Ho-Chunk mythology

The Hocągara (Ho-Chungara) or Hocąks (Ho-Chunks) are a Siouan-speaking Indian Nation originally from Wisconsin and northern Illinois, but due to forced emigration, they are also found in Nebraska, where about half the nation now lives. They are most closely related to the Chiwere peoples (the Ioway, Oto, and Missouria), and more distantly to the Dhegiha (Quapaw, Kansa, Omaha, Ponca, and Osage).[1]

Migration myth

In the story that follows, the Bear Clan assumes the foundation role for the whole nation, and when they land they find the nation's friendship tribe, the Menominee. The Bear Clan is strongly associated with the kaǧi, a term that denotes the raven and northern crow. It is also the name by which the Hocągara know the Menominee.

On account of his vision, a great Menominee (Kaǧi) chief commanded that all manner of supplies be assembled at a white sand beach on Lake Michigan. And when all this had been done and set in order, as the sun reached its zenith the vision came to life: in the pure blue sky of the eastern horizon a single dark cloud began to form and move irresistibly towards them. It was a great flock of ravens (kaǧi), spirit birds with rainbow plumage of iridescent colors. The instant that the first of these landed, he materialized into a naked, kneeling man. The Menominee chief said to his people, "Give this man clothing, for he is a chief." And the others landed in like fashion, and were given great hospitality. They were the Hocąk nation, and that is how they came to Red Banks.[2]

Red Banks (Wisconsin) is the traditional homeland of the Hocąk Nation. It is situated on Green Bay, which the Hocągara called Te-rok, the "Within Lake".[3] Lake Michigan as a whole was called Te-šišik, "Bad Lake",[4] which may well have led the Algonquian peoples round about Lake Winnebago to call them "the people of the Bad Waters", or Winnibégo in Menominee.

Red Horn

Spiro red horn statue HRoe 2005
A stone pipe bowl nicknamed "Big Boy" that some archaeologists think may depict Red Horn. It was found at the Spiro Site.

