by Richard L. Dieterle
The land of the Hočągara is called the Wazija, "the Grand Pinery." Pines in particular are considered shrines, so the land itself is made sacred by the density of the pine forests that carpet so much of the country. The map inset to the left shows the Hočąk Wazija (in blue) at its greatest extent set against the state of Wisconsin.
The Wazija in primordial times was like a paradise on earth, a Garden of Eden where people could walk as in a park, fearing neither man nor beast.1
There are Waterspirits at key boundary points in the Wazija, one of which is found as far south as St. Louis. Even though they are living beings, they still function as boundary markers.2 A similar role is found for Waterspirits in the cosmos at large, where they hold down the four courners of the earth.
Links: Tree Spirits, The North Wind (Waziregi Huhira), Deer Spirits, Waterspirits, Eagle (II), Introduction.
Stories: mentioning the Wazija: Introduction, 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; mentioning trees or Tree Spirits: The Creation of the World, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun, Visit of the Wood Spirit, The Boy who would be Immortal, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Woman who Became a Walnut Tree, The Old Woman and the Maple Tree Spirit, The Oak Tree and the Man Who was Blessed by the Heroka, The Pointing Man, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster, The Baldness of the Buzzard, Trickster Eats the Laxative Bulb, Trickster Loses His Meal, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 2), Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Waruǧápara, The Chief of the Heroka, The Red Man, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, The Annihilation of the Hočągara I, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Blessing of the Bow, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, The Spirit of Gambling, Peace of Mind Regained, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth, The Necessity for Death.
1 Walter Funmaker, The Winnebago Black Bear Subclan: a Defended Culture (Ph.D. Thesis, University of Minnesota: December, 1986 [MnU-D 86-361]) 50.
2 Wally Funmaker, personal communication, March 5, 1986.