall not touch them, for I shall go up the tree, too.” So the young man removed his robe, leggings, moccasins, and pouch and laid them at the foot of the tree, which he climbed, the old man following him closely. When they reached the hole in the tree the young man peered into it, and, thinking he saw right at hand the arrow sticking in the raccoon, he reached to pull it out; but the old man pushed him into the hole in the tree, and down he went through the hollow in the trunk to the bottom. There was there no raccoon, only an illusion.

Now, the old man, quickly descending to the ground, donned the panther-skin robe, the leggings, and the moccasins, and he also took the pouch with the pipe. At once he began to grow younger in looks; he felt younger, too, and the cap began to roar. Taking the bow and arrows, he started off westward toward the lodge of the chief.

The poor Turkey Brother began to weep and to scream for his lost brother whose clothes were stolen. He flew upon a tree and sat there weeping.

On recovering his senses the elder brother thought: “Now I am certainly in trouble. My dear uncle warned me not to listen to this old man. How can I ever get out of this place? There is no way of climbing out of this den, for the opening is smooth on every side.” Under his feet he felt the bones of other unfortunate people who had been thrown in there before by the wicked old man, and he smelt the odor from them. He remained all night in the hollow of the tree. Toward morning he remembered that in his boyhood he had had a dream, in which a large spider appeared to him, saying, “When you get into trouble I will help you.” He therefore cried out, “Oh, great Spider, come to me and help me now!” At that moment a great Spider began to make a web in the tree, and soon it had made a large ladder woven of thick strands. “Now climb,” said the great Spider. But the young man had not gone up more than halfway when the web ladder broke. “Oh,” said he to the great Spider, “you are not able to help me at this time.”

Then he remembered that he had had another dream, in which an enormous blacksnake had appeared to him and had promised to help him whenever he was in trouble. Therefore he cried out, “Oh! Blacksnake, come to me and help me now.” Straightway there came a great Blacksnake on the tree, which slipped its tail down into the hollow in the trunk until the young man was able to seize it; then [131]the snake coiled itself up, bringing the young man to the top in safety; thereupon the great Blacksnake disappeared.

The Turkey Brother greatly rejoiced to see his brother and, flying to the ground, said: “What can we do? Must we not go home to our uncle now?” “Oh, no!” said the elder brother; “we must go on. I will put on the old man’s clothes.” So he arrayed himself in the old man’s worn-out garments—his shabby robe, stiff leggings, old moccasins, and filthy headdress. He now looked like the old man, having a weak voice and a terrifying cough.

Meanwhile the old man felt grand in the stolen panther-skin robe, for he had arrived at the chief’s village early in the evening. In front of the chief’s lodge was a broad river. The chief appeared to him on the opposite side, and the old man shouted across to him to be ferried over. The chief’s eldest daughter rowed across in a canoe and, seeing the fine-looking man wearing the panther-skin robe and moving around with a haughty bearing, asked him, “Who are you and whither are you going?” The old man coolly replied: “I come from the east, and I am going to the lodge across the river. The truth of the matter is, I am looking for a wife, and I hear that the chief has three marriageable daughters.” “Well, I am one of his daughters,” replied the young woman. Then the old thief answered, “Oh! I think that you would suit me very well.” “Then you are my husband, and we will live together,” rejoined the young woman. She brought him to her father’s lodge and showed him her couch, which was beautifully adorned with fine furs and skins, saying, “This is your place for repose.” He sat there quietly until his wife came to him.

The next evening the elder brother and the Turkey Brother appeared on the opposite side of the river. The former attempted to shout, but his voice was so weak and thin that for a long time he could not make himself heard. At last, some one outside of the lodge said, “There are a man and a turkey on the other side of the river, who are trying to cross.” The youngest daughter of the chief went over and asked the man, who was old in appearance, whence he came and who he was. “I came from the east,” he replied, “and I am on my way to the chief’s lodge. I want to get married, and so I am looking for a wife.” “Looking for a wife? Why, you are too old to marry,” replied the chief’s daughter. “I am not old; I am quite young. Perhaps I look old, but here is my brother who is a little boy yet.” “You come from the east, you say; do you come from beyond the sorcerer’s spring?” she asked. “I am from beyond that spring,” he replied. “Did you pass the spring?” she persisted. “Yes, I did; and I cleared it of its monstrous denizens,” declared the elder brother. “Did you come past the little old man who [132]runs around the tree?” was her next question. “Yes; and that is why I look as old as I do. He craftily stole my enchanted outfit—my garments and dress,” declared the elder brother. In her own mind the young woman thought that this was the man for whom they were waiting, so she resolved to marry him. Saying to him, “You may come along with me,” she ferried him with his brother across the river and took him to the lodge of her father, where she showed him to her couch, which was also beautifully adorned with skins and fine furs. She told him, “This is your place of rest.” Above it was a smaller bed, and she added, “Your brother can have that couch,” and they placed the Turkey Brother up there.

That night the old thief opened the fisher-skin pouch to take out the pipe, but the fisher bit his finger and it was with the greatest difficulty that he released his finger from its mouth.

After the youngest daughter brought her husband home there was great dissatisfaction in the lodge because of her seemingly poor choice of a husband. They tried to get the aged chief to dissuade her from living with her husband, but with a knowing look he would say, “Oh! she knows what she is doing; so let her alone.”

For a number of days these families lived without any unusual incident. Then the husband of the youngest daughter informed her that he was ill with severe pains in the stomach, and that she must get from her father his best wampum bowl, because he, the sick man, desired to disgorge into it. Hurrying away, she brought the bowl. Her husband cast up enough beautiful black wampum to fill it completely. Then he bade her, “Take this to your father and give it to him for me.” In receiving it, the chief remarked: “Oh! thanks. I knew that he is a great man, for he came from a good country. He is the greatest man of whom I have ever heard. This is a beautiful present.”36

When the eldest daughter’s husband heard of this he said to his wife, “Run to your father and get his wampum bowl. I too desire to use it.” When she had brought it, he filled it in a similar manner, but only with half-decayed lizards and worms and all manner of foul things of an intolerably offensive odor. He then bade her to take it to her father as a present from him. She did so, but her father was very angry, saying: “How dare you bring that vile stuff to me. Run to the creek with it, and thoroughly wash and scrape the bowl; wash it many times over. But never do this again.”

A few days later the husband of the youngest daughter said again, “Go to your father and get that wampum bowl again.” This time he filled the bowl heaping full with beautiful white wampum. He then said, “Take this to your father as a present from me.” She ran with it to her father, and the old chief was delighted with it, [133]saying: “Oh! he is a man. I thought that there was something great in him, for he comes of a powerful family of a great tribe in a good country.”

When the husband of the eldest daughter heard of this present of white wampum he again sent for the wampum bowl and used it with such result that his devoted wife did not dare go with it to her father, but went quickly to the creek, where she spent an entire day in thoroughly cleansing it.

At this time a Wildcat and a Fox came to visit the husband of the youngest daughter of the chief, for they were his friends. As they walked around, the Wildcat would rub against his legs and purr, and talk to him. It was not long before the Fox saw the Turkey Brother sitting on his couch over the bed, and said to the Wildcat, “That is a fine gobbler up there. Can you get him for us?” The next night the Wildcat, as the Turkey Brother’s bed was near the fire, crawled down the smoke-hole to a point from which it could reach him. But the Turkey Brother, sitting with his eyes open, saw the Wildcat, and, waiting until it got within reach, struck it on the head with a club which he kept and tumbled it into the fire, in which the Wildcat rolled about a number of times, with the result that it got a singed coat. It got out of the fire and began to cry, “Oh! I have fits.” “You can not have fits here,” cried the eldest sister, jumping out of her bed and kicking it out of doors. “That is not a turkey,” said the Wildcat to the Fox, “it is a wizard.”

At this time the youngest daughter of the chief said to her husband, “Why do you not take your enchanted articles of dress from that old thief?” Her husband replied: “I shall do so when the proper time comes. But in the meantime, will you ask your father for his bow and arrows, for I much wish to go on a hunting trip?” So she went to her father with her husband’s request, and her father willingly gave his permission for the use of his bow and arrows, saying, “Yes; he shall have them if he needs them,” and his daughter carried them back to her husband.

The next day her husband went on a hunting expedition, and he had the good fortune to kill a large number of deer; more, in fact, than had ever been killed before in that place. He called the Wildcat and the Fox and said to them, “I give you one deer from this pile.” So they gladly dragged the deer away and ate it. After the game was brought to the chief’s lodge it was distributed among the people, and all had an equal share. No one was left without venison, and every one wondered at the prowess of the hunter.

Then the old chief notified the people that there would be a great council on the following day at the lodge of public assembly. Everyone else was up at the break of day, but the eldest daughter of the chief and her husband slept soundly. While they were asleep the [134]husband of the chief’s youngest daughter took from the old thief the panther-skin robe, the moccasins, the leggings, and the pouch of fisher skin which had been stolen from him by craft. Having recovered his own garments and accouterments, he now donned them to attend the council.

There remained in the chief’s lodge only the old woman, the servants, and the sleeping couple. Finally the old woman, the chief’s wife, went to the couch of the sleepers, and said, “Come! come! you two, arise,” at the same time shaking her daughter. Then looking more closely at her sleeping son-in-law she started back in utter disgust, with the exclamation, “That is a nice-looking husband you have in your arms!” When the covers were removed the true character of the man appeared. With the loss of the stolen enchanted garments he had immediately become old and shrunken, with the face of an owl. The unhappy woman awoke, and, looking at her husband, she was surprised to see what an ugly creature had been sleeping with her. So without any compunction she dragged him out of bed and pushed him with his own soiled garments out of the lodge, saying, “I shall never again have you for a husband.” The wily old owl at once disappeared and was never seen in that place again.

When the husband of the chief’s youngest daughter came into the lodge he looked strong, young, and vigorous. The panther’s head on his robe cried out, the loon’s feathers sang. Opening his pouch and taking out the pipe, he lighted it and smoked; the bullfrog croaked, the blacksnake wriggled and tried to swallow the bullfrog. All the people looked on in wonder, and they said, “We have never before seen a man with orenda so powerful.” Then this magically potent son-in-law said to his father-in-law, “I must now go home to my uncle in the far east.” “We shall go, too,” replied the aged chief, and all the people shouted assent. They were soon ready to follow. The young husband replied: “It is well. My brother and I will go on ahead to prepare for you. You are welcome.”

Then, calling his Turkey Brother, he said to him, “Now, my dear brother, I think that you may take off your turkey-skin robe and put on garments such as other boys wear.” His brother had grown to be a large boy, for he was nearing the age of puberty. So he removed his turkey-skin robe and put on his new style of garments, in which he looked well.

The two brothers then started, and they reached home in one day. But the old chief and his people were six years on the way. They could not travel with the speed of men possessed of powerful orenda. They were welcomed with joy on their arrival in the country of [135]the chief’s potent son-in-law, and the old chief and his people thereafter lived there in comfort and peace.


21. Deadoeñdjadases (The Earth-Girdler) and the Old Woman’s Grandson

An old woman and her grandson lived together in a lodge in a large forest. They were both feeble and poor, for the old woman had no able-bodied person to help her and her grandson was still a very small boy. The old woman cried much of the time, therefore, on account of their needy condition. Every day, however, she went into the forest to gather firewood. She felled trees by burning, and when they were on the ground she burned them into pieces of such length that she would be able to carry them to her lodge; but whether she was going or coming from the forest she wept without ceasing.

At last her little grandson said to her, “Grandmother, why do you cry all the time, both night and day? Tell me, will you?” In reply she said, “I had many brothers and relatives, but they are all dead now.” Then she took the little boy by the hand, and drawing him to a door, she opened it and led the boy into another room, in which he had never been before. This room was full of articles of dress of every kind and of weapons, ball clubs, balls painted (with symbols of) heads, and a drum. The boy wondered at what he saw here and wanted very much to touch the various articles, but his grandmother told him that he must not remain in the room, nor should he touch any of the things.

The next day when she had again gone after wood for fuel the boy went to the forbidden room and beat the drum, whose sound was so pleasing that he was delighted. Taking a ball and a lacrosse club he went out of doors and began to play ball—that is, lacrosse. He threw the ball with the club and it flew far away toward the east. So he ran after the ball until he found it in a large clearing. And this place was so pleasant that he was very glad to be there. But he soon started for home, arriving there before the grandmother had returned with the wood to the lodge.

On the following day, while his grandmother was absent in the forest, the little grandson again visited the mysterious room and played around in it; but he did not forget to be home before his grandmother returned. He did likewise for several days. But finally he beat the drum so heavily that the old woman heard him far away in the forest. She hastened home at once and scolded the lad for his disobedience, saying, “Why did you go into that room when I told you not to go there nor to touch any of the things?” “Oh, grandmother,” he replied, “do not talk about that, but tell me where are all our friends—my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and my cousins?” The grandmother said deprecatingly: “Oh, you can [136]never see them. There is a man dwelling far away in the east who carries off people and devours them. His name is Deadoeñdjadases, and it is he who has eaten all our friends and relations.” The lad with impatience replied: “Make me four pairs of moccasins. I will fetch them back.” His grandmother, weeping, refused his request, yet she prepared him for the journey.

When he was ready he went eastward, traveling many days and nights until he arrived at a broad clearing in the forest. In the middle of it he saw a long lodge and a person who looked like the inflated skin of a man, watching this clearing, which was occupied by a large strawberry patch.37 This sentinel guarded the field night and day. Oddly enough, the long lodge extended from north to south instead of from east to west.

The lad, standing concealed within the edge of the woods and calling a mole, said to it, “I want to borrow your skin for a while.” The mole agreed to his request, and then the lad removed his own garments and laid them back of a tree. Then, after reducing his size sufficiently, he crawled into the skin of the mole. Making his way under the leaves and underground until he came to the spot above which was the skin man, he shouted to the sentinel: “Come down, my friend! I want to talk with you.”

After the lad had promised to liberate the skin man, Hadjoqda, and to give him back his flesh body, Hadjoqda related to him all the secrets of this mysterious clearing and of the people who lived in it. He told him: “The man who dwells in that long lodge is called Deadoeñdjadases. He goes around the world every day, seizing and killing people, whose bodies he brings home to eat. Living in the lodge with him are three sisters, who are all great witches. Every day they are engaged in preparing human flesh and pounded green corn, for their ferocious brother will eat nothing else. When not so occupied, the three sisters spend their time driving elks out of the clearing, which is covered with the most beautiful strawberries.” Hadjoqda continued: “Neither Deadoeñdjadases (nor his sisters, for that matter) has a heart in his body; and no one can kill them by beating or cutting them up, for their lives are in another place. In the corner of the lodge is a bed; under this bed is a lake; in this lake a loon swims about; and under the right wing of this loon are the four hearts (the lives) of Deadoeñdjadases and his sisters. The largest heart is his own, the next in size is that of his eldest sister, and the smallest is that of his youngest sister. If you squeeze these hearts their owners will faint away; but if you crush them they will die.”38

The lad gave Hadjoqda a piece of false wampum which he had made from a small reed and colored with strawberry juice, saying: “The sisters are calling you now. You must tell them that you [137]were making this wampum as the reason why you have remained away so long. I shall become in person just like their brother and shall return home ill, as it were, and expectorate blood. When I am in their lodge I shall cause the elks to run into the strawberry patch, and you must give the usual alarm. While the sisters are out driving the elk I shall have time to take their hearts from under the wing of the loon.”

The sisters, missing Hadjoqda, called to him many times. When he reached the lodge they angrily asked him: “Where have you been? What have you been doing?” “I have been making this piece of wampum,” said he. All three sisters wanted it, and they were satisfied, for he gave it to them. They pardoned him for his absence. Then he told them that their brother had come home earlier than usual, and that he was ill and spitting up blood.

Now, the lad, going back to the mole, returned its coat and donned his own garments. Then, assuming the exact form and manner of Deadoeñdjadases, he walked through the clearing toward the lodge, spitting blood.

When he entered the lodge none of the sisters except the youngest suspected any deceit. She looked at him sharply, saying, “This is not our brother.” Then they tried him with different kinds of food, but he would eat nothing until they brought him human flesh and pounded green corn, which he ate heartily. This satisfied them that there was no deception.

While he was eating, the alarm came that the elks were in the strawberry patch, and the three sisters, armed with their war clubs, ran out to drive away the elks. The lad lost no time in going to the bed and raising its cover. There he saw a lake in which a loon was swimming. He called it to him and asked for the hearts. The loon raised its left wing, for it was in doubt whether to give up the hearts or not. “Oh, no,” declared the lad; “the hearts are under your right wing. So raise that wing.” Being satisfied as to his right to ask for the hearts, the loon did so; and the lad, seizing them, rushed out of the lodge just as the sisters returned from chasing the elks.

Resuming his natural form, the lad ran around exultingly, crying, “I have taken your hearts. I have taken your hearts.” Then the three sisters pursued him with their war clubs. As the eldest was on the point of overtaking him, the lad squeezed her heart and she fell down in a faint. Then the second sister drew close to him, when he at once squeezed her heart and she, too, fell in a faint. The same thing happened to the third sister also. Then the lad came to a great round, flat rock, where Deadoeñdjadases was accustomed to kill his victims; he ran around this while the sisters, who had recovered from their fainting spells, sought to close with him. Every little while [138]he would squeeze a heart and its owner would fall in a faint; but as soon as he stopped squeezing she would spring up again. When he had sufficiently tortured the sisters in this manner he ruthlessly dashed their hearts against the great rock, one after another, and thus all were killed.

When the cannibal returned at the usual time and did not find his sisters at home he was very angry; but Hadjoqda assured him that they were pursuing the elks and that his dinner was left all prepared for him. Deadoeñdjadases sat down and began to eat. Emboldened by the fact that the lad stood beside him holding the heart of Deadoeñdjadases, Hadjoqda taunted Deadoeñdjadases, “the Earth-circler.”39

At once Deadoeñdjadases rushed after the lad, who ran toward the great rock. When the man-eater drew near him the lad would squeeze the heart and the great Deadoeñdjadases would fall in a faint. When the lad ceased squeezing the heart the man-eater would rise again. So, no matter how he tried, he could get only as near the lad as the latter would let him. When tired of this kind of sport the lad dashed the heart of the man-eater against the rock, and Deadoeñdjadases fell dead in his tracks.

Around the great rock on every hand the lad found heaps of human bones, which he carefully gathered together into a great pile. Placing Hadjoqda on the ground with his head toward the west and his feet toward the east, the youth went to a great hickory which was standing near and shouted, “Do you all rise and run or the tree will fall on you.” On the instant a great number of persons arose and ran in every direction. Hadjoqda received his body back and became at once as well as ever. But some had legs and arms which had belonged to others, and hence were deformed in these members.

“Now,” said the lad to Hadjoqda, “there is no other such strawberry patch in the world. We must all come here to live. This field shall belong to you, and I and all my people shall settle around here. I shall go after my grandmother and you must go after your friends.”

Among the people whom he had raised the youth found all his relations, and these persons accompanied him on his journey to bring his grandmother to that country. His grandmother was very glad to see all her relations again, as she had never expected this good fortune. Taking their garments and weapons which the grandmother had kept for them in the long room, all set out, with the aged grandmother, for the great strawberry patch of Deadoeñdjadases. With their friends and relations from far and near, all settled in villages around the great strawberry patch, they lived in great contentment thereafter. Among these people who were raised by the potent youth were the Okweson, Osoon, and the Goqgwaih [i.e., the Partridges, the Wild Turkeys, and the Quail]; the youth and his grandmother, and even Hadjoqda, belonged to the Osoon tribe. [139]


22. Hatʻhondas (the Listener)40

Once upon a time an uncle and his nephew lived together in the forest. Being very needy, they gathered and cooked for food fungi which grow on trees. After they had lived some time in this way his uncle said one day to the boy, who had grown nearly to the age of puberty, “To-morrow you must go out yonder into the ravine to listen, and as soon as you hear something you must hurry back to tell me what it is.”

The nephew did as he was ordered. The next morning as soon as he heard the song of a bird he hurried home, rushing almost breathless into the lodge and crying, “Oh, uncle, I have heard something!” “Wait a while, nephew,” said the uncle. “Wait until I light my pipe and the smoke rises from it.”41

Soon the smoke arose from the pipe; then Hatʻhondas told what he had heard, imitating the call of a bird. “Oh, nephew! that is nothing. Go again to-morrow,” said the uncle. He went the next day, and heard a bird of some other kind. After rushing to the lodge as before, and after his uncle had lighted the pipe, he told his uncle what he had heard. Each day he heard a new bird and told his uncle what he had heard. After several such fruitless trips to the ravine he heard two women singing, “I am going [am on my way] to marry Dooehdanegen.”42 The women were moving through the air coming toward his uncle’s lodge. Hatʻhondas rushed home almost breathless, crying, “Oh, uncle! I have heard it.” “Well, what is it?” asked the uncle, and straightway he lighted his pipe and the smoke arose from it. “I heard two women singing, ‘I am going to marry Dooehdanegen,’ and they are coming this way,” declared the nephew. “We must make ready to receive them,” said the uncle; “we must put the lodge in order.” He therefore smoothed the skins on his couch and put his nephew’s bed away from his own in the corner near the ashes, telling his nephew to lie there while the women were in the lodge, and to face the other way, and further to keep quiet and not to show his face. The old man then put on his best garments, with two feathers in his cap, and tried to be as nimble and bright as when a young man. He kept sending his nephew out to see how near the women were. When at last they reached the lodge the nephew ran in, crying, “Oh, uncle, they are here.” “Go to your bed; lie down, and do not stir,” said the uncle.

The women entered the lodge, bringing a basket of marriage bread.43 The old man hurried around to make it pleasant for them, but could not interest them, for their minds were elsewhere. They kept looking toward the corner where Hatʻhondas was lying. When night came the old man spread out the skins of his couch and told [140]them there was the place for them to lie down; but, going over to the corner where the ashes were piled, they lay down with Hatʻhondas. They smoothed his hair and fondled him, speaking pleasant words to and about him. The old man was very angry and slept none that night. The women left the lodge at daybreak. When Hatʻhondas awoke, he had become a man in full vigor, strong and fine looking.

The old uncle now called his nephew, saying: “You now have become a man. You must follow the women. The mother bears the most noted name in sorcery in her tribe. She is now seeking a husband for her daughter. Near her lodge grows a large hickory tree44 on which sits an eagle as a target. Whoever can bring down that eagle will get the daughter. Men go there from every direction and place to shoot at it, but no one has yet hit it. You must shoot at it, too.”

The old man then brought out from his chest an outfit consisting of a cap of otter skin, a panther-skin coat, leggings of wildcat skin, moccasins of owl skin, and a tobacco pouch of fawn skin. The garments, which were beautiful and endowed with rare orenda (magic power), fitted the young man well. Then the uncle took the garments off his nephew; and the cap became a live otter, the robe, or mantle, a live panther, the leggings a pair of live wildcats, and the moccasins two live owls. Again he put the garments on his nephew, telling him to sit down. The latter did so and, opening the pouch, took out a pipe, which he filled with tobacco. Immediately two girl sprites and two trick pigeons leaped out of the pouch; the girls brought fire to light the pipe, and as soon as he put it to his mouth the two pigeons, which were perched on the stem, rustled their wings and cooed, being very happy.

“Now, my nephew,” said the old man, “spit.” He spat and the spittle fell to the ground in a shower of wampum beads. “That is enough,” said the uncle; “you shall always spit wampum from this pipe. Your outfit will always do what it has done to-day. Now you must start. Go directly east. About noon you will find a trail. Take that and keep on until you come to the great hickory tree. Here are a bow and arrows. The arrows will never miss the mark. On the road you must keep no man company. Sleep alone and hurry on your way.”

So the young nephew set out. In an hour he came to a trail. Finding it so soon, he thought it could not be the right one and ran back to inquire. “Oh! you are a swift runner,” said the uncle; “you found the right trail. Follow it.” Hatʻhondas started again. Again he found the trail, which bore toward the east. Near evening he saw a man who was making a fire by the wayside, and who inquired of Hatʻhondas, “Where are you going?” “Oh! where all are going—to shoot at the eagle on the hickory tree,” replied the [141]young man. “Stay with me. It is too late to go farther,” said the stranger. “No! I must go on,” answered Hatʻhondas, hurrying away. At night he built a fire and slept by himself. The next day he went on without interruption until evening, when a man who was building a fire beside the trail urged him to stop, but he refused to do so. Again the man urged him but Hatʻhondas would go on.

The third evening he came on a man who insisted and coaxed so much that he remained with him overnight. Each occupied one side of the fire. After supper, Hatʻhondas took off his garments and soon fell asleep. The strange man attempted to steal the clothes, but the mantle, changing into a panther, would not let him come near. Then the man, bit by bit, fed meat to the panther until the animal was pacified, when he put the mantle on his own shoulders. So with the leggings and all the other things, until at last he got possession of the whole outfit of the young man, except the bow and arrows, which he forgot. When ready, he thrust a sharp dart of hickory bark down the backbone of Hatʻhondas, and at daylight hurried away to the company which had gathered at the great woman’s lodge to shoot at the eagle.

Hatʻhondas awoke in terrible pain; he was doubled up like an old man and began to cough badly. After much effort and great suffering, he succeeded in putting on the other man’s garments and in dragging himself some distance to a log, on which he sat, holding his bow and arrows, with his head bowed in sorrow.

After he had been sitting there a couple of hours, a poor, destitute-looking girl came to him, saying: “My mother lives not far from here. I will take you to her.” On going home with the girl he learned that her mother was his own sister and that she was therefore his niece. He told his sister about the visit of the two women, about setting out to shoot the eagle and being robbed on the road of everything but his bow and arrows, and, lastly, about becoming decrepit and aged-looking from the effects of the hickory bark thrust down his backbone. His sister and her daughter were very poor. They had no meat. As they were talking, a robin perched on the edge of the smoke-hole. Hatʻhondas drew his bow with great difficulty and shot an arrow which killed the bird. His sister cut it into small pieces and, bruising them, made some soup, which in a measure strengthened her brother. The next day a partridge came in like manner and he killed that, too; and then a turkey, so they had provision enough. Many days later his sister drew the bark from her brother’s back and he became well again.

As he sat by the door one day he heard a great shouting and tumult, and asked what it meant. They told him that it was the sounds made by those who had assembled to shoot the eagle, and [142]pointed out the great hickory tree, the top of which could be seen above the forest, seemingly not more than 200 or 300 rods away.

The next day, on looking toward the tree, he could see that some arrows came very near the eagle, some not so near, and others far away from it. At last he said, “I must shoot an arrow at that eagle.” “Oh!” said the sister, “you can not hit it from here.” But he would have his own way, and going outside of the lodge with his bow and arrow, he said to his sister’s daughter: “Go out into the crowd. When I shoot the arrow and the bird falls to the ground run and bring it here with the arrow sticking in it, and let no one take it from you.” The girl went. Her uncle shot, and his arrow, flying through the air, struck the eagle. When she grasped the bird after it had fallen to the ground a man pushed her aside, and snatching the bird from her disappeared in the crowd. She cried out, but no one heeded her. Now, the crowd gathered at a mound, a short distance from the tree. On this mound the great witch woman was sitting with her friends to witness the shooting. The people stood in a circle. The stranger came up with the eagle and claimed her youngest daughter, who, insisting that he was not the right man, refused to marry him; but the old woman said her promise must be kept, and had the marriage proclaimed.

When, in the evening, the young wife would not remove her designated husband’s clothing, the old woman did so. On taking off the moccasins, and throwing them, tied together, over a crossbar near the couch, they became owls, so wretchedly weak that they were barely able to hold on to their perch; and so with the panther, the wildcats, and the otter; they seemed scarcely alive.

The young woman would not go near her designated husband, but, rolling herself up in a bearskin, slept apart. The next morning the mother-in-law, addressing her intended son-in-law, said: “What can you do for me [in thaumaturgy]?” He opened his pouch, from out of which came the girls, who were barely able to bring a coal of fire, and the pigeons, nearly lifeless. He smoked, and cast spittle on a deerskin which was spread before him, and spittle it remained. Again he tried, but with the same result. Then the mother-in-law, growing angry, went away in disgust and chagrin.

The evening after Hatʻhondas was robbed the sky was red, and his uncle at home knew that his nephew was in great trouble—that his life was in danger. He sat down by the fire, throwing ashes on his head, and wept, saying, “Oh! nephew, I shall mourn for you ten summers.” But now the sky was not so red, and the old man knew that his nephew had gained some relief.

The second night the young woman slept apart from her designated husband. [143]

The next day Hatʻhondas’s niece, the poor woman’s daughter, said, “I will visit the great witch woman, for she is a friend of mine.” When the girl went to the lodge, the great woman was glad to see her. She heard all the news of the marriage and that the young woman would not go near her designated husband. On reaching home she told her mother all she had heard. The next day very early, while the strange man was still asleep, Hatʻhondas’s sister went into the great witch woman’s lodge and, taking the panther-skin coat with the rest of the garments and having thrust the piece of hickory bark into the back of the sleeping husband, hurried home.

Hatʻhondas now had his whole outfit. Putting on his garments and taking his bow and arrows he went to the lodge of the great witch woman. When the daughter saw him coming, she could scarcely retain herself for joy, crying out, “That is the man! That is the man!”

It was now almost noon, and the designated husband had not appeared. On looking for him they found him on the couch all doubled up, old and miserable, and coughing terribly.

As the arrow which was still sticking in the eagle was unlike his arrows but just like those which were in the quiver of Hatʻhondas, the people were convinced that the old man was a deceiver, so they threw him out without pity.

Hatʻhondas was now married to the young woman and her mother proclaimed to all the people, “My youngest daughter is now married.” In the evening, when the young wife pulled off her husband’s moccasins and threw them on the crossbeam, they became a pair of fine owls with great eyes, and hooted; as soon as the panther-skin coat touched the beam it became a large panther; the leggings became two wildcats; and the cap an otter.

The next evening the mother-in-law asked her son-in-law, “What can you do for me?” and spread a deerskin in front of him. As he opened his pouch the two girls jumped out of it, followed by the two pigeons. The girls, running nimbly to the fire, brought coals for lighting the pipe. The pigeons, perching on the pipe as he put it into his mouth, rustled their wings and cooed. As often as he spat the spittle fell on the skin in a shower of wampum beads.

The next day he went hunting and killed so many deer, bear, and elk that all the people had enough, and he sent a great supply to his sister.

After they had enjoyed life a while, he said, “Now, I must go to my uncle.” His sister prepared provisions for the journey. She would shake all the flesh of a deer until it became small as the end of her little finger, continuing this process until she had in a small pouch venison enough to fill a lodge. On the way when they wanted [144]to eat venison all they had to do was to strike a very small portion, when the meat would resume its natural size. So they traveled till they came to the old uncle’s lodge.

While his nephew had been away, animals had tormented him by coming to his door while he was sitting near the fire mourning for his nephew. He would hear a voice at the door cry, “Quick, Uncle! I have returned,” but on opening the door-flap he would find merely a fox, rabbit, or some other creature.

Now, to make sure, he cut a hole in the skin door-flap saying, “Put your hand through the hole, if you are my nephew.” This being done, he tied a strong bark string around the wrist and fastened the other end to the pole at the fireplace; then, seizing the corn-pounder, he opened the door carefully, intending to strike the intruder. On discovering, however, that it was really his nephew, he rejoiced and cried out: “Oh! you have come at last with your wife. Wait, until I clean up a little.” Soon he let them in. The venison was increased in quantity again by striking it against the ground, and there was more than enough to fill the lodge, so they had to build a new lodge in which to store it.

They lived on together happily. This is the story of Hatʻhondas, “The Listener.”


23. The Story of the Ohohwa People

In a quiet forest, in a lodge of their own, a husband and his wife of the Ohohwa people lived in much contention. It was their invariable habit to quarrel all night long. In the morning, however, all was pleasant again.

One night a visitor came to pay them a call. As soon as the man of the lodge saw the newcomer he went away from the lodge. Thereupon the would-be visitor remarked to the woman, “It is indeed strange that he should go out just as I came in, so I shall go, but will come again at another time.” With these words he left.

In a short time the husband returned, and being very jealous of his wife, seized the occasion of this visit of a strange man to scold and quarrel with her until, becoming enraged, he beat her and finally she fought in defense of herself. At last, becoming tired of fighting, the husband started off with the remark: “I am going to get another wife. I will not be troubled in this way any longer.” Weeping bitterly, she followed him until, touched by her plight, the husband grew sorry for what he was doing and returned with her to their lodge.

In the morning he told his wife that he had had a dream during the night. He said, “My dream spirit told me that I must kill a large bear and be back home before the dew is off the grass.” Ostensibly [145]he started away to carry out this injunction, but when he got out of sight of the lodge he went to the lodge of another woman, who also was of the Ohohwa people, where he remained all day. Toward night he started for home. On his way he met a fine-looking woman. He addressed her, saying, “Where are you going, my cousin?” She replied, “Oh, I am only going home.” He asked, “Let me go home with you?” Answering coquettishly, “All right, if you can overtake me,” off she ran with great speed, with him in pursuit. This woman was of the Djohkwehyanih45 people.

All night long they ran toward the north. About midday they came to a lodge, which the woman entered. The Ohohwa man followed, but on entering the lodge he did not see the woman, but only two old men. He asked them, “Have you seen a woman pass here?” The two men sat with their heads down and did not answer the question. But on the question being repeated by the intruder, one of the men, looking up, said, “It seems to me that I heard some sound,” and the other made the same remark. Then he who spoke first said, “Then get our canoe.” Going to another part of the lodge, the second man returned with a bark canoe and two basswood knives. “Now,” said the other old man, “seize the game that has come to our lodge.” The intruder drew back as the old man advanced, cautioning the old men, saying: “Be very careful, old men. You are Nosgwais people, as I know. I came only to ask for information.” But as the two old men advanced the intruder turned and fled. The old men chased him with great speed. After a while, turning and running back to the lodge, he seized a wooden mallet and the first man that appeared at the doorway he knocked on the head, and he did likewise to the second man. As the old men picked themselves up they said, “It seems that there is a great deal of fun in the game animal that has come to us.” On their making another attempt to enter their lodge the intruder again knocked them down. Thereupon one of the old men said: “Get up and do the best you can [magically]. Are we to be beaten in this way? It would indeed be a singular occurrence for us to be overmatched by the game animal that has come to us.” But in making a third attempt to enter the lodge the old men were still again knocked down. But the intruder said to himself, however, “I can not kill these people, and so I would better try to escape.” So, passing out of the doorway at the opposite side of the lodge, he saw the tracks of the woman going directly northward. He followed them all day. When night came he still saw her tracks leading in the same direction. He remarked to himself, “I will soon overtake her, I think.” But these tracks were not those of the woman. He had made a circuit and at daybreak he was near the starting point. He looked down and, seeing his own [146]tracks, said: “Oh, another man is following her! I will kill him when I overtake them.” Soon he came to the lodge of the two old men from which he had started. Again he inquired of the old men about the woman, but they caught him and threw him into their canoe. Then they began to dispute as to which should kill and quarter him. At last they said, “Push the canoe back and leave it, for the game animal can not run away.” Indeed, the man could not release himself, as he seemed to be fastened to the canoe.

Toward night be heard a voice saying: “You think that you are going to die. You would be were it not for me.” The man in the canoe replied, “I do think so.” Then the invisible man said: “No; you shall not die. At the end of the canoe there is a string, to which hang the two hearts of the old men; and this is why you were not able to kill them by knocking them on the head when you were here before (he now knew for the first time that he was in the same lodge again). Wait until it is dusk; then try to move and you will work loose. Then get out of the canoe quietly, and I will give you light to see where the hearts are. Take them off the string and pound them up, and you will be free. You can then remain here all night. The canoe has great orenda (magic power), and these two old men use the canoe when they travel. If you wish, I will teach you the song that belongs to it.” The man in the canoe, being very weak, could hardly speak, but he replied, “Yes; I should like to learn the song.” Then the invisible man answered, “I will teach you the song,” and he began singing, “Tgâiiehe onĕⁿ o’waqdĕñdĭʼ neʼʹ akʻhoñwâⁿʼ.” When he finished singing “Correctly my canoe has started” the man in the canoe thanked him, saying that he had learned the song. After dusk he began to move, and as he moved he gained strength. Looking around, he saw a pale light in the end of the canoe. Having freed himself, he took the hearts from the cord, and as he crushed them he heard groans and wails of pain. Placing them under the canoe, he crushed them, and their cries ceased. Then the young man lay down and slept.

The next morning he awoke and said: Now I have something in which I can travel. I shall now soon overtake the woman.” Setting the canoe outside of the lodge, he turned its bow toward the north, and, getting into it, he sang the song which he had learned to cause it to fly. The canoe started off so rapidly that only the wind could be heard as it flowed past his ears. All the time the canoe kept going higher and higher and swifter and swifter, and the youth grew more and more frightened; he began to fear that the canoe might bear him off to some evil place. Suddenly he heard a scrambling sound at the stern of the canoe, as if some one were trying to board it from the rear. Looking around, the youth saw a man getting aboard, who said: “It is wonderful how fast you are going. I was bound to get [147]aboard, so I leaped. You are afraid this canoe will carry you away. I am the person who was with you last night. It is my fault that you are frightened, for I did not give you full instructions. The reason the canoe goes faster and faster and higher and higher is that you keep repeating the song. You should change the words of the song, and then you can guide it. I came to tell you this.” As he stopped speaking, he stepped off the stern of the canoe into the air and disappeared.

The youth now changed the words of the song, singing, “Tgāiiehe wa’tkĕⁿ’dioñʹdă’t ne’ʹ akʻhoñʹwãⁿʼ,” and at once the canoe began to descend, gradually coming to the ground. But the occupant of the canoe exclaimed, “Oh! this is not what I wanted. I desired to come down a little lower only, not to the ground.” So he sang again the first words of the song. At once the canoe shot upward like an arrow and, heading northward, flew faster than it did before. As it flew along the youth saw the woman’s tracks ahead. Higher and higher went the canoe, the wind whizzing past his ears in a frightful manner. The speed of the canoe troubled the youth, and finally he exclaimed, “Oh! I am getting too high again.” Then, recollecting that he must change the words of the song, he sang, “Tgāiiehe hehdageshon hohweson nakʻhoñʹwâⁿʼ.” The canoe descended, but its speed was so great that he was greatly disturbed and distressed. At last he said, “I have learned the music, and all I have to do is to sing, ‘My canoe must stop immediately.’ ”

[The story ends here thus abruptly.]


24. The Chestnut Tree Guarded by the Seven Sisters

In a small lodge, deep in a dense forest, a man lived alone with his nephew. It was the custom of the uncle to cook every day the food required by his nephew, but he never ate with him. There came a time, however, when the little nephew asked his uncle to eat with him. The only reply was, “No; I have already eaten my food.” Then, urging his nephew to be quiet, he would remark, “I have cooked this food for you alone.”

As the little nephew grew older he began to wonder at this strange conduct of his uncle. Finally he asked him: “Oh, my uncle, I never see you eat! How is this?” But the uncle made him no reply. So the little nephew decided to try to catch his uncle eating by spying on him. One night after this, when the little nephew had eaten his supper, he said: “Oh, uncle, I am very tired and sleepy. I am now going to bed to get a good rest.” With this remark he lay down on his bed, and drawing over him the deerskin cover soon began to snore as if he were sound asleep. [148]

The wily old uncle waited a while, and then assuming that his nephew was fast asleep, he decided to begin getting his own evening meal. Going to his bed and carefully searching among the skins with which it was covered, he drew forth a small kettle and a very small bundle. Then placing the kettle on the bench near the fire and opening the bundle, he took out of it some substance, a small quantity of which he scraped into the kettle. After putting water into the kettle he hung it over the fire. When the water began to boil the old man, taking a wand from its wrappings of skin, began to strike gently on the kettle while he sang the words, “Now, my kettle, I want you to grow in size.” Obedient to the words of the song, the kettle began to increase in size and its contents grew in bulk. Repeating the words and continuing to tap gently on the kettle, the old man watched it becoming larger and larger. He kept up the singing until he decided that the kettle would hold enough of the mush which he was making to satisfy his hunger; then he stopped singing and tapping on the kettle. Carefully replacing the rod, or wand, in its skin wrapping, he removed the kettle from the fire and sat down to eat. After finishing his supper he carefully washed his kettle; then he shook it until it decreased to the size it was when he took it from the hiding place under the bed, to which place he now returned the rod, the bundle, and the kettle.

The nephew, who was still feigning sleep, was watching his uncle through a hole in the bed covering. He decided to take breakfast with his uncle in the morning, and in order to do this he resolved to arise much earlier than usual. When he arose, however, the youth found that his uncle had finished breakfast and was preparing something for him to eat.

After the uncle had gone out to hunt the youth brought into the lodge a large quantity of bark to make a good fire. About midday he said to himself: “I am going to be very kind and good. My uncle will be tired when he returns, so I shall have his supper all ready for him. I think that I can prepare it just as he does.” For a long time he searched in his uncle’s bed for the bundle; at last he found it. On opening it he discovered that it contained a small fragment of a chestnut. Beside the bundle he found the kettle, which was very small. These were the only articles he found under his uncle’s bed. He wondered and wondered at what he had discovered, for he could not understand how it was that with this bit of chestnut and the tiny kettle his uncle could make enough mush to feed him. Finally he decided on his course of action, saying to himself: “Well, I must do this exactly as my uncle did. This chestnut must be enough for one more meal.”

Kindling a good fire, the youth carefully scraped all the chestnut into the kettle; and then he poured water into the kettle and set it [149]over the fire. Then taking the wand from its skin wrapping, when the water began to boil he gently tapped on the kettle, saying, “I want you to grow, my kettle.” He was so much amused by the increase in size of the kettle that he kept on tapping it and repeating the magical words, until there was hardly room enough in the lodge for him, because the kettle and the mush which it contained had grown so large; so, climbing to the roof, he continued to tap the kettle until it touched the sides of the lodge. He was so busy that he did not see his uncle approaching. The latter from a distance saw him on the roof, and watched his actions. As he approached the lodge he heard the nephew say, “Oh, grow! my kettle. Oh, grow! my little kettle,” and then he knew that the youth had discovered everything. This made the uncle very sad and depressed. He called to his nephew: “What have you done now, my nephew?” The youth replied in delight: “Oh, I have so much pudding that we shall have a grand feast.” Then he told his uncle everything.

The uncle asked, “Did you use all the chestnut?” The youth replied, “Yes. There was only a small bit here.” Thereupon the poor uncle exclaimed: “By doing this you kill me. That is the only kind of food I can eat. I shall die of hunger now. That kind of chestnut does not grow everywhere, and only a person who has great orenda (magic power) can get it.” “Oh, pshaw!” replied the nephew; “I know where there are whole trees full of chestnuts of this kind. I can get a large bagful for you, my uncle. So do not worry.” The uncle, unconsoled, replied: “No, it is not possible for you to do so. This is a bad thing that you have done. This chestnut would have lasted me for years. Now I never can get another; I shall starve to death. I may as well tell you about it, for I must soon die.”

Then, shaking the kettle slightly to decrease its size so that he could get into the lodge, the uncle said: “There is but one tree in the world that bears such chestnuts. Seven sisters who are great sorcerers own that tree. Many men have lost their lives in trying to get these chestnuts.” The youth confidently replied, “I am sure that I can get you one.” The uncle answered: “No, you can not. You are yet only a small boy. You would lose your life. These seven women have a great eagle perched upon a very tall tree to watch it. Night and day he guards it. Not a living thing can come near the tree, for if even a man try his utmost the eagle would discover him and scream out a cry of distress. Thereupon the sisters would come forth and beat the intruder to death no matter who he might be. Men have often taken the forms of various birds and animals to try to deceive them, but so far they have all failed in their attempts. These seven sisters have beaten to death everything that has come near that chestnut tree.” But this kindly advice did not change the youth’s resolve to make the attempt to get some of these well-guarded chestnuts. [150]

The next morning he said to his uncle, “You must tell me where the tree stands, for I am going to try to find it.” When the fond uncle saw that he could not repress his nephew’s desire to go, he replied: “Go toward the rising sun, and after you have passed through the forests intervening you will come to a large open space. In the middle of this great clearing you will see a very tall tree near which stands a lodge. On the top of this tree sits the eagle with his sharp eyes looking in all directions; and it is in this lodge that the seven sisters dwell.”

Taking a bag, the young nephew said: “Now, cheer up, uncle. I will bring you a whole bagful of chestnuts before you have finished eating the pudding in that kettle.” With this remark the youth started toward the sunrise. After traveling for some time he killed a deer, which he cut up, filling his bag with the venison.

Finally the nephew came to a place where he began to see through the forests to an opening, whereupon he resolved that he must put forth all his caution and craft. So, having the mole as his fetish, he called out “Now, my friend, I want you to come to me; come to me, you mole!” In a short time the leaves began to rustle at his feet, and a mother mole appeared and asked him, “What do you want of me?” The youth replied: “I have done a great mischief to my uncle by scraping away all his chestnut. Now I want you to help me get more for him. I shall enter your body and you will carry me underground to that tall tree yonder on which the eagle is sitting. When you are under the tree thrust out your nose a little so that I can see. I shall have to carry my bag with me. Do you think that you can bear me and it, too?” The mole answered, “Oh, yes! I can carry all.”

After reducing his size magically, the youth entered the body of the mole and then it made its way to the tree indicated. As the mole arrived directly under the tree, thrusting its nose out of the ground, it said, “The eagle is looking.” In a flash the youth, stepping out of the mole, scattered venison all over the ground under the tree. The eagle flew down and began to eat voraciously of the meat. In the meantime the youth stuffed his bag with the chestnuts, which he gathered in handfuls, and just as the eagle was finishing the last morsel, the mole was engaged in carrying the youth with his bag back to the forest. When the meat was all eaten the eagle uttered a loud scream, and out ran the seven sisters with their clubs. When they saw that the chestnuts were already stolen and that no one was in sight, they fell upon the eagle and beat it until they had nearly killed him.

Arriving in the forest, the youth said to the mole: “Now, I will hide my chestnuts here, and you must then take me back to the lodge of the seven sisters, so I can hear what they say, in order to [151]learn whether they intend to follow us in an attempt to recover the chestnuts.” Having again entered the body of the mole, the youth told it to go under the ground until it came to the lodge. The mole obeyed him literally. When the mole reached the lodge, it thrust out its nose and mouth. The youth then stuck his ear out of its mouth and listened to what was being said in the lodge. He finally overheard one of the sisters say: “It must be a young man just grown. No one has succeeded since his uncle in stealing the chestnuts. Perhaps he has a nephew now who is as crafty as he used to be, and it may be that he, too, is going to live on chestnuts.” Another answered her, saying: “Well, they are stolen. We may as well let them go.” After hearing this last speech the youth asked the mole to bear him back to the forest at once. After reaching the forest the youth dismissed the mole with thanks for its aid, and then hurried home.

When the youth reached home he found his uncle sitting by the fire, singing his death song, “I must now die of hunger, for my nephew will never return to me.” Then the nephew rushed into the lodge, saying, “Oh, my uncle! I have brought you here a bag full of chestnuts.” The old man welcomed his nephew home and gave thanks to their guardian spirits for the latter’s success, and he was very, very happy. He is still making chestnut puddings. His nephew became a great hunter. He obtained whatever be desired, because he had the mole for his guardian spirit and aid.

[Note.—There are several versions of the foregoing story. In one version the tree is guarded by geese. The lad entered one of the geese, and as the seven sisters were bathing he slipped from the goose into the person of the youngest sister, and she thereby became pregnant. Being born of her, he became the master of the chestnuts.]


25. The Otter’s Heart and the Claw Fetishes

Once in the fall of the year in time long past, a prominent chief with six or seven families went on a hunting expedition far away from their village. Having arrived at their usual hunting grounds, they did not find any game for many days. At last the chief, whose fetish, or charm, was a fawn skin, calling the members of the party to his kanosʻha (temporary lodge), asked each person to lay hold of his pouch fetish, and to declare while touching the pouch what he or she intended to kill on the following day.

The first one to touch the pouch was a man who said that he intended to kill a bear; the next said that he intended to kill a deer, and so on; and finally the chief’s wife declared that she intended to kill geese. But, as the pouch passed around, the chief’s daughter requested her husband not to touch it by any means; when it was nearing [152]them on its round she grasped her husband’s arm to keep him the more effectually from putting his hand on the pouch. As he showed a disposition to touch it, she pushed him over on the ground, but he arose again while she still clung to him. In spite of her he finally placed his hand on the pouch, saying, “Tomorrow, I shall kill two otters before daylight.”

At midnight the chief’s son-in-law, arising, went to a place where the neighboring stream made a very pronounced loop, and there he watched for the otters. Soon he saw two approaching and killed both. He was very hungry, and as it was not yet daylight he took out the hearts of the otters, which he roasted and ate. By doing this he unwittingly destroyed the power of the orenda (magic potency) of the pouch for those who had touched it; so that day all the other persons returned to the lodge without any game. The chief’s wife, who had said that she would kill geese, also returned empty handed. When she saw the geese on the wing and clapped her hands, shouting: “Let them fall dead! Let them fall dead!” the geese kept on flying; in fact the charm, or orenda, of the pouch had been broken or spoiled by some one. After these things had been reported to the chief, he examined the two otters slain by his son-in-law. When he saw that their hearts had been removed, he became very angry with him. His daughter, the wife of the culprit, becoming frightened for the welfare of her husband, concealed a piece of dog’s flesh and a knife, at the same time telling her husband where he could find them in case of need.

The chief said to his retinue, “My son-in-law has nullified the orenda of the pouch by eating one of the taboos, which is the earnest of the compact with it; so I think we would better kill him.” But his daughter exclaimed, “If you kill him, you must first kill me.” As the chief was quite averse to killing his daughter, he said, “Then, instead of killing him we will leave him here naked and without provisions and we will go far away to avoid the consequences of his act.” So the chief and the people stripped the son-in-law of everything, even of his weapons, and then departed, taking his wife with them.

At midnight, when all alone, the son-in-law heard some person approaching on snowshoes, for this was in the winter season. In a short time a man came to the lodge and said to the young man, “You feel that you are doomed to die, do you not?” The young man answered, “Yes; I do think so.” Then the stranger said: “You shall not die. I have come here to assist you. Tomorrow morning follow my tracks to a hollow tree. There you shall find a bear. Kill it and you will have plenty of meat and you can make yourself a robe and footwear from its skin.” Then the stranger went away. The next morning the young man could find no tracks other than [153]those of a rabbit. These he followed to a large hollow tree, in which indeed he found a bear, which he killed. Carrying it home, he skinned and dressed it. From its skin he made himself a robe and a pair of moccasins.

Again about midnight the young man heard some person approaching on snowshoes, for the snow was deep. Soon a man’s voice from outside his lodge said to him: “I sent you help last night. Tonight I have come to tell you that your wife will be here tomorrow about midday. She believes that you are dead from hunger and exposure and she has run away from her father’s camp to come to look for you. As soon as she has rested, send her on the following day for her father and his people. Instruct her to tell her father that you are alive and well. Let her say to him, ‘My husband has meat enough for all.’ They will be glad to come back to you, for they have no meat and are hungry. They have been punished enough for abandoning you.” Then the stranger departed.

The next day about noontide the wife came and she was welcomed by her husband. After resting that night the young man in the morning sent her for her father. The night she was absent the stranger again came to the lodge and said to the young man: “Your father-in-law will be very glad to know that you have meat sufficient for yourself and for his people, and he will be very willing to come to you. When he has arrived here he will exhibit his fetishes, and ostensibly to repay you he will give you your choice. Among them is one which you must select; this is wrapped in bearskin. It is the claw which I lost when your father-in-law caught me in a trap. You must not pay heed to your father-in-law’s statement that it is not of much account. He will insist that you take some other which he will represent as of much greater potency than this. But take my advice and choose this one.” Then the stranger departed.

The next morning toward midday the chief and all his people returned to the lodge of the chief’s son-in-law, who welcomed them and offered them what he had in the way of food.

In a few days the chief unfolded all his fetishes, informing his son-in-law that he could take his choice. On his reaching over and taking the one wrapped in bearskin, his father-in-law said, “Oh, son-in-law! that is of no account; here is a better one.” But the young man, remembering the advice of his midnight visitor, replied, “No; I will keep this one,” so he retained the one wrapped in bearskin.

Some time afterward the young man went into the forest to meet the strange man who had befriended him and to whom the claw, or finger, belonged. He had not gone far when he saw what appeared to be a lodge standing in the middle of a clearing. On going to this lodge he found a man in it who received from him the claw or finger. Thanking him for its return, the man said: “I shall always [154]be your friend for this favor. You shall succeed in all that you may undertake.” As the young man turned to go home the strange man bade him farewell. Having proceeded a short distance toward home, the young man turned to take a look at the lodge, but to his surprise it had disappeared. What he had thought was an opening in the forest was now a large body of water.

Ever after this circumstance the chief’s son-in-law enjoyed good fortune in all that he undertook. He became a great hunter and a great warrior. When his tribe waged a war against a neighboring people he took many scalps and many prisoners. Whatever he desired he obtained easily in abundance. It was said by those who knew the circumstances that his good luck came from the friendship of the otter, whose finger, or claw, the young man had so generously returned to it.


26. The Seven Sisters Who Produced Wampum

In the long ago there lived seven sisters who were endowed through their orenda with great skill in sorcery. These sisters lived together in a lodge situated on a high mountain. From this advantageous situation they were able to see a long distance in every direction.

One of their chief occupations during berrying time was to gather large quantities of huckleberries for drying and storing. They would carry long baskets on their backs by means of the forehead strap and smaller ones in their hands, for collecting the berries from the plants and bushes. These berries they gathered in the neighboring patches which belonged to them and brought them home to dry in the sun.

Now, it so happened that these seven sisters were misanthropes, and they boasted that they hated men. Each one of them sincerely and frequently said, “I can not bear the odor of a man.” True to their animosity to men, they would not permit one to come near their domicile. They carried this aversion to the presence of men to the extent that they would have no relations whatever with married women, even turning up their noses at them, with the contemptuous remark, “Oh, they smell of men.” So they would not allow either men or women near their huckleberry patch.

Among the young men who heard of these peculiar sisters was one who determined to have a look at them. In order to see them he managed to conceal himself in their huckleberry patch about the time of their coming. When the sisters, therefore, came with their baskets into the berry patch the young man saw the youngest, with whom he immediately fell deeply in love, for she was very beautiful in face and attractive in figure. He then and there decided to approach [155]stealthily the spot where she was picking berries by herself and to speak to her at all hazards. He did not get the opportunity until the next day.

On going again to the spot he had chosen as the best place to meet her, he concealed himself and awaited the coming of the seven sisters to their daily task of gathering berries. By good fortune the youngest sister came directly to the place near which the ardent gallant was concealed, and he lost little time in making his presence known by speaking to her in very low tones lest the other sisters should hear him. The sister addressed, turning around, saw him and at once fell in love with him, for he was a fine-looking young man. He said to her, “I greatly desire to speak to you, but I do not want your sisters to overhear me, for I am afraid of them.” So she stopped picking berries and listened to what he had to say to her. They conversed together for a long time. At last he remarked: “I must go lest your sisters discover me. I will meet you here tomorrow.”

After her lover had gone the youngest sister tried very diligently to fill her basket with huckleberries, but she did not have time to do so before the eldest sister called out, “Come, now, my sisters, our baskets are full, and we must go home.” They started toward their lodge, but missing their youngest sister, called her until she came. She acted shyly, being afraid to go very near them lest they should detect any odor which would let them know that she had been near a man. Then they asked her, “How is it that you have not filled your basket?” To deceive them she feigned illness, but the eldest sister, going near her, exclaimed in disgust: “Oh, pshaw! She emits the odor of a man. Indeed, she has been near a man.” The youngest sister attempted to deny this charge, for she was afraid of her sisters; but they would not believe her. Too well did they know the odor of a man. They were very angry, and they scolded and threatened her; but she was now thinking of the young man, and so did not care what they said or did.

The next day they started out again to gather huckleberries, and the youngest sister went directly to the spot where the young man had promised to meet her. She was more than delighted to see him there awaiting her coming. She sat down with him and they made love to each other. The other sisters, being very busy, forgot to watch her, as they did not expect that anyone would have the temerity to lurk, unwelcome, in their huckleberry patch. Finally she told him how angry her sisters were on the preceding day because her basket was not full, and so they began to pick berries together. When her basket was nearly full, the eldest sister again called out: “Come, sisters! our baskets are full. We must now go home.”

The youngest sister lagged behind as long as possible, and the other sisters waited for her until she came up to them. When she drew [156]near they cried out in bitter anger: “Oh! she smells strong of a man. She can not deny that she has been talking again to a man.” Thereupon they threatened to turn her away and not to let her enter their lodge again. But she begged them not to do so, saying: “What if I do marry? I shall not bring my husband into this lodge, for he will take me away to his own lodge.” But they would not listen to her pleading, their only answer being, “Tomorrow we shall go once more to pick huckleberries, and if you again talk to a man we shall never permit you to come again into our home.”

All that evening and night she sat pensively thinking of her situation and of the young man. She could not bring herself to the point of giving him up. Finally she decided to cast her lot with his people, saying to herself, “Well, they may do as they like, but as for me I shall accept the young man as my husband.” Collecting a small bundle of her belongings, she carefully concealed them outside the lodge, so that in case they would not let her return to the lodge she could get them. During that same evening and night her sisters kept saying: “Oh! what a disgusting smell that is. How can she stand it?” and they made fearful grimaces at the odor.

The next day the seven sisters went again to gather huckleberries. The elder sisters were so incensed at their youngest sister that they paid little attention to her beyond murmuring continually against her reprehensible conduct.

On her part she went directly to the usual place, where she met the young man, who was impatiently waiting for her. After hearing how bitterly opposed his sweetheart’s sisters were to her love-making, he said to her, “If they do not let you go to your home, come to me, and I will be most happy to care for you.”

When the time came for the sisters to go home and they made the usual call, she would not go near them, telling them to go on and that she would make her way home by herself. Then they said: “She has been with that man again. She will indeed bring shame upon us.” At last some of the younger sisters, relenting a little, said: “What shall we do? She is our youngest sister. She is very proud. If we turn her away from home, she will never come back again. We shall then lose her forever”; and they were very sad and disconsolate. But the elder sister, more conservative than they, said, “We must turn her away from us, because if we do not do so, some other sister here will be doing the same thing as she has done.” She was able to bring them, as least outwardly, to her view, and so when the erring one came to the lodge, they said, “You must not come into this lodge any more.”

