IROQUOIS EPIC MYTH PART ELEVEN: THE WRATH OF HODADEION

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Iroquois longhouse interiorHODADEION PART 11: THE WRATH OF HODADEION – As the demigod Hodadeion stalked angrily toward the large longhouse lodge in which the cannibal wizards and their women were tormenting his younger brother Otgoe, he had but one regret. That was that the Chief of the cannibal wizards, Dagwahgweoses, was away at his private lodge and would need to be dealt with separately.  

On the plus side, the absence of the long-eyebrowed leader of the vile sorcerors made Hodadeion feel sure that his own magic powers would be strong enough to overcome the entire village of cannibal wizards.

The demigod burst into the longhouse lodge before him and angrily took in the tableau of his brother Otgoe bound and being tortured with firebrands. The firebrands brought forth tears from Otgoe and, as the wampum-god, Otgoe’s tears, spit and mucous manifested as precious wampum.

One of the women of the village noticed the way Otgoe’s eyes lit up at the entrance of his older brother and drew everyone’s attention to the new arrival. The cannibal wizards ceased their smoking and the women ceased torturing their bound victim with firebrands.

Hodadeion was concentrating intently, partly speaking and partly singing his latest conjuration. After a few verbal challenges went ignored by the god of magic the cannibal wizards tried to stir themselves from their seated position to attack the intruder.

To their surprise and consternation they found they could not rise to their feet. Hodadeion’s spell was making all of the cannibal wizards drowsy. Their women were already deep asleep from the magical incantation and soon all the men of the tribe joined them.

Hodadeion freed his brother and told him to follow him outside. Once outside the lodge the demigod’s fury fueled his next spell, which turned the community hall of the cannibal wizards entirely into stone. None of those sleeping inside would be able to exit the structure.

Now switching to yet another, equally impassioned spell, Hodadeion caused the firebrands within, the instruments of torture that had been used on his brother, to flare up many times over. Soon the slumbering villains were awakened in agony as their clothing and flesh were now being consumed by the raging flames.

With grim satisfaction, Hodadeion and Otgoe listened to the dying screams of their imprisoned foes. Eventually silence reigned and the menace of this village of cannibal wizards was obliterated. Now only their Chief remained to be dealt with, but his power would be greater than all of his slain people combined.

Next the pair of demigods exchanged brotherly words, including the fact that their sister Yeyenthwus was safely waiting for them back at their home village. Hodadeion recounted for Otgoe how countless villages had been depopulated by the hunger of the cannibal wizards. The bones of those many, many victims littered this evil village, serving as decorations and marking out pathways.

The brothers spent hours assembling all of the scattered bones and placing them in a mammoth heap on the ground near the tallest hickory tree in the nearby forest. Then, summoning all of his power, Hodadeion pushed over the tree and used the standard verbal cue that medicine men used for raising the dead:

“Rise, or this Chief among hickory trees will crush you.”

Those words always sufficed for one man of magic to restore a single pile of bones to life. Coming from a demigod like Hodadeion the entire pile of bones revived, regrew their flesh and lived again, with just rapidly fading dreams remaining of what they had experienced in the realm of the dead.  

Nearly all of the dead and devoured victims of the cannibal wizards were thus restored to life. Among the reborn were many men and women familiar to Hodadeion and his brother.

NOTE: This is another nice parallel to myths from all around the globe. Heroes and monster-slayers often restore all the dead victims of a rampaging monster to life. In Africa and Asia it is often done by carving open the slain creature’s belly and inviting all the consumed victims to come out.

Various African epics which I will get to in the future have the hero revive the dead victims from piles of the slain monster’s feces. That may strike modern audiences as darkly absurd or undignified but such a procedure has a certain blunt, non-romanticized logic to it.

This Iroquois version instead employs the bones of the deceased combined with a cry for the dead to rise and flee a falling hickory tree. 

BACK TO THE STORY: After much confusion and rejoicing the revived victims dispersed in groups of various size to return to their home villages from which they had been abducted.

Hodadeion instructed his brother Otgoe to lead one of the parties and whispered to his brother some instructions for their sister Yeyenthwus to provide Hodadeion with certain long-distance aid in his upcoming battle with Dagwahgweoses, the long-eyebrowed Chief of the cannibal wizards. +++      

THE NEXT PART WILL BE UP SOON. KEEP CHECKING BACK. FOR MY ORIGINAL LIST OF IROQUOIS DEITIES CLICK HERE:  https://glitternight.com/2013/01/28/the-top-fifteen-deities-in-iroquois-mythology/

CHOCTAW INDIAN MYTHS – https://glitternight.com/2012/06/03/the-top-twelve-deities-in-choctaw-mythology/

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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