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Title: Illustration of the Method of Recording Indian Languages

Author: James Owen Dorsey

Albert S. Gatschet

Stephen Return Riggs

Release date: November 11, 2005 [eBook #17042]
Most recently updated: December 12, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Carlo Traverso, William Flis, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at


Transcriber's note: The following notations are used to represent special characters:
  [K] = turned (inverted) "K"
  [T] = turned "T"
[pg 579]







[pg 581]


An Omaha Myth, obtained from F. LaFlèche by J. Owen Dorsey.

Egi¢e mactciñ'ge aká iʞaⁿ' ¢iñké ená-qtci ʇig¢e júgig¢á-biamá.
It came
to pass
rabbit the
the st.
only dwelt with his
they say.
haⁿ'egaⁿtcĕ'-qtci-hnaⁿ' `ábae ahí-biamá. Haⁿegaⁿtcĕ'-qtci a¢á-bi
And morning very habitually hunting went
they say. morning very went,they
ctĕwaⁿ' níkaciⁿga wiⁿ' snedĕ'-qti-hnaⁿ síg¢e a¢á-bitéamá. íbahaⁿ 3
person one foot long very as a rule trail had gone, they say. And to know
gaⁿ¢á-biamá. Níaciⁿga ¢iⁿ' ĭⁿ'taⁿ wítaⁿ¢iⁿ b¢é miñke, e¢égaⁿ-biamá.
wished they say. Person the mv. ob. now I-first I go will I who, thought they say.
Haⁿ'egaⁿcĕ'-qtci páhaⁿ-bi egaⁿ' a¢á-biamá. égi¢e níkaciⁿga amá
Morning very arose they say having went they say. Again it happened person the mv. sub.
síg¢e a¢á-bitéamá. Égi¢e akí-biamá. -biamá: ʞaⁿhá, wítaⁿ¢iⁿ b¢é 6
trail had
they say. It came
to pass
he reached
they say. Said as
they say: grand-
I-first I go
aʞídaxe ctĕwaⁿ' níkaciⁿga wíⁿ' aⁿ'aqai a¢aí te aⁿ'. [K]aⁿhá, uʞíaⁿ¢e
I make for
in spite
of it
person one getting ahead of me he has gone. Grand-
dáxe minke, b¢íze miñke hă. Átaⁿ jaⁿ' tadaⁿ', á-biamá
I make it will I who, and I take him will I who . Why you do it should? said, they say
wa`újiñga aka. Níaciⁿga i¢át'ab¢é hă, á-biamá. mactciñ'ge a¢á- 9
old woman the sub. Person I hate him . said, they say. And rabbit went
biamá. A¢á-bi ʞĭ síg¢e ¢étéamá. [K]ĭ haⁿ' i¢ápe jaⁿ'-biamá.
they say. Went they say when again trail had gone. And night the waiting for lay they say.
Man'dĕ-ʞaⁿ ¢aⁿ ukínacke gaxá-biamá, síg¢e ¢é-hnaⁿ ĕ'di i¢aⁿ'¢a-
bow string the ob. noose he made it they say, and trail went habitually the there he put it
biamá. Égi¢e haⁿ'+egaⁿ-tcĕ'-qtci uʞíaⁿ¢e ¢aⁿ giʇaⁿ'be ahí-biamá. Égi¢e 12
they say. It came
to pass
morning very snare the ob. to see
his own
arrived they say. It came
to pass
miⁿ' ¢aⁿ ¢izé akáma. Taⁿ'¢iⁿ-qtci u¢á ag¢á-biamá. [K]aⁿhá ĭndádaⁿ
sun the cv.
taken he had,
they say.
Running very to tell went
they say. Grandmother. what
éiⁿte b¢íze édegaⁿ aⁿ'baaze-hnaⁿ' hă, á-biamá. [K]aⁿhá, man'de-ʞaⁿ ¢aⁿ
it may be I took but me it scared habitually . said they say. Grandmother, bow string the ob.
ag¢íze kaⁿbdédegaⁿ aⁿ'baaze-hnaⁿ'i hă, á-biamá. Máhiⁿ a¢iⁿ'-bi egaⁿ' 15
I took my own I wished, but me it scared habitually . said they say. Knife had they say having
[pg 582]
ĕ'di a¢á-biamá. ecaⁿ'-qtci ahí-biamá. Píäjĭ ckáxe. Eátaⁿ égaⁿ
there went, they say. And near very arrived they say. Bad you did. Why so
ckáxe ă. Ĕ'di gí-adaⁿ' iⁿ¢ická-gă hă, á-biamá miⁿ' aká. Mactciñ'ge
you did? Hither come and for me untie it, said, they say sun the sub. Rabbit
aká ĕ'di a¢á-bi ctĕwaⁿ' naⁿ'pa-bi egaⁿ' hébe íhe a¢é-hnaⁿ'-biamá. 3
there went they
feared they
having partly passed by went habitually they
ʞu`ĕ' a¢á-bi egaⁿ' mása-biamá man'dĕ-ʞaⁿ ¢aⁿ'. Gañ'ki miⁿ' ¢aⁿ maⁿ'-
rushed wentthey
having cut with
a knife
they say bow string the
And sun the cv.
ciáha áiá¢a-biamá. mactciñ'ge aká ábáʞu hiⁿ' ¢aⁿ názi-biamá
high had gone, they say. And Rabbit the
space bet. the shoulders hair the
they say
ánakadá-bi egaⁿ'. (Mactciñ'ge amá akí-biamá.) Ĭtcitci+, ʞaⁿhá, 6
it was hot
on it
having. (Rabbit the mv.
they say.) Itcitci+!! grandmother,
ná¢iñgĕ-qti-maⁿ' hă, á-biamá. [T]úcpa¢aⁿ+, iⁿ'na¢iñgĕ'-qti-maⁿ' eskaⁿ'+,
burnt to
very I am said,they say. Grandchild!! burnt to
nothing for me
very I am I think,
á-biamá. Cetaⁿ'.
said, they say. So far.