Deeply grieved, the youngest sister replied, “If you have thus deliberately cast me out from you, I will go away,” and true to her answer, she started away. Weeping bitterly thus to leave her sisters, [157]whom she loved dearly, she walked along, hardly knowing whither she was going. But in her grief she instinctively started back to the young man, who had promised to care for her should her sisters cast her out. Suddenly, while she was thus pensively walking along, she heard the voice of the young man addressing her, saying: “Lo! I followed you near enough to see for myself how your sisters would treat you. Now that they have cast you out, I ask you to come with me to my lodge and be my wife.” Having no other present resource, she accepted his offer and the young man led her home in triumph. Now it so happened that the young man was an only son, and his mother was delighted to learn that he had obtained a fine-looking young wife.

For a time they were undisturbed in their happiness arising from their devotion to each other. But there came an evil day when the young man’s mother began to be jealous of her daughter-in-law, for she felt that the young wife had displaced her in her own son’s affections. She felt this the more keenly because up to the time of his marriage he had been devoted to his mother and had not passed his time in the company of other women and men. Now he was attentive to his wife and tried to grant her every wish, although he did not neglect his mother at all on this account. The young man and his wife were accustomed to go away on hunting trips for several days at a time, and on their return brought much game and meat. But the young man noticed that his mother’s manner had changed toward him and his wife, and this troubled him.

His wife, being a prospective mother, did not accompany him when her term was approaching; but when her husband left he would say to her: “You must be very wary, as I am afraid that my mother may do you harm, for she is very jealous of my love for you. Before knowing you I loved only her; but now I love you, and of course she feels that you have taken her place. I am afraid that she may do you harm, although I do not think that she will attempt to poison you. But you must be kind to her, and do not let her know what I have told you. Be on your guard at all times.”

At last, without telling his mother the reason, he took his wife away with him to the forest, where he built a lodge and remained. Soon a boy was born to them.

After a while the young man, wishing to know whether his mother was in need, went to visit her, carrying a large quantity of game. He was not long absent. He made several such trips to his mother. It was his practice to tell his wife just when she should expect him to return, and he did not fail to keep his promise. At last, however, he did not return. Time passed; his wife anxiously waited for him day after day, but he never returned. She told her son, who had grown to be quite a lad, that his father must be dead or that his mother [158]had made him a captive in such manner that he could not escape to return to them.

Years passed and the boy grew into manhood. In looks and manner he was the exact double of his father. He had become a great hunter and was very fond of killing turkeys.

One evening on his return from hunting he found only the upper half of his mother’s body lying on her bed, while the other half was gone. She told him that while she was bending over a kettle, cooking, two men came into the room and, stealing up behind her, with a single blow cleft her body in two; that they then fled with the lower half, leaving her to die. She had crawled on her hands to her bed.

The youth, who was in terrible grief by reason of his mother’s misfortune, exclaimed: “Oh, mother! you can not live. Oh! you will surely die.” But she consoled him by telling him that she had healed her body and that she could live a long time as she was then; and that, if she could recover by any means the lower half of her body, she could cause the two parts to unite again, so that she would be as well as ever.

Moreover, calling her son to her side, she said to him: “Now you are old enough to know about such things, I will tell you all that you should know. This misfortune has come upon me through the machinations of my sisters, who are six in number. There were seven of us. When I was unmarried wampum beads of great value passed from me. This was true also of my sisters. But when I married your father this ceased, and my sisters were very angry with me. This is the reason why my sisters do not marry, for they are becoming very rich by selling the wampum beads which they obtain in this manner. Since your father went away I again pass wampum beads; and this is the reason that the lower part of my body has been stolen by the two men, who were sent here by my sisters. It now hangs in the lodge of public assembly, so that the wampum beads may be gathered from it. You shall bring back my body to me. I will give you the magic power to do it—the orenda which will enable you to call to your assistance any being or thing that you may need.” Placing her head upon his shoulder and her hand on his head, she continued: “You are my son, and I am one of the Seven Sisters. Whatever you wish to do you will now always be able to do by such aid as you may call on to assist you.”

After this annunciation she thrust her hand into her bosom and drew therefrom a tiny black dog. Giving it to her son, she said: “This little dog shall be a companion to you hereafter. It will aid you.” The youth exclaimed with delight, “Oh, mother! why did you not give me this beautiful little dog long ago?” The boy was [159]delighted with the tiny dog, taking it up and caressing it in an exuberance of joy. When he put the dog down, it leaped around, trying to bark and seeming to be full of life. “Now,” said the mother, “I will show you what you have to do in this matter.” Taking a small wand from her bosom, she gently tapped the dog, accompanying the action with the words, “Grow! my dog. Grow! my dog.” With each blow of the wand the dog increased in size until he became an immense beast. Then she said to the boy: “Get on his back and you will see that he can carry you. You must be very kind to him and never neglect him. He will always fight for and protect you. Should you desire to make him small again, pull his ears and shake him gently, and he will assume any size you may wish, from a great dog to one so small that you can secrete him in your bosom.”

The youth willingly accepted his mother’s commission, saying: “Mother, I shall not wait another day to perfect my preparations. I will go after the lower part of your body at once.” His mother told him that the oil of a wild turkey was the only thing which could make the parts of her body grow together again; that it must come from a gobbler; and that he should prepare this oil before he went after the lower part of her body. She told him further that the oil must be rubbed hot on the raw flesh, and that then the two parts would grow together again, and she would be well. The youth said, “I will kill the turkey gobbler on the way.” But his mother said to him, “Oh, no! The turkey must not be killed until we are ready to use the oil, for it must live until the last minute.”

Then the youth started on his quest for the lower part of his mother’s body. While on the way he encountered a flock of wild turkeys and contrived to take a fine gobbler alive. He fastened it to a tree where it would not be devoured by prowling animals of prey and where he would find it on his return.

When the youth drew near the lodge of public assembly, which was his destination, he heard loud laughing, screaming, and quarreling over wampum beads, which the people were getting from his mother’s body. This made him very angry and determined to accomplish his errand. Having made his dog very large, he said to it, “Remain here until I return”; then he went to the lodge of assembly. On his way there he called on the Chief of the Crows to come to his aid. In a moment the Black Chief was at his side ready for any command. To him the youth said: “Friend, my mother’s body is hanging on a post inside of the lodge and the people are getting wampum beads from it. Now, when the people stoop down to gather the beads I wish you to go in at the smoke-hole, draw up the body out of the lodge, and quickly bring it to me.” The Black Chief replied, “I will do your bidding at once.” Waiting until the [160]people on the inside of the lodge began to scramble and fight for the wampum beads, he swooped down through the smoke-hole, and seizing the part of the body which he sought, he flew out with it to the waiting youth, who sat on the back of the monster dog. With an exclamation of thanks to his friend, the Black Chief of the Crows, the youth parted from him. The huge dog ran homeward with great speed, directing his way to the place where the turkey was fastened to the tree. Having obtained it, the dog soon brought the youth, the part of the mother’s body, and the turkey to the waiting mother, who hardly expected her son back so soon. At once the youth killed the turkey, and taking the oil from it, rubbed it on the severed surface of the lower part of the body.

After treating likewise the surface of the upper part he brought the two parts of her body close together, whereupon they joined of themselves. Then the woman with her hands rubbed the place of juncture. Becoming then entirely whole, she arose and, standing, said, “I am well now, and no one shall come to trouble us again. I am thankful to you.” This prediction proved true, for they two lived in peace and contentment.

The youth became a great hunter, famous for his great successes in the chase. His mother continued to pass wampum beads as in former years, and their lodge was richly ornamented with many strings of wampum, each of which was worth a man’s life and two that of a woman.46 Although the youth was always looking for his father, the latter never returned.


27. The Forsaken Infant and Gaha (the Wind)

A number of Seneca went hunting. When they had finished their hunting and were ready to return home, they did not know what to do with a little boy whose father and mother had died while they were at the chase. They had so much meat that they could not well carry him, and, owing to his infancy, he could not walk. Finally they decided to leave him in the hunting lodge, with plenty of wood and meat. Learning this, the child cried bitterly.

When the hunters reached home the report went around that a child had been left in the woods, and all feared that it would die. At once the chief sent a trusty man to see whether the child was alive. When he got outside the village the man turned himself into a great bear, so that he could run the faster.

Meanwhile the child kept a good fire and cooked meat and lived fairly well. One cold night he began to cry, for the meat was nearly gone and all the wood had been burned. At last he heard some one come to the door, making a sound as if shaking the snow off his feet, [161]and call out: “Well, little boy, you think you are going to die, but you will not. I am going to help you. The chief has sent a man to see whether you are still alive, but he will not be here for some time yet. I will be your friend. When you want me to aid you all you have to do is to think of me and I will come.” Soon after that the boy fell asleep. In the morning he found a pile of wood at his door, and on a low limb of a near-by tree hung a piece of meat. Now he was happy. Building a fire, he cooked and ate some of the meat.

The next night this strange man came again. Stopping at the door, he shook his feet but he did not come in. He said: “The man who is coming will not help you; he is coming in the form of a great bear; he will be here tomorrow forenoon. In the morning you will find between the roots of the old stump in the dooryard a trusty knife. You must sharpen this knife to kill the bear. When he is near, you must run to the spring where the tall hemlock stands and climb the tree a little way; the great bear will follow you. Then slip down on the other side, and when he is coming down after you, stab him in the forefoot.”

The next morning the boy did as the voice told him. After he had killed the bear, he went to the lodge and was very glad.

The next night he awoke, and the stranger, knocking, said: “My friend, I want to say to you that men are coming for you; you must go with them for they will be fond of you. You must not be proud. The headman of the tribe will want you to stay with him. You will be one of the fastest runners among your people. Do not forget that I am your friend; you will not be able to see me, for I am the one whom you call Gaha. If you are in trouble just think of me and I will come and help you. Tomorrow afternoon four men will be in this lodge. They will ask you about the great bear, and you shall say, ‘I saw no great bear, but a strong wind went through the woods one morning.’ ”

The next day four men came to the lodge with food; they saw that the boy had wood and meat but no bow nor arrow. They took him home the next day. The chief ordered them to bring him to his lodge for the lad’s relatives were all dead. The chief said, “You shall be my grandson and you shall live with me.” The boy wanted a club instead of a bow and arrows. “What do want a club for?” asked the chief. “To kill deer with,” replied the boy. The chief had a club made for him. Owing to his great speed, the youth used to chase deer, which he struck in the forehead with his club; he also killed birds by striking them before they could rise to fly.

The last word that his friend Gaha said to him was: “Do not think that you are the swiftest runner living. Do not boast of your speed.” But the boy had this idea of running always in his mind; [162]when he saw other boys running, he laughed, thinking, “That running is nothing; I can run faster than any other living man.”

One night he heard some one come and strike the door post near the bed. He did not speak. Then a second knock, and the visitor spoke, saying, “Who is there?” “I am here,” answered the boy. “Well, I challenge you to run a race with me, because you think that you are the swiftest runner living. We will start from the second mountain and run from sunrise to sunset,” declared the stranger.

In the morning the boy asked his grandfather whether he had heard a man talking in the night. “No,” came the answer. “Well, a man challenged me last night to run a race,” said the boy. “Oh! I do not believe it is a man. It is a beast. Perhaps you will get killed,” said the old man. “Well, I must be ready,” said the boy; “we run on the third morning from this.” The youth made ready ten pairs of moccasins, put flint on his arrows, and took prepared parched corn to eat.

On the third morning he went to the appointed place. As he drew near he saw there a great dark mass. When nearer he saw an immense creature, but he did not know what it was. When daylight came, he saw that it was a great bear. When the sun appeared the bear said, “Now, we will start.” At once he leaped straight across the valley to the next hill. The ground sank where he struck. He leaped from hill to hill all the time, but the boy had to run through the valley. At noon the great bear was ahead, and the boy was falling behind. The latter began to think, “I am lost; I wish my friend Gaha would come.” At that moment Gaha came in a whirlwind and carried the boy far ahead of the bear. Gaha threw all the trees down, and the bear was delayed jumping over them. The boy called to the great bear, “You must do better than that.” The great bear then gave up, telling the boy that he might have his life; so the boy killed him. Then he took some burned tobacco to his friend Gaha, and, after doing this, asked to be taken home. His friend, carrying him in a whirlwind, set him down in front of his grandfather’s lodge. The boy said: “I have come, grandfather. I have killed the great bear, and you must send and get his body.” The grandfather sent eight men to get his body. They were twenty days going and twenty days returning. The boy was not one day coming, for Gaha carried him over the woods and under the clouds.


28. The Old Man and the Boy

In the past an old man and a small boy lived together in a lodge by themselves. With great affection they passed the time. Each called the other “friend.” They were not blood relatives, only cousins. [163]

One day the old man dressed himself richly—sticking new feathers in his headdress, trimming his hair, and painting his face, and putting on new moccasins. The little boy, watching him, asked, “What are you going to do, my friend?” “Oh, I am going to see the world. I shall be gone a good while. I shall make a long journey,” the old man answered. “Can I not go with you?” asked the boy. “Well, if your father and mother will let you go, I will take you along,” said the old man.

Going to his mother, the boy asked her if he might go. After thinking a minute, she said, “Yes; you may go,” and gave him a new pair of moccasins to wear on the journey.

He returned to his friend, who washed him, trimmed his hair, painted his face, put new feathers in his headdress, and gave him a fine new bow and arrows. Then both set out together. They traveled until night, when they stopped and made their fire in the woods; then they ate their evening meal and slept.

They traveled in this way for five days, until they came to a lake so broad that they could not see the other shore. “How can we get across?” asked the boy. “Oh! we shall have to make a canoe,” said the old man. “Will it take long?” asked the boy. “About one day,” the old man replied. He looked around in the woods until he found a large bitternut hickory tree; stripping off the bark he made a large canoe.

The next morning the old man and the boy, putting their bows, arrows, and fur robes into the canoe, started across the lake. The boy was seated in front and the old man, who paddled, in the stern. In the evening they came in sight of a low island, and without landing they fastened their canoe to the bullrushes that grew around the shore. “How can we sleep here? Is it safe? Are there not things in the water that might kill us?” were some of the anxious queries of the boy. “Oh!” said the old man, “there are fish in the water, and there are in the world evil things reaching from the bottom of the water up to the home of the Master of Life.”47 “If the wind blows we shall be carried off into the lake,” said the boy. “Oh, no! we are safe,” said the old man. So both lay down and soon fell asleep.

About midnight the boy heard a rushing sound as of swiftly moving water, and it seemed to him that the canoe was moving rapidly. He thought that the wind must be blowing hard. On sitting up in the canoe he found that the weather was calm. Then he thought that the water must be running very fast, and putting his hand overboard he found this to be true. He roused the old man at once by shaking his feet and saying: “Get up, friend, and see what the trouble is. The water is running by very fast. Where is the lake going? What are we to do?” “Lie down,” said the old man, “no harm will come to you or me.” [164]

The boy then lay down, but he could not sleep. Just at daybreak a voice spoke to him. Opening his eyes, he saw a fine-looking, middle-aged man, beautifully decorated with paint and feathers, standing at the bow of the boat. The boy saw, too, that the canoe was on dry land. Now the stranger roused the old man saying, “Come with me.” Taking up their bows and arrows and other equipage, they followed the man, who took them to a long lodge. They entered it. There were, they saw, many persons inside, some asleep, some awake. When the old man of the lodge met them he said to the guide, “Oh! you have brought them,” and then, turning to the two friends, he said: “I am glad that you have come. I know you have heard of us before. We are the people whom you call Hinon in your home. We bring rain to make corn and beans and squashes grow. We sent our young man to the island for you. It is we who put it into your mind to come east. We want you to help us, for you are more powerful in orenda than is anything else. The world was made for you. You are more powerful in orenda in some respects than we are, and we want you to help us to kill some of your and our enemies.”

Then they ate their morning meal. There were all kinds of food—corn, beans, squashes. “We have these things. We take a little from a great many fields,” said the old man. “When you see a small row of corn, or a withered squash, or bad kernels of corn on an ear, or dried-up beans in a pod, then you may know that we have taken our part from these. We have taken our part—that part is the spirit of these things—and we have left the shells, or husks. If you should see a whole field blasted and withered, then you would know that we had taken the whole field. But we seldom or never do that. We take only a little from each field.”

After they had eaten, the youngest warrior of the long lodge said: “Now we will go and try to kill the great porcupine. Off there on the hill stands an immense hemlock tree, the largest tree in the whole country. On that tree dwells a terrible porcupine, of such size that his quills are as large as long darts. These he hurls in all directions, killing all who approach him. We Hinon can not kill him, and we are afraid to go near the tree.” So they all agreed to go together.

As they went toward the tree the boy marched ahead with his little bow and arrows. The old man, his friend, and the Hinon laughed to see him, and the old man said in fun: “I think that our little friend might try his luck first.” “All right,” said the Hinon. The little boy was pleased with the suggestion. They stopped at a good distance from the great hemlock tree. No one would venture nearer. [165]

Then, the little boy going down into the ground, went forward until he was directly under the tree in which the porcupine lived. Putting his head and arms out of the ground, and taking aim, he sent an arrow into the porcupine’s body. It moved a little. Then he sent another and still another arrow in quick succession. Feeling something hit him, the porcupine, raising his quills, shot them in every direction. To avoid them the boy hid under the ground. Then the porcupine groaned and, rolling from the tree, fell to the ground dead. Thereupon all the Hinon with the old man came up. Cutting open the great porcupine, which was very fat, they took out his entrails, and then dragged his body home; they saved his quills and ate his flesh. All wondered at the orenda of the little boy.

Old Hinon was delighted. “Now,” said he, “we have another enemy—a great and terrible sunfish, which lives in our river here and which lets no one come near for water; he devours everything, and he even springs up out of the water and catches birds as they fly over the river. The little boy said, “I can kill him without trouble, for he is in the water.”

The next day the Hinon and the old man went near enough to show him where the sunfish lived. The trunk of a great tree had fallen into the river, and it was under this that the sunfish used to lie in wait. He was in his lurking place when they arrived there. The little fellow at once saw him; he shot his arrow straight into the heart of the sunfish, which came to the surface and died. Springing into the water, the whole party of Hinon pulled the sunfish to land and dragged him off to the lodge of old Hinon, who was overjoyed at seeing his second enemy dead. “He is good eating,” said old Hinon, and they feasted on him that day.

The third day old Hinon said: “Now comes the turn of our last enemy. Every other day there flies past here an enormous butterfly, as big as a cloud. He brings sickness, and many of our people die because of him. If we could kill this butterfly, we should have good health and very few of us would die. He passes over here from the west early in the morning and goes back in the evening. Wherever he goes he carries sickness. He will come tomorrow morning.”

The next morning very early they went out in the high grass, where they waited. Soon the great butterfly appeared, flying toward them. He was almost over the place where they were concealed when the little boy, drawing his bow, let an arrow fly. This struck the butterfly, whereupon the hind part of his body immediately dropped, hanging toward the ground. All expected to see him fall. Instead of that he turned and flew back slowly in the direction from which he came. Hinon said: “I am very glad. I do not think that he will come again to this place. Our last enemy is destroyed.” [166]

They then went back to the lodge and ate. As the day passed, the old man said to the two friends, “You may stay and live with us or go home, as you choose.” The old man said: “I am old and can not help you, but my young friend—the little boy—may stay. He is very powerful in orenda. He can do anything, and will be of great assistance to you.” “Well,” said the Hinon, “we are going to your place this evening. There will be a great dance there tonight. We will all go and have some sport, and will carry you as we pass along in the clouds.”

After dark, when the council lodge was full of men and women dancing, the old man, the boy, and the Hinon went in. As the Hinon entered, they began to dance. When they shook their heads the lightnings began to play around the lodge. The chiefs said, “Our grandfathers are here tonight. They should behave themselves or they may do us harm.” Then for a little while the Hinon quieted down. Later, again becoming excited in the dance, they shook their heads until the lightning flashed everywhere and the people were afraid.

After dancing as much as they wished the Hinon went home, leaving the old man but taking the boy with them, and today the little boy goes with them everywhere. “And after the great peals of thunder we hear the little fellow with his boyish voice, and we say, ‘That is the boy.’ We burn tobacco to him, saying, ‘This is all we have to give you,’ and we thank him for the rain that he and the Hinon bring,” say the Seneca.


29. The Story of the Girls Who Went for a Husband48

There was an old woman Yegondji of the Awaeh people with three daughters who had grown to young womanhood. One day she said: “My daughters, I have had a great deal of trouble in rearing you, and thus far I have not eaten anything but onehsa [moss]; now I should like to have some meat to eat. You are old enough to get married. There is a rich woman of the Donyonda people, named Doendjowens, who has a son, Tagonsowes. He is a good young man and a great hunter. I want two of you to go to her lodge and marry this son.”

The girls set to pounding corn for the marriage bread. The old woman baked 22 cakes in the ashes, which she wrapped in corn husks. The next morning she dressed the girls’ hair and painted their faces with red stripes. She told the elder to carry the basket, and cautioned them, saying, “Stop nowhere until you come to the lodge of Doendjowens, and do not inquire of anyone on the way, or speak to any man.” The elder daughter took the basket and the younger followed her. [167]

About midday they saw a middle-aged man of the Ohohwa people running across the road, who was saying: “I have lost my arrow. I was shooting a fisher on a tree and the arrow has gone so far that I can not find it.” The elder daughter put her basket on a log and both girls hunted for the arrow. The strange man ran around the girls, and seizing the basket of marriage bread, carried it home. The younger sister did not like hunting for the arrow and reminded her sister of what their mother had said, but still she had to follow her elder sister. After a while, failing to find the arrow, they returned to the log; discovering that the basket was gone, both girls went home. The mother asked them what had become of the bread. The younger said, “A man asked us to look for his arrow, and I think that he stole it.” The old woman scolded them, saying: “You do not love me. You know that I am suffering for meat, and still you disobey me.” Then she said to the younger girl, “We will make more marriage bread to-morrow and you and your youngest sister shall go this time.”

The next day they made 22 loaves of marriage bread. The day following, after the old woman had dressed their hair and had given them the same cautioning as before, the two girls set out. Going by the same road, they again met the Ohohwa man, whom they asked how far it was to the lodge of Doendjowens. “Oh,” he said, “it is not so far. It is right over here,” showing them his own lodge. There they found Ohohwa’s wife and one little boy. The girls put down the marriage bread near the woman, thinking that she was Doendjowens.

When the man came home he sent his wife to the other side of the fire, telling her to pretend that he was her brother. She did so. He sat between the girls, talking to them. Soon the little boy began to say, “Father! Father!” Thereupon Ohohwa said: “This is my sister’s son. His father was buried yesterday and the boy is calling for him.” Then Ohohwa began to cry for his brother-in-law.

At last somebody was heard running. He came and kicked at the door, calling, “Ohohwa, they want you at Doendjowens’s long lodge.” Ohohwa said to the girls: “They are always using nicknames here. My real name is Tagonsowes.” He continued: “They are holding a council and can not get on without me, so I must go. You lie down here whenever you like, and I will come home soon.” Then he went away to attend the council.

The younger girl whispered: “Let us go out. This is not Tagonsowes’s lodge. If we could get the basket we might go on.” When Ohohwa’s wife fell asleep the younger girl took the basket of marriage bread out of doors, saying: “We must go on. Let us put two elm logs in the bed.” They did so, and started away. [168]

Soon they came to an open place in the center of which stood a council lodge. They stood near the lodge and, peeping through a crack in the side of it, saw Doendjowens, a fine-looking woman and her son, who sat near her, a splendid young man. There were two fireplaces in the lodge. There were also many people, men and women. Ohohwa was in the lodge, and the people were singing for him to dance. As he danced they threw pieces of meat into his mouth and struck his blanket with fat. He was a sight to look at. The girls recognized him.

The younger daughter now went into the lodge followed by the elder, who put the basket of marriage bread near Doendjowens. The two sisters sat on each side of the young man, and Doendjowens was glad, for she liked the two girls. All sat and looked at Ohohwa. Just as he looked at Doendjowens he had his mouth full of mush, and he saw the sisters there. Dropping his blanket in astonishment, he ran out. The people wondered what the matter was with him. Ohohwa ran home. There he saw, as he thought, the two girls in bed, so he sat down on the couch and smoked a while. As he sat there, he was pinched several times by black ants. Turning to the bed he said, “Wait a while. I shall be there soon.” At last, having finished smoking, he undressed; then he discovered that what he had taken for the girls were two logs.

The daughters of the Awaeh Yegondji lived with Tagonsowes and were contented. He was a good hunter and they had plenty of everything to eat.

After a time Doendjowens said to the wife, her daughter-in-law: “You must go home and take your mother some meat. She is suffering for it, I know.” So making ready a pack of meat, she caused it to become small. On reaching home she threw down the pack, and it became as large as ever. Before the sisters set out for home Doendjowens said: “You must bring your mother here. I will give her one fire in the lodge as her own to use.” After Awaeh Yegondji had eaten enough meat and was glad, her daughters brought her to Doendjowens’s lodge, where she lived happy and contented.


30. The Creation of Man


God at first created the sun and the moon. One day while walking about on the earth, becoming lonely, he said, “I will make a human being to keep me company.” He held his way until he came to an uprooted hemlock, which had raised a great pile of earth with its upturned roots. Now, the roots of the hemlock are very numerous and slender and are covered with tufted rootlets for, as the tree grows on thin, pale, sandy soil, it needs many feeders to provide the [169]necessary sustenance. God made a human being from the earth piled up among the roots of this tree. There were so many small fibers in this earth that the human being was seemingly hairy, and the soil was so poor and light-colored that he had a pale, sickly complexion. God breathed on him and he stood up and walked. Then God looked at him from behind the roots of the tree, but being not pleased with his creation, he resolved that he would try again.

God soon came to a walnut tree lying uprooted, which had pulled up with its roots a mound of black earth. From this earth God made another human being. As he looked at him, he saw that, being black, he had too much color. So God was not satisfied with this piece of work, either.

Going on farther, he came at last to an uprooted sugar maple. There the earth had a fine deep color; so out of this God made the third human being, whose body was smooth and firm and of a full rich tint. And God, pleased with his looks, said, “He will do; he looks like me.” This last human being was an Indian; thus the Indian was the native human being.


31. Ganiagwaihegowa

Once a Seneca warrior was missing from his village. It was thought that his disappearance was due to witchcraft in the neighborhood. A party of skilled men was formed to find out the cause of his unexplained disappearance. They discovered great tracks near the village, which they followed to a cave in the woods. Making a large fire, they threw burning brands into the cave. In a short time a Ganiagwaihegowa came out. They shot arrows at the beast, but none of these injured him, for he was full of evil orenda. But, while the bear was rushing around, he happened to raise his fore feet, and when the men shot him there, he died instantly, for it is said that the life of the Ganiagwaihegowa is in the soles of his fore feet, and that this bear is vulnerable in no other spot.

The Ganiagwaihegowa used to eat common bears. No bear but this would eat a bear and no other kind of bear could be killed by being shot in the feet.


32. The Man Who Became a Fish, and a Ganiagwaihe

Two young warriors, who were cousins, started on a hunting expedition. Having arrived at their destination, they constructed a temporary camp.

Some time after camping they heard a very peculiar noise, and one of the cousins said, “I am going to see what is making that sound.” On investigation he found that the sound came from a hollow tree, so he concluded naturally that it was caused by a bear. Going back [170]to the camp, he said to his companion, “There must be a bear in that hollow tree, although the noise which it makes is like that of a whirlwind.” Then they both went to the tree to investigate further the cause of the peculiar sounds. One climbed the tree to take a look into the cavity. At first he could see nothing, but finally he saw at the bottom of the hollow cavity a spotted trout, which was leaping around swiftly in water collected there. Crawling into the hole, he captured the trout with his hand. On getting out, he threw the fish down to his cousin, who said: “This is a curious fish. Let us take it back to camp.” The other replied, “No! Do not touch it; it may be something that will bring us harm.” But the other young man would not heed this advice. Taking the fish to camp, he cleaned, cooked, and ate it. When he had finished eating, he began to be very thirsty, and said to his companion, “Go and get me some water, cousin.” The cousin brought him water, and the other drank and kept on drinking, seeming to be unable to get enough water.

Then his cousin said to him, “Do you not think that the fish is making you ill?” The only reply was, “Oh! get me more water. Take my moccasins and get me plenty.” He brought both moccasins full of water, which the thirsty man drank at once. At last the man who was not ill said, “I am tired of getting water for you; go to the spring and there you can drink all you want.” Visiting the springs he drank until he was tired of drinking; then he rested, and then he began to drink still more.

The cousin, being busy around the camp, did not pay much attention to the sick man, but after a while he went to the spring to look after his cousin. Arriving there, he was frightened when he saw him, for his mouth had become like that of a fish. He asked the sick man how he felt. The other replied, “Oh, about as usual.” Then came the query, “Does not your mouth feel queer?” Putting up his hand, the afflicted youth found that his mouth had grown large, but still kept on drinking. His companion hurried back to the camp in sorrow. The next time he went to the spring he found that his cousin had become a fish to the waist. Later, when he went again to the spring, his cousin had completely changed into a fish, and had gone into the spring. The following morning his cousin had become a great fish, dwelling far under the water, and the spring had grown into a large pond.

The man sat down on the bank of the pond. Soon the great fish, raising its head out of the water, said: “My poor cousin, you see how I have turned into a fish. Go home and tell my parents what has become of me. When you need fish, come to this pond and you shall get all you want. This pond will always be full of fish.”

The man went home, where he told everyone what had befallen his companion. The people then visited the pond, whereupon the [171]great fish, lifting its head above the surface, said, “I shall not long be a fish, for I shall soon become a Ganiagwaihe.” Then the people departed.

In a short time the great fish became a Ganiagwaihe, having hair only on its back and feet. It remained around the lake, and of those who came there to fish it always killed and ate one. The people did not see this done, but always missed one of their number at that place. They did not like this at all, knowing that if the fish continued to live there long it would kill many persons. The people therefore assembled in council to decide how to get rid of the great fish. At last two or three young men agreed to go there and try to kill the Ganiagwaihe; but they never returned. Men who went to find them recovered only their garments.

Finally the cousin of the man who had become a Ganiagwaihe said: “I shall now go. Perhaps I may be able to kill it.” So they prepared for him parched corn, new moccasins, and a very good bow and twelve fine arrows. Having arrived at the pond, he camped there. That night he dreamed that his cousin, appearing to him in the form of a man, asked him: “Why did you come? I can kill you.” The other answered, “I have come to kill you because you are doing great harm to our people.” Then Ganiagwaihe said, “I shall start at daylight, and you pursue me and see if you can catch me.”

Early the next morning the young man started in the direction the Ganiagwaihe had indicated it would flee, and, running as swiftly as he could, he kept up the pursuit until midday, when he saw the tracks of the Ganiagwaihe. Thereupon he shouted in triumph: “Now I shall kill you. I shall soon overtake you now.” Then he ran faster than he had been running before. He ran until night, when he camped and built a fire. On looking at his bundle of corn flour he found that it had become ants; so he had nothing to eat. This mishap was caused by the Ganiagwaihe in order to deprive the man of food. It was now night. While the young man sat there thinking about his situation he heard the approach of footsteps. He knew that it was his cousin, the Ganiagwaihe, and he was ready to take aim when the Ganiagwaihe called: “Stop, cousin! Hold, until I can have a talk with you. If you will permit me to escape this time, I will start early in the morning and will leave this part of the country forever, and I will injure your people no more.” The young man replied: “If you are in earnest in what you have just said, I will spare your life. You know that too many have already been killed by you, and you must stop killing our people at once.” Thoroughly frightened, the Ganiagwaihe agreed to this; and, having bade each other farewell, they parted. [172]

The next morning the young man went home, where he told the people what had occurred, adding: “You can now fish in the pond as much as you desire; there is no one to give you trouble now.” So it came to pass that the Ganiagwaihe kept his word to his cousin.


33. A Dead Man Speaks to His Mother through the Fire

An old woman and her son lived in a lodge in a certain village, and a brother and his sister in another. The old woman’s son and the brother were of the same height and looked so much alike that they could scarcely be known from each other; they were great friends.

The son often visited the brother and sister, and the brother found out that he thought of marrying his sister, who was yet very young, when she became old enough. The brother was not pleased with this prospect, so he made up his mind to kill his friend. The next time the latter came the brother killed him. Digging a deep hole under the fireplace and putting the body therein, he covered it with earth, and made a fire again over the spot.

The mother waited for her son, but he did not come home. Then she went to the other lodge and asked, “Where is my son?” “He left here to go home. It may be he is in the woods now. He said he was going to cut wood for arrows,” answered the young man.

When the woman went out the brother started off and, cutting wood, quickly ran to her lodge, where he sat down and began to whittle arrows. Soon afterward she came in. Turning to her, he asked, “Where have you been, mother?” “Oh! I have been over at your friend’s lodge.” She failed to detect any difference between her son’s voice and his. He said, “Well, mother, I am going over there a while.” Putting up the arrows and running home, he said: “I am afraid, my sister, that there is impending danger and that we are going to die. Hurry to the spring and leave your pail there: then run around in every direction so as to make many trails and come back to the lodge.”

Going to the spring, the girl covered the ground with tracks and returned. The brother said, “I am now going to put you into the head of my arrow and send you off to a safe place.” Taking hold of his sister’s arm, he shook her until she became very small; then opening the arrowhead, he put her into the cavity, and after carefully securing her there, said: “I am going to shoot you toward the east. When the arrow strikes the ground you must jump out and run. I will soon overtake you.” Standing by the fireplace, he shot the arrow out of the smoke-hole. In due time it came down on a stone far off in the east, when the arrow burst and the girl came out and ran off. [173]

After running around in circles and making many tracks around the lodge, the brother then went up the smoke-hole and stood on the roof. There was visible a long streak, or trail, which the arrow had made through the air. Running under this trail, he soon came to the spot where the arrow had struck the stone, and then he followed his sister’s tracks.

The old woman, the murdered man’s mother, growing tired of waiting for her son, went over to the neighboring lodge to see what he was doing. She found the lodge empty. While sitting there by the fire, a voice spoke to her out of the flames, saying: “My friend has killed me. My friend has killed me.” Thereupon she dug down under the hearth until she found her son’s body. On reaching home she became a Ganiagwaihegowa. Then she followed the girl’s tracks to the spring and back again to the lodge. She could find no one in the lodge. At last, looking up through the smoke-hole, she saw the trail of the arrow through the air. Hurrying out, she ran toward the east.

In the meantime the young man had overtaken his sister before she had gone far from the stone. After a while they heard the roaring of Ganiagwaihegowa. The girl trembled from great fear and grew weak. Her brother encouraged her. Stopping at night, they lay down and slept a little. The young man dreamed that a woman came to him, saying: “You think you and your sister are about to die, but you are not; here is a stone with which to defend yourself. Tomorrow about noon throw this piece of stone behind you, with the words, ‘Let there be a ridge of rocks across the world so high that nothing can climb over or pass it.’ ”

In the morning he saw near the brush lodge the very stone he had seen in his dream. He took this piece of stone with him. Before midday they heard the roaring of Ganiagwaihegowa. At noon the young man threw the piece of rock behind him, and at that moment a ridge of rocks, rising so high that no living thing could climb over it, stretched itself across the world.

On coming to the ridge the Ganiagwaihegowa saw that the tracks of the brother and sister went through the wall. She clambered up and then fell backward, howling terribly and crying, “I will overtake and eat them both.” The young man’s sister heard the words of the monster. The Ganiagwaihegowa ran toward the north, but could find no end to or opening in the wall of rocks. Then, coming back, the monster ran to the south, but could find no end there. Once more returning, she lay down near the tracks by the wall. It was now night. The Ganiagwaihegowa staid there until morning. On rising she was greatly surprised at finding nothing but a small stone in her way. Picking up the stone, she ground it to powder in her mouth, and then, roaring terribly, went on. [174]

The brother and sister had now gone far ahead. Toward noon they heard the roaring of the Ganiagwaihegowa and knew that she was drawing near. Taking a pigeon feather from his pouch, the young man threw it behind him, saying, “Let there be a thick rampart of pigeon droppings across the world, so high that nothing can pass over it or go through it.” Then he hurried on with his sister. Soon the bear rushed up to the rampart in a fearful rage. She tried to climb the rampart, but could not do so. Then she tried to push through it, but went out of sight in the filth, nearly smothered, and had hard work to get out. Then the monster ran as fast as possible to find an opening, but without success; so, coming back at night, she lay down and slept until morning, when she found nothing in the way but a feather. This she bit and chewed to pieces.

The brother and sister came to a great wood, all the trees of which were dried up and leafless. They found a lodge, which they entered. An old man, who was their uncle, was sitting inside. They told him their trouble; whereupon he said, “I will do all I can for you, but you have another uncle living not far from here who can help you much better than I can.” The old man was engaged in chipping flints. When he got a handful of flint chips he would fling them out at the trees; in this way he had killed the whole forest, for he had great powers of witchcraft.

The brother and sister then went to the next lodge. The old uncle whom they had left had a heap of flint chips piled up near him. When he heard the Ganiagwaihegowa coming he struck it again and again with the chips. But the Ganiagwaihegowa did not turn away; coming up to the door, she asked the old man, “Have you seen a couple of persons pass here?” “No,” said he, “I pay no attention to anyone who comes.” Thereupon the monster crushed his head, thus killing him. Then, discovering the tracks, the Ganiagwaihegowa said, “They have gone ahead; it is too bad that I have killed the old man.” Roaring loudly, she rushed on. “I will overtake you and eat you,” she said.

Soon the brother and sister came to the other uncle. After hearing of their troubles he said, “I will help you all I can, but hurry on until you come to another uncle.” Then he made a trap on the trail, and near that a second and a third. When the Ganiagwaihegowa came up, she rushed into the first trap, where she struggled a long time. Finally, breaking through this trap, the monster went on until she got into the second trap. After a longer struggle she broke through this, only to fall into the third trap, from which also she escaped at last. Coming soon to the third old man, the Ganiagwaihegowa asked, “Have you seen a couple of persons pass this way?” “I have not,” was the reply, whereupon the monster, seizing the old man, ground him to pieces with her teeth. Then, finding the tracks [175]of the young couple, she said: “Here are the tracks again; they have passed on. I am sorry that I killed the old man.”

The brother and sister went to the third uncle. Rushing into his lodge, they found him making a net. His eyes were closed and filled with matter, but still he was at work. He had long upper eyelids hanging down on his cheeks. Raising the lids he cleaned his eyes; then with a piece of buckskin he tied the lids across his forehead. When the brother and sister rushed in, they said, “Uncle!” but he did not hear them. They called again, “Uncle! we are running away and want your assistance,” but he did not stop, for he failed to hear them. Then the brother hit him on the head with a corn pounder, whereupon, raising his eyelids, he said, “I heard a voice.” The brother and sister exclaimed, “We are closely pursued by a Ganiagwaihegowa.” “I will help you as far as I can, but your grandfather, who lives near here, will do more than I. Run to him,” was his answer. They hurried on.

The Ganiagwaihegowa came nearer and nearer. The old man laid a long net across the trail, in which the Ganiagwaihegowa was caught. After struggling somewhat, she cleared herself. On coming to the old man’s door she asked, “Have you seen two people pass this way?” “No!” said he. The old man had told them to run to their grandfather, and they had done so.

On reaching their grandfather they found Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa there, who had rattles. When the brother and sister came up Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa told them to go on and that they would come to a lodge, and that the people in that lodge were very strong in sorcery, having great orenda.

The boy and his sister went on. The bear came to the Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa, whom she killed after a hard fight. The two fugitives reached the lodge, in front of which was an old Djogeon49 woman, who was very small. She told them to go in and sit down. She had three sons inside and also a great deal of bear’s fat. The old woman told the boys to make a fire on the tracks of the brother and sister and to put over it to boil a kettle of bear’s oil. They made two fires, putting two kettles over them, into which they poured the oil. Then the three boys got red willow, from which they soon made a number of arrows.

The Djogeon woman stood near the first kettle when the Ganiagwaihegowa came rushing along asking, “Are the two persons here who made these tracks?” “Yes; they are in the lodge,” was the reply. The Ganiagwaihegowa started to go around the kettles, but the woman said, “No, you must go the way they went, right through the fire, kettles and all; you must do the same as they did.” On starting to do so the Ganiagwaihegowa got her paws in the boiling oil and overturned the first kettle. Badly burned, the monster fell back, [176]growling. In making for the second kettle, that too was upset in the same way and she was burned still more. Then the boys killed the Ganiagwaihegowa with their red-willow arrows, and, building a fire, they burned her bones to powder, so that the monster could not come to life again.

The old Djogeon told the brother and sister to stay two or three days at her lodge and rest; then her sons would take them home. She told her sons that this old Ganiagwaihegowa woman stole a young boy and girl from them and took them away, wishing to make the girl marry her son. The boys took the brother and sister two days’ journey, which was as far as they could go. Then they directed the former fugitives so that they got home.

It is said that the Ganiagwaihegowa woman’s boy had a tuft of yellow hair hanging down his back, and that when he was killed, his companion, having cut off this tuft, fastened it to the top of his own head. When the Ganiagwaihegowa woman’s boy went hunting, he would send his arrows home and they would go into the lodge just where they belonged; but after the other man obtained the hair, his arrows would go home in the same way, for the orenda was in the tuft of yellow hair.


34. The Potent Boy50

A man and his wife lived together in an ugly looking lodge in the woods. They had a son four or five years old.

After a time the woman gave birth to another boy, not longer than one’s hand, who was very bright and lively. Wrapping the little fellow carefully, the father, thinking he could not live, placed him in a hollow tree outside the lodge. Then he burned the body of the mother, who had died when the baby came into the world.

The man went hunting every day as before. The older boy played around the lodge by himself and was lonely. After some time had elapsed he heard the baby in the hollow log crying, for he, too, was lonely and had nothing to eat. The elder boy found his little brother and, making soup of deer intestines, gave it to him to drink. He drank the soup with great relish and became much strengthened. The brother gave him plenty of it. At last the little fellow came out of the log and the two boys played together.

The elder brother made the little one a coat of fawn skin, which he put on him. This made the baby look like a chipmunk as he ran around. They went to the lodge and played there. Noticing a decrease in the stock of provisions, the father asked the boy what he did with the deer intestines. “Oh,” said the boy, “I ate a good deal of them.” Then looking around the fire and seeing a small track and very short steps, the father said: “Here are the tracks of a boy. Who is it?” The boy told him how he had found his little brother in a hollow tree, and that he had given him soup and had made him a [177]fawn-skin coat, and that they had played together. “Go and bring him,” said the father. “He would not come for anything, for he is very timid,” was the answer. “Well, we will catch him. You ask him to go to hunt mice in an old stump there beyond the log. I will get him.” Catching a great many mice, the man put them in his bosom, in his clothes, and all around his body and, going beyond the log, turned himself into an old stump full of mice.

Going to the hollow tree, the boy said, “Come, let us play catching mice.” The little fellow came out and running to the stump rushed around it, catching many mice. The little boy, wild with excitement, laughed and shouted with joy, for it seemed that he had never known such fun. All of a sudden the stump turned into a man, who, catching him in his arms, ran home. The boy screamed and struggled, but it was of no use; he could not get away, and he would not be pacified until his father put a small club into his hand, saying, “Now strike that tree.” He struck a great hickory which stood near. The tree fell. Everything he struck was crushed or killed; he was delighted and cried no more. The little boy stayed now with his brother and played with him while their father went hunting. “You must not go to the north while I am away,” said the father; “bad, dangerous people live there.” When the father was gone the little boy said, “Oh, let us go north; I should like to see what is there.” Starting in that direction, the boys went on until they came to wooded, marshy ground. Then the little boy heard many people call out, “My father! My father!” “Oh, these people want to hurt my father,” said he. Making ready a pile of red-hot stones, he hurled them at these people and killed all of them. They were frogs and sang nohqwa. When the boys came home their father was very angry and said, “You must not go again, and you must not go west; it is very dangerous there, too.”

When their father had gone hunting the next day the little boy said, “I should like to see what there is in the west; let us go there.” Traveling westward, they went on until they came to a very tall pine tree. In the top of the tree was a bed made of skins. “Oh!” said the little boy, “that is a strange place for a bed. I should like to see it. I will climb up and look at it.” Up he went. He found in it two little naked children, a boy and a girl; they were frightened. On pinching the boy, the child called out: “Oh, father, father! some strange child has come and he has frightened me nearly to death.” Suddenly the voice of Thunder was heard in the far west. It came nearer and nearer, hurrying along until it reached the bed in the tree top. Raising his club, the little boy struck Thunder, crushing his head so that he fell dead to the ground. Then, by pinching her, [178]he made the little girl call: “Mother, Mother! some strange boy has come and is playing with me.” Instantly the mother Thunder’s voice was heard in the west, and presently she stood by the nest. The boy struck her on the head with his club, and she, too, fell dead. Now, thought the boy: “This Thunder boy would make a splendid tobacco pouch for my father. I will take him home.” So, striking him with his club, he threw him down, and the little girl also. When the boy with the club reached the ground, he said to his brother, “Now, let us go.” On getting home, he said, “Oh, father! I have brought you a splendid pouch.” “What have you done?” said the father. When he saw the dead Thunder baby he said: “These Thunders have never done any harm. They bring rain and do us good, but now they will destroy us all in revenge for what you have done.” “Oh! they will not hurt us. I have killed that whole family.” The father took the skin for a pouch. “Now, my boy,” said the father, “you must never go north, to the country of the Stone Coats.” The elder brother would not go, so the little one went off alone. About noon he heard the loud barking of Stone Coat’s dog, which was as tall as a deer, so he knew the master was near. He jumped into the heart of a chestnut tree, where he found a hiding place.

Presently Stone Coat came up, and, looking at the tree, said, “I think there is nothing here;” but the dog barked and looked up, so that finally he struck the tree with his club, splitting it open. “What a strange little fellow you are,” said Stone Coat, looking at the boy as he came out; “you are not big enough to fill a hole in my tooth.” “Oh! I did not come to fill holes in your teeth. I came to go home with you and see how you look and how you live,” said the boy. “All right. Come with me,” said Stone Coat. Stone Coat was of enormous size. He carried in his belt two great bears, which to him were as two squirrels to an ordinary man. Every little while, looking down, he would say to the little fellow running by his side, “Oh! you are such a funny little creature.”

Stone Coat’s lodge was very large and long. The little boy had never seen anything like it. Stone Coat skinned the two bears; he put one before his visitor and took one for himself, saying to the boy, “Now you eat this bear, or I will eat you and him together.” “If you do not eat yours before I eat mine, may I kill you?” asked the boy. “Oh, yes,” said Stone Coat. The little boy cut off mouthfuls, and cleaning them as fast as he could, he put them into his mouth. He kept running in and out, so as to hide the meat. In a short time all the flesh of his bear had disappeared. “You have not eaten yours yet; I am going to kill you,” said the little fellow to the Stone Coat. “Wait until I show you how to slide down hill”—and Stone Coat took him to a long hillside, which was very slippery and which ended in a cave. Putting the little fellow in a wooden bowl, he sent [179]him down at a great rate. Presently he ran up again to the place where he started. “Where did you leave the bowl?” asked Stone Coat. “Oh! I do not know; it has gone down there I suppose,” replied the little fellow. “Well, let us try to see who can kick this log highest,” said Stone Coat. “You try first,” said the little one. The log was two feet in diameter and six feet long. Putting his foot under it, Stone Coat lifted the log twice his own length. Then the little boy, placing his foot under the log, sent it whistling through the air. It was gone a long time; then it came down on Stone Coat’s head, crushing him to death. “Come here,” said the little fellow to Stone Coat’s dog. The dog came and the boy got on his back and rode home, saying, “Now my father will have a splendid hunting dog.” When the father saw the dog he cried out, “Oh! what have you done? Stone Coat will now kill us all.” “I have killed Stone Coat. He will not trouble us any more,” replied the Potent One.

“Now, my boys, you must never go to the southwest, to the gambling place,” said the father. The next day about noon the little boy started off alone. He came to a beautiful opening in the woods, at the farther end of which was a lean-to, under which was a man with a very large head (far larger than the head of a buffalo), who played dice for the heads of all who came along. Crowds of people were there betting in threes. When the game was lost the big-headed man put the three persons on one side in reserve; then he played again with three more, and when they lost he put them with the first three, and so on until the number was large enough for his purpose; then, getting up, he cut all their heads off. As the boy approached, a number who had lost their bets were waiting to be killed. Hope came to them all, for they knew that this little fellow had great orenda. Immediately the game began. When the big-headed man threw the dice the boy caused some to remain in the dish and others to go high, so the dice in the throw were of different colors. When he himself threw, all the dice, turning into woodcocks, flew high and came down sitting, and all of one color in the bowl. The two played until the boy won back all the people and the big-headed man lost his own head, which the boy immediately cut off. The whole crowd shouted, “Now, you must be our chief.” “Oh! how could such a little fellow as I be a chief. Maybe my father would consent to be your chief. I will tell him,” said the boy. So the boy went home and told his father, but the latter would not go to the land of gambling.

“Now,” said the father, “you must never go to the east; they play ball there; you must never go there.” The next day the boy, starting for the east, traveled until he came to beautiful plains, a great level country, where the wolf and the bear clans were playing on one side [180]against the eagle, the turtle, and the beaver clans on the other. The little boy took the side of the wolf and the bear; they said, “If you win, you will own all this country.” They played, and he won for them. “Now,” they said, “you are the owner of all the country.” On reaching home the little boy said to his father, “I have won all the beautiful country of the east; you come and be the chief of it.” His father consented, and going to the country of the east with the two boys, there they lived. That is the story.


35. The Faithless Wife and the Three Old Men

A man and his wife went into the forest to hunt. They built a lodge of hemlock boughs, in which they lived very happily. In the course of time a boy was born to them. They had plenty of meat, for the man was a successful hunter. While he was away hunting in the forests his wife would busy herself in dressing the meat, in bringing bark to keep up the fire, and in taking care of the child. Later another child, a girl, was born.

Everything went well until the boy was large enough to do errands. Then his mother began to send him for water, which was at some distance from the cabin. For some reason unknown to her the child was much afraid of going to the spring. Whenever his mother ordered him to go he would complain and try to beg off; but, taking him by the hair, she would lead him to the door, push him out, throwing the water vessel after him. Then the child knew he must pick up the vessel and go. When he had brought the water into the lodge the mother would wash herself, comb her hair carefully, and after donning her best robe she would take the forehead strap and hatchet and go away, telling the boy that she was going for bark for the fire and that he must stay with his sister.

This conduct was repeated at the same time every day for a long while. Then the mother began to be very cruel to the boy. She did not feed him properly, and neglected him in every way, seeming almost to hate him. At last the boy told his father that his mother did not give him enough to eat. The father had noticed that she was cross and cruel to the child, and had begun to think that something was wrong. Finally as he and the son were lying down together one night on one side of the fire and the mother and the little girl on the other side, the father began to question the boy about what took place at home while he was away hunting. Then the boy told him that about the same time every day his mother sent him after water to a place where he was afraid to go; that then, after washing herself and combing her hair, she would go off into the woods for bark for the fire, and remain a long time. [181]

The next day when the father came home he asked whether the same thing had taken place. The boy replied, “Yes.” Then the man determined to watch his wife. The following day he started out to hunt, as usual. After going some distance, he crept back to a place whence he could see what took place around the cabin. Shortly he saw the skin door open and his boy thrust out and the water vessel thrown after him. He saw the boy pick up the vessel and start off, crying bitterly. This made the father very sad, but he waited as patiently as possible to see what would happen next.

The boy brought the water. Soon after this his wife came out in new garments, carrying her strap and hatchet. She walked away from the lodge in a bee line, her husband following cautiously. Walking down a little hill, she went on until she came to a dry black ash tree, from which the bark could be stripped easily. There she stood, looking up at it. Her husband drew as near as he could without being seen by her. After gazing up into the tree for a moment, she struck it with the back of her hatchet, making a beautiful sound. After waiting a while, she struck it a second time. Again the same musical sound was heard. The third time she struck it he heard a bird on the top branches. As she struck it the fourth time the bird flew down. As it alighted on the ground it became a handsome man. The husband saw how his wife and her lover dallied together. At that moment, drawing his bow, he shot an arrow. In the twinkling of an eye the lover, turning himself into a bird, flew upward and disappeared in the air. The woman sprang up, and seeing her husband, said, “It is you, is it?” “Yes,” he replied, “now I know why you abuse our boy.” “Yes; I do abuse him, and I will abuse you, too,” she declared. Seizing a club, she beat him until he was helpless; then, leaving him on the ground, she ran home, put her children outside the cabin, and set fire to the hemlock boughs composing its roof. These blazed up and soon the lodge was in ashes. Then she said to her children, “You stay here; everything will be all right.” Then, taking up a handful of ashes, she threw them into the air, saying, “Let there be a snowstorm and let the snow lie as deep as these trees are high.” As the snow began to fall, she said to the boy, “Here is your dog; keep him with you, and take care of your sister.” Then she started off.

The snow kept coming down. Soon the boy and girl were covered, but they felt as comfortable as if they were in a warm cabin.

After a while the father, having recovered, dragged himself toward his home. When near, he saw there was no longer a lodge. He searched for his children and at last found and rescued them. Then he set about building a lodge of boughs. The boy told him what his mother had said and done, and he was very sad. When the lodge was finished, he said: “You must stay here and take care of your [182]little sister and your dog, ‘Beautiful Ears.’51 You must always give him plenty to eat, as much and as good food as you have yourself. When you go out you must always carry your sister on your back. Never put her down nor leave her for a moment, and when the dog shows himself uneasy, turn around and go home. Now I am going in pursuit of your mother.” So saying, he started off.

In the morning when the brother and sister and dog woke up they found breakfast already cooked. The boy first gave the dog his share and then he and his little sister ate. At meal times their food was always ready for them to eat. Some time afterward the boy, becoming lonely, said to his sister and the dog, “We will go out to amuse ourselves.” He had a bow and arrows, but could not use them much, for he carried his sister on his back from place to place. The dog usually ran ahead, then it would run back, and it was in motion at all times. They kept looking around and enjoying themselves until the dog began to whine and tease, wishing to go home. Then the boy said, “I think our dog wants to go back home.” So they turned back, and when they got home their supper was ready.

A few days later they went out again, a little farther than on the first day. Again on their return home supper was ready. The boy always gave the dog his share first. A third time they went out. They had already gone a considerable distance from the lodge when all at once the dog ran after some wild turkeys. The boy followed the dog, which at last chased them into the bushes. The boy could not get into the bushes to shoot them, for his sister was strapped on his back. Thereupon he said to himself, “I will unstrap her for just a moment. Then we shall have a good fat turkey to eat.” So he took her off for a minute, but almost before he had reached the bushes she screamed, and he saw a great bear run off with her. The boy and the dog followed the bear for three or four days. The boy heard the dog bark as it ran on. At last it got out of hearing and he lost all track of both dog and bear; now he was alone in the world. He had nothing to live for and wished to die. He tried several times to destroy himself, but he could not.

One day he climbed the high banks of a great lake. Mounting a rock, with the thought, “Now I will end my life,” he leaped into the water. When he struck the surface he lost his senses. On coming to himself again he seemed to approach a beautiful country with the purpose to stay there, and he thought that he was very comfortable. But it turned out that a great fish had swallowed him when he had struck the water.

After a few days the fish got into a small stream, on the banks of which two sisters had built a lodge; they had also made a dam to catch fish. One morning on going to the dam they were delighted to find a great fish there. The first said, “Let us dress it right [183]away.” “Wait,” the other said, “until we get the water boiling to cook it. We must cut it up carefully. Such a fish must have much roe.”

When everything was ready they opened the fish carefully; in the place of roe they found a beautiful boy. For a moment they forgot the fish. They washed the boy and cared for him, and were rejoiced that such a gift had come to their door. They said: “We will take good care of him. Perhaps he will become a great hunter and get meat for us when we are old.” The sisters and their son, as they called him, lived very happily together. He soon surprised them by killing large game and by becoming a great hunter. When they found, however, that while hunting he wandered off a long distance from home, they were alarmed and cautioned him to keep near the lodge and, above all, not to go near the setting sun. Finally he killed a great deer. While the sisters were pleased with his power and skill, they were afraid something might happen to him, since there were so many wicked people about. The fear worried them greatly. They kept warning him of danger, saying that he must never on any account go toward the setting sun.52

After a time the youth killed any kind of game he wished. One day he said to himself: “I wonder what there is near the setting sun? I will go to see for myself.” He had not gone far before he came to a clearing, in which he saw a cabin that seemed to be empty. Everything was quiet around it. Creeping up cautiously, he peeped in; an old man was sitting there with his head bent upon his breast. The latter instantly called out, “Well, nephew,53 have you come?” Knowing that he was discovered (by sorcery), the boy answered: “Yes; I have come. I thought I would see what you are doing.” “Well, come in and wait a moment. I will get my head up,” the old man replied. Taking up a mallet and a large wooden pin that lay at his side, he drove the pin down his spinal column. Up came his head, whereupon he said, “I have a rule that when one of my nephews comes I play a game with him, and we bet.” “What do you bet?” asked the boy. “I bet my head against his,” came the reply. “All right,” said the boy. The old man dusted off the fireplace and made it smooth; then he shook the bowl and plum pits. The agreement was that the first who turned the plum pits all of one color was to be the winner. The old man said, “You must throw first.” “No,” said the boy, “you proposed the game; now you must play first.” At last the old man agreed to this. As he shook the bowl the six plum pits flew out of the smoke hole. When they got outside they turned into birds, which flew off out of hearing. By and by the boy heard them again; down into the bowl they rolled as plum pits. Bending over, the old man stirred and stirred them, repeating, “Let them be white; let them be white!” But he [184]could not get them all of one color. At last he ceased his efforts. Then the boy threw his own dice, and, like the others, they went out of the smoke hole and, turning into birds, flew off. Thereupon the old man began to stir the dish, saying, “I wish this, I wish that.” Down came the birds as plum pits. Then both stirred them, repeating, “I wish this, I wish that,” and they all turned to one color. When the old man saw that he had lost the game he wished to play once more. “Oh, no,” said the boy; “that is not the rule.” “Well, let me smoke once more,” begged the old man. “No,” the boy said, and, catching up a tomahawk, he cut off the old man’s forfeited head. Afterward he set the cabin afire. Later he went home, but said nothing about his adventure.

