by Richard L. Dieterle

"But if we don't nurture this knowledge and teach others like this it's going to go down the 'hollow of echoes,' the hojarara. In the end it's going to disappear and no one will hear it."1

The Winnebago, or Hočągara (ho CHUHN g(a)rah) as they call themselves, are a North American Indian nation of Chiwere Siouan speech. In their heyday they were powerful and warlike. As Evans observed in 1818, "The Puans [Hočągara] too, were not less formidable and fierce than the Iroquois."2 Their native land, the Wazija or "Great Pinery," was originally anchored on Red Banks near modern Green Bay on the shores of Lake Michigan, but at the height of their power embraced a large area of Wisconsin and a portion of northern Illinois, as shown in blue against the green map of Wisconsin at left. Although they were forced to cede their lands in 1837, many families returned and have lived on their ancestral land for over a hundred years. Other members of the tribe also live on the Winnebago reservation in Nebraska. The Hočągara were surrounded by Algonquian tribes such as the Menominee, Anishinaabe (= Ojibway, Chippewa, or Saulteurs), Potawatomi, Ottawa, Illini, Sauk and Fox; but on occasions made war on more distant tribes such as the Osage and Dakota. This geopolitical configuration resulted in the infiltration of significant Algonquian elements into Hočąk religion.

The Hočąk language belongs to the Siouan family, which includes Crow, Hidatsa, Mandan, Assiniboine (Stoney), Sioux, Quapah, Kansa, Osage, Omaha, Ponca, Ofo, Biloxi, Catawba, Tutelo, Assegun (?), and Chiwere. Hočąk is most closely allied to the Chiwere dialect group, which contains Oto, Ioway, and Missouria.3 The Chiwere languages separated from one another about the time of Columbus,4 and the tribes sharing these tongues (as well as the more distant Omaha and Ponca) view the Hočągara as the original stock, referring to them as "elder brothers."5 The Siouan homeland was believed to lie in the east, in North Carolina or Kentucky. It is thought that the bulk of the Siouan tribes were pushed west by aggressive Eastern Algonquian enemies.6 Some suggestion of this eastern origin is preserved in the "Hočąk Arrival Myth," although this evidence is open to a wide latitude of interpretation.