581, 1. Mactciñge, the Rabbit, or Si¢e-makaⁿ (meaning uncertain), is the hero of numerous myths of several tribes. He is the deliverer of mankind from different tyrants. One of his opponents is Ictinike, the maker of this world, according to the Iowas. The Rabbit's grandmother is Mother Earth, who calls mankind her children.

581, 7. a¢ai te aⁿ. The conclusion of this sentence seems odd to the collector, but its translation given with this myth is that furnished by the Indian informant.

581, 12. haⁿ+egaⁿtcĕ-qtci, "ve—ry early in the morning." The prolongation of the first syllable adds to the force of the adverb "qtci," very.

582, 3. hebe ihe a¢e-hnaⁿ-biama. The Rabbit tried to obey the Sun; but each time that he attempted it, he was so much afraid of him that he passed by a little to one side. He could not go directly to him.

582, 4. 5. maⁿciaha aia¢a-biama. When the Rabbit rushed forward with bowed head, and cut the bow-string, the Sun's departure was so rapid that "he had already gone on high."


cv. curvilinear.
mv. moving.
st. sitting.
sub. subject.
ob. object.


Once upon a time the Rabbit dwelt in a lodge with no one but his grandmother. And it was his custom to go hunting very early in the morning. No matter how early in the morning he went, a person with [pg 583] very long feet had been along, leaving a trail. And he (the Rabbit), wished to know him. "Now," thought he, "I will go in advance of the person." Having arisen very early in the morning, he departed. Again it happened that the person had been along, leaving a trail. Then he (the Rabbit) went home. Said he, "Grandmother, though I arrange for myself to go first, a person anticipates me (every time). Grandmother, I will make a snare and catch him." "Why should you do it?" said she. "I hate the person," he said. And the Rabbit departed. When he went, the foot-prints had been along again. And he lay waiting for night (to come). And he made a noose of a bow-string, putting it in the place where the foot-prints used to be seen. And he reached there very early in the morning for the purpose of looking at his trap. And it happened that he had caught the Sun. Running very fast, he went homeward to tell it. " Grandmother, I have caught something or other, but it scares me. Grandmother, I wished to take my bow-string, but I was scared every time," said he. He went thither with a knife. And he got very near it. "You have done wrong; why have you done so? Come hither and untie me," said the Sun. The Rabbit, although he went thither, was afraid, and kept on passing partly by him (or, continued going by a little to one side). And making a rush, with his head bent down (and his arm stretched out), he cut the bow-string with the knife. And the Sun had already gone on high. And the Rabbit had the hair between his shoulders scorched yellow, it having been hot upon him (as he stooped to cut the bow-string). (And the Rabbit arrived at home.) "Itcitci+!! O grandmother, the heat has left nothing of me," said he. She said, "Oh! my grandchild! I think that the heat has left nothing of him for me." (From that time the rabbit has had a singed spot on his back, between the shoulders.)