After a few days he thought he would go again toward the setting sun. Passing the old man’s place, he soon came to another opening, in which he saw a second cabin. All around it the ground was very smooth as if it were a great playground. Seeing nobody, he walked up quietly and peeped into the cabin; an old man sitting within called out: “Is that you, nephew? Come in. I have been waiting for you now some time.” “Yes, I was going by, and I thought I would look in and see you,” said the boy. “Well, I have a way of passing time. I play a game when my nephews come,” declared the old man. “What is your game?” asked the boy. “Playing ball,” replied the old man. “I like that game,” answered the youth. “I bet my head against my nephew’s,” said the old man. “All right. Let us play, then,” was the boy’s reply. They went to the middle of the clearing. At each end was a stake. The young man said, “Are you ready?” Counting, “One, two, three,” they threw the ball. The old man beat the young man in throwing, but the young man struck the ball, and was the better runner. When he was getting far ahead, the old man threw a horn after him, which stuck into the middle of the boy’s foot. He had to stop, sit down, and pull out the horn. Just as he drew it out, the old man passed him. Spitting on his hand, the young man rubbed his foot, and it was healed. He then threw the horn, hitting the old man, who now had to sit down and pull the horn out of his own foot. The ball rolled on, passing between the stakes. At the next turn the result was the same, so the game was lost for the old man, who wanted to try again; but the young man said, “No; that is not the rule.” Thereupon with his knife he cut off the old man’s head, and, after burning his cabin, went home.

A third time the youth went toward the setting sun, farther than before. Passing the first and second clearings, he came to a third, in which he saw a great pond covered with ice; near it was a cabin. As the young man peeped in, an old man sitting there called out: “Well, nephew, I knew you would come. I am glad to see you.” “Yes, I thought I would look in and see you. Now I must go,” [185]added the youth. “Oh, no! I have a rule that when one of my nephews comes I play a game. I run a race on the ice, and whoever gets beaten to the end loses his head. No matter how he gets there; only let him get there first, he wins.” Just as he was ready to start, the young man, taking a ball off an oak tree, said, “Let there come a high wind!” He got into the ball (which grows on the oak tree at a certain time of the year) and in a moment he was over the ice. The old man was scarcely halfway across. The young man then pulled out of his pouch a white flint. As he threw it toward the middle of the pond, he said, “Let this stone melt the ice and boil the water.” In an instant the old man was sinking in boiling water and cried for mercy, but the young man said, “No!” As the water boiled it melted all the ice; thereupon then the water disappeared, dry land appeared, and the old man was left in the middle of it, a great stone monument. After setting fire to the cabin the young man went home. He had never forgotten his father and sister, and he knew where they were.

One day a runner came to the lodge of the two sisters, announcing, “I have been sent by the chief to give notice of the marriage of a certain woman. The chief wishes all to come.” Knowing that the boy had orenda (magic powers), the sisters were careful of him. When he said, “I want to go to the gathering,” they raised many objections, saying, “Bad people will be there; all sorts of games will be played.” They were afraid to let him go. He replied: “You were afraid to have me go toward the setting sun. I have been there. I have destroyed the dice man,54 the ball man, and the ice-pond man.” The sisters were greatly astonished. The youth added. “Now, I am going to the gathering. My mother, father, sister, and dog are there.” Yielding at last, they told him how to find his grandmother, and said that she would tell him what to do.

He set out; after traveling a long way he struck another trail; then he began to meet many people, and as they journeyed the crowd kept increasing. When night came they all camped together and were very hungry. Going out, the youth killed game, which he told the men to bring in; this the women prepared. The next day all went on. The sisters had said to him before starting: “There will be one woman in the crowd who will seem to have power over all men. Do not notice her.” He saw the woman, for the men all crowded around her, and one after another she satisfied all their desires. He looked at her but passed on.

At last he reached the place where his grandmother lived. She was very poor. He said, “Grandmother, I have come.” “Poor grandchild, I am sorry. I have so little to give. I am alone and poor,” murmured the grandmother. “Oh! do not mind; we shall [186]be all right,” said he, bringing in game until the old woman was so glad that she was almost crying with joy. She hurried around like a young girl to prepare food. Then he began to question her. She told him: “There is a great gathering at the Long Lodge. The chief’s daughter is to be married. She has been married before, but she nearly destroyed her husband, her daughter, and their dog. She had a son, but nobody knows where he is. Now she is going to torture her husband to death. He is hung up at one end of the Long Lodge, and everyone can strike him with a burning brand; his tears become wampum beads. Her daughter is hanging on a peg over the fire, slowly roasting. The dog is at one end of the fire and everyone who passes gives him a kick. He has consumption and his hair is all singed off.”

The boy was very angry. When night came he said to his grandmother, “I am going to the gathering.” She warned him to beware of evil men and women who played games and tried to deceive people. When he arrived at the gathering he pretended to be a little boy, playing around with the children and going into the Long Lodge with them. There he saw his mother decked out gaily, perched on a high seat in the middle of the room, where she could be seen by everybody. He saw his father secured to a stake. Over the fire his sister was roasting, and he heard his dog coughing, barely alive. Then he told his grandmother what he had come for; that the woman was his mother and the man his father. “Now, my mothers, the two sisters, told me to ask you to help me. Tell me what to do.” Consenting, she said: “I know everything and am ready to help you. I have a pair of moccasins you must wear. At certain intervals your mother orders your father to be branded. Now, you must stand near the fire. The moccasins, being made of the skin of a woman’s private parts, have sympathetic power over them. When your mother calls out, ‘Brand him,’ you must stick your foot into the fire.” The boy obeyed her, sticking his foot into the flame as the woman gave the order “Brand him.” That instant his mother screamed with pain. All, wondering at this, questioned her, but she would not tell. She was ashamed. Then the boy ran out of doors, but when it was time for her to give the order again he was near the fire. As she was beginning to say “Brand him,” again he put his foot into the fire and at that moment she screamed with pain. He tormented her in this way until she died. Each time she suffered his father and sister felt great relief. When she was dead, he took his father and sister and dog out of the building. Then he said, “Let this building turn to red-hot flint.” Immediately the lodge was in flames. As some of the people of the lodge had magic powers, their heads burst, the pieces striking against the stone walls, while their spirits flew out through the top into the air in the form of owls and other birds of ill omen. [187]

Spitting on his hands, the young man rubbed his father and sister and dog, and they became as well as ever. Then he said, “Now, we will go home.” Thanking his grandmother, they started for the sisters’ cabin. When they came near, the sisters ran to meet them, saying, “We will be your father’s wives.” And they all lived happily together.


36. The Dagwanoenyent (Daughter of the Wind) and Her Husband

There were a nephew and an uncle, who lived together in a bark lodge in the woods. The uncle gave the nephew nothing to eat, making him live on fungus. He told him he must not go north to collect fungus, but always south. The uncle himself went hunting every day but brought back no game. At home he lived on chestnut pudding and bear’s oil. The nephew could not find out for a long time how he made the pudding, but at last he discovered the process. The uncle had a little pot and a chestnut. He would put the least bit of chestnut into the pot, saying, “Watchisgwengo, Swell, Pudding.” Thereupon the mush would increase in quantity.

The next day after his discovery the boy did just as he had seen his uncle do, with the result that he had a good meal of chestnut pudding. He did likewise every day while his uncle was hunting. Then he began to wonder why his uncle forbade him to go northward. After thinking over the matter a few days, he determined to go in that direction notwithstanding his uncle’s injunction.

The boy started on his journey, traveling until he came to a Long Lodge. In the lodge was a great supply of venison and bear meat, and skin bags of bear’s oil were hanging all around the wall. The only person within was a woman, who was sitting in the middle of the room, with her head bent down. There was also a small boy toddling around, who clapped his hands and laughed when he saw the young man. The woman took no notice of him. The young man played a while with the child. After a time he started for home, taking with him a small piece of meat which he had filched. The uncle, returning home, prepared his pudding in secret as before.

Thus it happened every day from year to year. It was the custom for the old man to set out to hunt and for the young man to go to the Long Lodge to play with the little boy. The woman never moved nor spoke.

The little boy of the Long Lodge was about 15 when one day he said to the young man: “You and I are cousins. Your uncle is my father and that woman sitting there is my mother.” The nephew then asked, “Why does she never speak?” He asked her various questions, but she would not answer him a word. Thereupon with his bow and arrow he shot at a bag of bear’s oil which hung above [188]her head. The arrow pierced the bag and the oil flowing out fell upon the woman’s head and face. This made her very angry, but she did not speak.

Now, all the meat in the lodge was the game which the uncle of the young man killed and brought in every day. He never came there until late in the day while the nephew went home early, so that in all these years they had never met at the Long Lodge. When the uncle came that evening he found the bag broken and the oil spilt over the woman. He suspected that his nephew had been there. On reaching his own lodge that night he asked, “Have you been at the Long Lodge?” “Oh, yes,” said the nephew; “I have been going there for the last 13 years. I have always eaten of the meat there. I have not eaten fungus for many years.” The uncle was very angry, and asked him whether he broke the bag containing the bear’s oil. “Yes,” the young man answered. “Oh! you have destroyed us both, I fear. That woman is an awful witch. She can not be killed. She will ruin us both,” said the uncle.

The next day the uncle went off again. But that time the nephew remained at home. During the day, raising the cover of his uncle’s couch, he found a great pot. This he filled with water, putting in also a good-sized piece of the chestnut, for he was very angry with his uncle. When the pot boiled, he began to strike it, saying, “Swell, Pot! Swell, Pot!” When it came up as high as the bed, he climbed on the bed. On the pot rising higher, he climbed on the shelf, which extended around the side of the lodge. When it rose as high as that, he climbed out of the smoke hole on the roof, enjoying immensely the increase of the pudding, knowing how terribly angry his uncle would be when he returned in the evening.

When his uncle came home he said to the boy, “What have you been doing?” “Making chestnut pudding,” declared the nephew. “Oh! it is too bad,” exclaimed the uncle. “Oh! that is an old story with me. I have been eating chestnut pudding for 15 years,” declared the boy. “By doing this you will destroy us both,” said the uncle, who was more angry than ever before. “You have enraged that woman. She will never stop her revenge until she has killed us both,” continued the uncle.

They went to bed, the old man feeling very bad. Just at daybreak the next morning they heard a terrible noise away off in the distance. The trees began to moan. The sound grew louder and louder. The two anxious watchers heard the cracking of branches and the falling of trees. They said the most awful tempest they had ever heard was coming, with the woman right in the midst of the storm. Sweeping down on the lodge and tearing it up from the ground, she caught up the uncle and bore him away. The nephew had hidden, so she did not find him. [189]

That day the boy, going to the Long Lodge as before, found the old woman sitting there, mute and motionless, as if nothing had happened in the meantime. He asked the other boy, “What has your mother done with your father?” “Oh! you will never see him again. She will come for you tomorrow morning. I do not know what she has done with my father, but she went off with him and came back without him,” declared the boy.

The nephew of the man went home to prepare for the coming of the woman. He had a mole for his guardian. He got inside of the mole, which, instructed by him, went down into the ground under the lodge as deep as he could. The next morning the woman came again with terrible fury, raging worse than before. She uprooted all the trees in her path, but she could not find the nephew, so she had to go away without him.

Soon afterward the nephew went again to the Long Lodge. There sat the woman, motionless as before. “Oh!” said the small boy, “she went for you this morning, but could not find you. Where were you?” “I was right there,” replied the nephew of the man.

Then the nephew went home. The next morning at daybreak a similar tempest came; but the boy was down in the ground, inside the mole, so that the woman could not find him. Thereupon, making herself into a great whirlwind, and digging a deep hole in the ground, she lifted the earth to the sky, carrying the mole along in the dirt. The mole fell, but escaped, while the boy was killed. The old woman went home well satisfied.

The mole went immediately to work, however, and by blowing the breath into the boy’s mouth and withdrawing it brought him back to life.

After that the nephew set out to find where his uncle was, going northward. He went beyond the Long Lodge, traveling as fast as he could all day and night and carrying the mole with him. The next morning at daybreak the witch again came after him in a terrible tempest. Once more getting into the mole, he went into the ground, where she could not find him, so she went home to the Long Lodge. He traveled the second day as fast as he could. On the third morning the woman came still again in a roaring tempest. Finding that the nephew was in the mole, she made once more a whirlwind, which scooped up the earth, leaving a great hole, and carried him in the dirt far up into the clouds. The mole falling to the earth, the boy was killed. The witch went home satisfied. The mole, by again working over the dead nephew, brought him back to life. Whereupon the latter, putting the mole into his belt, ran on as fast as he could all the third day. That night he spent deep down in the great rocks of a mountain. [190]

On the fourth morning at daybreak the woman came in a tempest, as before, but could not find the nephew. The same day he traveled until he came upon a lodge in an opening, like the other Long Lodge, which was supplied with everything; there, under the roots of a great elm tree near the lodge he found his uncle. The tree was standing on his breast, and his feet were sticking out at one side and his head at the other. He was reduced to skin and bones. He begged for a smoke, exclaiming, “Oh, my nephew! if only I could have a smoke.” “Poor uncle! I will get you a smoke,” said the nephew, and pushing the tree down he gave him a smoke. After smoking, the uncle arose, well. He and the nephew then went into the lodge, where they remained together two or three days.

One morning at daybreak the tempest came again. By watching the young man had found that the witch came in a narrow path and that it was possible to get out of her course. So he told his uncle to run westward, keeping out of her path, for she was the wind. The nephew himself stayed at home to meet her, going into the ground again, and again she dug him up and killed him. She went home contented, but the mole brought him to life. Then he followed her immediately to the lodge, where he found her sitting motionless. Shooting an arrow at the witch, he killed her. Then forming a great pile of dry bark, wood, and bear’s oil, he burned the body thereon, throwing the bones far away in every direction. When he had finished this task he said to the small boy, “We will go to my uncle, your father.” They went together to the old man and lived at the second Long Lodge for a few days.

But the witch came to life, and suspecting that they were at the Long Lodge, she went there in a terrible rage. Now the nephew, determined to meet her alone, sent his uncle and the boy away. He himself kept out of her path, for he had discovered her habits and her strength. He had learned also that after a certain time her force was spent, so that she became weak and could not go fast. He kept swerving to one side, therefore, until she turned into a whirlwind, and even afterward. When all her strength was spent and she had not found him the witch turned to go home. She had to walk, for she could no longer go through the air. Then, following her, the nephew killed her with his arrows. Thereupon he called his uncle and cousin. They burned her body to ashes and taking all the larger bones to the second Long Lodge they there pounded them into powder. This powder the nephew divided into three portions, each one of which he put in one of three skin bags, which he tied tight. One bag he gave to his uncle, another he gave to his cousin, and the third he put into his own pouch, saying: “I will keep it here. She shall never come to life again. When we are in a storm we must [191]always keep apart, so that the force that is in these powders can not unite.”

Then the three went to the first Long Lodge, where there was a large supply of every kind of dried meat, and they lived together, prosperous and happy.


37. A Raccoon Story

An uncle and a nephew lived together in a lodge in the forest. The nephew was a fine hunter. One day when the nephew was off in the woods hunting for game, a handsome woman, bringing a basket of bread, came to the lodge and said to the old man, the uncle, “My father and mother have sent me here to marry your nephew.” “Is it true that they sent you?” asked the uncle. “Yes,” said the young woman. “It is well,” said the old uncle. Lowering the basket, the girl set it before the old uncle. In it was the customary marriage bread. When the nephew came home, the old uncle said, “You are married now; here is your wife,” showing him the young woman. “It is well,” replied the nephew, and he and the young woman became man and wife.

Every day the nephew went out hunting, always returning with a heavy load of game.

One day while out hunting he came to a tree in the top of which was a large hole. In this he found a litter of raccoons. Climbing the tree, he threw one raccoon after another to the ground. All at once he heard a woman’s voice under the tree, saying, “Come down! come down! you are tired.” With that, she ran off through the forest. When he reached home, he told what had happened. His wife laughed at his perplexity, but said nothing.

Not long afterward, on a hunting trip, while packing up his game and making ready to start home, a woman came up behind him, and taking him by the arm, led him to a neighboring log. They sat down on it, whereupon drawing his head on her lap, she began to look for vermin. He was soon asleep from her orenda (magic power). Putting him into a basket, which she threw on her back, the woman went to the rocks in the middle of a lake. Then she took him out, and awakening him, asked, “Do you know this place?” Looking around, he replied, “Yes. This is the place where my uncle and I used to fish,” and giving a sudden spring into the water, he became a bass and escaped in a flash.

On reaching home, he told his wife what had happened to him. She laughed, but said nothing. He was so frightened at what had taken place that he remained at home for several days. At last the feeling of fear wore away and he started off to hunt. [192]

As he was packing up his game to return home, a woman’s voice said, “Stop! Wait a while, for you must be tired.” They sat down on a log, and she, drawing his head on her lap, began looking for vermin. The man was soon asleep. Putting him into a basket, the woman carried him off to a great ledge of rocks, where there was only a small foothold. Taking him out of the basket, she asked, “Do you know this place?” “I will tell you soon,” said he, looking around. But at that instant the woman disappeared. He soon saw some one farther along on the rock, and heard him say, “I am fish hungry. I will fish a while.” Then, throwing out his line into the water below, he began singing while he pulled up one fish after another. At last he said: “I have enough. I shall take a rest now and have something to eat. This is what we people eat when we are out all night in the rocks.” Then he took a baked squash out of his basket.

The young man said to the rock, “Stand back a little, so that I can string my bow.” The rock stood back. Stringing his bow and saying, “Now boast again!” he shot the fisherman. The young man soon heard a loud noise, and looking in the direction from which it came, he saw an enormous bat pass a little to one side of him. Taking from his pouch a hemlock leaf, and dropping it over the rocks, he began to sing, “A tree must grow from the hemlock leaf.” Soon a tree came in sight. Then he talked to the tree, saying, “Come near to me and have many limbs.” As the tree came to a level with the place on the rocks where the young man was sitting, it stopped growing. He had seen along the narrow shelf on the rocks many other men. He called to the nearest one, asking him to tell all to come, so they could escape. Slowly creeping up, one after another, they went down the hemlock tree.

When all had reached the ground, the young man, taking a strawberry leaf out of his pocket and laying it on the ground, said, “Grow and bear berries.” Then he began singing, “Ripen berries, ripen berries.” The vines grew, and were filled with berries, which ripened in a short time.55 When they had all eaten as many berries as they wanted the young man picked off a leaf and put it into his pouch, whereupon all the vines and berries disappeared.

Then he said, “Let us go to our wife” (meaning the woman). After traveling some distance the young man killed an elk. Cutting into strings the hide they made a “papoose board,” but big enough for an adult; then they started on. Soon they came near a lodge, where they saw a woman pounding corn. When she noticed them coming she began to scold and, holding up the corn pounder, was going to fight with them. When the young man said, however, “Let the corn pounder stop right there,” it stopped in the air, half raised. [193]Seizing the woman, they strapped her to the board, saying, “You must be very cold.” Then they set the board up in front of the fire in order to broil her slowly. Just at this time the young man’s wife came. Finding that they were roasting the woman, she was angry and, freeing her, said, “You are now liberated and I shall go home.” Making her way to the lake, she called on the bloodsuckers to stretch across it so that she could walk over on them. Each man went to his own lodge. When the young man came home his wife was there.


38. The Self-sacrifice of Two Dogs for Their Master

In a certain village lived a man who was very fond of hunting; he had two dogs, which were so very strong and fierce that they would attack and kill a bear.

One day the man started off from the village to hunt. After he had traveled for two days he pitched his camp. The next morning he began to hunt. He was very successful for many days, killing a great deal of game. One night as he was going to sleep his dogs began to bark furiously. Not far away from the camp was a very large elm tree, whose top had been broken off. Hitherto the man had thought it might be hollow, although he had never examined it. One dog ran in the direction of this tree. The other dog followed it, and by the sound of its barking the man knew that it had stopped near this tree.

After a time one dog came back to the man, saying: “My brother, I believe that we are going to die to-night; we have seen a creature such as we have never beheld before. We think that it will come down from the tree to attack us. I will go and watch it; but first you must mark me with coal from the end of my mouth to my ear.” The man did as the dog wished. Then the dog said, “Now, I will go to the tree and my brother can come to be marked by you as I am marked.” Off he ran. The other dog soon came and the man marked him in the same way. Taking a torch, the man went to the tree. There on the broken top he saw a terrible creature; its head and part of its body were protruding out of the hollow in the trunk; it had very long teeth, enormous eyes, and long claws. The man had never before seen anything so dreadful. He went back to his camp. One of the dogs followed him, saying: “We two shall be destroyed, but we will do what we can to save you. You must hurry back to the village. Do not take a torch or a bow with you; it will only be in your way. Put on a pair of new moccasins, and carry also a second pair. I will lick the soles of your feet to give you speed.” The dog licked the soles of his feet; then the man, putting on the new moccasins, started toward home. [194]

He had been running a good while when he heard a sound, and one of the dogs, overtaking him, said: “Run as fast as you can! Our enemy has started in pursuit. It does not travel on the ground, but leaps from tree to tree. The only thing left for us to do is to get between the trees and spring at it as it leaps past. When you come to water, stick your feet in it, making it as muddy as you can; then drink that water. You have noticed that since we have been your dogs we have drunk such water; it is better for us.” The man soon got very thirsty. Coming to a place where there was water, he stirred it up with his feet; then, after drinking what he wanted, he went on. He had not gone far when a dog came up to him and said, “I think there is a hole in your moccasin.” (The man looked; there was indeed a hole in his moccasin.) “Put on new ones.” Again the dog licked his feet and put on new moccasins. Then the dog said, “My companion will come the next time.” Then the dog ran back and the man rushed on.

Soon the other dog, rushing up, said to the man: “The enemy is coming very fast, and we are afraid it will overtake and kill you. When I go back my brother will come to aid you once more, whereupon the monster will kill him.”

The dog disappeared. Listening, the man heard both dogs barking. As he listened the barking of one ceased, and he knew that a dog was coming to aid him. On coming up this dog said: “I am here merely to speak to you and see you once more. When I go back I will attack our enemy and do all I can to defeat it, but it will kill me.” The dog returned. Then the hunter heard both dogs barking and then a howl; he knew by the sounds that a terrible fight was going on. The cry of one dog died out; this told him that that dog was killed. Now only one dog barked and howled. The man tried to increase his speed. It was still dark. The barking ceased, and presently the dog spoke behind him, saying: “My brother is killed and I am left alone. You would better start the death cry; our village is not far away and the people may hear you.” The man began to scream out the death cry, Goʹweh, as he ran. There happened to be a dance at the Long Lodge that night, and some people were sitting outside. Suddenly a young man, hearing a voice of some one in distress, gave the alarm.

Now, the dog came again to encourage the man with these words: “Do your best; you are near home, and perhaps you will escape. I will come once more. Then I will leap upon and draw the monster down and fight it.” The man heard the dog when the latter got back, and knew the monster was drawing near by the sound of the animal’s barking. Then the man ran on as fast as possible. The dog ceased barking and coming again said: “This is the last time I shall see you; [195]I shall be destroyed now. If the people hear your cries and come to meet you, you will escape; if not, you will surely be killed.”

The dog went back; he had but a short distance to go this time. As the man ran, screaming, he saw a torchlight ahead. The dog howled in distress; then his howl died away and the man knew that he was dead. Finally, seeing people coming to the rescue, he struggled on harder and harder. When he met the people he fell in a faint; he heard the sounds behind him as he fell, and that was all he knew.

Holding up their torches the people saw a terrible animal; its fore legs seemed longer than the hind ones. They shot at it, whereupon it disappeared, and they returned to the village. The animal had made a journey during one night which it took the man two days to finish when he was going to hunt. As soon as he could talk he told the people what occurred from the time the dog first spoke to him. They decided to go to his camp and bring home the meat. Not far from the village they found the last dog torn to pieces, and farther on the other one. When they reached the camp they saw that the strange animal had eaten most of the meat; what remained they took home. They did not see the animal and never knew what it was.


39. The Three Young Women, Daughters of Awaeh Yegendji or Mother Swan

There was an old woman who had three daughters, all of whom were young, good-looking, and clever.

When the eldest was 16 years of age and the youngest 12, the old woman said: “We want some venison and bear meat. We have lived here a good many years, and have had no meat—nothing but bread, and corn, and beans, and I long very much for meat. And now,” said she to the eldest, “you are old enough to be married to a man who can get us some meat.” To the second daughter she said: “You must go with your sister; perhaps you will have to stay all night on the way. There are an old woman and her son living in a broad field where you must go. The young man is handsome and a successful hunter. The old woman’s name is Big Earth.”

Both girls were willing to go, so the old woman continued: “To-morrow we must make marriage-bread.” After shelling and pounding corn, they made marriage-bread and some cakes, which they baked in the ashes. They made twenty-four of these cakes, which were put into a basket. The old woman painted the elder girl, combed her hair, and dressed her well. Then she told her: “Carry this basket on your back. You must take no notice of anyone you meet, and do not stop to talk with any person no matter what is said to you. When night comes, do not stop at any lodge but camp in the woods.” [196]

The girls started, going along in a narrow path. They saw no person and no lodges until the evening; when they noticed a man running on ahead of them. He had a bow and arrows and was trying to shoot a squirrel in a tree. On seeing the girls he stopped them, saying, “Put down your basket and watch my arrow; see where it goes,” adding that he was almost blind and could not follow its course. He was very pleasant, so the elder girl put down her basket, and both sisters ran for the arrow. When they got back the basket, which they had left on the log, was gone. “Now,” said the younger girl, “we have disobeyed our mother. She told us not to answer anyone who spoke to us.” They had then nothing to do but to go home.

On reaching home they told their mother: “We met a man who begged us to bring his arrow. We put our basket on a log and when we got back it was gone.” The old woman did not scold much, although she was very sorry; she said that they could not love her or they would obey her words. Later she said to the youngest and to the second sister, “You must go for the young man.” Then they made more marriage-bread. The mother told the youngest: “If your sister wants to stop, make her go on. Do not speak to or answer any man.” The sisters traveled until they met the same old fellow. Thereupon the elder, who carried the basket, wanted to ask how far it was to the place where Big Earth lived, but the younger cautioned her, repeating her mother’s words. As they came up to him, however, he was so kind and pleasant and spoke so agreeably that the eldest asked how far it was to Big Earth’s lodge. “Oh,” he said, “she lives in the first lodge; it is not far from here.” Running around to the lodge, he told his wife to go to the other side of the fire with her child, as two girls were coming and he wanted the bread they brought, and, further, as he had informed them that Big Earth lived there. Then he threw ashes over his wife, making her look old.

By and by the two girls came in and, as the old man was painted and looked fine, they sat down by him—they thought he was the young man they were seeking. In a short while they heard some one coming, who kicked the door, saying: “Gesagwe! Gesagwe! They want you at the Long Lodge.”

Turning to the girls, the old man said: “My name is not Gesagwe. They always call me nicknames.” By and by the child cried out, “Oh, father!” Whereupon the old man explained, “The child’s father died yesterday and now he is calling for him.” After a time the runner came again, saying, “Gesagwe, the people are waiting for you.” Again he said, “They call me nicknames all the time.” The girls thought it was all right, and he told them to lie down and wait for him. [197]

But the younger sister thought something was wrong. When the old woman lay down the girls went out. She said to her sister: “Something is wrong. This is not the man. He is the man we met, and our mother told us not to speak to anyone.” The elder said, “I suppose we have done wrong.” Then, putting into the bed two slippery-elm sticks and covering them up, they started on with their basket of marriage-bread. They heard dancing, and as they approached the source of the sound they saw a Long Lodge. Peeping in, they saw Gesagwe in the middle of the floor. The singers sang to him. Then everyone, rising, threw corn into his mouth. He had a blanket around him. They threw what they had into his mouth. A woman and her son sat by the fire, and they, too, looked very attractive. The younger sister said, “That is the young man we want.”

Going into the lodge, they walked up to the old woman, Big Earth, and put down the basket. Big Earth was pleased. When the dancing was over all the people went home. The man who was dancing went home. Seeing what he thought were two girls in his bed, he said: “Well, I must smoke. They have had a big council. They could not do anything. I was there.” Taking down a piece of deer’s tallow, he chewed it. Every time he spat it simmered on the fire. He lay down and one of the girls, he thought, pinched him. He said, “Wait until I get ready to lie down.”

Undressing himself, he started to get into bed, whereupon he found two rotten logs and a bed full of ants. Awfully angry, he scolded his wife and threw the logs out of doors.

The girls lived happily with Big Earth’s son for two months. At the end of that time he got bear meat and deer meat, which he put into very small packages. He made two loads of the meat, one for each of his wives. Then they all started with the meat to visit his mother-in-law. She had been very uneasy, thinking that her daughters had been deceived again. When she saw them coming with their husband she was pleased. After they had lived there some time, Big Earth’s son said he was going to take his mother-in-law to his own home. They all went to his place, where they lived happily together.


40. Hinon and the Seneca Warriors


Once a war party of Seneca while on the warpath against the Cherokee became very hungry. Seeing a bear, they chased it into its den, one of the party following it. When he had gone some distance into the den he could no longer see the bear, but he saw instead a fire burning briskly and three men sitting around it. The eldest asked the Seneca warrior why he had tried to shoot one of his men [198]whom he had sent to entice him into the den. He continued, “I want to send word to the eldest man at your camp to tell him that his friend is here and wants some tobacco, and that tomorrow as many of his warriors as wish may come to see me here.” So the warrior went back to the camp of his comrades and reported what he had heard.

The next day, accompanied by five of his companions, each bearing a pouch of native tobacco, he returned to the den of the bears. When they gave the tobacco to the old man, he was very glad, and said to them: “I am thankful to you for this present of tobacco. I shall enjoy it a long time, for it will last me many days.” While in the den one of the warriors remarked, “Oh! I am very tired and sleepy.” Overhearing this remark, the old man said to him, “Lie down, then.”

When the others also had laid themselves down the old man arose, and going over to the spot where the first warrior lay, rubbed his body from his feet to his head. Then setting down a vessel which he held in one hand he proceeded to dismember this warrior’s body joint by joint until he had taken him to pieces. Placing each piece in a mortar, with a pestle he pounded the bones to a jelly, which he poured into a bowl. Then he took the bowl and the other vessel into another part of the den, where he left them. Returning and sitting down, he began to smoke.

After a while he called out: “My nephew, come out now. You have been there long enough.” When the young warrior came out, he appeared as light, fresh, and lithe as a boy. Then another of the Seneca warriors said, “Can you do this for me, too?” The old man answered, “Yes, if you wish me to do so.”

Then the warrior laid himself down, and the old man went through the same process as he had with the other warrior. After he had carried the two vessels into the remote part of the den, the old man, returning, began to smoke. Shortly he called out, “Oh, my nephew, you have now slept long enough!” At once the warrior arose and came forth so fresh and lithe that he felt no weight in his body. Thereupon another Seneca warrior asked the old man to treat him in the same manner. The latter man consented and, after going through the same process as that which renewed the others, this warrior, too, was made young and as light as a feather, and consequently was very happy.

Then a fourth warrior asked the old man to transform him likewise, but the old man refused, saying: “I have now done enough. I will tell you why I have taken the trouble to do this to four of your people. There is a large opening extending from one end of the world to the other. In this opening is a great rock, and in this rock is a man possessed of enormous horns. We have tried to kill him, [199]but can not do so. Now, I want two of you to try to crush this rock and so kill him; but first you must go out and try your strength in orenda” (magic power). So, going out, they shot at a rock, which crumbled to pieces when they hit it. Then they shot at an enormous tree; this, too, they brought down when they hit it, leaving nothing but a stump. “Now,” said the old man, “you may go to the opening and see what you can do with that enchanted rock. Your companions may remain here; they will not die, for we never die here. I always help my grandchildren. I cover your trail whenever you need to conceal it. It is I who cause it to rain.”

The two transfigured warriors went to the opening, as directed, and seeing the great enchanted rock, they shot at it; then, returning to the old man, they told him what they had done. He quickly asked them, “Did you use all your orenda?” They replied, “No. We could have struck the rock a harder blow”; whereupon the old man said, “Go back there and employ all your magical strength.” Returning to the opening where the great rock stood, the two warriors shot it with all their orenda. After waiting for some time, they heard a person coming toward them. Soon they saw that it was a man carrying the head of an enormous horned snake securely strapped to his back. This man was the old man who had transformed them. Returning to the den, the two warriors said, “Now our work is done; the great horned snake is dead.” Then they went back to their homes.


41. Hodadeñon and Yenyentʻhwus56

There was a little boy, Hodadeñon, who lived with his elder sister, Yenyentʻhwus, in a bark lodge.

When the sister went out to plant, she would fasten the door of the lodge so that nothing might harm her brother. She did not allow him to go out alone. To amuse him she got a raccoon’s foot, and also brought him a bow and some arrows. In playing he tossed up the raccoon’s foot, telling the arrows to strike it, and the arrows always hit the foot before it fell to the ground.

One day while Yenyentʻhwus was at home, a voice was heard in the upper part of the lodge, saying, “Mush, brother! Mush, brother!” Hodadeñon asked, “How is this? I thought we were alone in the lodge?” The sister said, “It is our poor brother; he is only just alive.” “Well, my sister, make him some mush,” said the little boy.

Uncovering a place under her couch, the sister took out a very small pot and a little fragment of a chestnut. Putting the least bit of meal scraped from the chestnut into the pot with water, she boiled it. While doing this she stirred the meal and tapped the pot, which increased in size until it became as large as any pot. When the mush was cooked the sister took it off the fire and put it all into a [200]bowl, saying to Hodadeñon, “Go up the ladder and feed your brother.” Climbing the ladder, he found a man lying in the upper room or attic. The little fellow said, “I have brought you mush, my brother.” The brother, whose name was Hadjisgwas,57 took two or three mouthfuls of the mush and it was all eaten. Then, after exhaling his breath two or three times and rubbing his arms and legs, he began to sing.

Hodadeñon heard the singing and the beating of time overhead. A little later they heard Hadjisgwas call out, “Tobacco!” and the little boy said, “My sister, our brother wants to smoke.” “Oh!” said she, “Our poor brother! he is barely alive; he lives on chestnut meal and tobacco.” Going aside, she got a big pipe, into which she put tobacco. Lighting it with a coal of fire, she gave it to the little boy, saying, “Take this up to your brother.” Hodadeñon went, with the words, “My brother, I have come with a pipe for you.” “Thank you,” said Hadjisgwas, and with one puff he so filled the room with smoke that he nearly smothered the boy, who had to hurry down to escape. Soon they who were below heard a sound as though Hadjisgwas blew through the pipestem and rapped out the ashes from the pipe. After rubbing his arms and legs, he began to sing. They thought his voice was stronger. Then Yenyentʻhwus went out planting, having first fastened the door so as to keep in her little brother.

When his sister had gone, Hodadeñon thought he would like to make some chestnut mush for his brother in the loft and to sing and dance for him. Finding the little pot under his sister’s couch, he took from it the piece of chestnut, every bit of which he scraped into the kettle. As it boiled he tapped the pot, which grew as large as any vessel. When the meal was cooked he poured it out—a great bark bowl full of chestnut mush. This he took up to the loft, saying, “My brother, I have made you another bowl of mush.” “Thank you, brother,” said Hadjisgwas, who ate the mush and, after rubbing himself, began to sing. He was stronger now, so he could sing a regular song. After Hodadeñon had come down and put away the kettle, he thought, “My brother must have a smoke.” Therefore he cut up all the tobacco there was and put it into the pipe, which he carried to the loft, saying, “My brother, I have brought you a pipe.” His brother said, “Thank you.” “After you have smoked, I wish you would sing while I dance,” said Hodadeñon.

Hadjisgwas sent out such a puff of smoke that the little boy had to hurry down the ladder to escape it. He had not been down long before his sister came in. He said to her, “Oh, my sister, I have made our brother some pudding.” “How did you make it?” she asked. “I cut up all the chestnut and boiled it,” he replied. “Oh, now he will die on your account,” she said. “After he ate the mush,” said Hodadeñon, “I gave him a smoke.” “How did you do that?” asked [201]Yenyentʻhwus. “I shaved up the piece of tobacco, put it into the pipe, and gave it to him,” said he. “Now we shall surely lose our brother on your account,” said Yenyentʻhwus; “you have done great mischief.” “Well, my sister, where are the chestnuts? I will go and get more of them.”

“Those chestnuts,” she said, “grow at the eastern end of the world; and on this side of them, where the tobacco grows, are many wizards. Before you come to the lodge of the wizards is a river, over which trees are thrown to walk upon. Just beyond the river are two great rattlesnakes, one on each side of the path, which attack every one who goes that way. If you pass them safely, you will come to a great rocky mountain, so steep that no mere man can climb it. There is but one pass through that mountain, and just beyond the pass stand two Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa, each one half as tall as a tree. If you should succeed in passing these, going farther you would come upon two men at the edge of an opening or clearing, who give the alarm the moment they see anyone, whereupon the wizards run out to attack whomsoever they find approaching. If you should make your way past these men and reach a knoll from which the lodge of the wizards can be seen, you would find there a woman walking back and forth on a platform in front of the lodge, who begins to sing as soon as she sees a stranger; straightaway the wizards, rushing out, kill him who is approaching.”

The next day when Yenyentʻhwus went to plant she fastened the door, shutting in Hodadeñon. While she was gone, hearing some living thing outside, he tried to get out to shoot it. Then he heard a noise on the lodge roof and, looking up, he saw some kind of creature—he did not know what—with its eyes fixed on him. Then he said, “You are Odyaqgweonion,58 anyhow,” thinking to himself, “I will shoot at the game.” Drawing his bow, he said to the arrow, “I wish you to go straight to the game.” The arrow struck the creature, killing it; thereupon he rushed to bring it in. Not being able to open the door, he dug a hole in the earth close to the door, through which he got out. Bringing in the game, he put it into the corn mortar and covered it. When Yenyentʻhwus, his sister, came, he said, “My sister, I have killed game.” “Well, where is it?” she asked. “Here in the corn mortar,” answered Hodadeñon. Running thither, he brought the game to his sister. “Oh! that is a chickadee,” said she. Having dressed and cooked the bird, Yenyentʻhwus began to eat it. Hodadeñon stood there watching her eat, and asked, “Is it good?” “Yes,” she replied. After looking on a while longer, he asked, “Are you not going to give me some?” “No,” she replied, “this is the first game you have killed, and you must not eat of it; it would not be right.”59 [202]

The next morning the boy said to his sister, “You will have to tie a belt around me now; I am going out.” She had to do what he asked, for she could not help doing it. Putting the belt on him and preparing him for the day, she said, “You must not go north nor far away; stay near the lodge.”

Yenyentʻhwus then went to her work in the field. Soon the boy, seeing a bird on a tree, said, “You must be the bird they call Gwenhdaen nisedosyoden,”60 whereupon he killed it with his arrow. Carrying in the game, he put it into the corn mortar. When his sister came he said, “I have some game, sister,” showing her the bird. “Oh!” said she, “that is the Gwenhdaen nisedosyoden.” She dressed, cooked, and ate the bird, but did not give him a bite.

The next morning, getting up early and making a fire, he called his sister to get breakfast, so that he might go hunting in good time. After breakfast he said, “My sister, put on my belt and get me ready.” She girded him and made him ready for the day. Both went out, she to her planting and he to his hunting. After he had been out a while, seeing a bird, he said, “I do not know you, but I think you are Djeqgowa.”61 He hit the bird with his arrow, killing it, and brought it home; putting it into the corn mortar, he covered it. When his sister came he said, “My sister, I have game; here it is.” “Thank you,” said she; “that is what we call a pigeon.” After dressing the bird she cut it into two parts, one of which she put away and the other cut into pieces, saying that she was going to make dumplings. She pounded corn meal and, mixing the meat with it, made dumplings, which both of them ate.

The next morning before daylight Hodadeñon, having made a good fire, called up his sister to cook. After they had eaten she warned him not to go north nor far away. She then went out to plant while he went hunting.

He went farther than before, and seeing a new kind of bird running along, said, “You look pretty well; you must be what they call Dyoyoqgwahacyon.”62 He drew his bow and hit the bird with his arrow. It ran a while, and he called, “Hold on; do not break my best arrow.” The bird stopped and died.

He had all he could do to carry it home. He put it in the corn mortar. When his sister saw it she said, “This is a partridge.”

She dressed the bird, took half and hung it up on a stick; the other half she cooked for herself and brother.

The next morning Hodadeñon was up early. His sister put on his belt for him, and both went out. She told him to stay near the lodge. Then she went to plant and he to hunt. He went farther than he had gone the day before. He saw a creature coming toward him; after watching it, he said, “I think it is you they call Shanoons­dehon.”63 Looking again, he said, “I think you are the one they call [203]Shadjinoqgyot.”64 The third time he said, “I think it is you they call Osoont.”65 At that moment the creature, seeing him, turned to run, but on Hodadeñon calling out, “Stop!” it stopped right there. Drawing his bow, he shot it. As the animal struggled he called, “Look out! do not break my best arrow.” Whereupon it stopped and died. Hodadeñon tried to carry the carcass, but could not lift it. Running to the place where his sister was planting, he said, “My sister, I have shot big game. I can not carry it.” She went with him to the game; when she saw it, she said, “That is what we call Osoont” (i.e., a turkey). She carried home the turkey, and after dressing it put half away and cooked the other half.

The next morning Yenyentʻhwus put the belt on Hodadeñon. She warned him against going north, or far from the lodge. On going a few steps farther than the day before he found tracks, all pointing in the same direction; thereupon he said: “My sister never told me that people lived here and that there was a path.” Putting his feet in the tracks, he found they fitted exactly. Just before him in the trail he saw a game animal coming. He said to himself: “This must be what they call Spotted Face, what they call Dyoyoqgwahacyon, or Striped Tail.” Drawing his bow, he pierced the creature with an arrow. As it went staggering along he called out: “Here! do not break my arrow; that is my best arrow.” Running up to it, he pulled out the arrow. Finding he was not able to carry the game animal, he had to go for his sister. When she came she said, “That is called Djoeaga.”66 After thanking her brother, she seized the raccoon by one leg and, throwing it over her shoulder, went toward home. She told her brother that she was going to make corn bread to eat with this kind of meat. When they reached home they cooked part of the raccoon and made corn bread. While the meat was cooking she skimmed off the oil, telling her brother that she had wanted oil for a long time. This oil she rubbed into her hair.

The brother and sister had more meat from this Djoeaga than they could eat, and some was left. The next morning, after breakfast, they went out, the sister to plant and the brother to hunt. At parting she warned him, as she had done every day before. Hodadeñon went this time a few steps farther than before. When he saw game coming toward him, he said: “You are the one they call Hustoyowanen.”67 Then, looking again, he said: “I think that you are the one they call Dodjenendogeni,”68 and as he looked, the animal, seeing him, turned to run. He called out to it: “Stop!” As it did so, drawing his bow, Hodadeñon pierced it with an arrow. The animal ran off out of sight, whereupon Hodadeñon screamed: “Stop! Stop! You are breaking my arrow!” But the game animal was not to be seen. Still the boy cried: “Stop! Stop! That is my best arrow. Stop!” Then he thought: “I have lost my arrow, but I will follow a little [204]farther. If I can not catch the game animal, I shall go for my sister, who will find it.”

Going on a short distance, he found the game animal lying dead. He ran for his sister, who came, and thanking him, said: “This time you have brought me Onogengowa.”69 She brought a strap braided out of hemp bark, so as to carry the meat home on her shoulders. Having skinned and cut up the deer, she divided it into pieces. Hodadeñon wanted to carry a part, so his sister, cutting off the feet, tied them together, and gave them to him. She carried half the meat home at one time and then went back for the other half.

The next day Hodadeñon went a little farther than before. On seeing a game animal walking along, he said to it, “You must be what they call Dasidowanes.”70 The game animal, seeing him, jumped, but he said, “Keep still.” It stopped, whereupon, drawing his bow, he shot an arrow into the animal, which rushed through the woods and out of sight. Hodadeñon cried, “Look out! that is my best arrow.” Following, he found the animal dead, with the arrow point sticking out of its body. He said to it, “You are Dasidowanes”; then he ran for his sister. When she came, she said, “This is Ganiagwaihe.”71 She skinned the bear and cut off the feet. She gave her brother the fore feet to carry, while she herself took half the meat home, and then went for the rest. They had a good supper that night, and the sister got more hair oil.

The next day they went out again, as usual, Hodadeñon to hunt and Yenyentʻhwus to plant. The brother went to the spot where he had killed the bear, but could see no game. Then he traveled in a circle, but could see nothing. As he looked toward the north it seemed very pleasant. There was an opening, or clearing, in front of him, and he thought he would go into it, hoping that he would find game there. In the middle of the clearing was a lodge. On peeping through a crack in the wall he saw a crowd of naked men of the Odjineowa72 people, dancing. Very soon one of these men said, “Some one is looking at us,” and then another said, “Let us kill him.”

Hodadeñon ran back to the woods, the men chasing him to the edge of the opening, where they turned back. Hodadeñon went a short distance toward home; then, taking a long stick of wood from a pile which his sister had made, he carried it to the edge of the opening, where he stuck it into the ground, saying, “When the men in that lodge run after me with their clubs, do you fight against them to help me.” Then he brought another stick, which he put down by the side of the first, with the same words. He kept on in this way until he had a great many sticks standing in the ground. [205]

Then, running to the lodge, he looked in again. The Odjineowa men, seeing him, said, “Let us be sure to kill him this time,” and rushed out with their clubs. The boy escaped, however, to the woods, and when the naked men came to the edge of the woods the sticks of Hodadeñon became people and fought, killing all the men. Thereupon Hodadeñon came, and after dragging the men one after another into their lodge, he set fire to it, burning them all up.

Having taken the sticks back to his sister’s woodpile, Hodadeñon went on until he came to the tall stump of a broken tree on which stood a man, who called out “Ogongaqgeni hiwaden, My eyes have outmatched yours, my nephew,” but the boy thought, “He does not see me,” so he passed by. The uncle did not see him. When the boy walked up, the uncle said: “You have come to me. I am an Hodiadatgon, a great wizard. What would you do if it should rain spears upon you?” “Oh,” said the boy, “I think my sister and I would be very glad, for we have no spears to fish with now.” Then he ran home with all his speed. When near the lodge he saw his sister go into it, whereupon he ran around it, saying, “Let our lodge be stone,” and straightway it was stone. Just then he heard a terrible roar, and a great rain of spears came down; some broke on the roof, others fell on the ground. When the shower of spears was over, his sister said, “You have gone toward the north.” “Yes, but I shall not go again,” replied the boy.

After a while he went out to play. While playing he thought, “I will go to my uncle and be the first to say, ‘Ogongaqgeni, My eyes outmatch yours.’ ” So he went on until he came as near his uncle as he could without being seen. Then he called a mole and, entering his body, he traveled underground up to the roots of the stump on which his uncle was standing. Coming out, he cried, “Ogongaqgeni hawknosen, What would you say if a fire should come and burn up that stump and the woods and all else there is about here?” “Oh, nephew, that is too much,” answered the uncle. “I did not say that is too much,” replied Hodadeñon, “when you sent a rain of darts on my sister and me.” At that moment thick smoke was seen coming, and soon the woods were in a blaze on every side. The fire spread to the spot where Hodadeñon’s uncle was. He fell off the stump, and, his head bursting, an owl came out of it and flew away.

Hodadeñon thought, “Now, I will go farther.” He had not traveled far through the woods before he came to another clearing, in which there was a lodge. Peeping through a crack, he saw within an old man with both eyes closed. All at once he called, “Come in, nephew! come in!” When the boy went in the old man said. “I always play a game of dice with people who come here. If I win, I shall have your head; if you win, you shall have mine.” The old man brought out six night owls’ eyes (hihi ogasʻhoon) for dice, saying, [206]“If they all turn up the same color, the throw will count five; if not, it will count one.” The uncle wanted the boy to play first, but he refused; the uncle insisted, but the boy would not. At last the old man agreed. Putting the six eyes into a bowl of wood, he shook it, throwing them up; they went out through the smoke-hole into the air. When they returned, they counted but one. “Now,” said the nephew, “take your dice out of the bowl. I have dice of my own.” The uncle did not wish to take out his dice, but the boy insisted, so he had to do so. Then Hodadeñon put in his dice, which were woodcocks’ eyes, and threw them up. They went high in the air and came down, calling out, “I think she is not setting, Nondjoqgwen.”73 The boy said, “Let them all come one color,” but the uncle said, “No, let them come in different colors.” All came alike in color, so the old man lost. “Now, nephew,” said he, “let me have one smoke more.” “Oh, no!” said Hodadeñon, “I can not do that.” Thereupon he cut off the old man’s head and went on farther.

“This is good sport,” said Hodadeñon, “I shall find another uncle, perhaps.” He traveled through the woods for a while until he came to a third opening. Far ahead in the center of it was a great rock, on which sat a Dagwanoenyent. Near the opposite side of the opening was a lodge. As Hodadeñon went up to the rock, the Dagwanoenyent called out, “Oh! you are my nephew. I have been wishing for a long time that you would come to see me; now we will play hide and seek.” Hodadeñon was to hide first. Dagwanoenyent faced the other way, and at that moment Hodadeñon, making himself into a flea (dewaqsentwus), jumped into the long bushy hair of Dagwanoenyent, where he hid. Then he called out, “You can not find me, uncle; you can not find me.” Dagwanoenyent looked all around—up in the air, in the trees, everywhere. At last, noticing a weed with a knot on its stem, he said, “Nephew, you are in that knot;” but the nephew was not there. Looking around a second time, he saw a knot on one of the trees. “You are in the knot on that tree, nephew.” “I am not,” answered Hodadeñon. When Dagwanoenyent saw that he had not found the boy he was terribly frightened. “There is danger,” said he, flying far away from the rock. Rising above the clouds, he sat on them. Then Hodadeñon called out from the long shaggy hair, “You can not see me, uncle; you can not see me.” “Oh!” said the uncle to himself, “I have come just by accident on the place where he is.” Then, flying off to an island in the sea, the old man stood there. Again Hodadeñon called out, “You can not see me, uncle; you can not see me.” He could not indeed see the boy, so he flew back to his place in the opening in the forest. Once more Hodadeñon cried, “You can not see me, uncle.” Dagwanoenyent replied: “I have [207]lost the game, but I did not bet my head. Now, you may have control of these three witches,” pointing to three women who were pounding corn outside the lodge at the edge of the clearing. The women, who were man-eaters, were very angry when they heard the words of Dagwanoenyent, their servant, and ran to strike him with their clubs. They had the clubs raised to give the blow, when Hodadeñon willed their death, and they dropped lifeless. The boy and his uncle cut their heads off and burned their lodge. Now Dagwanoenyent and Hodadeñon became friends, and the uncle said, “Nephew, if ever you get into trouble, all you have to do is to think of me, and I will come and help you.”

The boy thought, “I have had sport enough, and shall now go to my sister.” After he had come in and sat down he began to laugh. His sister asked, “Why do you laugh?” “Oh, I laugh about what I have seen,” he said. “I have put an end to my uncle on the stump and my uncle who played dice; I have beaten my uncle Dagwanoenyent and frightened him terribly; and I have killed the three witches and cut off their heads and burned their lodge. This is why I laugh.” “Now,” said the sister, “I thank you, my brother, for many people have been deceived and killed by these persons.”

That night he said to his sister, “Make me parched corn meal and two dumplings with bear’s fat in them. Tomorrow I am going to get the chestnuts.” She did all that he wished. Setting out the next morning, he kept on his way until he came to the river over which the tree was thrown. When halfway across on the tree, two rattlesnakes began to rattle. Thereupon, going back, he caught two Tsohoqgwais.74 Returning by way of the tree again, when he came to the snakes, he gave a chipmunk to each, saying, “You are free now. I shall kill you unless you leave this place.” The snakes ran away.

Hodadeñon went on until he came to the opening in the forest, at the farther end of which was the mountain wall. When he came to the wall he found the pass. As he was coming out on the other side he heard all at once hoⁿ hoⁿ hoⁿ hoⁿ, and saw the two Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa, half as tall as the highest tree. “Keep still! Keep still!” said Hodadeñon: “I have brought you dumplings. You like dumplings.” So saying, he gave each one. Then he said: “You are free now. You need not guard this place any longer.” Thereupon they ran away.

Hodadeñon went on until he saw two Djoasha.75 Then, going into the woods, he dug up wild beans, which he brought as near as he could to the herons, calling out, “Pur! Pur! Stop! Stop! Here are beans for you to eat.” So saying, he set them free, with the words, “Go from here and be free,” and they left the place. [208]

Hodadeñon went on until he came to the woman’s skin walking along on a platform. Turning back, he peeled bark from a slippery-elm tree. Marked off into small pieces, he made it turn to wampum. Then he called a mole and, getting into it, said, “Carry me to the platform yonder.” The mole took him under the ground to the platform, whereupon he put his head out and gave the woman wampum, saying, “Keep quiet!” Leaving the mole, he went to a tree where there were great piles of chestnuts. Here he took up a nut and, splitting it, put one-half into his bag and hurried back. He had almost reached the woods when the woman on watch cried, “I have seen some one!” One of the three sisters, running out, looked at the woman, who changed her words, calling, “I have lied, Ogenowent.” The three sisters were very angry and had a mind to kill the watch. When the latter called again, “I have seen some one,” then the mother said, “Do your best, my daughters; do your best. It must be Hodadeñon; kill him and finish his family.”

The three sisters saw Hodadeñon far off in the distance. The eldest sister ran ahead. As she raised her club to strike, Hodadeñon disappeared into the ground and the woman, striking her kneepan with the club, fell and could go no farther. The next moment Hodadeñon was up, walking along again slowly. The second sister came up enraged, but as she raised her club to strike he disappeared into the ground. She, too, striking her kneepan, fell. The youngest sister tried, but with the same result, and then the old woman. All four were disabled, while Hodadeñon went back to his sister unharmed. He gave Yenyentʻhwus the half chestnut, saying, “Make plenty of mush for our brother, as much as he wants, and give it to him often.”

One day when Hodadeñon was playing near the lodge, he cried out suddenly and fell to the ground screaming. His sister ran to him, asking, “What is the matter? Where are you hurt?” “Nowhere,” he answered. “Why do you cry then?” she asked. “I heard my brother Hotgoendaqsais76 sing a song and call on my name; he says I am his brother,” said he. “That is true,” said Yenyentʻhwus; “and he is in the east, at the place where the sun comes up. He is tied to a stake there and people burn him with firebrands and torment him to make him cry, for his tears are wampum, and when they fall the people run to pick them up.” “Well, where does tobacco grow?” asked Hodadeñon. “On the other side of the world, where Deagahgweoses77 lives. This man stole our tobacco from us and carried it off. No one can conquer him, for he is a great wizard, i.e., Hotgongowa.”

That night Hodadeñon told his sister to pound parched corn and make meal for him. In the morning he got ready for the road. Yenyentʻhwus put the food in a bundle on her brother’s back. It was [209]so heavy that at noon he had only reached the edge of the clearing where their lodge was. Sitting down there, he ate his lunch. Yenyentʻhwus, who was watching him all the time, said, “Poor brother, I think he will come back soon.” She looked again, but he was gone.

In the evening Hodadeñon looked for a hollow tree in which to spend the night. Having found one, he crawled in, and was lying there at his ease when in the early part of the night he heard a man coming up. When he reached the tree, the man called out, “Hodadeñon, are you here?” “I am,” answered Hodadeñon. “Well,” asked the stranger, “what would you do if one of the Ganiagwaihe should come to eat you up?” “Oh, I should have fun with him,” said Hodadeñon.

The other went away and soon a very large Ganiagwaihe came. Pointing his arrow at it, Hodadeñon shot the bear in the neck. Then away ran the bear. The boy said, “I will go to sleep now, for there is no use in being troubled by such creatures.” The next morning when Hodadeñon came out he found that the trees had been torn up by the roots all along the track of the bear. At last coming to the place where the bear lay dead he thought, “I shall have nothing to do with such an ugly creature,” and drawing out his arrow, he left the bear’s carcass lying there.

The next evening he found another hollow tree, into which he crawled, prepared to sleep. But early in the night he heard some one come up to the tree and say: “Hodadeñon, you are now here. What would you do if a Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa should come to kill you?” “Oh! I should have sport with him,” replied Hodadeñon. “It is well,” the other returned, going away.

Very soon a Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa, a very large one, came up to the tree. At once Hodadeñon, drawing his bow, shot it with his magic arrow; then, retiring into the hollow tree again, he went to sleep. In the morning he saw a trail along which the trees were broken down and torn up by the roots. Following this trail he soon came to a point where he found the Sʻhagodiyoweqgowa lying dead. This being had a face of most terrifying aspect. Hodadeñon, remarking to himself, “I will not have anything to do with a creature of so malign aspect,” drew out his arrow from the body and went on his way.

During that day Hodadeñon came to a great lake on the farther side of which was a village. He searched until he found an oak puffball, which he placed at the water’s edge. Entering this ball, he caused the wind to blow it across the lake to the village on the opposite shore. Hodadeñon went through this village without stopping until he came to the last lodge on the side farthest from the lake shore, in which lived an old widow and her grandson. Addressing the grandson, [210]Hodadeñon said, “Well, little boy, may I remain with you to-night?” The boy answered, “I do not know. I will speak to my grandmother.” Running into the lodge, the boy told his grandmother what the strange man had asked him. The grandmother, whose name was Yeqsinye,78 directed the little boy to tell the visitor how poor and needy they themselves were. “Tell him that I have nothing to give him to eat except scraps of food, for we are, indeed, unfortunate people.” Going to Hodadeñon, the little grandson repeated to him what his grandmother had said. “Oh!” replied Hodadeñon, “all I want is a place in which to stay. I do not want food.” “Well,” said the little boy, “I will tell my grandmother what you have just told me.” Answering the little boy further, the old woman said, “Let him do as he pleases; he knows, now, our circumstances and what he must endure while with us.” Having received this message from the little boy, Hodadeñon decided to stay there.

The next morning Hodadeñon said to the old woman’s grandson, “Let us go to hunt game.” Agreeing to the proposition, the little boy made suitable preparations to accompany Hodadeñon. After going a long distance into the woods they found a large hollow tree frequented by a bear. Hodadeñon tapped the tree, saying to the occupant, “Thou who dwellest in this tree, come forth.” At once the bear came out, whereupon Hodadeñon shot it with an arrow, and the bear fell to the ground, dead. Together the two carried home the carcass of the bear. When they threw it on the ground in front of the door it made a great noise, causing the old woman to call out in fear, “What is that?” But when she learned what it was she was overjoyed. Having carefully dressed the bear, they cooked enough meat to make a good meal for all. As they gathered around the steaming bark bowl of meat and broth a young girl came in. The old woman asked her to eat with them, and she willingly accepted the invitation. The boys ate together and the girl and the old woman by themselves, as was the custom. When they had eaten their meal the strange girl asked for a piece of the meat to take home, and the old woman gave her a generous portion for her mother. On receiving it, the mother said, “Do you now give them corn bread and get some of the meat in exchange.” The girl did as her mother requested, receiving two good-sized pieces of meat for the corn bread. Feeling that others might like to have meat in exchange for bread, Hodadeñon said, “Let them have the meat for the corn bread, for corn bread is what we want now.”