The Names by which the Hočągara were Known. The established English name for the Hočągara is "Winnebago," a term derived from the Algonquian tribes who surrounded them. This name comes in countless variants and in every conceivable form of spelling. It apparently became standardized in its present form after 1832 with the publication of Drake's very popular biographical book on Indians.7 He seems to have modernized the Winnebagoe of Charlevoix's magnum opus which he cites frequently.8 In 1632 Samuel de Champlain drew the earliest map of the Wisconsin region based upon information supplied by western Indians visiting Quebec. Setting down in French what these Indians had told him, he indicated the Nation des Puans to be by a lake (thought to be Lake Winnebago [map]). The French Puan(t)s means "Stinkards," and represents a translation of what the Algonquian tribes called the Hočągara.9 The name is said to be in origin the Anishinaabe Winnibígog, Winebégok, "Polluted Waters People." This derives from winipig, "polluted water" < win, wini, wi'nat, "dirty, impure,"10 and nipi, "water." When the plural suffix -ak is added, the latter becomes by contraction, nipig, "waters." To this is added a terminal -o, indicating a person (plural, -o-ag), thus Winnipigo(a)g and its variants.11 The closest version to that extant in English, and the presumed true original, is from the neighbors and allies of the Hočągara, the Menominee, who call them Winnibégo.12 However, since Anishinaabe was a lingua franca of the day, the name probably spread through the medium of that language — compare the Sauk and Fox name Winipyägohagi,13 and the OttawaWinnebagoag.14 The Potawatomi call the Hočągara, WInbye'go, to which compare winsawak, "filthy," winkiwIn, or wInkayawIn, "muddy."15 To this compare the Algonkin Winipegou of the same meaning.16 The Anishinaabe winipig, "polluted water," is the name of the Canadian lake Winnipeg which also lies within their immense territory. This root meaning led to a number of names for the Hočągara that are similar to "Winnipeg": Winnepeg,17 Ouinepeag,18 Ouinipigou,19 Winipegouek,20 Winnipegouek,21 Ouinipegong.22 Names of this ilk probably led to the odd theory that the "original" home of the Hočągara is north of Lake Superior near Winnipeg.23 The Huron (also known later as the Wyandot) have an almost unpronounceable name for the Hočągara: Aweataiwaenrrhonon, given in 1636 as A8eatai8aenrrhonon.24 This name was corrupted into a number of French variants: Aoueataiouaen-hronons,25 Aoueataiouaenronnons,26 Aoeataioaenronnon.27 [see below; and Gatschet] Ca. 1876, Nicholas Cotter, Foster's Wyandot interpreter, said the name should be Aweátsiwáirǫnǫ, which he translated as "Marsh Water People." The stem denotes bad, foul, or strong water, as in aweátsiwái, "rum."28 Gatschet breaks it down in the following way: Huron áwän' water; a it (pronoun), tsíwayän sour and bitter, rúnąn people, men.29 This means that the Wyandot-Huron name for the Hočągara is essentially the same in meaning as that of the Algonquian speakers. On the other hand, it is said that the Algonquian nations also call the ocean "the polluted waters," since salt water is undrinkable. This appears to be what Governor Champlain or the French authorities understood by the name,30 since they sent Jean Nicollet to contact Les Gens (des Eaux) de Mer, "the Tribe (of the Waters) of the Sea."31 In 1634 they succeeded (depicted in the painting below), and we now know that the people Nicollet found were the Hočągara. However, the Hočągara did not live by the sea at all,

but by the fresh waters of Lake Michigan. Dr. Foster, however, has a theory that would easily explain the name. He contends that the nation was named after Lake Winnebago, not the converse. He points out that besides the large Canadian Lake Winipeg, there are quite a number of other lakes of the same name. The marshy area about the upper Mississippi near the Falls of Pokeguma, the Anishinaabe call winipígoshish, "Little Dirty Waters." A lake of the same name is found to the northwest of Lake Winipeg in Canada. Foster also thinks that Green Bay, the original home of the Hočągara, once carried the same name.32 To make this case, he cites the Jesuit Relations of 1659-60:

He set out in the month of June, 1658, from the Lake of the Ouinipigouek, which, properly speaking, is only a large Bay from that of the Hurons [meaning Lake Michigan], others call it the Lake of the stinkards — not because it is salt, like the water of the sea, which the savages call Ouinipeg, that is stinking waters — but because it is surrounded by grounds that are impregnated with sulphur, from whence issue many streams, which carry into this lake the malignity which these waters have contracted at their sources.33

This is probably another in an endless series of guesses. Unfortunately, Foster's theory is actually refuted by such testimony. The Baye des Puants, or Winnipigoag, means, "Bay of the Winnebagoes," -o indicating a people, and -ag the plural. So too, therefore, with Lake Winnebago — here we find the suffix -o attached, which yields the meaning, "Lake [of the] Hočąk." Both names make reference to a people, otherwise the lake and the bay would simply have been called Winipeg. Foster himself, quoted below, says that it is the usual habit of the tribes to translate foreign names into their own tongues. Yet the Hočąk name for Lake Winnebago, Te Xetera, does not mean "Dirty Waters," but "Great Lake." In Hočąk the Baye des Puants, or Winnipigoag, was called Te Rok, "Within Lake."34 Although the area where the Fox River debauches into the bay was once marshy,35 the waters of Green Bay as a whole are neither brackish nor muddy. Thus Foster's theory does not seem to hold water. However, there may be a way to save this theory. The Hočągara call Lake Michigan, Te Šišik, "Bad Lake," not because it is polluted, but because its stormy weather can be fatal to people traveling in canoes. The Hočągara are said to have once lost 500 warriors while crossing the lake in a storm, and 600 on another occasion.36 However, to make this theory work, we would have to suppose that the Algonquians somewhat mistranslated "Bad Waters People" as "Polluted Waters People." Furthermore, we have no record of the Hočągara calling themselves "Lake Michigan People," nor could they, since many other people lived on that lake and occupied much more of its shoreline.

