Study Guide

Song of Hiawatha Part II: The Four Winds

By Henry W. Longfellow

Part II: The Four Winds

  • We look in on a Native American village, where a guy named Mudjekeewis has come home after fighting and killing a giant bear that's been terrorizing the villagers for a long time. As proof of his feat, Mudjekeewis brings back a belt of wampum that he stole from the bear's dead body.
  • The speaker flashes back to when Mudjekeewis first found the bear sleeping in his horrible cave. It's a bit anticlimactic, because all Mudjekeewis does is walk up to the sleeping bear and bash his skull in with a club. Oh yeah, and he makes sure to taunt and torture the bear a little bit first, calling him a coward and such. All in all, it seems pretty mean.
  • Now that Mudjekeewis has returned as a hero, the people rename him the "West-Wind" and he gains total control over the four winds that blow from the south, north, east, and west. Mudjekeewis ends up keeping the West Wind for himself. The other three he divides among his three sons.
  • The East-Wind goes to a son named Wabun who seems nice enough. He's the dude who brings the morning sun to the people of the Earth. Unfortunately, Wabun quickly grows lonely as a demigod because there's no one for him to hang out with.
  • One day, Wabun sees a woman walking by a meadow and gathering grass. He realizes that she comes to this place often, so he starts watching (stalking) her there every morning. It turns out that the woman is into it though, and she even starts waiting for him at the same place.
  • Wabun whispers all kinds of nice things to the woman and eventually wins her heart. Then he finally hugs her and turns her into a star. Now you can see them walking together in the night sky.
  • Next we get a look at Kabibonokka, the son who inherited the North-Wind from his dad, Mudjekeewis. This guy is really mean (like winter) and he takes a lot of pleasure in freezing the earth and hissing through the trees with his wind.
  • Kabibonokka drives away all the people from the land except one dude named "The Diver." Kabi is really cheesed that this dude refuses to leave, so he visits the guy's wigwam and hits it with all the snow and ice he's got. The Diver just laughs at him, so the two wrestle until Kabi is defeated and retreats in humiliation.
  • The final son is named Shawondasee, and he's the one who inherited the South-Wind. He's pretty fat and lazy. But, like his brother Wabun, he's lonely. One day he sees a beautiful woman with golden hair standing in a field. But then the woman's hair turns white and Shawondasee suspects that his brother Kabibonokka has ruined her. It turns out that the woman was only a dandelion—hence the golden hair that turned white and puffed away on the wind.