Toward evening a man came to the doorway, and kicking aside the door flap, said: “I notify you to come to the Long Lodge, where the man sheds wampum instead of tears from his eyes. If you can pick up wampum after it has fallen to the ground, it is yours. If you can [211]gather more than other people, it is your good fortune.” The name of the herald was Hadyuswus.79 He then hurried on to the other lodges.

Toward evening of the next day Hodadeñon, with the old woman and her grandson, went to the Long Lodge, where Hotgoendaqsais, tied to a post, was being tormented with firebrands. Before going into the assembly hall the boys gathered a bundle of dry reeds for the purpose of lighting the pipes of those who desired to smoke. Hodadeñon then said to his young companion, “You go to one of the fires in the Long Lodge and I will go to the other.” Passing into the assembly hall they found that there were already many people inside. When Hotgoendaqsais saw Hodadeñon he smiled as he seemed to recall him to his mind. One of the old women saw this and said: “The bound man smiled when these boys came into the room. It would seem that one of them is Hodadeñon.” After the old woman spoke Hotgoendaqsais turned his face away. At this time one of the chief men present said, “It is well that these boys have come in to bring coals for our pipes.” He said this because all the men who were smoking continually called the boys to bring them fire, and the boys carried the torches to all.

In the Long Lodge were two women who had two firebrands, and it was they who took the lead in torturing the man. First one of these two women would burn Hotgoendaqsais on one side from one of the fires, and then the other would burn him on the other side from the other fire; and each time a brand touched the victim he would cry out, and thereupon wampum fell in showers from his eyes instead of tears. Then all the people would rush forward to gather as much of the wampum as they could; one and all struggled and fought for it. When all had enough for that day they were dismissed by the chief, and then the chief herald would say, “Tomorrow you must all come and we shall have a much better time.”

The boy friends went home together, and on their way Hodadeñon said to his companion, “The young man whom they are torturing is my brother. Tomorrow I shall destroy the place and all the people who are in it.”

The next day, as he had done before, the herald Hadyuswus came with the invitation to the lodgehold (household) to be present in the torture chamber that evening; then he hurried away. Thereupon Hodadeñon told his boy friend to caution his grandmother with these words: “Do you go to the back part of the village to warn all our relations not to go to the Long Lodge this evening, for my good brother is going to destroy all the maneaters and their home this very night.” So, going forth, the old woman informed all her relations to remain at home that night, for her grandson was going to destroy all the maneaters and their home. In the evening [212]Hodadeñon said to his little brother, “Do not go into the Long Lodge. I shall go in alone. You must remain outside.”

When Hodadeñon entered the torture chamber he heard the people saying that the two torturing brands would not burn, surmising that they were not dry enough. But the wizards knew well why they would not burn—they themselves were being overmatched by superior orenda (magic power). Finally the chief said: “We might as well take a rest, and in the meantime the firebrands will get dry and burn again. So let us lie down.” Hodadeñon then brought deep sleep on all who were inside the chamber of death. When they were all fast asleep, quickly unbinding his brother from the post where he had been tied, he carried him out to his new brother—the old widow’s grandson; then, closing the door of the Long Lodge, he fastened it securely. Thereupon he ran around the lodge, saying aloud, “I want this Long Lodge to become flint, so strong that the greatest wizard can not escape from it, and then I want it to become red-hot at once.”

Instantly the Long Lodge became flint. When it was red-hot the wizards ran around on the inside in an attempt to escape, but they could not. One said, “I shall go out of the smoke hole,” while another shouted, “I shall get out through the ground,” but not one was able to escape from his doom. After a while the roof fell in upon the devoted wizards, whose heads burst with the intense heat; from out the chief’s head there flew a horned owl; from the heads of others, owls of various kinds; and from those of still others, a red fox, a gray fox, and a nighthawk.

After the annihilation of the wizards Hodadeñon took his brother, Hotgoendaqsais, to the old widow’s lodge. The old woman was very glad and said: “He is my own grandson. I came for him years ago, but I was myself captured by the wizards and I have had to remain here in captivity.”

The next morning Hodadeñon said to his grandmother, “Tell all the prisoners to come here, lest evil befall the innocent.” When they had all come to the lodge of the old woman, Hodadeñon said, “We will now go through the village and kill all the children of the wizards and anyone else who is left of the maneaters, for some of them may not have been present in the Long Lodge last night.” So, going forth they killed all the relations of the maneaters and burned their lodges.

After that they went outside of the village, where they found great piles of bones which once belonged to persons whom the wizards had killed. These they collected near a great hickory tree. When all had been gathered together, Hodadeñon pushed against the tree, crying out to the bones, “Rise, my friends, or this tree will fall on you!” Instantly from the heap of bones living men sprang up. In the confusion [213]of the moment sufficient care had not been taken to put together the bones belonging to the same persons, hence one had an arm too short, another a leg; but Hodadeñon went around among them stretching and arranging these defective limbs. Then he said to their possessors: “I have now brought you to life again. You must remain in one place for two days while I go to get meat for you.”

So, selecting a comfortable spot, they patiently waited. Hodadeñon went out to hunt and killed a great quantity of game. He sent men to bring it into the camp. These were gone all day, but they brought in an abundance of meat. When all had returned, Hodadeñon said: “Now, my brother is tired. Stay here and rest. I must go away for a short time, for I have much work to do.”

Thereupon Hodadeñon started away. As he hurried along he heard the sound, “Dum, dum, dum!” This, he knew, was caused by the man whose name was Deagahgweoses, in making tobacco, which he pounded with a mallet. When he arrived at the lodge he found the old man sitting inside hammering tobacco and singing, He yondyengonni goyengwayen gens, signifying “Wherever one makes tobacco, one possesses tobacco customarily.” And when the tobacco rolls were ready he would tie them with bark cords. Addressing him, Hodadeñon said several times, “Well, uncle, I have come to your lodge,” but the old man gave him no recognition. Then Hodadeñon struck the old man a blow on the head with a small mallet which was lying near, saying at the same time, “I have come to visit you, uncle.” But even then Deagahgweoses paid no attention to the visitor. Again Hodadeñon struck him a blow, saying, “Uncle, I have come to visit you.” Then the old man exclaimed, “I do think that the mice have thrown down the stone bowl,” but he kept on at work pounding his tobacco. So Hodadeñon struck him still another severe blow, whereupon the old man raised his upper lids, which hung down over his face to his chin. Carefully tying them back with bark cords, he scraped out the filth from his eyes with a clamshell, saying, “I think that some one has come into the lodge.” Then, looking around and seeing Hodadeñon, he asked him, “For what do you come here? What do you want?” Hodadeñon replied, “I have come for tobacco.” The old man refused tobacco to his visitor, saying, “You will get no tobacco here.” Then starting up, exclaiming, “I will kill you!” he pursued Hodadeñon with a large club out of doors and around the lodge. Hodadeñon outran him and was soon far ahead of him. Finally, turning and facing the old man, he shot two arrows into his body. Thus died Deagahgweoses.

Then Hodadeñon cast into the air toward the west a large quantity of tobacco, saying as he did so, “Go ye to the lodge of my sister, Yenyentʻhwus.” Far off in the west Yenyentʻhwus picked up the rolls [214]of tobacco which fell on her doorstep, with the words, “I thank you, brother; I am so thankful to you, brother.” When Hodadeñon had sent home all the tobacco he burned up the lodge of Deagahgweoses. Then he went back to the place where he had left his newly recovered brother and the other men whom he had brought to life. Having arrived there, he told the men to go home if they so wished. Those who remembered whence they had come started, but those who did not know said, “You must take us with you.”

The next morning they set out for home. After journeying for some time, Hodadeñon, halting the company, said to them, “You have with you two of my uncles, who can show you the rest of the way, for I must go on by myself.” It was his desire to go on alone and thus to reach home first. When he arrived at the lodge of his sister, he told her that he had brought to life all their relatives who had been captives, and that he had also saved their brother from the tortures of the wizards. He informed her that these were coming with others who were not relatives. “Now,” said he, “we must make preparations to receive them and to welcome them to our place.”

Hodadeñon thought that he would make a number of commodious lodges of equal size and of like appointments; so he marked out certain spaces with his feet, walking sidewise, each area being as large as the lodge he desired to stand therein. Then he wished for the lodge with suitable provisions and whatever else was needed. As soon as he wished it, the lodge came into being with everything in it as he desired. In this peculiar way he made a long row of lodges. He made his own lodge also in the same way, but he caused it to be larger than any of the others. When he had prepared everything he went to meet the people who were coming. Having joined them, he brought them to the place he had made ready, where he gave each one his own home. Hodadeñon gave each of his relations a couch in his own lodge; but there were not people enough to occupy the place, so Hodadeñon said, “All who belong here have not yet come home.” Here he referred to his father, mother, and sister, who had been killed at the chestnut trees, and it was his intention to go after them; but he could not mention this lest he should put those who had killed them on their guard. They would have heard his words and so would have learned exactly what were his intentions.

After being home about a year Hodadeñon began to hear again at frequent intervals the peculiar sound, “Dum, dum, dum!” He thought how strange it was to hear this sound. Then he remembered about the agreement made by Yeqsinye Honwande80 concerning the use of human flesh for food. He decided to learn this, saying: “I shall go and see whether he keeps his word; see what he is doing.” [215]

So he started, and as he went on he heard this same sound from time to time. Directing his course toward the spot whence came the sound, at last he reached the edge of a village. Entering the first lodge he encountered, he met nobody there. He then went to a second lodge, and that, too, was empty. Thus he entered every lodge until he came to the center of the village; there was no one in any of them. He stood looking on every hand, quite discouraged. At last, seeing smoke arising from the opposite side of the village, he directed his way toward it. On reaching it he entered the lodge, where he saw an old man on a couch. Raising himself and throwing off the skin mantles which covered him, the old man said to Hodadeñon: “You must take my life at once, for you have caused all my pain and misery.” Hodadeñon replied: “It is not I who have done this. It may be my companion, who looks exactly like me. I am here to see whether it is he who is making all this trouble.” The old man said: “It is time for him to come now; and on this account I made my niece hide in that room yonder. We are now the only persons left in this place.” Hodadeñon, going to the room indicated, said to the young woman in there: “I have come to see how that man keeps the agreement he made with me. If he has taken to eating human flesh, he must kill me before he eats more, and to aid me you must do just what I tell you to do. So help me all you can. I shall fight with him for 10 days. We shall begin here, and shall continue fighting westward. At the end of 10 days we shall return, fighting as we come. At that time there will be nothing left of us except our heads. You must kill your dog and try out its fat, and when the tenth day comes you must have it ready in a vessel, boiling hot. But you must not mistake me for him, for if you do I shall be lost and you will die.”

At this moment he heard the old man cry out. Running to him at once, he found that the man whom he called friend, the old widow’s grandson, had already taken flesh from the legs and thighs of the old man. There he stood with his flint knife, ready to cut off more flesh, saying, “I do not know where to take off the next piece of flesh,” when Hodadeñon came into the room. The latter at once declared, “My friend, you agreed when we parted last that if you would eat human flesh you would first kill the person before eating him, and you have not kept your word.”81 The other man defiantly replied, “Let us go out and fight to decide who shall rule.” At once they went out, and they began to fight, going westward as they struggled, and soon disappeared in the woods. The young woman heard their cries and groans for several days. Killing the dog, she tried out its fat, and when the 10 days had passed and she heard them coming back toward the lodge she heated the fat and had it ready. [216]

As they came out of the woods into the opening there was nothing left of them but the skeletons and the skulls—frightful to look at as they rushed at each other and then fell back exhausted. When they closed again the skeletons were gone; nothing remained except the skulls, naked and bloody. After the encounter one of the skulls, rolling up to the young woman, said, “Now is the time to do what I told you.” Then the other skull, rolling up immediately, said the same thing; but she kept her eyes on the second skull, on which she poured hot dog fat. “Now you have killed me,” said the other skull. She paid no heed to this charge, but, taking up the skull on which she had poured dog fat, she carried it into the lodge. In a short time Hodadeñon had regained his flesh and he was again in good health. To the young woman he said, “I thank you for what you have done for me, for you have faithfully performed what I asked and have thus saved my life.”

The old man, recognizing an obligation to him, said to Hodadeñon: “I have made up my mind to say that since you have delivered us from a horrible death you should have my niece for a wife if she suits you. What is your pleasure in the matter?” Without hesitation Hodadeñon replied: “It is well. I accept your niece as a wife, but I must cure you first.” So, spitting on his hands to endue them with the healing power of his orenda (magic power), he rubbed the body of the old man where the flesh had been cut away, and immediately it was made whole and well.

“Now,” said Hodadeñon to his two companions, “I want your assistance in what I am about to do.” Then he led them to the edge of the forest, where lay a great quantity of human bones scattered around on the ground. These they proceeded to gather together in some kind of order near a large hickory tree. When they had collected all the bones, Hodadeñon pushed against the tree, shouting, “Oh, you dry bones! Behold, the great hickory is about to fall on those who sleep here. Arise, friends.” At that moment the bones arose as living men, and Hodadeñon said to them: “Be ye alive now, and go back to your several homes. There is now nothing to trouble you.” So each man went his way.

Hodadeñon took the old man’s niece for a wife, and they started for home. But after going some distance Hodadeñon said, “I have one more thing to do. I must go after the chestnuts, so you go on and I will overtake you.”

So starting off, he changed his course and continued his journey until he came to the ridge of a hill, near which was a woman on watch, whose task required her to walk back and forth on a kind of raised platform. Before going up to her and revealing himself Hodadeñon got slippery-elm bark, which he turned into wampum. Then hailing a mole, he said to it, “Take me to that woman on the platform, [217]but do not let her see us; so pass beneath the surface of the ground and emerge under the platform.” The mole, obeying, took Hodadeñon, who had reduced his size by magic, into its body and, going underneath the surface, did as it was ordered. It emerged very near the place where the woman was passing to and fro. Coming out of the body of the mole, Hodadeñon said to her, “Friend, I give you this wampum as a reward to you not to give the usual alarm on my account.” She accepted the wampum.

Then Hodadeñon called on the moles to go into the lodge of the four women to discover their hearts, and he accompanied them in the search. It so chanced that he was able to discover the hearts fastened to a string under a couch on which slept the elder of the four women. Seizing them at once he fled out of the lodge. At that moment the woman on watch gave the alarm, shouting, “Hodadeñon has come! Ho, there!” The mother of the witches screamed to her daughters: “Hurry after him my children! Kill him! for he is the last of the family.” The eldest daughter outfooted the others and, as she was overtaking Hodadeñon, he bruised one of the hearts on the string and she fell dead. When the second daughter came up, he bruised another heart, and she also fell dead; and a like fate befell the youngest daughter. Now the old mother alone was left of the brood of witches. She hurried up to him, whereupon he bruised the fourth heart, and she, too, fell lifeless. When the four were dead, Hodadeñon ground their hearts to powder; then dragging the bodies to the lodge, he burned lodge, bodies, and powdered hearts.

Now, the woman watch, who was walking to and fro on the platform continually, was the own sister of Hodadeñon. At this time she was a mere pouch of human skin for her bones and flesh were wanting. Near this platform was a large heap of bones of dead persons. Hodadeñon carried these bones to the foot of a very large hickory tree, and upon the pile he placed the skin of his sister. He then pushed against the tree shouting, “Ho! friends and sister, arise, for the tree is about to fall on you now.” Instantly all leaped up alive, among them his sister.

Then Hodadeñon went to the chestnut trees and taking a nut, he threw it to his other sister in the west, telling the rest of the nuts to follow. They did so, and as they entered the end of the lodge his sister Yenyentʻhwus collected and stored them away.

Hodadeñon now went home with his parents and sister and friends. When they had all taken their places it was seen that one of their number was missing, that there was still a vacant place.

The next morning they found that they were living in a chestnut grove, for the trees were standing all around the lodge. [218]

Later two men came to get some chestnuts for a person who was in danger of death. Replying to their request Hodadeñon said: “It is well. I will give you a chestnut, but you must be very careful not to lose it. Give me your arrow and I will hide the chestnut in the arrow. Be very careful of a man whom you will meet not far from this place. He will say to you, ‘Stop, nephew!’ and then he will come toward you. At that moment you must say, ‘Let us see who can shoot the farther,’ and before he can come near you, do you shoot away your arrows as far as you can, and you will thus save the chestnut. If you lose this one I will not give any more.”

The two men went their way. Soon they saw a man who said to them, “Oh, nephews! I have waited long to see you.” Thereupon he started toward them, but they at once said, “Let us see who can shoot the farther.” Rushing forward the stranger tried to grasp their arrows, and nearly succeeded in doing so. On failing in this attempt, he was very angry, and said, “You are not my nephews at all. Go your way at once.” Willingly they hurried away from him, and after finding their arrows, made their way home.

The next day Hodadeñon said: “There is still one more labor for me to perform. There is yet one empty seat in our lodge. I shall go west this time. Now I go.” He had not gone very far on his journey before he saw an opening, or clearing, in the forest ahead of him. When he came out of the forest into this clearing, he saw a large lake before him, the opposite shore of which he could not see. Between him and this lake was a lodge from which smoke was issuing. Walking up to this and pushing aside the doorflap, he entered; within he found an old man mending moccasins.

Raising his head, the old man said: “Well, nephew, I have been looking for you a long time. I knew that you would come. I am ready to go home. I am from the same place from which you come. The first thing for us to do now will be to eat together.” The old man had a pot of corn and beans with plenty of bear’s meat for seasoning. After they had eaten, the old man said, “Now is our time. We will now go hunting on the little island.”

Going to a canoe, they got aboard of it. The old man, whose name was Shagowenotha Onononda Sowek,82 began to paddle the canoe, but he finally called the Onononda Sowek to come and do so. At once small white ducks with black heads came and paddled the canoe over to the island. During all this time the old man sang. When they landed the old man said, “Let us land.”

Then Shagowenotha said to his companion, “Now you go to the lower end and I will go to the upper end of this island. Then we shall meet in the middle of the island, and shall see how much game each of us will have.” Hodadeñon started for the lower end of the island, but in a short time he heard the song of the old man. Turning [219]around, he saw him sailing back to the mainland. Hodadeñon called to him, but received no reply. The old man, however, called out to the creatures in the lake, “If the man on the island tries to swim, eat him at once,” and great hoarse voices out of the water answered, “We will.”

While standing and watching the canoe going over the lake, Hodadeñon heard a voice near him, saying, “Oh, my nephew! come to me.” Hodadeñon went toward the spot whence came the sound of the voice; when he drew near it, he found nothing but a pile of bones covered with moss. The bones asked, “Do you think, nephew, that you are going to die?” “I do,” answered Hodadeñon. The bones, answering, said: “There is a maneater, a cannibal, coming to-night to kill you, but do me a favor, and I will tell you how to save yourself. Go to that great tree and bring me my pouch, and let me smoke, and I will explain all to you.” Going after the pouch, as directed, Hodadeñon brought it to his uncle; then cutting up tobacco, he filled the pipe and lighted it for his uncle. When the latter began to use the pipe, smoke issued from all the orifices in his skull—from the eyeless sockets, the nostrils, the ear openings, and the sutures. When the uncle had finished he asked Hodadeñon to take the pouch back to the place whence he had brought it, whereupon Hodadeñon returned it to the pile of bones. Then the voice from the bones said: “You must go now to cut red willows for material for making manikins and bows and arrows. Run from here to various places on the island; put the manikins in crotches high up in the trees far from one another. Give each manikin a bow and arrow, and when you place each one, say to it, ‘Shoot the dog when it comes.’ When you have put up a number of these come back to me. Then you must go out with manikins a second time; and when you have set these up you must return to me; and you must go out a third time with manikins. When putting up these you must instruct them to shoot the dogs; after doing this, you must return to me. From here you must go to the end of the island, where you must step into the water and walk along in it until you come to an overhanging cliff, which is opposite the landing place. There they can not find you.”

Hodadeñon did as his uncle, the bones, advised him to do. When the manikins were all completed and placed in their places he went to the overhanging bank and there hid himself.

At evening came the Ongwe Ias83 in a canoe; he landed on the island. He was accompanied by three dogs, which he urged at once to find the game, Hodadeñon, who now heard the hue and cry of the pursuit. Starting from the bones, they went to the tree where the pouch was hidden and thence returned. Then they went on farther until they came to the tree on which was placed the first manikin. [220]The Ongwe Ias followed his dogs closely, singing as he ran, “There are no dogs like mine; there are no dogs like mine.” Suddenly the dogs stopped, and the Ongwe Ias saw a boy in the tree pointing an arrow at one of them. At once shooting an arrow at the supposed boy, he brought him down. As the dogs sprang forward to seize the falling manikin, the Ongwe Ias shouted at them, “Do not eat the body! Do not eat the body!” But when he was able to see what he had killed, he found that the dogs were tearing nothing but red willow twigs. Then he was very angry and, calling off his dogs, he urged them to follow the tracks elsewhere.

It was not long before the dogs found another tree on which there was a manikin with drawn bow and arrow. When Ongwe Ias saw it, he exclaimed, “Oh! he will kill one of my dogs;” thereupon he shot an arrow, which brought down the manikin. The dogs, rushing at the falling body, seized it, but the Ongwe Ias shouted at them, “Do not eat the flesh! Do not eat the flesh!” as he hurried forward to take it from the dogs. When he saw that they were throwing only bits of red willow from their mouths he was indeed very angry; but he set the dogs on the trail again.

They ran on with Ongwe Ias following them closely. After a while he heard them growling fiercely and found that they had stopped at a pile of bones. Seizing his club, Ongwe Ias pounded the bones, saying, “I have eaten your flesh long ago and still you try to deceive me.” Then, calling his dogs, he set them on the trail made by Hodadeñon when he went to put up the second lot of manikins. The dogs ran around with Ongwe Ias closely following them and singing, “There are no dogs like mine; there are no dogs like mine.” It was not long before they came to a manikin in the crotch of a tree. Seeing the drawn bow and arrow Ongwe Ias said, “Oh, he will kill one of my dogs.” At that instant the manikin shot an arrow and one of the dogs dropped dead. Then Ongwe Ias shot an arrow into the manikin, which fell to the ground. He shouted at the dogs, “Do not eat the flesh! Do not eat the flesh!” Thereupon they let the body go, but he found that it was made merely of bits of red willow.

Starting again on the trail, the dogs ran around for a long time in every direction over the island. Finally Ongwe Ias heard the two surviving dogs barking fiercely; they were at the bones again. Coming up, he shouted: “Why do you deceive me? Long ago I ate your flesh. Why do you trouble me now?” and, seizing his club, he pounded the bones savagely.

A third time he set out with his two dogs on a trail. The dogs followed this until they came to a tree in which was a manikin. This figure shot one of the dogs, killing it. Then Ongwe Ias shot the manikin, which fell to the ground a mass of rotten wood. [221]

At this time day began to dawn. The Ongwe Ias said to himself, “I shall go home now. When it is night again I shall return and I shall be sure of the game.” So bringing his dead dogs to life and taking them into his canoe he sailed away.

Hodadeñon in his hiding place heard the chasing during the entire night, the barking of the dogs and the shouting of the Ongwe Ias; also the sounds made by the club striking his uncle, the bones. When daylight had come and all was quiet Hodadeñon, emerging from his hiding place, returned to his uncle, who welcomed him with the words: “Well, my nephew, you are alive yet. So will you now go to bring my pouch to me, and let me have a smoke, and I will tell you then what to do next.” Hodadeñon quickly fetched the pouch and filled the pipe with tobacco and, lighting it, he placed it in the mouth of his uncle, who smoked with great pleasure, letting the smoke come out of every suture in his skull and through its eye sockets and nose and ear openings. The uncle said to his nephew, “I thank you for this smoke. Now take the pouch back, and when you return we will talk over our troubles.” Hodadeñon carefully concealed the pouch, and when he returned to his uncle he was ready to hear what he must do next.

The uncle then said to him, “Now go to the place where the canoe of Ongwe Ias usually makes a landing; there dig a hole in the shore and bury yourself in the sand, leaving only the tip of your nose out. When Shagowenotha lands and hurries away to the opposite side of the island, you must get up quickly and board the canoe and have the ducks paddle you back to the mainland. So, nephew, take courage and you will win.”

While Hodadeñon was covering himself he heard Shagowenotha singing to the ducks as they paddled him over the water. Soon he heard the canoe ground on the sandy shore and a voice saying, “I shall now go to the place where my nephew has spilled his blood.” Paying strict attention to the advice of his uncle, the bones, Hodadeñon knew exactly what to do next. As soon as Shagowenotha was out of sight Hodadeñon arose quickly, and, calling the ducks, he pushed the canoe back into the water; then he began to sing, “Now we paddle, my ducks; now we paddle, my ducks.” The ducks paddled so swiftly that the canoe fairly flew over the water. The canoe was far out on the lake when Ongwe Ias saw it. At once he rushed to the beach and called out, “Let me get aboard! Let me get aboard!”

Hodadeñon heard but paid no attention to this entreaty; on the contrary, turning to the monsters dwelling in the depths of the lake, he said, “If Shagowenotha should try to swim after me, do you devour him.” Then from the water came a confusion of voices saying hoarsely, “It shall be done; it shall be done.” [222]

Shagowenotha ran up and down the shore, but he could not make his escape. When night came he climbed a tall tree. With the coming of thick darkness the Ongwe Ias came with his three dogs—he had restored to life the two that had been killed by the manikins—and he began at once to chase around with them to find traces of Hodadeñon, for he thought that he was still on the island. At last the dogs led him to the tree in which Shagowenotha had sought shelter. The dogs barked furiously at Shagowenotha in the tree. When Ongwe Ias came up Shagowenotha cried out, “Oh, do not shoot me! I am Shagowenotha.” Ongwe Ias tauntingly replied, “You may call yourself Shagowenotha, but you can not fool me,” and let fly an arrow at the Shagowenotha, who tumbled to the ground dead. Then Ongwe Ias carried off the body and cast it into the canoe, after which he paddled away.

The next morning Hodadeñon said, “Now I shall go to the lodge of Ongwe Ias.” Pushing the canoe out from the shore, he began to sing for the ducks, which came and paddled the canoe until almost evening, when Hodadeñon saw woods on the shore and a lodge standing near the water. Bringing the canoe to the beach, he hid it under the water; then he said to the ducks, “You may go your way until I call for you.” A woman came out of the lodge carrying two pieces of bark, and called to Hodadeñon to remain in the water, where he had sunk the canoe. Going to him, she placed a piece of bark at the water’s edge, telling Hodadeñon to step on it; then putting down the next piece of bark, she asked him to step on that. Then she put the first piece before the second, and then the second before the first, and Hodadeñon kept stepping on bark until at last he reached the lodge without leaving a single track on the ground. When they were in the lodge Hodadeñon said to the woman: “I have come after you. I am your brother. What will you do?” She replied, “I will go with you, but you must remain here until midday to-morrow.” Under her couch was a smaller one, in which she put her brother; then replacing her own over it, she sat on the top.

Soon the yelping of the dogs told of the arrival of Ongwe Ias, and his footsteps were heard. When the first dog came in, with his mouth open, the woman threw a bone into it, and afterward hit him on the head. The Ongwe Ias at once shouted at her, “Oh, you have killed my dog.” In reply she asked, “Why do they run at me as they do? I have done nothing to them.” Calling them off, he said, “I have had bad luck to-day. I have found nothing but a small cub.” Thereupon he prepared his game, which he cooked with pounded corn. When he had finished eating it he said, “My food was very tender and good, and now I shall take a smoke.” Soon he added, “It seems to me, my niece, that you have two breaths.” She answered sharply: [223]“That is too much to say. You might as well kill me. You should not talk that way.”

The next morning Ongwe Ias said: “I shall not go hunting on that island again. I shall go to the other side of the country.” Then he went away, much to the relief of his prisoners.

After he had been gone some time the woman said, “He must be at his destination by this time, so you may come out.” Hodadeñon came out from under the couch and went with the woman to the lake. There he raised the canoe; getting aboard, the two paddled away as quickly as possible. When they had reached the middle of the lake they suddenly heard Ongwe Ias shouting to them, “You can not escape from me! You can not escape from me!” Running into the lodge, he seized a hook and line, which he hurled at Hodadeñon, at the same time saying, “Catch the canoe!” At once the hook did so and Ongwe Ias was pulling the canoe swiftly back to shore. Suddenly the woman saw that the forest on the shore seemed to be coming nearer and nearer, and then she saw the hook and line and Ongwe Ias at the other end of the line. She screamed to Hodadeñon to break the hook. This he quickly did and they were again free; thereupon they speedily paddled back to the middle of the lake. Then Ongwe Ias, in a great rage, screaming, “You shall not escape from me,” started to run along the bottom of the lake toward his intended victims; but at the moment he was at the bottom Hodadeñon said, “Let there be ice all over the lake so thick that nothing can break through it, and let our canoe be on the top of the ice.”

When Ongwe Ias thought that he was under the canoe he sprang upward toward the surface with all his might, striking the ice with such force that it cracked all over the lake. The force of the blow crushed the head of Ongwe Ias, so that he died.

At once Hodadeñon willed that the ice melt away as rapidly as it had formed. When the ice was gone he and his sister paddled to the shore. On landing, they traveled on homeward. When they reached home they entered the lodge by the western doorway; then going around by the way of the south to the eastern side, Hodadeñon took his sister to the last couch, which was at the northwestern corner, where he seated her. The family was now complete and happy.


42. The Uncle and His Nephew

An uncle and his nephew lived together in a bark lodge in the woods. They had no neighbors.

The uncle went every day to hunt and to dig wild potatoes. During the day and evening the boy sat by the fire and parched corn to eat. Though the uncle brought home plenty of good potatoes, he gave his nephew only small, poor ones to eat. [224]

The nephew wondered why they were always alone, so he asked his uncle whether there were other people living in that region. In reply the uncle said: “Far off in the west there are people powerful in sorcery, who took all our tribe captive except us two. This is the reason we are alone and have no neighbors.”

Then the boy wondered why his uncle gave him such small, poor potatoes to eat. He saw his uncle put large ones into the pot, but in the morning only small ones were left. So one night the nephew made a hole in the skin cover under which he slept, to watch his uncle. Toward midnight he saw his uncle get up and strike a light, and then going to an old couch in the corner of the lodge, in which no one seemingly slept, raise the top and call out a young man, who was beautiful to look upon, strong, and active. Both the uncle and the strange young man sat down by the fire. The potatoes, covered with moss, were simmering over the flames. The uncle uncovered them, picked out the best for his nephew, and brought him also meat and other food. After they had eaten heartily, the uncle sang and kept time for the young man with a turtle rattle while the latter danced. The little boy looked intently all the time at the young man, saying to himself, “I suppose that is my brother; now we will have some fun.” After the young man had finished dancing the uncle put him under the couch again and, banking the fire, lay down on his own couch.

The next morning, as soon as the uncle had gone to hunt and to dig potatoes, the little boy went to the couch, and raising the corner of the cover, said, “Come out! come out here! brother, to me.” “Oh, no!” said the young man, “I can not go out in the daytime; those women off there in the west, the Wadiʻoniondies, would hear me.” “Oh, never mind; they will not hear you,” said the boy. “Oh, yes; they will hear me, and the moment I come out they will carry me off. They do not know now that I am here, but the moment I make a noise they will hear it and will come for me.” The little follow teased and begged so hard, however, that his brother came out at last. After eating together, one danced and then the other, until at last the young man heard the women calling in the distance, “Ween, Ween.” Instantly the elder brother, jumping under the couch, covered himself.

All this time the little boy kept shaking the rattle and dancing with all his might. Soon two women appeared from the west, sailing in a canoe through the air. “Oh! where is he?” cried they. “Your brother! where is he?” said one of the women. “I have only an uncle, who is old. He is now off hunting,” said the boy. “There is somebody here with you in the lodge,” said one of the women. “Oh, no!” said the boy, “I am alone.” “Oh! you little rogue, you lie,” said the woman. “If I should lie, that is my business,” answered the [225]child. “Well, we will let you off this time, but you shall suffer if you lie again to us.”

In the evening when the old uncle came home, he inquired what he had been doing. “Have you found a brother?” he asked. “I have no brother, have I?” asked the little boy. “Was not there anyone here to-day?” queried the uncle. “No,” said the lad. “Well, what did those women come for? I heard them,” said the uncle. “There was no one here,” said the child. The uncle said no more.

The next morning, when going off to hunt, the uncle said, “You would better go out of doors to play, instead of turning everything upside down in the lodge; go out of doors to play.” His uncle had scarcely disappeared when the boy ran to his brother, begging him to come out, until at last he did so. Again they amused themselves; but in the midst of the dancing the elder brother heard two of the women coming. “Now,” said he, “I must go; there is no use to hide or to deny that I am here. I must go.” Presently the two women arrived in their canoe, which, grazing the top of the lodge, came to the ground. The elder brother got into the canoe, and away they went to the west.

When the uncle came home at night he was bowed down with grief, for he knew what had happened. He sat down, crying bitterly. “Oh! do not cry so, uncle,” said his little nephew; “do not cry; I will go and bring him back.” Running out quickly, he gathered a lot of red-willow twigs, from which he scraped the bark. On throwing this into the fire straightway a thick column of smoke rose and shot off toward the west. Jumping into the smoke, the boy was borne away after his brother. He overtook the canoe when it was about halfway to its destination in the west. The youth in the canoe knew that his little brother was following to rescue him. One of the women was sitting in the bow of the canoe paddling, while the other sat in the stern steering. The young man turned to look at his little brother, whereupon one of the women in the canoe struck him on the side of the head with the paddle, crying out: “Sit still! do not look around.” As she struck him he turned his head slightly, so as to look again; he saw that his brother, on noticing the blow, sprang forward and jumped into the canoe, shouting: “Do not strike my brother.” Then he cried: “Let this boat turn around and take my brother home.” Instantly the canoe, turning around in spite of all that the women could do, sailed back faster than it had come.

As they were nearing the uncle’s lodge the women begged the little boy to let his brother go with them, saying: “We will give you whatever you wish, only let him go.” He thought of what he might ask in payment for letting his brother go again. Then the [226]young woman inquired: “Is there anything we might give to induce you to let him go?” He said: “Yes; if each of you will give me her sexual organ for a moccasin, I will let him go.” On their consenting, he cut out with his knife what he wanted and put the moccasins on his feet; they fitted well. Immediately he was at home.

In answer to his old uncle’s inquiry he said: “I brought my brother home, but let him go again; the women gave me these beautiful moccasins to get him back. I can do everything with them.” After a few days the little boy had such power because of his moccasins that he told his uncle how the women were tormenting his brother, and that he was resolved to rescue him. Bringing a lot of red-willow twigs, he scraped off the bark, which he threw on the fire. Then jumping into the rising smoke, he shot off toward the west, where he came down at the edge of a clearing in a great wood. Just opposite, at the other end, was a Long Lodge, and at the right hand, at the edge of the wood, was a small lodge, in which a grandmother lived with three grandchildren, a boy and two girls.

After thinking a while, he said, “I will go over to the little lodge.” Going there he met a boy of his own age and size, just like himself in every way; half of his hair (the crown) was black and half (the sides) red. “Oh! how do you do?” said the strange little boy. “Who are you? You must be my brother?” The boys looked at each other, and seeing that they were just about the same size they became brothers. “Now, you will come and live here with me, little boy,” said the lad; “I have two sisters and a grandmother; my grandmother has gone out.”

When the old woman came home the little boy said, “I have a brother here; he is going to live with us.” “How could he live with us, we are so poor?” said the grandmother. “I think he can; he is poor himself and will be satisfied with what you have to give him,” replied the lad. At last she consented to let him stay. The other boy, drawing near the old woman, asked: “Are you going to the chief’s lodge? Have you heard what is going on there?” “Oh, yes!” said the old woman; “the chief’s two daughters brought a man from the east, from that great wampum people; they hung him up last night and made him cry. His tears are wampum. Tonight they will do the same thing.” “Can we not go over there?” asked the boy. “I suppose so,” said his grandmother; “I will get some wampum.”

When evening came the old woman, her grandchildren, and the little boy went to the Long Lodge. The people had already assembled, and the man was hanging from a post. The two sisters were sitting on couches, one on each side. The boy said to his friend, “Now we will get some dry rushes to light the pipes of the chiefs and of the people standing around, if they will let us in.” [227]

When the old woman came to the Long Lodge she asked whether she might not have a chance to get some wampum. They asked the chief, who said, “Yes; she is a good woman. Let her have a chance, too.” “My little grandson and his friend,” said the old woman, “will come in and carry lights to those who want to smoke.” “Oh, yes,” said the chief, “let the little boys come.”

As they went into the lodge the young man who was tied to the post smiled when he saw his brother. All who saw him wondered what the man was smiling at. Presently the chief gave orders to apply the firebrands. Thereupon they burned him on one side and then on the other; he cried bitterly, and as the tears fell they turned into wampum beads, falling in a shower. All the people ran to collect the wampum, and the old grandmother got some too. After the man had cried a while they rested and smoked.84 When the order was given to begin the torture a second time, the little brother gave one moccasin to his friend and kept the other himself. As they were about to begin the burning he said to the boy, “Now stick your foot into the fire.” When he did so, one of the sisters screamed, as though in the agony of death, and never stopped until the boy took out his foot. All the people wondered what was the matter, but she would not tell.

Again, as they were going to apply the fire to the man, the little nephew put his foot into the fire and the other sister screamed in terrible pain. After they had gotten some wampum and rested, the boy said, “Let them all sleep soundly.” His grandmother and the little boy went outside with his friend, and the grandmother said, too, “Let them all sleep soundly.” When all were asleep the lad cut down his brother, whom he took outside; then, walking around the lodge, he said, “Let this lodge be turned into flint and let it become red-hot.” At once this came to pass and all within the lodge were burned up. “Now,” said the boy, “I think you would better come home with me, grandmother; you would be a good wife for my uncle.”

All went to the uncle’s lodge, where they found him crying for his lost nephew. He had been tormented by foxes, who had knocked at the door, saying, “We have come, uncle.” After the nephews and the rest of the company had come into the old uncle’s lodge, a fox who did not know of the new arrivals knocked at the door, saying, “Uncle, I have come.” “Let him in,” said the boy, while all hid themselves. On coming in the fox ran toward the fire to get ashes to throw into the old man’s face, but the boy caught him. Saying, “Oh, you rascal! I will fix you now,” he tied together the fox’s forelegs with a bark rope and hung him up; thereupon the tears came out of his eyes, his face and—[Here the story ends abruptly.] [228]


43. Hinon Saves a Woman from Suicide

In a certain village a young man and a young woman were married. Soon after their marriage they set out on a hunting expedition. After traveling some distance they came to a dense wood, where they stopped and built a brush lodge. Every morning the young man, leaving his wife at the lodge, always with the warning not to sleep during the day, went out in pursuit of game.

One afternoon, coming back earlier than usual, the young man found her asleep. He saw a great rattlesnake among the skins on which she lay. While trying to pull the snake away, it disappeared into her body through her pudendum. When she awoke the young man, without saying anything of what had occurred, proposed that they should go back to the village, as he was tired of hunting. On reaching home, he told his wife to go her way and he would go his.

Not long after this she married another man. On the following morning her new husband was found dead. She soon married still another man, who was also found dead on the morning after the marriage. Her people then resolved to find out from the first husband why he had put her away. After much persuasion he told them why, saying, “While hunting I often asked her never to sleep in the daytime, but one afternoon on returning to my camp I found her asleep; there was also a rattlesnake in the bed, which, when I tried to drive it away, disappeared into her body.”

The mother of the young woman told her what they had heard from the first husband. She was so ashamed and troubled that she determined to kill herself by going over Niagara Falls. Getting into her canoe a mile or so above the Falls, she pushed out into the middle of the river. The mother followed her, but too late to stop her daughter. As the canoe neared the Falls the latter, lying down and covering her face with her mantle, disappeared over the brink. But Hinon, who dwells under the Falls, taking the young woman from the water, carried her to his home, where he prepared medicine which he gave to her; then, looking at her, he raised her by the shoulders and let her down on her feet. The second time he did this a dead snake dropped out of her person on the ground. Hinon said, “I am glad to see this snake. Now I shall have something to eat.” Roasting the snake on the hot coals of his hearth he ate it.

The young woman lived with Hinon for some time. As she could not eat his food, he often brought ears of corn, saying, “Here is some corn from your mother’s field.” Then he would bring a roasted squash with the words, “I brought this from your mother’s coals,” having taken it from her fireside. [229]

They lived in this way until the woman was far advanced in pregnancy. Then Hinon said to some of his companions, “It is now time to deliver this woman to her mother. You must take her only to her mother’s field.” So, taking her to the field, they left her. Soon she heard some one crying, and then she saw her mother. The mother was frightened, but she stopped crying and called out, “Are you in your natural life?” The young woman assured her that she was, and together they went to the mother’s lodge. Not long after her arrival there the young woman gave birth to a boy.

When the boy was large enough to run around they often heard Hinon coming, and then it would rain very hard. The boy would go out into the storm and he would be gone some time, but when he came back he would be perfectly dry. At last he said, “The next time my father comes I shall go away with him, and not return.” So he went and he was never seen again; but he is always with his father, and it is he who thunders in the sharp voice of a young man.


44. The Crawfish and the Raccoon

The chief of the Crawfish settlement one day told his people that he was going about to inspect things and to see if the Ongwe Ias was around.

Starting out, he went to every lodge; he found that every one was in and well. On his way home, as he was walking along the edge of the water he found what he judged to be the body of Ongwe Ias. “Oh! this is good luck,” said he; “I will go and tell all the people to come to see Ongwe Ias lying here dead.” So he invited all to turn out and see their enemy, whom he supposed was dead.

The whole multitude came and saw the Ongwe Ias lying on the ground with his face black and covered with flies. One of them went up and pinched his lips hard, but he did not move. Then saying, “We will sing a song of rejoicing,” they formed in a circle around the Ongwe Ias to dance. While they were dancing and singing, all at once their enemy, the Ongwe Ias, springing up, ate the whole tribe except two or three who escaped. The Ongwe Ias knew the fondness of the Crawfish for dead meat of any kind, so his ruse was successful in providing him with a meal.


45. The Race Between the Turtle and the Bear

There was once an old man going along slowly but surely by himself. After traveling some distance he met another man, who asked him, “Where are you going?” “Oh, I am going east to see the people,” the old man replied. “You will never get there; it is so far away, and you are too fat for the road,” answered the stranger. Thereupon they parted company. [230]

Soon the old man met another person, a slender young man, who asked, “Where are you going?” “I am going to the east to see how people live in that region,” answered the old man. “You can not get there; you are too fat, and so you can not travel so far,” said the young man. “How do you keep so fat?” “Well, when I come to a village and find people lying around, I bore a hole in each one I like and suck the fat out; that is the way to get fat,” said the old man. “I must try this plan. I am so lean that I must try to get fat,” said the other.

Each went his own road. Soon the thin man came to an opening, or clearing, in the forest, where he found an animal lying asleep at the edge of the woods. Crawling up to it carefully he tried to make a hole in its body near the tail, in order to suck out the fat. But the animal, springing up, hit him a great blow with his heels and ran off. “I shall pay that old man the next time I meet him,” said the slim man.

Going on farther he met the fat old fellow again. “How do you get so fat?” asked the slim man. “Oh, I do it by eating fish,” said the old man; “I put my tail through a hole in the ice, and when a fish bites I pull him out and eat him. That is how I get fat.” “I will try that plan,” said the slim young man. He went on until he came to where there was a good place to fish. Making a hole in the ice, he stuck his tail through and waited until it was frozen in; then he pulled until his tail came off.

The young man went on his way and was magically changed into another kind of person through losing his tail. He traveled around until the next summer, when again he met the old man. “Where are you going?” he asked of the latter. “I am going east,” said the old man. “You will never get there; you are so fat you can not travel fast enough. You would better run a race with me.” “Very well,” said the fat man; “you may run on land but I will run on water. We will run to-morrow.”

The fat man collected a great number of his people, whom he posted in the river all along the course to the starting place, telling each one to stick up his head when the land runner had come almost up to him. As was customary in the contests of great sorcerers, the wager in this race was the head of the loser.

The racers started. The slim young man ran with all his might, but every little while the fat man, as he thought, stuck his head out of the water in advance of him. When he returned to the starting place the fat man was there before him. “You have won the race,” said the young man. “Of course I have,” said the fat man, and seizing the young fellow by the neck he led him to a stone where he cut off his head. [231]

Then the fat man’s friends, all coming out of the water, went to the starting place. When they looked at the dead land runner they said: “Oh, what a fool! Oh, what a fool!”

Now, the old man, the water runner, was a mud turtle. The land runner was a bear, but he had been a fox until he lost his tail in the ice. Bears are all stub-tailed since the fox lost his tail in the ice.


46. The Woman Who Became a Maneater Through the Orenda of Her Husband’s Dogs

There was once a man who, in company with his wife and little daughter, went hunting in a distant region. Having arrived at his destination, the man built a brush lodge in the woods. Every day he went in pursuit of game.

The man had three dogs, who were his brothers, and of whom he was fond. He shared his food with them and felt bad if they were ill-used. When he left them at home he always told his wife to feed them well and to take good care of them, but in spite of this she abused the dogs; no matter how long he was away, she would give them nothing to eat. At last, the smallest of the three dogs told the man how badly they were treated, saying, “Our sister-in-law never gives us anything to eat; whatever she cooks, she herself eats; if you will watch her, you will see how it is.” When her husband was around the woman was kind to the dogs in order to deceive him. The little dog, however, told him all that happened in the lodge while he was away hunting.

Now, the little dog was fond of good things; so one night he said to his brothers, “I will get some food without asking, if only you will help me.” He had noticed that the woman kept food for herself, which she hid under the skins on which she slept, and had seen her hide there a skin bag of roasted corn. He said further to his brothers, “You are large and strong and can get it while she is asleep.” “No,” said the large dog; “we are heavy and awkward, and we would only awaken her; but you are light and small, and so can lie down by her without being noticed.” “Very well; I will try,” was the little dog’s answer to this.

So at midnight, when all were sound asleep, the little dog, making his way to the bag of roasted corn hidden under the woman’s head, pulled it carefully until he got it out. The large dogs had drawn the door flap aside for him, and all three, well pleased, ran off toward the spring, where they could obtain water to wash down the roasted corn. The little dog said to one of his brothers, “You can carry the bag now.” In taking it he tore it open, when they found it was merely a pouch of roots, bark, and leaves instead of a bag of corn; so they had got into trouble for nothing. Then the large dog said, “The safest way for us is to carry this bag back, and you who got it [232]must return it.” So, taking it back, the little dog placed it with the torn side down, near the woman’s head. The next morning when the woman shook the skins she found the pouch torn and laid the blame on the mice.

A few days after this the little dog said to the man, “We are going to punish our sister-in-law for the bad treatment she gives us.” The man decided that he would say nothing, and that they might punish her if they wished. The next morning he said to his dogs, “You must stay at home, for I shall be away all night.” After he had gone the woman began cooking, and the little dog watched all her movements. When she took the meat down his mouth watered for a piece of it. The dogs sat around watching her as she cut it up, but she did not give them even a mouthful. It so chanced that she cut her finger badly and was not able to stanch the bleeding. In attempting to do so she even thrust the finger into her mouth and began sucking it. She found that she liked the taste of her own blood, and later even the meat she was cooking did not taste so good. So she sucked all the blood out of that finger; then she cut another finger and sucked that, for she had forgotten all about the cooking. Next she cut one arm and sucked it, then the other; then one leg and then the other. Finally, when she had sucked all the blood out of her body, she cut off her flesh, piece after piece, and ate it. The dogs sat around watching her, and her little girl also was looking on. After she had eaten all her own flesh she seized her daughter and, though the child cried and begged for mercy, the unnatural mother, paying no heed to her pleadings, killed her and ate her.

Then the woman ran off in the direction her husband had taken. Suddenly the hunter heard something behind him. Turning, he saw the little dog, who said to him: “I have come to tell you that your wife has become a man-eater; she has eaten the flesh off her own body and has eaten your child, and is now on your trail. We must run for our lives. We will go to the settlement and you must tell the people to leave the place and run, for one is following us who will devour them all. Those who believe you will escape, but those who do not will die. We must run with all speed, for she is following us fast.”

Now, it was through the orenda of the dogs and their influence that the woman had become a man-eater.

When they reached the settlement, the man told the people of their danger. Some escaped, but the woman quickly ate all who remained. Again she followed on her husband’s trail. The little dog told the man when the woman reached the settlement, and soon after said, “Now do your best, for she is coming with greater speed than before; we are near a large river.” The fugitives reached the river and the man, making a small raft, quickly got on it with his [233]dogs. He was in the middle of the stream when the woman reached the bank and called out, “Your flesh is mine. I am going to eat it.” Thereupon she made a great leap with the intention of landing on the raft, but missing it, she was drowned. After the fugitives had crossed the river and had given thanks for their escape, the little dog said, “We shall soon come to a village, and you must do my bidding.”

When they came to an opening or clearing in the forest they saw near by a wretched-looking lodge, and the little dog said, “We are going there; a couple of poor old people live in that lodge.” On entering, the hunter asked the old man of the lodge whether he could stay with him for a short time. The old man answered: “It is difficult to grant your request. We have as much as we can do to live ourselves.” “It is true,” said the man, “you are very poor; so are we. I am not in search of a good home. I am looking for people in my own circumstances.” “Very well,” said the old man, “you can stay with us, but the chief of the place knows already that you have come; he has great magic power and I am afraid that he will take your life.”

Some time passed. Every night the old man would spend a long time in relating the history of the chief and the people. As the visiting man was a good hunter, he brought in much game and soon the old man’s lodge was full of meat. After a while the old man said, “We have decided to adopt you, and you shall be one of our children.”

The chief knew that there was a stranger in the place, and the old man said: “He will be here in two days; he is coming to see who is with us. He will tell you that he is your uncle, and will challenge you to a foot race. You must ask for two days’ time for preparation.” “Very well,” said the man, and as usual he started off to hunt. His dog seemed to know where all the bears were. When he had killed as many as he wanted he went home. The old man said, “The chief has been here, and he challenges you to a foot race.”

When the time came for the race, the old man and his wife and granddaughter started for the race course. The man had said to him, “I will come as soon as I can make my preparations.” The second dog volunteered to take the man’s place in the race, but the little one said, “You stay at home and I will do the hunting”; and to the man he said, “Take off your garments and let me have them.” When the dog had put on the garments, he looked just like the man. The other dog said to the man, “We will go off hunting while he is doing the running.” The hunter and the dog were very happy, for they knew that their little brother would win the race.

When the people had assembled on the race course and the old man saw his supposed son coming, he said, “See how well our son is prepared [234]for the race.” They saw no difference whatever between the person before them and their adopted son. There were many people present, for the village seemed to be very large. Meanwhile the hunter who had accepted the challenge was off in the woods. One of the dogs said to him, “They are now ready to start. They have started.” Though far off in the woods, the dogs seemed to see everything. All at once they called out: “Owe! Owe! Our brother has won the race. Did we not tell you that he would never be outrun? Now we may as well go home.” So they started homeward. They had been at the lodge but a short time when the runner came in, and, taking off the garments of the hunter, who then put them on again, the three dogs laid down by the fire.

It is said that during the race the chief, seeing that he was outstripped, threw a horn after the dog-man, which stuck into his foot. While the dog-man was trying to pull out the horn, the chief passed him, calling, “What are you doing there? Get up!” By the time the dog-man had drawn the horn out of his foot, his enemy was near the goal. But, springing up, he threw the horn at his enemy; it stuck into the chief’s foot, causing him to fall to the ground. Then the dog-man ran ahead, calling out, “Why do you not get up? You can not sit there and beat me.” But before the chief could pull out the horn, the dog-man had passed the goal.

When the old man came home he said to his son, “I thank you for outrunning your enemy; there has never been anyone to outrun him; all have been beaten. Since the wager was heads, you can take his life whenever you wish.” Then he asked the man whether he had done his best. “No,” said he, “I used about half my strength.” “Very well,” said the old man; “he has another game to propose; he will never stop proposing trials of strength, skill, or speed until he has taken your life. To be beaten this time makes him very angry; in two days he will challenge you to play ball with him.” “All right,” replied the man, “I am ready to meet him.”

In two days they saw the chief coming, and as he entered the lodge, he said: “I am sick for a game of ball, and I challenge you to play a game against me; you won in one game, so now try another. I will wager all I have, and if you win, you shall be chief in my place.” The man replied: “I also am sick from lack of amusement and I accept your challenge. I have never met the man who could beat me in a game of ball. But give me time. You have come unexpectedly, and I must make a ball club.” “Very well,” said the chief, going away.

The bent ball club the hunter hung up to season, and the old man made strings; the next day they netted the club. They were ready just in time to go to the ball ground. The time appointed for the game was at midday, and the old man and woman said, “We shall [235]now start.” “Very well; I shall come soon,” said the adopted son. Then the little dog said, “Let it be our eldest brother who shall take part in this game.” So the man removed his garments, and the dog put them on; there he stood, looking just like the man. The little dog said, “We shall surely win the game.” The hunter and the other dogs went to the woods to hunt, while the dog-man went to the ball ground.

The chief was on the spot watching impatiently for the man. At last he saw him coming, with his long hair tied back; he carried his club well and looked splendid. The old man, supposing it was his son, said: “Now, you must use all your strength and must not be beaten.” The dog-man saw that his antagonist was walking around in the crowd, with a very proud and haughty manner. The dog-man seemed very mild and without strength enough for the game.

Seeing that it was time to begin, the people fell back and gave room to the players. When the word was given the players came forward, and the chief said: “I will take my place on this side.” “No; you shall not,” said the other; “you gave the challenge, and I will choose my place.” The chief had to yield, the dog-man choosing the side the chief wanted. They then began to play. “Now,” said the little dog to the hunter in the woods, “our brother has begun the game, which will be a very close contest.” Soon he said: “The chief’s ball has missed the goal; they play well; our brother has caught and sent the ball back. Oh! now he has won an inning. They will play one more inning.” All at once he called out: “They have begun again. It is a very close game. Our brother is having all he can do. We may be beaten, however.” Then he called out: “Owe! Owe! Our brother has won the game. You are chief, and all the old chief has is ours.”

As the dog-man had won two straight games, he caught the chief by the hair and cut his head off. Many of the people thanked him. They said that the old chief had never spared them; that when he had been the loser he had always given the people up to slaughter and saved his own life. The winner seemed to have won many friends among those who witnessed the game. The little dog said: “Now we shall go home.” They had been there but a short time when the ball player came in; giving back the man’s garments, he immediately became a dog again.

When the old people came into the lodge they thanked their son, saying: “You have done more than anyone else was ever able to do before. You are the chief now.” As they praised their son they did not know that it was a dog that had done the work.

The next morning the little dog said: “Let us go to live in the chief’s lodge.” So the hunter, with the old man and his family, [236]moved into the new lodge. All the old chief’s things had been left in their places, as they were part of the wager. Now, as the dogs were so full of orenda, he became a great chief and had much power and influence among the people.

[The narrator of the foregoing story said: “It is true that whenever a person loves a dog he derives great power from it. Dogs still know all we say, only they are not at liberty to speak. If you do not love a dog, he has power to injure you by his orenda.”]


47. Ganyadjigowa85

There was a man named Ganyadjigowa who lived in a lodge on a bay opening into a lake. One morning he went out in a bark canoe to fish, but catching no fish he came home and put the canoe away. Soon after this he said, “Well, I must go somewhere,” so he walked along the shore of the lake until he came to its outlet, where he saw a lodge, which he entered. Finding no one at home and seeing plenty of meat, he ate what he wanted, and was starting off with a supply when he saw somebody with a big load of meat coming up from the lake. This was an old man named Twentgowa. They met and greeted each other, Ganyadjigowa saying, “I came to visit you; I have been in your lodge.” “Well, come back with me,” said Twentgowa.86 “No, I must go on,” said Ganyadjigowa. “Come again,” said Twentgowa.

Ganyadjigowa did not go back, because he had stolen some of the meat. He swam across the outlet of the lake, and, keeping along the bank, he soon saw another lodge. Peeping into it he saw a large family—two old people and their children; these were Hongak people. After standing a while he thought, “I will go in,” and he did so. The inmates greeted him with, “Where do you come from?” “From the other side of the lake,” answered Ganyadjigowa. “What do you come for?” they asked him. “Oh! to look around; it is so pleasant to-day,” Ganyadjigowa replied. “How far will you go?” he was asked. “Around the lake,” he answered.

The two men became good friends. Then Hongak87 said, “I must go with you, my friend.” “Very well,” said Ganyadjigowa, and they started along the shore. At midday they came to the mouth of a river and Ganyadjigowa asked, “How can we cross the river?” “Let us swim,” said Hongak; “I suppose you know how to swim.” “Very well, indeed,” said Ganyadjigowa. So they swam across the river and then walked on till they saw a rock, then many rocks. As they went along the path grew narrower and narrower. Hongak was ahead. Ganyadjigowa picked up a stone, and tying a bark string around it hung it on Hongak’s back, so that he could not walk, for he kept slipping back. Ganyadjigowa said to him, “Go on! I am in a hurry. I want to get home before dark.” “Let me go, then,” [237]said Hongak; “do not pull me back.” “I am not pulling you back,” replied Ganyadjigowa; “I will go ahead if you like. Wait and I will pass you.”

When Ganyadjigowa got ahead, he said, “Now, come on!” Hongak could not go, for he was unable to walk. Ganyadjigowa went on, leaving him behind. The path grew narrower and narrower until he came to a place where there was not room to walk, and he thought, “How am I to get by these rocks?” The name of this place was Heiosdenoon (“the rocks go to the water”).

Here Ganyadjigowa resolved to go back, but there was not room to turn around. Then he said, “I must go backward.” After a few steps in this way, he fell into the water and went under. When he thought he was past the rocks he came out of the water and walked on again. The sun was near the horizon and he thought, “When shall I get home?” It was soon dark. Finding a hollow tree, he crawled into it.

