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"Ikto Conquers Iya, the Eater" Sioux/Dakota Nation

from Ella Cara Deloria, Dakota Texts (1932)

Iktomi was wandering off in a certain direction, walking along at random. Just as he reached the hill-top, Iya, the Eater, also reached it, coming up from the other side; so Ikto was much frightened.

"Ah! So it is on a day like this that I am to die, is it," he thought suddenly.

He took some earth and polished his thigh vigorously and said, "Well, well, well! my younger brother, — or is he my elder brother? — Has! which of us is the elder anyway?"

But each time Iya took in his breath he jerked Ikto towards him, with such force that he staggered; he therefore was very much frightened and said, "Now, now, my younger brother, — or my elder, — stand farther off, can't you ? I, too, have something I can do; I can pull you towards me if I care to!" he said.

But Iya did not reply; so then, once more, "Come now, my younger brother, — or is he my elder brother ? — Has! Which of us is the elder, anyway ? . . . Well, when were you born?" Ikto asked.

Iya answered, "Why, I was born when this earth and this sky were created."

Ikto clamped his palm over his mouth, surprised. "So? Well, you fool, I made the earth and the sky myself! Oh, of course, now, as I recall it, there was a bit of leavings, after I had finished making the earth and sky, which I didn't know what to do with; I therefore rolled it into a wad and tossed it aside. And you grew from that! There isn't any doubt now. I am the elder!" he said. "Now then, little brother, what errand are you on?"

And Iya said, "Over in this direction there is a tribal camp, and I am going there. I shall eat the people, for they are mine."

"Well, of all things! Funny, isn't it? Yet what else can you expect, with brothers? Why, little brother, that is just the people I am going to and we shall travel together!" Ikto told Iya.

They were now travelling, but Iya could not manage his weight, and they were obliged, therefore, to stop often; but they were now stopping for the night near the encampment. When Iya slept, Ikto ventured to look into his body through his mouth, and saw there all the tribes that Iya had eaten in the past, living on in contentment in their respective tribal circles.

Inside Iya, they were living and having their being in exactly the same fashion as when they lived on earth. Races and games were in progress. Yonder, on the other hand, a game of Dakota ball was being played with great skill; while, in another direction, could be seen a group of Miwatani-Society dancers performing their dance around the circle. Meantime, successful hunters were returning with game; and also the White-Pack Strap group were going along, dancing. Another thing was that women were taking food to the council tipi, and there the old men of the tribe foregathered, with much feasting and the recounting of past glories. Taken all in all, the sight presented a picture of the good old days when the people lived; such Ikto saw inside the Iya's body.

Very much frightened, Ikto tried to think out a way to capture the Iya. And when he woke, this is what Ikto said to him, "All appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, there must be something that you fear?"

"Yes; the sound of rattles, and drums, the hooting of owls, and the shouts of men — all these I fear," Iya admitted.

So then, "Well, of all things! Just what you would expect, though, of brothers! Why, little brother, those are exactly what I too fear!" Ikto said. He added, "I'd suggest you stay here, little brother, while I go ahead. I will select the center tipi, and mark it with a cross, and then I shall return. Then we two can go together, and, starting at either end, we shall progress towards the center tipi, eating the people as we go. And he who arrives first at that center tipi shall have the right to eat his opponent, as his reward for winning."

And Iya thought that a good idea.

So Ikto ran hard and soon he arrived shouting, at the tribal camp. "Hear ye, everybody! I have something to tell you, so listen! I have just deceived a very supernaturally powerful Iya, and I have come. And when I questioned him, he admitted that he feared certain things: rattles, and drums, and the hooting of owls, and the shouting of men. So make haste!" he said.

"Moreover, while he slept, I looked into his mouth, and inside his body there actually live great tribes of people. Tipis with tops painted blue, and some painted black, — many painted tipis I saw," he said.

So immediately the people prepared in frantic haste, and followed Ikto out. At a little distance away, hidden by a hill, they stopped, and allowed Ikto to proceed alone, and after he had disappeared downhill, and it seemed time that he had reached Iya, they charged forth, making all those noises that Iya feared.

Iya jumped up and sat with his head turning nervously from side to side, as if someone pulled it about; but they soon surrounded and clubbed him to death. They tore open his body; and then, for one entire day, great tribes of people crawled out of Iya, moving their camps, and settled by groups in the many pleasant bends of the river; and soon they built their fires for cooking the evening meal, and no matter where one looked, one could see the campfires, sparkling like stars, and it was a beautiful sight.

