The Hocąk and Menominee Farm Side-by-Side as Friends

by Stella (Blowsnake) Stacey, a.k.a. Mountain Wolf Woman
transcribed and translated by Sheila Shigley

Hocąk Interlinear Text

Part I. The Earth Oven. (00:24.8) At that time the Hōcąks there, they were living, making a village. So, they made fields as well, and they planted them as well. And they planted for themselves, the fields, they made their own. When they finished making absolutely all of their (own) fields then they went there, to the "summer lodges" as they called them, so, any place there was hunting, that is what they were saying. (00:59) So after a while, ų̄sge, they'd come back, and the fields would be ripened. So they attended to the fields, they would make [let] everything dry, that corn, too, they'd let it [tend it into being] dry as well. (01:17) Then, once the fields would be worked [done], they dug the ground as well, a little while after the fields were worked, they dug, doing it they dug pretty deep, and then there they build a big fireplace, that pit there, wōxe ("pit") was what it was called, they dug. (01:43.6) Then a lot of wood there, ų̄sge, when it was burnt to embers they'd throw in rocks. (01:51.2) Rocks they'd throw in there and, ēgų, when everything had been burned to ashes, once those stones had become hot, when it was evening, the husks. When they'd gathered the corn together for themselves, the husks, they'd throw them there in that hole there soooo many they'd throw there as well. (02:16.5) So those peeled (husked) corn (ears), they put them in there. When they'd put it all there, then, again those husks in that way in the tub they covered them up. (02:30.5) Then in four places, around the sides, they put holes as well. (02:35.1) There, they'd pour a water pail there, then those husks they even threw all of them in and they covered it with earth, they buried it. (02:49.9) Then they poured water sending it rolling over at four points. (02:53.7) And there in that pit then, ēgų, it made a great noise when they poured that water (in) there. In the morning, early in the morning, when they dug it out for themselves, sooooo much corn they had cooked, all at once. They helped one another and that corn they shelled as well. (03:11.3) They dried it, (and) the dried corn they had made they prepared it, they say. (03:15.2) "Earth oven" as they call it, that way, in that way they used to do, those Hōcąks.1

In his introductory remarks to the following two sections, Frankel describes their contents as, "How the Winnebago and Menominee lived together and worked together near the Great Lake."

Part II. The Menominee Move In. (00:09) There, the Hocąks used to sit there, where, wāgegi, a lake there, tacąna there, there they sat, there they used to work great fields. (00:22.7) Well, once upon a time then, the Menominee came, they were migrating. (00:29.3) Thus they also did, they [even began?] living there as well, making camp as well and even putting in fields there. (00:37.5) They were putting in large fields. (00:40) So at one point they were making fields for themselves and, doing this way, at one point, "summer lodges," as they were called. (00:49.8) Somewhere, [they developed a] village and anyplace there were trees, there were summer lodges, as they used to call them. (00:58) So then there was hunting that way – deer, meat, that way they hunted, [at those] summer lodgings as they're called. (01:06) There were summer lodges. (01:08.75) Well, once, when they returned, they lay ripened. (00:14.5) When everything was ripe, they returned. (01:18) So, then, they would harvest the fields for themselves. (00:23) They worked together to put out everything to dry.2

Part III. The Hocąk and Menominee Work Together as Friends. (00:58.4) They harvest all the fields for themselves and dried everything for themselves, and winter (stores of) food they completely prepared for themselves. (01:16.4) So, higų wažaga, the Menominee, together they worked, (02:20.4) and in that way, in those times the Hocąks actually took the Menominee as friends.3

Commentary. Gerd Frankel introduces this story, which is a part of a set, with this prologue: “A story of a Winnebago, which is an industrious people, part of which moves out to make his living elsewhere, part of which plants its garden, dries its corn and squash for winter use. Together with them in the same village are a bunch of Menominee who drink much and are told to leave that alone.” The episode about the drinking problem of the Menominee was not encountered in this story.

This is what Radin was able to learn about the processing of corn:1

The Winnebago distinguished a number of different kinds of corn, the principal ones being wahíseretc, yellow-stalked; hiwarakona, sweetcorn; and warúctcke, red-colored corn. The cornstalk was called wahú, the corn proper, witcáⁿwaⁿs, and the cob, wosák'. The corn is pounded on a rack (waick’) and then shelled, the grain falling through the rack and the cobs remaining on top. After being shelled the corn is steamed. Then the stones necessary for cooking it are gathered and the corn is picked. When this is finished, a hole is dug in the ground and red-hot stones are put in. Over this the husks are put and upon these the corn; then another layer of husks, etc. The top always is covered with husks. Four holes are made through the husks, into which four pails of water are poured and the whole is covered with a thick layer of earth and the corn left there overnight. The next morning it will be entirely cooked. In shelling, the outer part of an oyster shell is used. When the shelling is over the corn is spread out and dried.