Juliette Kinsie suggested another reason:

The Winnebago from the custom of wearing the fur of a polecat on their legs when equipped for war are termed "Les Puans," or to use their own euphonious appellation "Ho Tschung Rahs."37

The wearing of skunk fur leg bands is a particular war honor signifying that the man has kicked a slain enemy on the battlefield. Only if he does it twice may he wear such bands on both legs.38 Even though the skunk has no powerful odor in its fur, such negative associations could at least be a contributing factor in the choice of names. Another idea is that Hočąk villages were noted for extensive stocks of dried fish, which would have made them malodorous.39 It is not clear, however, that they were any more or less well supplied with fish than anyone else living on Lake Michigan.

Lawson concludes that it seems more likely that "Winnebago" is just a name of insult given to them by their numerous enemies,40 rather like calling them "those stinking bastards." As a matter of fact, the lowest caste of Nachez society is called, according to its French translation, Puan, "Stinkard," almost certainly a term of denigration.41 This practice is not at all uncommon especially among the Anishinaabe, who call the Sioux, Nadowessi(w), "Little Snakes," in contrast to the Iroquois, whom they call Nadowe(k), "Adders." In Algonquian languages the Iroquois were called Iri(n)kowi, "Real Serpents," by which they meant "bitter enemies."42 The former are known in English as "Sioux," a French back formation of the Anishinaabe name, showing that once an insulting name gets established, it is often uncritically accepted by other peoples who may not even understand what it means. Furthermore, the Anishinaabe also called the Sioux, Opwanak, "Those Whom we Roast."43 This same habit of derision may have inspired the Anishinaabe name for the Hočągara as well. Neill in his 1858 Minnesota history, tells us that the Anishinaabe called them "Filthy Water People" [see above] as a humorous reference to their alleged practice of bathing in dirty water.44 This may explain this otherwise peculiar idea advanced by Long in his travelogue: "The fourth day we encamped at Lac les Puans, so called, I apprehend, from the Indians who reside on the banks being naturally filthy."45 Others, having heard this theory, examined the Hočągara and found them to be perfectly clean.46 Such theories are inspired by the French mistranslation of the name Winnibégo (etc.), as Puant, "Stinkard." As we have seen, it means not "Filthy People" (Win-go), but "Filthy Water People" (Win-nibe-go). The Anishinaabe idea, rather than the name or word, passed to the Wyandot, who inverted it, calling the Hočągara, Hati'hahí rúnu, "Afraid of Sticking in the Mud."47 (For other Huron versions, see above.) Did the Hočągara really bathe in muddy water? If done for the sake of hygiene, such a practice makes no sense at all; but even a slander needs to be grounded in something. In this connection, it is important to remember that in war the Hočągara painted themselves vermilion, the color of muddy water:

Before going into battle, the Winnebagoes paint their bodies with vermilion, and with white; daubing them with clay, to appear as frightful as possible, when facing the enemy ...48

In the old days war paints were made of clay ("mud") and applied wet. The Hočąk warrior, vermilion from head to toe in clay paint, not only looked as if he had bathed in muddy water, but in a very real sense, had done just that.