Now, if Iya had not been destroyed in just that way, he would undoubtedly still be eating people up, White people and all. Iya was killed and that is why the entire country is now so full of people that it is impossible to find any open spaces anymore. From that time on, the expansion of peoples began in earnest, they say. Now, that was one time at least that Ikto must be given credit; he did do a great service to people, and merits thanks for it. And from then on, who knows where Ikto went next? That is all.

Ella Cara Deloria, Dakota Texts (1932) Free translation.

DAKOTA TEXTS, PUBLICATIONS of the American Ethnological Society
Edited by FRANZ BOAS
G. E. STECHERT & Co., New York, Agents.

source of extext: http://www.inext.cz/siouan/datext/datext.htm

"The Bungling Host" Natchez Nation

from Myths and Tales of Southeast Indians
by John Reed Swanton (1929)

Natchez Stories

A Rabbit wandering about came upon a Bear cooking a piece of his flesh. When it was done the Bear sharpened his knife, bent over a pot in which beans were cooking, slit his belly and let grease run out of it into the beans in order to season them. He gave the Rabbit a dish of beans and the Rabbit ate a great quantity of them. When he was through eating he invited the Bear to go and see him in his turn. After the Bear got there the Rabbit began skipping about preparing the meal, and he too cooked some beans. When they were done he also sharpened his knife, bent over the pot and tried to make slits in his belly. When he did so he cried "Wī." At the second attempt his knife went through and he fell over on one side. The Bear said to him, "You have hurt yourself badly. I am just that way, the way I was doing when you came to see me. I will go and find a doctor for you." By and by the Bear brought the Buzzard back with him and the Buzzard said, "When I treat a person I don't want anybody to be present. People always make a hole at the top of the house to give me light." Then the Buzzard began doctoring, and every now and then they could hear the Rabbit squeal. The Bear, who was sitting just outside of the door, would say, "What is the matter?" and the Buzzard would answer, "It is hurting him where I am doctoring him. Once in a while I blow into his wound." After a while the Rabbit stopped crying. The Bear said, "How is the patient?" "He is better," said the Buzzard, and presently he flew out of the hole in the roof of the house and lighted on top of a tree. Several different animals, the Skunk, Raccoon, etc., had gathered about the house, and the Buzzard said to them, "I am through." Then they opened the door and went in and there lay only a pile of bones. They said, "Buzzard has done a great wrong. Let us kill him." So they shot at him with arrows, and shot through his nose, making the nostrils as we see them to-day. The Buzzard said, "You have made a place good for me to breathe through." Then he flew off.

source: http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/se/mtsi/mtsi295.htm

illustration: Coyote Trickster. by F.N Wilson, located in Curtis, Edward S. Indian Days of the Long Ago. Yonkers-on-Hudson: World Book Company, 1915. Page 84.

"Trickster Gets Pregnant" Winnebego Nation

from Paul Radin, The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology. New York: Schocken Books, 1956.
Section 9 of the Trickster Cycle of the Winnebagos

After he went away from there, to his surprise there he suddenly met Little Fox. "Hohó, my little brother, here you are traveling here." "Hąhą'ą! here I am accustomed to be," Little Fox said. As the ground is soon going to become hard, I am looking for someplace to live," said Little Fox. "Hohó, my younger brother, you have spoken well, I am also thinking of that sort of thing," he said. When they would say, 'if two decide to live together there,' I always like to be one of them. So let's live there together," he said. They went there together. They were looking for a place to live. There, as they were going along, they saw Blue Jay there. "Hohó, my younger brother, what are you doing going about here?" Trickster asked him. "Older brother, I am looking for a little place to live in because the ground is also going to become hard. We are looking to take care of the same thing. 'That one with his younger brother is living with them,' they would say. I would envy them. Let us live together. We also are looking to take care of the same thing," he said to him. Again there together they went along when again there they saw a Hečgenįga (Nit, or Chipmunk). "Hohó my younger brother, again what are you doing going about?" they said to him. "Older brother, I am looking for a place to live," he said. "My younger brother, we also are taking care of the same thing. Let us be together. When they say, 'If two decide to live there together,' I always like to be one of them. Let us live together," Trickster said. (So the four of them set out together.)

And there it stood: a fork in the river where there were red oaks growing here and there. It was a fine place. They said that there was a nice place to live. There they made themselves a lodge. And they began making preparations for the winter. In the fall when things were about to ripen, they had all they wanted to eat. In the course of time, there was a deep snow. There had never been such as this. They had nothing to eat. There the men were hungry. In the course of time, Trickster said, "My younger brothers, it will be very difficult. I'm thinking that if we do one thing, it will be good," he said. "All right, our older brother means that whatever may be good, that sort of thing we'll do, otherwise someone of us will starve to death later on. What should be done so that we may eat? The sort of thing that he means is good," they said. And he said, "Here lies a village. Good things are there. One of the chief's sons is shooting many animals. He has not done it with a woman. Getting married is on his mind. And so we can go there to him. I will make myself into a woman and marry him. There in peace we will be until spring." "Yes!" they said. They were all willing, so they said.