"that is what they were saying"waganą̄kše, which can also mean, "that's what they meant."

"sending it rolling over" — Shigley reads this phrase as, hopox’ų anągą, "they made holes, and ..." However, intense examination of the tape suggests howaną, which means "to send rolling over (to cascade)," which is a rather awkward fit, but not semantically impossible.

"earth oven"mą̄ wīrohą.

"used to sit"mįnągires’a, "they used to sit," "sitting" (mįnąk) being used to indicate situation. This is a rather eccentric locution.

"wāgegi" — this is an unknown word.

"lake" — this is the Great Lake (Te Xetera) mentioned in Frankel's introduction. Te Xetera refers to Lake Winnebago where the Hōcągara had a number of villages, the primary of which was on Doty Island.

    Eastman in Schoolcraft Plate 23, Part II
Lake Winnebago   Hōcąk Lodges

"tacąna (tą̄cšąną ?)" — an unknown word.

"summer lodges" — Fletcher, in Schoolcraft's work, has this to say about these lodges:2

227. The bands of this tribe build their summer lodges in villages. These lodges are built by setting posts or poles in the ground, and covering them with bark. Ash, elm, and linn, are used for this purpose. The shape of the lodge is similar to that of a log cabin, and differing in size according to the number of persons in the family or families who occupy them. Said lodges are from twelve to forty feet in length, and from ten to twenty feet in width, and about fifteen feet in height from the ground to the top of the roof. These lodges are built near the field or fields they cultivate, and are occupied several summers. A lodge forty feet in length, and sixteen in width, will accommodate three families of ten persons each. There are (57) no windows in these bark lodges. They generally have two doors, and a space through the centre; with benches or berths on each side for sleeping. The fires, one for each family, are made along the space through the centre of the lodge. The smoke escapes through apertures in the roof. These lodges were formerly built by the women; latterly, however, the men assist in building them.

The summer lodge is made of lighter materials, and is portable. When on a hunt, these lodges are frequently removed from place to place. When a family removes to a distant location, the frame of the lodge is left standing, and the covering only is removed. The Winnebagoes use skins, mats made of flags, and bark, for enclosing their winter lodges.

"completely prepared"wa-kuru-ckuz-ire-že, from wacgus, "to finish a job completely."

"higų wažaga" — an unknown phrase, perhaps meaning, "with others." 

Notes to the Commentary

1 Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1923]) 69 [1923 ed.: 117].
2 Henry R. Schoolcraft, Information Respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States, Vol. III (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1853) §227, pp. 56-57. Cf. Publius V. Lawson, "The Winnebago Tribe," Wisconsin Archeologist, 6, #3 (July 1907): p. 124.

The original text by Sheila Shigley:

Part I.

Žee Hoocąkra eeja, cii nąąkše ciinąk ųųįr̨egi. Giži, mąąx ųųįr̨e anąga, mąąx hožuire anąga. Mąąx hokiižuire anąga, mąąxra, waakarak'ųįr̨e anąga. Mąąxra hanącįxjį waakarak'ų rušjąįr̨egi, eegi hijoowaraireže, toogiira airegi eesge, žigenįge nąąkiikara, žeesge waga nąąkše.

Giži, hagoreižą ųųsge, haakja hagiireže, mąąxra roocų nąąkše. Giži mąąxra wikaragišereireže, wažąr̨a hanąąc taawus wakaragiire anąga, wicąwąs nąąkašge, taawus wakaragiire anąga.

Eegi, mąąx ųįr̨ekjanega Hoocąk nąągre, mąąr̨a k'aire anąga, mąąr̨a ųįr̨areexjį, k'aire anąga, ųų rookšįįk k'aire anągą, eegi eeja peec hot'ų xete ųįr̨e, wooxe jega eeja, "wooxe" aireraže, mąk'a nąąk.