The name that the Winnebago call themselves, Hočągara, apparently was first recorded by the French historian Charlevoix as Otchagra when he traversed their country in the year 1721.49 What this name means has also been the subject of considerable debate. Everyone seems to agree that the name Hočąk (> Ho-čąk-ga-ra > Hočągara) is to be analyzed into two basic component words, ho and čąk. Otherwise, the literature on its meaning is full of disagreement. The view that once held the strongest position, though a minority one at present, was the contention held by J. O. Dorsey and others that the name Hočągara meant "People of the Parent Speech."50 Radin rejects this interpretation as a forced attempt to read into the name the widely recognize status of the Hočągara as a parent nation for many of the Chiwere and Çegiha nations. While ho can mean "speech," čąk (or čųk) cannot mean "original," but rather only "big, real," inasmuch as it is cognate to Sioux tąka, of similar meaning (see below).51 However, this response proves to be simplistic owing partly to the fact that Radin does not seem to have been acquainted with the source of this theory, which was first promulgated in 1850 or 1851 by Pasaréčka, "Long Nose," better known as The Prophet. He, and others as well, said the name Hočągara came from ho, "voice, speech," čąnína, "first, original," and ka-ra, "the people [of]." Thus, Foster concluded, the name meant, "People of the Original or Primitive Language."52 However, the linguistics of this theory does not hold up, showing that it is a species of the universal practice of mythological etymology, meant in this case to establish that the Hočągara were the first people created by Earthmaker (see also above).53 For the literal meaning (or meanings) of the name, we have to look elsewhere. Since ho also means "voice," the name Hočąk could also mean, "Big Voice." However, the contention that seems most widely accepted is that ho- means "fish," and that therefore Hočągara means "the Big Fish People."54 In the XXᵀᴴ century, Albert Yellow Thunder (Thunderbird Clan) maintained the same thing.55 One of the earliest sources for this contention is Wak’ąhaga ("Snake Skin") [portrait], who said that Hočągara meant "Large Fish," by which he understood a whale ("the one that spouts water").56 In Osage, Hotǫga, their name for the Hočągara, also means "large fish, whale"],57 although the same Hotonga appears in Prince Maximilian's account, where it is understood to mean "Fish Eaters."58 Gallatin says that they called themselves Hochungohrah, which he translated as "Trout Nation," and that they were also called Horoje, "Fish Eaters."59 This name would seem to be a corruption of Ho-ručge, which is found in other sources as Ho-ro-ge,60 and Horoji.61 The name Horučge would suggest that they are called "Big Fish" because they are especially noted for fishing. But why are they any more known for this than other people on the lakes? Wak’ąhaga's suggestion to the contrary is that they are named after a fish, specifically the whale, or according to Gallatin's odd translation, the trout. To get a clearer view of the matter some examination of the second member of the compound is necessary. Radin says,

. . . čungk can only mean one thing and that is "big, real." It is found with a number of animal names, such as kečungk, "turtle," and cunkčungk, "wolf." It corresponds strictly to the Dakota tank, "large." Ho means "fish" in Winnebago.62

The problem with čųk being the stem in question is that it does not satisfy either the standard spelling of Hočąk nor its pronunciation. The proper stem would seem to be čąk. The nasalized vowel [ą] in this word approximates the sound of the English "uh," so that čųk may at least sometimes reflect a mere spelling convention. In contemporary usage, for instance, "turtle," is given as kečank, and "snapping turtle," as kečankxete (-xete, "large, old"63 ).64 Compare the Osage kétǫga, "snapping turtle."65 Marino's dictionary does not mention čųk, and while it has kečųge, "turtle, tortoise," it does not even mention the name for the wolf.66 However, Radin usually spelled the word for wolf, šųkčųk, with a [ų] reflecting a longer value to the vowel, although both Dorsey and Lurie have spelled the second syllable with an [ą]. The word in the Çegiha Siouan languages was originally *tǫga or *tǫka. The [ǫ] lost its phonemic value in Hočąk and was usually resolved as either [ą] or [ų], which may explain the alternances that we see in kečąk/šųkčųk, etc. Čąk, however, is also said to mean "praiseworthy" as in hįnačągirekje, "to speak well of," and woračągira, "to be praiseworthy."67 The word very clearly has this meaning in an important waiką, the Hočąk Clans Origin Myth. In this story, the clan ancestors, once they have come together for the first time, must now decide what language they should speak:

