Wonáǧire Wąkšik ("Man of War")

by Richard L. Dieterle

Wonáǧire Wąkšik is the name of both a deity and a clan. The deity is a Thunderbird, whose avian form is that of a hawk. He possesses very strong war powers which give rise to his name, "Man of War."1 He is the chief of the Bad Thunderbirds (Wakąjašišiga) who are responsible for causing the rain.2 Under the name "Hawk," his powers of healing war wounds are shown to be impressive, exceeded only by Redhorn.3

Links: Thunderbirds, Hawks, Rušewe (a terrifying bird), The Creation Council, Great Black Hawk, Black Hawk, Bird Spirits, Redhorn.

Stories: featuring Wonáǧire Wąkšik as a character: Bear Clan Origin Myth (v. 1) (?) (called "Spirit of War"?), Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Redhorn and His Brothers Marry (where he is called "Hawk"), cf. The Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, about Bird Spirits: Crane and His Brothers, The King Bird, Bird Origin Myth, Wears White Feather on His Head, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Thunderbird, The Boy Who Became a Robin, Partridge's Older Brother, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Foolish Hunter, Ocean Duck, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Quail Hunter, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Hocąk Arrival Myth, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Trickster and the Geese, Holy One and His Brother (blackbirds, woodpeckers, hawks), Porcupine and His Brothers (Ocean Sucker), Turtle's Warparty (Thunderbirds, eagles, kaǧi, pelicans, sparrows), Kaǧiga and Lone Man (kaǧi), The Old Man and the Giants (kaǧi, bluebirds), The Bungling Host (snipe, woodpecker), The Red Feather, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Waruǧábᵉra, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Black and White Moons, The Markings on the Moon, The Creation Council, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna (chicken hawk), Hare Acquires His Arrows, Hocąk Clans Origin Myth, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, The Hocąk Migration Myth, Blue Jay, The Baldness of the Buzzard, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster (buzzards), The Shaggy Man (kaǧi), The Healing Blessing (kaǧi), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (kaǧi), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Įcorúšika and His Brothers (Loon), Great Walker's Medicine (loon), Roaster (woodsplitter), The Spirit of Gambling, The Big Stone (a partridge), Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4) — see also Thunderbirds, and the sources cited there.


1 Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1923]) 393, 415 nt. 52, 415-416.

2 Radin, The Winnebago Tribe, 161 nt. 1.

3 Paul Radin, Winnebago Hero Cycles: A Study in Aboriginal Literature (Baltimore: Waverly Press, 1948) 122-123.