In the Klamath Lake Dialect. Obtained from Minnie Froben, by A.S. Gatschet.

Máḵlaks shuákiuk kíuksash ḵá-i gú'l’hi húnkĕlam ládshashtat, ndéna
Indians in calling the conjurer not enter his into lodge, they halloo
sha'hmóknok; kíush toks wán kiukáyank mú'luash m’na kaníta pî'sh.
to call (him) out; the conjurer red fox hanging out on a pole as sign his outside "of him."
Kukíaks tchú'tanish gátp’nank wigáta tchélχa mā'shipksh. Lútatkish 3
Conjurers when treating approaching close by sit down the patient. The expounder
wigáta kíukshĕsh tcha’hlánshna. Shuyéga kíuks, wéwanuish
close to the conjurer sits down. Starts choruses the conjurer, females
tchīk winóta liukiámnank nadshā'shak tchútchtníshash. Hánshna
then join in singing crowding around him simultaneously while he treats (the sick). He sucks
[pg 584]
mā'shish hú'nk hishuákshash, tátktish î'shkuk, hantchípka tcī'k
diseased that man, the disease to extract, he sucks out then
kukuága, wishinkága, mú'lkaga, ḵáḵo gî'ntak, káhaktok nánuktua
a small frog, small snake, small insect, bone afterwards, whatsoever anything
nshendshkáne. Ts’ú'ks toks ké-usht tchékĕle ítkal; lúlp toks mā'- 3
small. A leg being fractured the (bad) blood he extracts; eyes but be-
shisht tchékĕlitat lgú'm shú'kĕlank ḵî'tua lú'lpat, kú'tash tchish
ing sore into blood coal mixing he pours into the eyes, a louse too
kshéwa lúlpat pú'klash tuiχámpgatk ltúiχaktgi gíug.
introduces into the eye the white of eye protruding for eating out.


583, 1. shuákia does not mean to "call on somebody" generally, but only "to call on the conjurer or medicine man".

583, 2. wán stands for wánam nī'l: the fur or skin of a red or silver fox; kaníta pî'sh stands for kanítana látchash m'nálam: "outside of his lodge or cabin". The meaning of the sentence is: they raise their voices to call him out. Conjurers are in the habit of fastening a fox-skin outside of their lodges, as a business sign, and to let it dangle from a rod stuck out in an oblique direction.

583, 3. tchélχa. During the treatment of a patient, who stays in a winter house, the lodge is often shut up at the top, and the people sit in a circle inside in utter darkness.

583, 5. liukiámnank. The women and all who take a part in the chorus usually sit in a circle around the conjurer and his assistant; the suffix -mna indicates close proximity. Nadshā'shak qualifies the verb winóta.

583, 5. tchútchtníshash. The distributive form of tchú't’na refers to each of the various manipulations performed by the conjurer on the patient.

584, 1. mā'shish, shortened from māshípkash, mā'shipksh, like ḵ'lä'ksh from k’läkápkash.

584, 2. 3. There is a stylistic incongruity in using the distributive form, only in kukuàga (kúe, frog), káhaktok, and in nshendshkáne (nshekáni, npshékani, tsékani, tchékĕni, small), while inserting the absolute form in wishinkága (wíshink, garter-snake) and in ḵáḵo; mú'lkaga is more of a generic term and its distributive form is therefore not in use.

583, 2. káhaktok for ká-akt ak; ká-akt being the transposed distributive form kákat, of kát, which, what (pron. relat.).