The Earth and Sky People queried of themselves, "Which language will we speak together?" The eldest of the twelve, Thunder, replied, "We will speak Ho-Chunk [= Ho-čąk]." Chunk [= čąk] is a word meaning praise. The elder had encouraged the beings to speak their language in praise of the Creator [Earthmaker]. Ho-Chunk would become the voice of praise.68

The expression ho čąk can vary in meaning from "praiseworthy speech" to "great voice," although even in English, these two expressions have a common meaning. The word čąk is also found in wákąčąk, an expansion of wak'ą "spiritual power." Wákąčąk means properly, "having great spiritual power, holy, sacred," not necessarily praiseworthy power, as certain evil things and beings are wákąčąk purely on account of the magnitude of their supernatural power. From this it appears that we have a convergence of two words in the form of a homonym čąk, or an earlier word *tǫk meaning "great" that has evolved into čąk, with two independent secondary meanings, "big" and "praiseworthy." Perhaps more likely is that the word that evolved into čąk, meaning "praiseworthy," became semantically confounded with the evolving word *tǫk, whose [ǫ] was being transformed. The usual direction of this transformation is either [ą] or [ų], so that the semantic confusion actually led to a bifurcation, producing two forms, čąk and čųk, both of which were taken to mean the same thing in most contexts.

As to the first part of the compound, the word ho can also mean, "voice, language, to howl." A wolf's howl is denoted by šųgere hoire. Other words from this stem are: wahohi xeteną, "deep of voice," hihohaną, "I ask permission"; hihoragi, "you address"; hojarara, "echo";69 wiho, "witness"; and wihohiją, "to be a witness."70 In the Upper Moiety, we have at least two proper names from this stem: Hopįga, "Good Voice," and Hočąteįwįga, "Audible Voice."71 This sense of the word also has cognates in other Siouan languages: Sioux ho, "the voice either of a man or of any animal or thing; sound in general;"72 Osage ho-, hu-, "voice, sound, etc.";73 Ponca ho, "voice";74 Omaha, hu, "voice,"75Ofo, hóhe, "to bellow (like a bull), to howl (like a wolf)."76 So there can be little question that the name Hočąk can mean, "Big, Great Voice."