"An elk," they said. An elk's liver, that was the vulva. And yet again he used elk kidneys for breasts. Then thus he did and he put on a dress. Finally, they wrapped him in a skirt. They had just those, and that is what he wore. There he was. He was a very pretty woman. And thus he did and he made himself pregnant by Little Fox. And also he made himself pregnant with Blue Jay; also by Hečgenįga. He was made pregnant by all three of them.

And thus he did, and he went to the town. There he went. He went to the end of the village where there lived an old woman. The old woman said, "My granddaughter, again what do you mean to do? When you go traveling about you have some consideration, as it is not for nothing or for traveling alone that you go about," she said to her. Then she said, "Grandmother, I come to court the chief's son," she said. "Hą, granddaughter, I will tell it," she said. Then she went outside. She said shouting, she said, "Hoho! someone has come to court the chief's son," she would say. "Hąho, the old woman is saying something," they said. So they listened to her and, unexpectedly, she was saying that they have come to court the chief's son. The chief said to his daughters, he said to them, "Hąho, that is the sort of thing she would be doing. My daughters, go get your sister-in-law," he said. So they went after her. She was a very pretty woman. The chief's son liked her very much. Sure enough, right away they boiled for her bear ribs slit together with dried corn. Right off, that was what she was being called to marriage for. Right away they put some before her. They cooled it for her and placed it before her. She ate it up. And there she remained.

The chief's son was very happy over it. He was to become a father. Not long after, right away, she gave birth to one. It was a boy. Yet again, she became pregnant with one right away. She had her children in rapid succession. Yet again she had given birth to a boy. Then again the third one she finally gave birth to. Again it was a boy. The last born cried. Now in the course of time, it would not stop. Now they went after an old woman there. She used to quiet them, but she could not stop him. Finally now, this little child said in song:

If only I could
A little piece of white cloud
I could play with!

he said. Then they looked for holy ones inasmuch as it was a chief's son who said it. Whatever happened, they must obtain that sort of thing for him. They tried to obtain for him a piece of a white cloud above. How to do it and obtain a piece of it? Very much they did, but there finally, one of them did it. He made it snow. Then when the snow fell deep, after they gave him a piece of it and he played with it, he stopped. Again in the course of time he said again in song, again he said the same,

If only I could
A little piece of white cloud
I could play with!

he said. Again they tried to find a piece of blue sky. They tried various things but were not able to get it. Again in the course of time, during the spring of the year, having given him a piece of blue grass, he stopped. Again he said, "Green leaves," he said. The fourth time it was for ripe green corn. Then consequently, having given him some green corn, he stopped.

Then one day they made steamed corn ("earth corn") there. The chief's wife teased her sister-in-law. He chased her around the steaming pit. Finally, the chief's wife jumped over the pit and there the elk liver dropped. They shouted at her there, "It's the Trickster!" the men said. The chief's son was ashamed. Then the other ran away from there in every direction. Little Fox, Blue Jay, and Nit all ran away.

"Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb" Winnebego Nation

from Paul Radin, The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology (New York: Schocken Books, 1956).
Section 11 of the Trickster Cycle of the Winnebagos

As Trickster was walking along aimlessly, he heard what sounded like a voice. He listened very carefully and he could hear it sing,

If you eat me you will defecate;
You will defecate.

Trickster wondered, "Why is this person saying such things?" So Trickster went in the direction of the sound, until he heard quite distinctly someone singing,

If you eat me you will defecate;
You will defecate.

"I wonder whose saying such things," said Trickster, "as I know if I eat it I'm not going to defecate." Now he carefully followed the sound of the voice, and there, unexpectedly, he found that it came from a bulb or tubercle that was growing on a weed. So he broke it off and ate the whole thing, then went merrily on his way.