584, 4. lgú'm. The application of remedial drugs is very unfrequent in this tribe; and this is one of the reasons why the term "conjurer" or "shaman" will prove to be a better name for the medicine man than that of "Indian doctor".

584, 4. kú'tash etc. The conjurer introduces a louse into the eye to make it eat up the protruding white portion of the sore eye.

[pg 585]



In the Klamath Lake Dialect by Dave Hill. Obtained by A.S. Gatschet.

náyäns hissuáksas mā'shitk kálak, tsúi kíuks nä'-ulakta tchu-
When another man fell sick as relapsed, then the conjurer concludes to
tánuapkuk. Tchúi tchúta; tchúi yá-uks huk shläá kálak a gēk. Tchi
treat (him). And he treats; and remedy this finds out (that) relapsed he. Thus
huk shuî'sh sápa. Tsúi nā'sh shuī'sh sáyuaks hú'mtcha kálak, tchúi 3
the song-
indicates. And one song-
found out
(that) of the kind
of relapsed (he is),
nánuk húk shuī'sh tpä'wa hú'nksht kaltchitchíkshash heshuampĕlítki
all those remedies indicate (that) him the spider (-remedy) would
gíug. Tchúi hú'k káltchitchiks yá-uka; ubá-us húk káltchitchiksam
cure. Then the spider treats him; a piece of deer-skin of the spider
tchutĕnō'tkish. Tsúi húkantka ubá-ustka tchutá; tätáktak huk 6
(is) the curing-tool. Then by means
of that
deer-skin he treats
just the size
of the spot
kálak mā'sha, gä'tak ubá-ush ktú'shka tä'tak huk mā'sha. Tsúi húk
relapse is infected, so much of deer-skin he cuts out as where he is suffering. Then
káltchitchiks siunóta nä'dsḵank hú'nk ubá-nsh. Tchú'yuk p'laíta
the "spider" song is started while applying that skin piece. And he over it
nétatka skútash, tsúi sha hú'nk udú'pka hänä'shishtka, tsúi hú'k 9
he stretches a blanket, and they it strike with conjurer's arrows, then it
gutä'ga tsulä'kshtat; gä'tsa lú'pí kiatéga, tsúi tsulē'ks ḵ'läká, tchúi
enters into the body; a particle firstly enters, then (it) body becomes, and
at pushpúshuk shlē'sh húk ubá-ush. Tsúi mā'ns tánkĕni ak waítash
now dark it to look at that skin-piece. Then after a while after so and so many days
hú'k púshpúshli at mā'ns=gîtk tsulä'ks=sitk shlä'sh. Tsí sáyuakta; 12
that black (thing) at last (is) flesh-like to look at. Thus I am informed;
túmi hú'nk sháyuakta hú'masht=gîsht tchutī'sht; tsúyuk tsúshni
many men know (that) in this manner were effected cures; and he then always
was well again.


585, 1. náyäns hissuáksas: another man than the conjurers of the tribe. The objective case shows that mā'shitk has to be regarded here as the participle of an impersonal verb: mā'sha núsh, and mā'sha nú, it ails me, I am sick.

585, 2. yá-uks is remedy in general, spiritual as well as material. Here a tamánuash song is meant by it, which, when sung by the conjurer, will furnish him the certainty if his patient is a relapse or not. There are several of these medicine-songs, but all of them (nánuk hú'k shuī'sh) when consulted point out the spider-medicine as the one to apply in this case. The spider's curing-instrument is that small piece of buckskin (ubá-ush) which has to be inserted under the patient's skin. It is called the spider's medicine because the spider-song is sung during its application.

[pg 586]

585, 10. gutä'ga. The whole operation is concealed from the eyes of spectators by a skin or blanket stretched over the patient and the hands of the operator.

585, 10. kiatéga. The buckskin piece has an oblong or longitudinal shape in most instances, and it is passed under the skin sideways and very gradually.

585, 11. tánkĕni ak waítash. Dave Hill gave as an approximate limit five days' time.


In the Klamath Lake Dialect by Minnie Froben. Obtained by A.S. Gatschet.