Not long after this Ganyadjigowa heard footsteps in the leaves outside. The sound stopped at the tree. Ganyadjigowa kept very still. A voice said, “Well, you are sleeping in here?” “Yes; I am,” replied Ganyadjigowa. “I want you to come out and talk with me,” was the challenge. Ganyadjigowa crawled out. There stood Hongak, the man he had left behind. “Well,” Hongak asked, “do you know who I am?” “Why are you angry? I thought you wanted to stay. I urged you to come but you would not,” said Ganyadjigowa. Hongak said: “No. You did something to make me stop. Look at my back.” The feathers were all off where the stone had been secured.

Now Hongak began to fight with Ganyadjigowa, who soon ran away, for he did not want to fight. Speedily overtaking him, Hongak began to fight again. Ganyadjigowa now grew angry. They fought till dark the next day. “Let us rest,” said Ganyadjigowa. “Well, you stay here; I will be back to-morrow,” said Hongak. As soon as Hongak was out of sight Ganyadjigowa ran away. Coming to a river he decided to try to swim, but the water ran too swiftly. He was carried downstream into rough water, where he could not help himself. In the water was a stone against which he was driven; he thought, “Now I am going to die.” He was on the stone all night.

Hongak came back in the morning and, not finding his enemy, tracked him to the water. Then, saying, “I will catch him,” he went into the water and tried to swim. But the water ran so fast that it carried him down to the stone where Ganyadjigowa was. Hongak said, “I am going to die this time.” Ganyadjigowa heard someone talking, and he knew who it was. Now he tried to get [238]away. After struggling a long time he freed himself and came to shore. Hongak became filled with water and died. Then his body floated to shore, whereupon Ganyadjigowa said: “Oh! there is my friend. Did he think he could kill me? I have more orenda than he had.” Traveling on, Ganyadjigowa soon got home.

One night he dreamed he was on the way to the west. Coming to a large opening and looking around, he saw a Ganiagwaihe approaching from the southeast. He thought, “I am going to die. That bear will eat me.” It came nearer and nearer. He went back and farther back. Soon from the northwest came a Djainosgowa.88 Ganyadjigowa continued going backward as fast as he could. At last the two animals met and began to fight. He stood and watched them, wondering which would overcome his antagonist. As they fought they drew near him. He began to go backward again until he fell into a hole in the ground, with the two animals on him. Then he screamed: “Hurry up! Help me! I am going to die under these terrible creatures.” Awaking, he found himself alone with his skin blankets wrapped around him; he had rolled off his couch to the floor. He said, “What a bad dream I have had!”

Falling asleep again, again he dreamed of the same creatures, but thought they were in the woods and belonged to him. He made them stand near each other, and, laying a stick across them, he sat on it. Then he told the animals to go westward; they did so, whereupon he said, “Oh, this is fun.” They reached the end of the earth very quickly. Then he jumped off, saying, “Stay here until I come back.” He went south till he found a lodge; going in, he saw a fine-looking old man. “I have come to see you; I am traveling around the earth,” said Ganyadjigowa. “Where do you come from?” asked the old man. “I came from the Great Lake,” replied Ganyadjigowa. “What do you travel for?” queried the old man. “Oh, just to see how the earth is and what people are living on it,” said Ganyadjigowa. “What is your name?” asked the old man. “My name is Ganyadjigowa,” was the young man’s reply. “What is yours?” “My name is Djothowandon.89 My master lives not far away. You must see him before you visit me,” was the old man’s reply.

Going in the direction pointed out, Ganyadjigowa came to a lodge standing on a big rock. He stood by the rock, thinking, “How am I going to get up there?” Then he saw a narrow ledge running around and around; following this, he came to the lodge. On looking about he saw an old man sitting by the fire. They greeted each other, the old man saying, “Why did you come here?” “Just to see all the world,” said Ganyadjigowa. “Where do you come from?” said the old man. “I came from the Great Lake,” said Ganyadjigowa. [239]“What is your name?” continued the occupant of the lodge. “Ganyadjigowa,” the young man declared. “What is yours?” Ganyadjigowa asked in turn. “I am called Dagwanoenyent,” said the old man. Then Ganyadjigowa said, “Will you let me visit you?” “Oh, yes! you can stay with me as long as you like,” said the old man. “I will stay several days,” said the visitor.

One morning Dagwanoenyent asked, “Would you like to go down to see my servant?” “Yes; I should like to go,” said Ganyadjigowa. They soon came to Djothowandon’s lodge, when Dagwanoenyent said, “This is my servant’s lodge. Let us go in.” On going in Dagwanoenyent said, “My servant is not at home. I believe he has gone to the southern end of the world.” Dagwanoenyent said, “A very cross people live there. My servant is trying to make them peaceful.” “Now you would better go home. Something will come and chase you if you are down here at midday,” said the old man. “Very well,” said Ganyadjigowa, starting after his animals.

Soon, on seeing Dahdahwat90 approaching, Ganyadjigowa tried to hide, but he could find no place of concealment. Dahdahwat chased him, and, seizing him, threw him down and began to bite him. Ganyadjigowa could not get away. He tried so hard that the sweat came out like rain. Then he awoke. He was all wet and the sun was pouring in on him. He felt sad and worried about his dreams. About noon, becoming hungry, he said, “I must take my canoe and try to catch some fish.” He went far out into the lake, keeping a sharp lookout for fish. Seeing one, he jumped overboard after it, but could not find it. On seeing another he dived again—once more, no fish. He looked down again. Yes; there it was. He looked and looked. Then he found that there was a fish on the right side of his canoe, the shadow of which was visible down in the water. He caught the fish, and after eating it started to go home, but he was far out in the lake and did not know which way he had come. He made way very fast, however, in the right direction, as he thought, and reached the shore, but saw no lodge.

Leaving his canoe, he walked toward home, as he supposed. He walked all day until night. Then he saw a hut in the woods. Going near it, he stood and listened. There was a man talking in the hut, who said: “This is the way to get great magic power. I know all about what to do to get great magic power, and I can show anyone who comes here. I know the whole world and I can give magic power to whomsoever wants it. I wish Ganyadjigowa would come. I could show him how strong magically I am. He thinks he is the strongest man under the Blue Sky.” Ganyadjigowa thought, “Why does he say this? Does he know that I am the strongest? I have been all over the world” (he had only dreamed that he had been). He still listened. Gaasyendietʻha91 (for this was the name of the old [240]man) continued: “I am the greatest runner and the greatest flyer in the world. I can make light go through the world. I have greater strength magically than anyone else. For several years the Duck people tried to chase me. I killed them all. I am the man appointed many, many years ago to be chief of all the people under the Blue Sky.” Ganyadjigowa said: “I would kill that man if he followed me. He must be crazy. He talks to himself all the time.”

Then Ganyadjigowa, entering the lodge, said, “You are talking about me, are you not?” “Oh, no,” replied the strange man. “Well, I will go. I thought you were talking about me,” repeated Ganyadjigowa.

Going outside the hut, Ganyadjigowa picked up two stones and striking them together, said, “I would do that way with that man if he came after me.” Gaasyendietʻha, coming out of the hut, asked, “What are you saying?” “Oh, I was saying this is the best friend I have,” declared Ganyadjigowa. “What did you say about the stone?” asked Gaasyendietʻha. “I said when my friend traveled he had to carry these stones, and if he went into the water he had to throw them away,” declared Ganyadjigowa.

Half believing what was told him, Gaasyendietʻha went back into the lodge. Ganyadjigowa laughed and laughed, thinking, “Oh, what a fool he is! He believes what I say.” Then he went into the hut again. Gaasyendietʻha said, “Why do you come here? Why do you not go home?” “Oh, I want to visit you until to-morrow morning,” said Ganyadjigowa. “No, I do not want such a man as you are around,” declared Gaasyendietʻha. “I will not trouble you. I will not chase you,” said Ganyadjigowa. “Go on home! I do not like you. You are too mean,” Gaasyendietʻha declared. Ganyadjigowa answered, “Oh, no! I am not.” Gaasyendietʻha said, “Well, stay then; but you must not talk to me.” “Very well,” said Ganyadjigowa.

Night came. Sitting down by the fire with his pipe, Gaasyendietʻha put coals into it and began to puff clouds of smoke. Ganyadjigowa said, “How do you get tobacco?” Turning around, Gaasyendietʻha looked at him. “Do not speak to me,” commanded Gaasyendietʻha. Soon Ganyadjigowa asked, “Does it taste good?” Gaasyendietʻha did not answer, but kept on smoking. Soon afterward Ganyadjigowa spoke again, saying, “How strangely the smoke is rolling around the room.” Gaasyendietʻha said, angrily, “Go out of this hut! I tell you I do not want you here.” “But you said I might stay until morning,” pleaded Ganyadjigowa. “I will be quiet now; do not put me out.” “Very well,” said Gaasyendietʻha, and smoked on.

Ganyadjigowa laughed. After a while he said: “I want to ask you a question. What is the world made of?” Gaasyendietʻha turned around, feeling cross, but he did not answer. Then Ganyadjigowa continued, “Do you believe people who say a man lives up in the Blue [241]Sky?” Gaasyendietʻha looked at him but did not answer and kept on smoking. Then Ganyadjigowa said, “Do you believe this world stands on the Turtle’s back?” Gaasyendietʻha, now angry, said, “Did I not tell you not to talk to me?” Ganyadjigowa said, “Yes; I am going to be quiet now.” Gaasyendietʻha kept on smoking. Then Ganyadjigowa said, “Do you believe Hawenniyo92 made the things of the world?” There was no answer. Ganyadjigowa spoke again, saying, “Well, do you believe the old folks who say that Dagwanoenyent is still alive?” Gaasyendietʻha said nothing; he merely turned and looked at him, then he turned back, still smoking. Ganyadjigowa said once more, “Do you believe the old folks who say that wind goes everywhere?” Gaasyendietʻha sprang up, saying, “I will throw you out. I told you not to talk to me.” Ganyadjigowa said, “I am going to be quiet now; do not throw me out.” Believing him, Gaasyendietʻha sat down. But after a while Ganyadjigowa began once more, “Well, do you believe the old people who say that Hinon makes rain?” He received no answer. Soon again he asked, “Do you believe the old folks who say that trouble comes to those who do not answer? Do you believe the old people who say that Hanisheonon93 is alive?” Picking up a club, Gaasyendietʻha began to strike Ganyadjigowa, who begged off with promises to be quiet. “No! get out! I do not want you here,” said Gaasyendietʻha. Ganyadjigowa begged hard. Gaasyendietʻha became cool and quiet again. Ganyadjigowa, laughing, said, “Whenever I say anything people get cool.” In the middle of the night Ganyadjigowa spoke again. While Gaasyendietʻha was still sitting by the fire smoking, he asked, “Do you believe old folks who say that water runs day and night?” Gaasyendietʻha did not answer. After a while Ganyadjigowa said, “Do you believe that trees grow?” Gaasyendietʻha stood up; he was very mad. Ganyadjigowa said, “Oh, do not be mad. I merely want to know things.” Gaasyendietʻha asked, “Do you believe Hawenniyo is alive?” “No,” replied Ganyadjigowa. “I do,” said Gaasyendietʻha. “Do you not believe he made the woods?” Gaasyendietʻha asked. “No; Hawenniyo does not make anything because he is not alive,” declared Ganyadjigowa. “Do you not believe the wind goes everywhere?” asked Gaasyendietʻha. “He goes only just outside of my person,” said Ganyadjigowa. “Oh! what a fool you are; the wind blows all over the world,” said Gaasyendietʻha. Ganyadjigowa said, “Oh, no; it goes merely around this lake.” Gaasyendietʻha said, “You can go way off there to that high mountain (pointing toward the east). You can not stand there.” “Oh, yes, I can,” said Ganyadjigowa. “Do you not believe water runs all the time?” Gaasyendietʻha persisted in questioning. “Oh, no,” said Ganyadjigowa; “when it is night, water stops.” Gaasyendietʻha said, “Well, what do you believe?” [242]

Now, Ganyadjigowa began seemingly to believe just as Gaasyendietʻha did. Then Ganyadjigowa inquired, “Do you believe trouble will come if I tell you something, and you do not mind me?” “How can you make trouble for me? You have to die before I do,” declared Gaasyendietʻha. “I do not want to make trouble for you. Other things will do that,” said Ganyadjigowa. Gaasyendietʻha replied, “Go to sleep. I do not want to talk all night.” Gaasyendietʻha still sat by the fire smoking. Soon Ganyadjigowa said, “Do you know anything when you are asleep?” No answer. Again he asked, “What would you do if Wind should come here?” Flashing up, Gaasyendietʻha said, “Now go! I do not like you.” Ganyadjigowa began to beg, but Gaasyendietʻha, seizing him by the hair, pushed him outside. “Oh! let me go in. I will stop talking now,” pleaded Ganyadjigowa. Gaasyendietʻha would not listen. “Go away! or I will kill you,” he said. Ganyadjigowa started off. Then he thought: “That man did me ill. I wish I had magic power to blow down his lodge”; but he kept on. Gaasyendietʻha began to follow. Ganyadjigowa heard somebody coming. Looking back and seeing Gaasyendietʻha, he went into a hollow tree. Gaasyendietʻha knew where Ganyadjigowa was, but to fool him he went back a short distance and hid himself. Thereupon Ganyadjigowa said: “That is the kind of man I am. He did not see me.” So he started on. Gaasyendietʻha followed again, and seeing Ganyadjigowa, said, “Now I have you, and I am going to kill you.” “Oh, no! I do not want to make trouble for you,” replied Ganyadjigowa. “Yes, you do!”—and they began to dispute. Gaasyendietʻha said: “I will ask you a question. How can you make Wind blow down my lodge?” Ganyadjigowa answered, “Oh! I do not know how.” “Well, why did you ask the question, ‘What will you do if a heavy wind blows away your lodge?’ ” inquired Gaasyendietʻha. “I did not say that,” declared Ganyadjigowa. “What did you say?” demanded Gaasyendietʻha. “I said there was a wind around the lake,” was Ganyadjigowa’s reply.

“Do you believe that the earth can go down into the water?” asked Gaasyendietʻha. “No; the earth is always on top of the water,” said Ganyadjigowa. “Do you believe the earth is on the Turtle’s back?” inquired Gaasyendietʻha. “No; the Turtle is not strong enough to keep it up,” declared Ganyadjigowa. “How is it kept up?” came the question. “Oh! the earth is very thick; nobody knows how thick,” asserted Ganyadjigowa. “I believe the Turtle is strong enough to keep the earth up, and when he gets tired the earth will sink down,” Gaasyendietʻha said. “Why, that is just what I believe,” Ganyadjigowa said. “No; it is different. You do not believe as I do,” declared Gaasyendietʻha. “Well, do you know what I believe?” asked Gaasyendietʻha. “The old folks used to say that you believed the earth never goes into the water,” was Ganyadjigowa’s rejoinder. [243]Gaasyendietʻha asked, “Well, do you believe that I can kill you?” “Yes, yes!” said Ganyadjigowa, while he kept backing away. Gaasyendietʻha threatened, “I will kill you now.” “What have I done that you should kill me?” demanded Ganyadjigowa. “You told me that I believe the earth is very thick,” said Gaasyendietʻha, turning to go home. Ganyadjigowa kept on laughing, and said, “That is the kind of a man I am.” Now, Gaasyendietʻha, on hearing this, came back quickly, and shaking him, threw him on the ground, whereupon he cried out: “Oh, my friend! do not kill me. I am always on your side.” “No; I will not stop until I kill you,” said Gaasyendietʻha. Then he thought: “Why do I kill this man? Soon Hanisheonon will come around and punish me for it,” so he let Ganyadjigowa go. Ganyadjigowa, laughing, said, “That is the kind of a man I am.”

Now Gaasyendietʻha grew very angry, and caught him by the neck, saying, “Go far away west.” Going through the air, Ganyadjigowa fell just where the sun sets. As he fell he said: “Oh! what fun to be in the air. Now, where is that man? He does not believe anything.” Gaasyendietʻha heard him, and, flying through the air, came to the spot where he was and asked, “What were you saying?” “Oh! I was saying what a nice place this is,” replied Ganyadjigowa.

Gaasyendietʻha now caused Ganyadjigowa to become Sʻhodieonskon. Then Ganyadjigowa traveled north, saying, “I must go and see where my friend lives.” Seeing a great rock on which stood a lodge, he thought, “This must be the place I dreamed of.” He went to a hut near by. A man sat there, who greeted him with, “Where do you come from?” “I come from the Great Lake,” said Ganyadjigowa. Then the man asked, “Why did you come here?” “Oh! I was lonely at home,” answered Ganyadjigowa. “Very well; what is your name?” he was asked. “Ganyadjigowa,” he replied. “What is your name?” demanded Ganyadjigowa. “Djothowandon,” was the answer. “Can I visit you?” he was asked. “No; you must go to my master first,” said Djothowandon. “Where does he live?” inquired Ganyadjigowa. “You will see his lodge on a great rock not far from here,” was the old man’s answer.

On reaching the rock Ganyadjigowa saw the lodge that stood on it. Looking in he saw an old man sitting by the fire; he thought to himself, “This is the same man who threw me off west.” The man turned, and, looking at Ganyadjigowa, said, “Well, who are you?” “I am Ganyadjigowa,” replied the visitor. “What is your name?” asked Ganyadjigowa. “I am Dagwanoenyent,” replied the man. “Will you let me stay with you a few days?” asked Ganyadjigowa. “Oh, yes! you may stay as long as you like. I am always glad to have somebody with me. I am lonely sometimes,” said the old man.

One morning Dagwanoenyent said, “Do you not want to go to see my servant?” “Oh, yes!” said Ganyadjigowa. They went to [244]Djothowandon’s. Dagwanoenyent, looking around, said: “My servant is not at home. I think he has gone to the southern end of the earth. A very churlish people live there. He is going to try to make them good and quiet. If they do not obey him, I must go to eat them all.” “How far is it from here?” asked Ganyadjigowa. “Oh! you would not get there in fifty winters,” declared Dagwanoenyent. “If that is true,” retorted Ganyadjigowa, “it will be a hundred winters before your servant will come back.” “Oh, no!” said Dagwanoenyent; “my servant travels very fast. He will be in a place as soon as he thinks of it.” “I do not believe that,” said Ganyadjigowa. “Get out of here!” said Dagwanoenyent; “some people are coming this morning who will bewitch you if you are around here.”

Ganyadjigowa started off. Soon he saw Dahdahwat coming. When Dahdahwat came near he was going to strike Ganyadjigowa, but the latter said, “Do not kill me. I am not strong enough in orenda to fight you.” Dahdahwat chased him and kept biting him until he was dead. Then said Dahdahwat, “I have killed Sʻhodieonskon,94 who has great power magically. I will go home now.” While on the way he saw a man coming toward him. When they met Dahdahwat greeted him with, “Where are you going?” “Oh! I am going to see the man who was killed this morning,” said the stranger. “Well, what is your name?” said Dahdahwat. “My name is Djoñiaik,” replied the stranger. “What are you going to do when you get there?” asked Dahdahwat. “Oh, nothing!” and they passed on. When Djoñiaik came to the spot where Ganyadjigowa lay and saw how Dahdahwat had bitten him, he dug many kinds of roots, and, making a powder of them, began to doctor Ganyadjigowa; he rubbed the powder over his body, and soon Ganyadjigowa was alive again. Ganyadjigowa said: “That is the kind of man I am. Where is the Dahdahwat?” Djoñiaik answered: “Do not say that. He must be near by.” Ganyadjigowa would not stop, but kept scolding and scolding, getting more angry all the time. Djoñiaik went off.

“Now, I must go to my friend, Dagwanoenyent,” said Ganyadjigowa. When he got to his friend’s lodge Dagwanoenyent laughed, saying, “A man came here to notify me that I should go to see the spot where you lay dead.” “Oh, pshaw!” said Ganyadjigowa; “I shall never die. Have you never heard the old folks say that if Sʻhodieonskon died he would soon come to life again?” “Yes,” said Dagwanoenyent, “I have heard so. Is that why you came to life?” “Yes,” declared Ganyadjigowa. “Well,” said the old man, “I want you to go where the churlish people live. My servant has come, and he says they will never be quiet. I have heard old men say that Sʻhodieonskon can make churlish people quiet.” “All right, I will go,” answered the young man. When he came down from the rock on which [245]Dagwanoenyent’s lodge was built, Sʻhodieonskon, taking hold of the rock, tried to turn it over. Dagwanoenyent, feeling his lodge move, declared, “This must be my friend who disturbs me.” Ganyadjigowa kept at work, and at last over went the rock, breaking the lodge to pieces. The old man, who was wounded on the head, cried, “Oh! my dear friend; I must kill him now”; and, getting up, he tried to run after him, but his head was so dizzy that he soon fell. Ganyadjigowa came around the rock, and seeing the old man with blood flowing from his head, began to laugh, saying: “What does he think? Does he not know that I am stronger magically than he is?” Having rolled the rock over on Dagwanoenyent, he went on.

When he came to the place where the churlish people lived, he stood near the earth lodge in which they all dwelt, thinking, “I will roll this lodge over.” Taking hold of the end, he lifted it up. The people ran out, and, seeing a man standing there holding up the end of their lodge, they began to bite him. Then Ganyadjigowa ran with all his speed to get outside of the crowd. The people pursued him, but he escaped. “That is the kind of a man I am,” Sʻhodieonskon exclaimed.

He walked westward until night, when he came to a cliff. Descending a short distance on one side, he saw a hole in the cliff wall. “Somebody seems to be living here,” thought he; “I will go in and see.” Inside he found a large room in which sat an old man; then another room, and another, until he saw seven. “Well,” asked Ganyadjigowa, “what are you folk doing in the cliff?” “Why do you want to know?” they demanded. “Oh! I go around the world to make all quiet and happy,” said the young man. “We do not believe you, and we do not want you here,” they continued. These were all brothers—seven Sigweont. “Do you believe that Hanisheonon is alive?” asked Ganyadjigowa. “Oh, no!” they said. “What do you believe?” the young man inquired. “We believe that Hanisheonon is Hayadagwennio.”95 Then Ganyadjigowa said, “Well, do you believe that the earth is thin and stands on a Turtle?” “No; the earth is thick,” they declared. “Do you believe that Hanisheonon made the earth?” asked Ganyadjigowa. “No; we believe that Hayadagwennio made the world,” they replied. “Did you ever hear of anyone living covered up in the earth?” the young man asked. “No,” was the response. “Now we will tell you that we are the fathers of Hanisheonon,” said Sigweont.96 These old men would not believe Ganyadjigowa, who, becoming discouraged, said, “I am going away.”

While turning around Ganyadjigowa saw a lodge in the woods. Disdis97 lived here. Hearing a thumping noise from within, Ganyadjigowa, looking through a crack, saw an old man who had a thin piece of wood into which he was pounding something. Then he would [246]put the wooden object into his face. “Well, I have never seen such a man as that. He is making a mask,” thought Ganyadjigowa. “I will take the roof off his lodge and afterward make it rain.” Getting into the lodge he threw off the roof. The old man did not know the roof was off. Then going into the spring near by, Ganyadjigowa shook his wings so that the water flew high and came back just to the spot where the old man’s lodge was. “My lodge is getting old,” said the old man; “the rain comes into it. I must go to sit where it is dry;” but he could find no dry place. “Well, what is the reason of this?” thought he. Then he left his work, saying, “I will go to find somebody to make a new cover for my lodge.” He heard a noise at the spring and saw somebody standing in the water. Going to the spring, he asked, “Well, what are you doing?” “Oh! I am trying to fish,” replied Ganyadjigowa; “when I get the water away it will be easy.” “Get out!” said the old man; “that is my spring. If you do not go I will kill you.” “Oh! I am not afraid of you. You are too old. You are not strong magically now,” was the young man’s answer. “Well, I can kill you quickly,” retorted the old man. “No; you are too old,” Ganyadjigowa declared. “Say, old man, I want to ask you a question. Do you believe Hanisheonon is alive?” “Oh, no! I am Hanisheonon myself,” said the old man. “Oh, no! you are not. Do you believe the earth is resting on the back of a Turtle?” inquired Ganyadjigowa. “No; I am holding up this earth myself,” said Disdis. “Do you believe water always runs?” demanded the young man. “That is not true; when it gets to the lake it stops,” said the old man. “If that is what water does, the lake would be more than full,” asserted the young man. “Oh! the water goes into the ground again and comes out in the springs,” replied the old man. “Oh!” said Ganyadjigowa, “I told you the water was always going.” The old man held his head down. Ganyadjigowa asked again, “If mud goes into swamps will it stay there?” “No; I do not think so,” said the old man. Then Ganyadjigowa said: “I will give you another question: Do you believe what the old folk say—that they went all over the world?” “Oh, no!” answered the old man; “I do not think so.” “Well, I must go away,” said Ganyadjigowa; “I do not think I can do anything with you.”

After traveling a long while, one morning Ganyadjigowa came to a lodge. Looking in, he saw an old man, Ganenaitha,98 sitting by the fire. Soon the old man said: “It seems to me that my nephew is around here. Yes, I think my nephew is around here somewhere. Well, my nephew, come in. Why do you stay outside? I suppose you have come to visit me. Come in.” “Well,” answered Ganyadjigowa, “this is the first time I have found my uncle. I will go in, for my uncle wants me to do so.” Entering the lodge, he asked. “Well, uncle, what do you want?” “Oh! I just want to see you to [247]have a very amusing game which I always play when anyone comes to visit me. We wager our necks. I have splendid canoes made of white flint with which to race on the waters.” “Very well,” said Ganyadjigowa, “that is what I used to play with.” The old man started to get the canoes, and bringing them all out, said, “Now, take your choice.” Looking carefully and seeing a poor old canoe, Ganyadjigowa said, “This will do for me.” “Oh, pshaw!” answered the old man; “that is the worst one I have; you ought to take something better. That canoe can not help you. It will tip over when you sail it.” This was, however, the boat possessed of the greatest power, which the old man wanted to use himself. “Well,” said the old man, “let us go there.” Now the lake was a little way inland. When at the edge of the lake, they put the boats on the water, the old man saying, Hau onen. The two canoes started. Ganyadjigowa’s canoe having the greater magic power, the old man was left behind. When Ganyadjigowa got to the other end of the lake he said, “Where is my uncle,” and sat waiting. After a great while he saw the old man coming, away behind. When the latter came up, he said, “Let us rest until to-morrow.” After a while Ganyadjigowa pretended to go to sleep. The old man looking at him, said, “He is asleep now;” so getting into Ganyadjigowa’s boat, he said to it, “I want you to go where the sun goes down.” Ganyadjigowa heard all. The boat rushed off through the air. Ganyadjigowa, getting up, looked at his uncle’s boat. “What a mean boat my uncle has,” he said, then exclaiming, “I want you to go where my uncle has gone.” Thereupon with a white flint stone he struck the bow of the boat. The canoe, becoming alive, went very fast, faster than his uncle in the old boat. While flying Ganyadjigowa commenced his song, “Now we are in the race of my uncle—Onen daon­diyentadon nhaknosen.”

In a little while he saw a small speck ahead. As he drew nearer, the speck became larger and larger. At last they arrived at the place where the sun goes down, and the old man reaching there first, Ganyadjigowa said: “You cheated me. I am going to cut your head off.” The old man answered: “Oh! I have not cheated you. I tried to wake you, but I could not, so I let it go.” “Why did you come so far? You live way back at the other end of the earth,” declared the young man. “Oh, that is nothing; I came to see how the sun goes down,” was the reply. “No; I think you tried to get away from me,” said Ganyadjigowa. “No; I was going back soon,” retorted the old man. “Well, let us go,” said Ganyadjigowa. “Very well,” said the old man. Soon they went back, whereupon Ganenaitha said: “Now go to sleep. I want you to stay until morning.” But Ganyadjigowa did not sleep, but watched the old man until morning. Then he said, “Now, let us start. Wait until I say ‘Go.’ ” Having [248]gotten into their canoes, the old man said “Go!” They both went very fast—the new boat faster than the other. Getting back to the starting place first, Ganyadjigowa looked back—away off was a speck; this was the old man returning. When he came in the latter asked, “Do you know what this lake is called?” “No,” said Ganyadjigowa. “Its name is Ganyodaigowane, ‘Great Lake.’ ” Taking out a basswood knife, Ganyadjigowa thereupon cut off the old man’s head.

Then Ganyadjigowa went northwestward in his own boat until he came to the edge of some rocks, where he saw a lodge. Soon a man came out and greeted him. “Well, what are you living around here for?” asked Ganyadjigowa. “Oh! so I can see down the valley where people live. When they kill game I go and steal some of it,” came the reply. “I will give you a name,” said Ganyadjigowa; “I will call you Gaga.”99 “Very well. I like that. I can steal better now,” replied the man.

As Ganyadjigowa walked along the edge of the rock he saw a great hemlock forest. While standing among the trees he heard some one saying Hihi. “Well, who is Hihi?”100 he wondered. Soon he saw someone in a tree. “Oh! what an evil-looking man you are,” said Ganyadjigowa; “shall I give you a good name?” “What can you call me? My name is good enough,” said the man. “I will call you Hihi.” Hihi laughed, for he was glad he had a name. Ganyadjigowa came to a brook with rocky banks, and, going down to the water, he saw an ugly-looking old man, who said: “I am glad you are here. I am very hungry, so I will eat you.” “Oh! I am not good eating. I taste very insipid. Do not kill me,” replied Ganyadjigowa. “Why do you come here, then?” he demanded. Ganyadjigowa answered, “What would you do if the rocks should fall upon you?” “Oh! I should be glad. I have wanted for a long time to be covered up,” was the rejoinder. “Do you believe that Hanisheonon is alive?” asked Ganyadjigowa. “Yes,” he responded. Ganyadjigowa’s next question was, “Do you believe the earth rests on the Turtle’s back?” “Yes; I am standing on the Turtle,” the man answered. “I did not ask you where you were standing,” said Ganyadjigowa. “Well, then, what did you ask me?” said the man. “Nothing. I tell you that Hanisheonon was killed last night,” said Ganyadjigowa. The man began to cry. He cried louder and louder until many of his people, hearing him, came and asked, “Did that man make you cry?” “Oh! I heard that Hanisheonon was dead,” he replied. Now all began to cry. Ganyadjigowa said: “Why do you cry? You are free now. I should be glad.” “Well, I am not glad,” said the man. “I will give you a name,” said Ganyadjigowa; “I will call you Genonsgwa (“Stone Giant”). [249]

Ganyadjigowa started off, after saying to Genonsgwa and to his people, “I should be glad if you caught me.” The Genonsgwa, who were angry, followed him. They ran hard but they could not catch him. Ganyadjigowa began to fly, going up, up, up, until he reached the clouds. There he saw people. “Well, who are living here? I never before heard that people were living here,” he mused. Soon a man came near him who wore beautiful, downy clothes. He greeted Ganyadjigowa with, “Where are you from?” “From below,” was the answer. “How did you come?” was the next question. “Through the air,” was the response. “I suppose you bring news?” “No; I came for amusement,” said Ganyadjigowa. “What is your name?” he was asked. “Ganyadjigowa,” he replied. “I will give you a name.” “Very well,” said the man. “I will call you Sʻhadahgeah. This place where you live is strange,” declared Ganyadjigowa. “Yes; I can see all over the world,” came the answer. “Well, how can I see?” said Ganyadjigowa. “Look right straight down,” the man said. Ganyadjigowa, looking straight down, saw all over the world. It did not seem far down. Ganyadjigowa asked, “Do you know the man who lives by the side of the lake down there? He is a very mean man.” “You must not do anything to that man,” responded Sʻhadahgeah;101 “he has great orenda (magic power). He is chief of all gods. We are afraid of him. You must go now. The Wind is coming. It will kill you if you stay here.”

Thereupon Ganyadjigowa went straight down. Then looking around, he saw somebody coming out of the ground. Going to the spot, he said: “What are you doing? Why do you live in the ground?” “Oh! I have always lived there. You need not bother me,” came the reply. “I will not bother you,” said Ganyadjigowa; I came merely to ask you a question: Is Hanisheonon alive?” “No; Hanisheonon is, I think, not alive. I believe Hanisheonon is magically a great power,” said the man. “Well, do you know where Hanisheonon lives?” inquired Ganyadjigowa. “Yes,” was the reply. “Where is the place?” continued Ganyadjigowa. “Right in the ground. That is why I live in the ground,” said the man. “Well, do you think you have the same power as Hanisheonon?” he was asked. “Oh, no!” he replied. “Can you kill the people?” again queried Ganyadjigowa. He answered, “Yes.” “Have you a name?” asked Ganyadjigowa. “I do not want a name,” he said. “Well, I will give you a name anyhow. I will call you Onoqgontgowa,”102 said the young man. The man hung down his head; then, raising it again, he said, “Can you call me another name?” “No; that is the name that suits you best. You are bad-looking,” said Ganyadjigowa. The man cried (i.e., buzzed)—he was a winged Djihonsdonqgwen.103 “Well,” said Onoqgontgowa, “when they talk about me, they shall say Onoqgontgowa.” [250]

Traveling on, Ganyadjigowa came to the lodge of Gaasyendietʻha, in which he saw an old man asleep. Ganyadjigowa went in. The old man, waking up, began to sing, “Now he has come.” Ganyadjigowa thought, “Why does he sing about me?” Gaasyendietʻha said to himself: “Oh! I have the backache. Why have I got it? Where is my friend, Ganyadjigowa? I would like to see him—he is such a strange fellow.” Ganyadjigowa looked around the room, and seeing a mallet, began to hit the old man on the head with it. The latter said, “I believe mosquitoes are biting my head,” whereupon Ganyadjigowa hit him again. “Well, it seems to me I hear Ganyadjigowa talking,” said the man. He turned over—sure enough there was Ganyadjigowa. The old man said: “What are you doing to my head? Why did you hit me? Do you suppose I will let you pound me?” “Oh, no! I did not strike you. I will call you my grandfather, and we will be good friends,” said Ganyadjigowa. “Very well; sit at the other end of the fire and be quiet,” replied Gaasyendietʻha. Ganyadjigowa sat down. After a while he asked, “Do you know who planted the trees?” “Yes; the man in the blue sky,” was the reply. “Oh, no! I planted them all,” said Ganyadjigowa. The men talked along as they had done the first time at Gaasyendietʻha’s house. At length Ganyadjigowa asked, “What can kill you?” “Oh! a flag stalk that grows in swamps. If you strike me with that it will kill me,” answered the old man. Ganyadjigowa went out to hunt for the flag and found a stalk. When he came back, the old man was eating wild cranberries. Ganyadjigowa hit him with the flag, which he thought went into his body, for the old man’s face was all red from the cranberries. Turning, Gaasyendietʻha asked: “Why do you strike me? You hurt me.” Ganyadjigowa, laughing, said, “The old man’s mouth is all bloody.” Thereupon he ran away because he thought the old man was going to die.

Soon Ganyadjigowa saw a lodge in the side of a high rock. He stood before it, thinking, “How can I throw that lodge down?” Soon the man living there came down and they greeted each other. Ganyadjigowa asked, “Why do you live in the rock? Will it not fall?” “No,” the man replied. “What would you do if a hard rain should come? Can you live on the level land?” was Ganyadjigowa’s next query. “No; I always live on the rocks. When I talk everybody hears me,” said the old man. “Go up and let me hear you talk,” commanded Ganyadjigowa. Going up, the man said, Wiahah. Ganyadjigowa replied: “That will do. Come down. I am traveling and giving names. I will give you one, so whosoever speaks of you hereafter will call you Gwiyee.104 Now I want you to be quiet and not chase the people.” This is why Gwiyee never chases others. [251]

Ganyadjigowa now went home. He was proud and said: “I killed the old man who was called so powerful magically. I must go to-morrow to see him.” The next morning he went to Gaasyendietʻha’s lodge, where he heard singing. “What kind of man is he? I thought I killed him,” mused Ganyadjigowa. The song ran, “I shall kill Ganyadjigowa as soon as I see him.” In a little while the old man, ceasing his song, began to talk. “Now I will go to see Ganyadjigowa and kill him.” Thereupon Ganyadjigowa said, “My grandfather means to kill me, but I will burn his lodge,” and piling up a great quantity of brush, he set the lodge on fire. The blaze mounted very high. Gaasyendietʻha said: “I believe the lodge is burning. I think Ganyadjigowa is doing this.” He was very angry, and sprang through the fire. The first thing Ganyadjigowa knew there was the old man, who asked, “Why did you make this fire?” “Oh! I did not make it. I came to blow it out,” he answered. Gaasyendietʻha continued, “Who made it?” “I do not know. I have just come,” said Ganyadjigowa. They kept on talking, but the old man did not believe Ganyadjigowa and pounded him to death. Thereupon Gaasyendietʻha whooped: “That is the kind of a man I am. I am the most powerful man under the blue sky because I have the most powerful orenda.” The people all over the world, hearing his outcry, exclaimed, “Ganyadjigowa is dead!”


48. Hadentʻheni and Hanigongendatʻha105

In old times two young men living in a village were great friends, and on this account everybody disliked and shunned them. They could find no lodge in which to live, hence they said to each other: “Since everyone dislikes us, the sooner we get out of this place the better.” So at last they went toward the south.

On the way, whenever night overtook them they looked around for some place where dry leaves had fallen, so that there they might rest comfortably. All they had to eat at first was evergreens and lichens. Having made bows and arrows, they killed small birds. The young men were at this time about 20 years old. After they got out of the thick woods they came to marshy ground, but they still kept on. Occasionally one would say to the other, “I am afraid we shall never get through this rough place,” but his companion would encourage him, and on they would go.

One day about noon they came to a large hemlock tree. “Climb up and look around,” said one; “see if there are any people in sight.” The limbs of the tree came almost to the ground, hence he climbed it easily. From the top he saw a beautiful trail leading from the tree through the air. He called to his companion, “Throw down your bow and arrows and come up to see what a splendid trail I [252]have found.” The latter went up, and looking at the trail, said, “Let us try it and see where it leads.” They looked in every direction but saw no woods in any direction. It had been necessary that in whatever they undertook to do they should be of one mind. As they were now of one mind, they started off. The trail proceeding from the tree seemed as solid as if on the earth, and it extended as far away as they could see.

The young men traveled on without knowing that they were going up until they had reached another world, which seemed very pleasant. The leader said, however: “Do not stop. Let us go on and see where the trail will take us.” On the road there was plenty of game, but they gave no heed to it. After a while they came to a bark lodge out of which smoke was rising. One of the young men said, “It is customary for travelers to call at a lodge on the road and find who is living there; let us look in here.” The elder went in first. The lodge was of bark with a piece of bark suspended for a door. Pulling this aside, they saw an old man sitting within, who saluted them with: “I know the trouble you have had to undergo and how people disliked you; it is I who have called you. You shall stay with me a short time. You have come from the lower world. When there, you often spoke of the higher world, and I influenced you to follow the trail that leads up here. Now, come into my lodge and make a short stay, for I have promised to go elsewhere. As soon as you are gone, I shall go.” The young men went into the lodge. The speaker, who seemed about middle-aged, continued: “You people down there often speak of an Elder Brother in the sky. I am he who makes light for you. I am Kaahkwa, the Sun. Hawenniyo commands me, saying that I must give you light. This is my resting place, but I can stay here only a short time. Whenever you come this way, you must stop. I am always here at midday.” Thereupon he started toward the west, saying, “I go under the earth and come out in the east, and when you reach the next lodge you must stop.”

They parted, and the two men soon came to the second lodge. One said to the other, “We must call at this lodge, as the Sun told us to do.” The lodge looked exactly like the other. Entering, the young men saw an old woman, to whom they said, “How do you do, grandmother?” “I am thankful that you have come,” said she; “it was your brother who sent you here. It is now time for you to eat. You have been long without food.” In one part of the room they saw a bark bowl containing boiled squash, which was evidently just out of the pot. They sat down, and the old woman gave each of them half a squash and a quarter of a loaf of corn bread, saying, “This will be enough for both.” “No,” answered one of the young men; “there is not more here than I can eat.” The old woman replied: “It is enough; when you return, [253]stop and I will give you more. It is I whom people down below call the Moon.” When they entered her lodge, she was sewing skins. She continued: “It is the order of Hawenniyo that I make light for people on the earth, so that they can see at night. It is only at certain times that you see me completely. I tell you now that you must be on your guard, for the path before you is full of danger and difficulties. You must be brave and must never look at anything not in your path, for your enemy is outside of it; never heed anything you see or hear, for if you do, you are lost. You will soon pass this dangerous path, but remember my advice.”

As the young men traveled on they saw all kinds of fruit and game. The first would call out,106 “Stop! come and eat; this is very good.” But keeping in mind the old woman’s words, they paid no heed. Each fruit had a phrase of its own, with which it begged the young men to come and eat it. After they had passed this place, they said, “Perhaps we are out of trouble now; we shall soon come to the lodge where the old woman told us to stop.”

After passing the first place they came to another. The first fruit was full of witchcraft or enchantment; if they had eaten of it, they would have become bewitched. At the second place, however, after eating plums and huckleberries they felt refreshed. The old woman had told them that animals were numerous along their path, but they passed these without harm.

After a while they saw another lodge in the distance, whereupon one of the young men said: “We are now in the place where we shall meet the greatest difficulty. We have no idea of our own except to follow the advice given; since we have set out to come and are here, we must endure what we meet.” They talked in this way until they came to the lodge. Finding a man who called himself their uncle, they saluted him. He said: “I am glad that your brother has sent you. You are going to a large assembly, but you can not join it unless I transform you.”107 One of the young men responded: “How so? We are men. Why should we be transformed? We have come here in our proper forms. Why should we change?” “You have come here as you are, but it is my duty to prepare you to enter the assembly of this upper world,” replied the man.

The other young man, looking steadfastly at his uncle, was not frightened nor discouraged. The old man, going to another part of the lodge, brought a long strip of bark, which he laid out lengthwise, saying, “The first that came shall be transformed first.” Thereupon he called him to come and lie on the bark. When the latter had done so, the man asked, “Are you ready?” “Yes,” was the young man’s reply. At that moment the uncle blew through his hand on the young man’s head, separating the bones and flesh, which fell in two heaps. The other nephew, who stood looking on, saw that the [254]uncle separated the parts of every bone, and after wiping them, put them aside, cleaned; and he thought, “My luck is hard. I am alone here; my friend is gone. That must have been very painful.” After every bone had been wiped and put in place, the old man said to the one yet unchanged, “Now, be ready.” Then he blew through his hands on the head of the skeleton with force sufficient to send the skeleton a long distance. Thereupon the skeleton again became a man, ready for the assembly. This was the way in which each man had to be purified.

The second nephew, not wishing to be treated in that manner, did not go forward willingly. But when the uncle was ready he gave the word, when it seemed that the nephew could not hold back. Lying on the bark, he was treated as his friend had been, while the latter in turn looked on. Because he was not so willing to submit, the body of the second youth was more difficult to clean. The old man washed and wiped each bone. The flesh remained in a heap by itself. The uncle took more uncleanness from this nephew than from the first. After he had finished the cleaning, he put the bones in place again, and saying, “Take care,” blew on the skull with such force that the skeleton was shot off a long distance, becoming a beautiful young man. The uncle said: “Sit down. You are now transformed. Now let us go outdoors and I will try you.”

Going outside the lodge, the three stood in the clearing. At that time a deer was feeding on the grass, and the uncle told one of the young men to catch it, while to the deer he called out, “Be on your guard; my nephew is going to kill you.” The deer sprang off, but had made only a few bounds when the young man seized it. Seeing how he caught the deer, and knowing that if he could catch a deer he was fit for any race, the uncle said, “You are now ready to join the people of this world.” Then he told the second nephew to catch the deer, at the same time calling to the deer, “Look out! if you are caught, you will lose your life.” The deer sprang off, but the young man, soon overtaking it, brought the animal to the old man, who said: “You also are ready. You can now go to this great assembly and see what you can do.”

They started but had not gone far when they saw a man approaching. They saw him go down into a little hollow ahead and come up, walking very fast. As they met he said to them: “You have come, brothers, and the object of your mission shall be accomplished. Your Elder Brother wished you to come, so now you shall go with me to this great assembly. He who has charge of it is the same person who made the lower world, from which you have come. As you can not well go alone, I have been sent to conduct you.” They went at what seemed to the young men incredible speed. Soon they could hear a noise as of a great many voices, which increased continually. The [255]man said: “It is the sound of mirth from the assembly.” When they drew near there seemed to be a large settlement. The man said: “Your sister has her lodge off at one end of the settlement, and your brothers are there, too; but you can not go into their lodge. You have not died108 yet, so you must pass through the same change as they have done in order to enter their dwellings.” As they went along they felt a great desire to go in but knew they would not be admitted. They inhaled the odor of every flower on their path. After a while their guide pointed to a Long Lodge, saying: “That is the lodge of Hawenniyo,109 who made the world below and who allowed you to come here. We will sit on the threshold, and afterward we will go in.” The Long Lodge, which was built with very low walls, was hung inside with boughs, which gave out a delightful odor. As the air moved a perfume came from the flowers and herbs within. On entering they saw a great many people who had come to praise Hawenniyo and to have part in the Green Corn dance. These people never noticed that two beings of human flesh and form were present, because the young men had been purified. A man came out of the assembly and proclaimed from a high place what things were to be done. The guide said: “This is the one whom you call Hawenniyo.” The young men looked on with great wonder to see so many dancing together. During an interval in the dance the guide said: “You understand, probably, why you have been allowed to visit this place. It is here that those who are good in the other world come when they die. Now, I will go back with you. When you reach home you shall tell your people what you have seen since I first met you.”110 The guide then turned back, and the young men went on alone.

The youths traveled very swiftly, calling at each place at which they had stopped when coming, but only to return thanks, as they were now on the way home. On reaching the Sun’s lodge, the Sun said: “You are going home now. It is I who caused you to come hither. You have been traveling 10 days. What we call one day here is a year in the other world. Ten years ago you started from your home below.” When they got back to the lower world they were 30 years old. The 10 years seemed no longer than the interval between going in the morning and coming in the evening. The Sun took them as far as the hemlock tree from which the trail began, where they found their bows and arrows sticking in the ground, covered with moss. As the Sun took them in his hand he wiped off the moss, and immediately they were as new as if just made. He said that the people of the place where these travelers lived had moved away, adding: “I will direct you to them.” In those times a mile was as far as a man could see, and it was 12 “looks” from the hemlock tree to the site of the settlement. When they came to the end of 12 “looks” the Sun said, “This is where you started.” Here [256]clearings and little hillocks where corn had grown were still to be seen where formerly grass was growing everywhere. The Sun said: “You will find your people 12 ‘looks’ farther on; when you come to the first lodge you must ask the old man whether he had heard years ago of two boys who were lost, and learn the number of years from that time until the settlement moved. If he gives you no information, go to the next lodge, where you will find an old woman; ask her the same questions. Now we must part.”

The Sun turned back and the boys went forward. After a time they came to a clearing, in which they saw a village. As the Sun had commanded, they entered the first lodge. They called the old man sitting there grandfather and talked with him about many things. At last one asked, “Do you remember that in times past two young men went from your village and were lost?” The old man held his head down for a long time as if thinking; finally, raising it, he said: “For what reason you ask me this question I do not know, but two young men did disappear. It was said that they were lost, but it was never known in what way.” “How long ago did this happen? the young men asked. “At the time they were lost the settlement was forsaken; it is 10 years ago,” said the old man. The old chief told the young men that they must not stay any longer in that place because their grandchildren might suffer the same kind of loss. The old man continued, “There is a woman in the next lodge who can tell you more than I can.” The young men went there. “How do you do, grandmother? We have come on a visit,” said one of them. Their first question was, “Why did the people leave the old village?” “Two young men did not die, but they disappeared,” replied the old woman; “the country was blamed for it; the people thought it must be inhabited by some evil thing, which took off their children.” The young men listened, thinking they could perform what had been given them to do. Then they said, “We are the two whom you lost then, and now we have returned.” “How far did you go, and where?” asked the old woman. “It is against our orders to tell you alone, but let an assembly be called, and we will tell there all that we have seen. Let the people know this, and that there will be dancing; then they will be sure to come. There was nothing but mirth where we went.” The old woman said: “It is the duty of the man who lives in that lodge yonder to notify the people of such gatherings. I will go and tell him.” “Very well,” replied the young men; “the account of our journey is very important, for none of our people will ever see what we have seen and return to tell the tale.”111 Thereupon the woman told the old man that two men had entered their village with important news, and that a meeting of the people must be called. The old man [257]started out, and on coming to a certain spot he called, Goʹwe! Goʹwe! and continued to call thus until he reached the end of the village.

Soon all the people assembled, whereupon the chief went to the two strangers. Entering the old woman’s lodge, he said, “Let the work be done.” As they came to the place of the gathering, the people looked upon the young men, who seemed to them a different kind of people. They did not recognize them. The chief said: “These men are here with messages. Whence they have come no one knows, for we are not aware of any people living in the world but ourselves” (this was true, for they did not know that other people existed, and therefore were surprised). The chief having sat down, one of the men rising, said, “Listen all.” (He was the one first transformed, had been first in all things, afterward, and so was now first to speak.) After thanking the people for assembling, he said: “I wish to ask you a question. Did you, while living in the old village, lose two young men?” Then he sat down. An old woman, rising, replied: “I will answer that question. Two young men, despised and shunned by all, disappeared and have not been seen since,” and she took her seat. Then the old man whom they had visited rose, but he could not say much. The young man last transformed, standing up, said: “We are the two who disappeared. No one cared for us; we felt grieved and we departed. We have been to the other world, and also in the southern world, and we have now returned. A guide came with us to our starting place. It was through your wickedness that you left your old homes. You are like animals of the forest; when their young are old enough they are left to themselves. As soon as we were large enough, we were left alone and desolate. The birds build homes for their children but soon leave them; you will see that whenever the young bird meets the mother it will flutter its wings, but the mother passes it by. We, like the young bird, were happy to meet you, but you did not want to see us. At the time we went away we were young, but we are now men. What is your opinion of what has happened? Will it be customary hereafter to desert homeless children?” (It appeared that the two wanted to be received into the gens.) His companion, having listened to his speech, said: “Let this be the starting point. Whenever a poor family are rearing children and the parents die, never forsake them.” The men then told all their adventures to the great assembly; that they had visited the Long Lodge and had seen Hawenniyo; that they had been directed to describe to their friends in the lower world all that they had seen. Then they told the people that they must learn the dances which Hawenniyo wishes his children to know, namely, the Green Corn dances. One young man was to sing the songs he had heard in the upper world, while the other was to teach the people [258]how to dance to the songs. The second one to be transformed became Hadentʻheni, the Speaker, and the first, Hanigongendatʻha,112 he who was to explain the meaning of everything touching Hawenniyo. The transformed said further, “Let it be that whatever was done in the upper world shall be done down here.” So they danced, and the people adopted the rules laid down for them at this time. Thus their religion was formed and the people grew prosperous.

After a time the two young men said, “Let us continue our journey.” Going on, they found many villages, and spoke to their people. This is why the people are religious today. These men were good, doing right in all things that the people might follow their example. At length they said: “We have finished our work, for we have been over the entire land. We have spoken righteousness and justice to all the tribes.”

After returning to their birthplace they said: “Let us go southward—south of the hemlock tree. All the people north of it have been visited.” On the journey they said, “Our food must be game.” They built a fire after deciding to camp and to go out to hunt. Then they hunted in many places. On one of these expeditions the speaker saw among the trees a strange being dodging around somewhat like a man. As he approached, the stranger stopped, saying, “I am glad to see you, grandson; let us sit down. (The stranger was very youthful in looks, though he thus indicated himself as grandfather.) I have been sent to tell you that you and the other people are in great danger. This is all I am permitted to tell you; but come!—we will visit an old man, who will answer all questions.” The speaker, arising, followed the stranger, for he was curious to know whether there were really people so near. On coming to a cliff, the stranger said, “We live down there.” Looking closely, the man saw an almost invisible trail, which they followed to the bottom of the ravine, where they came to an opening in the rocks. When about to enter, the stranger said, “Leave your bows and arrows as you do when you go into other lodges.” They went through the first opening, then through a second. In the second room they found sitting an old man and woman, to whom the stranger said, “I have brought your grandson.” The old man answered: “We have met several times, but you have never been able to know it. I wish now to caution you, for you and your people are in great danger. The danger comes from your companion, who has gone far into the forest. The Ganiagwaihegowa is on his trail, and is coming to devour you. You are in my lodge now, so I may tell you to defend yourselves. Tomorrow at noon the enemy will be at your camp. He is filled with powerful orenda (magic power), and we shall have to suffer on your account. If you do not act as I tell you, we shall all die. We have tried many [259]times to destroy this Ganiagwaihegowa, but he is so filled with magic power that we can not kill him. My advice is this: ‘Go home and make some basswood manikins; your friend has returned to camp and will help you. When the manikins are finished, put them at the door in front of your brush lodge, each holding a bow and arrows. When Ganiagwaihegowa approaches you will know the creature by his roar. Be ready with your bows and arrows; you must have trees felled in the path in front of the manikins. Ganiagwaihegowa’s life is assailable only in the soles of his feet. When he comes near, he will be raving with anger. As he raises his foot in crossing the log piles, you will see a white spot in the sole; there is his heart. Strike it, if you can, for there only will a shot take effect.’ ”

Going back to camp, the man cut down a basswood tree, from which, with the aid of his friend, he made two manikins, obeying the old man in everything. They sat in their brush lodge until noon the next day. Then they heard Ganiagwaihegowa roaring far off in the ravine, whereupon they grew weak. Gadjiqsa113 had told them to keep on the leeward of Ganiagwaihegowa so that he might not scent them. They were frightened but said: “We can not run away; we can not escape, as the only chance we have for our lives is to kill the bear. If he overcomes us, he will scent the way to our village and kill everybody.” As the bear came in sight, he looked frightful. Whenever he came to a tree, he would jump at it, tearing it to pieces. The smaller trees fell merely at his touch. Every time Ganiagwaihegowa roared the men, losing their strength, were ready to drop to the ground. When, however, he passed their hiding place on his way toward the manikins, in a terrible rage, and raised his feet in crossing the logs, one of the men shot at the white spot, and as he was going over the second log, the other man shot him through the other foot. The pain made Ganiagwaihegowa rage fearfully. He bit the manikins through the body; then, turning, he went through the lodge, tearing it to fragments, but a little farther on he fell dead. Coming out from their hiding place, the men cut off his hind legs. Gadjiqsa had said that if they failed to do this, Ganiagwaihegowa would come to life again. As they cut off the feet, they saw that the whole body was quivering. The ribs were not like those in other animals but formed one solid bone. After skinning the bear, the men cut his hind quarters into pieces, which they burned to ashes together with all the bones, for the old man Gadjiqsa had said, “If even one particle of bone is left, Ganiagwaihegowa will come to life again.” He had said also, “The hide must be smoked thoroughly over a fire, otherwise it will retain life and become Ganiagwaihegowa himself again.” The youths did exactly as they had been told. [260]

After this adventure the young men continued to hunt. While one of them was out he met a man, who said to him, “Come with me.” Going with him, he found that the stranger was one of the Gadjiqsa people. The old man who had told him how to kill the great bear had said: “You have saved all the people; after killing you the bear would have killed us and would have gone to your village and destroyed everybody. Hawenniyo has given us power to aid men; it is my wish that you and your people should prosper. If this bear had destroyed you, he would have destroyed all the people in the world. If I had not told you, we should all be dead now. It is for you to thank us, as well as for us to thank you.” He added: “But there is another enemy to conquer. When you leave your present camp you will go on until you come to a river. There you will camp again, but be on your guard as you travel.”

The young men soon set out again. When they reached the river they put up a little lodge. As one was building a fire the other went to look for game. The man making the fire could hear someone talking very loud, as though making a speech. Going in the direction of the sound, when he came near he saw the speaker in a valley below the hill. He looked cautiously, so as not to be seen by those below. There were many people. In the center on an elevated place stood the speaker, who said: “Tomorrow we start on the trail leading to the place from which the two men have come. At the journey’s end we shall have a great feast.” The man on the hill listening understood that these people were Stone Coats114 and that they were going to his village to eat all the inhabitants; he drew back, frightened at the great number of them. Scattering the brands of the fire, he put it out. When his friend, on coming back, asked why he had no fire he said: “Do not talk so loud. There are many people down under the hill; they are Stone Coats, who intend to destroy us. We must get out of their way.” Peeping over the hills, the hunter was so frightened that he said, “We must hurry home,” whereupon, making a start, they went as far as they could that night. Soon they heard the sound of the approach of the Stone Coats—the noise was like thunder. It was evident that they traveled faster than the two men, for when they camped that night the men were but a short distance ahead of them. The chief of the Stone Coats said, “Tomorrow we must be at the village.” One of the men said, “Run with all speed and tell the people what is coming.” The other, hastening to the village, said, “The Stone Coats are coming and you shall surely die, but do not die without a struggle.” Returning, he reached his comrade that day, so fast could he run. The comrade said, “I shall stay near the Stone Coats, stopping when they stop. They have but one more halting place, and at each place they hunt.” That night the Stone Coats’ chief said, “No one must go far; if he does and is away, he will lose his share of the feast.” The two men were listening and [261]heard what the chief said. They could devise no way of saving themselves or their people. The people in the settlement, bewildered with fright, ran from place to place, not knowing what to do. The Stone Coats were near the village, when the chief said, “Let us halt and rest a little.”

The two friends sat on the bank of the river, on the leeward side so that they could not be scented. All at once they saw a man with a smiling face. When he came up, he said: “I will help you; I will save your people. I will conquer the Stone Coats, for Hawenniyo has sent me to aid you. I will go alone and fight for your people.” Telling the people who were running for their lives not to be afraid if they heard a frightful noise, with a smiling face he went down the bank into the valley where the Stone Coat army had halted to rest. Soon a terrible noise was heard, as of a desperate battle, and the two men, who had been commanded not to move, but to sit and listen, could see steam rising above the hill from the sweat of the Stone Coats.115 Then the sounds came only at intervals and were not so loud, and finally they ceased altogether. The watchers saw the stranger with the smiling face coming up the hill. He said: “I am thankful that I have destroyed them. The Stone Coats are all dead, and the people now alive will live in peace. I am appointed by Hawenniyo to open the way and the paths to his people on earth. Wherever there is sorcery among your people, I am always sent against it. We are sure to kill all we pursue. If a witch crawls into a tree, we shoot the tree until it opens and the witchcraft comes out. It is I whom you always hear called Lightning or Hinon,” i.e., Thunder.