Red Horn (also known as 'He Who Wears (Human) Faces on His Ears'[5]) is found in the oral traditions of the Ioway,[6] and Hocągara (Winnebago) (whose ethnology was recorded by anthropologist Paul Radin, 1908–1912).[7] The Red Horn Cycle depicts his adventures with Turtle, the thunderbird Storms-as-He-Walks (Mą’e-manįga) and others who contest a race of giants, the Wąge-rucge or "Man-Eaters", who have been killing human beings whom Red Horn has pledged to help. Red Horn eventually took a red haired giant woman as a wife. Archaeologists have speculated that Red Horn is a mythic figure in Mississippian art, represented on a number of Southeastern Ceremonial Complex (SECC) artifacts.[8] Hall has shown that the mythic cycle of Red Horn and his sons has some interesting analogies with the Hero Twins mythic cycle of Mesoamerica.[9]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ James W. Springer and Stanley R. Witkowski, "Siouan Historical Linguistics and Oneota Archaeology," in Oneota Studies, ed. Guy E. Gibbon, University of Minnesota Publications in Anthropology, 1 (1982) 69-83. The separation of Winnebago from Chiwere is calculated to 1500 AD, and this separation of this branch from Dhegiha was put at 1000 AD.
  2. ^ Walter Funmaker, The Winnebago Black Bear Subclan: a Defended Culture (Ph.D. Thesis, University of Minnesota: December, 1986 MnU-D 86-361) 6-7. Informant: One Who Wins of the Winnebago Bear Clan. This telling of the story reproduced by consent of the author, Richard Dieterle, 10/8/08. For this story in context, see Richard Dieterle, "Hotcâk Arrival Myth" Archived 2008-10-30 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Untitled Clan Myths (Hotcâk-English Interlinear) in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notes, Winnebago V, #8, Freeman #3881 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1908) 23-28. "Deer Clan Origin Myth," in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Winnebago III, #19a, Freeman number 3899 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) 1-13.
  4. ^ Thomas J. George, Winnebago Vocabulary, 4989 Winnebago (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives, 1885) s.v. Informants: Big Bear of Friendship, Wisconsin, and Big Thunder. Norton William Jipson, Story of the Winnebagoes (Chicago: The Chicago Historical Society, 1923) s.v.
  5. ^ Paul Radin, Winnebago Hero Cycles: A Study in Aboriginal Literature (Baltimore: Waverly Press, 1948) 124. John Harrison, The Giant or The Morning Star, translated by Oliver LaMere, in Paul Radin, Notebooks, Winnebago III, #11a, Freeman Number 3892 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) Story 8, pp. 92-117 [112-114], where he is called Wągíšjahorùšika, Archived 2008-10-05 at the Wayback Machine "Wears Man Faces on His Ears". Paul Radin, "Intcohorúcika," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society Library) #14, pp. 1-67 [65-67]. Thomas Foster, Foster's Indian Record and Historical Data (Washington, D. C.: 1876-1877) vol. 1, #3: p. 3 col. 1. Told by Little Decorah, a member of the Thunderbird Clan. Kathleen Danker and Felix White, Sr., The Hollow of Echoes (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978) 24-25. Informant: Felix White, Sr. W. C. McKern, "A Winnebago Myth," Yearbook, Public Museum of the City of Milwaukee, 9 (1929): 215-230.
  6. ^ "6. Wąkx!istowi, the Man with the Human Head Earrings," Alanson Skinner, "Traditions of the Iowa Indians," The Journal of American Folklore, vol. 38, #150 (Oct.-Dec., 1925): 427-506 [457-458]. He also appears in a Twins myth, where his is called Wankistogre, "Man-in-the-Earring". Robert Small (Otoe, Wolf Clan) and Julia Small (Otoe), "Dore and Wahredua," in Alanson Skinner, "Traditions of the Iowa Indians," The Journal of American Folklore, vol. 38, #150 (Oct.-Dec., 1925): 427-506 [440-441].
  7. ^ For the ethnology of the Hocągara, see Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1923]).
  8. ^ F. Kent Reilly III, "The Petaloid Motif: A Celestial Symbolic Locative in the Shell Art of Spiro," in F. Kent Reilly and James Garber, eds. (2004). Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms. University of Texas Press. pp. 39–55. ISBN 978-0-292-71347-5.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link) In the same volume, it is argued that the Mississippian "Birdman" is also Red Horn. See James A. Brown, "On the Identity of the Birdman within Mississippian Period Art and Iconography", 56-106.
  9. ^ Robert L. Hall, "The Cultural Background of Mississippian Symbolism," in Patricia Galloway, ed., The Southeastern Ceremonial Complex: Artifacts and Analysis. The Cottonlandia Conference (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press) 239-278. Power, Susan (2004). Early Art of the Southeastern Indians-Feathered Serpents and Winged Beings. University of Georgia Press. p. 158. ISBN 0-8203-2501-5.

External links

Ho-Chunk

The Ho-Chunk, also known as Hoocąągra or Winnebago, are a Siouan-speaking Native American people whose historic territory includes parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. Today, Ho-Chunk people are enrolled in two federally recognized tribes, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska have an Indian reservation in Nebraska. While related, the two tribes are distinct federally recognized sovereign nations and peoples, each having its own constitutionally formed government, and completely separate governing and business interests.

Since the late 20th century, both tribal councils have authorized the development of casinos to generate revenue to support economic development, infrastructure, health care and education. The Ho-Chunk Nation is working on language restoration and has developed a Hoocąąk-language iOS app. Since 1988, it has pursued a claim to the Badger Army Ammunition Plant as traditional territory; the area has since been declared surplus, but the Ho-Chunk have struggled with changes in policy at the Department of the Interior. The department supported the Ho-Chunk claim in 1998, but in 2011 refused to accept the property on their behalf.In 1994, to build on its revenues from casinos, the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska created an economic development corporation; this has since grown and has received awards as a model of entrepreneurial small business. With a number of subsidiaries, it employs more than 1400 people. It has also contributed to housing construction on the reservation. Like more than 60% of federally recognized tribes, the Winnebago Tribe has legalized alcohol sales on the reservation to secure revenues that previously went to the state in retail taxes.