É-ukshkni lápa spú'klish gítko. Ḵúḵiuk ḵĕlekapkash spú'klishla
The lake
(kinds of)
sweat-lodges have. To weep over the deceased they build
yépank käíla; stutílantko spú'klish, käíla waltchátko. Spú'klish a
digging up the ground; are roofed (these)
covered. (Another)
sha shú'ta kué-utch, kítchikan’sh stinága=shítko; skú'tash a wáldsha 3
they build of willows, a little cabin looking like; blankets they spread
spú'klishtat tataták sĕ spukliá. Tátataks a hú'nk wéas lúla, tatátaks
over the sweating-lodge when in it they sweat. Whenever children died, or when
a híshuaksh tchímĕna, snáwedsh wénuitk, ḵú'ḵi ḵĕlekátko, spú'klitcha
a husband became widower, (or) the wife (is) widowed, they weep for cause of death go sweating
túmi shashámoks=lólatko; túnepni waítash tchík sa hú'uk spú'klia. 6
many relatives who have lost five days then they sweat.
Shiúlakiank a sha ktái húyuka skoilakuápkuk; hútoks ktái ḵá-i tatá
Gathering they stones (they) heat (them) to heap them up (after use); those stones never
spukliú't’huīsh. Spúklish lúpĭa húyuka; ḵélpka a át, ílhiat átui,
having been used
for sweating.
Sweat lodge in front of they heat
when, they bring
(them) inside
ḵídshna ai î ámbu, kliulála. Spú'kli a sha túmĕni "hours"; ḵélpkuk 9
pour on them water, sprinkle. Sweat then
several hours; being quite
warmed up
géka shualkóltchuk péniak ḵō'ḵs pépe-udshak éwagatat, ḵóḵetat, é-ush
(and) to cool
themselves off
without dress only to go
in a spring, river, lake
wigáta. Spukli-uápka mā'ntch. Shpótuok i-akéwa kápka, skú'tawia
close by. They will sweat for long
To make themselves
they bend
(they) tie
sha wéwakag knú'kstga. Ndshiétchatka knú'ks a sha shúshata. 12
they small brushwood with ropes. Of (willow-)bark the ropes they make.
Gátpampĕlank shkoshkî'lχa ktáktiag hú'shkankok ḵĕlekápkash, ktá-i
On going home they heap up into cairns small stones in remembrance of the dead, stones
shúshuankaptcha î'hiank.
of equal size selecting.


No Klamath or Modoc sweat-lodge can be properly called a sweat-house, as is the custom throughout the West. One kind of these lodges, [pg 587] intended for the use of mourners only, are solid structures, almost underground; three of them are now in existence, all believed to be the gift of the principal national deity. Sudatories of the other kind are found near every Indian lodge, and consist of a few willow-rods stuck into the ground, both ends being bent over. The process gone through while sweating is the same in both kinds of lodges, with the only difference as to time. The ceremonies mentioned 4-13. all refer to sweating in the mourners' sweat-lodges. The sudatories of the Oregonians have no analogy with the estufas of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, as far as their construction is concerned.

586, 1. lápa spú'klish, two sweat-lodges, stands for two kinds of sweat-lodges.

586, 5. shashámoks=lólatko forms one compound word: one who, or: those who have lost relatives by death; cf. ptísh=lúlsh, pgísh=lúlsh; hishuákga ptísh=lúlatk, male orphan whose father has died. In the same manner, ḵĕlekátko stands here as a participle referring simultaneously to híshuaksh and to snáwedsh wénuitk, and can be rendered by "bereaved". Shashámoks, distr. form of shá-amoks, is often pronounced sheshámaks. Túmi etc. means, that many others accompany to the sweat-lodge, into which about six persons can crowd themselves, bereaved husbands, wives or parents, because the deceased were related to them.

586, 7. Shiúlakiank etc. For developing steam the natives collect only such stones for heating as are neither too large nor too small; a medium size seeming most appropriate for concentrating the largest amount of heat. The old sweat-lodges are surrounded with large accumulations of stones which, to judge from their blackened exterior, have served the purpose of generating steam; they weigh not over 3 to 5 pounds in the average, and in the vicinity travelers discover many small cairns, not over four feet high, and others lying in ruins. The shrubbery around the sudatory is in many localities tied up with willow wisps and ropes.