He left them, whereupon the two men went to the place where the Stone Coat army had been. Only piles of stone remained. The stones found all over the earth are remains of this battle and the killing of the Stone Coats. Thus, it was through the two transformed young men that our forefathers were saved from death and enabled to live to a great age. They foretold what was to be as it is today, and at the present time we hold to the teaching of these men, who had their religion from the upper world.


49. Dagwanoenyent

Once some men in a village were preparing to go on a hunting expedition. Now, in the old times, as far as can be traced back to the forefathers, some men had luck and others had not.

Now, in the village in which these men lived was a young man who was somewhat foolish—not strong in mind—as people thought. Knowing that the men were getting ready, he went to one and another asking leave to go with them, but no one would let him go, for they considered him foolish, and hence unlucky. [262]

After all had left, a young woman, who took pity on him, went to him and said, “Let us be married and go hunting.” They got married and went to hunt, camping in the woods. The man could not kill any big game; only squirrels and such creatures. He made traps to catch deer, which he placed around so that the deer might get their feet into them. One morning when he went to look at his traps he heard some one crying like a woman. The sound came nearer and nearer. At last he saw a woman coming with two little boys. She was crying, and as they came up she said: “Help me! for we are going to die. One of my little boys stole a feather, which he pulled to pieces. Now we are going to die for that feather. I want you to kill that hawk on the tree over there, and when the person whose feather my little boy took comes, throw the hawk at him, saying, ‘This is your feather.’ ”

The man killed the hawk, and had no sooner done so than he heard a terrible roar and noise, and the trees fell, and a man came and stood on one of them. This man had terrible eyes and long hair; that was all there was to him—just a great head without a body.116 The young man flung the hawk at him with the enjoined remark. Catching it, the latter said, “Thank you,” and was satisfied. This woman was a panther and the children were her cubs, but she seemed to the man to be of the human kind. She said that she lived among the rocks and that Dagwanoenyent lived near her, being her neighbor. Once while he was away from home her little boy went into his place, and getting his feathers, spoiled them. When Dagwanoenyent came home he was very angry and chased them. Then the panther told the man that she knew he was poor and that no man would hunt with him, adding, “Now, I will help you, and you will get more game than any of them. I do this because you helped me.” After that he killed more game than any other hunter in the woods.


50. The Shaman and His Nephew

In times past a noted shaman and his nephew dwelt together in a lodge in the forest.

One day, when the nephew had grown to manhood, the uncle said to him: “Now, my nephew, you must go to the lodge of the chief, who has two daughters whom you shall marry. When you go you must wear those things endowed with orenda (magic power) which I wore when I was a young man.” The shaman here referred to a panther-skin robe, a pouch of spotted fawn skin, and a pipe decorated with a manikin. Among other things the uncle brought out these, bidding his nephew: “Now, test your ability to use them. See what you can do with them.” First the nephew placed in the bowl of the pipe red-willow bark which had been dried for the purpose. [263]Then he took out the manikin, which at once ran to the fire and, bringing an ember, put it into the pipe. Now the nephew began to smoke, and as he smoked he expectorated wampum, first on one side and then on the other. The uncle said to him: “That will do very well. Now you must don the feather headdress that I wore when I was a young man.” On the top of this headdress was a duck which, when the headdress was not worn, drooped its head, seeming not to be alive, but which, as soon as the headdress was put on, held up its head and became alive. After the nephew had put on the headdress the uncle said to him, “Now you must tell the duck to speak.” Addressing it, the nephew said, “Oh, my duck, speak!” and at once the duck called out in a loud voice. Thereupon the uncle said: “Nephew, the two young women are thinking of you at all times, for they feel that they will prosper if you marry and live with them. When you are at their father’s lodge you must go on a hunting trip and must take one of the young women with you. When you are out in the woods the woman must lie down and must not see anything. She must lie with her head carefully covered. Then you shall sing, and all the wild animals will come around to listen to your singing. You may kill only such as you desire.” “But,” he added, “the young woman must not look at them; if she does, something evil will happen.”117

The nephew, wearing his uncle’s garments and feather headdress, started for the chief’s lodge. It was night when he drew near the village in which lived the chief, and thinking it would not look well for him to arrive at the lodge after dark, he decided to camp for the night in the forest. For this purpose he chose a fallen tree, near which he kindled a fire. Early in the night a man came to the fire, saying: “My nephew, I am traveling. I am going to the village near here, but it being now late, I think I will stop with you at your fire. In the morning we can go on together. So I will remain on this side of the fire, opposite you, and I will relate stories of what has happened to me during my life to pass the time away.” The young man unwarily agreed to this proposition of the stranger. Then the man who called himself uncle began to tell stories, and the young man would respond at times. But at last, growing sleepy, the latter stopped making responses, whereupon the self-styled uncle remarked, “Nephew, I think that you are asleep.” The young man did not make reply. Then the stranger stirred the fire, and blowing sparks from it on the young man, called out, “Nephew, I think that sparks of fire are falling on you.” But as the young man did not move, the uncle saw that he was fast asleep. Going over to the side of the young man the stranger shook him, saying, “You are asleep and sparks of fire are falling on your clothes; so you would better remove them so that they will be safe.” This awakened the [264]young man, who arose and undressed himself, and laying his garments in a safe place, carefully covered them with hemlock boughs. The stranger had an old skin robe with the fur all worn off, which he told the young man to use as a covering for the night; this he did. Returning to his side of the fire, the self-styled uncle began again to tell stories, to which the young man responded for a while, after which he again became silent. Knowing that the young man was asleep, the stranger went to the place where he had concealed his garments and, after removing his own, put them on, leaving his own soiled things in their stead. The stranger knew where the young man was going, and knew also the orenda (magic power) of the garments and pouch belonging to the latter, so he had determined to secure them for his own use. In the morning when the young man awoke he discovered that he was alone, that his garments and pouch were gone, and that in their stead remained the well-worn and soiled things of the wily old stranger who had visited him the night before. Naturally, he was sad and deeply humiliated, but he determined to don the shabby garments of the stranger and to finish his journey to the lodge of the chief.

When the old man was dressed in the garments and headdress of the young man, he looked well, so when the sisters saw him coming, they said, “At last, our man is coming to us.” But on looking more closely at him, the younger sister, becoming suspicious, decided that he was not the man they had expected. Hence, when he entered the lodge, leaving the side of her sister, she went over to the other side of the fire. The man took his seat beside her elder sister, who said to her: “Why do you leave me now? You have been wishing that he would come, and now that he has come, you leave and go to the other side of the fire.” The younger sister, however, remained firm in her conviction that he was not the right man. The chief notified the people to go to the lodge of public assembly to meet his new son-in-law and to see him smoke. In response to this invitation all the people assembled. The man arrayed himself in the stolen garments for the purpose of convincing the people and the chief that he was possessed of great orenda; but for him the times were out of joint and ill-omened. A beautiful piece of buckskin was spread on each side of him to receive the expected wampum. But the duck that surmounted the stolen headdress appeared to be lifeless, for its head hung limp. Drawing the pipe out of the pouch and filling it with dried red-willow bark, the man told the manikin to bring an ember to light the pipe. The manikin, however, did not move. He spoke to it a second time, but it did not move. Then he said to the people, “My manikin is shy because of the great concourse of people.” Reaching out, the man took an ember which he placed in the hand of [265]the manikin, but without result; finally he himself put it into the pipe. Then he began to smoke, but he spat no wampum, and merely soiled the piece of buckskin.

After the people had left the assembly lodge and returned to their homes, the chief’s younger daughter went out to gather wood. While walking leisurely along looking for fuel, she saw smoke arising in the distance. When she reached the spot, she found there what was apparently an old man, who was fast asleep with his head drooping against a log. Spittle was flowing from his mouth, which, when it fell on the ground, became wampum. Astonished, the younger daughter ran home to tell her father what she had seen. He at once sent her back to bring the strange man to the lodge. Carefully gathering the wampum, she informed the man that her father had sent for him, and that he must therefore accompany her to the lodge.

Soon after the elder sister and her husband reached home from the assembly lodge, they seated themselves on one side of the fire. In a few moments the younger daughter and the man, old in appearance, entered the lodge and took seats on the opposite side of the fire. Then the husband of the elder daughter said to his wife, “Your sister should be ashamed of herself for having that old man.” Thus all spent the night together. The next morning the husband of the elder daughter went to hunt. In the evening he returned with a dead bloodsucker rolled up in leaves, which he told his wife to cook. Slicing it into small bits, she did so, and prepared some burnt cornmeal to go with it. Her husband told her to take the fat from the top of the kettle and pour it on the meal. This she did, and then passed some of the meal to her sister; but as the latter was taking it, the elder sister drew it back, with the remark, “I would willingly give it to you, but I do not like the looks of your man.”

In the morning of the next day the husband of the younger daughter said to the other man: “I should like to change garments with you. I shall wear them only part of the time, and you part of the time. Hereafter you shall be called by my name.” The other person agreed to the proposition. As soon as the change was made, the husband of the younger daughter became a fine-looking man. He told his wife to have her father assemble the people in the lodge of assembly, for he was going to smoke. All the people gathered at their accustomed place of meeting. The floor was swept clean, for there was no buckskin to put down, as the other husband had soiled such pieces as were available, which were still hanging up to dry. The husband of the younger daughter sat down, with his wife on his left side and with his pouch leaning against the seat. As he threw back his head, his pouch came to life and held up its head, and he said, “Speak, my duck!” At once the duck came to life, and, holding up [266]its head, began to sound its usual note. Then, taking his pipe from his pouch and filling it with dried red-willow bark, he sent the manikin to bring him an ember for a light. The manikin brought the ember, and after the pipe was lighted, the young man smoked. While doing so, he spat first on one side and then on the other; the spittle at once turned into beautiful dark wampum, which rolled all over the floor. The people scrambled after it, picking up as much as they could.

When the husband of the elder daughter, who had gone on a hunt, returned, the young man said to him, “I shall keep the garments, for tomorrow I shall take my wife and go to hunt.” So in the morning he went into the woods. After reaching his destination in the forest, he said to his wife, “I will show you something.” Having found her a fine place for a shelter, he bade her lie down and cover her head, and refrain from looking out at what was going on; for if she did so, something evil would certainly befall him. Obeying her husband, she covered her head. Then he sang, “Now, all you wild beasts, come here to this place.” In obedience to his song they all came—bear, elk, and deer—jumping, hurrying, and rushing on. All the young man had to do in order to kill them was to point his magical finger at any one he desired to secure, whereupon it fell dead. Then he sang another song, “Now, all you wild beasts, go to your homes”—all vanished as quickly as they had come. When they had gone, he said to his wife, “Now you may arise and uncover your head.” On getting up and looking around she saw on every side all kinds of game lying dead. Her husband said to her, “Now, let us go home. You may tell the people that they may have as much meat as they desire.”

On their return home the younger daughter informed the people of her husband’s invitation to take all the meat they required. So many people went to the place of the hunt, where after skinning and cutting up the game which the young man had killed, they carried it home. Seeing every man in the village carrying meat and venison, the elder daughter asked her sister, “How does your husband kill so much game?” Her sister answered, “Your husband stole his garments, but now he has recovered them, and you see what he can do with their aid.” The elder sister replied, “I will turn my husband away and marry yours.” So when her husband returned she charged him, saying: “You stole this young man’s garments. Are you not ashamed of your conduct?” Then, taking a pestle used for pounding corn, she drove him out of the lodge.

When the people had eaten the meat the young man again went to hunt. The elder sister said, “I must go with him,” but the younger sister answered: “You are too careless; you would not [267]obey him. You are too foolish. You took the other man when I knew that he was not the right one. So you should not go.” But when the young man was ready to start she cried like a child to be permitted to go; and finally her younger sister said, “Go, if you will obey him in everything.” Although he did not accept her as his wife, she followed him into the forest. He chose the place of their lodge. When it was ready he told her to lie down and cover her head, and not to look out until he should call her. Then he began to sing, “Now, all you wild beasts, come here to this place.” With a terrifying sound they came from all directions, leaping and gamboling as they rushed onward. The young man sang all the time. But the woman, becoming afraid of being trampled to death, peeped out to see what was going on. As she did so one of the larger animals, running up to the young man, said Ho, ho, ho! and then carried him off on its back. Frightened, the sister-in-law leaped up and ran home. When she arrived there her younger sister said, “Where is my husband?” “The animals carried him off,” came the answer. Thereupon the younger sister replied: “I told you that you are too foolish to go to such a place, and I did not want you to accompany him. Now see what you have done.”

Distracted with grief, the young wife hastened to the place where her husband was wont to hunt. There she could see the tracks around and could also hear her husband’s voice far in the distance singing, “I am deceived by my sister-in-law.” Knowing just what she must do, she called the white deer to come to her aid. Obeying her pleading, the white deer118 in a moment was at her side. Addressing it, she said, “I wish to borrow your coat at once.” The white deer answered, “If you will place my body in a safe place and take good care of me, I will gladly lend it to you.” The young wife consenting willingly to the conditions, the white deer lent her its coat. Thereupon she placed the deer’s body in a safe place, covering it carefully so that it could not be found. Quickly putting on the coat, she became at once a beautiful white deer; then she ran swiftly after the animals, passing first the hedgehog, a slow runner; then one after another. As she passed each would call out, Hai, hai, hai! It would seem that they were becoming tired. They thought that she was a deer, and that she would help them. Her husband was carried first by one, then by another animal. It was while he was on the bear’s back that she overtook him. Leaving the bear, the young husband leaped on the back of the white deer, whereupon off she ran ahead of all the other animals. Making a large circuit, she returned to the place where she had left the body of the white deer. There she became herself again, and giving back the deer its coat, all returned home in good condition and lived happily. [268]


51. The Horned Snake and the Young Woman

A woman living near Cayuga Lake had been asked many times by young men to marry her, but she would never consent. The knowledge that she was good-looking made her very proud and haughty.

During the warm weather the family slept out of doors. One night, however, the young woman remained inside the lodge. As was customary in those days, a skin mantle was hung up for a door. In the night the young woman, awaking, saw some one looking through the doorway, whose face glistened and whose eyes shone. The face disappeared and a man walked into the lodge; coming to the bed, he sat down at the side of the young woman and began to talk. His conversation was very enticing, and she could not help listening to him, but she did not answer. Thinking she was asleep, the strange man, shaking her, asked, “Are you asleep?” She did not answer. After putting sticks on the fire to make a light, he again asked, “Are you asleep?” She could not longer resist, and drawing the mantle down from her face, said, “No.” She saw that he was very handsome and that even his raiment glistened. He spoke of taking her for his wife, promising to give her all he had, and saying, “You will find plenty of fine things in my lodge and you shall have them all.” While he talked she was fast becoming of his mind, and at last she consented to be his wife. One man after another had failed to win her, but this stranger was so engaging that she was willing to go to him. When he left her, he said, “I will come for you in two days.”

The next morning the young woman’s family wondered why they did not see her, for she was usually the first to be up. Her mother said, “I wonder what the matter is.” Going to the lodge, she found her asleep. She shook her but could not arouse her. Her people came to see her from time to time, but still she slept. At last, on looking in, they saw her sitting with her head down, as though in deep thought. They wondered what her trouble was—had she had evil dreams? Finally she got up, but seemed sad, not as cheerful as usual. They saw that something serious was on her mind.

As the time approached for the husband to come, the young woman thought, “I will put on my best clothes that I may look as nearly as possible like him.” When the time came he appeared before her, saying, “I have come for you.” Arising, she followed him without hesitation. Pointing to a hill, he said, “I live on the other side of that hill.” On the way the young woman thought that she might be possessed of something evil and almost resolved to go back. The man seemed to know her thoughts, for looking at her he said, “You are mine, and we are on our way home.” So she continued to put [269]her feet in his footprints. At last he said, as if in answer to her thoughts: “You have become my wife; you can not help yourself. My home is near.” They descended the wall of a precipice until they reached a large opening in the rocks. She was glad at any rate to be so near the lodge. Stopping again, she took council with herself and almost resolved to go back, but an inward feeling that she must keep on prevailed.

As they entered the hole in the rocks, which led into what seemed to her to be a lodge, she saw many fine things which she thought would be a comfort to her. In one corner was a beautiful skin couch; her husband said to her, “This is your couch.” She was well pleased with her new home.

Some time passed. She did not discover that the man was different from other men. As soon as the sun rose every day, he went away.

One day he told her that he was going a long distance, whereupon she thought: “Now he will be gone a good while. I will look around and see where I am.” On going out she found that she did not know where the place was, nor in what direction they had come. She went on and on, more for amusement than anything else, thinking perhaps that she should find the way out, and that then she could reach home. At last she decided to go back into the lodge. She had not gone far when she heard some noise behind her, at which she was greatly frightened. “You need not be frightened,” said a man; “I was looking for you. Stand still, my grandchild, and do not be afraid of me; I am sent to tell you of your danger; you must do my bidding, for I pity you. Your husband is a great horned snake. I am going to kill him and destroy his lodge. You must go up in that high place yonder; sit down and watch. Nothing will happen to you. When you see your husband, keep your eyes on him and learn to know what he is.” On going up into the place indicated and looking around, she could see no clouds in the sky—all was bright and clear. Suddenly, however, she saw beyond the place a large body of water rising, and soon it was as high as the hole in the rocks which led to her home. Then she saw approaching the rocks a great horned snake with glistening face. She was frightened when she looked on this creature and knew it was her husband. Just as its head was inside the rocks, she heard a terrible thunder clap; lightning struck the rocks and they were all blown to bits. Then the water subsided. After a while the old man came, saying: “Your husband is killed. There are three of us. We know that you are under evil influences now, but we will try to save you. You can go home, but you must be purified first.” While he was talking the other two came. The old man told her to take off her clothes. She knew that she had [270]to do as he had requested. Taking up a small vessel, he gave her to drink a portion of what it contained, and then rubbed the rest of the contents on her back about the loins. In a short time three large snakes passed from her reproductive organs, whereupon the old man remarked, “You are now saved from the evil orenda with which you have been afflicted.” To purify her further he gave her a beverage which caused vomiting. The matter which she threw up consisted of worms, ants, maggots, and all kinds of foul creeping things. While living with her husband her mind had been so much under his spell that she had believed that the food which he gave her was good and wholesome. The three men, now satisfied, said to her: “You are at last thoroughly purified and freed from the evil power of your husband and his people; so you can return to your home, which is seven days’ journey from here” (when she made the journey with her husband it seemed to her but a short distance). Then the old man said to her: “I am he whom your people call Hinon. You must marry one of your own people, one who is older than you are, for the younger ones are filled with witchcraft; and you must tell your friends all that has happened to you, for if you do not do so, you will undergo the same misfortunes again.” Thereupon they took her home; while on the way it seemed to her that they were flying through the air.

The morning after returning home her people found her lying in the lodge. Her family were all delighted that she had returned to them safe. When they had found she was missing they had searched for her everywhere, but had never been able to find even a trace of her. She related to them her adventures, telling them how she had become the wife of a great horned snake, and how she had been rescued from it by Hinon, their grandfather.

When her grandfather, Hinon, had left her at the lodge doorway he had given her a basket, telling her to fill it with native Indian tobacco, saying, “For with this plant we cleanse ourselves.” He told her further that from time to time she should leave a small quantity of the tobacco in the woods, which he would get as a grateful offering to him.


52. The Man Pursued by His Sister-in-Law

Two brothers lived together in the forest. Every day the elder went out to hunt, but he never brought home game or flesh of any description. The younger brother noticed, however, that his brother’s back bore bloody stains just as if he had been carrying freshly killed game; so he decided to watch him, that he might see what he did with the game he killed.

One day while the younger brother was watching he found that, when returning with game, a woman approached from a side path [271]and took from the elder brother the game, which she carried away. So the next day the younger brother started off in the direction the strange woman had taken. He soon came to a lodge, and on entering he found a young woman, who smiled and began talking to him.

In the afternoon he started for home; but after he had gone some distance he saw that he was returning to the lodge which he had just left, and was greatly disturbed about himself. Thereupon he went in an opposite direction. While he was walking along, his elder brother, coming up behind him, said, “My brother, it is strange that you do not know that there is a fishhook caught in your neck.” Having removed the fishhook and fastened it to a near-by bush, the elder brother said to his younger brother: “Your only safe course now is to escape from this place as quickly as possible. I will aid you to escape.” Then the elder brother, causing the younger to become small, after opening one of his arrows introduced him into it, and after securing him there, told him, “When the arrow strikes the ground, quickly get out of this arrow and then run for your life.” Then he shot the arrow off into the air.

When the young woman drew on the fishhook she found that she could not pull it to her; following along the line, she found that the hook was fastened to a bush. This caused her to get very angry, and she said, “Young man, you can not escape from me; this world is too small for that.” Thence she quickly went to the young man’s lodge but he was not there, so she tracked him to her own lodge and back again to the bush. There she found the trail of the arrow, which she followed to the spot where it fell. On finding there the tracks of the young man, she pursued his trail with great speed. As she approached the young man he heard her footsteps and, pulling off his moccasins, he told them to run ahead to the end of the country;119 further, he transformed himself into a stump right where he stood. The pursuing woman soon came up to the stump. Halting there, she looked up and said, “Why, this looks like a man”; but, as the tracks of the young man apparently passed on, exclaiming “Why do I waste time here?” she ran on. When she reached the end of the country, behold! there stood the young man’s moccasins. Then she hurried back to the place where she had seen the stump, but it was no longer there. Finding, however, fresh tracks made by the young man, she followed them. Soon the young man heard her approaching again, whereupon he cast a stone behind him, with the remark, “Let a high rock extend from one end of the country to the other.” As soon as he had spoken the words the great ridge of rock was there.

When the young woman came to the rock she could go neither through it nor over it. Finally she said, “I have never heard of this high rock; surely it can not extend across the country. I will [272]go around it.” So she ran to the end of the country without success; then she ran to the other end of the country, but with no greater success in getting around the ridge of rocks. Coming back to the spot whence she had started, she stepped back a short distance and then, rushing forward, she butted her head against the solid rock to break it down; but she fell back seemingly dead. After a long time she recovered consciousness and, looking around her, Lo!—the rock ridge had disappeared; only a small stone lay there. “Oh! he is exerting his magic power,” she exclaimed, and again she hurried on after him.

When the youth once more heard her footsteps and knew that she was fast gaining on him he took a pigeon’s feather out of his pouch, and casting it down back of him commanded, “Let there be a pigeon roost across the country and let there be so many pigeons in it that their droppings shall be so deep and high that nothing can get through them.” Soon the young woman came to the roost and started to go through it, but could not do so; then she drew back, saying, “I never heard that a pigeon roost could extend across the world. I shall go around it.” Thereupon she followed the roost, first to one end of the world, then to the other, but was not able to go around it. Returning to the spot whence she had started she attempted to break through the mass of droppings by butting her head against it, but she fell back seemingly dead. After a long time she regained consciousness, and on opening her eyes found a small feather lying on the ground. The roost had disappeared. She was now very angry and took up the pursuit with great speed.

In his flight the young man came to a lake where he saw people bathing and playing in the water. Stopping there he said, “Let one of those men become just like me and let me become an old stump.” Presently the young woman came up to the stump, but hearing the laughter of the bathers she saw on looking at them that the man farthest out in the lake was the one she was following. Seeing her standing there the people called to her, “Come! help us catch this man who outswims us.” Quickly springing into the water, after a long chase she caught him, but the moment she had done so he took his own form, whereupon she knew that she had been deceived again. Going back to the shore she found that the stump had gone.

Again she followed the tracks of the young man. Just as he heard her approaching, a man stood before him who asked, “What is the trouble?” The young man replied, “A woman is pursuing me.” The stranger answered, “I will try to aid you.” Stooping down, he added: “Get on my back. I will throw you on a hillside. You must run along the hill until you are forced to descend.” The young man stepped on the back of the man Nosgwais,120 who stretched his legs to an enormous length, throwing the young man off to a great distance [273]on a side hill. The young woman came to the trail, where she found the ground soft and resilient. As she tried to advance it would fly up, throwing her backward. On looking around she found that she was standing on a toad’s back. She made great circles in search of the tracks of the young man. At last she reached the hill. When the young man reached the hill he ran along its top for a considerable time until he slipped and fell. Being unable to help himself, he slid down the hill with great rapidity, so fast that he did not realize anything until he struck a lodge, a voice within which said, “I think there must be something in our trap.”

A young woman came out and, seeing the young man, lifted him up and took him into the lodge. “What is the trouble?” asked an old woman. He replied: “A woman is following me. I have long been trying to escape from her.” “Keep out of sight and I will help you,” said the old woman. Then the old woman, filling a kettle with bear’s oil, set it over the fire. Soon it began to boil, whereupon she said, “Let this young man’s face be looking up from the bottom of this kettle.” At that moment they heard a noise outside of the lodge door, which opened. In came the young woman, who asked, “Where is the man I am following?” The old woman said, “He ran into the kettle.” Looking into the kettle and seeing the face of the man, she exclaimed, “I knew I should conquer you at last;” and plunged into the boiling oil in order to seize him. But the boiling oil killed her. Then the old woman called the young man, saying, “The woman who was pursuing you is dead.” The daughter said to her mother, “I will have this man for my husband.”

In the course of time twin boys were born to the young people. When they were large enough to run around, their father said to them, “You must now go after your uncle.” After traveling a very long distance they reached a lodge, in which they found a man. One of the boys said, “Uncle, we have come for you.” The old man, after making ready, accompanied them. When they arrived at the home of the boys, the younger brother greeted his elder brother with, “I am glad we are able to see each other again.” Then one of the boys said, “Grandmother, we want you to marry this man, our uncle.” She replied, “So it shall be.” So they were married and all lived happily together.


53. The Story of Bloody Hand

According to tradition several tribes of the Iroquois claim the honor of having produced a great man, whose name was Bloody Hand, and whose fame as a hunter was not less than his reputation as a bold and resolute war captain. [274]

Now, Bloody Hand had great love for the birds of the air and the animals on the earth that eat flesh. He greatly respected them and paid them marked attention. When he had killed a deer while out hunting he would skin it and cut the meat into small pieces; then he would call Gaqga121 to come to eat the flesh. When he killed another animal, he would dress it in like manner and call Nonhgwatgwa122 and his people to come to eat the flesh which he had given them. Sometimes he would carry home a portion of the game he had killed, but generally he gave it all to the various birds and animals whose chief food is flesh.

According to a Seneca legend a number of Seneca warriors went on a warlike expedition against a tribe which was hostile to them, and it so happened that Bloody Hand was one of this warlike band. In an encounter with the enemy he and a number of others were killed and their remains were left on the ground. The body of Bloody Hand lay in the forest stark naked; the enemy, having scalped him, had borne away the scalp as a great trophy.

The birds of the air, having seen Bloody Hand killed and mutilated, held a council at which they bemoaned the death of their human friend. Finally one of the assembly said: “Let us try to bring him back to life. But before we can begin to resuscitate his body we must recover his scalp, which hangs before the door of the chief of the enemy who killed him. Let us send for it.” The assembly after agreeing to what had been proposed with regard to the preparations necessary to bring their friend back to life, first sent the Black Hawk to secure the scalp. Having arrived at the place where hung the scalp, Black Hawk was able by means of his sharp and powerful bill to break easily the cords that held the scalp; thus securing it, he bore it in triumph to the council of the birds. Then one among them said, “Let us first try our medicine to see whether it has retained its virtue or not. We must try first to bring to life that dead tree which lies there on the ground.” Thereupon they proceeded to prepare their medicine. To make it, each representative placed in the pot a piece of his own flesh. (These representatives were, of course, birds of the elder time, not such as live now.123) In experimenting with their medicine they caused a stalk of corn to grow out of the ground without sowing seed. In this stalk there was blood. After noting the efficacy of the medicine they broke the stalk, and after obtaining blood from it, caused it to disappear. With this medicine is compounded the seed of the squash.

When the medicine was made they held a sanctifying council, in which part of the assembly sat on one side of the tree, and the other part on the opposite side. The wolves and the snakes attended, also other animals and birds of great orenda (magic power). The birds [275]sang and the rattlesnakes rattled; all present made music, every one in his own way.

Above the clouds and mists of the sky dwells a bird who is the chief of all the birds. His name is Sʻhadahgeah. This assembly of bird and animal sorcerers chose the chief of the crows to notify him of all that was taking place. This is the reason, according to the tradition, the crow today sings the note “caw, caw.” The eagle is another chief who is under this great bird that dwells above the clouds and mists of the firmament.

When the leaders of this assembly saw that the trees and plants were coming to life and putting forth green leaves and waxen buds,124 the presiding chief said to his associates: “This is enough. We have sung enough. Out medicine will now act, and we must select someone to put it into the man’s body.” For this purpose they chose the chickadee. This canny bird first drank the medicine; then going by way of the man’s mouth into his stomach, it emitted the medicine. While this was taking place the others were engaged in rubbing the body of the dead man with the medicine. When his body was well anointed they all sat down and began to sing. For two days and two nights they did not cease from singing, until they perceived that the body was becoming warm again. After his resuscitation125 the man reported that he felt suddenly as though he had just been aroused from a sound sleep; he heard the singing of the birds and the various sounds made by the beasts around him, and finally came to life again. Remaining silent, he merely listened to the singing of the songs of orenda that arose on all sides. He listened because he could understand the words that were used in these chants of the sorcerers. As soon as his body began to show signs of motion the birds and the beasts drew back a little, but continued to sing and chant.

When the chief of the assembly saw that the man had fully recovered his life, he said to him: “We bestow this medicine on you and your people. Your people shall have it for their healing. If it so happens that one of them is injured by a fall, by a blow, or by an arrow shot, he must have recourse to this medicine. You must make use of it at once. You must also from time to time strengthen and renew this medicine by giving a feast in its honor.126 When you make use of it you must burn tobacco in our behalf and turn your thoughts toward us. As long as you shall have this medicine, you shall assemble at intervals at appointed feasts to strengthen it, and for this purpose you shall burn tobacco of the old kind. While doing this you shall say, among the other things: ‘Let all the birds and the beasts on the earth and above the earth share this fragrant smell of the tobacco.’ As long as people live and are born this ceremony must be maintained to fix the use of this medicine.” Thus, after [276]the birds and beasts had brought the man to life, they taught him how to make use of the medicine and how to sing the songs that put it in action. Then they dismissed him, telling him to go to his home, where he must inform his people, through their appointed authorities, what he had learned for their benefit and welfare. Thereupon the man went to his home.

The men who had seen him scalped and killed had related the story to their people, who believed him dead. So, when they saw him return alive, they quickly gathered around him, asking, “How has it come to pass that you have returned alive?” Then the man gave them, in detail, an account of how he had been killed, and how the birds and the animals, in return for the kindness which he had shown them at all times, had concocted the medicine which had brought him back to life. Then, selecting a small number of wise men of great experience, he taught them how to use this medicine and confided its preservation to their custody. He strictly enjoined them not to make light of the songs which belonged to it; should they so far forget themselves as to do so, they would suffer great misfortune, for the songs possessed great orenda, which would become active against them. He told them, further, that no one should sing the songs unless he had some of this powerful medicine (which is called nigahnegahah, “small dose”). This medicine is still held in great repute among the Iroquois. (See Medical Note, p. 491.)


54. The Seven Stars of the Dipper

Long ago six men went out hunting many days’ journey from home. For a long time they found no game. One of their number said that he was sick (in fact he was very lazy), so they had to make a litter of two poles and a skin, by means of which four men carried him. Each man had his own load to bear besides. The sixth member of the party came behind, carrying the kettle.

At last, when they were getting very hungry, they came on the track of a bear, whereupon they dropped their sick companion and their burdens, each running on as fast as he could after the bear. At first the track was so old that they thought merely, “We shall overtake the bear at some future time anyway.” Later they said, “The track can not be more than three days old,” and as it grew fresher and fresher each day, they finally said, “Tomorrow, it seems, we shall overtake the bear.” Now, the man whom they had carried so long was not tired, and when they dropped him, knowing that he was to be left behind, he ran on after them. As he was fresher than they were, he soon passed them, and overtaking the bear, he killed it. [277]

His companions never noticed in their hurry that they were going upward all the time. Many persons saw them in the air, always rising as they ran. When they overtook the bear they had reached the heavens, where they have remained to this day, and where they can be seen any starlit night near the Polar Star.

The man who carried the kettle is seen in the bend of the Great Dipper, the middle star of the handle, while the only small star near any other of the Dipper stars is the kettle. The bear may be seen as a star at the lower outside corner.

Every autumn when the first frost comes there may be seen on the leaves of the oak tree blood and drops of oil—not water, but oil—the oil and blood of the bear. On seeing this the Indians say, “The lazy man has killed the bear.”


55. The Story of the Two Brothers

Two brothers living by themselves in the forest believed that they were the only persons in the world. They were greatly devoted to each other. The younger did the thinking and the planning for both, for whatever he said the elder brother did.

One day the younger brother exclaimed, “Go yonder and kill that turkey, for I want its feathers.” “I will,” answered the elder. So going to the point indicated, the elder killed the turkey and brought its carcass to his brother, asking, “What do you want to do with its feathers?” “I want to wear them, because it will be a pleasure to know that I have them on my head,” declared the younger brother, plucking two feathers from the body of the turkey, for he required no more for his purpose. Then he ordered his brother to fasten these in a socket attached to a chin band, so that they would turn with the wind when worn on the head. Having done this, the elder brother placed the socket so fastened on his brother’s head. This gave the younger brother a distinguished aspect.

Every night before retiring the younger brother would remove the chin band with the socket containing the two plumes and hang it on the side of the lodge. When daylight came the first thing he did was to fasten on his head the chin band with the socket with its latchet of buckskin thongs, exclaiming, “I take pleasure in these feathers, for I am going to have a festival in their honor.”

One day the younger brother went into the forest adjoining the lodge. His brother, watching from a distance, saw him go back to a fallen tree. In a short time the elder brother heard singing and the sound of dancing, whereupon he said, “I verily believe that my younger brother is crazy,” for he had never seen such things done before. When the younger brother returned to the lodge his brother asked him bluntly: “What were you doing? Were [278]you not dancing behind the tree? Why do you go so far away from the lodge? You should have your dance right here in this lodge. Why should you go off alone?” “You do not know the tune I sing, and so I must sing alone,” was the answer. The elder brother replied, “I should learn the tune, too, so that I could take part in the singing of the song.” “No,” declared the younger brother, “I know the tune, and if you want to take part with me, you may dance.” The elder brother rejoined: “No; it is not right that I should dance while I have no feathers in my headgear.” Answering, the brother said: “You may change places with me if you wish. Then you shall hunt the smaller game. I kill birds, and it is from them that I learn the songs. The animals which you hunt and kill do not sing; but, perhaps, I could not kill the large game because I am so small, and it may be that you could not kill the birds because you are so large.” “Well,” replied the elder, “you may have it all to yourself, and I will merely watch you sing and dance.”

So the elder brother continued to hunt large game, and at times he would hear the singing and the dancing as he came near their home. When the younger brother would hear him approaching he would pretend to be doing something quite different from dancing and singing. This conduct caused the elder brother to wonder and to fear that something peculiar was about to happen to both of them. Often he would say to his brother: “Why did you stop hunting? You do not go to hunt any more.” The younger brother answered: “I listen to the singing of the birds and so learn their songs; this is why I do not shoot them.” “It is well,” rejoined the elder brother, who continued to hunt such game as he required. But one day his younger brother said to him, “My feathers are nearly worn out, and I want you to kill another turkey for me.” So the elder brother killed the largest turkey he could find, and then said to his brother, “Skin this turkey instead of plucking its feathers.” He did as requested, and the elder brother having made a pouch of the skin, asked his brother, “Do you like this robe?” “I like it very much, and I am thankful to you, brother,” was the answer. As the skin of the turkey began to dry, the younger brother, getting into the pouch, would walk around looking just like a turkey, and he seemed to enjoy greatly this new form of dress. When he walked into the lodge, he would come out of the skin, which he would hang up among his belongings. The elder one said to him: “Brother, you must not go far from the lodge; it will not be safe for you to do so.” “No,” said the younger brother, “I will stay at home and take care of our things.” Matters continued thus for some time.

One day the younger brother said: “You must stay at home, not going to hunt today. Instead, you must learn to sing my songs. What I do now shall be the practice of our people hereafter, if we [279]ever have any people or kindred; hence you must learn these songs.” So he made a rule that people of his tribe should wear feathers as insignia. The elder meditated on this matter, wondering how the younger brother could have such prophetic thoughts. “Now,” said the youth to his brother, “I am going to sing, and you must listen and must learn what I sing.” So he sang a war song. His elder brother asked him, “What kind of a song is that?” The youth replied: “It is a war song.”

From the time that the youth had commenced to study the singing of the birds he had begun to grow wise and had become experienced in the ways of the world (i.e., of the world of daimons). He kept saying, “These are songs which the people shall sing, and they, too, shall wear feathers on their heads.” The people had never heard anyone else sing, but the youth had studied out the matter from hearing the birds sing. He declared to his brother the dangers connected with singing the songs, saying, “You must be very careful about singing this song; if you are not, it will bring you senseless to the ground.” Then he added: “I am singing praises, for I have learned to sing from the birds. I give thanks as I have heard them given in my hunting expeditions. I dance to my own songs because I hear the birds sing, and I see them dance. You and I must do the same, for it will rouse a feeling of joy in our hearts.” Thus, the youth was the wiser of the two brothers.

Once when they were out hunting the younger brother saw a large bird sitting over them on a large tree. When the bird began to sing the elder brother knew that his brother must have learned a song from this bird, for he recognized a song which had been taught to him. “You are wise,” said he to the youth, “and now I shall believe that a higher magic power directs the birds to teach us songs which possess powerful orenda (magic power).” Thereupon he began to sing a song of his own, which was different from that of his brother. “Do you think that I can dance to your song?” asked the youth. “I shall try, at any rate.” Instead of singing it, the elder said, “I will tell you the words of the song, namely: ‘I am glad to see the day dawn. I am thankful for the beautiful sunbeams.’ ” “I know what that song is,” said the youth; “it is different from mine, and it has not so much joy in it; whenever we are sad we will draw our words from it; we will sing it and gain courage and strength thereby.”

Then the youth said, “You would better go to your hunting, and I will go to mine.” As the elder brother was starting off, the youth leaped into his turkey-skin pouch, saying, “Brother, let me go with you.” “I go so far away,” he replied, “that it would tire you out, so I do not think you should go.” But as the youth insisted on [280]going, finally the elder said, “I will let you go part of the way, but I can not let you go all the way, for that would be too much for you to undertake.” So they started, the youth dressed in the turkey-skin garb following his brother far into the forest, whereupon the elder said, “I think this is as far from home as you should go; now you would better return thither.” So the youth, prancing around like a turkey, went home. The elder brother had noticed that lately the youth never removed his turkey-skin robe, wearing it even at night. Not liking to have the little fellow wear this robe all the time, he asked him to take it off when retiring for the night. But the youth replied, “You made it for me, and I like to wear it constantly.” He always gave this same answer. As he dearly loved his younger brother, the elder did not order him to take it off.

The youth played just as turkeys play, and when he saw wild turkeys he would imitate the noises made by them; he was learning all the habits of the turkey, and no longer wore feathers on his head; his voice began to change and it did not sound to his brother as it formerly had. The elder brother wondered about and worried over this conduct of the youth. At last he commanded the younger one to remove his turkey-skin robe. He replied, “I can not take it off, so you will have to take it off of me.” On trying to do this, the elder brother found he could not remove the robe, which had grown to the little fellow’s body, so he let it alone.

The brothers always ate together when encamped in the same lodge. One day the brother with the turkey-skin robe declared, “I will now go with you, but you must be strictly on your guard, for something strange is about to happen.” The youth was very wise; his counsel and advice seemed superior to the opinions of any other man and beyond the comprehension of his elder brother. Once when the elder brother, returning, failed to find his brother at home he went to bed. But in the morning he heard his brother on the roof of the lodge making the noises which turkeys make at the break of day, whereupon he was convinced that the youth had really turned into a turkey. This conviction made him feel very strange. Soon he heard his brother jump to the ground and come into the lodge. On entering he exclaimed: “Brother! brother! a woman is coming. I think she desires to see you, but you must be exceedingly cautious, for something may happen to us. By all means you must not accompany her if she asks you to do so; but if you do go I shall follow you.” That day when the woman came she saw in front of the lodge what she took to be a turkey, and eyed it carefully. Thereupon the youth acted as much as possible like a turkey in order to deceive her the more completely. On entering the lodge the woman found the elder brother, whom she had come to take away, and said to him, “I have come purposely to have you accompany me home.” In replying, [281]he said, “I shall ask my brother, to learn what he will think about this matter.” Going out, he consulted with his younger brother, who had in appearance become a turkey, saying, “That woman has come. What is to be done?” The answer came: “Have I not told you that she would come? She is a great sorceress whose purpose is to destroy us. You must tell her that you are not ready to go today, but that you and your brother will go tomorrow. I foresee that if we go something evil will happen to us if we are not very cautious.” Going into the lodge, the elder brother said to the woman, “We will start as soon as we can get ready.” She did not once suspect that what she had taken for a turkey was the other brother. The brother with the turkey-skin robe decided to remain in the lodge that night, lest something evil might befall his elder brother; so he placed himself on a convenient perch, the woman thinking he was a tame turkey. The next morning neither of the brothers thought of eating anything. The elder said, “I think that I shall have to accompany this woman,” to which the Turkey Brother replied: “It is very wrong of you to go. She is a great sorceress, and we can not overcome her orenda.”

The woman had come from the west, where the two brothers had never been. When the Turkey Brother saw the woman and his brother leave the lodge together, he followed them for some time, noting that they went westward. He said to himself, “I do not see why you agreed to go.” The Turkey Brother was now alone. Toward evening he felt very lonely, and he spent an anxious night. In the morning he mused with a heavy heart, saying, “My poor brother! The woman has taken him away; and if anything happens to him, I shall dream of it.” After the lapse of some time he said, “Well, I must go after my brother.” Traveling westward, the Turkey Brother came to an opening in the forest in which stood a lodge, whereupon he said, “This must be the place.” The old woman of the lodge said: “There is a turkey outside. Perhaps it has come to stay with us; it is very tame.” The elder brother now knew that his Turkey Brother had come after him, and going out of the lodge, he met him. The sorceress took a fancy to the Turkey Brother and did not think of killing him. Toward night one of the women sought to place the Turkey Brother by himself for the night, but he perched on an open gable end of a lodge in order to be able to see and hear what was taking place on the inside. After the two women had gone a short distance from the lodge, the Turkey Brother said: “Brother, how can you endure the abuse which these women heap upon you? They never give you a mouthful to eat, for they intend to kill you. I have come to tell you this, for I have discovered what they are going to do. I am going home now, but I will take you away from [282]them.” So saying, he started eastward. As his captive brother watched him, he remarked, “It is fortunate that he can go where he likes.”

On the way homeward the Turkey Brother became so anxious about his brother that be grew enraged at the woman. When he reached home he thought of some scheme by which he might be able to cast off his turkey-skin robe, for he had definitely decided in his own mind that he had worn the disguise long enough. But how to get rid of it was the question, for it had grown to him. At last, however, he was able to free himself from the garment. Hanging it up, he put his plumed chin-band on his head. While eating his meal he kept thinking of his brother. Finally, he exclaimed, “Now is the time!” and being in his human form, he called on his tutelary, the Moose, for aid. The words of appeal had scarcely left his mouth before the Moose stood before him, awaiting his pleasure. He said to the Moose: “You must go westward to the place where live the old woman and her daughters, who hold my brother captive. This is the time of day that he goes out of the lodge. I want you to save him—you can do so by carrying him in this way (jumping on the Moose’s back)—and when you have him on your back, you must run with all your speed, being careful not to let my brother fall off. You must also take off your plumes (meaning his horns), put mine in their place; yours are too heavy for running swiftly.” Thereupon the Moose said, “Let us try it,” and after running with the little fellow on his back and completing a large circle, the Moose returned to the starting point. Then the Moose held down its head and the little fellow, taking off the horns, placed in their stead his own plumed chin-band, saying: “When you return I will put back your plumes. Now, my brother has come out of the lodge and is looking for a place in which to die, for he has determined not to die in the lodge of the old woman. So go!” With a bound the Moose was off in the direction of the lodge, and the little fellow remarked to himself, “The Moose will soon be back with my brother.” Before very long he heard a noise outside his lodge, and looking out, saw his brother hanging on the neck of the Moose, so weak that he could scarcely get him off. The little fellow pulled him by the feet until he dropped to the ground. Although he landed on his feet, he could not stand, but the younger brother managed to get him into the lodge. Coming out, he gave back to the Moose his horns, receiving in return his own plumes; thereupon he dismissed the Moose. Then he chided his brother, saying: “I told you not to go with that woman, but you would not listen to me. Now you have suffered a great punishment, but I am glad that you are back home. Your journey has caused me great trouble. We are now free from the woman and can now live happily together.” [283]


56. Sʻhodieonskon127 (the Trickster)

Sʻhodieonskon went on a journey to distant places in visits of adventure. In the first place he came to he found a large number of lodges. Here he told the people that in his village everyone was ill of a certain disease; that the same disease would come to them, too; and that his people had discovered but one cure for it—all persons who were married slept with other men’s wives and other women’s husbands, and this saved them. Believing this, the people did as he had told them.

Then Sʻhodieonskon started off in another direction. When he came in sight of the second village he began to call out according to the custom of runners, Goʹweh! goʹweh! so the people knew that news of some kind was coming. As they gathered around him after his arrival, he told them that a plague was upon the place from which he had come, and that if they wished to prevent or cure this plague they must cut holes in the bark walls of their lodges and close these by putting their buttocks into them, and that all the families must do this. Going home, the people defecated into their lodges through these holes in the walls, whereupon Sʻhodieonskon mocked them for being fools, and thrust his walking-stick through the holes as he went, jeering at them, from lodge to lodge, before his departure.

In the next adventure he met a crowd of men; this time he wore long hair reaching to the ground. All looked at his hair, wondering how he got it. When they asked him, he said that he had climbed a tree and, after tying his hair to a limb, jumped off. In this way the hair became stretched as much as he wanted. Further, they could do likewise if they wished. After Sʻhodieonskon had gone his way one of the men, saying, “I am going to make my hair long,” climbed a tree and, having tied his hair to a limb, jumped down. His scalp was torn off, and, falling to the ground, he was killed. The other people, enraged, said, “That man is Sʻhodieonskon; we must overtake and kill him.” Running after him, they soon came in sight of a creek, in which they saw a man spearing fish. Every little while, raising his foot, he would pull off a fish, for he had sharpened his leg and was using it for a spear. They watched him take several fish from his leg. When they reached the bank he came up out of the water. They were astonished at the number of fish he had caught and asked him how he had taken so many. “You can all see,” he replied, “I have sharpened my leg and use it for a spear; when I get all the fish I want I spit on my leg, and it becomes as well as before.” Then he showed them how he did it. He put the fish he had speared on a string. Then the men wanted to spear fish, so they asked him, “Can not you sharpen our legs, so that we may spear fish?” After he had sharpened their legs, entering the water, they went to work, while he disappeared. Presently they began to feel sore and had caught nothing. [284]So they all came up, and sitting on the bank, they spat on their legs and rubbed them, but this treatment was of no efficacy in healing their wounds. Meanwhile Sʻhodieonskon was far out of sight on his way to a new village.

When Sʻhodieonskon drew near to the third village he called out, Goʹweh! goʹweh! The people gathered around him, asking what had happened. He told them that in the place whence he had come the young men were killing all the old ones, who could be saved only if the women would give themselves to the young men; so the women did so, and nothing happened to the old men.

Sʻhodieonskon then hurried to another place. When he arrived there, all asked what the matter was in his place. “Another sickness,” he said, but he had the medicine to cure it. This medicine was bear’s oil, which he carried in a bark bowl (it was his urine). He sold it to the villagers to be drunk with their food. When warm it crackled like salt. Although they knew it was not oil, they drank it. As he left the village he said that he had never seen such stuff eaten before, and ridiculed them.

Continuing his journey, Sʻhodieonskon met a man, and they sat down by the trail. He offered the man a cake which corresponded to the oil he had just sold, but the man refused to eat it and went his way.

Sʻhodieonskon, not to be baffled, called up a couple of bears. When they came to him he said: “I want you to carry me. I will rest one foot on one of you and the other foot on the other. We will go in this direction, running around until we meet a man. I will tell this man that I will give you to him to mount, and when he places one foot on each of you his feet will become fastened to your backs, whereupon you must go in opposite directions, tearing him apart.” Having agreed to do this, they soon ran around ahead of the man, to whom Sʻhodieonskon said, “I have ridden these bears so long that I am tired of them; if you would like, I will give them to you.” They seemed so tame and were so fine-looking that the man gladly took them and jumped on their backs, whereupon his feet grew fast to them in a moment. After running together a little way the bears ran in different directions. The man, badly injured and half dead, finally became free from the bears. He said to himself, “Well, I have found Sʻhodieonskon.”

Sʻhodieonskon, having journeyed farther, met a party of young women. Stopping them, he said: “It is not best for you to continue on that road—it is dangerous, for when you meet a man dressed in hemlock boughs you must not be afraid, but must do everything he wants you to do, so as to keep on friendly terms with him.” Going on through the woods, the women soon saw something moving in front of them, which they noticed was covered with hemlock boughs. They [285]were frightened, but after a while one of them, saying “I will not be afraid,” went straight up to him and talked with him some time behind a tree. Then she came back, telling the others to go, that there was nothing to be afraid of. So they went, one by one, and after all had been there he went away. One of the women whistled out his name and called him, but he had gone after fooling them all. Sʻhodieonskon and the man in the hemlock boughs were one.

Sʻhodieonskon went on again, soon coming to an opening where there was a number of bark lodges. Going into the lodges he said, “There is a man coming to destroy all the people, and to escape him they must cover all the smoke-holes, for he has a long spear which he thrusts into them to spear the people.” Then he invented a name for the man. All went to work covering the smoke-holes of their lodges. The chief of the village had two beautiful wives. Sʻhodieonskon coveted them and did not tell the chief the story of the man with the spear. When all the other lodges were covered and full of smoke, Sʻhodieonskon ran over the roofs, frightening everybody almost to death; not daring to go out, all remained half stifled in the smoke. At last Sʻhodieonskon, climbing the roof of the chief’s lodge, speared him to death and took his wives and all he had.

In due time the funeral of the chief was held, and all came to bury him. Sʻhodieonskon, appearing among the mourners, cried, saying: “I am sorry for the chief; he was a friend of mine, and now he is dead and gone. I am so sad. I do not wish to live. You must bury me with him.” So they put Sʻhodieonskon in the ground beside the chief. The next day some boys who were out at play heard a man calling for help, his voice seeming to come from the graveyard, whereupon they went to the spot. The voice seeming to come out of the grave, they ran and told the people. The people agreed to dig him up. When they had done so Sʻhodieonskon, standing on the ground, said: “There is a very important thing to be done. I came back because the chief had two wives; they mourn for their husband, and I feel sorry for them. I am sent back to marry the two widows.” After talking over the affair the people said it was a great thing that a man should be sent back from the other world to marry the widows of their chief, so they consented to the arrangement, and Sʻhodieonskon, having married them, settled down.


57. The Cannibal Uncle, His Nephew, and the Nephew’s Invisible Brother

An uncle and his nephew dwelt together in a forest, subsisting by hunting. They lived in a lodge which had a partition through the middle and a door at each end. Neither one ever entered the part occupied by the other, all communication between them being held [286]by means of conversation carried on through the partition. Each went in and out of his own part of the lodge whenever he liked, but never dared to cross the threshold of the other’s room.

After a time the nephew, a handsome young man, discovered his uncle’s true nature—he was a man-eater, an Ongwe Ias.

One day a woman came to the nephew’s room. The next morning at dawn the uncle exclaimed, “My nephew has two ways of breathing.” The young man, speaking to himself, said: “My uncle is mistaken. I am only talking to myself.” “Oh!” said the old man, “My nephew can not deceive me. There are two in his room, and I am glad that some wild game has come to visit him.”

The old man then said that he was going out to hunt. When the uncle had gone the young man said to his wife: “My uncle knows that you are here, and now you must heed my words, or he will kill and eat you. Three other women have been here before you. He killed and devoured them all, for they disregarded my warnings. Now, before I go, I will bring water and wood and everything else you want, so you will not need to go out. I will also get a vessel for your use. If you go out you are lost; my uncle will surely kill you. As soon as I leave the lodge, he will come back, for he knows you are here.” After he left the door, the young man turned back and again warned his wife not to disobey him.

The moment the husband was out of sight in the woods the uncle came to the door. Having the power of commanding things to be done which he did not see, the uncle said, “Let it be necessary for the woman to go out.” When he saw that she did not come out he said, “Let the water with which she is cooking boil away.” The water boiled away, but as she had plenty more she did not go out. Seeing this, the uncle became terribly angry, and said, “I will get her out in one way or another.” Now the old uncle was a man-eater, and the nephew had discovered that instead of hunting beasts and birds he hunted human beings, and that every man or woman he met, he killed, and having brought home the body on his shoulders, he cooked and ate the flesh. The nephew hunted game, for the uncle had always made him find his own food.

This day, as the young man was returning, he saw smoke rising from his end of the lodge, whereupon he thought, “All is well; my uncle has not been able to kill my wife.” When he entered he thanked her for her obedience. In the evening about dusk they heard the old man come in and knew that he had brought nothing. He called out: “What luck has my nephew had to-day?” “I have had good luck,” replied the nephew. The uncle said, “I found nothing.” Now he muttered to himself about his nephew, blaming him for hiding his uncle’s game in his part of the lodge, and saying that he [287]would have his own. He heard the two breathing and could not be deceived. Determined to have something to eat, the old man pounded bones into small pieces and putting them into a large kettle which he filled with water, he made soup. The husband and wife on the other side of the partition did not talk.

The nephew decided to leave the place. As he had been thinking of doing so for some time, he had his plans well laid. Unobserved by his uncle he had walked in circles around the lodge, going farther and farther each day. When he had made paths three days’ journey in circuit he told his wife what he intended to do. That night the uncle said: “I am going to be absent two or three days. I can find no game in all this country about here.” “Well,” said the nephew, “hunters go where they can find something to kill and are often gone many days. I, too, am going farther. Game is getting scarce in our neighborhood.”

The young man, being possessed of orenda (magic power), had caused a lodge to be built in a place distant six days’ journey. He told his wife that he had an invisible brother in that lodge, to whom he would send her; that this brother was then under the lodge, and that no stranger had ever seen him. Hitherto this invisible brother had always accompanied him, but in the future would assist her. Taking an arrow from his quiver he removed the head. Then, after shaking his wife until she was only a couple of inches long, he put her into the arrow and replaced the point, saying, “In three days I will follow you.” Then sending the arrow toward the east, at the same instant he heard the calling of the Gwenhgwenhonh128 (the feathers on the arrow were taken from this bird), and all the way the arrow sang with the voice of the Gwenhgwenhonh. He could see the trail of the arrow as it went through the air.

The nephew remained in his part of the lodge, waiting, and in three days the old man appeared without game. When he came in, talking with himself, he said: “What luck has my nephew had?” “Very good. I have plenty to eat,” answered the nephew. The old man continued: “I found nothing; this hunting ground is barren, and my eyes see no more game. But though I have no fresh food, I have plenty of bones here in this pile, which I shall break up and have a soup.” Then the young man heard his uncle breaking up the bones; there was a terrible racket and crushing. At last the young man said, “My uncle makes too much noise.” “My nephew would not find fault if he were in my place. I am trying to get something to eat,” came the retort, and the old man, paying no heed to what his nephew said, kept hard at work. The next morning at daybreak he said, “I am going to hunt, and I shall be away for three days.” “I am glad,” thought the nephew; he was very angry with his uncle and ready to fight. [288]

Taking the trail he had made, the nephew followed it for three days before he made a straight line for his new lodge. Glancing up, he saw the arrow’s trail,129 which looked like a rainbow in the sky. He took a long leap, and as he leaped he ran up in the air, far over the woods and on a level which still kept him in the air. As he was going along, he looked back to see whether he could discover his own trail. The trail of the arrow, which was in the form of a rainbow, seemed to roll up and dissolve in a mist as he passed along, ending in the dooryard, where he had told his wife the arrow would strike. Entering the lodge, there he found his wife.

One day the invisible brother saw an arrow come into the dooryard; striking the ground, it burst asunder and a woman came out. She went into the lodge, where she saw her bother-in-law, who said: “I knew you were coming. I am glad you obeyed your husband, for your obedience has enabled you to accomplish this great journey.” He continued: “You have never seen me before; no one but my brother has ever seen me, and he only two or three times. I know what will come to us from the wrath of our uncle; he will pursue us and if possible will destroy you.” The husband was six days making the journey to the lodge where his brother was, which was situated near a lake.

When uncle got home and was talking to his nephew in the other room he received no answer; at this he grew very angry. Making up his mind that his nephew was not at home, he went out to look for his trail in order to learn which way he had gone. Finally, on striking the trail, he found it was some time since he had left; the footprints looked about as old as his own made three days before. Going back to the lodge he muttered: “I will follow him tomorrow; the world is so small that he can not escape me. I will follow him everywhere.” Now, the invisible brother, though a great way off, heard the uncle talking to himself, heard his threats: “My daughter-in-law will never get out of my reach. I will go to the outskirts of the world very quickly. I do not see why he takes her away, thinking she can escape; he will never succeed, for I will have her flesh.” The invisible brother told his brother what the uncle said.

The next morning the uncle set out. After following the trail until night he determined to go home, trying again the next day. Looking up, he saw his lodge was near. He had been going round and round. At this he was angry, and said, “Tomorrow I will get on the trail again.” As soon as it was daylight he started. As he went on he found the trail was almost extinct, but he continued to follow it. He kept on until midday, when he found that he had not made much progress. He was near his lodge again. “Be it so,” he said; “let my nephew be possessed of the sorcery of all the animals, I will have his wife’s flesh for all that.” The uncle followed the trail three days more [289]until at last he reached the end, whereupon he cried out exultingly, “My daughter-in-law’s flesh is mine.” Looking up in the air, he discovered his nephew’s trail. While the trail of the arrow was lost, the footprints of the nephew remained on the clouds.130

After the old man had traveled one day, the nephew said to his wife: “Now, we must go; our uncle is on our trail, and he is determined to have your life. Therefore be cautious. Do exactly as I bid you.” As the uncle followed on the ground the trail that he saw in the air, he muttered to himself. The invisible brother heard him. All started for the beach, the woman taking the lead, and the husband stepping in her footprints. As they looked across the lake they could see smoke. The husband said, “We will go yonder to that lodge and stop there for the night.” As they were going along the beach he halted, and, taking a clamshell from his bosom, threw it toward the other side of the lake. At once the banks came so close together that the woman could step over. After they had crossed, on looking back they could scarcely see the other shore. The nephew had crossed to a new lodge in order to delay his uncle, thinking that when the old man came to the water he would be long in crossing and would lose the trail. Telling his wife to say nothing, the young man left her, to hunt.

