North Wind (Waziregi Huhira)

by Richard L. Dieterle

The name Waziregi Huhira means "the Wind from (the Land of) the Pines." He is also known as "Grandfather Porcupine."1 North Wind is a minor war deity honored in warbundle feasts.2 As we see in this prayer from the Thunderbird Clan Warbundle Feast, North Wind is offered a wide variety of foodstuffs:

Here again Waziregihuhira, thou sayest, "I am equal," so grandfather Jobenągiwįxka said, it is said. Tobacco, soup, vegetables, what a tree bears, fruit, as we call it, and maple sugar, that also we send towards you. If you accept them, the request is for war powers and life, that we ask of you. To kill a person outright is an excellent power to have, grandfather Porcupine, you said of yourself. So grandfather Jobenągiwįxka said, it is said.3

The Bear Clan recognizes Waziregi Huhira as a manifestation of White Bear, the great Island Weight of the north.4 The breath of the North Wind is freezing cold and infects its victims with fatigue and sometimes death. Once the North Wind came to the center of the earth and took control over the deer and the ancestors of the wolves, but he was not able to conquer the Wolf Spirits, who forced him to return to his home in the north.5

Links: South Wind, Bear Spirits, White Bear, The Wazija, Island Weights, Wolf & Dog Spirits, Deer Spirits.

Stories: featuring North Wind as a character: Wolves and Humans.


1 Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1923]) 415.

2 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 393.

3 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 415.

4 Walter Funmaker, The Winnebago Black Bear Subclan: a Defended Culture (Ph.D. Thesis, University of Minnesota: December, 1986 [MnU-D 86-361]) 48-49. Informant: One Who Wins of the Winnebago Bear Clan.

5 Paul Radin, "Wolves," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Notebook #5: 1-40.