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Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Adventures of Dore and Wahre' dua

Hi dear friends and followers 

The place that is now the State of Nebraska looks like the crossroads for at least five or six tribes of Native Americans. According to the maps that I have seen, it was occupied by the Yankton and Lakota Sioux, the Ponca, Omaha, Otoe, Kansa, Arapaho, and Cheyenne Peoples. There may have been others that are not listed.

Our selections for today are Otoe legends, some of the adventures of the twins, Dore and Wahre'dua. Their birth is explained in today's bit of folklore. They are supernatural and possess powers and abilities that allow them to do things that exist only in the tallest of tall tales.

Dore and Wahre'dua: These mythical twins, whose mother was killed by a monster, are common to the folklore of many Midwestern and Eastern tribes. They are generally portrayed as heroic monster-slayers in Otoe legends.

Sharp-Elbows (Itopa'hi): A man-eating ogre with spikes on his elbows and faces on both sides of his head.

These tales are from Alanson Skinner's, Traditions of the Iowa Indians (1925). Original storytellers Robert and Julia Small, of the Iowa - Otoe Tribe. Given the age of this work, I believe that the copyright has expired.

The Adventures of Dore and Wahre' dua *********************************

One time a family went out hunting. They camped by themselves in the woods, and while the man ranged the forest hunting for game, the woman, who was pregnant, stayed at home and kept house for him.

One day while her husband was absent a man came to visit her. At first she paid no attention to the stranger, and would not even look at him. The man sat down opposite her and did everything to attract her attention; finally, as he was possessed of magic power, he caused a fire to spring up behind her. "Oh my, there is a fire behind you!" he exclaimed, but the woman reached behind her and put it out with her hands without looking up or speaking.

When her husband came home she told him about her strange visitor, and he said, "You did well. This man has evil power over women. Do not pay any attention to him, and after the fourth visit he will cease to annoy you."

Each day thereafter the stranger visited her and tried in the same manner to frighten the woman with fire, but each time she made him go away without paying him the slightest attention. On the fourth and last day, after the man had left the lodge, the woman could not resist the temptation to see him before he vanished forever, so she peeped through a crack to see what manner of being he was. Although his back was turned, for he was going away, she saw that he had two faces, one in front and one in the back of his head, and that he had long sharp bones like daggers projecting from his elbows. He was Sharp Elbows (Itopa'hi).

The being saw the woman with his rear face, and laughed and said "I knew you would finally look." He retraced his steps and stabbed her to death with his sharp elbows and went away leaving her lying there on the floor of the lodge.

When her husband returned he found her lying there still, but upon examination of her body he found her babies were still alive, so he cut her open and took them out. They were twin brothers, and, as he could not raise them both, he kept only one. The other he placed on an old log where the mice came and found him.

The one whom the father kept he raised until he was a small boy. One day when this boy, who was named Dore was playing alone while his father was off hunting, his lost brother the mouse boy, who was named Wahre'dua came to the lodge and sang in a low voice:

"Dore thie anje thato tci wothothotcan najiro, Dore haha, Dore"
(Dore, you've got a father and you eat only dried meat, Dore)
"Mieiku hatuntci ho nyi ma dotasta hajido, Dore haha, Dore"
(I've got a grandmother and I eat only wild beans, Dore)

When the man came home that night, Dore said to him, "Father, this boy comes when you are gone and sings to me."
"Oh, that is your missing brother, I couldn't save you both, so I threw him into an old log, and I guess the mice must have raised him."

Every day the lost brother came and played with Dore. He was strange and wild in his ways, like some animal. He had a good nose, and was able to smell out the enemy. Each day when he arrived he would be very suspicious. "Maybe our father is here," he would say to Dore. Then Dore would turn everything upside down to show his mouse brother that there was no one there. Each night Wahre'dua could smell his father coming and would run off to his home in the log before the man got there. Each time when he ran away Wahre'dua would say to Dore, "Forget", so that his brother would not remember to tell his father that he had been there playing so wildly.

One time Wahre'dua forgot to say "Forget", and Dore remembered and told his father about his daily visitor. "Good", said the father. "Tomorrow try to coax him to stay." But Wahre'dua refused and ran off home as usual.

The next day the father hid himself. He said to Dore, "When your brother comes today, play with him for awhile, then say to him, Look for lice in my hair. When he has finished, it will be your turn to louse him; and when you do so, wrap his scalp lock around your finger. When you have a good hold, call for me."
Dore did as he was told, and Wahre'dua was unable to escape when his father ran up. His father cut off Wahre'dua's scalplock, and from that time on the mouse boy had no longer the power to escape.