Soon the uncle appeared on the opposite bank, running back and forth searching everywhere. Feeling sure that they had crossed, he called out, “Daughter-in-law! daughter-in-law! how did you cross the lake?” As he labored up and down the woman stood watching him from the other bank. Taking pity on the weary old man, though knowing he wished to devour her, she said in her mind (she did not speak), “Why does he not throw the shell?”131 As she thought this, he heard distinctly what she said in her mind. So he stooped, and picking up a shell, threw it. The banks came together, and when she looked to see where he was, she was terrified to find him at her heels. Catching her by the hair, he said: “I knew that I should eat you.132 My nephew had no right to keep the game from me. He took my game and held it as his wife.” With one blow the old man cut her head off. She had been left alone, as her husband was hunting, and the invisible brother was not near to warn her, so she was lost.

The lake had now expanded to its proper width. Taking off her raiment, the old man threw it into his nephew’s lodge, saying, “Be you a helpmate to my nephew.” He then cut the body open, finding that it contained twins. He hid the children with the head and breast of the mother in a hollow tree, and gave thanks that his nephew had preserved the game so long, for he would have a second [290]meal at another time. After washing the bloodstains from the body in the lake he put the body on his back and then threw the shell. When the banks closed together, he stepped over, and as he looked back, he saw the lake spread out again.

On coming home soon after, the nephew expected to see smoke rising from his lodge, but saw none. “There! my word has come true; she has forgotten my warning.” Looking around, he saw his uncle’s tracks, whereupon he said, “Such is my luck. I can not help it.” Then he began to cook his meal. Shortly he discovered his wife’s clothing. Having become accustomed to his uncle’s behavior, he was not much astonished, nor did he feel very badly because his uncle had now killed his fourth wife. While cooking supper he had to go for water. As he stooped down to get it, he heard a voice say, “Your uncle has killed me. Your uncle has killed me, has killed me.” On looking toward the willows out of which the voice came, he saw them bespattered with his wife’s blood, whereupon he knew that she had been murdered. He had two proofs now—his uncle’s tracks and the speaking blood. Becoming disheartened, he decided never to go back to his uncle’s lodge. He continued hunting with two dogs, and being successful, took pleasure in doing this. On returning to camp one day he discovered tracks around his fire—two little trails. For some time he paid no attention to these, though he found them whenever he came home. They looked like children’s tracks, but he could not believe they were such, thinking that perhaps some little animal had gotten into the lodge. At last, looking at his store of meat, he saw that one of the pieces was gone from the row; he thought some animal must have taken it. Things continued in this way until finally the meat was carried away at such a rate that he resolved to find out what was going on at home. The next day still more meat was taken. He found that the stolen piece had struck the ground, and having been dragged out of doors, had been drawn along. He followed the trail until he came to a big hollow log, at the opening in which the trail disappeared. While sure that some animal lived in the tree, he made no further discovery.

The next day the nephew started off to hunt, but after going a short distance into the woods, he stopped to watch his lodge. Looking down from a hill near by, he saw two little children run into the lodge. Thereupon, hurrying back, he continued his watch. He soon saw them come out, dragging a piece of meat. (They used to go to where the meat was hanging, and climbing up as best they could, throw it to the ground.) They had all they could drag, for two pieces were tied together. Going straight to the farther end of the log, they disappeared, dragging the meat after them. He thought, “Tomorrow I will catch them.” He had learned that they could [291]talk, for as they pulled the meat along, he heard one say, “Hurry up; father will soon come.”

The next morning, after going a short distance, he hid himself and waited. The time seemed long. At last the children came from the log, and entering the lodge, closed the door. Then the father ran up and went in himself, fastening the door after him. The moment the children saw him, they began to cry. “Why do you cry,” he asked, “I am your father. Do not cry.” At this they stopped crying. Then he said, “You will stay here with me.” As he had overheard them calling him father, he asked, “How do you know that I am your father?” As he questioned them, sitting by the fire, he on one side and the two children together on the other, one of them, who was slightly larger than the other, said: “Your uncle came over here and killed our mother, cutting off her head and her breasts. Then he threw her intestines into a hollow log. We were among the intestines, and as the breasts were there, we drew milk from them and so were able to live. Her head is there with us now. As the boy answered readily, the father asked him what they did with the meat they took from the lodge. “We come,” said the boy, “to get the meat to feed our mother.” The father said, “You must now live with me.” He then made little ball clubs and a ball for them to play with in the dooryard; he was so kind that they were willing to stay.

Whenever their father went hunting they would go and feed their mother. Once when the father came home, one of the boys said to him, “Our mother is very hungry, for we have not fed her today.” The father replied: “Feed her; give her all she will take. I have no objection. As you know, we always have plenty of meat, so you may take as much as you please to feed your mother.” He was very kind to the children, because he loved them, and to keep them from running away, he let them do as they liked with what was in the lodge. He soon discovered, however, that his stock of meat was disappearing very fast, faster than he could bring in more. This continued until he began to feel discouraged and frightened. The boy said to his father when the latter returned one day, “My mother eats all the time,” telling how much she ate, and asked his father to go and see her. The father went to the tree with the boys, and on looking in, saw two great eyes in a skull from which the teeth were projecting and the flesh had disappeared, and the bones of which were somewhat bruised.

The boys asked, “Now, father, what do you think?” “I am afraid,” he answered, “that after she has eaten all our meat she will eat us.”

“Let us go to some other part of the world, so she will have to travel far to overtake us,” said one of the boys; “we can not feed [292]her any longer, for she never gets enough now, and we are tired.” The man saw that, do what they might, she would not be satisfied. The boys said, “We will go away first if you like.” The father answered: “You may go. Your mother has become a man-eater. You may escape.” The next morning the boys started westward with the dogs. The father said he would not go just then, but that he would follow. He had to go in another direction and therefore would go southward first. When the children were a short distance from the lodge the dogs looked at them, and thinking how hard it was for them to trudge along, the larger dog said to the larger boy, “Come! get on my back;” and the smaller dog said to the smaller boy, “Come! get on my back.” Both mounting the dogs, away they went. The dogs ran so swiftly that the hair of the boys’ heads streamed backward, and they enjoyed the ride so much that the woods were full of their laughter. After they had gone a long distance, for the dogs went like the wind, they saw traces of human beings. There were places where the trees had been cut down. The dogs said, “Now you would better slip off and go on foot to the settlement.” The boys were unwilling to go, but the dogs were determined, and shaking themselves, as if they had just been in water, the children tumbled off. Telling the children again to go on to the settlement, the dogs went back to their master. He had told them that he would leave in two days, for then the Head would come out of the tree and go into the lodge; then climbing up to the place where the meat was kept, the Head would eat it all.

The boys had told their father that by going southward he would find uncles who might help him escape, for they were just such powerful men as his old uncle was. When the dogs got back to their master they said that he must make every effort he could to escape; that they would remain until the last piece of meat was gone, but that he must go at once. The lives of all were in danger, for when the meat was all eaten the Head would fly in the direction of her people, although they (the dogs) would stay and detain the Head as long as possible. “In three days all the meat will be devoured: flee for your life; go south toward your other uncles, for she will follow you,” the dogs said.

The man did as the dogs advised, starting off southward and going with great speed, for he was a good runner. Two days after he had left home one of the dogs overtook him and said: “The meat is all gone and she is now trying to find the trail of her children. She can follow it as far as they walked, but no farther, for we took them on our backs at a certain distance from the lodge and carried them far away. They are now in the west. Be on your guard. She will soon strike your trail and pursue you. Follow me! The Head is [293]very angry.” As the dog looked back he said: “The Head has started and is coming. We have never seen so great witchcraft as she has, although we have seen much, but this we are not able to comprehend. As you have always said, there is no one living who can outrun you; now use all your strength.”

When the Head started, the dogs left behind did all they could to delay her, biting her whenever she turned to pursue them, and dodging into the ground. As the Head went on again they would spring at her; and when she turned on them they would again escape into the ground. Her track could be seen plainly, for the bark was all bitten from the trees, where the dogs kept her back and prevented her from flying ahead.

All at once, one of the little boys, far off in the west, said to his brother, “Our father is to be pitied; our mother has turned into some strange being and is pursuing him.” Soon a second dog came up to the man, saying, “Your wife has changed into a Flying Head and is possessed of such power that we do not know how to detain her any longer. My brother dog and I are doing all we can, but you must hurry; you must keep straight ahead. Go always toward the south.” The man ran with all his might. Seeing a lodge at a distance he ran up to it, and entering, said to an old man sitting there: “Uncle, help me! Something is after me that is going to take my life. Help me!” “All right. Although I do not know what it is, I will help you all I can; but hurry on to the next lodge; there you will find your aunts,” replied the old man. The man had got about halfway between the two lodges when he heard a terrible noise. Looking back, he saw that the Flying Head had reached his uncle’s lodge, and that they were fighting with all their strength. There was a terrible struggle about the lodge. Soon he saw that his uncle was killed, and that a great black cloud rose up into the sky from the spot.133 The uncle had told his nephew that after the Head had killed him a dark cloud would go up to the very heavens. At that moment the dog came up again, saying, “Your uncle is killed; he was never beaten before in his life.” When she had killed his uncle the Head rushed after the husband, for she had eaten every bit of the uncle’s flesh in a moment. “Hurry!” said the dog; “we are sure to die; we have but two places of refuge left, it is through your uncle who killed her that she has become a witch.”

As the man ran on, nearly exhausted, he saw a lodge, and running into it, he called to his aunts, “Help me! Help me! Something is after me to take my life.” “Poor man,” said his aunts, “hurry on; we will do what we can to delay the Head. Go to the next lodge, where your mothers live; if we can not detain her, perhaps they will be able to help you.” He was not out of sight when he heard his aunts call to their children to have courage, and then he heard a [294]great tumult. When the Head flew into the lodge, it bit at everything with which it came in contact, tearing it to pieces. The women attacked the Head with clubs, and there came to his ears the sound of the blows of the clubs on the skull. When halfway to the other place, all was still at his aunts’ lodge.

Suddenly he heard his brother calling out, “Run! or we are lost.” The invisible brother who urged him forward pushed him by the neck whenever he was near, and then they seemed to run faster. They were in a great hurry to reach the lodge, and he pushed him on until they were there. Thereupon the man called on his mothers, saying, “Mothers, help me! help me!” “Oh, poor son! you are in trouble; go on—we will do what we can.” He hurried through the lodge. The Head came in as he went out, and the dog, running around the lodge, urged him on. The brother was invisible when they passed through the lodge. The mothers called out to all their children, “Kill the Head if you can!” All got their most deadly and potent weapons, and the two brothers heard the old mothers urge their children to fight with all their strength. The dogs remained outside the door, ready to fly at the Head when she came out. One of the women stumbled and fell, whereupon the Head, after catching and hurling her out, devoured her in an instant.

The old mothers now cautioned their children again to take great care and make no missteps. Now the youngest one thought of some bear’s fat they had in the lodge, and the idea came to her that the only way they could kill the Head was by use of this. After the Head had eaten the first girl and was chasing the others through the lodge the bear’s oil began to boil.134 As they threw the boiling oil, it singed and burned the Head, killing it (the animated Head was merely the skull with long projecting teeth).

All wishing to give thanks, the mothers said: “We ought to have a game of ball. Your brother is free. It is our duty to give thanks. The ball shall be this Head.” Picking up the Head, she carried it out, calling in a loud voice, “Here, warriors! is a ball you can have to play with.” Soon a great crowd of people came together with their netted clubs and began to play. All the players were wild beasts of the woods. The man stood near and saw the wild beasts playing ball with his wife’s head. All tried to get the ball, and in this way they wore it out.

The dog now came up to his master and told him that his wife was dead; and when it said “Your wife is dead,” his strength seemed to leave him; his arms dropped down, and he was sad. The invisible brother said: “You feel grieved; for my part I am glad. I do not see why you should be sad; she would have devoured you if they had not killed her. Now there is nothing to harm us. Your [295]old uncle has gone back to his own home and will not trouble us now that he has eaten your wife’s flesh.” He added: “Your children are living in this direction (pointing westward); be of good courage, and go after them. I shall return. You will continue in one direction with your dogs until you reach the boys. You need never fear to suffer such hardships again.” So saying, he went home, and when the brother looked after him he had disappeared.

The man and his dogs went toward the west. The dogs had left the children in a place near a village where an old woman lived with her granddaughter. While the young girl was in the woods gathering fuel she heard the sound of voices. On listening, as the wind came directly to her, she discovered that they were human voices, and thought, “I will ask grandmother what to do.” When she reached home with her wood she told the old woman that she had heard children crying and asked her to go to the woods to hear for herself. The old woman asked: “In what direction were the voices? It is a pleasure to know that there are children yet alive; they must be for us.” They went to the place. “Now listen!” said the girl. “True,” said the grandmother. “Look everywhere and find these children; they may be sent to us, as we are alone.” The girl followed the sound, which she could hear distinctly as coming from the ground. She kept on until she found the two children, seemingly a year old, one slightly larger than the other. Going up to them she told them to stop crying; that she would be their mother. As she stood there talking her grandmother came, who pitied the children; she found that they were clothed with skins. The grandmother said: “Now stop crying. You shall be our children. I will be your grandmother and my granddaughter will be your mother.” The girl added: “All we have shall be yours. I will love you as a mother.” The boys stopped crying. Each had his little bow and arrows and ball club. The children went home with the women. The old woman said: “We will take care of these children. There are many people in the village, but not a child among them all. I lived here a long time, but have never seen a little child.” The children soon seemed larger and sometimes would go to hunt birds. They were never gone long at a time, and never went out of sight of the lodge. “Grandmother,” called one of the boys one day, “come and see what we have killed; it is all spotted and lies yonder in the weeds.” “Where is it? Where is it?” she asked. The boys led the way, but she could hardly keep in sight of them, as the weeds were tall. On reaching the spot she found a fawn, a few hours old, which they had killed. She carried it home, saying to herself: “I am thankful to have these children; they will be great hunters in time; their game is getting larger. First they kill birds, now a fawn.” [296]When they did not feel like hunting they would play out near the lodge and then go in and sit down.

One day one of the boys said, “Our father is coming.” The other said, “I hardly think our father is alive.” The old grandmother overhearing this, told the boys to go out and shoot birds, for she wanted some to roast and eat. The next day while the children were out a man came into the lodge. The invisible brother had told him where he would find his children, and that he must say when he came to the old woman’s lodge, “Grandmother, I am thankful to see you,” and to the girl, “Sister, I am very glad to see you.” As he went in he saw the old woman and saluted her as grandmother; to the girl he said, “Sister.” One of the boys outside said, “Our father has come.” The other replied: “I do not believe this is he, for our father had two dogs. There are no dogs with this man.” As the boy was bound to know, raising the doorflap slightly, he saw his father sitting with his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands. Noticing a red spot on his jaw, the boy said further: “Look for yourself; see, he has a mark on his face; it is really he. Let us go and see which way he came; we can tell his trail, and we will follow it and see whether we can find the dogs.”

They had gone but a short distance when they found that the dogs had gone in another direction, whereupon one of the boys said: “Let us follow their tracks; father loves those dogs; let us find them.” In the evening they found one dog sitting on a fallen tree. The larger boy said: “There sits one of the dogs.” “Let us go and see if it is really father’s dog,” said the other. On hearing the children’s voices the dogs were as much pleased to see them as the boys were to see the dogs. The boys now said, “Let us all go home.” The boys did not know the way, however, so the dogs took the lead. It was late at night and very dark, and the people at home were frightened and very anxious about the children, not knowing where to look for them. When the boys came back, the grandmother asked: “Why were you gone so long? Why did you frighten us so?” “We were looking for our father’s dogs,” said they. Thereupon they went into the lodge, the dogs following. The man was lying down, so all went to sleep. All were now together again.

The young woman was the man’s own sister and the grandmother was his grandmother. They all lived very happily together. And this is the story.


58. Doonongaes135 and Tsodiqgwadon

Doonongaes, who lived at one end of Ganyodaes,136 or Long Lake, had such orenda (magic power) that no one in that region could influence or control him. He claimed the lake and all that lived in its waters. [297]

Doonongaes had a servant, Skahnowa,137 who lived at the other end of Ganyodaes, which was so long that one end of it could not be seen from the other. Skahnowa’s work was to patrol the lake and keep off intruders. One morning early he jumped up, saying, “I must be on my rounds, for if I do not I shall be punished.” So he hurried along the shore; soon he saw some one with a pole, evidently fishing. Skahnowa approached and, seeing him eating a fish, he asked, “What are you doing here?” “Oh! there is a great deal of fungus138 growing on the hickory trees here,” replied the intruder. “If you are getting fungus from the trees, why do you go to the water?” asked Skahnowa. “You see,” said the man, who was Djidjogwen,139 “the fungus is sandy and I go to the lake to wash it.” “Well,” said Skahnowa: “I think you have stolen something, and you better give up one of your own people as a gift in payment140 for what you have taken. The owner of this lake will come soon and he will settle with you. I am going on.” Djidjogwen stood on the bank and kept thinking: “Can this be true? It is very strange if it be true that one person owns this lake.” Going to his master, Skahnowa said: “I have news for you. There is a man yonder at Dediosteniagon141 who is getting fish out of the water very fast.” “I will stop him. I like to amuse myself in this way,” said Doonongaes, who got his kettle ready at once and, taking his club, started for the place.

Skahnowa continued his journey around the lake. When Doonongaes came in sight of Dediosteniagon, looking around carefully, he saw a man142 some distance off. “Oh! that is the one,” thought he, and diving under the water he came out right in front of Djidjogwen, who had pulled out a great fish a moment before. “What are you doing?” asked Doonongaes. “What business have you to meddle with my game animals?” “Oh! you are mistaken. I am not meddling with them. I am merely eating the fungus143 that grows around here,” replied Djidjogwen. “Then how came that fish here?” asked Doonongaes. “As I stood here a small bird flew along above the water, and a fish, leaping up to catch the bird, perhaps, jumped out here on the shore,” said Djidjogwen. “Oh! that is not true; I will punish you,” snapped Doonongaes. Djidjogwen started to run. Doonongaes followed and, striking him on the head with his club, killed him, remarking, “That is the way I treat intruders on Ganyodaes.” He then threw the body of the dead man over his shoulder and, after reaching home, cooked his flesh. When the flesh was cool he ate the meat, which he enjoyed much, and thanked Skahnowa for what he had done.

One morning Doonongaes said to his servant: “I am going on a long journey, and I want you to be faithful in the performance of your duty. If you find a trespasser, kill and eat him.” “Very well,” replied Skahnowa, “it shall be done as you say.” [298]

Doonongaes went westward, traveling day and night for a month. He traveled till he came to a broad opening.144 In the middle of the opening he saw a lodge, which he could not reach without being seen. “Very well,” thought he, “I will go underground.” He went into the ground, and going forward until he thought he was at the right place he came out. Peeping through a crack in the lodge wall, he heard singing, and saw that there were two very old women inside. The words of the song were, Onen waongiʹons ne ganio.145 “That does not sound well,” thought Doonongaes; “I may get killed here. I will see whether I can not steal this lodge.” So he pushed his horns under the lodge; then lifting it on his head, he rushed away, carrying it on his horns. He came very soon to the edge of the woods and ran into it. Finally he heard a noise in the lodge. “Well,” said a voice, “it seems to me that there is a terrible wind blowing.” (He went at such speed as to give the impression of wind blowing past the lodge.) The other woman said: “You must do all you can to stop it. Let us stand, you in one corner and I in the other and sing our wind song.” Taking their places, they said: “We beg you who have care of us to stop this wind. Our lodge is so small that we are afraid it will blow away.” Then they sang Gaintho, Gaintho.146 One of them, seeing the lodge moving, called out, “Hwu,147 our lodge is moving.” “Well,” said the other, “maybe Doonongaes has come; he always troubles poor people; hurry up, go out and see.” So she went out through the smoke-hole, and, looking around, saw that they were far out in the dense woods. On taking an observation to see whither the wind was going, she saw a long black body moving, and she saw that their lodge was on it. Going in, she said, “As I looked down the wind I saw a very black thing, which was so long that I could not see the end of it.” “It is just as I said to you,” said the other woman; “this is Doonongaes, who is making sport of us. Now, do your best to punish him.”

These two old women, who were Gwidogwido148 people, and sisters, were possessed of such very powerful orenda (magic power) that it was hard to conquer them by sorcery. Taking their clubs, therefore, they went out of the smoke-hole. Then the elder of the two said: “Go to the end of his tail; something is sticking out there. Strike it, and I will try to cut its head off.” While the younger sister went to the tail, the elder went to the neck joint. The younger sister, seeing objects which resembled fins sticking out, began to pound these; soon she saw that she was driving them in. “What shall I do,” thought she; “my sister said these things would crumble to pieces.” She kept on pounding, however, until she saw that something like milk began to come out. She stopped striking them, whereupon the milklike fluid turned into foam and came out stronger and stronger. At last, becoming frightened, she ran to her sister, [299]whom she found lying down, doing nothing. She said, “Oh! my sister, what is the matter?” “Oh!” said the elder, “I can not do anything; he has overpowered me by his orenda (magic power); do the best you can.” The younger, driving their flint knife into the neck joint, began to hammer it; finally the knife went out of sight. Then she asked her sister, “What shall we do now?” “Our only safety is to run away,” was the answer. The younger sister, going down the smoke-hole, got a narrow strip of the skin of Djainosgowa. This was the container of their magic power, or fetish. Coming back to her sister, she said, “Now I am ready.” The elder answered: “Take hold of one end of the skin and I will take the other. Then let us run to the end of Doonongaes’ tail, where we will jump off and get away as fast as we can.” It was a good while before they came to the end of the tail. Then jumping off, they hurried along, not on the straight trail but somewhat to one side of it.

Doonongaes, who was running all this time with great speed, said at last, “I do not hear anyone talking.” Then his neck began to feel tired, and he said, “This lodge wearies me,” and jerking his head, off went the lodge, falling some distance away. On going up to it he found it empty. “Very well. We shall soon see about this,” thought he: “No one has ever been able to get away from me. I will put these two out of the way.” Thereupon he ran back as fast as he could, saying, “When could they have escaped? Oh! my neck is sore.” As he went he snuffed the air to find the women. Halting and looking around he saw tracks where they had jumped from his tail, for the earth was torn up. “Ha, ha! you think you are going to escape me,” he said, starting with lightning speed on their track. He ran until night. Toward morning he said: “The pain in my neck is increasing. I wonder if I should better go back. No; I can not give up this chase. I have always thought I could allow no one to overpower me, so I will keep on.” At midday he came to the end of the women’s trail, and could track them no farther. Now, he thought, “What shall I do, for I am determined to put them out of the world?”

Standing up, he became taller and taller until at last he stood on the tip of his tail with his head high in the air. He saw a smoke far off on one side, so he came down and shot off in that direction, reaching the place in a few moments. Halting by the lodge, he thought: “I hear some one inside. Very likely magically powerful people live here.” On peeping in, he saw a very old man sitting down smoking, with his head bowed. Doonongaes watched him for some time; at last the old man, looking up, said: “Hwu, my nephew has come! Well, nephew come in. Why do you stand outside?” “This is my uncle’s lodge; it seems he knows me,” thought Doonongaes; so he [300]went in. “Well, nephew,” said the old man, “I am glad to see you. I have been expecting you for a long time.” “Well, I have come. What do you want?” said Doonongaes. “Oh! you and I will fight against each other,” replied the old man. “That suits me exactly,” answered Doonongaes; “it is the very game I amuse myself with.” “We will wait until noon tomorrow, when the fight will begin; you can stay here with me until then,” said the old man. This old man was the grandfather of the two women who were trying to escape. His name was Gwidogwido. The next day the old man said, “Now, let us go.” They went through the woods until they came to an opening, whereupon the old man said, “Here is where I always fight.” Seeing the ground was covered with bones, Doonongaes became greatly frightened and asked, “Is there not some way to annul our pact, for I want to continue my journey?” “No,” replied the old man, “we have agreed to it.” “What would happen if I should refuse to play?” said Doonongaes. “Well, if you do not want to fight, give yourself up to me, and I will do what I like with you,” answered the old man. “If I do that I suppose you will kill me; so we may as well fight,” replied Doonongaes.

Thereupon the fight began. Doonongaes had a basswood club, while the old man had a mallet. As they fought they moved around the opening until they came to the farther end, striking at each other all the time. At the end of the clearing they began to tear up trees, which they hurled at one another. They opened a broad road through the forest, uprooting the trees as they fought. They advanced until they came to another clearing, at the farther end of which they saw a village. Doonongaes now got another basswood club, for they had thrown away their weapons when they began to hurl trees. The old man had to defend himself with his hands and arms until they reached the village. There he picked up a lodge, which he threw at Doonongaes, whereupon Doonongaes threw another lodge at the old man. Thus they continued throwing lodges as they went along, until a great cry was raised by the people as they saw their lodges smashed on the heads of the combatants, and so all attacked the two men.

The people of the village were Djihonsdonqgwen149 people, who were great fighters. They determined to punish the two men, so with their flint knives they killed the old man Gwidogwido, but Doonongaes ran out of sight, shouting, “I have always said that nobody could conquer me.” He added: “It seems to me that there is something in my neck. Can it be that a limb fell on it, and a splinter stuck into my neck?”

Doonongaes went on until he came to a new lodge. “Perhaps,” thought he, “another uncle of mine lives here. I will have a look.” Peeping through a crack, he saw two little boys playing with a [301]man’s head, and heads all around the lodge with flesh on them. He wondered where the boys got these for they were too small to go out to hunt. “Perhaps they will be able to cut my head off,” thought he, running away. A few moments later one of the boys said to the other, “Did not you think some game came to the lodge just now?” “Yes,” replied the other. “Well, let us hurry out; we will soon bring it back,” said the other. Taking their knives, they ran out and around the lodge. Seeing the trail, they ran along it until they were at Doonongaes’s heels. When he turned and saw the two boys behind him, each with an uplifted knife ready to strike, he seized the first boy and threw his knife away. Then he did the same with the other boy, and putting a boy under each arm, he hurried on. As he went along, he saw a high precipice, whereupon he said, “Perhaps I had better throw these boys over, for they annoy me.” After throwing them over the precipice, he walked on. Presently he heard “Tcu! Tcu! that man walking over there falls (is about to fall).” Doonongaes turned around to see where the voice came from, with the remark, “This sounds as though they meant me.” He stood looking around; soon he heard some one laughing, and saw a man high up on the cliff. “It is absurd that he should make sport of me,” said Doonongaes; “I will punish him.” Doonongaes hurried toward the man, who was ahead. When he came to the spot where he thought the man was, he could not find him, and could see no one. Soon he saw far ahead the man peep from behind a tree, then dart back and peep out again. Doonongaes ran to the tree, and going around it, said, “Now, I will punish you, you scoundrel”; but he found no one there. He looked everywhere. At last he saw another tree far ahead with the man peeping from behind it. He hurried to the place, saying as he ran after the man around the tree, “I have caught you”; but when he got around, he could see no one. “This is provoking,” said Doonongaes, “he is making sport of me; I must punish him without fail.”

Doonongaes sat down under the tree to rest from the chase and closed his eyes; in a little while he was sound asleep. The man came back and, seeing Doonongaes asleep, said, “I thought this man said he was going to beat me.” As he stood looking at Doonongaes he resolved to kill him. Taking out a flint knife he cut his throat. At first foam came from the cut but no blood; then it seemed as if Doonongaes blew a great breath, whereupon out came the blood streaming in every direction. Then Doonongaes died. “I did not have much trouble,” thought the murderer, who was one of the Djoñiaik150 people, “though he called himself powerful”; and sitting on the tree above the body he continued to laugh.

When Doonongaes was killed his blood ran down the precipice. The people who lived in the ravine below said they saw it. “This [302]looks like the blood of our people, like the blood of our great chief.” They all gathered at the place where the blood was coming, and one of the tallest men said, “I will try to look over.” He stretched himself up, but could see nothing except the bare cliff. Then another man got on his shoulders, a third on the shoulder of the second, another and another doing likewise until in this way they reached the top. Djoñiaik saw men coming, and noticing that they were the same kind of people as Doonongaes, he said, “They are so many I will run away.” So, slipping down from the tree, he was off.

The men looked around—there lay the great chief of their people. One of them, who became chief for the time, said: “Every one of us must do his best (in the exercise of orenda). We will try to make him alive again. Let two of you build a very large fire and two of you go to the end of a lake for a thing that has been of great aid to our people—the white pebble. Go quickly; and two more go to Doonongaes’s lodge at the end of Ganyodaes, to get his fisher-skin pouch and bring it here; and two of you go to the end of the earth and notify our grandfather, who lives there. Tell him what has happened and find out what he thinks about it. Let two go to the place where the rocks are the highest in the world, for in that place lives a man who is master of the thing that has the greatest power in the world. Let two get on the trail of the man who killed our chief, Doonongaes; when they overtake him, let them kill him if necessary, but if not let them bring him here and we will do what we like with him.” In a short time the two appointed to make a fire had an enormous one burning. The two sent for the white pebble reached a lake surrounded by a hemlock forest that seemed to grow on rocks without any earth. On looking around, the two men saw many stones of the kind for which they were sent. Having picked up the right one, they went back immediately, saying on their return, “We have brought what we were sent for.” The new chief thanked them. Now all the people waited.

The two men sent to Doonongaes’s lodge reached the lake, and as they went along the bank, one of them said: “I am getting hungry. Let us have some fish.” “Very well, we will catch some,” replied the other. Soon they had a number of fish, and sitting down on the bank, they began to eat them raw. Skahnowa saw these men eating fish, so he came near and asked: “What are you doing? You are stealing my fish.” “Oh, no!” replied the men; “this lake does not belong to you.” “Well, to whom does it belong?” asked Skahnowa. “It belongs to the Controlling Power,” was the reply. “No, the man who owns this lake has ordered me to watch it,” said Skahnowa. “What is his name?” he was asked. “His name is Doonongaes,” he replied. “Well,” said the two men, “Doonongaes was killed some time ago.” “Are you sure of that,” asked [303]Skahnowa. “Yes; we have just come from the spot where his body is,” they said. “Where is that?” asked Skahnowa. “At Broken Land, where the laughing man lives. You know where that is,” they said. “Oh, yes,” answered Skahnowa; “I will go and see. If he is dead, I suppose I shall get possession of this lake and own it myself.” “Take the trail we came on,” said the men. Then they went their way, while Skahnowa took the trail along which they had come.

The two men searched Doonongaes’s lodge, but for a long time they could find nothing. At last they found in the smoke hole the pouch they wanted. They took it out with them, and running very fast, they overtook Skahnowa when he was almost at Broken Land. The three went on together and in time came to the place where Doonongaes lay. Skahnowa, looking at the remains, said, “It is true that he is dead, and yet he thought no man could kill him, so greatly did he esteem himself.” The two men delivered the pouch, and then sat down, waiting for the others to come.

The two men who went to their grandfather arrived at the place they thought was the end of the earth, whereupon one of them said: “We are here. Now how are we to find where our grandfather lives?” The other answered, “I wonder if this is really the place?” They went along the edge of the water, which was only a small lake, not the end of the earth. Keeping on, at length they went around the lake. Seeing their own tracks ahead, they said: “The other two men have passed here. Let us go this way.” After going around again, they said: “Two more men have come up. Now let us hurry and overtake them.” The two had not gone far when one of them fell down with a great cry, saying: “I can not go any farther. There is something in my foot. You finish the journey alone. On the way back you can stop for me.” “Very well,” said the other. On running around the lake still again, he said, “There are six men running; now I will do the best I can. Why! there is a man sitting ahead on the bank. Well, I thought I would overtake those people soon.” The man who was sitting down, on turning to see who was running up, saw his friend. The runner said to himself, “Why, it looks like my friend who hurt his foot.” On coming to him, he asked, “What are you doing here?” “I am resting; my foot is nearly well now, and I will start at once. Did you go around and come back?” he asked. “Oh, no! I was on the trail all the time,” came the reply. They set out together. One said: “This must be a small lake. When we come to the other end we will go on in a straight line.”

They now watched the sun, and when it was at the other end of the lake, they took their course from it, and then traveled a long time straight ahead. Again they reached the limit of the land. Once [304]more they said: “It seems that we have come to the end of the earth. Let us look for our grandfather’s lodge.” They saw an opening or clearing, and on the farther side smoke arising. They found a lodge there, and on looking in saw an old man, at which they said one to the other, “I wonder whether that is our grandfather.” While they were looking, the old man, straightening himself up, called out: “Come in, grandsons. Why do you stay outside?” They looked at each other, saying, “How did he see us, for his back is toward us?” Going around the lodge, they entered. The old man said, “You have a message, otherwise you would not have come; but let me get my pipe first.”151 Taking his pipe and beginning to smoke, he said, “Now I am ready.” “Well,” said the two men, “our people are assembled in an important condoling council, and they said to us: ‘Go to our grandfather; tell him that our chief has fallen and that we want to make him alive again.’ ” “Very well,” replied the old man, who was one of the Ganos (Spring-frog people); “you have come on a very important errand and I will give you something that will be of great use to you, in fact the only thing that can bring your chief to life again.” Going into a hole in the ground, the old man returned with a white flint in the form of a canoe, about as long as a finger. In one end of this white flint canoe was some black paint and in the other end was a powder—a medicine of some mysterious kind. The old man said: “When you go to use what I give you now, color your faces with this paint, then paint your dead chief’s face with it also; and after that, put this powder on the edges of the wound and wash his face with cold water. Then blow on him and he shall come to life. When he opens his eyes, put this powder into water and give it to him to drink.” Hurrying off in the boat, they arrived at Broken Land without delay. They said: “We were hindered by the lake.152 We kept going around it.” The new chief replied, “People seldom get away from that lake, which is called Ganigonhadontha Ganiodae152 (the delirium-making lake); it puts men out of their minds.”

The people now waited for the next two men. Those two went ahead till they came to an opening lengthwise in the trail. On looking around, they could see people sitting here and there. One of the men said: “I wonder what they are doing. Are they watching and guarding the opening? We must pass.” They passed by unharmed and traveled till night, when they came to a hollow tree lying on the ground. They crawled into this and had been there only a short time when some one rapped and said, “Well, are you here for the night?” One answered, “Yes; we are.” “What would you do if the Ganiagwaihegowa should come?” was asked them. “Oh! we should like it; we should play tag and have a good time,” they replied. Soon they heard a voice saying: “Come out as quickly as you can. I have come [305]to help you, for this is a very dangerous spot. The magic power (orenda) of the man you are looking for extends to this place, and he has a great many other places under his control. You must follow me, or you will not live through the night.” They went with the owner of the voice, seeming to rise in the air as they journeyed. After a while the guide said, “Stop here and see what would have happened to you if you had stayed in the tree.” As they looked back, they saw Ganiagwaihegowa153 tear the tree into bits, which flew around in every direction. Ganiagwaihegowa looked for the men, saying: “He who notified me said that two men were here. He always disappoints me, but if he does this once more, I will cut his head off.” Then Ganiagwaihegowa went away. The guide said, “Ganiagwaihegowa has gone home, and you are now safe.”

They spent the night in another hollow tree. The next morning they hurried on and at midday came to the place where the rocks were high—the highest rocks in the whole world—on the summit of which lived the old man. As they stood at the foot and looked up, they said, “How is it possible to get up where that old man lives?” but they went. They searched until they found a ledge that seemed to ascend in a spiral; this they began to climb, one ahead of the other. Sometimes they slipped, almost falling off. At length the man ahead slipped on a round stone, and over he went, striking on the rocks as he fell and going down out of sight. “Well,” thought the other man, “my friend is dead;” thereupon he kicked the round stone from the ledge. In falling it struck the fallen man, who was just regaining consciousness, on the top of his head, killing him.

The man above went on until he reached the top of the rocks. At the lodge of the old man, whose name was Hasʻhonyot (i.e., “his back is turned”), of the Odjieqdah154 (Crayfish or Lobster) people, he stood a while, thinking, “this man is at home, I suppose.” Looking down among the rocks, he said, “See where I would fall if he were to kill me.” Peeping into the lodge, he said: “Sure enough, he is at home; he is looking toward me and must have been looking at me ever since I came up. I wonder where that thing is for which I have come. I wonder whether that is it hanging up there. How shall I manage to get inside? Perhaps I would better turn the lodge over and let it fall among the rocks.” He overturned the lodge—down it went over the precipice, whereupon he thought: “What will happen when it strikes? I will go and see. I have overturned the lodge of the most magically powerful person in the world, and did not have much trouble in doing so.” When the man got halfway down he slipped. The farther he fell the faster he went. At last, slipping over the edge of the rocks, he fell till he [306]struck on the topmost limbs of a great hickory tree; the limbs threw him upward, so that he landed on a ledge on the side of the precipice. Not knowing how to get down, he said: “I must die anyhow. I may as well jump.” So jumping off, he came down the same hickory tree, to the branches of which he clung; then he slipped to the ground, where he found his friend’s body with the skull crushed. “I think it was I who killed him by kicking off that round stone,” he said; “well, I could not help it.”

The old man’s lodge stood all right on level land. He peeped into it—there sat the old man. “This is dismal. I will burn the lodge,” said he; so he piled up sticks until he had it covered, whereupon he set fire to it. After the fire was well started, the old man said: “It is getting rather hot here. I wonder what is the matter. Perhaps Sʻhodieonskon155 is playing tricks with me. It seems there is fire; it feels like that. I wonder whether he is burning my lodge?” After a while, hearing the noise of burning timbers, he was sure that there was fire. “Very well,” said he; “if that is the case, I will call on Hasdeaundyetʻha.”156 Then, taking native Indian tobacco out of a basket made of corn husks, he began to burn the tobacco and to call on Hasdeaundyetʻha, saying, “I ask you to make it rain so hard that the rain shall put out every spark of fire around my lodge.” The moment he finished speaking rain began to fall. It rained so hard that the man outside had to run for safety. In a few moments the sky cleared off, the fire was out, and no traces of rain were left.

“I wonder how things are where I set the fire,” thought the messenger. On returning to the place he found everything quiet—no fire; all in order. “Pshaw! what can I do?” said he; “I might take the lodge along, as it is not very heavy.” Picking it up and putting it on top of his head, he started for Broken Land. Traveling with great speed, he soon came near to his destination; but before coming in sight of it, taking the lodge off his head, he said, “I will leave it here and let the new chief say what shall be done with it.” After setting it down, he went to Broken Land. “You have come, but where is your companion?” asked the chief. “He fell from the rocks and was killed,” he replied. “Did you bring what you went for?” he was asked. “Yes,” he answered. “Where is it?” was the next question. “Not far from here, and I want you to say what shall be done with it.” The chief replied, “Well, let us all go there.” Thereupon all went to the spot where Hasʻhonyot’s lodge was left. The chief said, “You stay outside while I go into the lodge.” When inside he looked at the old man, who sat there smoking with his head down. The chief thought “He is a very magically powerful man; he could kill me in a moment if he liked;” then he said, “My friend, I have come to your lodge.” The old man kept on smoking, not seeming to hear. The chief called again louder, when the old man [307]said, “It seems as though someone is talking.” Then scooping the matter out of one of his eyes with half of a clamshell, he threw it away; then he cleaned the other eye in the same way. Having done this, he looked up, and, seeing the man, said: “What are you standing there for? Go out! I do not want you in my lodge. I live on the top of these rocks so as to be alone,” said the old man. “I came out here,” answered the other, “in a friendly way. Come out, look around, and see where you live.” On going out and looking around, Hasʻhonyot saw that he was in a level country and that many people lived about him, and he wondered how he got there. “Did I bring it,” thought he, “from where the wind blows, or not? I wonder whether my lodge was moving when my head was moving and bumping here and there.” “Well,” he finally said to the chief, “what do you want?” “I came,” replied the chief, “to see whether you would lend us that thing which has so great and wonderful magic power?” “What do you want it for?” the old man asked. “Our chief has been overpowered and killed. We want to bring him to life,” said the chief. “I can bring him to life,” said Hasʻhonyot, “in a very short time.” “How shall we pay you?” the chief asked. “Find two of your best-looking women and send them to me. I ask no more,” he replied. “I will talk with my friends,” answered the chief.

Thereupon the chief went out and told his people what the old man said. They talked together a good while, saying: “The most beautiful women are married; how can they be given away? Perhaps we should never see them again?” At last the people said: “Let them go. If their husbands are angry, we will settle with them.” They told the women that the old man would have control of them thenceforth. The women said: “We all want to have the chief come back to life. We must consent. Perhaps it will turn out to be all right.” The chief went back to Hasʻhonyot and said: “All is settled. The women are willing.” “Bring them here, then,” said the old man. The women were brought to him. Now Hasʻhonyot had five bloodsuckers as attendants, and he said to them: “Tie these women. Do not let them go farther away than your own length.” The old man carried these bloodsuckers under his tail. They fastened on the women at once, but still held to Hasʻhonyot’s back. “All right now,” said Hasʻhonyot; “your chief will be alive tomorrow, but in the meanwhile I do not want any of your people around here.” The people dispersed, but stayed around at a safe distance to see whether the chief would come to life. During the night the old man went to the spot where the body of Doonongaes lay, and as the women were tied to him, they had to accompany him. He said, “There is no need of bringing this terrible-looking man to life.” Nevertheless he went to work, cleaning and washing the wound and putting upon it a certain weed pounded soft. Then [308]reaching down for water, he poured it on the mouth of the corpse (there was no water near by, and the women never knew where he got it); then he blew into Doonongaes’s mouth and talked to him (the women could not understand what he said). Having done this, he built a small fire and told one of the women to run to the lodge and get what was under his couch. As she ran along the bloodsucker stretched out, but as soon as she picked up the bark basket of tobacco and started back, the bloodsucker began to contract. Hasʻhonyot took the tobacco and burned it, saying, “I burn this to you, the Complete Power,157 and ask you to bring this man to life.” Then he sang, “Onen dondaʹwe né diiohegoⁿ (what keeps alive is coming back here).” When he had finished singing he sat a good while watching. Doonongaes did not come to life then. The old man sent the woman again for tobacco, which he burned, repeating the same words. Then he sang, Onen sagaion ne honhehgon, da onen denshadat hehioendjade.158 When he had finished singing he blew into the mouth of the dead man,159 who thereupon came to life. “You are well now,” said the old man. Doonongaes did not speak. Again the old man said, “You are well now.” Then Doonongaes answered, “I believe I am well.” Hasʻhonyot said: “I will go home. You stay here until your people come in the morning.” Hasʻhonyot went home, and the women went to bed with him.

The next morning the people came to Doonongaes and found him alive. They were very glad. “How did you bring me back to life?” he asked. “We sent a man to Hasʻhonyot’s lodge and he brought back the lodge and the old man, who promised to restore you to life if we would give him the two most beautiful women of our people. Therefore we gave them to him.” “That was not right,” said Doonongaes; “I will kill that old man.” The people said: “Do what you like. You are alive now, and we will go home.”

Going to the old man’s lodge, Doonongaes cried out, “Hallo, old man! what are you going to do with these women—keep them for life?” “Of course I will; they are mine now,” Hasʻhonyot replied. “I wish you would let them go,” said Doonongaes; “why should you keep them?” “I got them as pay for bringing you to life,” was the answer. “No matter; you must give them up,” replied Doonongaes. “Oh, no,” replied Hasʻhonyot. “You must,” said Doonongaes. “Well, then you must get out of my lodge,” retorted the old man. “No, I will not go until you free the women,” answered Doonongaes. Hasʻhonyot rejoined: “You must go at once; if you do not I will kill you. I did not think you would annoy me, if I brought you to life.” “Well, why did you bring me back to life?” asked Doonongaes. “Go out of here,” said Hasʻhonyot. “I will not go. I want those women,” said Doonongaes. The old man, springing up, drew his flint knife. “Now, I say you must go,” said he. Doonongaes, drawing [309]back slightly, thought, “Pshaw! what a coward I am! I can play tricks on the old man.” Going outside, he put his horns under the lodge—up it flew in the air and then fell to the ground. (The lodge was of stone.160) “Very well,” said the old man, “I will kill you.” So he went out. “What are you doing?” he asked; “I think you are trying to throw my lodge over. Do you want me to cut your head off again? I can do it very easily,” he added. “All I want,” replied Doonongaes, “is that you release the women.” “I will not release them,” declared Hasʻhonyot. “You must,” said Doonongaes, and taking a reed, called owl’s arrow, he hit him on the back; the blow glanced off without hurting the old man a bit. Again Doonongaes asked, “Will you let me have the women?” “No,” exclaimed Hasʻhonyot. “Well, I am going over there a short distance. I will come back soon,” said Doonongaes.

Going into the lodge, Hasʻhonyot asked his attendants, the bloodsuckers: “What shall we do? I think he intends to kill us. Do you think he can do it?” “Yes; we think he has gone for help,” they rejoined. Doonongaes had gone to find the Djihonsdonqgwen161 people. He came to the place in which they all lived, one great lodge—a mound lodge. Peeping in, he saw a great many people walking around. Immediately one spoke to the others, saying, “Hurry up! we have some game here.” Straightway there were great confusion and crowding and rushing to and fro. There seemed to be rooms all over this immense lodge, above and below and on every side. Entering, Doonongaes said: “Let us have peace. I came here to lead to a work which you will like; I know you will. I have come to hire you to kill a man over there.” They said to one another, “Let us get ready to go.” Their chief lived on a hill near by, but they did not notify him. Doonongaes led them to Hasʻhonyot’s lodge, saying, “I want you to kill this old man, but do not harm the women.” A great many went into the lodge, filling it, and there was a vast crowd outside. Some time passed, and then Doonongaes heard the old man scream and saw him run out. When outside the crowd around the lodge caught him. They released the women. They hurried home, accompanied by Doonongaes, who left the Djihonsdonqgwen to fight with the old man until they thought he was dead. When the women reached home they said, “We are now the wives of our great chief, Doonongaes.” “Thank you, my daughters,” said their mother; “he has saved you, and it is right that you should live with him.” So Doonongaes went to the lodge of the two women and did not return to Ganyodaes.

After a long time had passed both women had children, and he continued to live with them until one day he said, “I am going to the place where my friend, Hasʻhonyot, used to live on the high rocks.” When he reached the foot of the rocks, he saw something [310]lying on the ground, whereupon he said, “He looks like some of our people.” It was the man who had fallen over the precipice while climbing up to Hasʻhonyot’s lodge. At last Doonongaes, having found the ledge on which the men had climbed, reached the summit where the lodge had been; there he saw the footprints of the man who had overturned it. On looking around, he could see to the end of the earth,162 in all directions. He looked toward the west. Seeing far off a man killing people, he exclaimed, “Pshaw, that man is a fool!” Descending the cliff, he hurried to the place, where he found a great many people. To the man who was killing them, he said, “What are you doing?” “Oh! I am guarding the land under my control,” was the reply. “Yes. What is your name?” asked Doonongaes. “My name is Tsodiqgwadon,”163 was his answer. “You and I belong to the same people, then,” said Doonongaes; “we will therefore decide the matter of supremacy164 in this way: Whichever one of us has the orenda (magic power) to command the great rocks of the cliff on the south side of this village to fall, shall own this place.” Then Doonongaes said, “Let the rocks fall and fall this way.” He had barely spoken when the rocks began to fall toward him. “Only half the rocks have fallen,” said Tsodiqgwadon. “Now command them to go back to their places.” It was done. Now it was the turn of Tsodiqgwadon. He said, “I command every rock of the cliff to fall,” and every stone fell with a great noise, only a mound of earth remaining where the cliff had just stood. Then Doonongaes said: “You have won. You have more orenda than I have. You are more magically powerful than I. I can do nothing more. Now, tell me what I can do to satisfy you.”165 Tsodiqgwadon said, “I want you to let women alone. Every woman living is mine.” Going home to his wives, Doonongaes said to them, “You are not mine any longer.” “Why not,” they asked; “have you sold us, or have you been beaten in a game in which you wagered us?” “No; I met a man who claimed you,” he replied. “Who is he?” they persisted. “Tsodiqgwadon!” exclaimed Doonongaes. “We do not know him; how can we be his wives?” they asked. “Well, that is what he said. I did all I could but he magically overpowered me. Now, I will go to my old home, where I shall be better off,” answered Doonongaes.

Thereupon Doonongaes went to Ganyodaes and, after seeing that all was in order, he began to cook. When he had finished he heard footsteps. A man kicked at the door, and in came his servant, Skahnowa, who said: “What are you doing in my lodge?” “How came this lodge to belong to you?” asked Doonongaes. “Get out of here!” said Skahnowa; “I do not want you.” “I wish,” said Doonongaes, “you would tell me by what right you claim this lodge.” “My master, the former owner, was killed, and I took possession of it after his death,” replied Skahnowa. “Ah! that is it. Do you not know me? [311]I have come back,” said Doonongaes. “You Doonongaes? No; I am sure my master was killed and that his body has decayed by this time,” said Skahnowa. “No; it is I. I have come to life,” answered Doonongaes. For a time Skahnowa was silent; at last he said: “We will test this matter. Go to my lodge and bring the hind quarter of a bear.” “Very well,” replied Doonongaes, and he started, disappearing in the water of the lake. Coming out at a distance from the lodge, he killed a bear and, without having gone to Skahnowa’s lodge, brought a hind quarter. Skahnowa said: “You went quickly. Did you bring what I sent you for?” “Yes. Here it is,” replied Doonongaes. “This is fresh. All the bear meat I had home was roasted. You are not Doonongaes. Go out of this lodge,” said Skahnowa. Beginning to cry, Doonongaes went out. Skahnowa then started on his round of the lake. Doonongaes had not gone far when he said, “What a coward I am! It would be stupid of me to give up my lodge.” He went back but did not find Skahnowa there, so he took possession. The next day at noon Skahnowa returned just as Doonongaes was ready to eat. “What are you here for?” asked Skahnowa. “I told you to go away.” “Why should I give up my lodge?” asked Doonongaes. “If you do not go away, I will beat you,” said Skahnowa. They began to quarrel, and then, going outside, began to fight, moving along the lake. They fought the rest of the day and all night. The next morning Skahnowa said: “This is a hard task. It may be that he is my master. The only thing that makes me doubt it is that he did not do what I asked him to do. He did not go to my lodge.” Finally he said to Doonongaes: “Let us give up fighting.” “No,” replied Doonongaes, “let us have it out. A man has to be killed, one way or another.” “Very well,” said Skahnowa, so they fought again in good earnest. Being of equal magical strength, they fought day and night for one month.166 Then Skahnowa said: “We would better stop fighting. I think neither of us can conquer.” “Yes,” replied Doonongaes, “it is useless to fight longer; but I want you to promise not to order me out of my own lodge again.” “Very well,” answered Skahnowa, “you may keep the lodge; the owner of it was killed long ago.” Doonongaes asked: “Do you not really know me?” “I know my master is dead,” said Skahnowa.

Doonongaes now went back to the lodge, thinking: “How can I get possession of my lake? I must manage to control it again.” The next night as he lay thinking, he fell asleep and had a dream, and in the dream a man said: “I have come to say that you have been fighting with your servant Skahnowa. We people of orenda, or magic power,167 know immediately what is going on. All the people of magic power are stirred up now, and if you wish to live, you must go to Tsodiqgwadon. All these people fear him. You must get up and go now, for these people will be here exactly as the sun [312]comes up in the east. Start immediately, and try to be there before daylight.” Doonongaes was astonished at his dream, but said, “I want to live, so I will go.” Starting about midnight, and going to his wives, he slept with them. Then he arose very early in the morning and journeyed on. He found Tsodiqgwadon at the same place where he had seen him killing people. He had barely sat down when a man, kicking aside the door flap, asked: “Have you seen Doonongaes?” “What do you want of him?” asked Tsodiqgwadon. “We want to have a trial of our orenda, or magical strength,” came the answer. “Yes; I have seen him, but it was a good while ago,” said Tsodiqgwadon. “There are fresh tracks coming here. Why do you try to hide him?” said the stranger. “I am not trying to hide him, and do you go out of my lodge,” replied Tsodiqgwadon. “I want to see Doonongaes,” said the other. “Have I not said that I have not seen him? Do you understand me?” declared Tsodiqgwadon. “Well, I did not come with any evil intent,” said the other. “But why do you insist, when I tell you I have not seen him?” retorted Tsodiqgwadon. “But the tracks made by him are fresh,” was the other’s reply. “Pshaw,” said Tsodiqgwadon, “do you not know what kind of man I am?” The visitor, who was a Dagwanoenyent,168 ran out, screaming: “Oh! do not touch me. I do not want to fight.” “Well, if you do not, then go home,” said Tsodiqgwadon. The man then started for home.

This man was barely out of sight when they heard a second man coming. Kicking aside the door flap and jumping in, he inquired for Doonongaes, saying, “I will eat him should I find him.” This was Niagwaihe.169 Tsodiqgwadon said, “I have not seen him.” “That is always the way with this man,” muttered the other; “he is always hiding bad people. How comes it otherwise that his tracks are here?” “I have not seen him. What do you come for? I do not want you in my lodge,” declared Tsodiqgwadon. “Why do you hide Doonongaes?” rejoined Niagwaihe. “I told you I have not seen him,” said Tsodiqgwadon. “His fresh trail comes in at your door,” replied the other. “Well, perhaps he came in and went off another way,” said Tsodiqgwadon. The man went out to look; then, coming back, he said, “No; it is as I told you; his trail comes in here.” “Do you want to fight him?” asked Tsodiqgwadon. “No; I merely came to see him,” was the reply. “If you do not go away I will kill you,” said Tsodiqgwadon. “You know what sort of person I am; the best way for you and me is to have it out.” Tsodiqgwadon then went outside, whereupon Niagwaihe screamed: “Do not beat me. I did not come with any ill feeling.” “Well, go home or I will fight you,” said Tsodiqgwadon. Niagwaihe disappeared. “Now,” said Tsodiqgwadon to Doonongaes, who was standing just behind him, “come out of your hiding place.” [313]

They had barely sat down in the lodge when footsteps were heard again and Djainosgowa170 rushed into the lodge, saying, “Yes; this is the man for whom I have come.” Seizing Doonongaes by the hair he pulled him out of doors. Tsodiqgwadon followed them. When outside he saw Djainosgowa walking off with Doonongaes on his shoulder. “He has taken away my friend, who came to live with me. Never mind,” said Tsodiqgwadon to himself, going back into the lodge and beginning to smoke. Then he thought: “Perhaps I would better go to help him. They may kill him.” So, following Djainosgowa’s trail, he found him sitting down talking with Doonongaes, and asking, “How did you come to think that you have orenda? Why did you want to kill your servant?” Tsodiqgwadon listened. Doonongaes answered, “Let us have peace. Why should we fight?” “No,” replied Djainosgowa; “I am going to try your strength in orenda.” Tsodiqgwadon was there, but had made himself invisible to them. All at once Tsodiqgwadon seized Doonongaes and, putting him on his back, said, “Let us go home. What is the use of being here?”

After Tsodiqgwadon had gone a few steps Djainosgowa found, on looking around, that Doonongaes had disappeared. He searched everywhere for him. At last he said, “Pshaw! I think Tsodiqgwadon took him away,” whereupon he started back. When Tsodiqgwadon reached home, he said to Doonongaes, “We will sit right down here. Djainosgowa will be back soon.” Almost immediately Djainosgowa came in and asked, “Have you seen Doonongaes?” “No; you jerked him out of my lodge. That is the last I have seen of him,” declared Tsodiqgwadon. Djainosgowa said, “I believe you are playing tricks on me. Where did you leave him?” “Why do you accuse me? Go home! I am tired of you,” said Tsodiqgwadon. “I want to see Doonongaes,” replied Djainosgowa. “Go out of here!” exclaimed Tsodiqgwadon. “I will not go until I am satisfied,” persisted the visitor. “I tell you to go. Can you not understand?” said Tsodiqgwadon, getting up and going toward Djainosgowa, who jumped out of the lodge, saying, “Oh! do not be angry. I did not come with any bad feelings.” “Go home,” replied Tsodiqgwadon, “or I will beat you.” Djainosgowa had to go, for he was conquered by superior orenda. Then Tsodiqgwadon said to Doonongaes, “What have you done to all these people that they come here after you?” “I had fought with Skahnowa, who had taken my lodge,” replied Doonongaes. “We fought for one month, and because we fought so long all the people having magic power around the world are excited; that is all.” “Let us go to your lodge,” said Tsodiqgwadon. “I should like to see your servant who is so powerful in orenda.” [314]

Thereupon they went directly to the place. Skahnowa was on his daily rounds. “Where has he gone?” asked Tsodiqgwadon. “Oh! he has gone around the lake. He will be here soon,” said Doonongaes, who began to cook. Just as they were sitting down to eat, they heard footsteps, and a man sprang into the lodge, calling out, “What are you doing in here? Go out!” “Oh! be quiet,” said Tsodiqgwadon. “Well, what right have you in my lodge?” answered Skahnowa. “Be reasonable,” said Tsodiqgwadon. Skahnowa dropped his head; then, raising it again, he asked: “What are you doing? Are you on some errand of importance?” “We have come to see what you have been doing with your master,” replied Tsodiqgwadon. “It is a great annoyance to have people come to try the strength of Doonongaes since your fight with him took place.” “Is that man there my master?” asked Skahnowa. “Yes; he is,” replied Tsodiqgwadon. “How came he to be alive again?” Skahnowa asked. “That is nothing strange among us people of great magic power—persons who are possessed of potent orenda. We die and become alive again;171 that is the way it was with Doonongaes,” said Tsodiqgwadon. “Now I understand,” said Skahnowa. “I will not quarrel with him; he can have his own lodge. I will never trouble him again.” Tsodiqgwadon said to Doonongaes, “Let us go.”