586, 11. Spukli-uápka mā'ntch means that the sweating-process is repeated many times during the five days of observance; they sweat at least twice a day.


A Dakota Fable, by Michel Renville. Obtained by Rev. S.R. Riggs.

Śuŋka waŋ; ḳa wakaŋka waŋ waḳiŋ waŋ taŋka hnaka. Uŋkan
Dog a; and old-woman a pack a large laid away. And
śuŋka ḳoŋ he sdonya. Uŋkaŋ waŋna haŋyetu, uŋkaŋ wakaŋka
dog the that knew. And now night, and old-woman
iśtinman kećiŋ ḳa en ya: tuka wakaŋka kiŋ sdonkiye ć̣a kiktahaŋ 3
asleep he thought and there went: but old woman the knew and awake
waŋke, ć̣a ite hdakiŋyaŋ ape ć̣a kićakse, ć̣a nina po, keyapi.
lay, and face across struck and gashed, and much swelled, they say.
[pg 588]
Uŋkaŋ haŋḣaŋna hehaŋ śuŋka tokeća waŋ en hi, ḳa okiya ya.
And morning then dog another a there came, and to-talk-with went.
Tuka pamahdedaŋ ite mahen inina yaŋka. Uŋkaŋ taku ićante niśića
But head-down face within silent was. And what of-heart you-bad
heciŋhaŋ omakiyaka wo, eya. Uŋkaŋ, Inina yaŋka wo, wakaŋka 3
if me-tell, he-said. And, still be-you, old-woman
waŋ teḣiya omakiḣaŋ do, eya, keyapi. Uŋkaŋ, Tokeŋ nićiḣaŋ he, eya.
a hardly me-dealt-with, he-said, they say. And, How to-thee-did-she, he-said.
Uŋkaŋ, Waḳin waŋ taŋka hnaka e waŋmdake ć̣a heoŋ otpa awape:
And, Pack a large she-laid-away I-saw and therefore to-go-for I waited:
k̇a waŋna haŋ tehaŋ k̇ehan, iśtiŋbe seća e en mde ć̣a pa timaheŋ 6
and now night far then, she-asleep probably there I went and head house-in
yewaya, uŋkaŋ kiktahaŋ waŋke śta hećamoŋ: k̇a, Śi, de tukten
I-poked, and awake lay although this-I-did: and, shoo, this where
yau he, eye, ć̣a itohna amape, ć̣a dećen iyemayaŋ ce, eye ć̣a kipazo.
you-come, she-
and face-on smote-
and thus she-me-left he-said and showed-
Uŋkaŋ, Huŋhuŋhe! teḣiya ećanićoŋ do, ihomeća waḳiŋ kiŋ uŋtapi 9
And, Alas! alas! hardly she-did-to-you, therefore pack the we-eat
kta ce, eye ć̣a, Mnićiya wo, eya, keyapi. Ito, Minibozaŋna kićo wo,
will, he-said and, Assemble, he-said, they say. Now, Water-mist call,
ka, Yaksa taŋiŋ śni kico wo, Tahu waśaka kico wo, k̇a, Taisaŋpena
and Bite off not manifest call, Neck strong invite, and, His-knife-sharp
kico wo, eya, keyapi. Uŋkaŋ owasiŋ wićakićo: ḳa waŋna owasiŋ en 12
call, he-said, they-say. And all them-he-called: and now all there
hipi hehaŋ heya, keyapi: Ihopo, wakaŋka de teḣiya ećakićoŋ će;
came then this-he-said, they-say: Come-on, old-woman this hardly dealt-with;
miniheić̣iyapo, haŋyetu hepiya waćonića wakiŋ waŋ teḣiŋda ḳa on
bestir-yourselves, night during dried-meat pack a she-forbid and for
teḣiya ećakićoŋ tuka, ehaeś untapi kta će, eya, keyapi. 15
hardly dealt-with-him but, indeed we eat will he-said, they say.
Uŋkaŋ Minibozaŋna ećiyapi ḳoŋ he waŋna maġaźukiye ć̣a, aŋpetu
Then Water-mist called the that now rain-made, and, day
oṡaŋ maġaźu ećen otpaza; ḳa wakeya owasiŋ nina spaya, wihutipaspe
all-through rained until dark; and tent all very wet, tent-pin
olidoka owasiŋ taŋyaŋ ḣpan. Uŋkaŋ hehaŋ Yaksa taŋiŋ śni wihuti- 18
holes all well soaked. And then Bite-off-manifest-not tent-fast-
paspe kiŋ owasiŋ yakse, tuka taŋiŋ śni yaŋ yakse nakaeś wakaŋka
enings the all bit-off, but slyly bit-off so that old-woman
kiŋ sdonkiye śni. Uŋkaŋ Tahuwaśaka he waḳiŋ ḳoŋ yape ć̣a maniŋ-
the knew not. And Neck-strong he pack the seized, and away
kiya yapa iyeya, ḳa tehaŋ eḣpeya. Hećen Taisaŋpena waḳiŋ ḳoŋ 21
off holding-in-
and far threw-it. So His-knife-
pack the
ćokaya kiyaksa-iyeya. Hećeŋ waḳiŋ ḳoŋ haŋyetu hepiyana temya-
in-middle tore-it-open. Hence pack the night during they-ate-
iyeyapi, keyapi.
all-up, they say.
Hećen tuwe wamanoŋ keś, saŋpa iwaḣaŋić̣ida wamanoŋ waŋ hduze, 24
So that who steals although, more haughty thief a marries,
eyapi eće; de huŋkakaŋpi do.
they-say always; this they-fable.
[pg 589]


