Vita Spring

by Dorothy Moulding Brown

"This spring was known to the red men of the forest as the 'healing spring'. Muchkaw [Mąščąga ?, "Stong One"], the great medicine chief of the Winnebagoes, continued to visit this spring as long as he lived. He died in about the year 1860, at the great age of 120 years. In talking about this spring, he said, so long ago as he could remember, it had been known to the Indians as a 'healing spring'; that long years ago there had been contentions between his tribe and the Potawatomies for the possession of it for medicine water and a hunting ground, it being a resort for wild animals, especially in times of great drought."1

Commentary. "120 years" — Chief Yellow Thunder was also said to have lived this many years.

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Stories: mentioning springs: Trail Spring, Merrill Springs, Big Spring and White Clay Spring, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Bear Clan Origin Myth, vv. 6, 8, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, Bluehorn's Nephews, Blue Mounds, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Lost Child, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Wild Rose, The Omahas who turned into Snakes, The Two Brothers, Snowshoe Strings, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Nannyberry Picker, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, The Two Boys, Waruǧápara, Wazųka, The Man Who Fell from the Sky, Turtle and the Witches.

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1 Dorothy Moulding Brown, Indian Legends of Historic and Scenic Wisconsin, Wisconsin Folklore Booklets (Madison: 1947) 11; Wisconsin Archeologist, 7, #4 ns.: 216.