So they went along the lake shore and were soon at home. The ground about was covered with tracks. Everything had been eaten; not a scrap was left. “What are you going to do now?” asked Tsodiqgwadon. “The best I can do,” said Doonongaes, “is to go home with you and you can give me a couple of women to live with. Skahnowa will forget his promise and will attack me if I stay here.” “Very well; come along and I will take you to a woman,” Tsodiqgwadon said, so he brought him to a filthy, ugly-looking creature of the Hanondon172 people. “Here is a woman—I want you to stay with her,” said Tsodiqgwadon. Doonongaes replied, “I want another.” “Well, let us go on a little farther,” declared Tsodiqgwadon. They soon came to a lodge in which was a woman of the Hawiqson(t)173 people, dirty, and so badly deformed that one of her feet was on her forehead. “Well,” said Doonongaes, “I suppose I shall have to live with these women. You are the ruler here.”

Tsodiqgwadon left him. Night came and Doonongaes hung his head, saying: “I think my friend Tsodiqgwadon has treated me badly. I will not stay with these women. I will go away.” He traveled all that night and the next day; he traveled southward 10 whole days and nights. When 10 days had passed Tsodiqgwadon went to the place where the women, Hanondon and Hawiqson(t), lived, saying, “I will see how my friend Doonongaes is getting on.” He asked the women, “Is Doonongaes at home?” “No,” they replied. [315]“Where has he gone?” asked Tsodiqgwadon. “We do not know,” said they, “he did not stay here; he went off the first night you left him.” “Pshaw! let him go,” said he, and Tsodiqgwadon went home.

At the end of 10 days Doonongaes came to a large village in which all the people wore feather headdresses. The chief of the village, Gasaisdowanen,174 asked Doonongaes, “What did you come here for?” “To make a visit,” replied Doonongaes. “Who will take this man to his lodge?” asked the chief. “He may go with me,” called out one man, so Doonongaes lived with him. After a few days news came to the chief that the people from the far west were going to make war on him; then a challenge came. The chief asked his people to volunteer to fight the western people. In two days he had 500 volunteers, among whom was Doonongaes. They started, women going with them until the night of the first day. The next morning when the warriors went on the women returned to their homes. The warriors continued their journey until they began to see signs of danger and to hear war whoops here and there in the distance. When they stopped for the night the chief said, “Let one man be on guard all night.” Doonongaes volunteered to do this sentinel duty. He kept the fires burning and watched. About midnight he heard a great war whoop and, saying to himself, “I do not want to die,” he ran off. The western people, who were Dagwanoenyents, came to the spot where the people were asleep and killed and scalped every one of them. After getting away to a safe distance Doonongaes lay down and slept. In the morning he said, “I will go and see what has happened to my friends.” He found them all dead and scalped, whereupon he thought, “I will go to the wives of these men and take them all.”

When Doonongaes returned to the village he called the women together, and said, “I wish to tell you that your husbands are killed, and that I will marry all of you.” After talking the matter over all the women except one were finally willing to accept the proposal. Doonongaes said, “Very well; I will settle with the unwilling one.” He stayed one night at each woman’s lodge. When he came to the unwilling one he said, “If you do not marry me, I will cut your head off.” “Well,” she answered, “you will have to overpower me first.” She was a great woman; her name was Diagoisiowanens.175 Doonongaes continued, “I am magically the most powerful man in the world,” referring to his orenda, or magic power. “Well, you must try me,” said she. Thereupon he went out, saying, “I will be ready in the afternoon,” but he never returned.

Going southward, Doonongaes traveled until evening. That night he spent in a hollow tree. He went on for eight days. The ninth night he said, “Diagoisiowanens thought she could overpower me, but I am too far off now.” He was just going to sleep [316]when he heard someone walking on the leaves who, coming to the opening of his camp, said: “Doonongaes, are you here? What would you do if Hononeowanen176 should come here?” “Oh! I should like it,” answered Doonongaes. The man went off, as it seemed, and soon a great noise of falling trees was heard—a terrible noise—the earth was torn up on every side. When Hononeowanen reached the tree he said, “Come out!” Turning himself into a snake,177 Doonongaes went out. When the other one saw him, he said, “Why, you are one of my people.” “Yes, I am the chief of our people, the most powerful person on earth,” was the reply of Doonongaes. “I think not,” said Hononeowanen. “Yes, I am. In the west lives a man of our kind, pretending to be the most powerful person magically in the whole world. I met and overpowered him (Doonongaes lied; he meant Tsodiqgwadon). “Well,” said Hononeowanen, “that man has more orenda than I, so if you have more orenda than he, I do not want to meddle with you, so I will go away.” So saying, he went off. Doonongaes stood a while thinking: “Why did Hononeowanen come over here? I suppose he forgot that I am second in magic power among my people. Well, I will go back to my wives, but there is no use in doing that, as Diagoisiowanens might kill me. I will go southward.”

Doonongaes then walked two nights and days without sleep, until he came to a great plain on the eastern side of which there was smoke arising. Thereupon he turned himself into a man.178 Soon he reached a village, but he saw no one, though smoke was rising from every lodge. Entering a lodge, he found a kettle full of meat over a good fire, but there was no one at home. Going around the village, he waited. Just at noon he thought, “I would better go again and see whether anyone has come back.” He found no one. “This is very mysterious,” said he. “I will go away—perhaps this is a place of the arts of sorcery.”

Doonongaes next went westward. In the evening he saw another “opening” and smoke arising, as before. “If I do not find anyone here,” said he, “I will go back to the two women whom Tsodiqgwadon gave me.” He reached the place, where he had been but a short time when he saw coming toward him a splendid-looking man with great feathers on his head. This was Hostoyowanen,179 the chief of the village. Doonongaes greeted him with, “Do you know the village off there in the east? Where have all the people gone?” “They are dead,” answered the man. “Niagwaihe has eaten them all. Tomorrow, perhaps, he will come here and destroy us.” “I should like to stay here a few days,” said Doonongaes. “Very well,” replied the chief, “tomorrow I will show you my village.” The next day they went all around. Doonongaes saw that the people had beautiful [317]things—wampum, shells, and valuable skins; there were many people and lodges. After they had seen all the village, Hostoyowanen said: “Now, you must not stay any longer. I do not want you to die here. Run southward and you may be saved.” The chief went home and Doonongaes went southward. He ran fast, and when night came he slept in a hollow tree. The next morning he said, “I am going westward. I do not mind what that chief said.” Toward midday he was hungry. He said: “Oh! my neck is sore; it has been sore for a long time and feels as though something were in it. How can I cure it?” Having found a spring, he lay down to drink from it, but saw the reflection of someone in the water. “Oh! that looks like my wife, Hawiqson(t). Why is her face reflected in this water? I am far from her now. This is strange,” mused Doonongaes. Being frightened, he did not drink but, jumping up, he ran toward the south, forgetting which way he was going. He ran all night. Just at daylight he fell down from weakness. “Why,” thought he, “am I getting so heavy and weak? Is it because I am hungry?” He lay there and could not rise; he was too hungry, for he had not eaten anything for a whole year.180 He thought: “Well, there is no need of my standing up. I am a snake.” Changed from a man into a great snake, he went on, saying, “Well, I am traveling again.” At noon, coming to a village, he went into the last lodge, in which lived an old woman and her granddaughter, who were very poor. “I want to stay with you a few days,” said Doonongaes. “I have nothing to eat,” answered the old woman. “I want merely to sleep; I do not care for eating,” Doonongaes replied. “Then you may stay,” said the old woman. The next morning, before she was out of bed, Doonongaes asked, “Had you a family long ago?” “Yes,” she answered, “a long time ago I was married and had a large family, but only two are living now.” “Well,” said Doonongaes, “you must have kept a bow and arrows.” “Look around,” said the old woman to her granddaughter, “and see whether you can find a bow and arrows.” After hunting for them, at last she found a bow and arrows. Doonongaes straightened the arrows and strung the bow. Then he shot through the smoke hole, saying to the arrow, “Go for a large bear.” Soon they heard the sound of approaching footsteps and then of something falling in front of the door, at which the old woman said: “I think that man Dagadiye has come again, for he is always rushing through the village. He does not kill, but he chases our people.” Doonongaes laughed at her words. “Why do you laugh?” asked the old widow. “I laugh at what you say,” replied Doonongaes. “Well, what do you think the noise was?” she asked. “I do not know,” said Doonongaes. “Go and see.” Going to the door, she exclaimed, “Hwu! Hwu! There is a great bear here!” The old woman made a hole under the jaw of the bear and, putting her [318]thumb into the incision, she tore off the skin. Then cutting open the body, she took out the intestines, after which she hung up the meat. Then she began to think: “Why did this bear come? Who sent it?” Finally she asked, “My grandson, can you tell me why this bear came?” Doonongaes said, laughing: “Did you not see me shoot? I told the arrow to bring a bear and the bear came.”

Doonongaes staid there all day, while the grandmother cooked. The next morning he heard a noise. A messenger came in, saying: “I have come to notify you that the daughter of our chief, Deyenegonsdasden,181 is to be married to the man who can shoot the black eagle perched on the top of a pole that reaches to the clouds; the shooting begins at midday.” Doonongaes said, “I can marry the chief’s daughter, for I can kill any one of the eagles, even when flying high.” He straightened his arrows and strung his bow as he lay by the fire. Looking through the smoke hole, he could see the eagle on the pole.182 At midday all the people were around the pole, when the chief said, “Now, do you begin.” Doonongaes saw through the smoke-hole how the arrows flew. Each man tried twice, but none of the arrows went near the target. He watched until night, and then the chief said, “Tomorrow we will try again.” The next morning Doonongaes said, “None of these men can kill that eagle.” Stringing his bow, he shot an arrow through the smoke-hole, which he saw go straight to the eagle and pierce it. The eagle fell, while the arrow transfixing it stuck into the ground, taking root so deep that no one was able to pull it out. Every man said, “I did it.” But the chief replied, “Then take the arrow out.” Each tried but could not draw out the arrow. Now Doonongaes said to the old woman’s granddaughter:183 “Go after my arrow. Somebody may break it.” She went to the place, saying, “A man at our lodge sent me to get his arrow.” Thereupon, taking hold of it, she pulled it out easily.

“My daughter is married now,” said Deyenegonsdasden, so he sent two men for Doonongaes. They found him by the fire at the widow’s lodge. When they told him to come to the chief’s lodge, he asked, “Why does the chief send for me?”184 “He wants you to marry his daughter, for you killed the black eagle on the top of the pole,” he was told, “Oh! I do not want any more wives. I have more than 100 now,” returned Doonongaes. They insisted, but he refused. On their return this was told to Deyenegonsdasden, who said, “Now let 8 or 10 of you go, and if he won’t come willingly, tie him and bring him here.” Going back, they said, “You must come.” “I will not,” replied Doonongaes; “I am not going there for nothing,” declared Doonongaes. “Well,” answered the men, “it is not for nothing. The chief wants you to marry his daughter.” “Is she good looking?” asked Doonongaes. “Oh, yes! she is very beautiful,” [319]the men replied. “Well,” said Doonongaes, “it would be a shame for me to marry her; I am too nasty a man.” They tried hard to persuade him, but he would not go. Then they tried to tie him, but he hurled them away. Even after trying all day they could not bind him. When night came they said, “We might as well give up and go home.” When they went back they told the chief, “We can do nothing with him.” Then the chief said to his daughter, “You must go to him.” As her father told her that she must go, the girl went. She entered the old woman’s hut, but Doonongaes paid no attention to her. After a while she said, “I came to stay with you.” “Where do you live?” asked Doonongaes. “I live in the center185 of the village,” the girl replied. “Who is your father?” he asked. “The chief,” she said. “Oh! I will not marry you,” said Doonongaes. “Are you sure you will not marry me?” asked the girl. “Yes; I have too many wives,” he replied. “Are you married at home? Where do you live?” she inquired. The reply was: “Sixteen186 days’ journey from here I have more than a hundred wives. Farther on I have two more.” “Where did you come from?” she continued. “I think you know the place,” he said; it is called Dedyosdenhon.”187 “Yes,” he replied, “I know where that place is; it is far away, near the end of the earth. I suppose you will not go back there. It is too far, and you will marry me.” “No, I am not looking for a wife here. Such people as you are188 would not help me.” The beautiful girl began to cry. Doonongaes, looking at her, asked, “What is the matter?” Whereupon she cried harder and harder. Now Doonongaes himself began to cry. The old woman asked: “What is the matter? Why do you cry?” No answer. Then she herself began to cry. Her granddaughter, coming in and seeing that all were crying, began to get lonely and to cry, too. Now all were crying, and they cried louder and louder. Just as it became dark the chief heard the sound of crying, and sent men to find out where it was. They went through the whole village, but found no one crying. At last one said, “Let us go over to the old widow’s hut.” On nearing it they heard the sound of crying, so they returned to the chief and said, “The crying is at the lodge of the old widow, Deienensowanens.”189 Hearing this, the chief said: “My daughter is at that lodge. I must go over there.” When near, he, too, heard the sound of crying, at which his heart grew weak, and he thought to himself, “I can not go into that poor hut.” So he remained outside, and soon he also began to cry, and he cried until he forgot everything. When he came to his senses he was sitting at the side of the old widow, “Broad-Shoulders.” He did not know where he was. He was not crying, merely thinking why the others were crying. After a while he said, “Let us all be of good cheer and stop crying.” Now the [320]old woman thought, “Who said that?” and, on looking up, she saw the chief of the village, whereupon she asked, “Why are you here? I never saw you near me before.” “I came to cheer you up,” he replied. “Very well,” said the widow, “but tell your daughter to stop crying. I thought it was the rule to cry, for when she got here she began to do so.” The chief said to his daughter: “Stop crying! It is not right for you to cry. If you do not stop, I will cut your head off.” Being afraid, she stopped. Doonongaes cried on as before until finally the old woman said, “My grandson, every one has stopped crying; so do not cry.” He paid no heed. The chief tried to stop him, but he cried the more, and continued to cry until morning. He was sitting on a block with his elbows on his knees and his head resting on the palms of his hands. In the morning his companions saw a great pile of wampum in front of him. All his tears were beautiful wampum. The chief asked: “What are those things? Are they not good for something?” “Yes,” replied Doonongaes, “if they are strung together. If a man is sad and cries, and a string of them is given to him, all will be well again.” Doonongaes had now stopped crying. The chief said, “I want you to be the chief of this place, and I will be the second, or vice, chief.” Doonongaes sat with drooping head for a while, after which, looking up, he said: “I do not want to be a chief. I am great enough now. I am known everywhere. I am second in magic power in the entire world—that is enough for me.” The chief asked, “Do you know who is first in magic power in this world?” “I do,” he replied. “Who is he?” was the next question. “Tsodiqgwadon, who lives at Dedyosdenhon,” he answered. “Very well,” said the chief, “I can say no more. I will go home, taking my daughter with me.” “Yes; go! I do not want you here,” Doonongaes added.

The chief and his daughter then returned home, whereupon Doonongaes began to laugh. The old woman asked, “Why do you laugh?” “Oh! I am laughing at the chief, for his daughter very much wants to get married.” The old woman replied, “You would better stop laughing and appoint some one to marry her instead of yourself.” “Well, grandmother, you must go and find some poor man to marry her,” said Doonongaes. “Very well, grandson. I will go to a ‘Shabby Man’ who lives on the other side of the village and speak to him about it.” When she got to the place she said to the “Shabby Man,” “I have come to have you marry?” “Who would marry me? Nobody wants me,” said the man. “Oh, yes! I can find you a wife, a beautiful one, too,” was her answer. The “Shabby Man” said, “All right,” and went home with the old woman. Doonongaes asked: “Are you the man? Do you want to marry?” “Yes. I should like to marry, if anybody would have me,” replied the man. Doonongaes said to the widow’s granddaughter, “Go to the chief and [321]say that Doonongaes will marry his daughter now.” So she told the chief what he said. “Very well,” he answered, sending his daughter to the old woman’s hut. Doonongaes asked her, “Do you want to marry me?” “Yes; for you killed the eagle,” she replied. “Would it please you if I should appoint a man to marry you?” Doonongaes added. “Yes,” was the girl’s answer. “This is the man I appoint,” declared Doonongaes. Turning to the “Shabby Man,” the girl said, “Come, we will go home to my father’s lodge.” At this the man laughed for gladness.

Doonongaes spent a whole year with the old woman. One morning he said: “Now, I am going to the southern end of the earth. I want to know how things are there.” “Very well,” replied the grandmother. “Come in on your way back,” she said. “I will,” said Doonongaes. He left all the wampum with the old woman, for if he wanted any he had only to cry in order to get it. After traveling all day and all night, in the morning he came to a great opening in the woods. As he stood looking around the place, he saw some dark object in the west. Looking very sharply, he said: “What is that dark thing? Is some one watching?” He stood there a good while. Just at midday, seeing that the object was lying down, he thought: “What can that be? I must go there and see.” He ran thither as swiftly as he could, and on coming to a piece of smooth ground, there he found one of the Djainosgowa family. The one that had been standing up was the old man who guarded the opening; he was now lying down to sleep, for it was just midday. There were two old Djainosgowa persons and five children. Doonongaes, frightened, ran into the woods, thinking: “I must go home. I do not want these Djainos people to kill me.”

So Doonongaes ran a whole month, day and night, until he reached the lodge of Tsodiqgwadon, whom he found sitting by the fire with his head hanging down. When he looked up and saw Doonongaes he said, “Oh, my friend! are you alive?” “Yes; I have been traveling,” said Doonongaes. “Why did you leave your two wives?” asked Tsodiqgwadon. “Oh! I do not think those women good enough for me; they are too ugly,” was his answer. “Why did you tell me you wanted them?” he was asked. “I did not want them. I wanted good-looking women,” he said. “Well, you can not have two beautiful women,” declared his questioner. Soon they heard a noise, at which Tsodiqgwadon said, “Sit down behind me.” A stranger, entering, asked, “Have you seen Doonongaes?” “I have not,” answered Tsodiqgwadon. “Well, I have tracked him to this lodge,” came the reply. “What of it? I have not seen him,” was the reply. “You must have hidden him,” persisted the stranger. “No; I tell you I have not seen him.” The stranger, who was Djainosgowa, and [322]who had followed Doonongaes from the great opening, now said, “I must go home.” “You would better do so,” replied Tsodiqgwadon. As he started off, Tsodiqgwadon said to Doonongaes: “Come out here. I want you to go to the northern end of the earth and see how my father is getting on. He lives at the edge of the earth. Ask him if he will not come here. Tell him we are to have a great council at Broken Land. All the people of the world are to meet there.” “What is your father’s name?” asked Doonongaes. Tsodiqgwadon said, “Deanohdjes.190 He is of the Geia191 people.”

Doonongaes immediately started on the journey. He traveled day and night for a whole year,192 but could not reach the northern end of the earth. One morning he said, “I do not believe I shall ever get to the place where Deanohdjes lives.” Sitting on a large stone he wondered what he should do. At last he thought, “Well, I must go on; if I do not Tsodiqgwadon may kill me, for he is greater in sorcery than I.” So he traveled on for another whole year. Then he thought again: “How much farther must I go? I am very far away from Hanging Rock.” (Tsodiqgwadon was so magically powerful that he caused Doonongaes to lose his course, and hence to go round and round without ever drawing nearer the place to which he was sent.) One morning Doonongaes heard a voice from some village near by. There sat Tsodiqgwadon, who turned, and, looking at him, asked, “Well, have you come back?” “Yes,” said Doonongaes. “Have you seen my father?” continued his questioner. “No; I could not find his lodge,” replied Doonongaes. “Well, you have been gone a long time. Where have you been?” said Tsodiqgwadon. To this Doonongaes rejoined: “I thought I was on my way north, and that I was a great distance from here, and I wanted to know how far I was from your father’s lodge.” Tsodiqgwadon began to laugh and to make sport of him, saying, “I want you to go straight ahead this time, not in a circle.”

Doonongaes now set out the second time. He traveled northward for 10 days and nights, when he came to a narrow opening which was so long that he could not see the farther end. This was called Nitgendasadieha.193 He started to cross this opening. At night he slept soundly on the grass. The next morning he traveled on. He was 10194 days in crossing this opening. Going on farther, he came to a second opening, through which he saw a lodge at the farther end. Peeping through the cracks in the wall, he saw sitting inside by the fire with his head down, smoking, an old man. The old man, who was of the Osigweon195 people, raising his head, said: “I smell a human being. My nephew must have come. Well, nephew, come in. Why do you stand outside?” Thereupon Doonongaes, thinking, “How did he know I was here?” went in. The old man continued: “I have been wishing for a long time that you would arrive, for I knew [323]you were coming. Now, nephew, I have a game which I always play when anyone visits me—it is a foot race. We run from one end to the other of the narrow opening.” “I have nothing to bet,” replied Doonongaes. “Oh!” replied the old man, “bet your head.” “Very well,” said Doonongaes. “Wait a while,” said the old man; “I will tell you when I am ready,” and he went into another room. Doonongaes, making himself invisible, followed him. The old man had a bark canoe there, in which was a living thing that seemed to be without bones, being a mass of flesh about 2 feet long, in the shape of a lizard. As the old man rubbed his hand over it, a fluid resembling milk came out of the living object, with which the old man rubbed his hands and his whole body. Doonongaes also rubbed himself with the juice before going out. Then the contestants placed themselves at the end of the opening, whereupon the old man said, “I will start just as the sun comes to the middle of the sky.” They stood watching until the sun was exactly in the middle of the sky. Then they started. The old man, throwing out his arms, pushed Doonongaes far back. The latter, springing up, however, soon overtook the old man, and catching him by the neck, threw him back, saying, “That is what I do when I want to win.” They ran on until the middle of the afternoon, when they reached the other end of the opening. At sunset Doonongaes was back at the starting place, where he staid all night. In the morning the old man came, and Doonongaes said: “I have won. Now I will take off your head.” “Well,” said the old man, “I will have a smoke first.”196 “Oh, no,” said Doonongaes, cutting off the old man’s head at once.

Then Doonongaes continued his journey northward, traveling for two days and nights. When he tired of walking he turned into a long horned snake. Soon, seeing a great black cloud coming with rain and thunder, he thought, “Hinon197 wants to kill me”; hence he went down into the earth so far that Hinon could not reach him. After staying there a good while, he said, “I must go on”; so he changed himself into a man again on account of his dread of Hinon. He soon came to a river, on the bank of which he stood, wondering how he was to cross. He went along the bank to the point where the river entered a lake. There he thought, “I must change myself into a snake and go into the water.” After crossing he became a man again so Hinon would not pursue him.

Doonongaes journeyed on a whole month. One morning he came to an opening called Gendagwen(t),198 where he saw nothing. Having passed through this he saw a woman. He ran forward swiftly, but could not overtake her. She went with such speed that they were the same distance apart at night, when he thought, “I can not catch her, so I may as well camp.” Picking up some dry sticks, he made a fire. On looking around he saw that the woman had camped just [324]ahead. “Oh, pshaw!” thought he, “I will go there.” He started, but as he advanced so did she. When he came to her fire there was no one there, so he said, “I will stay here.” Soon he saw another fire ahead, which he knew to be the fire of the woman whom he was following, whereupon he said: “I am ashamed to stop here, so I will go on.” He reached the second fire, but no one was there. Then he said, “I will go back to my own fire and stay there.” When he reached his camping place the woman was back again at her first fire. He followed her all the next day, always at the same distance. On reaching an opening she went into a lodge. Following, he found her sitting on one side of the fire, and an old man on the other side with his head bowed. Seating himself near the woman, Doonongaes asked her, “Do you not want to marry me?” She made no reply. He asked again, “Will you marry me?” He asked three times, but received no reply. Then the old man, who was a Dagwanoenyent (i.e., Cyclone), raising his head, said to the girl: “You have brought home game. Wash my big kettle, granddaughter, and boil some water, and I will kill the game.” At this he began to sharpen his flint knife, whereupon Doonongaes ran out, with the old man following him. Doonongaes mused: “What trouble comes to me: I shall die now. This is because I tried to catch the girl.” The old man was close upon him now, and as he lifted his knife to strike, Doonongaes stepped aside, so the old man cut his own knee. He fell down on account of the pain, but spitting on his hands, he rubbed the wound, thus curing it instantly. Then springing up, he ran on. All day he followed Doonongaes. Many times he cut himself as he did the first time, but always healed the wound with spittle. At sunset Doonongaes said, “What a shame! I ought to kill that man.” Turning himself into a snake, he tore him to pieces. As he threw off the legs, he said, “I want you to become owls,” and away they flew, owls. He made the old man’s flesh into all kinds of birds.199

Then he said, “Now, I will go back to the girl; it may be that she will marry me.” Reaching the lodge just at midnight, he went in and said to the girl, “Your grandfather is dead.” “Is that true?” she asked. “Yes, I have killed him,” said Doonongaes. “Well, what do you want?” she demanded. “I want to live with you,” said Doonongaes. “Very well,” she replied; “I was afraid of the old man—this is why I did not answer your questions at first.” Doonongaes stayed with Ganos,200 for that was the girl’s name, a whole month. Then he said one morning, “I must continue my journey.”

So Doonongaes set out, and after traveling northward for 16 days and nights, he came to the edge201 of the earth. It was very cold there. As he looked around, he saw a lodge in which he found a very old man with white hair reaching to the ground all around him as he [325]sat there. Doonongaes said, “I have come to visit you.” The old man did not hear. Thrice Doonongaes spoke but received no answer. Then he looked for a club. Finding one, he hit the old man on the top of the head, saying, “Do you not hear me?” The old man never moved, but muttered, “Mice must have fallen from above my head. No matter.” Doonongaes, thinking what kind of man is this, struck him again. Thereupon the old man, lifting up his hair and tying it back so that he could see, asked, “What are you here for?” “I came to visit you,” said Doonongaes. “I do not want a visit from you. Be off!” he commanded. Doonongaes, who was nearly freezing to death from the extreme cold, retorted: “Be quiet! do not get excited.” “Oh! I do not care for other people,” said the old man. “What did you come here for?” “I came to ask a question. Do you know where Deanohdjes lives?” asked Doonongaes. “Yes; he lives in the middle of the ice lake over yonder,” said the old man. “Do you know whether he is at home today?” said Doonongaes. “Oh, you could not go to him today; it used to take me 10202 days and nights to go to his place,” said the old man. “Is there a trail?” inquired Doonongaes. “Yes, you will find my tracks,” said the old man, who was a white bear.

Now it grew colder and colder while Doonongaes traveled half a day before he reached the place where Tsodiqgwadon’s father lived. He found an open space in the ice. After standing there a while he saw a man with great teeth rising from the water. The man said to Doonongaes, “What do you come here for?” “Your son sent me. There is to be a great council at Broken Land. All the people of the world will be there,” answered Doonongaes. “What is the council for?” asked Deanohdjes. “I do not know; your son has not told me,” replied Doonongaes. “Well, I will start in 20 days from now,” rejoined the elder man.

Trembling with cold, Doonongaes turned back without delay. In 10203 days he was at Hanging Rock. Tsodiqgwadon asked, “Have you seen my father?” “Yes,” replied Doonongaes. “Well, what did he say?” was the next question. “He said that he would start in 20 days,” answered Doonongaes. “Let us go to Broken Land,” said Tsodiqgwadon. They started, but as they had 10 days’ time and it was only one day’s journey to Broken Land, they went southward to look around. The next day near sunset they saw a man coming toward them. “Who is that coming?” asked Tsodiqgwadon; “he looks like a chief. What a great headdress he has! [He had long feathers and much wampum.] He looks like a great man, for his face is painted red and black.” Doonongaes said, “Let us chase him.” “What shall we do with him if we catch him?” asked Tsodiqgwadon. “I will take hold of his head and you of his feet, and thus we will stretch him,” answered Doonongaes. “Very well,” [326]said Tsodiqgwadon. When they met, Doonongaes asked the stranger, “Where are you going?” “To the north, to see the place where White Hair lives,” was the reply. “What would you do if I should wrestle with you?” inquired Doonongaes. “Oh! I should like that,” he said. So they began to wrestle. Doonongaes threw his adversary; and then, taking hold of his head and Tsodiqgwadon of his feet, the two began to pull, and they pulled until his legs and arms were stretched out to a great length. Thereupon Doonongaes said, “We will call you Gaisonhe.”204

Leaving him, the two traveled on. The second morning they saw some one ahead, an ugly-looking man who had a great deal of wampum wound around his body. He was shooting arrows as he sat on a stone. Doonongaes and Tsodiqgwadon looked in the direction his arrows were going and saw many deer standing there, but they noted that his arrows never struck one of them. Going up to the man, Doonongaes asked, “What are you doing?” “I am trying to kill deer. I have tried all the morning, but I can not kill one,” said he. “Such a shot as you are can never hit anything even if he were to shoot 10 days,” said Tsodiqgwadon, adding, “I will help you.” As the man shot, Tsodiqgwadon blew on the arrow, which went into the ground, at which Tsodiqgwadon said, “You will never see that arrow again.” Immediately it took root and turned to Ohohwa Ohnoh.205 Tsodiqgwadon changed the man into an owl, after which they went on.

Just at midday the two came to a cliff. As they stood on the edge, looking down, Doonongaes said, “It seems as if some people live down there.” Tsodiqgwadon replied: “I think so. Let us go down.” When they reached the bottom, they saw that under the cliff was a plain, or opening, with the cliff hanging over one side of it. The plain had three points—a northern, a southern, and an eastern. At each point there was a lodge. Doonongaes went south and Tsodiqgwadon went north. Looking into the lodge that stood on the southern point, Doonongaes saw an old man working at something. “What is he doing making such a noise?” thought Doonongaes. The old man, looking up, said: “This odor is like that of a man. How could anyone get in here, for my master guards the entrance to the cliff?” The old man, who was of the Odjieqda206 people, was making a wooden bowl. He went to work again, saying, “I will not waste time smelling.” Doonongaes heard him, and, saying “I will make him waste his time,” he thrust his horns under the lodge, and, lifting it into the air, threw it down so that it broke into pieces. The old man, however, still sat on the ground in the same place. Doonongaes laughed. The old man thought to himself, “Who is that laughing?” and, looking up, he said: “Oh! that is Sʻhodieonskon.207 Well, I will not do anything. I will go and tell my [327]master”; with this remark he started toward the entrance, while Doonongaes hurried off to the lodge at the eastern point of the opening. There he heard the sound of pounding, and peeping into the lodge, he saw four Odjieqda women pounding Odauhdjah208 in stone mortars. The eldest asked, “Do you not smell the flesh of man?” “Yes,” replied the others. “Well, hurry up, take your clubs and try to kill him,” she continued. Doonongaes ran off, frightened. The women came out, but could see nothing but tracks. The old woman, whose name was Deiehnies,209 said, “Never mind; he will come back.” “That is a strange place,” thought Doonongaes; “I will go back and see what they will do”; so saying, he returned to the lodge. The women immediately knew of his return, and old Deiehnies said, “Make haste, my daughter, and kill the game.” When they came out they saw a man standing near the lodge. Then the old woman changed her mind, saying: “Do not bother him. It must be that he wants to marry—that is why he comes.” One of the girls added, “Yes; let him alone,” but the eldest said, “No; let us kill him.” The two younger girls returned to the lodge, but the eldest, running up to Doonongaes, lifted her club to hit him; he dodged, however, with the result that she struck herself210 on the knee, whereupon she fell down crying. At this the old woman came out, and taking hold of her by the hair, shook her, saying: “What are you doing? If you want to kill the game, run after it.” Then the old woman ran up to and struck at Doonongaes, likewise hitting her own knee and falling down crying. Doonongaes now went to the lodge where the two younger girls were and they stood up near him, for they liked him. As old Deiehnies and the eldest girl came in, the women began to fight. Going outside, Doonongaes watched the fight. They fought long and hard, but had not finished when Doonongaes set fire to the lodge; before the women knew it, the flames were so fierce that they could not escape, so all were burned to death. Thereupon Doonongaes said to himself: “Why did they try to kill me? They did not know what kind of a man I am. Everyone ought to be kind when I come. I will go to find Tsodiqgwadon.”

Doonongaes now went to the lodge in the north, but he found no one. He heard, however, a sound as of ball-playing. Following the sound he came to an opening, where he saw his friend playing ball with two old men of the Dagwennigonhge211 people. It was a close game, and Doonongaes stood watching it. Soon they ran past him, and Tsodiqgwadon called out, “Why do you not help me? There are two against me”; so Doonongaes joined in. The old men played well, but Doonongaes and Tsodiqgwadon won. Then Tsodiqgwadon said, “Take the wager. Cut their heads off.” “Very well,” replied Doonongaes, “that is what I like.” So he cut off their heads, and throwing them into the lodge, then burned it up. The heads burst and [328]Dagwanoenyents212 rushed forth. Now the cliff began to crumble, at which Doonongaes exclaimed: “Let us go quickly! This cliff may fall and bury us under it.” Doonongaes and Tsodiqgwadon ran out as quickly as possible and were barely outside when down came the cliff. Doonongaes said, “The man from the first lodge ran out at this opening.” As they stood there looking carefully around they saw a lodge, in the doorway of which sat a man, whereupon Tsodiqgwadon said: “That man’s name is Hahnyusdais.213 He is the master of the dwellers under the cliff, and he kept them as prisoners.” “Let us go up and see the fellow,” answered Doonongaes. When they went to the lodge, Hahnyusdais asked, “What did you come here for?” “I came to ask you a question,” retorted Doonongaes. “Well, wait until I smoke,” Hahnyusdais replied, and taking out a stone pipe, he began to smoke. Doonongaes continued, “I came to ask you what has become of the men you had under the cliff which has just fallen in?” “I will go and see,” replied Hahnyusdais. As the place was full of earth he could not look in, and he said to Doonongaes, “Do you not belong to the Dagwennigonhge people?” “No, I do not,” was the answer. The old man then inquired: “Why is this place full of earth? I went in some time ago, but I can not go in now. A man named Deagonstwihes214 came out of here a little while ago and then went back. I suppose he was buried in there.” Doonongaes began to laugh at what he had done, saying to Tsodiqgwadon, “Let us chase and catch Hahnyusdais.” “What shall we do with him?” asked Tsodiqgwadon. “Oh! stretch him,” came the reply. Thereupon they caught him, and Doonongaes taking him by the head and Tsodiqgwadon by the feet, they pulled in order to stretch him out. Hahnyusdais screamed: “Oh, stop! I do not want long legs. I want to be as I am.” But they only pulled the harder, Hahnyusdais growing longer and longer, until Doonongaes said, “This man now belongs to our people; he will be Haunhdji.”215

Leaving their victim, the two then went toward the east. At midday they met the two men who had been sent to track the Laughing Man216 after he had killed Doonongaes. “What are you doing?” asked Doonongaes. They replied: “We are tracking the Laughing Man, who killed our chief. We were sent to track and to kill him. We shall never stop until we catch him. Here are his tracks.” “Who was your chief?” said Doonongaes. “Doonongaes,” they replied. Doonongaes, laughing, said, “Do you not know that when Sʻhodieonskon dies he comes to life again in a short time?” “No,” replied the men, whose names were, respectively, Hatkwisdowanen217 and Hushewathen.218 “We do not know that. We never heard the old people say that,” they answered. “Well, two days after I died I came to life. It is no use to pursue the Laughing Man any longer. You will not catch him, but he will never kill me again. You would better [329]go home,” added Doonongaes. The two men said, “Thank you for our freedom; we are at liberty now to go where we please.” “I should like to take a smoke,” said Doonongaes; “I used to have a pouch,219 but I do not know now where it is.” “Well,” said Hatkwisdowanen, “when you died two men were sent to your lodge to get your pouch. I think that the chief, Hagondowanen,220 has it now.” “I will be at his place tomorrow,” replied Doonongaes. “We are going to have a great time at Broken Land. Will you not be there?” “It may be that I shall, if I do not get killed. I suppose my wife is enraged because I have been away so long,” answered Hatkwisdowanen.

Hatkwisdowanen and his friend now started for home, while Doonongaes and Tsodiqgwadon went on eastward. At nightfall the latter came to a lodge, within which they heard some one singing, Onen gagwégon sawadiyon heníyon ganyoh.221 “Why does that old woman sing so?” asked Doonongaes. “Let us run through this hut,” he added. “Oh, pshaw!” answered Tsodiqgwadon; “what is the use of chasing people all the time?” “I will tell you why I like to do it,” answered Doonongaes. “All people get angry when they see me and try to kill me, so now I am going to kill all the people I can.” Tsodiqgwadon remained outside while Doonongaes went into the lodge, crying out, “Now I have come back.” The old woman, whose name was Gonyahsgweont222 and who belonged to the Nosgwais223 people, raising her head, said, “It seems as if some game creature was talking in my lodge.” Looking around and seeing Doonongaes, she said: “What are you doing in here? There is no use troubling me, for I have never chased you.” She knew he was Sʻhodieonskon, and that he always chased and killed people. She began to beg, but, going behind her, he held her by the shoulders when she tried to turn around. Then catching her by the feet, he pulled her out of the lodge. “Do not make sport of and trouble me,” cried the old woman; “I am poor, but I have never harmed anyone.” “Why do you sing in that way, then?” asked Doonongaes; “I thought you were the woman who killed all kinds of game.” “I was feeling happy, that is why I sang,” answered the old woman. At this Tsodiqgwadon said, “You would better let that old woman alone.”

So Doonongaes left the old woman and the two went on. When they met people they changed themselves to resemble those people. They were magically the most powerful persons living. Tsodiqgwadon was greatly superior to his friend in this respect, possessing the greatest orenda in this world. All were afraid of him because he could do anything he liked. All at once Doonongaes said: “My neck feels bad. It has been sore for a long time.” “When did it become sore?” asked Tsodiqgwadon. Then Doonongaes told about the two old sisters Gwidogwido, and said that ever since he had lifted and carried away their lodge his neck had troubled him. “You must [330]have been bewitched by their lodge,” replied Tsodiqgwadon; “let me feel your neck?” When Doonongaes held his head down Tsodiqgwadon saw the end of a flint knife. He tried to pull it out; he continued to try all night long, and just as the sun224 arose he drew it out. “There! I have it,” said he. “The wizards bewitched you. There are many more wizards than you know of. I have cured you now for life.” Taking up the knife, Doonongaes looked at it and said, “How strong I am to carry so long a knife in my neck so many years.”

Continuing their journey, Doonongaes and his companion soon came to a village where no one was found, although smoke arose from every lodge’s smoke-hole. “This must be the place I visited once before,” said Doonongaes; “there is something very mysterious about it.” “No, there is nothing mysterious here,” replied Tsodiqgwadon. “The place is always kept this way. It is kept for people who are traveling around the world, so that when they come to this village they can eat whatever they like. It is called Yondekhonyatha Ganondayen.”225 “Who has arranged all this?” asked Doonongaes. “A Great Power226 in the Blue Sky made this village, so every man could eat here,” answered Tsodiqgwadon. “Very well, let us eat, then,” said Doonongaes. So, going into one of the lodges, they took meat in a bowl. When they were ready to eat, Tsodiqgwadon began to laugh. “Why do you laugh?” asked Doonongaes; “you said this belonged to all people who are on the trail.” Tsodiqgwadon had now become what Doonongaes was—that is, Sʻhodieonskon—and he said, “I will go outside for a moment.” While Tsodiqgwadon went out, Doonongaes began to eat. At that moment he felt that someone was there. On turning around, he saw a Stone Coat227 sharpening his chert knife—yes, he saw several sitting around, all sharpening their chert knives. “What are you sharpening your knives for?” asked Doonongaes. “We are going to kill you,” came the reply. “Wait until I am ready. Give me fair play,” said Doonongaes. “All right,” was the reply, “but you must hurry up.” He went to the woods where he found Tsodiqgwadon, who, laughing, asked, “Did you see anything to frighten you?” “Yes; I have a fight on my hands,” answered Doonongaes. “Well, I am going on,” said Tsodiqgwadon; “all the help I will give you is to tell you what kind of a weapon these people are afraid of. It is a basswood228 knife.” “Should I not make a flint club?” asked Doonongaes. “No; that would not hurt them a bit. Make a basswood club,” came the answer. Doonongaes made, therefore, both a basswood knife and a club, and then, going back to the Stone Coats, he said, “I am ready.” When they saw his basswood knife and club they were terribly frightened, and ran off as fast as they could toward the north, chased by Doonongaes. The first one he overtook he hit on the head [331]with his club, whereupon the Stone Coat crumbled down to the ground, dead, with his body and coat smashed to pieces. Doonongaes treated the next one in a like manner and so on until he had overtaken and killed them all—men, women, and children. Then he said: “This is the kind of man I am. Why did Tsodiqgwadon leave me? I can chase him, too, when I find him.” At that moment, hearing someone behind him, he looked around only to see Tsodiqgwadon, who asked, “What are you talking about?” Doonongaes replied, “Oh! I was saying that you are the best friend I have in the world.”

Once more the two went on together, and the next morning they came to a rock which was so high that they could not see the top of it. Doonongaes now changed himself into a buck, and rubbing his horns on the rock said, “I can kill Hinon229 if I see him.” At that moment Hinon came out of the rock, and standing before him, asked, “What were you saying?” “Oh! I said that the man who lives in here is the best friend I have,” answered Doonongaes. Tsodiqgwadon stood on one side, laughing. Believing Doonongaes, Hinon went back into the rock.

The two friends now continued journeying toward the north. Tsodiqgwadon said to his companion, “I want you to stop fooling everybody, for you do not know what orenda other persons have; you may get into trouble some time.” Toward night they came to a lodge in which many old men lived. These were singing a war song, Ogwenion denkenoonk ganyohshon enkhegen heyoendjadeh.230 All sang the same song. Assuming the form of this people, who were Gendagahadenyatha,231 Doonongaes, going into the lodge, began singing a war song, too, but with different words. He sang, Deaun ni daegwanoenk Onen neho agyon heonwe niswaiiyon.232 Thereupon the old men began to talk, and the chief of them said: “What does this man sing? He is an enemy. Let us scalp him.” Springing up and seizing their flint knives, they ran after him. Tsodiqgwadon stood outside, laughing. Doonongaes became a snake, and when they saw this the old people ran back, for they were too small to fight such a man. Tsodiqgwadon said to Doonongaes, “Let them alone.” “No; I will settle this people,” answered Doonongaes. “You would better let them alone. It is not right to act in this way all the time,” replied Tsodiqgwadon. “Let us go on then; there is no use in standing here if you will not harass these people with me,” said Doonongaes.

Traveling toward the east, the two companions soon saw a large man coming in their direction. When they met him they spoke to him, and the man said to Doonongaes: “I have come to tell you that you are not doing right in attacking people. You may strike your friend.” At this Doonongaes struck Tsodiqgwadon, knocking [332]him down. The large man laughed, saying, “That is what I like.” Tsodiqgwadon jumped up, whereupon the stranger said: “You must strike back,” so Tsodiqgwadon struck Doonongaes. “Now, you must say bad words to each other and scold,” said he. They began to scold, and threaten, and talk fiercely. “That is enough,” said the large man. “You can go now, and whatever people you see as you go around the world, pursue them; that is what I like. I am always near you as you go along.” Then the large man, whose name was Nanisheonon,233 went off toward the west.

Tsodiqgwadon and Doonongaes now started for Broken Land. The former said: “That is why I always tell you to stop chasing people. You see now. We met this large man on account of your hurting people. He likes such things. Stop your fooling and be like me. Tomorrow is the day of our council meeting.” When they reached Broken Land Doonongaes said: “Here is where I was killed, and I will show you where the man lived who brought me to life, and to whose lodge I went and killed him.” “Is that what you do to people who help you?” said Tsodiqgwadon. “That is what I did to him because he was trying to keep our two most beautiful women,” Doonongaes replied. “What did you do with the women?” asked Tsodiqgwadon. “I lived with them until you told me to go with you, and that all women belonged to you,” was the reply. “Did I tell you that?” said Tsodiqgwadon. “Yes, you did,” retorted Doonongaes. At this Tsodiqgwadon laughed. “What are you laughing at?” asked Doonongaes. “I am laughing because I fooled you so when I said that to you,” rejoined Tsodiqgwadon. “You will not be angry, then, if I go to them?” said Doonongaes. “Oh! you can go if you like,” was the reply. “Very well, I will go now,” declared Doonongaes. “May I visit you until tomorrow?” asked Tsodiqgwadon. “No; I think you would better not,” was the answer. “All right; I can stay here until the time comes for the council,” said Tsodiqgwadon. Going to his mother-in-law’s lodge, Doonongaes asked, “Where are your daughters?” “Oh! they have gone back to their first husbands,” said the old woman. “Have they forgotten me?” asked Doonongaes. “You know,” answered the old woman, “that you have been gone a long time. They waited two years for you.” “Well, I have been all over the world. I thought they would wait until my return,” declared Doonongaes. “Stay here and I will go for them,” said the old woman. She went to her elder daughter, to whom she said, “Your husband, the great chief, has come back.” “I will go to him,” replied the woman. Then going to her second daughter, she said, “I have come for you; your husband has returned.” The daughter said, “My husband is here.” “Not that one,” replied her mother; “I mean the great chief.” “I know; but I waited a long time for [333]him. I should be ashamed to go from this husband now,” she added. “Oh!” said the old woman, “this man you have now is not worth anything; he has not a bit of wampum.” “I will go, then,” said the girl, “but do not tell my husband.” So she dressed up and made a bundle of her things in preparation to go away. “Where are you going?” asked her husband. “To my mother’s lodge.” “Very well,” said he, and off she went.

When the two girls reached their mother’s lodge, after greeting Doonongaes, they began to talk to him. One asked, “Where have you been for so long a time?” “Oh! I have been to the northern, southern, and western ends of this earth,” replied Doonongaes. “Do you know what there is going to be tomorrow?” she asked. “No; what is it?” asked Doonongaes. “They are going to have a great council,” she replied. “What kind of council?” he inquired. “Oh! to appoint another chief. They will take the chieftaincy away from Tsodiqgwadon and put somebody else in your place as second chief,” was the answer. “Why so?” demanded Doonongaes. “Because you chase all the people living in the world,” she replied. Now Doonongaes began to feel sad; he sat there with his head down, thinking until night. Then he made up his mind, saying, “Well, if they do put me out I will always be Sʻhodieonskon.” The next morning he felt better, because his mind was made up. As soon as they were through eating, all the people went to Broken Land.

When they had assembled Doonongaes arose, saying, “I believe all are now present.” Thereupon Tsodiqgwadon arose. He told them what the council was for, and said to the people, “You now have to choose a head chief and a second chief for the whole world, and every village is to choose a chief for itself.” But Deanohdjes had not yet come. Then one man, arising, said, “I should like to make Deanohdjes234 head chief.” They talked the question over; one-half were for Deanohdjes and the other half against him. Only one man remained silent. Remarking, “Well, I can say nothing until tomorrow,” Tsodiqgwadon then adjourned the meeting. The next morning Deanohdjes arrived. When the council assembled Tsodiqgwadon arose and said: “All are now present. Now, my father, are you willing to be the head chief of the whole world?” Deanohdjes hung his head, while the people all were silent. Then, raising his head, he said, “I can say nothing for 10 days.” So the council adjourned and met again in 10 days. Thereupon Deanohdjes said: “I will tell you my mind. Put this duty on Doonongaes; make him head chief of all the world.” Doonongaes was delighted, but Tsodiqgwadon said, “He is too mean a man for that; he is Sʻhodieonskon.” “If he is made head chief of the world he will change,” replied Deanohdjes. “He who is most powerful in orenda should be head chief,” said Tsodiqgwadon; “Doonongaes has not much power.” [334]“Well, you have more orenda than anyone else in the world,” said Deanohdjes, to which Tsodiqgwadon retorted: “I do what the people wish. They said they were going to appoint another chief, and I supposed they had found some one who is magically more powerful than I am.” Then Tsodiqgwadon, addressing the meeting, said, “Take the person who you think has the greatest orenda.” Some one then said: “Let us adjourn for 10 days, for only our own people are present now, while others who are coming should be here. Let Haiwanenqgwi235 be sent to all the people of every kind in the world to notify them of the council.” Accordingly he was sent, and the council was adjourned. After going all over the world, as he thought, he came back. “Have you been everywhere?” asked Tsodiqgwadon. “Yes; the world is not so large that I had need of many days to visit all its parts,” replied Haiwanenqgwi. “Have you found every known people?” was asked him. “Yes, excepting one; I have not seen these,” he answered. “Who are they?” asked Tsodiqgwadon. “The Dagwanoenyents,” Haiwanenqgwi said. “Oh! did you not go to Gaha Gastende,236 where the high rocks are in the east?” inquired Tsodiqgwadon. “No; I thought no one lived there,” he replied. “Well, you must go there, for that is the place where the Dagwanoenyents live,” declared Tsodiqgwadon.

Haiwanenqgwi started again. On reaching the foot of the mountain he met some of the Dagwanoenyents, who roam all over the region of Wind Cliff, and to them he said, “I have come to notify your people that a council is to be held at Broken Land in 10 days from now.” The chief answered, “You stay here until I call a meeting, so you can tell all the people, for if I should deliver the message they might not believe me.” So saying, he went on the mountain to a place where these people always held their meetings; it was a smooth place without trees or grass. Soon the people began to appear, and when all had come, there were hundreds and hundreds of them. Haiwanenqgwi, rising, said, “I have come to notify your people that a council will be held at Broken Land 10 days hence and that you must all be present.” In response all said, “We will be there at the appointed time.” Then the meeting adjourned and all went home. When Haiwanenqgwi returned to his home Tsodiqgwadon asked him, “Have you now notified all kinds of people?” He replied, “Yes; all those whom I have ever seen.” Thereupon he was asked, “Have you notified the Stone Coats?” To which he answered, “No; where do they live?” Tsodiqgwadon told him, saying: “They live on Gahsgwaa Tgawenot,237 far off in the west. After you have been there go to an island in a southerly direction therefrom called Othegwenhdah Tgawenot;238 there you will find other people. Thence you must go in a southeasterly direction until you come to Oosah Tgawenot.239 The people of this island are called [335]Gaisonhe.240 Thence go southward again and you will come to Nitgawenosatieha,241 where the Djinonhsanon242 people live. Just beyond Nitgawenosatieha you will find Tgawenogwen,243 where the Onowehda244 people dwell. Be sure to notify all the people on these islands. Then go toward the east and you will reach a large island, on which you will find the Djisdaah people; this island is called Djisdaah Tgawenot.245 Thence go northward and then return here as soon as possible. Do not delay on the way.” These were the instructions of Tsodiqgwadon. Haiwanenqgwi, answering, “Very well,” started westward.

When he came to the end of the earth at the west he remarked to himself, “What shall I do to reach Gahsgwaa Tgawenot?”246 Then he quickly assumed the form of a snake, and, going into the water, swam about half way to the island, when loud thunder and vivid lightnings made him halt, whereupon he said, “I think that Hinon wants to kill me, so I will change myself into a Hahnowa.” As soon as he had become a Hahnowa, Hinon stopped his threatenings, and the sky cleared off, and everything became as bright as ever. He reached the Gahsgwaa Tgawenot, or Stone Island, when he again assumed the form of a man. Going on, he met a person to whom he said, “I have come to notify your people that we are going to have a great council at Broken Land 10 days from now.” “Well, where is your wampum?” he was asked. “I have none,” said Haiwanenqgwi, who asked in turn, “Where is your chief?” “Go westward,” he was told, “and you will come to a large opening in the rocks—there you will find our chief.” He came to this opening, and on looking in, saw a very old man sitting there. As soon as he stopped at the edge of the opening, the old man, looking up, said, “What do you want here?” Haiwanenqgwi replied, “I have come to notify you that our people will hold a great council at Broken Land, and that our head chief sends for you to come there in 10 days from now.” “Very well, I will come with all my people,” answered the old man.

Assuming the form of a Hahnowa, Haiwanenqgwi now went over the water until he came to the next island, which was called Othegwenhdah Tgawenot. Here he assumed the form of a man, and going to the chief, whose name was Hoonkgowanen,247 he said, “I have come to invite you to a great council, which is to be held at Broken Land in 10 days.” The chief replied, “Very well; we will be there on time.”

Then Haiwanenqgwi, again assuming the form of a Hahnowa, went over the water to Oosah Tgawenot.248 At this place he found Shayades,249 the chief of the people who dwelt there. To him Haiwanenqgwi gave the invitation to be at the great council at Broken Land in 10 days, and then he went on to Nitgawenosatieha. Soon he met some men who took him to their chief, whose name was Deanohsgwis.250 [336]Having given him the invitation, the chief accepted it, saying, “We will go to the council.”

Haiwanenqgwi next went to Tgawenogwen.251 Changing himself into Onowehda,252 he stood around for a time, but, not seeing anyone, mused to himself: “When shall I be able to see these people? It must be that I have missed the place.” But as he stood waiting, some of the people appeared. He learned that they dwelt in the ground, and that their chief’s name was Hononhengwen.253 On receiving the invitation, the chief promised in the name of his people to go to the great council at Broken Land.

Then Haiwanenqgwi went to Ganehdaiikhon Tgahadayen254 Tgawenot, where the Degatengowa255 people lived. There he saw one of the men standing in the air, at which he wondered what he was standing there for, concluding at last that this man must be possessed of the most powerful orenda to be found on the island. Soon a person came to him and conducted him to the chief, to whom he announced the invitation to the great council at Broken Land. The name of this chief was Henhgadji.256 The invitation was willingly accepted.

Haiwanenqgwi now went to Djisdaah Tgawenot,257 where the Djisdaah people lived. There he assumed the form of one of these people. Having met a man, he said to him, “I have come to notify you of a great council to be held in 10 days at Broken Land.” But the man told him that he must go to the chief. “Well, take me to him, then,” he replied. “Go straight ahead,” was the answer; “you will find the lodge yourself, for I can not go with you.” So Haiwanenqgwi went along farther and soon came to a lodge in which sat an old man, large and solemn in appearance; this was the Djisdaah chief. When he drew near, the old man, raising his head, said “Well, what news do you bring?” “I bring an important message to you and your people,” he answered. “Oh! wait then. Let me get some tobacco and light my pipe.”258 So saying, he took a large bunch of oak leaves—these were his tobacco—and beginning to chew them, he said, “Now, I am ready to listen to your message.” Thereupon Haiwanenqgwi gave him the invitation to the great council. The chief, whose name was Hodehondasiowanen,259 said, “We will be there at the appointed time.”

Haiwanenqgwi then ran homeward all night, reaching Broken Land in the morning. Once there he declared, “I have now visited all the peoples on the earth.” But Tsodiqgwadon asked, “Have you visited Gaasyendietʻha260 yet?” “No, I do not know where he lives,” he replied. “You must, however, go to him. Bring me an arrow,” said Tsodiqgwadon. The arrow having been brought, Tsodiqgwadon split the head, and after making Haiwanenqgwi small, placed him in the head and closed it, fastening it securely. Then Tsodiqgwadon said to the arrow: “I want you to go to the place where Gaasyendietʻha dwells. There you will find a Great Rock of white chert or flint, [337]which is red-hot; under this stone is a cavern in which Gaasyendietʻha lives. This rock is on the edge of the Blue Sky, where it meets the waters, just where the sun sets. Gaasyendietʻha carries this stone with him when he travels in winter so that he can break the ice as he goes; it is called Gaonhiahge Tgastendeh.261 There is no earth there; only stone. I want you to go directly to the Rock in the Blue Sky.” Then stringing the bow, he shot the arrow westward. The arrow, now alive, went flying through the air until it came to the end of the sky, where it saw the Rock in the Blue Sky. On coming down it struck the hot rock. The man who lived under the rock said, “Something has come down on my ball,” and pushing off the hot rock, he came forth. Thereupon Haiwanenqgwi, coming out of the arrowhead, said to Gaasyendietʻha, “Tsodiqgwadon sent me to ask you to be present at a council to be held in nine days from now at Broken Land.” “What is the council for?” asked the host. “To appoint a new chief for all the people under the Blue Sky,” came the reply. “Very well,” said he, “I will go.” Gaasyendietʻha asked, “How did you come, for I have never known any man to be able to come up to the Rock in the Blue Sky before?” “Oh! I came in the arrow,” answered his visitor. “Well, then, I must send you back in the same manner,” replied Gaasyendietʻha. “All right; I will have to return that way,” said Haiwanenqgwi. In picking up the arrow Gaasyendietʻha found that its head was split, so seizing Haiwanenqgwi and shaking him to reduce his size, he was finally able to reinsert him in the arrowhead, wherein he carefully secured him. Having done this, he cast the arrow eastward and it flew away. In a short time it came down at the feet of Tsodiqgwadon, who had not moved from that place since he had shot the arrow westward. When Haiwanenqgwi came forth he was asked, “Have you notified all the people now?” He replied, “Yes; I have, so far as I know, notified all the peoples under the Blue Sky.” But Tsodiqgwadon declared: “No; you have not; there are a large number yet who have not been notified of the great council. You must now go eastward to the place where Tkwendahen Niohsiowesiohden262 lives. This place is situated on an island called Gaahgwa Tgawenot,263 which is located just where the sun rises. The chief of this place is called Djahgwiyu.264 When you have performed your errand here you must go northward until you find another island, which is called Ohnonqgon(t)265 Tgawenot. The name of the chief of the people who dwell here is called Djihtkwahen Niothwahasyohden.266 When you have finished your errand here you must go northeastward, and you will reach an island which is called Gainhdoya267 Tgawenot; and the name of the chief who lives on this island is Djihtkwahen268 Haos. After you have notified him, take a westerly course, visiting an island which is called Hahnowa269 [338]Tgawenot, and on which all kinds of Hahnowa people live. The name of their chief is Honohtsagagiyit.270 After giving him your message you must go northward to Ohneqsah271 Tgawenot, where all kinds of Sowekshohon272 people live, the name of whose chief is Hahnyahses,273 who is of the Awaeh274 people; and when you have delivered your message to all these people, thence start southwestward and return home.”

Haiwanenqgwi then set out for Sun Island. There he saw after a while one of the Djahgwiyu275 people coming toward him, whereupon he thought: “What can this mean? Is the world going to burn up?” But soon he saw that it was Tkwendahen276 Niohsiowesiohden himself, who said, “What have you come for?” Haiwanenqgwi replied, “Oh! Tsodiqgwadon, the chief of the world, has sent me to notify you and your people of a council to be held at Broken Land in eight days from now.” “Very well; we will be there,” declared Tkwendahen Niohsiowesiohden.

Then Haiwanenqgwi went to Ohnonqgon(t) Tgawenot, and after that he reached Gainhdoya Tgawenot. When he arrived there he saw five men fishing. For a while he stood watching them, thinking, “What beautiful belts these men have.” When they saw him coming they threw reeds277 at him to bewitch him, to make him sore, and to cause him to swell up. When the reeds pierced his body, at once he began to swell and to suffer great pain. At last, to escape from them, h