In the introduction, the author remembers the musician Navadagu, who once sang a song about Hiawatha in ancient times:
About his birth wondrous, About his great life: How fasted and prayed, How did Hiawatha work, So that his people were happy, So that he would go to good and righteousness.
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:
The Choctos and the Comanche went, the Shoshone and the Omogi went, the Hurons and the Madnans walked, the Delaware and the Mogoki, the Blackfeet and the Ponies, the Ojibways and the Dakotas.
Gitchi Manito urges the warring tribes to reconcile and live “like brothers”, and foretells the appearance of a prophet who will show them the way to salvation. Obeying the Lord of Life, the Indians sink into the waters of the river, wash off the paint, light up the pipes and start off on the return journey.
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
And the son of sadness was born, tender passion and sadness, 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 with Majakivis and forces him to retreat. After a three-day battle, the father asks Hiawatha to stop the fight. Madjukivis is immortal, it can not be overcome. He calls on his son to return to his people, to clear the rivers, to make the land fertile, to kill monsters and promises to make him after death the ruler of the North-West wind.
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. For three days, Hiawatha is fighting 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 fields, and for tampering binds him to 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, is 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-Kivis 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 glumly 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.
Were different in their own dialect, but one in which the heart was beating, and boiled them relentlessly cheerful work: Axes in woods rang, Cities in the meadows were smoking, the rivers and lakes sailed 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 warmly greeted sailed on a boat pale-faced and attached to the truths which proclaims mentor white man, “their prophet in clothes black” – to the beginnings of the Christian religion, the stories “of St. Mary, Virgin, / About it 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! “