DOBES Archive

two friends
Two friends (one of them being the chief's son) were very successful warriors and therefore highly respected tribal members. Both died on an expedition undertaken to show their appreciation to their fellow-villagers. The two young men were killed by those who took revenge on them for those who they had killed. After the friends' death they returned home. There they came to realize that they got killed. Then, everything the departed have not made use of (food, water, tabacco, life time, things the dead left undone) their fellow-villagers asked of their spirits to distribute among them so they can utilize/take care of it. The two friends were so sad about the fact that they're dead (they found life evry enjoyable) they decided to attempt to return back to life again. Then they started out for their destination, the Earthmaker's lodge. In order to get there they had to pass through four ghost/spirit villages. There they had to prove their strong will and resist tempation (as desiring to stay at one of the places or dancing along with the ghost villagers who tried everything to prevent them from succeeding). The friends eventually got to their destination and Earthmaker offered them to choose the place where they wanted to live (on earth or in one of the ghost/spirit villages they passed through). They chose to be born again into their former families and clans so they could lead the same life again. This they did. The main theme is the showing of devotion and love to the friend; the secondary theme is the attempt to return back to life again.
Wagisga, a young man whose beloved wife had died went to the spiritland to bring her back (to life). To accomplish this he had to succeed in several tests imposed on him by ghosts (in the land of the dead). He was helped by eight attendents (they call him grandson) who gave him mental support and appealed to the Earthmaker to help the young man. Wagisga proved to be strong in will and finally took his wife home (back into life). The myth portrays the emergence of initiative and faith in succeeding in his (or anybody's) enterprise. According to PR this myth was used to encourage fasters (it tells much about fasting experience) before it was adopted as the origin myth of the Ghost dance. The sent. 193-207 did not belong to the original text but owe their inclusion to this fact. Sent. 15-23 give the traditional literary description of a person about to die. Numerous tales and myths contain this description in almost exact wording (prob. standardized generations ago).