Dakota - How the West Wind Became the Companion of the Winged God
The Four Winds fixed the four directions on the world. They were told to fix the direction of the North Wind first, but Wazi deceived them so that they came first to the place of the West Wind and fixed that first. Thus the West Wind is the first in all things. When they came near the edge of the world, they were at the base of a high mountain and Wazi told them to go over the mountain the next day.
In the morning it was cloudy and when they were eating their morning meal they heard fearful noises on the mountain, but they could not see what was there because of the clouds. They were all much afraid and the East Wind wished to fly from the noises and the West Wind and North Wind feared to go up on the mountain. Then the South Wind offered to go first and the others could follow. If anything happened to harm him he promised to call to them and they could go back; but if he found no danger, he would call to them and they could come on. He went far ahead and when he came to the top of the mountain he saw a level space and near its center a large round lodge, open at the top and with no door. Close beside the lodge, was a great cedar tree and high in the tree was a huge nest made of dried bones. In the nest was an enormous egg. Someone in the lodge was drumming and a young one in the egg was pecking at the shell. These made the fearful noises that were heard below the mountain.
As Okaga cautiously approached the lodge, a voice bellowed to him and asked who it was that dared approach the lodge of the Winged God. He replied that the Great Spirit had sent him and his three brothers, the Four Winds, to fix the four directions on the world, and that his name was Okaga, the South Wind. The voice told him to pass on and do his work. Then the South Wind called to his brothers to come. He passed on over and down the mountain. When the three brothers reached the top of the mountain, they hesitated, but a voice in the lodge bellowed at them and told them to pass on and do their work. They went across the top, but when they came to the lodge, Eya stopped to look at it, but the other two hurried on and went down the mountain. Eya went around the lodge and then he went to the tree and looked at the nest and the egg.
Then he came back to the lodge and a voice within bellowed loudly and asked him what he wished. He asked who was in the lodge and a swallow flew up out of it. The West Wind looked at this bird, amazed and asked how it could bellow so loudly. The swallow told him that this was the lodge of the Winged God, that the nest in the tree was his nest, and the egg in the nest was his egg. Then Eya said he would like to see the Winged God. The swallow said that if one saw the real Winged God that one would be heyoka, and must forever act and speak in an anti-natural manner. But, if one saw Heyoka, then one need not be heyoka. Eya said he would like to see the real Winged God and also Heyoka. Immediately, there arose from the lodge a shapeless thing like a cloud of smoke, but with a huge beak like an eagle. In the beak were four rows of sharp teeth like those of a wolf. It had an eye and its glance was the lightning. Its voice was the thunder. It had four-jointed wings. It had no feet or legs, but eight toes, and on each toe were enormous talons like those of the eagle and each talon was as long as an eagle's wing. It seized the egg in its talons and shook it and the noise was the rolling thunder. As the West Wind looked at it, it became like a giant man and spoke to him. It said that because he was so brave and had looked at the Winged God without falling down or running away, that he should forever be the companion of Wakinyan, +he Winged, and that he should aid this God in cleansing the world of filthy and evil things. When the Heyoka said this he vanished. Then the sparrow said that from that time on, as long as mankind had ceremonies for the Gods, the West Wind should have precedence over all Gods, except one; that when he had done the work he was going to do, he must make his tipi on the mountain at the edge of the world and have that for his abiding place; that his direction would be the first established and the first recognized.
Then there was a feast ready to be served and Eya and the swallow partook of it. When the West Wind drank of the soup he slept. When he awoke he was with his brother and they were at the edge of the world. He commanded his brothers to erect a great pile of stones. When it was erected, the North Wind said that since this was the first direction it belonged to him; but Eya said that his direction should be where the shadows were shortest at midday, and because it was cloudy they could. not see shadows. Then he told his brothers each to choose a bird as his messenger. So the North Wind chose the magpie, the East Wind a crow, the South Wind a meadow lark, and Eya chose the swallow. Then Eya said that the messenger that would alight on the monument would decide whose direction it marked. Immediately, a swallow sat on the pile of stones. Yata bowed his head and covered it with his robe; he was ashamed because he knew that Eya would be first forever and have precedence over him. Since then, when the West Wind is coming with the Winged God, Wakinyan, the swallows fly high in circles.
Oglala Division of the Teton Dakota