Ioway & Missouria Origins

retold by Richard L. Dieterle

When the Hocągara lived by Within Lake (Green Bay) the tribe was governed by a single chief, but owing to the size of the population, each band had its own chief. The overcrowding put food in short supply, so band after band moved off. Two bands moved south, but are now located in the southwest. These two bands are the Ioway and the Missouria. The band that remained behind is the Hocągara.1

Commentary. An Ioway chief gave this account of the separation from the other Siouan tribes which Dorsey mentions:

... their people said the Oto, Missouri, Omaha, and Ponca "once formed part of the Winnebago nation." According to the traditions of these tribes, at an early period they came with the Winnebago from their priscan home north of the Great Lakes, but that the Winnebago stopped on the shores of a great lake (Lake Michigan), attracted by the abundant fish.2

The idea that the Hocągara migrated across Lake Michigan from the north or east is also suggested in the story Fourth Universe.

Links: The Wazija, The Redhorn Panel of Picture Cave. An American Star Map.

Stories: mentioning the Ioway: 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, Introduction; mentioning the Missouria: Black Otter's Warpath, Introduction; mentioning the Oto: Little Priest's Game, A Peyote Story, Introduction; about the separation of the Hocągara from other Siouan nations: Oto Origins, Quapah Origins, cf. Introduction, The Hocąk Migration Myth; mentioning the Omaha: Quapah Origins, The Omahas who turned into Snakes, Little Priest's Game, Introduction; set at Green Bay, "Within Lake" (Te Rok): Waterspirit Clan Origin Myth, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (vv. 1, 2, 3), Story of the Thunder Names, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Deer Clan Origin Myth (v. 1), Bear Clan Origin Myth (v. 4), The Seven Maidens, Blessing of the Yellow Snake Chief, Great Walker's Warpath, The Annihilation of the Hocągara I (v. 2), The Fox-Hocąk War (v. 2), The Creation Council, First Contact, Gatschet's Hocank hit’e.

Themes: the Hocągara are the parent tribe from which other (Siouan) tribes separated: Oto Origins, Quapah Origins.


1 Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1923]) 2.

2 Reverend James Owen Dorsey, Handbook of American Indians, Bureau of American Ethnology (Washington: 1907), Bulletin 30, 1:612.