The Ho-Chunk was the dominant tribe in its territory in the 16th century, with a population estimated at several thousand. Their traditions hold that they have always lived in the area. Ethnologists have speculated that, like some other Siouan peoples, the Ho-Chunk originated along the East Coast and migrated west in ancient times. Nicolas Perrot wrote that the names given to them by neighboring Algonquian peoples may have referred to their origin near a salt water sea.

The Ho-Chunk suffered severe population losses in the 17th century, to a low of perhaps as few as 500 individuals. This has been attributed to the loss of hundreds of warriors in a lake storm, epidemics of infectious disease, and competition for resources from migrating Algonquian tribes. By the early 1800s, their population had increased to 2,900, but they suffered further losses in the smallpox epidemic of 1836. In 1990 they numbered 7,000; current estimates of total population of the two tribes are 12,000.

List of culture heroes

A culture hero is a mythological hero specific to some group (cultural, ethnic, religious, etc.) who changes the world through invention or discovery. A typical culture hero might be credited as the discoverer of fire, or agriculture, songs, tradition, law or religion, and is usually the most important legendary figure of a people, sometimes as the founder of its ruling dynasty.

List of religions and spiritual traditions

While religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who defined it as a

[…] system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic."

A critique of Geertz's model by Talal Asad categorized religion as "an anthropological category." Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws, or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system", but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviours, including clerical hierarchies, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural) or religious texts. Certain religions also have a sacred language often used in liturgical services. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, rituals, rites, ceremonies, worship, initiations, funerals, marriages, meditation, invocation, mediumship, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. Religious beliefs have also been used to explain parapsychological phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences and reincarnation, along with many other paranormal and supernatural experiences.Some academics studying the subject have divided religions into three broad categories: world religions, a term which refers to transcultural, international faiths; indigenous religions, which refers to smaller, culture-specific or nation-specific religious groups; and new religious movements, which refers to recently developed faiths. One modern academic theory of religion, social constructionism, says that religion is a modern concept that suggests all spiritual practice and worship follows a model similar to the Abrahamic religions as an orientation system that helps to interpret reality and define human beings, and thus religion, as a concept, has been applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures that are not based upon such systems, or in which these systems are a substantially simpler construct.

Mythologies of the indigenous peoples of the Americas

The indigenous peoples of the Americas comprise numerous different cultures. Each has its own mythologies. Some are quite distinct, but certain themes are shared across the cultural boundaries.

Red Horn

Red Horn is a culture hero in Siouan oral traditions, specifically of the Ioway and Hocąk (Winnebago) nations.He has different names. Only in Hocąk literature is he known as "Red Horn" (Hešucka), but among the Ioway and Hocągara both, he is known by one of his variant names, "He Who Wears (Man) Faces on His Ears". This name derives from the living faces on his earlobes (Hocąk), or earbobs that come to life when he places them on his ears (Ioway). Elsewhere, he is given yet another name, "Red Man" (Wąkšucka), because his entire body is red from head to toe.

Red Horn was one of the five sons of Earthmaker, whom the Creator fashioned with his own hands and sent to earth to rescue humanity. During his sojourn on earth, he contested both giants and water spirits, and led war parties against the bad spirits who plagued humanity. As Wears Faces on His Ears, he is also said to be a star, although its identity is a subject of controversy. Under the names "One Horn" (Hejąkiga) and "Without Horns" (Herok'aga), he and his sons are chiefs over the small hunting spirits known as the herok'a and the "little children spirits". Red Horn, as chief of the herok'a, has a spiritual and sometimes corporeal identity with the arrow. Archaeologists have speculated that Red Horn is a mythic figure in Mississippian art, represented on a number of Southeastern Ceremonial Complex (SECC) artifacts.

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