The two brothers now played together, and after a while both grew in size and stature. One day their father said to them, "Now you must not go to such and such a place, that pond that is near here."

As soon as he was out of sight, Wahre'dua said to Dore, "Father said for us to visit that pond." "Oh no", replied Dore, "He said for us to stay away from it." "Well then," answered Wahre'dua, "if you will not go with me, give me back my scalplock." Dore, it seems, wore Wahre'dua's scalplock attached to his belt, and when his brother demanded it, Dore decided to go with him.
When they arrived at the lake, they found that it was full of leeches. They took off their clothes and waded in until the leeches covered their bodies, then they came out and scraped them off into pieces of bark.

"Our father will be very pleased to see these," said Wahre'dua, so they took them home and cooked and ate some, and they put the rest away for their father to eat when he came back. When the older man returned and they set the leeches before him, however, he refused them and threw them out in disgust.

The next day he ordered the boys not to go to another place in the neighborhood, but as soon as he was gone Wahre'dua said to Dore, "Father said for us to go to that place." "Oh no," answered Dore, "He said for us to stay away from it." "Well then, if you don't want to go with me, give me back my scalplock."

When Wahre'dua said this, Dore decided to accompany him, and when they arrived at the spot they found there a great den of snakes. The twins took four box-turtle shells and made for themselves two pairs of moccasins.

Then they entered the den and trod on the heads of the greatest rattlesnakes and crushed them. They took the biggest ones home as before, and cooked and ate some of them, the rest they set aside for their father.

They also took the biggest rattlesnakes and hung them from a stick over the lodge entrance making a door that jingled when the snake's bodies were pushed aside to enter the lodge. "Our father will be pleased when he sees this," said Wahre'dua.

When their father came home he was frightened and angry. He made the boys tear down the rattling door and throw the cooked snake flesh back where they got it. He scolded them for their disobedience.

Again, the next day, when he was about to set out on his hunt, he warned them against going to a certain place. As soon as he was out of sight however, Wahre'dua said to Dore, "Father said for us to go to that place." "Oh no," answered Dore, "He said for us to stay away from it." "Well then, if you don't want to go with me, give me back my scalplock." So as usual Dore gave in to his more powerful brother, and they went to the forbidden place.

Now it so happened that at this place dwelt the U'ye (the female organ of generation of the world). This U'ye swallowed all manner of animals and people who ventured near it, for it had the ability to suck them down into its maw. When the U'ye saw the two boys approaching, it spoke to them and warned them to keep away from it.

"No matter," said the twins, "Swallow us just as you do everybody else." And they stripped off their clothes until they were naked all but their thong. They hunted for a place where there were many flint rocks, then they lay down and rolled in them, after which they ran up to the U'ye and begged it to swallow them.

The U'ye swallowed them, but immediately, finding them covered with the hard flint rock, it spat them out again, and blew upon them until it blew away all the stones that adhered to their bodies, then it swallowed them again.

As soon as they were in the maw of the U'ye they found themselves in a vast dark place. There were many people and animals there, some dead and digested, some dying, and some newly captured. There was no escape, although they wandered and searched for many days. They asked all the animals and people whom they met, but none had any hope of escape. Dore wept at times and was frightened, but Wahre'dua only laughed.

Finally they searched all over their bodies to see if they could find any flint left there, but none could be discovered until finally Wahre'dua found a little particle under his foreskin. He took it and commanded it to grow in the shape of a flint knife, and such was his magic power that it did so at once.

It is said that this U'ye had a heart, liver and throat, as well as a stomach, so Wahre'dua went to its diaphragm and cut it with his knife. This only tickled the U'ye, but at last he hacked his way through it and cut off the heart.

Then the U'ye died, and all became dark, for it shut its mouth. Then Wahre'dua began to cut a hole out of its side. Through this the twins and all the other living captives escaped. When the U'ye died it shuddered so that all over the earth the fact was known by the earthquake, and everyone knew it was the twins that had done the deed. Since then the world has never had an U'ye.
When the boys got home they found their father was very much frightened by their power.

There are more legends of Dore and Wahre'dua but we will stop here for today.

Thank you so very much for sharing your time with me. Please give me your thoughts about these legends. I'd love to know if they are something that you like. Thanks again.

ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ

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