A further clue is found in how other peoples understand the meaning of Hočąk. "... in these investigations I have noticed, that aboriginal nations, unless there is some special reason to the contrary, — for instance a special enmity — ... all endeavor to translate into their own vernacular the names of neighboring tribes, rather than adopt them bodily ..."77 In Plains Indian sign language, as was seen in distant Oklahoma, the Hočągra were denoted by the signs for "big" and "voice."77.1 The Sioux call the Hočągara, Ho-tą́-ke, "Great Voices."78 This is not a corruption of Ho-čągara, but a translation: from the Sioux ho, "voice"; and tą́-ka, "large, great in any way."79 The ordinary expression for "a great or loud voice," is ho´tąka (Buechel) or ho´tąke (Riggs).80 The word ho, meaning fish(-net) is said to be a contraction of hoǧą́,81 which all agree is the ordinary word for "fish."82 If the Lakota had thought that the Hočągara called themselves "Big Fish," then they would have translated the name as Hoǧątąke. In the kindred Çegiha Sioux languages, we find that the Ponca call them Hotǫga,83 and the Omaha, Hu-tǫga, both of which are understood to mean "Big Voices";84 and we may add, perhaps, the Osage Hutąka.85 The Quapah call them Hútąka, but how they understood this is not recorded.86 It would not be unusual for a tribe to carry a name like "Great Voice," since names of similar meaning are given to individual people, as in the Omaha and Osage name, Hothagthį, "Good Voice,"87 and Osage, Hó-ça-zhį-e, "Young, Strong Voice."88 However, the matter is complicated by the Osage, who understand their name for the Hočągara, Hó-tǫ-ga, to mean "Big Fish People." Like the Hočągara, they have retained the word ho meaning "fish," but unlike them, they have not retained the homonym meaning "voice (etc.)" outside compounds. This word became hu in Osage,89 and is found in the compound, hú-ça-gi, "to exclaim, shout," where ça-gi means "firm, solid; strong, hard."90 Yet there exists the intimately akin expression, hó-ça-gi, which means "to call loudly, to yell."91 In addition, we find the word embedded in hótǫ, "the cry or call of animals or birds."92 The same alternance observed in Hočąk between the [o] and [u] also exists transparently enough in Osage. The alternance leads, unfortunately, to the same ambiguity in the name for the Hočągara: the word hu not only means "voice," but also "fish," as may be seen in these words where hu is not compounded: hu btháçka tǫga, "buffalo fish," hu btháçka jįga, "perch," hu gthée, "pickerel," hu íha jįga, "sucker fish," hu íthuxe, "fish net," hu páçi stsee, "gar fish," hu pátnidse, "tadpole," hu wéts'a, "eel."93 Even the Osage name for the Hočąk people shows the same alternance: Hótǫga, Hútǫga.94 However, the Osage dictionary recognizes one asymmetry: the people are called variously Hótǫga, Hútǫga, but only the language is called Hútǫga ïe.95 This suggests that the Osage preferred to call the Hočąk language "the Big Voice language," and the people ambiguously, "Big Fish, Whales" or "Big Voice." This preference for disambiguation in the former case naturally flows from the association of language and voice.

Officially, the contemporary tribe in Wisconsin calls itself "the Ho-Chunk Nation, People of the Big Voice."96 Blair, apparently in a personal communication to Dorsey and Radin, reported that Thomas Forsyth said that they called themselves O-tan-gan, which he claimed meant, "Great Voice."97 This should settle the matter were it not for the predominant contention in olden times that the name meant "Big Fish" or "Whale," or even "Trout." Indeed, there is some evidence that the fish in question may have been the sturgeon (see the Commentary to the story "White Flower"). The solution to the issue about the "real" meaning of the name is simple: it is ambiguous from its inception: it means "Whale," "Big Fish," "Big Voice," "Praiseworthy Voice," and can even yield the humorous, though unattested interpretation, "Praiseworthy Fish" (!). This inherent ambiguity is useful for mythological purposes, as well as, perhaps, creating an exoteric/esoteric divide in the full understanding of the significance of the name.

What does it mean to say that the Hočągara are the People of the Great Voice? Foster opines that it should mean,

perhaps loud-voiced in a certain sense; which name must be admitted to have considerable point to it by all who have ever heard the Winnebago — their women especially — who talk in so loud and shrill a key that listening to them at times becomes almost painful to the ear.98

The decibel volume of their speech is something an outsider would find notable, to an insider it would seem normal. What is the "inside" view of this matter? The "Tale of Čap’ósgaga," tells us that,

In the early days of their existence the Winnebago were a successful people. They all fasted and were blessed by the spirits. It is for that reason that they were powerful and were called Hočągara.99

This explains why they are called "Big Voices": when they spoke to other nations, they were heard. They had, as even whites would say today, "a big voice" in anything that went on. In a parallel logic, the deaf (nǫxnįk) are said in Hočąk to have "little ears,"100 so that by implication those who hear well would have big ears. Therefore, by the same logic, those who are heard well, would have Big Voices. This is the same as saying metaphorically that among the fish of the sea, the Hočągara are whales.

