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A Wife For Knowledge

A Winnebago (Hotcâk) Legend

Once there was a man who was very powerful and respected among the people. He was a member of the Medicine Rite. This man had only one son, and because the boy had no brothers, he knew very little. In the course of time, the father began to give his son presents. He put a kettle on the fire for him, and told him to be brave and to be a real warrior. The son wondered to himself why he was giving him gifts and advice. The father kept giving his son gifts, and eventually he gave him a fine horse and told him, "My dear son, in order to be a warrior, there are certain things you must know." Then his son understood what he meant.

In the course of time the young man married a beautiful woman with red hair who came from another tribe. His father was smitten by her beauty and cast longing eyes upon her. His son did not fail to notice it. So the son gave his father this woman. The old man was very grateful and said, "How can I ever repay you, you have made my heart glad." So the father gave his son all the knowledge that he possessed.

In time the red haired woman sicked and died. The old man made a bowl of her skull and then composed a song which is used to this day in the Medicine Rite.

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