588, 24. This word "hduze" means to take or hold one's own; and is most commonly applied to a man's taking a wife, or a woman a husband. Here it may mean either that one who starts in a wicked course consorts with others "more wicked than himself," or that he himself grows in the bad and takes hold of the greater forms of evil—marries himself to the wicked one.

It will be noted from this specimen of Dakota that there are some particles in the language which cannot be represented in a translation. The "do" used at the end of phrases or sentences is only for emphasis and to round up a period. It belongs mainly to the language of young men. "Wo" and "po" are the signs of the imperative.


There was a dog; and there was an old woman who had a pack of dried meat laid away. This the dog knew; and, when he supposed the old woman was asleep, he went there at night. But the old woman was aware of his coming and so kept watch, and, as the dog thrust his head under the tent, she struck him across the face and made a great gash, which swelled greatly.

The next morning a companion dog came and attempted to talk with him. But the dog was sullen and silent. The visitor said: "Tell me what makes you so heart-sick." To which he replied: "Be still, an old woman has treated me badly." "What did she do to you?" He answered: "An old woman had a pack of dried meat; this I saw and went for it; and when it was now far in the night, and I supposed she was asleep, I went there and poked my head under the tent. But she was lying awake and cried out: 'Shoo! what are you doing here?' and struck me on the head and wounded me as you see."

Whereupon the other dog said: "Alas! Alas! she has treated you badly, verily we will eat up her pack of meat. Call an assembly: call Water-mist (i.e., rain); call Bite-off-silently; call Strong-neck; call Sharp-knife." So he invited them all. And when they had all arrived, he said: "Come on! an old woman has treated this friend badly; bestir yourselves; before the night is past, the pack of dried meat which she prizes so much, and on account of which she has thus dealt with our friend, that we will eat all up".

Then the one who is called Rain-mist caused it to rain, and it rained all the day through until dark; and the tent was all drenched, and the holes of the tent-pins were thoroughly softened. Then Bite-off-silently bit off all the lower tent-fastenings, but he did it so quietly that the old woman knew nothing of it. Then Strong-neck came and seized the pack with his mouth, and carried it far away. Whereupon Sharp-knife came and ripped the pack through the middle; and so, while it was yet night, they ate up the old woman's pack of dried meat.

Moral.—A common thief becomes worse and worse by attaching himself to more daring companions. This is the myth.

[pg 590]


Conjurers' practice 583

Dog's revenge, a Dakota fable 587

Omaha myth 581

Revenge, A dog's; a Dakota fable 587

Sweat lodges 586