This discussion leads us to an interesting speculation. Viewing the matter historically, we cannot reconstruct the name for the proto-Chiwere from comparative Chiwere, since the present names of the tribes do not derive from an ancient common name. However, the Chiwere tribes recognize the Hočągara as the parent tribe, and would therefore concede that whatever that tribe called itself in ca. 1500 was the name for the proto-Chiwere. The proto-Çegiha tribes (> Omaha, Osage, Ponca, Quapah, Kansa), apparently called themselves *Hǫga, or *Hǫgatǫga, "(Big) Chief People."101 In Hočąk this would be Hųgečąk or Hųkčąk, from hųge, "leader," or hųk, "chief."102 If we posit an earlier *Hǫgetǫk or *Hǫktǫk, we can easily see how a pun (Hǫktǫk/Hotǫk, or later Hokčąk, Hųkčąk/Hočąk) could have developed based upon the fact that the tribe had settled where fish (ho) were in great abundance. Furthermore, the whale might well be considered the chief of fishes, leading to a close assonance between the words for "whale," and "great chief." Furthermore, the [k] of the hypothetical *Hǫkčąk could easily disappear under this process into the more pronounceable Hočąk. The [ǫ] was lost as a phoneme in Hočąk — in some words the original [ǫ] transmuted to either [ą] or a simple [o], as from an earlier *mǫ-, "earth," Hočąk mą-, to forms such as mogo, "banks," Mogašuč, "Red Banks," moro, "shore," mopase, "bluff," etc.103

The History of the Hočągara. See Lee Sultzman's "Winnebago History," in the general "First Nations History."

The Mythological Corpus. There is a vast body of mythology collected from the Hočągara principally by the ethnographer Paul Radin at the turn of the century.104 He had to overcome the fact that almost all stories were literally owned by members of the tribe, and could be passed on in full form only by being purchased at great expense. The reason for this is probably the differences in opinion to which clan structure gives rise. Hočąk mythology is complicated by a social factor: every clan and every religious society has its own point of view, and frequently these perspectives are unique and at variance with one another. This gives rise to several variants of most myths, especially those that touch upon the subject of the clans themselves or their spiritual patrons and allies. Some variants of a myth can be insulting or otherwise denigrating to another clan, and this may explain in part the practice of keeping full versions of a myth secret. The myth itself becomes the property of a particular individual, and the right to hear a full version of a story must be purchased often at great expense. Some myths are publicly told only in shortened versions, and in many cases, a short version of a myth may be sold at a reduced price. Therefore, by keeping myths esoteric, the socially damaging effects of inter-clan rivalry can be kept to a minimum. That we have preserved as many myths as we have owes to an accident of history: at the time Paul Radin collected his material, the Hočągara had come heavily under the influence of the Christian Peyote Cult, many of whose members, having become hostile to the old pagan traditions, felt no compunction about telling every myth that they had heard, including whole cycles. As a result, the Hočąk mythology now in our possession gives us a window upon the "Hočąk mind" and to some extent that vast corpus of systematic thinking encoded in Native American mythology generally.

An Earthmaker Flag

Links: The Wazija, Spirits, Supernatural & Spiritual Power, Lake Winnebago.

