In the introduction, the author remembers the musician Navadagu, who once sang a song about Hiawatha in ancient times: “Of his wondrous birth, / About his great life: / How fasted and prayed / How did Hiawatha work, / That his people were happy / he went to the good and the truth. “
The supreme deity of the Indians, Gitchi Manito, the Lord of Life, “who created all the nations”, traced the riverbed through the valleys with his finger, drew a pipe from the clay and lit it. Seeing the rising smoke of the Peace Pipe to the sky, the leaders of all the tribes gathered: “Choktos and Comanche went,” and the Shoshons and Omogis walked, Hurons and Mandenas, / Delaware and Mogoki, / Blackfeet and Ponies, / Ojibway and Dakotas went. “
Having defeated the huge bear Misha-Mokwa, Madjakivis becomes the Lord of the West Wind, while others give the wind to the children: East – Vebon, South – Shavondazi, North – evil Kabibonokke.
“In times immemorial, / In time immemorial” right from the month the beautiful Nokomis, the daughter of the night lights, fell on the flowering valley. There, in the valley, Nokomis gave birth to a daughter and called her Venona. When her daughter grew up, Nokomis repeatedly warned her of the magic of Majakivis, but Venona did not listen to her mother. “And the son of sorrow was born, / of tender passion and sorrow, / of the Divine Mystery – Hiawatha.”
The insidious Madjakivis soon left Venona, and she died of grief. Hiawathu was raised and raised by a grandmother. After becoming an adult, Hiawatha puts on magical moccasins, takes magic gloves, goes in search of his father, burning with the desire to take revenge on him for the death of his mother. Hiawatha starts the fight
In the forest wilderness of Hiawatha fasts for seven nights and days. He addresses Gitchi Manito with prayers for the good and happiness of all the tribes and peoples, and as if in response to his wigwam appears the youth Mondamin, with golden curls and in green-yellow robes. Three days Hiawatha struggles with. the messenger of the Lord of Life. On the third day, he defeats Mondamina, bury him and then never ceases to visit his grave. Over the grave, one after another, green stems grow, this is another embodiment of Mondamina – corn, food sent to Gitchi Manito’s people.
Hiawatha builds a pie from the birch bark, fastening it with the roots of the Tramrak-larch, making a frame of cedar branches, decorating the hedgehog with needles, and staining the berries with juice. Then, along with his friend, the strongman Kvazind, Hiawatha swam along the Takvamino River and cleared it of snags and shoals. In the Gatchi-Gumi Bay, Hiawatha throws a rod three times to catch the Great Sturgeon-Misha-Namu. Misha-Nama swallows the cake with Hiawatha, and he, being in the belly of the fish, squeezes the heart of the huge king of fish with all his might, until he dies. Then Hiawatha defeats the wicked magician Megisogvon – the Pearl Feather, guarded by the terrible snakes.
Hiawatha finds herself a wife, a beautiful Minnegaga of the Dakota tribe. At the wedding feast in honor of the bride and groom, the handsome and mocking Po-Pok-Kiwis dances, the musician Chibayabos sings a tender song, and the old Yaga tells an amazing legend about the wizard Ossao, descended from the Evening Star.
To protect crops from spoilage, Hiawatha tells Minnegag in the darkness of the night to go around the naked fields, and she obediently obeys “without embarrassment and without fear”. Hiawatha also catches the Crow-Crow, Kagagi, who dares to bring a flock of birds to the crops, and for the warning binds him on the roof of his wigwam.
Hiawatha comes up with letters, “so that future generations / It was possible to distinguish them.”
Fearing the noble aspirations of Hiawatha, evil spirits conclude an alliance against him and stoke his closest friend Chibayabos in the waters of Gita-Gumi. Hiawatha gets sick from grief, and he is healed with spells and magic dances.
The daring handsome Po-Pok-Kivis teaches the men of his tribe to play dice and ruthlessly beat them. Then, having become excited and knowing to the same, that Hiawatha is absent, Po-Pok-Kiwis ruins his wigwam. Returning home, Hiawatha starts in pursuit of Po-Pok-Kivis. and he, running away, turns out to be on a beaver dam and asks the beavers to turn him into one of them, only more and above all others. Beavers agree and even elect him as their leader. Here on the dam appears Hiawatha. Water breaks the dam, and the beavers hurry hiding. Pok-Pov-Kivis can not follow them because of his size. But Hiawatha can only catch him, but not kill him. The spirit of Po-Pok-Kivisa eludes and again takes on the face of a man. Running away from Hiawatha, Po Pok-Kivis turns into a goose, only bigger and stronger than everyone else.
Hiawatha is deprived of one more of his friend – the strongman Kwazinda, who was killed by the pygmies who fell in the top of his head with a “blue fir cone,” while he sailed in a pie on the river.
There comes a severe winter, and in Ghagavata’s wigwam there are ghosts – two women. They sit gloomily in the corner of the wigwam, without saying a word, just grabbing the best pieces of food. So many days pass, and one day, Hiawatha wakes up in the middle of the night from their sighs and crying. Women say that they are the souls of the dead and came from the islands of the Afterlife to guide the living: do not torture the dead with fruitless sorrow and calls to go back, you do not need to put into the graves either furs, ornaments, or clay cups – just a little food and fire in the road. Four days, while the soul reaches the country of the Afterlife, it is necessary to burn bonfires, lighting its way. Then the ghosts say goodbye to Hiawatha and disappear.
In the villages of the Indians, hunger begins. Hiawatha goes hunting, but unsuccessfully, and Minnegaga weakens day by day and dies. Hiawatha, full of sorrow, bury his wife and burns a funeral pyre for four nights. Saying goodbye to Minnegaga, Hiawatha promises to meet her soon “in the realm of bright Understanding / Infinite, eternal life”.
In the village returns from a distant campaign Yaga and says that he saw the Big Sea and the winged pie “more than a whole grove of pines.” In this boat Yaga saw a hundred warriors, whose faces were painted white, and chins covered with hair. Indians are laughing, considering the story of Yaga as another fiction. Only Hiawatha does not laugh. He reports that he had a vision – a winged canoe and bearded pale-faced foreigners. They should be met with affection and greetings, as Gitchi Manito said.
Hiawatha says that the Lord of Life revealed to him the future: he saw the “dense” of the peoples moving to the West. “Their hearts were different, / But one heart was beating in them, / And they were constantly boiling / Their merry work: / The axes in the woods rang, / The cities in the meadows were smoking, / On the rivers and on the lakes / Swammed with lightning and thunder / Inspired pies “.
But the future revealed by Hiawatha is not always radiant: he also sees Indian tribes dying in the struggle with each other.
Hiawatha, followed by the rest of the Indians, welcome the pale-faced sailors on the boat and join the truths proclaimed by the master of the pale-faced, “their prophet in black clothes” – to the beginnings of the Christian religion, to the stories “of Saint Mary the Virgin, / About her the eternal Son. “
The guests of Hiawatha fall asleep in his wigwam, exhausted by the heat, and he, taking leave of Nokomis and his people and listening to the wise instructions of the guests sent from the realm of the world, swam away in his cake to Sunset, to the Land of Understanding, “to the Islands of the Blessed – to the kingdom / Infinite, eternal life! “