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Hochunk (Winnebago)

"Try to do something for your people -- something difficult. Have pity on your people and love them. If a man is poor, help him. Give him and his family food, give them whatever they ask for. If there is discord among your people, intercede. Immerse yourself totally in your own language and you will receive culture as a byproduct. The soul and culture of a people are reflected in their language."


Boy Stolen by Thunderbird
Holy Song (Medicine Song)
Some Adventures of the Little Hare

Winnebago were called "people of the filthy water" and even the English called them Stinkards. They belonged to the Siouan family, related to some Iowa, Oto, and Missouri bands. Winnebago of ancient times lived on Green Bay in Wisconsin territory, extending inland to Lake Winnebago. Though they generally maintained peaceful relations with surrounding tribes, in 1671 they were nearly destroyed by Illinois tribe raiders, but recovered from the surprise attack. Winnebagoes thrived upon a delicious native grass they named wild-rice, which grew abundantly in lakes, ponds, and streambeds. These plants, self- seeding in spring and summer and harvested from canoes and barges in fall, maintained their people in good health. They also hunted much game for meat and furs. By treaty in 1825 and 1830 they ceded all of their lands to the federal government in return for a large reservation on the west side of the Mississippi River above the Iowa River. Later, Winnebago moved to another reservation in Minnesota, then to Nebraska where they remain. Winnebago are known as a mother tribe of Siouan linguistic families.

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The Indigenous Peoples' Literature pages were researched and organized by Glenn Welker.