Eeja nąąr̨a roohąxjį eeja eegų, taaxįnįgi įįnįijobeire. Įįnį eeja hobeire anąga, eegi, hanąąc ųųxįnįr̨a taacep hiregi, įįnį nąąka taakac heregiži, hoxjąnągiži, woo'apra, wicąwąsra wakuruweiregiži, woo'apra, eeja wobeireže, pooxeja eeja roooohą eeja, hobeire anąga. Eegi wicąwąs horuxoro nąągre, eeja wožuireže. 'Nąąc eeja wožuiregi, eegi, žige woo'ap nąąka eesge hohiraarukąįr̨e.

Eegi joobiihi, hikijąija, poox kereire anągą. Eeja, nįįr̨eex eeja woowaxųįr̨e s'aže. Eegi, woo'ap nąąka hoja hanąąc wobeiregi egi mąą hiraarukąįne, x'aireže. Eegi, hijoobike hopox'ų anągą eeja nįį wowaxųn'. Eegi wooxe eja eegi eegų cįįwįježe nįįjoowaxųįr̨egiži.

Giži, hąįnigi, hąąįnįxjįįk, karaiparairegi, wicąwąsra roooohąxjį tuuc hiiren', hagakira. Kiijire ųįr̨e anąga wicąąs nąąką wašguire anąga. Taawus wahiire, warusgu hiirera waakik'ųįr̨eže, airen'.

Mąą wiirohą airegi eesge, žeežesge hiire s'aže, Hoocąk nąąka.

Part II.

Že, Hocąkra eja mįnągire s'aže,

hacįja, waagegi, tee hižą, tacąna[tąącšąną?] eja,

eja mįnągire, eja mąxhožu xetešge ųįne s'aže.

Giži hagoreižą te, Kaǧi hahiireže, gixąną wa'ųnąąkše.

Gišge hisge hiireže, egi egųšge ciireanąga,

cikik'ųįneanąga egųšge eja mąxhožuireže.

Mąxhožu xete ųįne s'aže.

Giži hagoreižą že mąǧra wakarak'ųįneanąga egų gaegų įnąk'ų],

hagoreižą egų, togira aire s'ąže.

Nįge, cinągranąkanąka egi žige, žige nįge hija nąą harairešge, aire šųnųn.

Gižeesge egų žige nąkikara, ca, wanį,

že esge honį ne waganąąkže, togira anąąk. Togira haraireže.

Giži, hagoreižą, hakiriire gają, warocų ąąkše.

Wažąna hanąc roocų nąąk'ų hakirireže.

Giži, egų, mąǧra wikarakišereire.

Wažąną hanąc tawus wakarakireanąga.

Part III.

Mąxra hanąc wikarakišereireanąga,

wažąna hanąc tawus wakaragiireanąga

mąnį warujra hanąc wakuruckuzireže,

Že, higų wažaga, Kaǧira, wakižu ųįne, ga že esge,

Ejaxjį [uninttelligible] Kaǧinąka hicakoro hakįįne s'ašgųnįže, Hocągra.



1 Reading by Sheila Shigley, from audio tapes in the American Philosophical Society: Part I: 10-04. Fraenkel, Gerd. Stacy, Stella. Incorrectly titled, "Forgiveness for a killer [4 of 4]," Mss.Rec. 29, recorded 20 July 1959, 1 .mp3; 00:00:24.8 - 00:03:18.7. Copy made by Gerd Fraenkel of an original tape held at the Archives of Languages of the World, Indiana University. This program comes from original tape 529.8. APS accession number 7214; APSdigrec_2197; Recording Number: 02; Program Number: 49.

2 Reading by Sheila Shigley, from audio tapes in the American Philosophical Society: Part II: 10-04. Fraenkel, Gerd. Stacy, Stella. "How the Winnebago and the Menominee lived together near the Great Lake (1)" Mss.Rec. 29, recorded 13 July 1959, 1 .mp3; 00:00:09 - 00:01:25. Copy made by Gerd Fraenkel of an original tape held at the Archives of Languages of the World, Indiana University. This program comes from original tape 528.12. APS accession number 7239; APSdigrec_2187; Recording Number: 02; Program Number: 39.

3 Reading by Sheila Shigley, from audio tapes in the American Philosophical Society: Part III: 10-04. Fraenkel, Gerd. Stacy, Stella. "How the Winnebago and the Menominee lived together near the Great Lake (2)." Mss.Rec. 29, recorded 13 July 1959, 1 .mp3; 00:00:58.4: - 00:01:26. Copy made by Gerd Fraenkel of an original tape held at the Archives of Languages of the World, Indiana University. This program comes from original tape 528.12. APS accession number 7208; APSdigrec_2188; Recording Number: 02; Program Number: 40.