As Trickster walked along, he said out loud, laughing, "I wonder what happened to that bulb with the big mouth that said I would defecate? I'll defecate when I feel like it, and surely no plant can ever make me defecate when I don't want to." Thus he spoke, but no sooner were the words out of his mouth than he broke wind. "Well," said Trickster, "I guess this is what it must have meant; but still I am not defecating. Even a great one like myself will expel a bit of gas every now and then." But before he could even finish speaking, he again broke wind, and the sound of it echoed off the hills. "I wonder if this is why I am called 'foolish,' and 'Trickster'?" he said. Then he began to break wind over and over again. "Well," he said, "this must be why the bulb said what it did." Then he broke wind so hard that his rectum was nearly ripped. Trickster said with some pride, "That surely was a great one." Then he broke wind again, and the force of the expulsion drove him forward. He said to himself, "Well, well, I guess I could push a little, but I definitely will not defecate." Just then he broke wind with such force that his ass was launched off the ground, and he landed on his hands and knees. "Go ahead, do it again. See if I care!" he said angrily; and no sooner had he said it, than he broke wind with such power that he flew through the air and landed on his stomach. This time he was determined to stabilize himself, so he grabbed hold of a log, but when he broke wind both he and the log were launched into the air, and when he came down the log landed on top of him. He was nearly killed. So this time he ran over to a poplar tree and wrapped his arms around it; even so, when he broke wind his feet left the ground and the tree arched with the impact. This time he held the poplar with all his strength, but with a loud noise, he flipped upside down and pulled the tree out by its roots. This time he had to find a tree worthy of his problem. He finally came to an oak which he embraced with both arms. When he broke wind he was able to hold on, but he was knocked upside down so that his toes struck the tree.

Then trickster ran down to a small village and shouted, "Enemies! A large warparty is coming this way — quick, take down your lodges and let's get out of here!" So they disassembled their lodges and piled the twigs on top of Trickster. Then they gathered together their dogs and put them on top of the mountain of twigs. Then Trickster broke wind so hard that everything and everyone was scattered far and wide — the twigs and the dogs seemed to rain from heaven. People began to call out to one another, so far apart they had been scattered; and the dogs howled to one another. This trick made Trickster laugh until his sides hurt.

After that, he went on his way and felt pretty good. It seemed like his problems were over. "Well, that tubercle was a big talker," he said, "but I see that I have yet to defecate." Just the same, he felt a little like he could defecate. "Well, I guess that's what it meant when it said that," he said. Then he couldn't help himself, but had to defecate. "It seems that this is want it meant, but it sure was bragging considering." No sooner had he said that, than he really began to defecate. As he squatted, the pile of excrement got so high that it touched his body, so he climbed on top of a log to get some clearance. Soon the dung piled so high that he moved to a log that was leaning against a tree, but even there the pile of excrement touched his body. He could not stop defecating, and had to climb higher and higher. Soon he reached the top of the little tree, but even there the pile of dung mounted up until it reached him. Soon the limb that he was sitting on had become thoroughly manured, and when he tried to shift positions, he slipped and fell into his own hill of excrement. He disappeared in to the pile and it took quite some time for him to work his way out of it. When he finally escaped, he was covered with filth, and dragged excrement after him. His back pack and the box in which he kept his penis were both covered with dung, so he emptied the box and placed it again on his back. However, even his eyes were caked with filth and as he stumbled about, he ran right into a tree. He sang to it:

Tree, what kind are you?
Tell me about yourself.

"What kind of tree do you think I am?" it answered. "I am a forked oak tree, the one that used to be in the middle of the valley — that's who I am," said the tree. Trickster replied, "Can you tell me where the nearest water is?" "Go straight ahead," it said. Then Trickster stumbled about some more until he hit a tree so hard that he was knocked over backwards. He sang,

Tree, what kind are you?
Tell me about yourself.

"What kind of tree do you think I am?" it answered. "I am the red oak that used to stand at the edge of the valley. That's who I am." "Is it possible," said Trickster urgently, "that there is some water around here?" The tree replied, "It's straight ahead." He ran straight forward, but soon knocked against another tree. So he sang again,

Tree, what kind are you?
Tell me about yourself.

"What kind of tree do you think I am?" it answered. "I am the slippery elm that used to be in the middle of the forest. That's who I am." "Just go straight forward as you have been," advised the tree, but when he did, he collided with another tree. He put his hands on it and sang,

Tree, what kind are you?
Tell me about yourself.

"What kind of tree do you think I am?" it answered. "I am the basswood tree that used to stand at the edge of the water. That's who I am." "It is good!" exclaimed Trickster, and jumped straight forward into the water. He washed himself thoroughly. It was very difficult, for the dung had been on him so long that it had dried. Had not the trees helped him, he would surely have died. After he washed himself off, he washed his raccoon skin blanket and his penis box.

source: The Trickster Cycle, Retold by Richard L. Dieterle http://hotcakencyclopedia.com/ho.TricksterCycle.html