Stories: about the origins of the Hočąk nation: The Hočąk Arrival Myth, The Green Waterspirit of the Wisconsin Dells, The Hočąk Migration Myth, The Creation Council, Great Walker's Warpath, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I; about the separation of the Hočągara from other Siouan nations: Ioway & Missouria Origins, Quapah Origins, cf. The Hočąk Migration Myth; about the migration of the Hočągara: The Green Waterspirit of the Wisconsin Dells, The Hočąk Arrival Myth, The Hočąk Migration Myth, The Hočągara Migrate South, cf. Hočąk Clans Origin Myth; pertaining to the name Hočąk: White Flower; Hočąk Clans Origin Myth; pertaining to the name Winnebago: Origin of the Name "Winnebago" (Menominee); mentioning the Wazija: The Hočąk Migration Myth, Trickster and the Geese, The First Fox and Sauk War, The Hočągara Migrate South, The Cosmic Ages of the Hočągara, Deer Spirits, Waruǧápara; about the (post-Columbian) history of the Hočągara: The Cosmic Ages of the Hočągara, The Hočągara Migrate South, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I, Annihilation of the Hočągara II, First Contact, Origin of the Decorah Family, The Glory of the Morning, The First Fox and Sauk War, The Fox-Hočąk War, The Masaxe War, The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, Great Walker's Medicine, Great Walker's Warpath, The Chief Who Shot His Own Daughter, How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Little Priest's Game, The Spanish Fight, The Man who Fought against Forty, The Origin of Big Canoe's Name, They Owe a Bullet, Origin of the Name "Milwaukee," A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Origin of the Hočąk Name for "Chicago"; mentioning the Ioway: Ioway & Missouria Origins, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing, The Woman's Scalp Medicine Bundle, Migistéga’s Magic, Little Priest's Game, A Peyote Story; mentioning the Oto: Ioway & Missouria Origins, Little Priest's Game, A Peyote Story; mentioning the Omaha: Quapah Origins, The Omahas who turned into Snakes, Ioway & Missouria Origins, Little Priest's Game; mentioning the Ponca: White Shirt; mentioning the Osage: The Osage Massacre, Big Thunder Teaches Čap’ósgaga the Warpath, The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2), First Contact (v. 2); mentioning the Sioux (Šąhą): The Sioux Warparty and the Waterspirit of Green Lake, Origin of the Name "Milwaukee," Little Priest's Game, Berdache Origin Myth, Great Walker's Warpath, Potato Magic, The Masaxe War, White Flower, The Man who Fought against Forty, First Contact (vv. 2-3), The Omahas who turned into Snakes, The Love Blessing, Run for Your Life; mentioning the Illinois (Illini): The Annihilation of the Hočągara I (v. 2), A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Gatschet's Hočank hit’e (St. Peet ...); mentioning the Ottawa (Odawa): The Annihilation of the Hočągara I (v. 2), Annihilation of the Hočągara II, The Chief Who Shot His Own Daughter, Gatschet's Hočank hit’e (St. Peet ...); mentioning the Anishinaabeg (Chippewa, Ojibway): White Fisher, White Thunder's Warpath, Great Walker and the Anishinaabe Witches, The Masaxe War, The Two Children, The Annihilation of the Hočągara II, The First Fox and Sauk War, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, First Contact (vv. 2-3); mentioning the Menominee: Origin of the Name "Winnebago" (Menominee), The Hočąk Arrival Myth, Bear Clan Origin Myth (v. 2b) (Origins of the Menominee), The Fox-Hočąk War, First Contact, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I (v. 2), Annihilation of the Hočągara II, Two Roads to Spiritland, The Two Children, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Gatschet's Hočank hit’e (Extracts ...); mentioning the Sauk (Sac, Sagi): The First Fox and Sauk War, Mijistéga and the Sauks, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I (v. 2), Annihilation of the Hočągara II, The Blessing of Kerexųsaka, Big Eagle Cave Mystery, The Chief Who Shot His Own Daughter, Little Priest's Game, Gatschet's Hočank hit’e (St. Peet ...), A Peyote Story; mentioning the Fox (Mesquaki): The First Fox and Sauk War, The Fox-Hočąk War, The Masaxe War, The Mesquaki Magician, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I (v. 2), Annihilation of the Hočągara II, The Chief Who Shot His Own Daughter, Little Priest's Game, Gatschet's Hočank hit’e (Extracts ...); mentioning the Potawatomi: Fourth Universe, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, The Masaxe War, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I (v. 2), The Annihilation of the Hočągara II, First Contact (v. 2), Little Priest's Game, Xųnųnį́ka;mentioning the French: Introduction, The Fox-Hočąk War, First Contact, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I (v. 2), A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, How Jarrot Got His Name, Gatschet's Hočank hit’e, The Cosmic Ages of the Hočągara, Turtle and the Merchant.